Feelings and how to handle them.

Lately, I'm learning how to not judge or ignore my feelings.

EVEN WHEN they are SUPER ICKY and I HATE myself for feeling them.

EVEN WHEN they make me feel ashamed for even feeling them.

EVEN WHEN at first glance they seem like they don’t serve me.

 

Because our feelings are who we are. They’re our guideposts in this life – they show us the way.

And so I’m trying to change the way I relate to these negative emotions.

In the past, I’ve been a master judger and ignorer of feelings.

Here’s what I’ve learned in dealing with my feelings the wrong way:
We can’t ignore our feelings away. They don’t just go away. They may dissipate for a few days here, a few days there, but they will always come back up until they’re dealt with.

Some of us are masters at ignoring our feelings – and they come out in really destructive ways.

I have CERTAINLY been there. In college, I couldn’t deal with the feelings of uncertainty I had about my then boyfriend. Instead of addressing them, I ignored them – I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want to be with him any longer. The more I suppressed, the worse my behavior became – until I cheated on him. To this day, I am ashamed that I did this. But had I addressed my feelings in the first place and allowed them to be valid, I highly doubt they would have come out in such a blaze of glory. One of my favorite pieces of wisdom is super relevant to this point: what you resist, persists.

  

Seeking validation for your feelings just perpetuates the issue. I know that when I have a negative feeling and feel badly about it, the first thing I want to do is prove that I’m justified for having that feeling. So, I talk to friends about it and try to gain consensus and evidence that I’m allowed to have the feeling I’m having. Basically, I’m seeking permission and trying to make myself right. This doesn’t work either. It makes things feel bigger than they are, it feels uncomfortable, and it creates an us vs. them mentality. Usually in these circumstances, the problem grows larger than it actually is and again, comes out in a blaze of glory.

So here’s what I’m trying instead:

1.     Acknowledge and Examine: Ask yourself: what is this that I’m feeling? (really define it) why am I feeling this? What is going on for me? What is the reality of the situation? Allow yourself to speak from your irrational self and really throw a tantrum if needed.

2.     Give yourself permission to feel those feelings and acknowledge that it is okay to feel that way.

3.      Choose to see this differently: what is the good that can come from these feelings? What can I do to choose or create a different outcome?

4.     ACT: this may require having a tough conversation, asking someone for help, writing, taking a leap of faith, making a change, ending something. Starting something. The point is that you choose what you do with the feeling.

Here is my attempt at applying this model to a recent bout of negative feelings.

What is it that I’m feeling: I’m feeling scared that I’m losing my friend’s support. I’m worried that she’s no longer going to be relatable to me. I’m afraid that I’m not going to matter to her. And I’m a little afraid to be left behind as she moves forward in a relationship.

Have I been here before? Yes. I massively resist change in friendships, especially when not on my terms.

 

I give myself permission to feel frustrated by the changing dynamic of my friendship with my friend.

The good that can come from this is we have the opportunity to address this and make more of an effort to be there for one another and not lose the closeness we have. I can choose to support her and believe that I am not being left behind, but being carried along and adding a richness to my life.

Act- I have to have a conversation with her about how I’m feeling and about the desire to make our friendship important. 

 

xx

I AM Moana

If you haven't seen Moana yet, stop reading this blog post and go watch it. I mean it! Then come back.

Ok cool. Did you cry? I bet you cried.

I've been listening to a LOT of Moana for the past few days. Because my really smart wonderful friend Bryce who I kind of hate right now made me realize something really big on Saturday.

Let me explain.

Last week was a full moon. For those in the well (new phrase i just made up for being in the know in the wellness word, get excited), the moon is a very powerful entity who's main job is to control the tides, not just of the ocean but of our souls. The moon comes in and wrecks shit and breaks us open and shows us things we may not want to see and invites us to release stuff or ask for stuff. The moon is basically the wise Grandmother in Moana.

Bryce and his acupuncture friend hosted a meditation / breath work thing on the night of the full moon that was simply magical. We all released a ton of crap and felt amazing afterwards.  Seriously, i hadn't felt that light in a very long time. The breath of life is no joke (don't try it at home). Some people cried, but not me! I was elated. I strolled on home on a cloud and was super excited to carry my beautiful high vibe self into the weekend.

Friday morning I woke up to a WHOLE LOT OF HORRIBLE GUNKY GROSSNESS. 

And the gunk wouldn't leave. 

I ranted, complained, and raged inside. I wandered to a date on the verge of tears (somehow, it still went great).

I couldn't understand what all of these gross feelings were coming up for. Honestly, I thought it was just another reaction to not having a boyfriend. it is, after all, the only thing I pine after these days. Otherwise, things are pretty gravy.

But the Full Moon is a wake up call, my darlings. And the wake up that I got may not have been the one I asked for, but it was the one I deserved.

Saturday I called Bryce. What started as a "why haven't I met the one yet" conversation became something much, much bigger.

You see, all of this time I've been working on creating a life that makes me happy. And it's worked, for the most part. I am really, truly happy, happier than I've been maybe in my entire life. So, I thought that the work was done. Sure, I've never stopped working towards that goal, but it's started to come naturally. And it's spilling over into lots of areas of my life.

I didn't realize that (of course) life will keep giving you lessons when you're ready for them. 

I didn't see that my happy foundation would mean that I'd be asked to move on to something more. 

And that something is purpose.

I have dreamed little dreams my entire life of becoming something bigger than myself. Of starting something. Of sharing that something with others. Of making an impact. 

I've done that in small ways, but I've not allowed myself to really follow that path.

I've played it safe.

And in doing so, I've found a lot of joy. 
But I know there is something more out there that I'm missing. Something that I can choose to ignore, and probably still live a pretty good life. Or something I can choose to follow and live a life of more joy than I could imagine. 

I don't really know what any of that means yet, beyond that I'm going to have to get comfortable taking risks. Today, all I know is that I'm scared, but I'm committed. I'm committed to listening to the small voice that is inside me and taking some kind of action. Every day.

Which is why I'm writing this.

I've read a lot of things about people reflecting on finding their purpose. But when you're in it, it feels like a whole bunch of magical BS that doesn't happen to regular people like you and I. So I'm going to try my best to chronicle this whole process. And hopefully end up on the other side screaming that I'm where I belong. But until then...

come what may
I know the way
I am Moana!

Dancing with Insecurity.

I'm still learning how to dance with insecurity. 

Feeling insecure is a feeling that I really, really hate. So when it comes up, I immediately want to do something that will make it go away or shut it up. Like running to the gym to get that endorphin boost up. Or texting a boy. Or pouring a large glass of wine. Insecurity just doesn't feel good. 

Insecurity is (at least for me) entirely external in origin. It comes from the putting of someone else's opinion before your own. It is giving your power to someone else. It's allowing someone else's reactions to you to dictate how you feel about yourself.

As humans, our nature is to take in and assign information. So it makes sense that (especially those of us who are highly emotionally attuned) would take in the actions and reactions of those around them and try to assign meaning. Did some guy you were hanging around with seem more interested in his phone than you? One point for you being not that interesting. Did someone compliment your outfit? One point in the pretty column. We're consistently taking in feedback and applying it to our view of ourselves. In this way, we're constantly trying to balance the scales. 

Issues come into play (of course) when we choose to assign more value to the wrong areas. "Wrong" is a relative term, but counter productive is probably the more accurate depiction. Good example: caring less about your best friends' compliment than that from an ex. When we start to become dependent on those affirmations from others, especially others with whom we have an emotionally charged relationship, this is where things can start to get hairy. 

Not to say that that isn't human nature, which I believe it is. But we've learned a lot of fucked up ways of operating in the last two thousand of years of existence.

So what's the right way to build real, lasting self-confidence?

For me-- there are days when I feel confident as hell. Sometimes this comes from just a lot of stuff going on externally that I can feel proud about: great feedback at work, a few good dates, a blossoming friendship. But when the achievements and feedback aren't piling up, should I too feel equally depleted? Often the pendulum swing is far too quick in the other direction, and my mind forgets all of the good that isn't hyper present in that moment or day.

The ideal state would be to draw your confidence internally - to try to build immunity to the fluctuations and feedback that comes in, to not let it rock your ever present, ever confident sense of self.

But lately, I'm trying to learn how to do something a little bit different: to look at insecurity as a part of life that isn't good or bad, just a feeling that happens. To try to understand where it is coming from and let it illuminate what it needs to illuminate for me. 

Last night, I was hanging out with a friend of a friend who I think is quite handsome. We seem to have a lot in common, and we had a lot to talk about. But towards the end of the night, it felt to me that he would rather be anywhere else than hanging out with me. WHICH is  a shitty feeling for anyone, but especially someone I had a budding romantic interest in. SO I immediately started to feel bad about myself, question my outfit choices, etc.

Today, to try to rebalance the scales, I thought about putting on something that felt really attention-grabbing for a party I'm going to later. I considered that this backless number would score some flirtation points and that I would start to feel a bit better [The fact that I even really noticed I was doing this for this reason was a step in the right direction]. But something about it just didn't feel right- I felt like I was wearing this for others, not for me.

Instead, I chose to wear something that I feel really good in - comfy, cute, put together, but not for the compliments of others. Just for me. 

Maybe that is the lesson in this go round. Maybe not. Time will tell, but for now, I will continue this experiment in not trying to SOLVE but instead just trying to FEEL.

 

xx

 

 

 

 

A must-read, and refocusing on the real work

I just finished reading the book Love Warrior – a book I devoured in a mere 72 hours, one that I already know will stick to my soul for much longer than the time it took to read it.

The books that have meant the most to me have one major theme in common: they are each a coming home of the self. Not just for the women who’ve written these novels, but also for me. They are grounding in a way few other activities are. They speak their own story but they just as readily remind me of the importance of knowing, loving, and sharing my own.

Brene Brown. Liz Gilbert. And now Glennon Doyle Melton. These are my heroes. These are my warriors. These are my sisters.

Our tribe isn’t divergent. It’s the path of a return.

A return to love.

A return to ourselves.

A stripping away.

A sifting (as Glennon often says).

Our fight is consistent. It’s the steady learning to feel our feelings, to listen to our internal wisdom, to unite and respect the trinity of our minds, bodies and souls.

It is the constant battle to let pain in and live with it, rather than numbing it.

It is the hard work of not accepting who others tell us to be, of constantly asking ourselves “what is it that I want? What is it that I feel?”. It is the sharing of these answers with others. It is the acceptance of these answers and their right to exist at all.

Our work on this earth can be summarized in one simple idea.

We are here to know ourselves.

We are here to trust ourselves.

We are here to share that self with others.

We are here to listen to who God has made us.

 

Nothing is more important nor challenging.

It is a fight that will always be a work in progress.
There is no “easy button” for the job of showing your full, real self to the world.

So how do we do this?

We learn to accept that our feelings are valid (this is step one and requires reinforcement).

We learn to pay attention to our feelings (through silence, through journaling, through listening, through making time and space for ourselves).

We learn to honor act on those feelings (in the moment, as a follow-up, with ourselves and with others – this one requires practice. It is a muscle that must constantly be flexed but that can strengthen with use).

We learn that doing so will not kill us. We learn that shame isn’t the only possible effect.

We choose to honor our real selves again and again.

We take one step at a time towards our return

Women be marchin (and we aren't stoppin).

I'm not into politics.

Much of my work as a life coach is about identity: we believe that we are one thing, and we operate from that place. We believe we will be that way forever, that our identity is a static piece of who we are and that it will always define us. We cling to identity as a way to make sense of our world. Many of us never even question it.

In reality, we are not our identity.

I know, it sounds like a lot of woo-woo nonsense. If you're not your identity, then who the fuck are you? 

(You're the witness, the one who listens, the watcher on the wall that is your consciousness. But that's a conversation for another day).

The point is, our identities aren't static. They're constantly evolving, they are living and breathing and changing just as we are. One day you "don't like pizza." The next you are 7 at a birthday party with Alex Benanti and he likes pizza, so you try pizza and you're like "holy shit, I love pizza!". You become this girl who loves pizza and the Little Mermaid, among many other things. 

I had one of those moments this November. I had always seen myself as someone who "didn't like politics" and who couldn't take time out to be informed because "it all wouldn't make a difference, anyway." I am embarrassed to admit that I didn't even vote until this past year. In sum, I was the opposite of woke.

