Focus on You

Focus on You

Focus on You

originally posted on Dec 23, 2019

I did something I never do, I spent money on myself and participated in an in-studio yoga retreat. I was so happy I did. I never like to purchase events like this for myself because the money is always tight. I sucked it up and paid the money and treated myself. It was a great experience just focusing on myself. I didn’t try to compare my practice to others in the class. I fully embraced myself just as I am. I accepted my limitations and challenged myself to fully immerse into the energy that was in the room. I didn’t judge myself at all. I moved the way spirit moved me. It felt amazing! 

When we bring attention to ourselves and how we want to feel, we can notice when others take advantage of our time and how good it feels to feel good. I recently had a great conversation with one of my students from Bodyflow. She expressed that my classes have given her a better understanding of self-care. She reiterated how she does not have a close support system around her but with joining the club and coming to classes, she has renewed her idea of feeling good for herself. She has realized the people who deserve her time and energy. 

Hearing from my students gives me a great sense of belonging and love. I am doing exactly what I was meant to do on this earth. Teach people to love themselves and feel good in the process. If it is with yoga, fitness classes, or personal training, I give my whole heart to them and make them aware that whatever we do in that hour, they are doing the best they can for themselves.

Doesn’t that feel good to hear?

You are doing the best for you today!

So if you need a break, a rest, time to breathe, why not get a massage, facial, take a yoga class, meditation class, whatever it is to help you go inward. Because if we don’t focus on how we are feeling on the inside, no one else will. 

FOCUS ON YOU!

Love & Light,

Katie 

Positive Self-Talk

Positive Self-Talk

Positive Self-Talk

originally posted Dec 3, 2019

In my adolescent years, I was incredibly hard on myself. In every aspect of my life. In sports, I played soccer since I was 6 years old. I was never nice to myself when I missed a play. In my mind on repeat I would say:

You are horrible, how could you do that, she was right there, pass to your f****ing teammate.

Needless to say, my self-talk was ALWAYS negative. When it came to school, I wasn’t all about getting the best grades. I did try hard to fit in with the popular girls. If it was a new club or the choir crowd in high school or a sleepover I was dying to get invited to. I always was trying to be someone else and also trying to stand out. I strived to be popular but I also hated following those popular girls. I knew I wasn’t being true to myself back then, I just never recognized it. I imitated the friends I looked up to but so badly I wanted to be myself. 

I wanted to perfect in certain aspects of my life and wanted to be footloose and fancy-free in many other parts of my life. I knew at an early age I was different than my counterparts. I knew there was something inside of me yearning to escape and take me on a journey. I didn’t know what kind of journey, I was a little nervous about this but knew it was what the stars had in mind for me. I was always mesmerized by the night sky, storms, anything that came from the gorgeous blue sky. Perhaps it was the divine energy of the universe that was calling me all those years ago.

Now at 38, I have started to change the way I talk to myself. First thing is to know that I am human, I am not perfect, I am flawed, I am me, no one else. You might not know this but I had a blog for 6 years about my life in Florence. I then found the man I married and thought, ‘who wants to hear about my life now’. I wasn’t doing anything special. More importantly, I wasn’t happy with my job in Florence towards the end. I was lost once again on what my next step would be.

‘What should my next chapter be called?’ my higher self asked.

At the time, I was happily getting married to an amazing man but did my chapter want to be titled, motherhood or married life with my husband, or yoga instructor. I struggled with that for the first few years after returning home.

My husband had always said to me, I want to travel the world with you. That was looking like the best plan for us. I loved the idea of traveling. But one thing was missing from this puzzle.

What is my purpose in this life? I need a plan.

What can I do with my life that will be beneficial to myself and others?

That is when I remembered I wanted to be a yoga instructor for the longest time. After being a Bodyflow instructor for many years, I wanted that added knowledge. Long story short, after my yoga training, I was back to negative self-talk because of how unsatisfactory my training was. I knew I needed to be strong to finish this training. After the $2900 I spent, I needed to ignore the negative energy I felt and received from that toxic environment. 

The only way I got through it was I felt all the feelings of anguish, anger, worry, doubt, fear within myself. I was then able to move on. I started doing community classes on a donation basis, to see how I felt teaching. The way I wanted to teach. It felt like my path. I felt all the feels, I did have to tame my self-talk so I didn’t self-sabotage. But I moved through it, felt it, and let it go. I realize now that I needed that challenging experience in yoga training to know how powerful and strong I actually was all along.

Are you still negatively talking to yourself? If not, have you been able to move past it and learn and grow?

Try to notice when you are talking badly to yourself. What can you do to change the self-talk? Would you talk like that if you were talking to a friend?

Love & 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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