Baby Steps

Once upon a time I read an article on habit formation that talked about establishing a flossing habit by just flossing one tooth a day.

I laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of this concept.

Of course the author answered my silently uttered, “what is the point?!” by of course citing a bunch of behavioral change theory. Or maybe I’m confusing my MPH classes with my blog reading. OH WELL!

Basically it’s the idea of building upon small wins. <—can’t tke credit for that concept either thank you Danielle/Marie/Hillary/Leo/Ramit/Derek/Tonya/Sarah/Kris/Gabby/Lindsay/I can’t remember who said it so yes I just listed all my mentors. If you floss just one tooth a day every day for a week, you’re building your capacity + your belief in your ability to do it. To be honest, I still think its super silly but guess what I started doing this year? And guess what actually worked?

Yea, I have a flossing habit now. So what?

Well I decided to be super ambitious and extrapolate this baby steps mentality to a bigger project: getting my Master’s paper published. I’m embarrassed to admit that its been almost a year since I submitted it and I basically haven’t looked at the damn thing since. Frankly, there’s a lot of emotion wrapped up in the paper and it was written at a pivotal time when I was coming out of the darkness of the previous months and into the newness of being a Master’s grad. In other words, there’s a whole myriad of reasons why I never want to look at that paper again.

But getting it published is something I want, both for me and the field. Its good work and despite whatever emotions surround the experience of writing it, I’m proud of the work.

So this week I committed to spending just 10 minutes a day on it. On Monday, all I did was read through it to get myself reconnected to the work. During that time I started to get anxious and tense because omgthere’ssomuchtodo! And I remembered how much effort the damn thing took and now that I’ve waited its, admittedly, going to be harder to go back in and make edits because there’s another year’s worth of research that I have to go through. My antural instinct is normally to plow through projects. I give 100%: to work or to play but never to a happy medium of both..

I’m starting to recognize this is a problematic pattern for me. I alternate between weeks of insane productivity and weeks of utter and complete laziness. Because when I’m in a project, I’m in it. Until I get bored and take a break and a week later, I’m still taking a break.

And so just like with flossing, I’ve said no more. Baby steps from here on out, with this project and so many others. Next week, I’ll do 15 minutes per day. 20 the week after that. It isn’t much, and my ego is having a shitfest with it, but its more than I did before. And the little results (like realizing how badly the amazing citrus that is in season gets stuck in your teeth <—ew) do feel like wins and are totally worth celebrating. Plus I have something new + tangible everyday to share with the beau.

As I look at my life I see so many areas where this pattern has been toxic for me. I get paralyzed by all the things I need to do and then just stay stuck because there’s literally no way to do them all right now. Thankfully this year I have an amazing accountability buddy (shout-out to Danielle!) who’s not only there to push me but also to remind me that its ok to take a break. That if all I accomplished on Monday was re-reading my paper, then that’s a successful day. Because those 10 minutes are about more than just doing the work (or even building confidence). They’re reconnecting me and rebuilding my relationship to the project. And that’s what is going to get the damn thing done.

I don’t believe in the go-go-go push it mentality. I believe in working with ease. But sometimes ease = distraction for me and that’s not work either. So baby steps is, in essence, my way of finding a balance in how I can be productive with ease. On day s when I want to do more, and its coming from a genuine place of being inspired and enjoying the work rather than fear at it being too much, I will. But on days when I don’t want to do anything, at least I’ll have 10 minutes to say that I accomplished something worth celebrating. And most likely feel a helluva lot better about the work than before.

So here’s to trying something different and actually getting results,. And being held accountable. Since, you know, I just told ya’ll that I plan on getting this paper published. *gulp* W

What’s one big goal you want to accomplish this year and how can you break it down into #babysteps?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: Ariel, Belle, and…Me?

