When You Show Up

When You Show Up

When You Show Up

Originally posted on Jan 28 2020

I’ve been holding myself back for many years. What others said about me or to me has controlled how I chose my next step. It all started in childhood. I never spoke up as much as I thought I did. I held my breath in certain conversations with friends and family. I had people in my life who made me feel guilty, ashamed and scared. I was influenced by fear for many years. Let me clarify that this is not referring to abuse (physical or emotional), it was mostly how people scolded me when I made a mistake. As I grew up, whenever I made a mistake, I feared the reaction of my family and friends. 

These feelings led up to me moving abroad and finding my place in this world by being my own person. I didn’t need anyone’s opinion on what I was doing when I decided to move abroad. Yes, I was always feeling the dread and fear from my family because of my decision. But I kept my eye on the prize.

Italy.

Florence.

All alone.

On my own two feet.

Paying rent.

Working long hours.

All on me. Because it was MY decision.

I didn’t pursue what others did in their 20s. I didn’t want to follow ANYONE. I was the follower during my childhood, from the popular cliques to making the best soccer team. I wanted to fit in but also eager to shine my light. My authentic self. It was yearning to be seen.

When I arrived in Florence, no one expected anything from me. I was my own person from the start. I showed my friends who I really was. My authentic self. Perhaps that is why one of my closest friends has always been there for me for 16 years. I knew I could reach out to him while living in Florence. 

I showed up in Florence. I showed up and allowed people to see me. I fell in love while in Florence. I let that person see me for me. I didn’t put on a show and try to make him love me. I didn’t try to change who I was for him. He didn’t try to change himself for me either. I accepted him as he was and he accepted me. It was the greatest lesson I’ve learned. I was myself from the first day I met him to the moment he asked me to marry him. He is now my partner in life. 

Learn to take a chance on yourself. You have the power to dream big, be seen and shine your light. Be authentically you. 

Defined by Brene Brown in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

“Authenticity is a daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

We were created for a reason. There’s only one YOU. Share your gifts with the world. The world needs you!

“When you avoid conflict to make peace with other people, you start a war within.”

BE TRUE TO YOURSELF!

“What we resist, persists.” Abraham-Hicks

Follow your intuition. It is always right. 

Love & Light, 

Katie

Only Love is Real

Only Love is Real

Only Love is Real

This year has changed from being the year I launch my first retreat, to the year I cancel said retreat. The year that expresses there is a reason why this pandemic is here. It is wreaking havoc on people (front-line workers), families and causing the world’s economy to come to a complete stop.

I was sad at first. But then I realized that I needed this year to prepare. Heal myself. Learn more. Grow more. And come into my own. 

Since the world was hit by this pandemic, I’ve tried to surround myself with stories of love, hope and support.

I only watch funny movies. I meditate more often. I create art to get me through the days. I use art to express my emotions, inner child trauma, and limiting beliefs I’ve held in my being for so long.

Needless to say, it’s been a transforming (almost) three months closed inside my home. 

One amazing perk, I’ve grown closer to my husband. Even with our (my) own outbursts, anger spells and crying uncontrollably, he’s been by my side.

The key to marriage is communication. In fact, it has been the basis of our relationship from the very beginning. I remember when I told him the goal I had of our relationship.

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I said, “You need to tell me when you are not happy with me or something isn’t right in our relationship.”

He replied, with a smile. “Ok.”

It is still the basis of our relationship. Even more now as our (my) emotions are out of control and say to him in a loud, stern voice, “I am angry because our trip to Italy is off. We won’t have a vacation this summer. I am sad that your vacation will be here with me in this house that we’ve been in for the past 3 months together.”

It felt great to get that off my chest. Just expressing your feelings does make a difference in your body. Give it a try sometime. 

Another perk, I’ve reconnected to friends whom I thought I’d never find the connection again. One friend in particular has caught me by surprise. She and I were partners in crime in Florence back from 2008 to 2011.

We painted Florence red each and every night we went out. We lived life to the fullest. We made our own mistakes and learned from them by staying by each other sides during those dark times. We grew and shaped ourselves living in my beloved city.

She taught me how to be kind. She gave me strength when I was struggling emotionally and financially in Florence.

And then, I let her slip through my fingers for many selfish reasons.

Worst mistake of my life.

I didn’t know what I lost until she was gone.

I am grateful that she and I are now back in regular communication as of a few years back. I wrote her a long email to let her know how much I cared for her and how bad I felt when we lost touch.

Last June, I met her for lunch in our beloved Florence. It was like not a day had passed. The lunch flew by. I didn’t even finish my salad.

I just had so much I wanted to tell her. But I got the best gift from her that day: LOVE.

I felt her love. I felt her as if we didn’t have a falling out. I felt how lucky I am to have a friend like her.

She is still living her life in Florence after 10+ years with her amazing husband and two adorable, bilingual children. I am forever grateful that I wrote her that email. 

Your time on this earth is short, make sure you tell people you love them.

Share love and kindness with whoever needs it. A simple smile, with your eyes, a ‘thank you’ to the man sanitizing the carts at the store, a phone call to a friend that is struggling, listening to a friend who needs to vent. These are all examples of love. 

So much tragedy has happened in these months. Feeling bad for myself because I can’t travel, makes me feel so horrible.

All the people who died alone in a lonely hospital bed really makes my heart hurt. I think about them every day. 

The loved ones that only got to see the dying through a facetime call that the amazing healthcare workers offered to do. That is what I call courage, support and LOVE.

There are millions of people all over the world who are without food, struggling to pay their bills, in unhealthy, abusive relationships, scared to be outside because of their health. Not just because of the virus, all these fears are heightened even more. 

The one thing that I keep sending to those in need is LOVE.

Only love is real. 

As much as I wish I was hosting a retreat in Tuscany this summer, I know this pandemic happened for a reason.

Pick yours:

  • Heal the Earth
  • Slow down
  • Focus on what’s important
  • Learn something new
  • Connect with a loved one
  • Heal yourself
  • Love yourself more

The list can go on.

For me, I choose to focus on what I REALLY want to do with my life. I’ve been on the path of self-care and wellness since December 2019. This year is my year to heal, grow and share my story with people that need inspiration, love and support. Because we all need that.

I feel in all of my being, my intention is being heard by the universe. I’ve received the sign.

My heart wants to share so many gifts with the world. It is MY time. 

 

What have you decided to focus on this time at home? Are you looking for a change? Are you missing a long lost friend?

Share with me in the comments what you are feeling these days.

Love & Light,

Kate

Trust in the Process

Trust in the Process

Trust in the Process

originally posted Jan 2, 2020

I never wanted to believe that something else was helping me reach my dream. I thought I had to do it all myself.

This year I learned to trust.

I learned that trusting in what the universe has to offer is what we all need to do. We are energy. Made of light and love. A spirit living a human experience. Some of us are even lucky enough to be earth angels who are there for people who need the energy of love and care. Maybe all this talk of angels or energy or spirit has got you scrunching your face saying to yourself, ‘I don’t believe in this shit’.

But I challenge you to think about experiences over the past year or decade:

Do you remember situations that you were given flat out, obvious signs not to get into that relationship, not to sign the papers for that new business, not to take that job? If you do remember having that gut feeling of ‘this doesn’t feel right’ then that was a sign. A sign from the universe, God, the cosmos whatever you believe in, your spirit guide was waving a flag in your face saying ‘hey don’t do this, this isn’t the right path, this isn’t the right job’. But you ignored it and kept down the wrong path.

I am right there with you. I did the same thing. I took jobs that promised me money, so much money. That was the wrong path. These jobs, paths did not align with my higher self. I do remember having that gut feeling of ‘don’t do this, Katie. Money will not bring you happiness, this is not aligned with your purpose.’ I soon found myself more miserable than before and ended up leaving that job.

My sign pushed me into a job I thought I would never take. I was offered this job twice before I finally took it. A position that I thought, in my eyes, was hard and would make me miserable with all the responsibilities. After a full year of being in this position, I knew this was the correct choice. None of what my ego perceived happened in this job. No stress, no pressure, no huge responsibilities that I assumed would be included. And I love it!

As for my yoga retreat business, I learned to fully embrace whatever happens, happens. If I have a full retreat or not, I am still doing it. I am doing what I set out to do. This dream started in Italy in 2009. Knowing that I probably couldn’t live in Florence forever as an English teacher, I thought there is going to be a way I can keep Italy in my life. I believe my retreat business is it. I am trusting in the path I am on. I also believe it is going to blossom into something more than just yoga. 

Fast forward to 2019, my little sister gets married in Italy in the same place I stayed when I was their babysitter 11 years prior. I reached out to the owner and she was as ecstatic as me and said ‘let’s do this!’ 

Present day, I have six amazing women who have decided to invest in me and my vision of celebrating ourselves as we are. Accepting our journey as ours, owning our own story and appreciating the amazing things about us. I trusted in the universe and the universe took care of me. 

Do you trust enough in yourself?

Do you trust in the universe, spirit, God?

Do you surrender your fears to the universe and believe you are being taken care of?

Give it a try. Let me know how it goes in the comments. 

Buon Anno a Tutti!!

Happy New Year!!

Love & Light,

Katie 

Light up the World

Light up the World

Light up the World

originally posted Nov 16, 2019

The messages I have been receiving these past few months have been telling me that I am here to help people. I am here to light up the world with what I have learned myself. Many times over, I have been someone’s shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, or just someone to vent to. I was always able to welcome people because my innate nature to help and guide people comes from a loving place. Because I know what it is like. I know how hard it is to live on your own, find your passion, be hopeful the love of your life will enter when you are ready. These are all common worries and trials people go through early in life. Perhaps even later in life. 

I’ve noticed after being that person, someone that listened to peoples’ life trials, I felt really bad afterwards. The energy they were giving off started to stick to me like glue. I unfortunately didn’t know how to protect myself. This has gone on for many years when I have taken the bad, negative, angry energy of one person and made it my own. Being so susceptible to energy, good and bad, I needed to learn how I can still shine my light but not take bad, discarded energy from others. To protect myself, I cross my legs and arms in the presence of energy that is not mine. I continue to cross my legs and arms until they are no longer in sight. Since figuring this trick out I have not felt as heavy, holding onto their draining energy. I am honored that so many people want to be around my energy. But I think it is hard for some people to understand how their energy affects people.

Another stepping stone in being a teacher,  is how to say no when people (mostly friends or co-workers) have used your energy far to often and have not given back to you. How drained do you think I feel? Don’t get me wrong I love helping my friends and family but when it becomes more one-sided, I can not help anymore. When I meet with students from my yoga and meditation classes, I give them my all and imagine the energy is a cycle always coming back to me, as a thank you. Even if it is more one-sided in a class setting, I know how to hold the space for my students and give them my complete love and energy to help them get through. The cycle of breath becomes the energy cycle I use to move through the class. 

After my mediation today, I used the deck of Keepers of the light and picked Light Activation. The extended message lit me up inside:

“You are here to light up the world. You may feel that you are being pushed or that there is a lot going on at once, and this is because your energy is magnetic to others and they want it in their life. Take the time to listen to your inner voice. Remember the cosmic light of heaven and draw it into you. That is all you need to do to inspire the world.”

Begin to notice how you feel when you are giving energy as opposed to receiving energy. Then notice who sucks your energy dry. Those people or things should have bourdaries so to not drain you completely.

What makes you feel lit up? Who is around you when you shine your light? What is the emotion that is expressed when you light up the world?

Love and Light,

Katie 

Goals of Meditation

Goals of Meditation

Goals of Meditation

originally posted Nov 4, 2019

Some people have asked me, is the goal of meditation to relax and eventually fall asleep?

Not necessarily. You might want to fall asleep after, but that is not the goal. 

For me, Meditation is sitting with yourself, noticing your thoughts, and focusing on your body. Meditation is also focusing on your breath and how it interacts with your body. 

For a long time, I didn’t know how to really sit with my thoughts and listen to my breath. My ego was so loud in my head. It still is. I have to harness the fear and come back to my breath. My ego yelled negative things at me, it pushed me down when I was already down, it told me how bad I was at things. I would come out of my first sessions of meditation, even if only for 2-5 minutes, in tears. Angry with myself, how could I speak to myself like that?

That’s how I learned what my self-talk was and what it was doing to me mentally, physically and psychologically. Why was self talk important? Going further, why was POSITIVE self-talk important?

In order to accomplish things in your life, you need to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. YOU ARE HUMAN. You are NOT (and never will be) perfect. You were not built that way. You were built to be imperfect, the best way to be. The universe created you out of nothing and stopped when it knew, ‘You are a masterpiece’. So once you were born, you were just as you should be in the universe’s eyes. The only work we need to do is to create ideas, be ourselves, and develop a life into what the universe already has in place for us. 

Meditation is to help create that space in which we need to be present in this moment. We are always running around in this life, going to work, grocery shopping, cleaning our house, taking kids to practice, visiting family. We never really are present when doing those things, right? When we are driving are we really focused on our driving? Try and notice when you are on auto-pilot. Can you then bring yourself back to the present moment? Can you feel your body in this present moment?

It is ok if that is hard for you. It takes practice to get out of your head and into your body and breath.

Meditation is there for you to calm your monkey mind. If you are anxious, like me, meditation will help you conquer the busyness in your mind. 

Try to meditate focusing on your breath for 2 minutes. Notice the thoughts, notice your breath, notice your body. Just notice, don’t judge. 

Report back. 

Love & Light,

Katie 

Apostoli, My Savior

Apostoli, My Savior

Apostoli, My Savior

originally posted Oct 28, 2019

It was a hard day at work, teaching English to spoiled Italian children, I made my way to Borgo Apostoli. Santi Apostoli is where I feel my worries and stress melt away. It was winter, so the church was even colder than outside. I warmed myself next to the candles where people look up and pray for loved ones and themselves. I lit myself a candle and looked up to the tabernacle which was adorned with Mary. All I said was ‘help me’ as tears streamed down my face. Help me with what, I don’t know. But at that time in my life I was lost in the streets of Florence, not knowing if what I was doing was impacting others or even advancing myself in this life. Was I on the right path? I knew there was more out there. More things I wanted to accomplish.

As I’m the ayurvedic dosha vata, and impatient in nature, I got frustrated so easily. Sitting in the pews of Santi Apostoli just breathing, feeling the energy around me, the good positive energy that brought me to this amazing city, I was able to calm down. I allowed myself to cry as much as I wanted, it was the only way to feel exactly what I was feeling. I was always told how emotional I was as a child. “I am passionate”, I thought to myself. “I know there is more out there.”

I never stopped at Santi Apostoli at the same time of day but when I needed to stop it always seemed to be open for me. Like it was waiting for me to arrive.

‘Feel what you need to feel, Katie’, it would say as I want walk through its’ wooden doors.

‘Then press on. You are where you need to be.’ 

Even after 5 years of moving away from my beloved city, I still feel its’ pull. Its’ energy telling me it is ok.

Keep your head up. Patience. Be authentically you. 

Meditation doesn’t have to use a mantra, music or special equipment. Sometimes your meditation might just to be in your body, in your spirit, feel your feelings. Without judging how you are feeling, just let go of the anguish, pain, suffering, stress, worry, doubt. Move on then. 

Our problem as a society, we don’t want to feel. We don’t want to feel the pain, the hurt, the struggle. But that is the main part of being human. We must feel the feeling in order to move through life. We cannot ignore it. 

It can be a good feeling as well. Why not feel good once and awhile? Our other problem is not wanting to feel good. Because it is fleeting, perhaps it is setting us up for something bad that is just around the corner. So no one wants to really enjoy feeling good when we get a new job, buying a new house, or welcoming a new baby. Try to sit in a moment of feeling good once and awhile. Notice how it feels when you repeat to yourself

It’s good to feel good.

How does it feel inside?

All we want in this life to feel good in each moment. Yes, there are many moments when it is hard to feel good but what if you try to sit with yourself each morning and say to yourself:

Today is going to be a great day, a great day to feel good about myself, my day will be filled with feeling good moments.

Give it a try tomorrow morning. Report back. ? 

Love & Light, 

Katie

 

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