Seriously Catherine – Moving Through Trauma with Marcella Hammer | Episode 6 – Palette
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Seriously Catherine – Moving Through Trauma with Marcella Hammer | Episode 6

Processing trauma, learning how to have difficult conversations, and how ‘woowoo’ is a quest to learn how to be in the moment in an overwhelming world. Guest Marcella Hammer drops some serious knowledge and will make you feel seen in a different way. She manages to carry heavy topics while giving you a good laugh alongside host Catherine Hover.

You won’t want to miss Catherine’s Hot Takes this week as she starts with Taylor Swift, but it goes in a MUCH different direction so tune in to listen.

Catherine also dishes the best spots in Saratoga Springs to enjoy her favorite nightcap – the Espresso Martini. Saratoga Living shares where you can enjoy this treat!

Check out the list yourself HERE.

Lastly, you will actually bring your palm to your face in this week’s Face Palm Moment! It includes a trip, letting kids pack their own suitcase, and their choices on what to bring…

Don’t forget to check out Saratoga Living’s After Hours for what’s new and happening in Saratoga!

Special Thanks to the Adelphi Hotel for being our Launch Partners!

⇩ Find Catherine ⇩


Palette Co-Work Community:

Paint and Sip:




*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Marcella Hammer 0:00
I love being wrong. It’s part of my favorite things in life list of favorite things in life. I love being proven wrong because then I’m closer to whatever the truth is. And maybe truth is like a shifting thing and it’s going to be true one day and not the other. But prove me wrong. Tell me I’m wrong and like love that stuff

Catherine Hover 0:23
Welcome to seriously Catherine a podcast about taking your business seriously, but not yourself. On this week’s episode of seriously, Catherine, I’m joined by Marcela hammer HBIC, and CEO at pilot community. We talked a lot about trauma, business leadership and having really hard discussions on a regular basis and how she excels so well at that. So you don’t want to miss this episode. On this week’s Hot take is all about Taylor Swift, but I am not going where do you think I am? so hear me out. I got something to say. This is also just so interesting to me. I can’t help but I don’t know if you’ve been able to avoid the Travis Kelce and the Taylor Swift menagerie on social media. I think it’s unavoidable which I’m totally fine with. I have Taylor Swift and I support her I’ve got faith that she’s not going to derail anything like she’s still going to be a great role model for myself and my children. Because Ruby is obsessed she knows that these tech these devices can give her information like what the weather is and and also how much are tickets for Taylor Swift I caught her the other day she was like having a conversation with eco about how much tickets are and that could also be why I keep on seeing so much Taylor Swift content because it’s all connected you know, but I can’t help but be like, so in love with this couple. I really hope they work. This works out. I want to see Taylor Swift married with a baby in two years. She’s just like this All American girl. I mean, honestly, like the American dream to like she literally anything she’s kicked ass and taking names. I mean, she re recorded all of her that that was a badass move. That was a bad ass business move. Yes, this is my point. Okay, so if you’re not following this youth, I sound like a crazy person. I tried to tell Mark about this. Yesterday. He’s like looked at me like what is wrong with you? Like, like, you don’t have enough going on in your life that you’re completely absorbed with all these different relationships that Taylor Swift has, so Okay, let me just back it up. Jonas. The Jonas Brothers. There’s three of them. There’s Nick. Joe. I don’t know the other one’s name is But Joe Jonas. Now I’m now I’m second guessing. Yeah, Nick’s married to the other lady. So Joe Jonas was married to Sophie Turner. Okay, so if you Turner’s from Game of Thrones and I rewatched that but I did and I loved her. Her name was sa San Sansa I think sa N sa not Santa Sansa I think anyway, fact check me people Game of Thrones. People are crazy. So if you get the shit wrong, and they will come after you. Anyway, they recently announced their divorce and it’s been kind of nasty like because then he gave her shit about like going out with her girlfriends and she should be like at home momming But you know, I am not okay with I mean don’t ever shame a mom for you know, taking care of herself. Sophie and Taylor are BFFs okay, like they’re besties they go out together like she’s the one that that she’s going out with and I get a Taylor Swift doesn’t have any kids so she’s living a different life but she respects Sophie as a mom and I don’t think that there’s any issue with like Taylor is not a bad person for Sophie to hang out with Joe but I just got into this is the rabbit hole I went down okay. I got an email from SPAC saying like Jonas Brothers or come into concert or whatever. I like laughed my ass off because the Jonas Brothers are playing at SPAC and Taylor Swift is like selling out a world tour. You know, I just think like, look at look at cute Jo Jo. Jo. Dona like Taylor Swift will be so big forever that she’ll never come to spec you know, she’ll be like, maybe in her 70s If she ever comes to spec, and Little Joe Little Joe and his bros are playing spec. My point is just like, I appreciate that communist back. I’m probably not gonna go the concert out of, you know, solidarity, Sophie Turner. She doesn’t know who I am. But like she needs to know that I support her and Joe Jonas is dead to me. And that is what I have to say about. Okay, so if you know me, you know that I love what I do. And I’m a workaholic. So if I ever have a chance to get away, I can’t go too far away without my kids and without being so far away from work. The Delphi is my go to. What’s really great about the Delphi is that it has everything you need. It’s right there on Broadway. It has a restaurant, it’s got the breakfast joint, it’s got it all. And the room service is amazing. So last Christmas, we did Christmas Day Night at the adult fi we booked the Polaris suite which is really special because it has a hot tub on the balcony. And the kids loved it. It was so much fun. We ordered room service and it was just like the most special thing and again, it’s got a Jacuzzi. I mean, who doesn’t want to use a Jacuzzi at the Delphi if you don’t have the opportunity to stay at the Adelphia you can still go Oh and hang out in their in their lobby or eat at their restaurants. The best sushi in town by far I believe is at the a Delphi. You should get the rainbow roll you can thank me later it’s delicious. It’s absolutely the bomb. If you are local and you need a night off or a night away don’t go too far go right there to be a Delphi book yourself uh wrong, have dinner there have breakfast in the morning and you’ll feel like a totally different person when you wake up. This week from Saratoga living I’m going to unpack their ultimate food and drink guide. Okay, according to Saratoga living the unofficial nightcap is the Espresso Martini, which is like Did they read my mind because that’s that is what I get. I usually get at the end of the meal, you know, we’re not going to go for dessert, I have to get some sort of things sweet. So it’s either a White Russian, which I get an eye roll, or like a shock whenever I order that I love a White Russian and or an Espresso Martini. They have listed seven different places you can get a delicious Espresso Martini. I’ll just go and list the restaurants nine maple Ave Caroline Street pub. Bo Kosh champagne bar. Obviously, they’re going to have a good Espresso Martini Morrissey’s The Misfit Lucy’s bar and a coat ROM and I might have to make a point just to do my homework here and go taste off all these espresso martinis at these different venues. But I’ve had the one at Lucy’s it’s delicious. I’ve had the one a bow cause it’s awesome. I’ve also had the one at Morrissey’s. That’s the one that I have the most experience consuming and what I really love about it and they mentioned this also is like has no cream, but it still tastes so creamy. How do they do that? I don’t get so good. And you know, I can only have one Espresso Martini or else I’m like, up up up for for until the end of time. And Mama’s got to sleep. So only one that’s my limit. But it is yeah, it’s a sweeter it’s it’s true. This says it’s an enjoy a lighter area consistency with sweet vanilla finish. And that is exactly what it tastes like. It’s delicious, Dangerously Delicious. That’s what I have to say about that. But if you are a fan of espresso martinis as much as I am, and there’s one in town that I haven’t tried or not even just in town like in capital region wide if there is an Espresso Martini in the region that I have not tasted that I need to you gotta let me know. Don’t keep me in the dark here. Tell me where to get the best Espresso Martini. You can slide into my DMs at Katherine over.

Marcella Hammer 7:29
Everyone grab your popcorn. Let’s go. Yes. I was wondering if you were going to show up in matching outfits today. I thought about it done.

Catherine Hover 7:35
I did think about wearing I had V jeans on and I was going to put a denim shirt and I was like I swear to god Marcel is gonna walk in with denim on denim toe. So I opted for this outfit.

Marcella Hammer 7:46
It’s subtle. Blend, right, and we started kindergarten.

Catherine Hover 7:52
So this is Marcel Lush. This whole podcast is called seriously Katherine. And I think also seriously Marsala. Because it’s just you do such a great job of not taking yourself too seriously not overthinking every little thing. And it’s a disarming strength, I think or skill that you have. Thank

Marcella Hammer 8:11
you. It is not always easy. But it is something that with practice gets easier. Because it can be really hard to have big feelings and to interact with other people having big feelings, and not take it personally.

Catherine Hover 8:30
Fast forward. I’m starting this palette thing. And I’m still just like trying to figure it out and coming up with the concept and idea and I wanted to create a space for myself, people like myself to go to to meet with other people collaborate all the things, and I got word or heard that you were shutting down that business. And I was like, Oh my gosh, she’s a free agent. She’s a free agent. She needs to come back and help me. So I remember connecting with you. And we did sort of stay connected. We would see each other around town all the time. And I was like, please come help me do this. And you were like hell to the no, I am not going backwards hard. No hard, negative or no. Like, sorry, not sorry, but I don’t want to do that. Yeah,

Marcella Hammer 9:09
and a lot of it is just this, this idea you can’t go backwards. And I knew that if I came back to paint and so it would be not a step backwards, two steps backwards, almost, if that makes sense. And everything I had been through. Over the three and a half years at that business was open made me first of all completely burnt out. I was completely isolated. I was burnt out I was exhausted. I felt like I knew who I was. But I also had no idea who I was anymore once it closed. So it was really easy to say no, that first time and also the second time and the third time. So after that business closed, like I said I was completely physically mentally emotionally exhausted, financially exhausted. And it was in a field that is like not me. It wasn’t something that I thought was my destiny to be in it was in the car stomatology field, which I mean, I know I have eyebrows and eyelashes right now, thanks to make up, but it’s not my passion. And I think that like I take away that I know that I really changed some people’s lives. There are always haters in every realm of our lives just asked Beyonce and Taylor Swift, who are our peers. So I know that not everyone was happy with everything I did. But like whoever is what I really think that you and I have always shared from a business perspective, and from a business passion perspective, is creating a singular experience that can only happen in the space that we’ve created. And that was something that I know I was able to do incredibly well with that business. So I knew that that was a strong point for me, but I was so just nothing left. And I knew I couldn’t go back and work at paint. And so so I’m like, okay, maybe I will be a Reiki healer. And so I started reading all these books about like, how to be a Reiki healer, like, maybe I will do this. But it just didn’t seem right. So I went through all of these like different avenues of like, who I want to be like, what the person that I am now, in 2018. I’m like, What is this person? What’s next? And I’m like, oh, you know, my brother’s a lawyer. Maybe I’ll just be a lawyer and be more successful him and just just let that be my path. So I started studying for the LSAT. I’m like, actually, this is boring. And the end result of becoming a lawyer isn’t that you have to be a lawyer that didn’t feel like the right path. And as I’m doing this research into what kind of career I want, like, Who do I want to be next? I started doing these Montreux meditations to find my prosperity like to find find this next thing. It’s like 40 day cycle meditation. So I started. And on the 40th day, I get a phone call from Katherine over was some sort of opportunity that you wanted to share with me. And I’m like, Oh, that’s funny. How thoughtful of her to call on this day. That’s, I guess it didn’t work. So I started another cycle of 40 days on this meditation. I’m like, Alright, didn’t work once and we try it again. On the 40th day, you called again.

Catherine Hover 12:09
You can’t make this shit up. You know, it

Marcella Hammer 12:11
was the strangest thing. You know, people talk about manifestation and about putting things into the universe. And I’d never experienced anything like that. And I said no, again, but you were still a coward. But there’s this opportunity, but I’m also doing this thing. And it might be really good. It might be cool to work together again, like it definitely hard. No, I’ll go go, you know, explore this other opportunity. So the second time the person ended up offering me the job, and I turned it down. And that was at the end of a for another 40 days. And I get another call from Katherine. She’s like, just come to this new place. I heard you turn to this other person down,

Catherine Hover 12:45
I was a little irritated cuz I’m like, Marcella, what the hell like I am literally handing these opportunities to you that I know you would. I mean, you would excel at anything pretty much but like the art center, that’s perfect. You know, this other creative job? I was like, this would be great. You know. And so when you come turning him down, I’m like, I’m like, I don’t know what you want, you know, and like, I want to help you figure that out. And, you know, obviously, if it helps me, that’s awesome, too. Right. So I think it was a third time,

Marcella Hammer 13:11
it was the third time and you said, listen, the spaces has started, I’m creating a coffee shop, it is female focused, the idea is to be a place for women to receive support and business. I remember after taking the tour with you, and we were sitting on these rocking chairs on the porch of this historic building in downtown Saratoga, I did not plan to say yes to you. That day at all, I fully planned to say no, but for some reason I said yes, and agreed to whatever it would become. And I think a lot of it was that you have this element of women needing support and entrepreneurs needing support during their journey. And that was something that I still am so easily able to transport myself back into the room of my business that had closed, and how isolated I felt surrounded by people who were happy and like literally sprinkling glitter. I knew how many questions I had had, and how many times I had questioned myself in that room. And I never wanted to go through it again. And I never wanted anyone else to have to go through that and to have no one to turn to.

Catherine Hover 14:18
I think that you’ve always done such a great job of connecting the business decisions and the business acumen to the woowoo I’ve historically been like, Don’t give me that Bouchet give me the numbers give me the real deal. Like what do we need to do? What’s the action, you know? And so, I think that that, that makes it such a great team because you you are able to ground me and sometimes like just make me recognize like, it’s not the end of the world right or, you know, just help help me to stop and like look around and just absorb. And

Marcella Hammer 14:52
it’s funny because what we talk about is we will it’s evolved into just a focus on mental health and what seemed will like even healing crystals and things like that. It I really the older I got, the more I realized that it is just this quest to feel in the moment to be in the moment and to be able to respond to everything in our surroundings, from a sense of immediacy, as opposed to being scattered, and being overwhelmed with how much has to be done or how many decisions have to be made and how much is on the line at any given time. And it’s really hard. But definitely I will go see an energy healer anytime I know

Catherine Hover 15:34
that. I can’t remember exactly what was going on in my life. But when we were launching pallet, the cafe, like the first iteration of pallet, I was pregnant, and then also had the baby and then like, I’m pretty sure I had do on a Thursday. And on Saturday, I was like, in the coffee shop like making steamed milk. Yeah. Oh, shit go home.

Marcella Hammer 15:53
Man. I know what you hear. But Ed, it

Catherine Hover 15:57
was like, I just like felt fine to just I but I but I also think, but here’s looking back on

Marcella Hammer 16:05
it now. It’s yeah, you were crazy. I think that you were just in such a trauma state of the stress of the financial stress of the business and the success of it, and how much you had on line of that. I think that when we have that amount of pressure on ourselves, we’re able to like adrenaline rush our way through life and business and pay the price later, I read something about how burnout, you’re using your energy today when you’re in like a burnout state that you have to make up for in the future. And so the the crash would come like you’d be tired eventually, you would feel that drain eventually. But in the moment, it’s like you had no choice. Yeah. And I had gone that through so many years with that other business to where it’s like, Alright, get ready for another 12 hour day, lady. Yeah, here you go. But,

Catherine Hover 16:52
but what I was getting at was like, I was struggling at some point, you know, like, just like, feeling tired, burnt out exhausted. And you were like, Listen, you need to go see Helene. And you are the one who introduced me to her. And she is amazing. I mean, I don’t go to her all the time. And I should probably work her in like more regularly. But she’s an energy healer. She’s incredible. It’s incredible. I mean, she healed herself from Lyme disease. So she’s got like, the science to back it up and all the all the, you know, the books and stuff that she’ll give you to read up on. It’s like, it’s not it’s not BS.

Marcella Hammer 17:25
And I think that that is the core of the misinterpretation of what is woowoo is that, you know, Helene is an energy healer. But she also was a licensed therapist for years. She has so much academic background that helped to create the structure for how she works to heal people. And, you know, even if we look at Deepak Chopra, I mean, he’s a doctor, bro. Like, he’s not just dude, like, levitating or something. This is this. There is so much medical background and intellectual structure behind so much that’s considered woowoo. And I mean, it is so fun to say Whoo, but in reality, maybe it’s not as light apparition like and mystical as we think it is. And it’s much more connected to the invisible magic science of our brains.

Catherine Hover 18:12
Yeah, it’s like your culture, you know, like to think on the bright side in the midst of just shit hitting the fan. I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve have seen you just be okay. In the midst of just trauma chaos.

Marcella Hammer 18:28
Yeah, I’m, I’ve experienced so much trauma, that it’s like, Alright, man, okay, let’s go, we can do this. But also, I think it has to do with that being able to exist in the moment without a pastor present. That’s even that sounds woowoo. But I don’t mean it in that way. I just mean, like, I’m here, I’m not thinking about that. I’m not thinking that someone saying something about me that is going to impact my feelings. I don’t really care what people think about me. And maybe that’s part of it is that I’ve realized that everybody is who they are going to be. And in a situation where everything is going bad if I allow myself or if I start picking up on like feelings of anger or anything like that, nothing is going to change. And the best thing to do is get the heck out of there. Like let’s end this traumatic situation. Let’s fix this problem. Let’s find a way to solve whatever we’re in so we don’t have to stay here forever his miserable

Catherine Hover 19:22
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, if this is off topic are off limits. Now by all means, say cut, cut it out. But I want to talk about how almost dying affected your life because Hi, I’m well, I almost died in August. And it was actually like you who helped me and Dr. astrak helped me recognize that it was literally like I almost died. Everything is different now. And I don’t I mean, I’m just so grateful that you were able to call me out on that because this will happen on a Tuesday morning. I was in the hospital until Thursday caught and I was home on Friday. You came over on the Friday and I’m like, I mean, I’ll be fine by Monday. I mean, I feel like crap. And I’m exhausted still. But I mean, I’m good. We’re good. Everything’s good. And you were like, Stop, collaborate. And listen, I had to do that just now. But

Marcella Hammer 20:13
I’m really glad that you did. I knew that you didn’t realize the magnitude, fully in yourself of what you had been through. And so yeah, I forcibly canceled all your meetings for like weeks. It

Catherine Hover 20:27
was so that was so stressful. I mean, because it was like, I, I show up. I mean, that’s like one of the things that I give myself shit for if I don’t do it, right, if I can’t be in all the places, and I can’t meet all the people, and I’ve can’t be on all the events, I just, I do really feel horrible about that. Because I think how we support each other, in my mind, like is showing up.

Marcella Hammer 20:48
But what happens when showing up means that you’re showing up at the cost of yourself of your own physical health, your mental health, your own body, your own mind time exhibits. And I think that that’s a realization that only comes later in life for a lot of us, hopefully, Gen Z, like, has this together, because they’re very inspiring to me, despite their fashion choices, which are atrocious. Like, did we have once upon a time I almost died?

Catherine Hover 21:14
Yeah. So I think when I think of you, I think like, yeah, everything after that moment was like, land MyApp is what I call it is like, extra, you know, and like, just everything is extra. And I think it it’s certainly, again, I believe is impacted you in a way that like everything sort of that’s extra, it’s like, it’s not like, it doesn’t matter, but it’s sort of like, okay, this, firstly, like, this is my sort of interpretation of it. It’s like, I almost died. And now I’m like, on borrowed time, or I’m like, I get to, you know, I feel like we’ve created so much together, my family is really in a great place. And, you know, I guess I’m just grateful to be alive, and get to do what I get to do. And now I’m starting to really become more careful about what what that is right? Like, what do I get to do? And making sure that that’s what I want to do for me, because I don’t need to prove anything to anybody.

Marcella Hammer 22:07
That is very true. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I didn’t

Catherine Hover 22:11
need to prove anything to anyone before. But this didn’t certainly, but didn’t you? I mean, like I didn’t you felt I did. Yeah, but I actually did it. Does that make sense? It

Marcella Hammer 22:22
does make sense. So kind of backtracking to the once upon a time when I almost died. And this very much connects to what you were just saying. It like the idea of living on borrowed time. So when I was in my early 20s, I was attacked on the street and fallen home and was stabbed on my front porch several times and survived. So with that came a lot of trauma. But I very much remember being in the scenario of like these two men who are like teenage boys attacking me and stabbing me with a knife and thinking, This doesn’t happen to me. I’m tall. I’m strong, like what this is not even real. And the sense of disassociation between myself and the experience that I was living through. And what was so interesting is that, obviously was pretty traumatized. I had a lot to recover from that. And I also felt like I had failed at even being attacked because I was like, pretty much okay, no, no organs were hit by the knives that step. But that just these things that our brains do tell us are absolutely outrageous. The thing that I think is important that I was just saying is that this hasn’t happened to me. Like I’m not the kind of person that gets chased home by for 10. Viking. Like, come on. And, and this is not in Saratoga. This is not terrible. I was living in Boston at the time.

Catherine Hover 23:42
So you’re away from home. I mean, that that in itself, there was so many layers to this, like I remember you told me I’m just like, how do you navigate after that, you know,

Marcella Hammer 23:49
the same way that everybody else does. So what also happened is this was in like the early 2000s. And we didn’t talk about trauma back then the way we talk about trauma now. Now everybody understands there are different degrees of trauma that we go through, we understand what a post traumatic brain what happens in a post traumatic brain, which is essentially that it can skip over parts of an experience in order to help us exist, survive and heal. So one metaphor think about is like a crack in the sidewalk, and you just like are able to cover over it and not even recognize that crack. So you’re able to retell the story in your brain in order to survive. At that time. I didn’t know where to learn this. And I had been to a counselor that I didn’t really make a connection with. And I was just in such a funk and I’m a reader. So I remember going to the library. And I was standing at the little computer terminal, which this is like post card catalog, thank God. And I’m like, What do I even type in here? Like what to do after you get stabbed? Like is there a book about this and there was no book. So I ended up finding literature on post trauma that primarily dealt with people who had been through war experience, military experience and sexual assault. And it connected to what I was experiencing. But also Denon. So for me, it began this journey of trying to understand why my brain was doing and feeling the way that it was. And I ended up understanding what we all know now is that everyone experiences trauma, whether it’s as a child as an adult continuously, I think we’re all pretty traumatized by news cycles. And we’re all going through a state of trauma from the global pandemic that we just all experienced. So how do we recover? How do we get better? What do we do? There’s no one answer. But there is at least this discussion now through social media, through the public media, and books and literature and everything about the reality that is trauma, that it is not something that is easy to treat, necessarily. And that it’s real, that your brain actually changes after you go through something like your brain is not the same brain that it was in July.

Catherine Hover 26:03
I also have new blood, but I think I don’t know if there’s any science to this, but I got three liters of new blood and I, I just I feel impacted. I feel like it’s changed me. I got some like really good blood.

Marcella Hammer 26:15
You got some good blood?

Catherine Hover 26:16
Do you get the typo? I am typo. But then you did get the good blood got the good stuff? Yeah. Um,

Marcella Hammer 26:22
I mean, maybe not scientifically, but metaphorically. Yeah, you went through this experience where you have new blood, you have new life going through you. And maybe this wasn’t maybe like, I think about kind of circling back to what I experienced, like, this wasn’t This isn’t me. Like, this doesn’t happen to me. And I bet you felt that way, too. I know you did when we were talking earlier that day, and you’re like, Oh, this is going on? I’m like, go to the doctor right now.

Catherine Hover 26:45
Yeah, get seriously. Well, that’s right. I wasn’t feeling good. And I was like, feeling like oftentimes, and just like, extra tired than usual. Yeah, it was crazy. I mean, and I but the other part, too, is like, I remember talking to Dr. awestruck, I mean, I have him on the program too. But I was remember being like I am. This is like a week out. And I’m still not feeling better. You know, like, again, it was like major surgery lost a lot of blood. So my body is still recovering. And I remember telling him like, well, I should feel better by now. Right? And he’s like, No, actually, you feel this is this is a normal response. You’re exhausted because the blood, whatever. And I was like, but I am like riddled with anxiety. Like I couldn’t. I was like, or I’m like, should I did I called him? I was like, Can we can you meet me at four woods and help me like, get in there? And he’s like, no, no, you don’t go to four wins. You’re this is all a normal reaction process that you’re going through, and you’re suffering, and you’re helpless. And this is all and I was like, is this when people pick up a drink? Or try drugs? Because I feel like that’s, you know, he’s like, yes, that that may be something that someone has been instead you called me, you know, so it’s something interesting. I like just and thinking about as like how some people react to the trauma in a way that uplifts them and motivates them and inspires them to do better or it’s the other side. Were you like, did you feel depressed after that? How old

Marcella Hammer 28:07
were you, Lee? Absolutely. It was a nightmare. I couldn’t even sleep with the lights off. It was terrifying. I was absolutely, completely a disaster, mentally and emotionally. And something that I think also happens after you experience a great trauma is you feel like you can’t talk you have to lead with it. And every conversation that it’s right on the tip of your tongue that it’s like, right in front of you, and you have to explain the elephant in the room. Before you have any other conversations. Maybe it’s because I just felt so weird. And so unlike myself, that I needed this disclaimer. But also, the way that I was experiencing this trauma is that you never know what’s going to set you off and put you back into that sort of like physical state that you were in when you were experiencing it. So you would be like on a subway train and just like have a panic. Do you ever feel like do you ever just like go back to that time in that room? When you realize you had to have a surgery and had to like that it was all real, that it was all actually happening to you to your human body?

Catherine Hover 29:12
And I mean, no, not yet. I mean, I mean, I just wouldn’t you get ready girl, she just did that to me. I was just like, I mean, it was crazy. Because he because I thought like, Oh, they’re gonna hook me into an IV. I’m just feeling a little tired or whatever. You know, I didn’t even like I don’t know, I’ve had issues with my gallbladder, gallstones. I thought maybe that had something to do with it. So when Dr. Birnbaum came in, and he’s like, in the next 20 minutes, you’re going to surgery and I was like, what? He’s like, Yeah, are you why are you here by yourself? You need to call somebody? And I was like, do I? He’s like, Yeah, you’re going to surgery. It’s an emergency surgery. You’re bleeding out. We need to get this, you know, figured out ASAP. And he like almost a he like shook me into like, oh God, and I did I started to cry and I was like starting to panic.

Marcella Hammer 29:55
Another thing that I can always go back to the room where my father died. And for me, that was another great trauma that I it wasn’t a life or death for me, but it was life or death for my father, for my family, I can absolutely, it’s so easy to go back to what it felt like what that room looked like everything that I was experiencing. And same thing with when I was stabbed, I can go back to that moment so easily. But the more that time passes, the more that I learn about how brains react to trauma, the more that I meditate, the more that I exercise, the more that I express myself creatively, through business or like actual creative work, the easier it gets to be in the moment that I’m in, versus that moment, when I worked for you at paint and sip when I was when I started as a teaching artist. It was right after my father had died, probably a month, and I barely remember anything. I don’t even know who I was, I hated everybody hated everything around me. And we got a little that, well, you learn how to put on a good face. Yeah, when you have to survive through it. But it was an eye, you I would close my eyes and see my dead father, and then have to go and stand up with a microphone and make a joke about painting somehow, with rainbow colors. All of this leads me to where I get to be now where I can talk about these things without being immediately transported back into the physical, mental and emotional feelings of those moments except my father’s death, which if you’ve lost a parent, or lost someone close to you, like it never goes away. Like it’s a little better, but it’s just nightmare forever. And I think that has helped me in business, by golly, it really had? Well, we

Catherine Hover 31:45
I think I’ve talked about this in earlier episodes too, about just like I vacillate between, wow, I needed this trauma. Because now it’s like built who I am my character, my work ethic, my outlook on life, you know, if without the trauma without the hardship without, you know, all the things like I wouldn’t be who I am. And then there’s, you’re about to tell me the opposite, where it’s like, we don’t have to go through trauma, it’s but that’s like, also something your brain is doing, right? It’s like helping you make sense of it so that you can be a functioning person, we’re

Marcella Hammer 32:19
all going to go through trauma, I think that that everyone is going to it’s part of the human experience is that trauma is part of the human experience. That’s something that we all need to acknowledge. However, I do not believe that everything happens for a reason at all, when bad things happen. It’s not. It’s not preordained. It’s not supposed to happen to you, you’re not supposed to survive it and come out stronger. On the other side. It’s more like we’re living life. And we’re actually riding a bicycle through life, but we’re looking backwards. So we can’t see what’s coming, we can see what we’ve been through. And we can work to make sense of the experiences that are behind us in order to move confidently forward. But there’s no reason behind it. There’s no reason I had to get stabbed, there’s no reason that you had to go through that health crisis, there’s no reason that my father had to die other than everybody dies. So rather than try and explain away my pain, with the fact that it’s going to make me stronger. I think just being able to accept that as part of the human experience has really helped me to heal from it to be better at handling trauma in the moment. And like I said, I think that makes me better at business because when everything is a nightmare swirling around and everything goes wrong you can start from zero and work to build everything back up everyone else can be panicking but if you’re able to maybe because you’ve been through so much just stay calm, cool and collected then things are gonna get better will

Catherine Hover 33:48
you are you talking about me because you know I don’t like I’m not the one that stays cool calm and collective. Sometimes you but you you know I definitely am You are the cool calm collective Yeah. voiceless voice of reason. I mean, but you do have such a sense of just the world I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass and I like I need you in my life because you you like help me sort of an end you do you call me out when I’m like you wish you should not have said that that was out of line when when I told Phil to drink the Kool Aid.

Marcella Hammer 34:21
Yeah, as much as I enjoy I’ll enjoy called narratives and and things like that. Sometimes we say things that are not appropriate like talking about drinking the Kool Aid and a positive light when in reality a bunch of adults and children died not knowing they were

Catherine Hover 34:37
being killed. Yeah, and I didn’t I guess I didn’t know what that term came. Maybe you just like Kool Aid and then like that, that I did. I do mean like kool aid, but it was when we had the cafe and Phil was working and I think we had a team meeting and I just like said it in a meeting like you guys are gonna be drinking the Kool Aid. This is a place of positivity and I need you to be happy and I want you to be you know No. And then afterwards, I was like, oh my god, I

Marcella Hammer 35:02
had to holla dies beside Katherine, we need to have a difficult conversation. That’s

Catherine Hover 35:05
right. Yeah, that’s always lead up to you like, sit me down, you’re like,

Marcella Hammer 35:09
we need to have a difficult conversation. When we say things like drink the Kool Aid, the result of that metaphor is that everybody dies. So maybe you shouldn’t do that. Maybe? That’s fine. No metaphor,

Catherine Hover 35:21
it was, it was such a great opportunity. It was a teachable moment. I definitely need to be taught. So to work indefinitely,

Marcella Hammer 35:30
and so do I. And I think that that is part of my I love being wrong. It’s part of my favorite things in life list of favorite things in life. I love being proven wrong, because then I’m closer to whatever the truth is. And maybe truth is like a shifting thing. And it’s going to be true one day and not the other. But prove me wrong, tell me I’m wrong. I’d like love that stuff, a leadership

Catherine Hover 35:49
thing, right, like leadership skill to be able to tell somebody respectfully, and looking out for them that they’re wrong. And then also on the other end of it was, I accepted that right? And I wasn’t like, Oh, my God, you’re being dramatic. Or this is ridiculous. You know, I was like, Oh, God, I took it very seriously. Seriously, seriously. And I apologize to Phil the next day,

Marcella Hammer 36:13
I think, but I also have to acknowledge is that I was not I did not like come out of my mother’s human body, being able to have difficult conversations with people. And learning how to do that even to say, Katherine, we need to have a difficult conversation, every single part of that every single part of every difficult conversation I have to have with people. Man, I’ve had to read a book, I’ve read an article, I’ve Googled how to fire someone before. I’ve talked to lawyers, like every difficult scenario, you can imagine. You can’t just I mean, I believe that it’s not wise as a leader, to just go in guns blazing. And I expect to have the results that you want. And that the my intention in that conversation with you was to have you understand the metaphor that you used, and why it would be uncomfortable for someone, and to ensure that the employee who was negatively impacted, felt validated heard seen, and that they were part of the team, and that their feelings really mattered to Yeah, so that’s why I had to approach it in the way that I did. But it wasn’t like, Oh, my God, oh, my god, Catherine, you need to apologize. Because that wouldn’t have been impactful in the way that it needed to be. Oh, absolutely. Very good example. It is a good example, my strength

Catherine Hover 37:29
and emotional intelligence. There have been some pretty monumental things that have happened at palette that sometimes I just think like, Oh, my God, that, like we did that or that happened, or, you know, so is there any like one moment that you feel like is, this is why I choose to do this every day. Because for the most part, I mean, it’s a lot of work. It’s hard to be that for people,

Marcella Hammer 37:52
it’s so hard to think of one thing, because the scope has been so huge. And every person that joins palette, I have to hold space for them when we do an onboarding. And often they told me amazing things and also horrible things that they’ve been through that have led them to the moment that they’re at. And I think we’ve had so many success stories and so many new beginnings and just so many small victories and big victories that it just blends into like massive sparkling, glittery fog of success wrapping around the Earth, you don’t become successful and then you’re just like dawn at uni, like find your beach Give me your your tropical drink and like you just chill. It is a constant evolution and constant work in constant difficult decisions. Difficult Conversations and a lot of time.

Catherine Hover 38:45
Yeah. Energy. Yeah. Okay, so you just renamed one of Saratoga livings top 25 people? Is it influencers or leaders in the community? I

Marcella Hammer 38:54
think that it was meant to highlight people who are creating positive change and are good positive influences in the community, and also can’t be missed in a crowd. And I’m pretty tall and orange, and I dress very subtly. So it’s pretty hard to miss me.

Catherine Hover 39:11
How did you meet? How did that make you feel to be like, named Saratoga livings? One of 25 amazing people in the region? I mean, you’re from here. You moved while you boomeranged? And how does that make you feel Marcella,

Marcella Hammer 39:24
it felt amazing. Because you know, growing up here, and I think wherever we grow up, there’s such a sense of judgment and critique. And you think that everywhere else in the world must be better. And in so many ways, there are places that are so much better than Saratoga. But at the same time, this is an incredible city with magical healing waters flowing beneath it with incredible arts and culture, brilliant people everywhere who actually care about this community. And for me, it was also just an excellent fit. audition for any bullying that I went through and junior high school for that bowl cut that I had when I looked like a respectable young man instead of the elegant been having woman that I am now. And it was a good validation that I have a right to be confident.

Catherine Hover 40:16
Yeah. you exude confidence and superiority.

Marcella Hammer 40:22
Yeah, I had you are listen, I survived a bowl cut at least a couple times. So you gotta you got to get that out that somehow that was the first trauma was one of them was that bowl cut. What was also incredible is that this was put on by Saratoga living and the other people who were part of the Saratoga. 25 were incredible. And I felt very honored to be standing amongst a diverse group of people by age, ethnicity, like everything, and the different ways that they impacted and wanted to continue to impact the community. It was pretty impressive. Well, thank

Catherine Hover 40:58
you, Marcela, you’ll have to come back again because we just didn’t unpack enough to discuss. Hey, everyone, okay, this week, facepalm moment is inspired by our trip to New York City to meet my mom. And then we’re heading to New Orleans, but I had all the girls pack their own suitcases and thank God I looked inside the suitcase because all she had in her luggage was a Cinderella costume. A toy tub and nail polish. So oh my god, I’m just like, opened it not thinking like I would that’s what I would find. I figured she would at least have, you know, a pair of underwear or some clothes. So every pack for her myself and then she was devastated when we finally got here. Not hardcore tub was not in New York City with her. So I shared this on Instagram. My friend Kristin Finn shared her story of the exact same thing happening to her only she did not check the luggage and her daughter Maisie had only stuffed stuffies in her suitcase, so when they got the database and they literally had to go shopping for outfits and clothes and underwear for her daughter. So double check your daughter’s or your child’s logins if you let them pick x themselves and happy travel season. Thank you for listening to this podcast and if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram. My handle is Catherine hoever

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