Apparently my writing muse is back because I’ve been going it at it like a champ. #punintended

Seriously, my journal is filling up, so is the notebook I carry with me for ideas, quotes, and connections. And this is the third week in a row that I’ve posted more than once. I’m not 100% sure what is happening, but I love it. Writing, for me, is so therapeutic. Its, as Dan Shapiro said, how I navigate my world, especially my victories and struggles.

One particularly poignant struggle lately has been about figuring out where I fit in this crazy world. As I continue to work on getting back to myself, and battling deep loneliness + regret, I’ve started to see two common themes that may remind you of the very Disney princesses I reference in the title.

  1. I never quite feel like I belong. There’s always something that seems to hold me back from being part of the group, whether its my belief that veganism is not the answer for everyone, my unwillingness to give everything else up for my studies or acting or environmentalism, or my desire to take my work as a sex educator beyond doing Passion Parties and into the realms of cancer survivorship, LGBTQ rights, sexual violence prevention and response, and advocacy around of all these issues and more.
  2. I often feel there’s something bigger out there waiting to be realized by me. I can feel myself on the brink again here, teetering between fear and acceptance of something I can only call my destiny, of leaving my mark in this world by making it a better place through prevention and promotion, education and healing, promise, and hope.

To put it into Disney terms I want to be part of that world and I’ve got so much more than they’ve got planned. Yes, that just happened. No, I’m not sorry about it. And come on, you know I had to! 😉

As I look back on my life I can see these two themes running over and over again. I know this is common among entrepreneurs and healers and empaths, but, you guessed it, I don’t feel that I fit into those labels as well. I want to, so very desperately, but I don’t.

Which, of course, leaves just me.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have wonderful friends and readers and clients. My life is full of love. It took quite some time for me to be able to own that fact after my experiences in grad school, but I can now proudly say that I know its true. But, despite all of this, I often still find myself feeling on the outside, buddies with everyone but true friends with few. A recent Hopkins gathering reminded me of this and reopened old wounds I thought I had dealt with. Although I didn’t completely revert into a quieter, shadowier, more self-deprecating version of myself, I could feel her coming out of me. My inner child, who took such a beating over the course of the last year, wanted nothing more than to curl up into a corner and hide…from the potential for judgment and the reminder that I’m not like them and I blew my chance to be with them.

This all leads me to a new book I’m reading: Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. Or rather, a book I’m rereading because I sped through the first round and now I’m taking it one topic at a time, furiously taking notes and working on actually implementing the principles. Anyway, one of the principles talks about well-intentioned family and friends as being one of our greatest adversaries. Why? Because they see us, and want to keep us, consciously or not, as we are. Steven encourages us to let them go because new friends, ones who will be among our greatest aids, the people who we 100% need will show up.

Perhaps, this message is telling me to forget about trying to fit in. That the people who I constantly feel I have to prove myself to (clue: just about everyone except for a handful of dear loved ones!), are not the ones I should be spending time worrying about. That, upon “giving them up,” a new tribe will come into my life, accepting me as I am and encouraging me to be the best version of myself.

Because, at the end of the day, that’s who I want to surround myself with, is it not? Or is that just my ego talking, trying to protect me by keeping me separate? Its been hard for me to tell lately, as one of the more unfortunate results from this past year’s journey is that I no longer have a strong sense of whether my ego or my Inner Pilot Light is speaking…probably definitely because getting quiet and tapping into the latter became so much harder + scarier.

SO this revelation is far from complete…although it has inspired me to rewatch two of my absolute favorite Disney movies.

Have you ever struggled with feeling lonely and/or not fitting in?

Yoga/beauty/crazy-sexy-life,

Kait xo

Wednsday Revelations: On Religiousness

For someone who claims not to be religious, I pray a whole lot.

