Yesterday

Yesterday I…

met some fake friends who I hadn’t seen in a long time.

procrastination. fear. regret. guilt. let down.

struggled with my gremlin the whole damn day.

he told me I wasn’t worth it…was a fake, a hoax, a phoney.  taunted and teased…incessantly.

had detox brain fog that left me unsteady.

unstable. confused. worried

struggled more than I had in a while.

and wasn’t totally sure what to do about it.

found no solace in my yoga practice.

instead i felt disconnected, disheartened, lost and loney.

missed “home” more than I had in a while.

mom’s house, worcester, MYoga, my family, my friends.

fell into old patterns I thought I had left behind.

ones I thought I’d never see again.

was not my best day.

and it also wasn’t my worst.

I survived.

and today I started anew.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Let the Cleanse Begin…again!

Hi folks!

I hope you had a beautiful weekend.  Mine involved lots of Brothers & Sisters, adeliciousinternational potluck with my classmates, dancing until the early morning hours, late night girl talks, lots of grocery shopping + cooking, a 3am shower, a trip to the farmer’s market, dancing in my car, and fantastic conversations with new friends.

And…restarting the Crazy Sexy Cleanse.

A couple weeks ago one of my good college buddies bought and read the book.  Both of us have similar struggles with our weight + eating and I had been suggesting the book to her since I did my last cleanse.  She wanted to do the cleanse and I offered to do it with her, both for some moral support (it isn’t always the easiest + she isn’t plant-based to begin with) and because I know it won’t hurt me to do it again.

So last night I enjoyed all sorts of Indian, Asian, and American food + dessert + beer (and that dancing) and today I started my day with fresh vegetable juice (carrot/ginger/beet/apple/parsley/kale/celery/garlic) from the farmer’s market, followed by some baked fresh this morning whole wheat walnut bread and sun butter, and topped off tonight with a new-to-me raw kale salad.

I forgot how good it feels to eat this way.

I won’t likely be talking about the cleanse quite as much as last time but I will be following the principles to a T.   For those just joining me, that means: no meat/poultry/seafood/eggs, dairy, sugar or alcohol.  It also means daily meditation, workouts, and dry brushing, as well as using toxin-free health & beauty products and getting enough sleep.  Kris suggests giving up gluten but I’m not quite there yet (personally or budget-wise).  Quite frankly, I think that I probably will feel even better and I’m not ready for that change.  I have no doubt that I’ll get there (and have certainly learned to never say never).

I hope you join me over the next 21 days as I work my way towards a lighter, more cruelty-free life.  My goals with this cleanse are fat loss (not to be confused with weight loss) + more focus.  I’ve been doing much better with the focus thing, often choosing to do that what needs to get done than that which I want to do.  As many of you know, this is a huge step for me and I have no doubt that cleanse will help strengthen this new muscle I’m building…plus a whole lot more.

Yoga/beauty/veggies,

Kait xo

On Values, Balance, and Alignment

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I’m happy to report that my tummy troubles are mostly cleaned out.  I guess I just felt the need to take spring cleaning to another level!

Ok…the sometimes-witty-sometimes-awful poop jokes will stop now, promise!  😉

All-in-all, I am super proud of myself for stopping to recognize and honor that my body needed a rest.   This is a lesson that definitely grew out of my injury as I learned to ask for what I need, even of myself.

Anyway, today I want to talk a bit more about values, something, quite frankly, I don’t think about very often.  On my weekly coaching call last night, I mentioned my tummy troubles to Hillary and she basically stopped me right then and there and was like, “WHOA girl…tummy stuff is always emotional.”

HUH?!  I thought this was just about the fiber…  what the hell is she talking about?

So we worked through it and chatted and went over by close to 30 minutes and it was wonderful and beautiful and she gave me new exercises to put into practice to address these issues and so on.  At the end, she asked if there was anything I needed…I brought up balance, something I struggle with in a mental and emotional sense albeit not physically.  <–I find it fascinating when there is a discrepancy between my physical and energetic states!  And she said one sentence that blew my mind with its simplicity and raw truth: Balance comes from alignment.

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It is easy to see how this manifests physically, especially if you’ve ever attempted something like Warrior III.  But I didn’t see how it manifested energetically in other areas of our lives.  Hillary mentioned something about values but until this morning, I could not grasp the lesson.

I began the day with one of the exercises Hillary asked me to complete: drawing a pie chart of my life.  I drew the circle, listed the ten things to put it in and got to work divvying it up.  I let my heart guide the pen rather than my hand.  At the end I looked down, feeling proud of my work, only to realize that not only was it severely out of balance, I had not made room for everything on my list.  Things like future tripping and reading blogs have a huge chunk of my time while family and friends barely have slivers.  My Passion biz didn’t even make it on the chart.  This both broke my heart and showed me how accurate the chart reflected my current state.  As I focused my attention and awareness on this chart and how I could bring it into more balance (dare I say, “fix it”?), the word values rose from my heart.  So many lessons that I have heard and read and so many things I’ve been told bubbled to the surface as the lesson became clear.

Our lives are in alignment not when everything is going perfectly, but when we are living in accordance with our deepest values.  And so it is true that from this alignment and this alignment only, can we find balance.

I turned inward to examine my values and from this examination I drew a new pie chart, one that put no one person or activity above the other, recognizing and acknowledging the Tantric/Spirit Junkie teaching that we are all one. I grabbed markers and highlighters and colorful pens and let creativity and the Universe flow through me.  Encircling the circle are my most important values, things like simplicity, integrity, willingness, love, and peace.  I left two areas free, designating them “Miscellaneous” in recognition of the fact that this pie chart is not a static drawing, but rather a living, breathing, changing force.

The new chart looks less like the pie from your family dinner, where everyone chaotically asks for different size pieces, and more like a wheel, a hot pink,  functional wheel that has the power and the know-how to keep the bike steady.  Surrounded by the things I need and respect the most, this is a wheel that will never let me down.  It will keep moving forward, it will hold me up, and it will allow me to find balance.

This is the wheel of my life.  I cannot control everything, but I can control my mind and how I react and where I place my energy. I cannot control those or the world around me, but I can make a commitment to living in alignment with these values, knowing that they may change over time as I myself grow and change and learn and continue awakening.  This is not a static image–what circle ever is?–but rather one that will flow and grow and shrink and rotate and dance along with the ebbs and flows of my life.

Life is a journey and this is vehicle I’m choosing to travel it on.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

From My Heart to Yours

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Its been a long road. Without realizing it, I started this blog as a way to reach out to others and to help heal myself. Some part of me also hoped that my transparency would help others as well.

All of this has come true.

Let me back up. Yesterday I mentioned that I received oodles of good news this week. I held on to this news for a bit because I’ve learned over the years to really relish in and appreciate my news–good, bad, or otherwise–before broadcasting it to the world. I consider this lesson my earliest foray into the world of mindful living (also known to me as YOGA) for it was the first time in my life that I learned to stop and cherish life before broadcasting and rushing through it. Furthermore, when I did tell others, I did so consciously and by choice, telling only those closest to me who would share at the deepest level in my trials and tribulations.

So when I started to receive good news this week, I fought back my immediate desire to share it with the world. Instead I skipped out of the hospital, texting the beau as I went and calling momma later in the day. When I opened the package I admittedly called momma and beau immediately but then stopped and hugged myself, filling up with appreciation and pride before calling the others. I let myself smile and giggle incessantly, much to the chagrin of those around me (whose opinions, suddenly, didn’t matter one bit). Slowly but surely I disseminated the information more but, again, only to those who could fully share in my joy.

Yet through it all, I knew I needed to write about it. So many of you came into my journey at the mid-way point and you’ve been besides me every step of the way since. So here goes…

Saturday I rocked into half moon pose…on both sides.
Monday morning I was discharged from hand therapy.
Wednesday I received my acceptance letter from John’s Hopkins School of Public Health.
I’m moving to Baltimore in July.

In other words: I’ve arrived.

Every time I think about these things, I am filled with infinite amounts of joy, peace, and gratitude. As recently as a couple months ago, I did not truly believe that I would, or could, reach this point. Surgery was a viable and increasingly attractive option as I sought a way to end the pain, anger, sadness, and inner turmoil. I hadn’t gotten my shit together for applications. Even when things started to improve, I was still scared, living from a place of lack and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had hope for the first time in months, yet I still was deeply wounded.

My discharge and subsequent marked the final step in my healing process. Let me repeat that: I am healed.

I’m not longer the “almost girl.” My letter from JH is so much more than a new opportunity. Its proof positive that I am worth it. Yes I know…I shouldn’t seek validation from outside sources. Yet I still do, especially when I am rejected time and time again (a pattern that extends all the way back to friggin high school applications, if you must know). My acceptance to Hopkins proves that it is time for me to take the next step…time to jump and leap and SOAR.

As for my physical issues, they are not gone. In fact, the opposite is true. But instead of being angry or questioning when enough was enough, I’ve come to accept that, fact of the matter is, I have flexible joints and there is nothing I can do to change that. Its how my beautiful body is built. I can stabilize many of them (e.g. shoulders, spine, hips) through strength training. I can make lifestyle modifications that will consciously protect the others (e.g. thumbs, wrists). I will continue eating an alkaline, anti-inflammatory diet, meditating daily, and practicing heated yoga (the heat lubricates and protects the joints) that emphasizes alignment over being the best.

Despite all this, new opportunities and doing best by my body, I’m not invincible. But I know I can overcome whatever else the Universe has in store for me. My big plans (which were to move to CT in May and shack up with the beau after 7 years of being apart and not really having a plan beyond that) have been drastically changed, a fact which presents new dilemmas. I’m re-entering school after 2 years off and going straight into an intense accelerated Master’s program at the top-rated School of Public Health. It won’t be a walk in the park.

But I know I can do it because I have the most amazing support network both among friends and family and the blogging community (that includes you, dear readers). I have my writing and this online diary to show how far I’ve come…how dreams can come true, even if we don’t really know they are dreams yet. And I have me.

To everyone who has listened or read about my journey, who has held me, comforted me, wiped my tears, and supported me, to those who offered words of encouragement and hope: I owe you a boatload of gratitude and love. Both have been filling me up since Monday…I’m literally overflowing with peace and joy and gratitude and general love for all that is around me, including the snow/sleet that New England is finally experiencing!

So from my heart to yours…

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Yoga/beauty/amazing life,

Kait xo

On Meditation

My meditation space *oohhhmm*

I’m not gonna lie: meditating can be hard to do.  Some days your ass goes numb.  Some days one foot (or leg) falls asleep.  Sometimes both do!  Sometimes your brain stages a full-blown sabotage and you end up feeling like total shit.  Sometimes you panic because certainly, you’ve been here more than 10 minutes already!

And then some days you sit in total peace.  You feel 100% juicy, ripe, delicious, and vital and suddenly all of those other experiences aren’t as important.  Your body stays awake/alert/aware and you disconnect enough from your thoughts that you find internal quiet.

As I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks there isn’t such a thing as true internal quiet.  There’s internal disconnect.  There’s tuning in and the ability to think without thinking.  There is complete calm.  But there is no such thing as absolute and complete silence.

And I’m ok with that. More and more I am able to distance myself from my thoughts during meditation as I do during yoga.  My brain may be active but I’m an observer to those thoughts.  Some people describe this as watching them float by like clouds.  <–Hogwash!  Its more like not caring what your brain is doing, being aware but not invested, and focusing elsewhere.  Although, I have a feeling this experience is a little different for everyone!

During this week I’ve also come to terms with only being comfortable sitting for 15 minutes a day.  I was trying so hard for those 20, thinking that number was some magical gateway where I would find the ultimate inner peace.  Instead I was panicky…anxious…freaking.  As usual, the Universe decided to send a little message, this time in the form of Gabrielle Bernstein’s v-log, delivered each Monday morning right to my inbox.  One of the first lines in the video: “It’s not about how long you sit; it’s about how deep you connect.”  <–I couldn’t make this sh*t up!

 

Have a beautiful weekend.  Take some time for you…be peaceful/calm/non-rushed and loving.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo