Interview: A New Standard For Love
Read our Interview with Renew Guest, Caitlin Kenneally
We interview Caitlin about the lessons learned from heartbreak, how her experience at the Renew Breakup Bootcamp Wellness Retreat changed her approach on relationships, and how life and love has changed since.
1. Tell us about the heartbreak or issue you were facing that inspired you to go to Renew Breakup Bootcamp?
I called off my engagement. I moved from San Francisco to New York City. I changed my entire life all within a period of seven days.
2. What did you learn from that heartbreak?
Once I was out of that relationship, I realized that we just simply did not want the same things. We were not meant to be life partners. When I was in the relationship, I placed a lot of blame on this person. I blamed him for not doing what he said he was going to do, how he “went back” on promises he made to me, list goes on. However, what I ultimately realized was that I was asking someone to do things they were not capable of doing or of giving me.
3. What was your experience of Renew? How did you go into it and how did you leave differently?
My experience was amazing. Prior to attending Renew, I had tried everything possible I could to heal. Reading books, listening to podcasts, detoxing. You name it, I did it. I was on a mission to heal, but truth be told, I was not enjoying any of the content I was engaging in during this process. There are so many people that give advice on heartbreak that frankly should not be. It’s always a blame game; “you should hate him because of X”, “he took that from you“, etc. The reality is, I knew this heartbreak was my fault. I compromised on what I needed in a partner. I ignored the red flags and things that bothered me throughout the relationship, and I stayed in an engagement after someone deeply betrayed me.
Then one day, I was living in a hotel in New York City when I heard Amy on the Girls Gotta Eat Podcast. After listening to her episode, I reached out immediately to set up a call with her and signed up for an upcoming bootcamp that was taking place four months later. My experience was one of true transformation. I never cry in front of others, share anything with strangers or really talk about my struggles at all so I knew it would be outside of my comfort zone. I went into the weekend extremely nervous, but left transformed. Renew taught me to be more open, more vulnerable and most importantly, it made me realize I was not alone in this journey.
4. What do you do to practice self-compassion and love?
For me, it’s prayer. I pray every night before bed in my own head. I pray for myself, I pray for my friends and family, and I pray for happiness- to be truly and genuinely happy no matter what.
5. Knowing what you know now, what would you tell another person who’s going through the same thing?
I would tell them that they are going to be okay. More than okay. They are going to be a better person because of their heartbreak. I would tell them that the heartbreak really hurts, but if you can get through that, you can get through anything. You will also learn so much about yourself. I know I did, whether it was about my unhealthy relationship patterns, anxiety, sex, fear, list goes on.
6. If you’ve read Breakup Bootcamp, can you share a quote that resonated with you and why? If not, is there any quote or lesson that resonated with you from Renew/Amy that still impacts you today?
My two most memorable lessons from Renew are:
1. Pause. We aren’t taught to pause and not feed our emotional monster. I was definitely feeding my emotional monster constantly in my last relationship. If I was upset or angry about something, my immediate reaction would be to lash out and respond with “you did this, I’m angry about it”. Eventually, I would cool off and be more rational but by then, the damage was already done.
2. The Pie. An activity where you draw a circle to represent your pie when you were in a relationship, i.e. splitting the pie into all the pieces that represent the activities you spend the most time and energy on in your life. I drew my pie, and I was mortified. It was 80% the other person, and I had only 20% left for everything else in my life (none of which I was even able to enjoy). Now I live a full pie life. I have self-care, a loving stable relationship, family, exercise, friends, hobbies, work and time for relaxation.
7. Since Bootcamp, you’re now in a relationship and just moved in with your boyfriend. Tell us about that. How did it happen, what’s different with this relationship? How have you changed in this relationship?
I was lucky enough to meet the most amazing man right before the pandemic hit through mutual friends. When the pandemic started, we spent a ton of time together. We didn’t date in the traditional way. In fact, I like to say we reverse dated. We had to get to know each other the old fashion way. We were in workout clothes for the first four months of our relationship playing scrabble, having deep conversations, cooking, and working from home together. In my eyes, I’m so glad we got the opportunity to date this way. What’s different in this relationship is we both love ourselves first. We prioritize each other. We are honest with each other. We have mutual respect for one another. We have shared values, but our own goals and aspirations. We support each other. I am different in this relationship because I put myself first, and in doing that, I am a happier person and also able to prioritize my partner’s needs. I know that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else.
Whether you are someone who has recently had a breakup or you’ve experienced past heartache that has not fully healed, Renew can help you rewire the heart so you can move forward in a healthy way, making space for new beginnings and new love.
You owe it to yourself to get more information on Renew, the retreat experience that will leave you empowered and renewed.