But let me back up.  Because this topic requires  bit of, shall we say, unpacking, to really understand where I’m coming from.  SO let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

I grew up in a town where the public schools were less than stellar…or so my momma always said.  Instead, she busted her butt working multiple jobs to put my brother and I through the slightly better Catholic K-8 school.  While a bunch of students left between 5th and 6th grade, and though we looked at  the public schools in hopes of finding something that would challenge me a bit more, I stayed.  And promptly went to a Catholic high school, completed CCD, and got confirmed.  By the time I graduated and went to a Catholic college, I had put a lot of distance between myself and religion in general.  To me it had become about following the rules, about restricting individuals from living their lives, and about blind acceptance and ignoring of negative truths.  What it wasn’t really about was how you lived your life because unless you lived your life how the religion told you to, you were wrong.

I didn’t like this vey much.  Truth be told, I still don’t.

In my first semester I was required to take a religious studies class and it opened my eyes up to Judaism (and Islam although less has stuck with me).  I don’t remember a ton of specifics besides the fact that sex is a mitzvah and female birth control is a-okay but I do remember that a large part of the religion is about studying…questioning…searching.  Though I didn’t know it until recently, this attracted my interest more than anything (yes, even the mandated weekly sex. 😉 ).  Because up until then, I was taught to blindly follow and accept, to not question, and to ignore wrongdoings.

But I still rebelled against religion. I couldn’t sync it with my political views or my scientific studies.  While I still felt spiritual and often described myself as such, I built up a lot of resentment against religiousness.  It became something that I didn’t really talk about because, like a petulant child, I would roll my eyes when people brought it up.  Yet years of indoctrination meant I would still feel guilty over little things…like writing the word god without a capital letter, which I couldn’t do until recently and which still, truth be told, isn’t a habit.

Fast forward to June 2011.  I’ve been on a journey at this point and am exploring the metaphysical world.  I’ve found this group of people who talk about The Universe and I’ve read The Secret and yes you know I never stopped believing in a higher power.  And I have a life changing retreat.  And then I get sick…and my life falls to pieces and I retret so far into myself that when I finally come too I’ve convinced myself that I never really went way when, in fact, I hadn’t told practically anyone what was going on.

And in the meantime I’ve poured my heart and soul onto my yoga mat.  I’ve found the spiritual practice that yogis speak of…after all, I had no choice since my injuries meant I had to put my ego in the corner and modify nearly every posture.  I start to tell people that yoga is my religion…my practice is just a part of it.  I ask my teachers how I can learn more about this community, this spiritual path that teaches truth and gentleness, the pushing of limits and the respecting of boundaries, the opening of the body and the spirit.

Fast forward to my coaching program with Hillary when she says, “I prefer to use the word God but some people like Universe better.  Do whatever feels more authentic to you.”  Wait, what?  Not only are you telling me that metaphysics and religiousness can go together but I get to choose?  It isn’t wrong to question my beliefs?  I’m not doomed to hell if I do so?  Its ok to believe in a higher power that I don’t call god?  What world is this.

And somewhere in all of this I had found Gabby Bernstein, the girl known for making spirituality cool.  And so cool with spirtituality I became.  But even some of her content seemed too woo-woo for me sometimes because lets be real…GOD?  Honestly people? *teenage eye roll*

Fast forward to this fall.  Sometime late September/early October I look around at my group of close friends, people I’ve known for practically no time at all and yet who get me on such an intuitive level, and I realize that me…the girl who rolls her eyes when people say they are going to Church and doing mission trips (which are clearly wrong since really who are we to tell anyone what to believe?) and who talk about Bible study or Christian fellowship…has surrounded herself with deeply religious individuals of various faiths.  Friends who go to church every week, who actively participate in their church community, who talk openly about a merciful God.

The situation was ludicrous.  Yet I knew because it was so different that I was meant to learn from it.  So I committed to keeping myself open to whatever lesson I am supposed to learn from these friends.

And slowly but surely I started to see that we do in fact speak the same language.  My unwavering faith in a Universe that wants the best for us and helps us manifest all good things is not all that different from my friend’s belief in a merciful, loving God.  Yes we use different words, but our prayers, be them of gratitude or for assistance, are the same. Better yet, these differences don’t stop us from being able to talk openly about anything and everything, religion and prayer included.  Instead, they broaden our understanding of it.  This is religion  as I’ve never experienced it before: open, doable, and accepting.

I’m still not completely  sure what to do with this newfound concept because it is so far from the religion I know and was taught for 22 years of my life that I’m [insert metaphor re: being lost].  But you know what?  This, my friends’, form of religion, Gabby’s form of spirituality?  It is pretty cool.  And I can do this.  In fact I do it…every. single. day. Because I no longer can imagine starting my day without silently speaking the Serenity prayer before getting out of bed and stumbling to my meditation pillow, a practice that I hate to skip, no matter how pressed I am for time, and which, if we’re getting serious, is really a form of prayer. 

So that brings us to now (well the time I wrote this)…to me sitting on my couch crying and finding myself reaching out for comfort with the serenity prayer.  And realizing that for a girl who still hates religiousness, I really do pray an awful lot.  All the time actually…giving thanks for the flow of money and energy in…asking for help to make it through weeks where the energy is only flowing out…and seeking peace when I know the answers I need are all within me and I just need to open myself up to listening for them.  For the first time in a long time, I’m ok with this whole religious thing.

So maybe this was the lesson I was supposed to learn.  Maybe not.  All I know is that I’ve come a long way from that scarred, indoctrinated girl who couldn’t even think about religion without a perfectly mastered eye-roll-and-sigh combo. I still identify with yoga as my religion in part because it is a way of life that is constantly challenging and supporting me.  It has opened me up to so many beautiful things, including the relationships I mention here and the lessons I’ve gained.  Yoga has allowed me to open up to myself, to learn to listen in, and to understand why when I do something “harmless” that in reality clashes with my values, I feel guilty.  But it has also taught me to let go of that guilt.

Breathe in compassion.  Breathe out suffering.

It has taught me that its ok to ugly cry…to completely release.  But also that sometimes you must push through and carry on.

Breathe in strength.  Breathe out doubt.

It has taught me to let others in, to be okay with imperfections, theirs and mine.

Breathe in acceptance.  Breathe out judgement.

Yoga, this my religion, has taught me that religion is, in fact, simply okay.

Breathe in joy…love…grace…life…freedom.  Breathe out fear…hatred…worry…deception…harm.

What are your thoughts on religion and religiousness?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait

Oh Happy (Sun)day

I woke up in a homesick funk this Sunday. I hosted an amazing dinner party the night before but couldn’t shake feeling lonely and melancholy. It took a couple of hours to get myself up and out to go grocery shopping <–see what I mean about the melancholy? When do I NOT want to go grocery shopping?! but when I finally did, the Universe sent so many wonderful things my way.

See?

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Bright green ice cream bus.  <–bus > truck IMO

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A sale on my favorite chocolate!

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Free ice cream coupon…all because I asked why there was a bright green ice cream bus from Cali in a MD grocery store parking lot. 🙂

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Giant box of baking soda for less than $3. #win

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A big old reminder from the Universe that was waiting for me at…wait for it…a Mediterranean Festival I stumbled upon while driving to Wegmans. I wish I could have captured the smells and shared them with you. Alas, you’ll just have to take my word that it was amazing. There was even group dancing…it was perfect. 🙂

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

The Difference Some Months Make

I hope you all had a wonderful Labour Day weekend!    My weekend was wonderful…lots of Zumba, a girls night with momma, catching up with my former internship supervisor, and then a trip to NYC to celebrate the beau’s 24th.  Oh and lots of cuddling with this cutie in between.  By the time you read this, I’ll be back in class, gearing up for first term.

All in all my break was pretty darn good.  A part of me wished I could be in Bmore, exploring the city with my classmates but I definitely needed to come home (and not only because my car emissions were due!).  Between the shopping, the catching up, and the eating out, I kept fairly busy.  I also had a lot of space to think, reflect, refocus, and recenter (more on that below).  And, of course, I took a whirlwind trip up to the Worcester area and crammed an entire two years worth of life experiences into one day.  It may have been the best day ever.

Clockwise from upper left: Community Harvest Project where I volunteered last summer, new haircut from my MA stylist, ironic book display in B&N while waiting to grab dinner with the girls, and Kaybird!  Not pictured: visit with my friend and her babies, my amazing Chipotle bowl, my visit to UMass, and MYoga

Now about that “space” I mentioned above…

When I quit my job back at the end of April, I determined it was the single best decision I had ever made.  I proceeded to spend six weeks doing a whole lot of nothing.  For the entirety of May and half of June, I slept late, rarely dressed (except to change from pjs to workout clothes…and back again), and travelled around visiting people.  Most days, I sat on the computer reading blogs, watching Netflix, and checking Facebook/email/etc far too often.

And I loved practically every second of it.

I am so grateful I made the decision to take that time for me because I needed to decompress after working at UMass.  My visit there last week confirmed that for me like never before.  Immediately upon walking into the building, my body got tight and I felt stressed.  A torrent of emotions rushed my body: guilt, resentment, anger, regret, and even a little bit of hope.  All have their place and all are rightly associated with the hospital yet they are not what I want to be feeling daily.  Again I was reminded: you made the right decision.

Yet, while that lifestyle served me at the time, it clearly is not meant to serve me all the time.  I much of last week following a similar schedule to that of May and June, except by Friday, I was ready to be done.  More than anything, I was itching to cook again, to create.  I wanted to get back into a routine, a schedule that didn’t involve hours of TV, lots of snacking, and sleeping all day.

WHAT??

The very same experience that mere months ago fed my soul and rejuvenated my body had become a source of stress itself.  Maybe its because I’m used to a routine and its one that I enjoy.  Maybe I just like feeling accomplished at the end of the day.  Maybe I’ve grown mroe than I realized.  Whatever the cause, I was itching to return to life in Baltimore…to the crazy (ironically I just missed the ‘z’ there and was sorely tempted to write “cray cray” instead…I figured I’d spare you), to the busy, to the life of a grad student.

I miss my friends…I miss the hustle and bustle of the city…and I miss having a purpose and a goal for each day.  Hell, I even miss having things to do!  Who would have thought it?  Certainly not me.

The times they are a changin’, right?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Starting Anew

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First term is over.

Finals week was…tumultuous to say the least. I’ve never studied so hard or stayed at school so late before. But I pulled it all off and am happy to report that I ended summer term with a solid GPA. While I’m not letting myself get hung-up on grades, for $60k, I’m also not going to pretend that they aren’t important. In other words, while I’m shooting for all A’s, I’m not getting hung up on the process of getting them. At the end of the day, the connections I make with classmates are way more important.

I’m currently at my mom’s for a couple of days before doing a somewhat whirl-wind tour de New England. UConn, Worcester, UConn, Bethel, mom’s, NYC. *whew* In between I’ll be working on B School projects and finishing up (finally) Brothers & Sisters. I’ll also be doing a lot of soul searching.

I haven’t talked much hear about the trials of living outside of the city. You read about my adventures in taking the bus but even then I only hinted at my general unhappiness. In short, I feel distant and disconnected. I know I’m missing out on spontaneous adventures and group bonding. I also know there’s a lesson I’m supposed to learn. <;;–at least now I do.

Let me explain. Yesterday morning I went to my Zumba class at home. About 3/4 of the way through I was overwhelmed with this sense of belonging…of being part of something bigger than myself…of being exactly where I belonged (despite the exhaustion and general body achiness that comes from 7 hour drive). And I realized something else: I haven’t felt that way in Baltimore since my very first visit.

That realization almost knocked my off my feet. The tears came later but the emotion was raw. Plain and simple, I feel like I don’t belong. It’s not the people, it’s not the program, its the fact that I don’t have a community to call my own. I still haven’t found a yoga studio that fits me, I don’t have a job teaching Zumba…hell I hadn’t even danced in over 2 months! I do have amazing friends…almost all of whom live in the city or, if they are commuters, travel because they didn’t want to leave the community they already had.

And then there’s me…not quite the DC commuter, not quite the Baltimorean.

But I’ve spent weeks bitching and moaning about this…and I already told my landlord that I wanted out of my lease. I’ve looked at scores more apartments…I fell in love with one only to have someone else apply for it first. It broke my heart open wide. And all of this led to yesterday’s Zumba and the question I’ve been avoiding: will moving even matter?

Is it the 9-miles-that-feel-like-100 separating me from people or is it, well, me? <;;–or more precisely, my ego trying to hold onto the comfortable-yet-effed-up “I’m lonely” story. Until finals week, I would zoom home at the end of every day to go to yoga (at a studio that I don’t love) and then I’d stay home, regardless of whether other things were happening. When I started sticking around, I stopped feeling so alone. When I finally said yes to the sleepover offers, I realized people really did want me around and that no, I wasn’t an inconvenience.

So instead of focusing on getting out…running away, I’m turning inward. I’ve wasted too much of first term focusing on the negatives of my situation…and let a so many of the lessons I already learned fall to the wayside. My body, mind, and spirit suffered as a result. So now I’m shifting my mindset from one of blame and anger and resentment and disappointment and loneliness to one of openness…to the lessons I’m meant to learn, to the beauty in my space (because really my apartment itself does kind of rock), and to the growth I know I’m undergoing. I’m choosing to release, trust, believe, and forgive.

Not only because its easier <;;–albeit far from easy than carrying around the weight that is negative emotions, but also because I do believe that the best possible outcome will result. Now I just need to be ready for that outcome, regardless of if its what I’m expecting. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to look at apartments or take mine off the market…it does mean that I’ll re-shift my focus to caring for me, to making more of an effort, and to stop complaining about my situation and start LIVING again.

And yes, there will be a whole lot of dancing involved…I’ve got a bit of time to make up for.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

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

Change Your Vision

What a whirlwind couple of weeks its been.  As I write this, I’m sitting on my not-quite-yet family members’ couch enjoying some solitude + reflection on what many of my classmates (and sometimes myself, although I’ve been trying to catch it!) are referring to as our last day of freedom.

By the time you read this I will be well into my first day of Orientation.  I have no clue what my future holds and am trying to breathe deep and remember that it doesn’t matter because, at the end of the day, I’m not in control.  I’m working on opening myself to all of the goodness coming my way…as well as the (perfect) challenges that will undoubtedly accompany them.

Challenges like saying goodbye to your love…again.

Challenges like getting back to being on a strict budget + schedule.

Challenges like having your power go out mere days before you are set to go back to school.

All of these and more I’ve experienced in the past couple of days (and two weeks).  I’m currently staying with the beau’s cousins who have kindly opened their house to me so I do not melt and do have access to the internet which will really be critical because of that whole going-back-to-school thing.  They gave me a key + free reign to come and go as I please + the downstairs (ridiculously comfortable and large) couchDid I mention they’re getting married this upcoming weekend?

Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty blessed right now.  Yesterday, between the power outage plus saying yet another tearful goodbye at a train/bus/plane station (yes I know…but airport didn’t really flow right there folks) I was not feeling too optimistic.  Its amazing what three beautiful, loving pups, the kindness of near strangers, and a good night’s sleep can do for the psyche.

Today I chose to change my vision.  I didn’t 100% recognize what I was doing until my yoga class this morning when my now fave instructor talked to us about this topic.  She was quoting a story that quite frankly I can’t remember all that well.  What did stick out to me was the choice we had: to change our vision or continue live in conflict.  Each and every one of us has this choice.  And this one not-as-simple-as-it-seems realization totally calmed my spirit + opened my heart to the lesson in this conflict (because, yes, there is always one)

Maybe the Universe wanted me to have a little extra support after the beau left + on my first days of school.  Maybe it wanted to remind me that the simple life is the good one.  And maybe it just wanted to say, “Hey girl…remember that you are not in control of anything but your reaction, your thoughts, your emotions.  Choose to see this in a positive way and so it will be…because, hey, its already done.”

Yesterday I wrote this on my Passion team’s page that I needed a pick me up…that I felt ungrounded…that I only had my computer, my yoga mat, my toiletries, and a change of clothes.  This morning I realized…what else do I need?  Yoga is life…it is everything.  So long as I have my mat + my essentials (clothes, toiletries, and my computer), I can not only survive but thrive.  Looking back the Universe had been whispering these lessons to me for the past several weeks.  Sometimes, we get so stubborn it needs to jog our memories with something more, *ahem*, electrifying.  Like, you know, freak storms.

Lesson received Universe.  Thank you.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Wednesday Revelations: Losing Focus

During one of our sessions Hillary passed along some advice she had gotten from a teacher of hers:

A bad day for your ego is a good day for your soul.

Let me tell you something.  The past couple of days have been pretty good days for my soul.

I’ve cried sobbed.  Yelled.  Blamed (myself + others).I’ve been upset in every meaning of the word.  I’ve had my joy but all-in-all, during the past couple of days its felt kind of like there’s a black cloud following me around.

In May I was lost focus.  Now I’m back on track and feeling antsy.  I went straight from enjoying the work-and-worry-free life to busting at the seams to get to Baltimore.  I’m ready to settle back into a schedule…to have a kitchen space that is all my own…that isn’t shared.  And though I’m technically back on track, my focus is turned elsewhere.  In the quiet moments my mind wanders to the future…to the great unknown that comprises my next big adventure.  So I go through the motions and I put my time and work in and I’m redeveloping my sense of time management and discipline (tangent: I feel so blessed that I can make that skill wax and wane as necessary 🙂 ) but my focus still isn’t on the target.

In other words, my focus isn’t my filter even though it should be.

Let me talk in concrete terms for a second.  In April, I had my highest month ever with Passion Parties.  I grossed over $5000.00 in sales in four little parties.  I was on top of the world.  I quit the job the I checked out of months ago and was no longer living in a space with someone whose habits and mine didn’t always sync.  Life was good.  May was set to be even better with five parties, a week in Newport, and time devoted solely to working out, watching TV, and reading whatever I felt like.

What wasn’t good, however, were my May parties.  I shook off the first.  It happens I told myself every party can’t be $1000+ even though I know my products and I are 100% worth it.  I did the same with the second.  And the third and the fourth.  Then came the fifth and sixth.  My last hopes.  I clocked over 8 hours of driving in two days…for around minimum wage.  I barely made my quota for May…the amount I need to earn each month in grad school to cover expenses.

I cried and I raged and I held a full blown pity party in my honor.  Slowly but surely other little things started to occur.  It seemed that everything I touched was turning to shit.  I felt like Icarus when he got too close to the sun.  I pouted and cursed people and was wholly not my regular self in any way/shape/form.

I reached out to my team…to my angel of fire.  I worked on my newsletter.  Then I went deeper.  I quieted my mind and I looked inside.  And I realized that though being lazy has its benefits, the loss of focus that accompanied my laziness had done nothing to serve me.  My business wasn’t thriving and neither was I.

And I realized that not only had I lost focus, I had also taken my business for granted.  I allowed myself to be pushed around.  I didn’t stand up for us. I didn’t set the standard.  And it showed…in cold hard numbers and lack of income.  All of the amazing things I’ve learned over the past few months–how I can and should ask directly for what I need, how I need to respect my biz first and foremost before I can expect anyone else to–had slipped from my mind.  I didn’t run the show and therefore the show simply didn’t run.

It was a rude awakening.  But it was a lesson my soul needed to learn.  Do I wish I could have avoided the pain?  The worry and concern that is keeping me up at night making me wonder if it will all work out next year?  Hell. yes.  But did I also need to learn the lesson?  YES.

And at the end of the day, all the crying felt pretty damn good.

When was the last time you had a good soul day?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo