Life

where ATTENTION goes, ENERGY flows | travel musings

This is one the many source-unknown truths I've heard over the years, and like most truths, their meaning, depth, and symbolism not only shape & morph & change & grow & evolve & deepen with practice {meditation, yoga, capital Y yoga, journaling, mindfulness, etc} ...

But so do YOU. In relationship to said wisdom, in relationship to your body/mind/heart/spirit/soul, in relationship to others, in relationship to life.

where did this come from

I love remembering the very early days on my {now consciously, eternal} Yoga practice. Makes for delicious reflections, as well as enriches, solidifies and clarifies the evolution and growth of this thing we call life. Life lived, on purpose, with purpose, that is. Our embodiment of it all. 

I remember when I saw a pretty picture of this quote on Pinerest, or something like it.

In fact, literally, right this moment, I went to Pinterest to see if I could find it again. This one immediately, visually, triggered a memory:

I say visually, because I remember the soft pastel colours, the dreamy vibe of it. But, the funny thing is, that as you can see, I did not actually remember the words. At least not exactly. I remembered the essence of them, and how they got integrated into my experience, how they made sense in my brain, and likely how they could show up most powerfully as a practice ... for ME. 

In some cases, like a mantra or defined quote, yes, it is best to honour the original "quoted" words. But this one is definitely in the 'no one knows who said it' category. So, in my humble opinion it's kinda open source?! And, in full disclosure, if you practice with me, I can rarely get through a reading or poem without ad-libbing and/or kate-i-fying. It has to feel fully aligned for me, within me, in order to share. 

What matters, is how it feels in YOUR body. In YOUR experience. And how it can have the most powerful effect on the way you experience your body/mind/heart/soul/spirit, and life. 

I love looking back through the lens of pulling even more clarity and insight forward. And when we choose the 'right' anchor point to look back at, and look forward from, it gives a wonderful sense of progression, progress, possibility, growth, learning, and wisdom which can then be a catalyst for more going forward.

breaking it down

This is my working hypothesis around the growth process of embodying wisdom. It is also a work in progress.

First thought:

- oh, that's pretty (referring to the image, photograph or artwork the words laid upon)

Second thought:

- those words sound nice, that's pretty

- so "I'm" having a positive reaction to what I'm receiving. Cool.

- which then morphs into, okay, ya, that makes sense. Logical mind is trying to figure out its validity, it's 'what's in it for me (wiifm)', its value, its merit in MY life, whether it is worth committing to memory (or god help me, try) & if I think it's justified etc etc

- this evolves into awareness around how these words make me feel. Conscious awareness. Beyond the 'my eyes like how pretty it is & my ears like how pretty that sounds', now my heart, emotional body and sensory body, maybe even energetic & spiritual body is coming online, and feeling the vibratory resonance of this truth. Even writing those words now, I can appreciate where my mind & awareness was those many years ago, & how I would immediately discount this as woohoo; I just couldn't grasp, relate, logically understand & had never felt it or experienced it = discomfort = mind dismisses it.

- But when it's explored w curiosity, experienced thru applied & embodied practice & life lived, integration begins. This could be through many forms of mindfulness & inquiry & contemplation: in meditation, in yoga (say, as an intention, theme for your practice), in writing/journaling, thru daily life off-the-cushion as an informal mindfulness type practice.

I explored this is my yoga class yesterday. Then throughout the day. Then again in my meditation practice this morning. A lot of musings and awareness emerged.

Such as::

{the TYPE of attention = the TYPE of energy}

... to be continued.

Ughhh gotta get off the screen. Spoons be drained. 

Can't wait to continue this one. Stay tuned! Share your feels, your thoughts! 

xo k

travel musings | part one | 30-day solo journey to BALI

Those minutes on a 16 hour flight, when time stands still. Or it sure as F feels like it. Each moment passing like mud ...

You check your phone, hoping an hour has passed and it's barely been 15 mins since the last time you checked. 

You're sick of watching movies, you're too tired to read, and you've listened to all the music you're in the mood for. 

You already took your sleeping pill & only got 3 hour + barely 4 hour the night before due to a combination of feeling absolute melancholy about leaving & total excitatory anticipation of this epic healing journey ahead) ... oh and switching from cannabis oil back to meds for TBI sleep disorder. 

There's a loud convo going on just behind you through the crack between the seats where your ear is turned + in another language

Someone keeps passing wind, and the stale recycled air blowing on you is a constant reminder of what you're inhaling.

Your neighbour has bad breath (and so do you). ;)

The person in front of you won't turn off their reading light, and you left your eye mask in your other bag that got stowed away. 

For some reason your GF meal got lost in translation when booking through the agent, so you try to eat around what is given but have surely been contaminated when u feel that familiar heavy rock + sharp stabs in your belly. 

Ya, that kind of {16-hour} flight. ;)

So whaddayagonnado? 