This November, that all changed. 

On Saturday, I took place in the biggest protest in history. I marched with sisters young and old, male and female. I made a sign that had the word Pussy on it and I held it with pride. 

I do not agree with the ideals of our President. But as we know from physics, with every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The positive force developing from this is something to be proud of, and something unparalleled. A sleepy, complacent nation is waking up and getting going. Pro or Anti Trump, Republican or Democrat, we all can unite on this: we cannot and will not turn a blind eye. We will not close our eyes and let someone else make our choices for us. We will stand up, we will march, and we will fight.

The biggest indicators to me are some of the smallest gestures. A friend gifted our secret santa gift exchange with a planned parenthood donation. A waitress bought us a round of shots because we marched. I organized a lunch with women at work to write post cards. These are things that I wouldn't have even fathomed in years past. And today, they are happening more and more.

Like the sleepy giant in whatever movie I'm thinking of, we're waking up loud and angry and a little groggy. But we're powerful AF, and we're coming.

I'm not into politics. But I am into revolutions.

p.s. if you're interested in joining the movement, visit WomensMarch.com. 100 days of action are starting this week! 

We started a podcast! Introducing Wellness Dumpster.

WTF is Wellness Dumpster!?
In my journey to feeling truly happy in my life (no easy feat), I tried basically everything. I read book upon book, I sought therapy and nutrition counseling, I turned to meditation, yoga, and medication. And eventually, I found life coaching and healed a ton of shit I needed to heal. But I didn't stop there. Coaching opened my eyes to all of the opportunities for growth there are out there -- the normal, the wacky, the things that work and the things that don't. I've learned that the more I discover, the more there is to discover.

What frustrated me (and still does) is that so many of these helpful practices are unknown, or worse, easy to dismiss because they sound “weird.” It’s easy to say something that we’re unfamiliar with is “not for me.” I get it, I’ve been there. I still find myself reacting from that place initially. But by shutting things down (or not knowing about them to begin with), we can miss out on some of the most impactful opportunities to change our lives for the better.

WD podcast neon.png

Which is why we started Wellness Dumpster: a podcast dedicated to sharing the best (and worst) of the wellness world, in a way that breaks down the mental barriers we often associate with things outside of our comfort zones.

Today I voraciously devour anything self-help related to find new tools to add to my arsenal, both as a coach and as a person dealing with my own shit. The work is never done, as they say (and they are right, damn it).  
My favorite part about this (besides the growth I've experienced) is that I've become this bold, adventurous person in a more non-traditional sense. I've tried things I never would have been open to for fear of feeling embarrassed or because I didn't fully know what I was getting into. I've done things that the me of a few year ago would have laughed at or called weird, like getting my apartment feng shuied, buying a bunch of crystals and doing a moon ceremony in my apartment, or hugging some "sisters" womb to womb. Of course, some tools and tips worked more for me than others. But the journey itself in coming from a place of "that's not for me" to a place of openness to new experiences has been tremendous.

My friend and co-host Bryce and I share these traits: this zest for exploring, this openness to try the unconventional. But we do so with a light-heartedness, a fun spirit, and an honest voice that we felt was missing in a lot of talk about the wellness world. We're dreamers, yes, but we've got our skeptical streaks. We dabble in the weird, but we're pretty damn relatable. And we're not ones for bullshit.

That's what Wellness Dumpster is. It's honest conversation between two self-seekers who aren't afraid to be vulnerable, who've spent a lot of their lives trying to be happier and have discovered some of the secrets. And who aren't afraid to make fun of themselves or the things that we're talking about.

Our (somewhat) weekly podcast is a collection of the things we've learned, the tools we love, and our personal journeys as they unfold. 

To listen and subscribe, you can add us on itunes or follow on our website.

If you enjoy it, please subscribe or leave us a review. We'd be super grateful and would love to hear from you!

On dating, anxiety and believing that I know the future before it happens.

This blog post is part of an ongoing series on dating mindfully. For years, dating for me has been fraught with insecurities, fears and my favorite beast: "not good enough." I have finally found my groove and am learning so many lessons on how to date from a place of empowerment and authenticity. I of course will be sharing these lessons as I work through them with all of you - they're too important to not. 

I’ve had dreams all week long of the guy I’ve been dating totally letting me down. In some, he’s breaking up with me for his ex-girlfriend (whom I’ve never even seen). In others, he bails on the date I planned for us this week. And in the moment, they feel SO DAMN REAL. To the point where I can’t help but wonder if they are, in some future state, the truth. 

In the past, I would have interpreted dreams like this as signs that this was going to come to fruition. My anxieties had been right in the past, after all. To me, anxiety and intuition (the voice that guides us and ultimately does have a sense of knowing) were one in the same; my anxiety stood to protect me from what it knew to be so. But today I know that anxiety isn’t our intuition.  Anxiety exists because it tries to keep us safe from perceived harm. It’s an extension of our ego, a fight or flight response that came to be to keep us safe from touching fire or running into oncoming traffic. So while we can give anxiety credit for trying to keep us safer, it also flares up at inopportune moments like those where we’re being really vulnerable. Anxiety, unfortunately or fortunately, doesn’t know it all. But we often treat it like it does, and that’s where things get hairy. Our ability to manifest is powerful enough that if we believe in our fears, they become our reality. The more this happens, the more evidence we build up in our minds supporting the fact that our anxieties are our truths. “Our fears were right,” we think. When really, we’ve made them right. And the cycle goes on. 

The good news: the more we do the work to separate fear and love, ego and intuition, the more we start to see our fears and anxieties as not necessarily coming from a place of knowing. And when we stop believing in our anxieties, we stop giving them power. This changes the whole game, it breaks the chains. We start seeing that just because we fear something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Outcome after outcome mounts into tangible evidence (again for our simple minds, always seeking to compartmentalize our experiences) that our anxieties are actually not the truth. They aren’t all-knowing. They are often just fear-mongering crazies.

So how do we identify the crazies? How do I, for example, decide if I SHOULD be seriously considering that my guy is going to bail, or if I’m CREATING the situation in the first place?

 For me, all it takes is slowing down and asking a few thoughtful questions:

What fears are creating these dreams [these thoughts, etc]?

My answer: The fear I’m giving too much and being taken advantage of.  The fear of getting hurt, getting left, opening my heart too much and allowing it to happen, having to start over with someone else. Embarassment. Not being enough. Being too much.

 

Are any of these fears coming from a place of love?

Hell no! None of these serve me or are truly protecting me.

 

Are they ‘fight or flight’ responses?

Yes! Getting too close to something that makes me uncomfortable and wanting to push off simply because I am afraid to get hurt.

 

Are they based on old stories I’ve experienced or old evidence I’ve stored in my mind?

Yes! Guys have let me down in the past, too many times. I’m afraid that because I haven’t seen him for a few days that he must be ready to go that way too. But he hasn’t really acted like he isn’t interested anymore.

 

And based on the above, are they intuition or ego?

EGO, 100%, no question.

 

So what does my intuition have to say? [here you want to slow down, take a deep breath, and let your mind be quiet and your heart do the talking]

You’re scared. You’re playing into old beliefs about yourself and about love. I love you. You are safe. He’s a good person. Take the chance. You are so loved.

 

And there you have it. The answer, the truth, the non-anxiety-brain knowing. 

Sometimes the answer will be the same- maybe your anxiety is simply screaming the same message that your intuition is gently prodding you with. If that’s the case, listen. The key is to get in touch with what is coming from within, under the layers of broken record going off in your mind. That’s where the magic lives.

 

 

Let's cultivate some motherfucking love.

It's no profound assessment that we're all reeling after the tragedy in Orlando this weekend. Our hearts are heavy, our minds confused, our souls frustrated and longing for resolution, wanting to help in any way that we can.
I know for me, these types of tragedies hit really hard. I remember when I was young I was so profoundly upset by what had happened at Columbine I wrote many a poem about the tragedy (one of which lived on my Grandma's fridge for YEARS after). We can sometimes feel that it's not our place to make public statements or get involved if we're not overtly tied to the situation (if we're not LGBT, for example, or don't have a connection to Paris). Yet for all of us, this type of event is tangible and cause for mourning. And sometimes we need help shaking it off. 
I found myself at yoga yesterday seeking some semblance of inner peace, a way back to connection in these dark times. There, my teacher reminded us of one of my favorite quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.


So how can we beat hate with love? By connecting to the love within ourselves and showing that love to those around us. By choosing to be the light in the darkness. By showing others the way. Yes, by focusing on ourselves and then spreading that lightness to those around us, we can truly be the change. Imagine a world where everyone just focused on spreading as much love as they could, on loving themselves.

One of my favorite tools for cultivating self love is an affirmation or mantra. When I found Erin Stutland's Shrink Session work out years ago, I found a way to combine them with my other favorite way to build up my self esteem and happiness: DANCING. Erin's free Say It, Sweat It, Get It challenge is underway, and each day she puts out a new video combining exercises, dance moves, and positive affirmations. I can't think of a better way to start building the love and spreading the joy within than by participating. 

Check out the video I made after her class at The Movement to learn more, and sign up to participate here. It's TOTALLY FREE and let's face it, we all need to shake it the hell out right now and pump up the vibes.

AND INCASE THAT'S NOT ENOUGH, check out my favorite tunes I'm rocking for some added Bliss.

MIXES I'M DIGGING:

SONGS I'M DIGGING:

How to: Learn to love your body #BlissandBeats

A few weeks ago I put out a video telling the story of my college eating disorder, the struggles I faced and how I was finally able to ask for help. As you can imagine, putting something so big and so secretive out there for the world to see wasn’t easy. But there was also a huge part of me that knew I had to do it. And that part of me was (so far) seemingly right.

I’ve been so overwhelmed by all of the responses I’ve received. You’ve shared your stories and helped me remember that none of us are alone in this, that this is and continues to be a real struggle for many. You’ve cheered for me and brightened my day with your kind words. You’ve thanked me for voicing my struggles, and in doing so you’ve moved me to such a state of awe and overwhelming gratitude that is hard to put into words how much it means to get to feel this way.

Yes, to say that I have gotten a lot out of your openness is an understatement.

When I first recorded my video, I thought I’d talk for maybe 5 minutes. I’m consistently surprised by how long I can TALK about this wellness stuff. So I didn’t get to cover EVERYTHING I wanted to cover. Recovery from an eating disorder is a journey, and it is not an easy one. It requires learning and re-learning and unlearning lessons until only the good ones stick in your mind and your heart and your soul. It’s not enough to just hear something. You have to really believe it, deep in your bones. And then there are the actions that you have to put into place.

It isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

A lot of people say that an eating disorder always stays with you. Some days, I will vehemently shake my head and agree. But others, sometimes in long, luxurious stretches, I will smile and think “it can just be easy.” When the lessons click, they can stick with you for a while. And it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world, just living and not worrying about what you look like in that moment.

But as I said, it takes work. And the work (probably) never really ends.

These are five big takeaways I’ve learned on my road to recovery, my 9 year journey after seeking help. I hope that these will help you whether or not you’ve had an eating disorder. We all share the struggle of needing to learn to love our bodies and the work they do for us more.

 

Sending you heaps of love.

P.S. Today's Beat is by Mura Masa. I'd venture to say I found them through Bempology, an acquaintance's music blog that I've been following for years because he finds THE BEST music far before it becomes more 'mainstream' (as mainstream as indie/underground stuff can get). I'm including an extra one that I love for good measure. P.S. They are playing at Bowery Ballroom literally tomorrow (5/7) if you're into that.

Mura Masa -- Firefly

Mura Masa-- What if I Go?

MAD VULNERABILITY ALERT: On eating disorders and wearing sports bras in workout classes

Ooooohh baby. This is a scary one.

When I first had the thought to share a video about having an eating disorder in college, and the body image issues that followed, I thought to myself "damn it, Katie. Is this a good idea?"

And immediately, I knew that it was.

If you've been following my videos thus far you know that fear is just the challenge I need to know I'm doing the right thing.

Surprisingly, once I got going, it was super easy to talk about my past struggles with food. The words flowed out of me (as you'll notice by the length of this video and the fact that it is a two-parter). Perhaps it is because this is a subject that I am incredibly passionate about (yes). Or perhaps it's because it feels really good to finally share a part of you that you've kept secret for a long time from most of the people who know you (though to many of you, this will not be a huge surprise). For me, it's both.

I  am sharing this story because it does not define me. It is a small part of who I was, and also an important part of what made me who I am. It doesn't mean I am broken or was broken, or that I'm weird or fucked up or too much to handle (and I'm sorry if it hits you that way, because I know triggers happen). It means that I am a woman, that I've struggled to find my place in the world just like many of us have and do, and that I'm not afraid to own and love a dark part of myself. I'm happy and sad and glad and scared and anxious and elated and brave and more. 

Today I am a woman sharing her struggles and her triumphs. I am someone who is incredibly proud to have overcome something ugly. I am someone who hopes her message will resonate with someone.

I am going to be sharing a video as a follow-up about the things that helped me get through my eating disorder, but in the meantime, please know you are not alone. It took a village (family, friends, therapists, nutritionists, books) to help me see my body clearly again. And to all of the above, I am incredibly grateful. 

Much love forever and thanks for listening.

Katie

p.s. Today's beat is one of my favorite songs on the planet by one of my female spirit animals, Marina and the Diamonds. Someone went inside of my heart and captured it's song, and this is it. It's called Happy. And it's about a young woman's struggle and triumph in finding her own happiness. I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

 

It's magic time, don't miss this. #SUPERNEWMOONECLIPSE [Bliss and Beats #1.5]

Magic is in the air. Can you feel it?

Yesterday (3/8) was a new moon that is also a supermoon that was also taking place during a solar eclipse (that continues through 3/9).

Whoa. That's a LOT of stuff [and no, I haven't turned into an astrology nut].

Check out the latest episode of Bliss and Beats to see why I’m excited about this new moon (and the weird sign I received)!

 

Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of the #supernewmoonclipse and BLISS UP (we da best):

1.     RELEASE

True freedom is in letting go of those things that hold you back in life. I get so excited thinking about things to bid adieu to in my life. To start, light a candle or put on some soft music, and grab a pen and paper. Take a few deep breaths and think about what you’d like to let go of in your life. This could be a belief about yourself (for example, ‘I am not good enough’), about the world (“money is hard to come by”) or about others in your life (“my boss is never going to like me”). OR it could be something tangible you’re holding on to or allowing in your life that is no longer serving you (bye, bye shitty boyfriend!). Start with a list of at least 5. Then, do something to symbolically release these from your life. I like to cut mine into strips and burn them (safely, in the sink!), but tearing them up will do just fine.

 

2.     Set Intentions

Next, you’re going to want to replace the beliefs you just released with plans for the coming month(s). Think through 3-5 things you’d like to create in your life. This could again be something emotional (I want to feel grateful every day!) or tangible (I’m going to go on one good date this month). Then, write this down as an AFFIRMATION. This means to write it as if you already have it. So “I want to feel grateful every day” becomes “I express gratitude for my life every single day.” Keep this list nearby so that you can reference it over the coming month.

 

3.     Tie in actions

Intentions and affirmations are important because they help shift our mindset, but nothing truly changes unless you take action! So, take your list of intentions you just created and think of one action, big or small, that you can do to help bring your intention to life. This doesn’t have to be huge, it can be one small step that will help propel you into motion towards your goal. For example, my goal this month is to honor my inner power and inner voice. So one action I’m taking is to back off of dating apps and only login when I feel truly IN POWER, not in anxiety.  I ask myself “am I doing this because I want to, or because I’m feeling afraid/anxious/like I’m “supposed to?”” and proceed accordingly.

 

Because you guys rock, I’ve taken the above exercise and created a #BlissUp Worksheet to help you set yourself up for your best month ever. You can download it here.

 

If you find yourself getting stuck along the way, don’t worry! This way of thinking takes practice. AND I’m of course always here to help. Share your exercise with me or let me know where you’re getting stuck – I can’t wait to see the juicy work you’re already doing.

 

THE BEAT

Today’s beat is one of my favorite songs off of Anjunadeep 6, I’ve Got This Feeling by Cubicolor. This song gives me CHILLS every time… it’s hauntingly beautiful. And it’s tres appropriate because I have SERIOUSLY GOT THIS FEELING that incredible, beautiful magic is here NOW.


RESOURCES

If you want to read more about the March 8th celestial happenings, I recommend checking out this article on Mystic Mamma. Magic abound!

And if you want to learn more about MAGIC, visit my friend Bryce’s blog here.


Don't forget to grab you free #BlissUp worksheet and take advantage of these stars here!

I got ready in my bra and undies at SoulCycle.

Take off the towel.

 

I heard the whisper, standing in the bathroom at SoulCycle. Two women to my left, one to my right. All towels.

 

Take off the towel.

 

I looked at myself, slathering product into my hair, towel covering the flesh I am afraid to expose.

 

Take off the towel.

 

I looked myself in the eyes. For a second, I flipped open the towel. ‘This is too much’ I thought. But I felt something, I knew. Still, I threw the towel back on.

 

Take off the towel.

 

Dare to take off the towel.

 

Dare to feel free.

 

I took off the towel.

 

The world didn’t end. The other women didn’t look at me funny. Some walked in and out in their undies, breasts exposed. Some wore the towel. And I started to feel alive.

 

I looked myself in the eyes. I liked what I saw. I felt alive.

 

I loved my body in that moment. I did not criticize her for being bigger than this one, smaller than that one. I did not compare. I simply looked at her with appreciation.

 

I was no longer the girl of burgeoning shame. I did not disavow my thighs, heave my belly empty of my granola bar, mentally schedule a gym class every day next week.

 

I was the daring woman standing in public in my bra and underwear.

 

I liked what I saw. I let my body breathe. I did not hide.

 

I felt free, I felt free, I felt free.

 

Introducing Bliss and Beats aka Holy Sh*t I'm Vlogging.

Hi hi!

For a while I've been toying around with bringing the theme of my blog (Bliss and Beats) to life in a way that is a bit scarier than the occasional blog post. I wanted to push myself this year to check in more often because...

1. I feel like I have tons of useful content to share. I am a perpetual soul-seeker, so I'm constantly learning and growing by way of books, mentors, programs... you name it. I feel like every week (or really, every day) I learn something or realize something about myself and my experience that makes a difference to my quality of life. And often it's just like that - something as small as one new chapter I've read makes  a lasting difference.

2. Starting a business can be really challenging for SO MANY reasons, but for me, one of the biggest is my own paralysis. I never feel like I'm doing enough and I'm far too focused on the end goal, which feels so daunting and impossible that I find myself stuck in inaction. So, I've instead had to change my mindset and focus on just taking one small step each day. And content like this is something that is not only helpful to others (I hope!!!), but also a small, tangible way to begin reaching that big goal.

So I present to you- the first edition of Bliss and Beats!

What is Bliss and Beats, you ask? Well, this is an ongoing series of videos featuring one lesson in creating more bliss in your life (the lasting kind!) and one really dope beat [because you know I like music].

Basically, this is my attempt to combine my two passions and spill my guts to all of you on a weekly basis because I am NOT afraid to get mega vulnerable, y'all. And I WILL. Most of these are going to be about what I am working on IN THAT MOMENT.

To do this,  I'm setting a few ground rules for myself:

1. I have to do at least one every two weeks... with a goal to get up to one per week.

2. I WILL NOT spend too much time making each video perfect. That means that I can only do some rudimentary editing AT MOST. I am NOT filming it multiple times. I am using my computer or cell phone to tape. I am really not prepping beyond jotting down notes. I am letting this flow so I can get it out there rather than allowing perfection to basically bog me down and evidently not release anything. 

3. I think that's enough rules. 

But I need your help to make it great. You can help me by holding me accountable (haven't seen a video in a while? Call my "busy" ass out!) and by letting me know how the videos are working for you. If they suck, shoot me an email or write it in the comments (but email is much preferred because, privacy). If you got something out of it, let me know (all over the comments, baby). I love you guys and your help means the world.

Today's B&B is all about our fears, why we THINK they define us, and why we should bust through them. I'm sharing a story from my Costa Rica trip where I was scared shitless... and why it was one of the best things I've done so far this year. Check out the first episode of Bliss and Beats here and please, let me know what you think in the comments!

p.s. I of course did not mention the beat of the week in the video. It is the Redux version of Atmosphere by Kaskade, one of my number one favorite humans and a man who is bound to be a Bliss and Beats top contributor. You can peep that song below or on Spotify... etc.


xx

Reflections and Prayers for my Beautiful Friend Stephanie

Last week, my family and I were reflecting on how wonderful of a year it’s been, and we were right. 2015 had been good to us. 2015 was a year of important growth, change, and most importantly, ease. 2015 felt good, like the world had our backs. We would sail into 2016 on these wings of safety and joy, ready for a year of even more delight.

 

Until life challenges us, as it often does.

 

One of the highlights of my 2015 has been getting to know Stephanie. Steph and her family have been visiting Long Beach Island (where my parents have a home) for years and most recently bought a home on the same street as us. From Summer to Summer, our families have gotten to know one another and relationships have been formed. What makes Stephanie’s family unique upon first glance is that Stephanie has severe cerebral palsy. Steph can’t speak in sentences, can’t control her limbs, can’t walk… there are a litany of cant’s tied to her condition. But in place of limits, she has grown beautiful, overflowing amounts of love and kindness. Hers is the kind of love that spreads to everyone she meets.


I am ashamed to admit that it took me a bit of time to get over myself and befriend Steph. My mom was always first to run to Steph, to talk with her, to hold her hand, to tease her. Her relationship with Stephanie has always been a beautiful thing to behold, something that in a few instances I’ve found myself feeling envious of. I was so AFRAID to say the wrong thing, to not know how to just be with Steph, that I couldn’t bring myself to open up to her. I worried that there would be silences, that I would make her feel like I was under-valuing her. I feared that I didn’t have enough goodness in me.


As I mentioned, this year has been one of tremendous growth and self-understanding for me. I’ve done a lot to get over the “not good enough” syndrome that has held me back in a wide variety of situations. It’s odd to think that feeling not good enough can actually hold you back from DOING GOOD and giving your love, rather than something much less valuable like worrying about if a boy likes you. Worse- when you use “not good enough” as an excuse to not do something good, you’re only reinforcing the idea that you’re not good enough by piling on the guilt and shame of not just GOING FOR IT. For not doing the right thing. For not being the person you know in your heart you want to be, that the world is calling you to be. In my case, it was time to get vulnerable and put myself out there, and in doing so overcome this idea that I wasn’t equipped to be a friend to Steph.


From the day I decided to do more than just say “hi” to Steph, my heart began to immediately open up. Stephanie does that to you- she’s warm, funny, and kind. She likes a good laugh more than most, she absolutely is in on any and all jokes, and she appreciates a kind-hearted teasing. She has so much love to give, and while she cannot do so verbally, she finds many other ways. She loves to hold hands and hug and kiss. She creates beautiful art, she writes beautiful letters with the help of incredible technology. She is full of surprises and often spends days making beautiful gifts for those she loves. Where Stephanie’s body fails her, her mind and her heart more than pick up the pieces.


Stephanie is a gift and a teacher to anyone who gets to know her. She has so much more in her mind than appearances may dictate. She loves to dance. At our family friend Emily’s wedding, we danced together all night long. We taught her moves and by the end she was doing the hand motion to Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd. She loves sneaking Pina Coladas at Kubels. She likes sneaking off from her parents for the occasional hour. She loves going for walks on the beach, and I love pushing her beach chair super fast backwards down the hill. She laughs without reserve. She loves the color purple. She hates when people treat her like she’s not a person. She’s a regular thirty year old like you and I, except stronger. Kinder. And more loving. She’s taught me the importance of loving people deeply, openly, fully and wildly. She’s a good luck charm- everywhere she goes, people do things for her. How could you not? She’s infectious.


Steph is in the hospital this week with pneumonia. She’s struggling, and worse, she’s lost her memory. She cannot remember her parents or her large tribe of friends and family who love her dearly. I’m asking you to please keep her in your prayers, intentions, thoughts of love, or whatever goodness you send out into the world. She’s a beautiful soul who deserves everything good in life. She deserves her memories, her mind, and her FULL life.


Please send her love and good vibes and juju and prayers for healing.


Stephanie, I love you to the moon and back. I’m pulling for you. Love, Katie


Take one step and open the floodgate [revisiting my first coach]

Yesterday, I was lucky to have breakfast with my very first life coach, the lovely Caroline Zwickson. This was special to me for so many reasons: I got to meet her new son Felix, we caught up on life and our coaching pursuits, and we had delicious food. But more than that, this simple breakfast brought up a huge realization about our own paths to personal growth that I'm really eager to share.

Caroline and I worked together about a year and a half ago. I had just returned from Coachella, my favorite music festival and one of my favorite weekends of the year (generally). But that year, I had struggled through it. I was still reeling from a sucker-punch of a breakup that had taken the wind out of my sails and made me question everything about myself and my life. I had spent the festival in a cloud of anxiety and self-doubt, thinking about him and telling myself he was having a better time there without me. I found myself waking up in tears, and while I did my best to snap out of it, I couldn't truly enjoy the moment. I was surrounded by revelry and joy, and the best of the best in music, but all I could hear was that nagging, mean bitch of a voice in my head.

Why aren't you having fun? What's wrong with you?

You're not pretty or skinny enough to be here. Look at the other women around you. They're celebrated here, you're not.

{EX} doesn't want to be here with you anyway. You'll be alone forever.

You'll never be truly happy. You'll always hold yourself back. You'll never be free.

I'm not sure about you, but when my inner critic gets going, she's vicious. And at the time, I didn't know any better than to follow her every command and order, to believe that she was ME, that I was JUST THAT MEAN to myself, and that she was right. So, I followed her into the dark spiral. 

The beauty of the dark spiral is that dropping down into it finally woke me up. Something came apart inside, an anger and a deep frustration finally slipped free. I finally snapped. I said to myself "FUCK THIS. I CAN'T FEEL THIS WAY ANYMORE."

Luckily, I found Caroline. I had been following her blog for a few weeks at my friend Sapna's recommendation (Caroline had spoken at her company earlier on). I clicked on her website and was immediately sucked in by the idea of loving the life I have, of beating self-doubt. I wanted that SO BADLY and I had tried everything to get it (pretty unsuccessfully). In my wildest dreams I would love my life and myself! I didn't know if it was possible for me. But what did I have to lose? 

Fast forward to today, and I am a living embodiment of everything I dreamed of. I'm happy in my body, in my life, and in myself every day. I support myself, rather than beating myself down. I am so grateful for everything I have and the life that I lead, and I often find myself gazing at my surroundings and breathing in a deep love for all that I see. I love this life. 

I worked with Caroline for about three months, after which I decided to take a break and refocus. I thanked her then, knowing that my life had been changed tremendously. But many months later, I can tell you that my life has changed even more than I expected.

Working with Caroline opened a flood-gate for me. And I believe that it only takes one powerful experience of personal growth to do the same for anyone. After I worked with Caroline, I started to develop the confidence to show up authentically in my life. I started to believe in myself and in life itself. I allowed myself to dream bigger than I ever had. And my life completely opened up.

Life stepped up to meet me. 

I began to be recognized as a thought-leader in my industry (digital marketing).

I spoke at my first conference.

I got promoted.

I started a blog.

I finally started to date around, and enjoy it.

I joined Mentor Masterclass and started chasing after a start up business idea I wouldn't have dared utter in the past.

I hosted my first event.

I went on my first retreat.

I traveled for fun and work and everything in between.

I got to hang out in a DJ booth, I met and befriended celebrities, I mingled with people who would have utterly intimidated me before.

I had THE BEST TIME EVER at Coachella.

My friend circles grew tremendously. And got ever deeper.

I moved to my favorite neighborhood with my best friend in a dream apartment.

I felt free.

in Madrid, feeling full of love and as free as i've ever felt. 

in Madrid, feeling full of love and as free as i've ever felt. 

 

All of these things were the result of opening the door to working on myself, and not stopping. After working with Caroline, I've joined classes, I've read tons of books, I've gotten deeper into meditation, I've played with EFT, I've worked with another coach (Alex, lookin at you), and I've continued to grow on this journey. I turned on the valve of curiosity and I haven't shut it since.

It only takes one small step to open the flood gate. Then life, love, and learning come rushing in and sweep you into their vast ocean, supported.

For me that step was signing up for a free session with Caroline. But for you it could be something different- it's all about finding the first thing that gets you excited, that opens your mind. And then, following it as far as it can take you.

What will it take to open yours?

x

p.s. if this resonated with you, I welcome you to sign up for a free session, or join us at one of our events!

 

 

 

 

What I'm Listening To: Anjunadeep 07

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I am a HUGE fan of anything that Above & Beyond touches, most specifically these days anything off of Anjunadeep. The label's deeper artists released their latest compilation TODAY mixed by the premier Anjunadeep djs, Jody Wisternoff and James Grant. 

I love Anjunadeep because it's always beautifully haunting, melodic, and always strikes the right emotional notes. I also adore the way Wisternoff and Grant mix everything together seamlessly, taking us on an ethereal journey. 

Enjoy Anjunadeep 07! xx


I'm hosting a coaching event!

OMG, I'M HOSTING A COACHING EVENT!

This is so scary. And awesome. And scary.


Hi guys-

I'm so excited to share that the first ever YES! coaching event is HAPPENING!
It took a lot to get here... so let me backtrack.

About two years ago, I had a life changing realization. I always been really tough on myself-- putting myself down, following the negative voice in my head, doubting my abilities. For years, I sought to boost my self-worth by measuring myself based on how many exciting plans I had in the future, how many friends I had, how skinny I could be, or how well I could do at work. I thought that this was just par for the course for Type A perfectionists. I thought there would always be something 'wrong' with me.

I tried lots of different things to 'fix' myself: therapy, nutrition counseling, medication, meditation, devouring books. And nothing really stuck in a meaningful way until I started working with my first life coach. If you're anything like I was then, you're thinking to yourself "what the $#%^ is life coaching?" 

Which is why I'm writing today. Coaching changed my life in the most positive of ways, and it was very unexpected. I had no idea what coaching was or how to take part in it. I'm lucky to have had a soul-seeking bestie introduce me to my first coach, Caroline. And I'm incredibly lucky to have parents who helped me to pay for the 'pricey for a twenty-something in NYC' sessions. Today, I'm a person who truly loves and believes in herself, who supports herself fully. I don't believe I'd have made such major shifts without coaching.

It's my mission to help change the paradigm about coaching: to make it more known, accessible, and affordable for anyone looking to up their game in life.  I'm enrolled in a coaching training program called Mentor Masterclass, led by the wonderful Jeannine Yoder. My ultimate vision is to create a coaching model where people like you and I can drop in, without paying hundreds of dollars, and leave changed. And I'm calling it YES!.

My current coach and business cheerleader Alex Kip (he's also co-host of one of my favorite Podcasts!) has agreed to help me as we start to test what a drop in version of coaching could look like. So for our first event, Alex will be doing the coaching and believe me, it will be magical. He's a master of Tony Robbins-ian coaching, aka he will totally change the way you think. Consider this event a Beta Test, except one that will be super amazing and leave you feeling more in touch with yourself and ready to take on what it is you want out of life.
 

The first ever YES! coaching collective is happening!
Thursday, September 10th at 8p
The Caledonia (17th and 10th in Chelsea, NYC) (thanks Joe!)
Group coaching by Alex, happiness, and jams!

 

RSVP and more details can be found on our site, and please feel free to email me if you have questions!

It is with an open heart that I share this with you, and hope that you'll appreciate my spamming of your inbox. If my story resonates with you and you want to learn more, by all means, let's chat! I would love it. And if you're in NYC, I'd love to have you there. I believe it will be a really special evening, and the start of something awesome.

In the words of that one wrestler.... YES! YES! YES!

Much love,

Katie

p.s. I'm doing some free one-on-one intro coaching sessions. If you're interested, shoot me an email! 

p.p.s. Need a promo code for our event? Lemme know!

Excuse me, I have a declaration to make.

I'm sitting here, reeling a bit from a silly conversation I just had with the person I still hold onto after almost two years of being apart. Reeling because I realized AGAIN in the most played out deja vu of all time that I'm pretty sure he's not going to change, and that our values aren't going to align, and that he's not going to understand what it takes to be with me these days. 

But more importantly, I've realized that it's time to break this pattern of pity, self-doubt, and the idea that I'm not deserving.

So today, before you, oh blog community, I'm making a declaration. Not an affirmation, not a wish, but a true declaration. If I could chisel it into stone, I would. I would shout it from a mountain top as long as it would echo into eternity.

This is it.

The jig is up, universe/limiting beliefs/astrology/other bullshit things that I believe are getting in the way of allowing in love.

I DECLARE THAT I WILL BE WITH THE LOVE OF MY LIFE BY MY BIRTHDAY.

I deserve love. I deserve a loving partner, who wants to be with me each and every day and believes that I'm the best thing that's ever happened to him. And who I feel the same way about it. I'm a good person, I have done the work, I'm a catch. I deserve big. love.

And it's gonna be motherfucking awesome.

I surrender. God/universe, bring me what I'm asking. In the words of Gabby, bring me a miracle.

Here goes nothing.... <3

Gabby Bernstein: May Cause MEGA LADY CRUSH

If you ever have the opportunity to see Gabby Bernstein speak in person, do it. Tonight, I attended Gabby's Miracles Now Workshop in the beautiful Deepak Chopra space at ABC Carpet and Home. Setting aside the sensory overload that is ABC Carpet and Home (the most beautiful store I've seen- it's a grown-up and crazy chic Anthropologie), the workshop was truly a magical experience.

Gabby was different in person than I imagined - better. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I've read a few of her books, and while they're amazing, I've found she can come off as either too high priestess or too LA trendster. Gabby is neither and both at once- she pulls off a flawless mix of cool, relatable, and deeply wise. She's the best friend you've always wanted and the guru you'd quote religiously. She is, in a word, perfection.

One of the things that impressed me most about Gabby was her warmth and rapport. She spent a good portion of the workshop doing Q&A;  her ability to connect to each and every woman on a real one-on-one, playful way was a sight to behold. By the end, the room felt like a group of girlfriends at a sleepover sharing our deepest fears, with Momma Gab to wrap us in a warm embrace and share Oprah parables in the form of quotes from A Course in Miracles. Gabby radiates love in every direction when she is on the stage, and her tribe feels it.

The rest of the workshop was a mix of her favorite tools from A Course in Miracles and a few different meditations. I loved the first meditation to Michael the archangel, who is incidentally one of my favorite angels in Catholicism- I'm happy to carry him forward on my new spiritual path. The closing meditation was powerful and cool, but the position was rough- holding your arms up at a 60 degree angle for minutes on end means I was spending a lot more time thinking about how much pain I was in than imagining a fire in my heart. But I'd gladly give it a go again.

My favorite nuggets of knowledge from Gabby were the most obvious- the truths we've heard told time and time again, the main principles of A Course and of all of Gabby's books. The things that are so simple, they're easy to leave behind in your quest for self-actualization. I think she said it best when she spoke about choosing to believe in Miracles now. Not when you've cleared out every bad memory and feeling and limiting belief. Now. It's so easy to forget that you have the power today, in this moment, when you're constantly working on yourself with new tools. There is no need to wait. You do not need to be perfect. You simply need to surrender to love.

A few of my favorite one-liners:

"I am responsible for what I see."

"I am willing to see this with love."

"Intentions grow when they are shared."

"Recognize the other person is you- what you are seeing is your own light or darkness being reflected back to you."

"If you're feeling helpless, help someone."

"Let the muscles rest so they can form."

"Stop looking for your purpose-- your purpose will find you."

And for me, the most powerful of all:

Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. 

How incredible an outlook on life: to choose to feel certain that the outcome is coming to you and to be free to live your life as is, knowing it will come to you. This is certainly a lesson to apply to life in so many ways- for me, when it comes to dating and wanting to find love or to wanting to start my own business, for example. Believe it is yours, release, and be free.

xx

p.s. I bought the Miracles Now card deck and I am in love. It's gorgeous!

miraclesnowblog
miraclesnowblog

Go home, YouTube. You're Drunk.

So you're feeling self conscious about how you look in that YouTube video you had to do for work? Me too. Never fear, here is a sure-fire way to break that pattern and laugh. A lot. Just turn on YouTube Closed Captioning.

Those guys are not great at their jobs. See below:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 11.41.00 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 11.41.42 AM

 

This probably also works while watching other people's YouTube videos if you need a good laugh.

x