THE TOOLKIT

Well, I dug into my toolkit. A combination of mindfulness, yoga, meditation AND gratitude.

Let's be clear:: we sure as F don't have to feel grateful about everything, but, BUT, there is always something to be grateful for. Truly truly truly. I mean it mean it mean it. This is a practice, cultivated over time ... but trust me on this one. 

Now, your mind won't want to practice gratitude. It will want to dwell in the mud. The mud IS important to acknowledge - there's always something there for us to learn, to help us refine our choices in the future. But rolling around in it, just makes you feel dirtier & yuckier & darker. Unless you can completely resolve said mud, it won't do you any good to dwell there for an extended period of time. 

So, acknowledge it, then choose again. 

Gratitude, as they say, turns what we have into enough AND gratitude IS a magnet for miracles. Helping us shift back into Love. 

GRATITUDE

Mmmmm gratitude. Here we go.

Like having practiced yoga in the airport before my first flight.

Like my epic noise cancelling headphones that buy me so much time before headache-ville, population MY BRAIN, becomes unruly and reduces irritation from noisy neighbours.

Like being 5'4 and mobile enough to cross my legs or curl up like a ball in my seat.

Like the high quality neck pillow I was gifted by a sweet soul of a pain doctor that was treating me in Vancouver a few years back.

Like the courage or balls or self-care strength it takes to do yoga in the aisle of the plane even when peeps be giving you all kinds of looks.

Like the sheer gift of being able to do yoga, to fold forward, and any other pose I can fit in the 1 foot wide aisle.

Like the miracle of breath.

Like the capacity to sit and meditate, to lean on the countless hours of practice in more hospitable conditions, and simply be with my breath and my body and the wholeness of my experience exactly as it is, even when I don't feel like it.

Like the blessing of an iPhone to take the stream of random notes that flow out of me, photo document my trip with, listen to music on, and especially text with those I love (god I can't wait to send love notes when I land).

Like the ability to even take a trip like this, to travel for a month to a Mecca of a destination.

BRUTAL & BRILLIANT TEACHERS

It's so easy to get stuck in the seeming brutality of a moment.

The discomfort of it. The hardships. The disappointments.

So many factors. So many variables.

AND ... these are some of the most brutal and brilliant teachers we will ever encounter. Ever come across. Ever have the blessing to greet.

THE POWER TO CHOOSE

Which state of mind would you prefer?

How can you love your brain, your body, your heart, your experience ... with what you've got? 

And can you be okay with where you are and still want more, want different? Later. Next time. Hell ya. 

Can we place as much value and intention on the journey, the process, as we move towards a desired end, as we do on the destination itself.

How do you want to feel? Right now.

What will you do to feel that way?

I'm here. I'm clear. I am continually dedicated ...

To a Life Lived. On Purpose. With Purpose. 
One breath. One moment. One intentional choice at a time. 

xo k

#workinprogress #travelmusings

 

 

i'm goin' METTA

m e t t a  { मैत्री }
compassion & loving Kindness

A concept, a theory. Until you practice cultivating it in your own life {metta bhavana}.

practice

Practice when things are groovy, yes, because this builds the pathways, the comfort, the familiarity, the strength. But especially practice when you're triggered, outside the sweet spot, low on reserves, overwhelmed, short a few {or many} spoons, in pain, not kind, brain/mind in hijack mode,  ________, or all of the above.

You get the idea, right!?

Ironically ... or perhaps not so ironically ... as I sat in training all about loving your brain & offering yoga + meditation to humans who have survived brain injury + their caretakers, I am struggling. I am struggling with loving my own brain. 

I am NOT in my sweet spot.

off centre

Long flights & delays.
Late nights, way past m'bedtime.
Poor sleep + not enough of it.
High elevation likely contributing to existing headaches.
High stimulation/noisy event night before training.
And a teaching pace that is way too fast for me to keep up, capture, and absorb.

Compounded by my deep interest, passion, bordering on divine obsession / devotion to the material, the topic, the application, and the sharing + teaching of said topic.

Double irony, is that as I sat there, ebb & flowin' in and out of hating my brain. It was also bringing back memories of my first YTT aka struggling with a sense of progress. Minimizing my healing. My progress.

Then, taking a deep breath. Intentionally loving my brain.

Then, oops, I trip back down the brain hatin' hole.

Then, "ok - I got this", back up again.

Riding the waves.

All this happening somewhat unconsciously, but also intentional noticing and coming back. Choosing again. Practicing deep mindfulness & loving kindness. This is mindfulness. Notice. Celebrate the noticing. Choose again. This is also loving kindness. When we show up in this practice without judgment, with love, with kindness, with curiosity.

So, ya.

Eternal work in progress. Devoted student of life. Devoted student in service to the very thing that took me down, lifted me up, tripped me up, and landed me on this path. Devoted. Embodying what I learn, what I know to be true, what I teach, what Ishare.

at the end of the day

I journaled a lot of this during the flare. During the trigger. I felt the feels. Processed them. Digested them to see what they had to say, teach me, show me, where they were trying to grow me. 

I gave my brain rest. Quiet. Stillness. Did I want to spend the entirety of the break connecting, asking questions, swapping stories, sharing plans and dreams and visions, learning about their paths. Hells ya. 

Is that what I needed to show up for what was at the heart of my presence here in the first place? Why was I here? What is my intention? 

the end of the day, let me tell you ... to be continued ...

all we ever wanted. LOVE.

"All we ever wanted,
all we ever needed,
was LOVE." - Lennon & Maisy

Sometimes a song captures me. Just the right moment. Heart wide open. I crawl into the words, the melody, and feel all the feels. It's such an awe-striking experience because you can 'listen to music' and then you can feel music, if you open wide, if you give your full attention & presence (how rare does that feel sometimes), if you breathe purposefully, absorb, and soak in it.

The yoga of listening? The yoga of music? It becomes a spiritual experience in many ways. 

This song brought me to tears. Tears of pure love. Gratitude for being able to access such a feeling. Such a state of being. These young souls sharing such truth - the simplicity and the profound power within this simple truth.

MEDITATION MUSINGS

In meditation, in my moments of stillness, my heart & mind often ponder the relationship between humans & love. Between fear & love. Between pain & love. Between suffering & love.

I ponder why there is so much fear running ramped in the world, instead of love. It simply doesn't make sense, when I truly believe that at the core of even the most angry, violent, power hungry, fear mongering souls out there, is a deep desire to be loved, to give love, and to feel love.  

Perhaps it is BECAUSE love is so powerful that it is scary.

This song downloaded this insight for me. It's not that I didn't 'know this' before, but this morning I listened to this song again, then sat in meditation. Instead of knowing, I felt. This is a deep form of clarity. An inner knowing. A process of giving words meaning. It was like a huge beating, almost choking sensation in my chest. 

Wow, I thought.
Correction.
Wow, I FELT

Love is a beast.

THE WICKED TRUTH 

The wicked delicious truth of love, is the more you open to it, the deeper you feel it, the more vulnerable you are to pain. The most horrific, yet inevitable, example of all is death and loss. The harder, more wholly you love(d), the more loss and death hurts. The more you feel. We only know deep grief because we have that same deep capacity for love. We only know emotional pain and suffering, because we have felt the opposite. Because we ARE the opposite. 

So. Living in love is deeply risky, requires astronomical courage, it is a radical act, it is a powerful form of activism. It asks us to step into vulnerable places and somehow, some way, stay open. When a part of us (sometimes a big part, sometimes small) wants to do just the opposite - to protect, to create a sense of safety, control, comfort. However short term and short sighted.  

But what if that was okay?

Why do we crave this sense of (short term) comfort, this perceived sense of safety and control? What would happen if two souls (or many!) stepped into vulnerable places together, and greeted each other in that space with love, openness, honesty? Felt the fear, named it even, but stayed in love. Sat with the discomfort. Declared it even. But stayed in love. Instead of ducking into the shade 'n shadows of fear.  

I definitely don't have all the answers, but I love-the-heck outta exploring the questions. 

A little meditation musing that had to be shared...

Brave. Bold. Vulnerable. Wholehearted.

In Love, always.
xo kate

desire map + yoga ... the prequil

Let’s be brutally honest, I never EVER thought I would be trading in suits, offices, and 4-inch pumps, for lulu pants, a yoga mat, and flip-flops. Never.

But let’s be clear, The Desire Map isn’t about quitting your day job, blowing up your world, or glorifying entrepreneurial life. It’s about figuring out YOU and how you truly, actually, want to feel. In every area of your life. Then making it happen.

Then making it happen (and this is big), means learning how to generate those feelings through the choices you make on the daily; doing what it takes, to feel that way. On your terms. From the seemingly mundane everyday tasks, to those big luscious, dreamy goals.

THE DRIVING FORCE - a feeling?

Once you’ve gone in, “done the work” {aka LEVEL 1} and know what your Core Desired Feelings are, the shift begins. You start seeing, creating, and aligning meaning + purpose around things you may never have noticed before, completely shifting your relationship with things, people, pursuits, and experiences.

Behind every thought, every word, every action, every goal is a desire to FEEL a certain way. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. And it’s completely unique to you.

WHO IS OLD KATE?

To help you understand why this material is so powerful, I’d like to give you a little peek into “old kate”, through this gift, this lens, we call hindsight. 

I was best described as a workaholic, perfectionist, type A, over achiever. Whatever it was, it was never enough.
Passionate, absolutely. High performance, you bet.
Content, not even close.

Only now can I see that I was on achievement auto-pilot. All pressure and proving. No awareness of what was driving the behaviour. And like any addict, over time it took more and more to get the same “high”, and the highs were less and less fulfilling. Not to mention I barely stopped long enough to acknowledge one.

All my value, my self-worth was tied up in things “out there”, outside of me. I had lost the connection TO ME, the whole me, “in here”.

So, on January 20th, 2011 when I fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a serious Traumatic Brain Injury, I was pretty certain I had lost it all. That it was over. That I was over. Everything I valued was gone. What was left?

For a time, surviving didn’t feel like much of a gift. I was convinced that my life as I knew it was over {side bar: which in a way it was, and thank god! That said, it took me many years to get here, to feel this way}.  

Here’s how I saw it at the time - if I couldn’t do that big job, climb the ranks, build a family, work crazy hours, make the big bucks, volunteer on boards AND do piles of extra curricular activities … I was a waste. I was a failure. I was broken. And what was the point.  

When in fact, I had lost the whole point.

WAKING UP - LIFE LIVED. ON PURPOSE. WITH PURPOSE.

“You have seen my decent. Now watch me rise.” - Rumi

I had to shatter into a million pieces in order to wake-up. That was MY process. I didn’t hear the whisper, the call, or even the scream. I had to literally be smacked up side the head to wake up. 

To make a very long story short, after years of rehab and every therapy you can think of, a lot of which continues to this day, I have been reborn. As me.

Like the caterpillar, I went into a cocoon, turned into goo, and through the miraculous human metamorphosis process. I underwent a massive transformation. Slowly, but surely, growing into my butterfly life.

The process of waking up. The process of designing and building and creating a LIFE LIVED. ON PURPOSE. WITH PURPOSE. Doesn’t actually have a lot to do with becoming someone new. But has everything to do with becoming YOU. It’s more of a remembering, an opening, an allowing, a coming home.

The caterpillar was always destined to become a butterfly. Just as we are destined to grow into who we really are.
It’s just not outlined in a textbook, and the cocoon process for humans doesn’t look quite the same from person to person.

THE DESIRE MAP + YOGA

This magical toolkit began unfolding, in seemingly mysterious ways, over many years. I couldn’t have predicted, prepared for, or even dreamed up how this all unraveled. Life is not a straight line, but man, am I up for the ride.

Between Yoga {capital Y yoga, which includes Meditation and so much more}, h’Art, and The Desire Map I found the clarity I was looking for. The tools I was looking for. I found peace in the process. The Desire Map helped me to unravel the layers, and ultimately to figure out how I most want to feel, to feel the way I most want to feel - in a way that is wholly liberating, nourishing, empowering, and loving.

No more pressure. No more proving. And a whole lot more living.

Today, I am determined to share what I’ve learned, to help others::

1. Prevent the fall / hitting rock bottom (literally or metaphorically), or

2. Navigate their own metamorphosis process, their own rising, their own transformation, at whatever stage they are at, and

3. Feel good in the process! To take your life back.

Together, we will embrace the clarity, truth, and liberation that comes when you tap into the driving force behind all your choices: How you want to feel.

JOIN ME - START THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME

Two of the big game changers for me, which are fundamental to The Desire Map process are:: 

  • Feeling good is the whole point. Can you give yourself permission to make feeling good your primary intention?
  • The journey should feel as good as (we hope) the destination will feel. Can you create a soul-nourishing, life-affirming (not soul-depleting) relationship with the pursuit of what you want?

Does this resonate? Does this stir up your mind, heart, body and/or soul at some level, at any level?

If your answer is yes, then I invite you to join me on this journey. The journey of a lifetime. Which, trust me, is elevated to the highest of heights when we go through it together. There is massive power in the collective experience.

Essentially The Desire Map brings living to life.
It unlocks your aliveness.
And is entirely liberating.

I wholeheartedly believe in living. Living life as a verb.
Life lived. On purpose. With Purpose.

At the heart of this, the whole point really, is feeling good.

Fully embodied. Aligning mind & body. Heart & Soul. Whole. Integrated. Resonating. Together.

On breath. One moment. One choice at a time.

This is Yoga after all. A match made in heaven.
What a magical brew.
The choice is up to you. I would be honoured to be your guide!

Check out katedurie.com/workshops for upcoming dates for LEVEL 1 or LEVEL 2. I also run an INTRO workshop to help light the spark to begin your journey.

xo

wahe guru | reflections on life with a brain injury

A dedication to one of my { wahe guru } moments, gifts on this journey, in this body. 

I was fortunate enough to watch Concussion on the plane from Toronto to Columbia, on route to Ecuador. Flood with emotion, I allowed the tears to flow liberally. To feel all the feels. In some ways, it was similar to watching Crash Reel, but quite different. Thank you courageous souls, who creating these offerings & brought them into the world to help us expand, to grow, to heal, to prevent, to CHOOSE more consciously.

As the film unfolded, I madly began writing, part transcription, part reflection, divine downloading.

One of the lines that that stuck out was, "There are some things you can't un-know." Truths. Kinda beyond fact. Which is often why those hiding truths don't want you to know in the first place. Protecting you, but also protecting them, from the fact that they too went from not knowing to knowing.

Concussion, CTE, was to the NFL, NHL, and other head contact sports what smoking was to doctors decades earlier. We didn't know, we didn't fully understand or realize, and then we did. Yet when power, ego & the almighty dolla' dollar bills rule the show, a lot is at stake. 

Much like our understanding of the brain, of what we now refer to as Neuroplasticity. The book in my hand here is Norman Doidge's most recent, "The Brain's Way of Healing." Norman has been interviewed countless times on his findings, discoveries, and cutting edge facts, now truths. Many question. Many doubt. Many want to hold onto the comfort of what used to be 'true'. Even science is not perfect, not final, not stuck. We are always growing, expanding, evolving. The challenge is whether we can remain open to this. To not let ourselves get in our own way. In a way, to not let our minds or even our brains, hold us, stagnate us, keep us stuck. 

WAHE GURU.

That force which draws us from darkness to light, and the bliss/wow that we feel when we move into awareness, conscious living, intentional being. Being open to growth & expansion. For the greater good, which isn't always easy or financially pleasing, or even pleasing.

Peace & Possibility guide me... 

this post is a WIP { work in progress } stay tuned for more ... xo

i found LOVE in a hopeless place

Yes. I found love in a hopeless place.  When I play the song "We Found Love" by Rihanna it lights up this very desired feeling. This delicious memory and ongoing learning.

I play it when I'm scared. I play it when I'm happy. I play it when I need a dose of courage {like when I was driving to teach my first Parliament Hill Yoga class for Lululemon}. It's the song I shared at a Lulu Ambassador Summit during a 'theme song' type group share/exercise. So rad. So right.

The layers are unending. It's also embedded in this #morningmusings moment I'd like to share with you.

It's about LOVE. But not the kind you'd expect.
 

Awesome n Visceral

I'm was watching this show called 'The Leftovers' ... and there's this scene in S1 E3 where a priest (and husband) carries his wife from bed to the bath. Barely any life in her eyes. Frozen. Lifeless. Limp limbs dangling from his arms as he carries her. 

As I watched, I felt my whole body begin to tingle. Shake. A full visceral experience. Uncontrollable tears started to flow down my face.

A remembering. A knowing. An un-foreshadowing foreshadow of an experience.

I can remember a phase in my recovery, a long one, when I would count down the hours and minutes til sleep time. Ice helmet on, drugs consumed, waiting for 7:30 or 8:00pm to arrive so I could go to sleep. A time that seemed to be the most seemingly acceptable hour to end one's day, and the only way I could make the next one possible.

I was lovingly tucked into bed. Yet it was laced with such bittersweet energy. It felt like the rest of the world kept moving, going, living. And there I was. Longing for relief. For sleep (which was rarely restful). Feeling like life was passing me by. 

I waiting until I could hear (my then husband) walk down the stairs, and would cry myself to sleep often.
 

Despised Longing

I hated it. Yet I longed to sleep. I longed to shut it all out. Being awake sometimes felt like this unbearable reminder of Old Kate, and Old Kate's life, capabilities, etc. I longed for the pain to stop, even if just for a couple hours til I tossed and turned myself awake. Over and over.

Day after day. Hoping the next day would be different. Better. More ease. More joy. 

While "in it" (in this phase of recovery), the next day never really felt different. It felt never-ending. An impossible climb. No improvements. 

Moments of relief, yes, but I either:: 
1. Quickly dismissed these moments because the whole wasn't "better", or didn't seem that way in the vacuum I chose to live in, 
2. OR, I eagerly filled. Then paid the price. More pain. More fatigue. More fog. Constantly playing catch-up (that is until I learned to live in the sweet spot, more on that another time).
 

Climbing out of the Vacuum

But the thing is, the day's DO add up. Time does pass. And all my efforts of healing, therapy, rehab, movement, meditation, doctors, specialists, faith AND ease (non-doing) stacked up. They're cumulative.

Little daily choices, in a seemingly hopeless existence, add up. They friggin do add up. 

Hope adds up.

Faith adds up. 

Awareness sets in.

Healing begins from within.

Resistance loses its luster.

Acceptance shows up, crumb by crumb.

We adapt AND we keep going.

Peace is possible.

Love is possible. 

Possibility is possible.

I found love where I didn't think it belonged or was possible. 
I found love in a hopeless place.
I learned to receive love. I learned to give love.
I felt love. 

And I keep learning. Every damn day.
Refining. Re-learning. New learnings.
 

LOVE.

Love. This magnificent power that lurks within each cell. Each misery. Each trauma. Each disappointment. Each seemingly impossible moment. 

The love that I felt as I watched that scene in The Leftovers, was unconditional love. True deep real love. Seemingly rare love. Not the kind we'd even choose (because societally we tend to chase romantic love and confuse the word love as being synonymous with that one type of love), but somehow is the most important there is.  

There are no words for how I grateful I am to know such love. And how truly committed I am to learning how to live in that state of being.

To be that love, to give that love, and to receive that love ... to/with/from the incredible souls who I am blessed to call my family & my 'family', as well as to/with/from those who I don't even know yet.

This capacity is unending. Unlimited. Unbounded. Unrestricted. Available to us all. And takes a whole heck of a lotta practice. Openness. Courage. Vulnerability. And a possibility mindset. To love with your wholeheart, even when it hurts. Even when it breaks. Even when it's hard.

A LOVE PROJECT is being born. Incubating. 

xo

#morningmusings

Did somebody say #FUELHAPPINESS

A wise person once said, "Take your P L E A S U R E seriously!"

Okay, that was actually team Lululemon, and one of the 8 limbs (tee hee) of their FUEL HAPPINESS campaign. This was their offering over the holiday season, building on the epic GIVE PRESENCE campaign from last year.

When the Ottawa Lemons shared the launch with me, I was like oh-em-gee ... not only was it divinely aligned my The Desire Map offerings + The Possibility Tribe, the HappinessHabits613 initiative (launched last summer with Manal & Amy), but it also supports + reinforces all that I stand for, how I intend to live my life on the daily, and what I set forth to offer in the world.

This stuff lights up my heart, my cells, my Soul.

WITH PURPOSE. ON PURPOSE.

This is ALL about life lived with purpose, on purpose. And not-so-much about getting tripped up in thinking that we have A PURPOSE, aka a singular purpose swirling around in the cosmos that we have to find and do and be, and the "Oh shit what is it?! I'm failing at life!" mindset that so many of us carry around. 

TAKE YOUR PLEASURE SERIOUSLY

Fun looks different for everyone.
Play looks different for everyone.
Joy looks different for everyone.

This is journey-driven, process-driven. Not about fixed or rigid goals. This is an active process. A daily process. An intentional process.

A co-creation between you and the universe, you and your mind, you and your heart, you and your body, you and your Soul/Spirit, you and the peeps you wanna co-exist with, you and the world. And it's an ever evolving work in progress, work of h'art!

In my {DESIRE MAP + YOGA} workshops we explore the notion that "feeling good is the primary intention", that feeling good is the whole deliciously divine point. Knowing how YOU want to feel is the most potent form of clarity you can have. Learning how to generate those feelings is the most powerfully creative, and quite frankly, the most powerful thing you can do in your life. 

SO, HOW CAN WE LEARN TO GENERATE OUR CORE DESIRED FEELINGS?

1. START HERE. Identify 2-3 things that reliably put a smile on your face - that bring you joy, that feel playful, fun? Overtime, we can do the same thing with more focus, more clarity aka with our Core Desired Feelings.

2. COLLECT. Give yourself a week or two {or more} to "collect" experiences + ideas. If it's a shit week, give yourself ttttiiiiimmmmmeeeee. But the thing about shit week's and so-called-shit-feelings is that they get us in touch with, you got it, FEELINGS. So sometimes it's a super juicy place to mine for the good stuff.

3. CAPTURE. Then, write 'em down lover. You're puttin' them in the I GOT THIS bank. This of it like your Soul's epic savings account.

4. COURAGE. You gots to be willing to interrupt the shitty thoughts, feelings, day. When we practice doing this, the ease in making this shift becomes smoother and smoother. Less resistance.

5. KINDNESS. There will be resistance. Be kind. Be curious vs. judgmental. You will 'want' to stay with the shitty feeling. Not consciously, no. Not intentionally, no. Not cuz we're pain-gluttons and want to suffer, no. It's a habit. A strong one. It's brain chemistry (negativity bias).

BACK TO FUELLING HAPPINESS

As part of the holiday launch of the #FuelHappiness campaign, I partnered with Lululemon Ottawa and kicked off a Random Acts of Kindness (get RAOK'd) project. Think of it like a ripple effect of loving-on our cOMmunity our OMmies. Reminding our Soul's how simple acts of love, kindness, generosity can be as powerful as any other epic thing we do in our lives. This goes for the people we love, work with, know deeply, AND the ones we barely even know, or don't know at all ... but yet, acknowledging that we are all walking this path together, having this human being experience together. The stories that flowed in from these 'random acts' blew my heart wide open. The creativity that radiated from the Lululmeon team as they came up with ideas to #FuelHappiness and spread kindness = mind + heart blown. 

We also hosted a Mindfulness Meditation Pop-up at the Rideau store, right at the peak of holiday shopping. Yes, a mindful mindset, mindful energy, mindful being is POSSIBLE. Anytime, anywhere. Meditation being another one of the 8 #FuelHappiness limbs. 

The list goes on!! 

What would your Random Act of Kindness project look like? Why wait?! Create your own little adventure, a social experiment, connection, love, kindness... it may just fuel your happiness, help you generate your core desired feelings, and start loosening the calcification around creativity and conscious creation of your own Core Desired Feelings!

WHAT'S MY POINT?!

Lululemon invested a ton of time + love + resources in building this #FUELHAPPINESS campaign ... and it lives on. Thank you!!!

Check it out. Soak in the awesome and see what resonates with you ::

http://www.lululemon.com/education/fuelhappiness

The resources are rich & delicious.

This whole human being thing ... it's an active process.

I believe, DEEPLY, that life doesn't happen to us. It happens for us.

When we choose to raise our awareness levels, observe, invest, and take aligned action we begin to actively engage, collaborate with, and choose to be conscious creators of our life -- living with purpose, on purpose.

What if we took our pleasure seriously, but didn't take ourselves too seriously? What might that look like? How might that feel?

xo

get NAKED & love-on yo'self

Yes. That's what I said. And mmmmmmm is it deliciously nourishing.

I'm talking about this ancient Ayurvedic practice, known as ABHYANGA (self-massage) or SNEHA, a Sanskrit word which means to love. Touch is powerful beyond words. As nourishing, healing, elevating, and activating as any other wellness practice there is. 


ABHYANGA :: Ayurvedic Self-Massage

Many believe that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to the feeling when one is soaked in love, the simultaneous experience of loving and being loved. 

Regular practice not only helps restore and balance all Dosha's, it is especially powerful to balance Vata. The list of benefits are vast, but here's a wee list to wet your Abhyanga appetite ::

  • Nourishes the entire body—decreases the effects of aging
  • Reduces pain, depression and stress by reducing cortisol levels, a hormone that rises when we are under stress.
  • Increases dopamine and serotonin, two brain chemicals that improve mental outlook
  • Improves the immune system and increases T-cells that fight cancer and viruses
  • Increases muscle tone and vigor to the tissues of the body
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Increases circulation
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body
  • Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
  • Moves the lymph, aiding in detoxification
  • Increases stamina
  • Calms the nerves
  • Benefits sleep — better, deeper sleep
  • Enhances vision
  • Promotes hair growth - luxuriantly, thick, soft and glossy
  • Softens and smoothens skin
  • Pacifies Vata and Pitta and stimulates Kapha

the PRACTICE ... the RITUAL

1. Get very NAKED.

Naked is key. But you may choose to build up to this. I strip fully down so that I can truly connect to my physical body. To see me. To feel be. To connect with every curve, every part, every inch. Divine self-love. Divine self-care. AND, this can be hella challenging depending on your present headspace. 

Since this practice is infused with loving intention, it's important to have a mantra that aligns with your loving intention for the practice. Plant this seed in your head and heart space before you begin. Why? Well, this practice (and simply the practice of getting naked) can really crack open and expose self-talk patterns (I'm talking about the inner haters, the "itty-bitty-shitty-committee" that lives in our head). This is part of your Mindfulness practice. Awareness. Give yourself permission to greet whatever comes up - ALL of it - with compassion, with loving-kindness, as best you can.

Awareness building is not an easy road...so if its the first time you're consciously greeting these thoughts, it can be painful. If you're choosing to journey deep into self-healing and self-knowing, it can be divinely loving to consider connecting with a therapist or coach to help you process what is unearthed.

Feeling the feels is a powerfully creative, healing, and wicked learning opportunity. 

As Brene Brown teaches, we can't selectively numb feelings. When we numb the so-called "darker" emotions, we also numb or stun our capacity to access and feel the so-called "light" emotions. When we learn to befriend the more challenging ones, we crack open the door to the positive ones - our core desires in particular. 

2. Gather your SUPPLIES (modify + personalize as desired).

  • Towel/bath mat
  • Oil (Sesame, Sweet Almond, Coconut oil, etc... you can choose an oil based on your Dosha, or simply one that feels right to you)
  • Alter (I like to pull a few items from my main alter that symbolize, support, and attract whatever energy I want to infuse into the massage aka how I want to FEEL aka one of my Core Desired Feelings (CDFs); whatever it is that I'm choosing to generate that day)
  • Notebook or Desire Map Planner - this is a great way to capture thoughts, themes, repetitive thoughts, feelings, ideas, etc. that come up during your practice. The Planner is an amazing way to make that clear link between how you want to feel, and what you are going to do to feel that way!!! 

Note :: If you'd like a Planner (or any Desire Map / Danielle Laporte) stuff, let me know. When I place orders of 12 or more I receive a discount as a licensed facilitator OR I provide you with my special affiliate link to make an individual purpose. Muchos gracias!

3. Choose SILENCE or a PLAYLIST to guide the process + time.

Aim to give yourself 15-20 minutes - to get from head to toes. I mix things up, depending on the day. Sometimes I turn this into my meditation practice for the day and go for silence + breath + mantra. Sometimes I go for a Playlist. 

Today, I chose my Heart-Healing Soundtrack. Music is so powerful ... and I make a point of choosing theme songs to help process various life experiences that I'm going through. Sad ones. Happy ones. In between ones. Inspires me beyond belief. Massive mood shifters. And hey, belting out tunes is crazy cathartic!

If you choose silence, set a timer. My fave is Insight Timer (iPhone app), but any smartphone has the capacity to set a timer, complete with your own choice of tone or song. Pick something soft, loving, and nourishing (aka not jarring or alarm-y).

4. Begin the PRACTICE, the RITUAL.

  • Warm the oil - either by immersing the bottle in hot water, heating it on a low temp, or simply by vigorously massaging it in your hands
  • Lay down your towel or mat - consider having a dedicated Abhyanga towel or bath mat, since it can get oily
  • Sit or stand comfortably - I start sitting, then kneel, then stand, and end sitting
  • Make sure the room temp is comfortable - you are naked after all, so a little space heater can be a nice choice if you don't want to crank the heat house-wide
  • Start at the crown of your head and/or extremeties, and slowly work your way through the body in circular movements towards the heart - if you're having a shower after, include the whole crown and head (hair too), but if you're not planning to wash your hair, feel free to skip the scalp that day)
    • Face:: Massage in circular motion on your forehead, temples, cheeks, and jaws (always moving in a upward movement). Be sure to massage your ears and inside your ear, especially your ear-lobes
    • Limbs:: Use long circular strokes on the limbs (arms and legs) and smaller circular strokes on the joints. Always massage toward the direction of your heart
    • Torso:: Massage the abdomen and chest in broad, clockwise, circular motions. On the abdomen, follow the path of the large intestine; moving up on the right side of the abdomen, then across, then down on the left side
    • Feet:: Finish the massage by spending extra time massaging your feet, a very important part of the body and are covered in nerve endings/pressure points, etc.

Give yourself 5-15 minutes to soak and absorb the oil and the love deep into your tissues, all of body's layers. The timer or playlist is key so that you don't feel rushed or compelled to look at your phone. 

  • If you can, plan for a warm bath or shower afterwards. Aim to use a mild soap and only mild pressure, focusing more on key parts that need to be cleaned, while allowing the oil to keep doing its magic elsewhere. 
  • Towel dry gently. Lightly pat your body, mindfully, instead of rubbing vigorously.
  • Re-Nourish. Either using a light oil or delicious body lotion. Hempz is my go to!

5. Do YOU.

Make this practice your own. Invite all feelings, all movement, all thoughts to be present, to be experienced. Sing. Cry. Dance. Lay down and get your Savasana on.

Allow each day to be different. The practice, the ritual of it is the consistent part. The content doesn't have to be. When you're fully present in the experience, you're able to explore with curiosity, listening and allowing your body, heart, mind and spirit to guide the movement, the mantra, the breath, everything. 

As best you can, drop out of your head and into your heart. As you lovingly massage that beautiful body of yours, imagine that you're massaging the love of your life. Because, ultimately, that IS YOU. For me, this is the most dreamy non-sexual sensuality in the world. 

Open up that heart dear soul, open wide.

Feel it all.

And may you feel as wholeheartedly loved, nourished, and seen as I feel when I give myself the gift of this practice. 

xo Kate


How do YOU WANT to feel?

How do YOU WANT to feel? { E A S E } is one of my Core Desired Feelings. Which, when you live with chronic pain could be seen as an impossibility. Somewhere along my journey, I learned to see it as pure P O S S I B I L I T Y. As they say, when nothing seems sure, everything is possible. But, to generate this feeling requires::

> Pause
> Clarity
> Creativity

And I promise you ... we ALL have this capacity. Yes. YOU DO.

The thing is, we can get so caught up in the suffering, in the story, in our victimhood, in the darkness, in the comparison, in the struggle, in the rehashing/reliving/rewishing things were different than they are. This is a trap. A loop. Like a record skipping, over and over again. I also believe it's part of the process. It needs to be felt, witnesses, then moved. Forward.

I want to feel E A S E.

During weeks of headache insanity ... I continually seek out ways that I can generate this feeling. Good days. Bad days. All days. It's in the practice. The consistency. The ritual. The regularity. That magic begins to happen. 

One of tools in my E A S E toolkit = ICE HELMET!!! 

Today, Ganesh also came to my rescue after a loving meditation sesh together. Seeing the obstacles, the teachers, and asking for guidance & support, courage & creativity to remove them.  mmmmmmmm

How do YOU want to feel? How could you generate those feelings
T O D A Y?

_/\_ xo