july intention: penciling in self care

Hi everyone! I am sitting down to write this after a peaceful Sunday. I went for a run, meal prepped, went to pick lavender, and even had some time to read. I wish most days went like this but there are the occasional I-feel-stressed-because-I-am-good-at-over-booking-myself moments that happen to seep in. I have noticed that these moments have been pretty common lately and I am not fond of them because they tend to wreck part of the days that I have off.

On an evening walk with my dog, I thought about what has been making these occurrences more common and what to do about them. I landed on that work stress is bleeding over into my personal life which then builds up anxiety and leads to a cranky Katie. Recognizing the problem allowed room to come up with a solution.

I decided that I need to make space in my schedule for self care. It will be a non-negotiable for July.

Taking care of myself tends to fall to the bottom of the list when I am stressed because I am completely overwhelmed with all of the things I have on my to-do list. This is not a revelation to me and I am always remembering that this is the case when I have one of the moments I mentioned earlier.

So this month, I will do one small act of self care daily to make sure that I am making time for myself. My list of favorites includes:

  • spending time reading a book in the evening
  • sitting out on the back porch drinking coffee
  • journaling about progress with projects, etc.
  • taking a walk
  • doing candlelit yoga
  • getting a massage
  • visiting my esthetician
  • hanging out at a coffee shop
  • going out to brunch with Mitch

I am pretty stoked for the following weeks because I already have a massage and facial scheduled! Yay for me! 🙂 I also plan to get back into the habit of reading each night even if it is for ten minutes. It really helps me wind down after a hectic day when my mind is going a mile a minute. It is the little things that make all the difference right?

So what do you have planned for July? Any intention that you are holding? Or what is your favorite self care practice? Please share them in the comments!

lavender-self-care

thoughts on receiving correction

How people (including myself) react to being corrected has been on my mind this week.

As some of you know, I am reading (and have finished!) Principles by Ray Dalio and it is just fantastic. There is so much useful knowledge about life in general and working in a team that each time I sit down to read, I feel like I come away with many useful insights. There is a decent sized section in the book that discusses how people respond with their “lower-level selves” when they receive constructive criticism or things are not done the way they think is correct. Essentially, you respond with your ego as your first line of defense. Which, naturally, makes you defensive. And you stop trying to take in the lesson. Taking correction and accepting it is so important for growth. (Also, to clarify, I am mainly talking about correction coming from someone that is more knowledgeable.)

This of course made me start to think about how I respond to correction or criticism. Are there times when I respond with my ego instead of simply listening and thinking about what the other person is saying? Are there particular situations like this that cause my ego to respond more?

First of all, I want to make this clear, that I want to be teachable and I do not always have to be right. I want to be able to do things the correct way, which could be running an experiment at work or doing a particular lift with a barbell. Though I do not always respond according to my core belief. I am human and make mistakes after all.

So upon reflection, I realized that I respond to correction differently according to the way it is presented to me. At the gym, I happily take correction and use it immediately because I perceive the correction to be to make me better. However. If I perceive the correction as condescending or rude, I immediately respond with my “lower-level self” because the correction came to simply demonstrate that I was doing something wrong and not to aid in my improvement. This type of correction drives me a bit crazy because it is not a comment made to engender personal growth but to make the corrector feel better. This is pretty common with arrogant people in my opinion.

In recognizing my reactions, I can greet the emotion when it is rising up and notice how I am responding, giving me enough time to stop my ego from taking the driver’s seat. I believe that using this as a tool will allow me to become more comfortable with my emotions and learn how to tune my reactions.

So what are your thoughts on correction? Do you find that you struggle with it or have you come up with methods to deal with it? I would love to hear your story!

june intention: create more time

So I want to start writing about my monthly intentions as a way to hold myself accountable. I figured if I put them out into the world and more people know, I will more frequently work on my goal.  I know we are pretty much half way through June, but better late than never!

I have noticed that when I get home at the end of the day that I spend a lot of time on my phone. Which is kind of a funny thing because I am not doing anything productive on my phone. Just mindlessly scrolling. I even don’t like admitting that since I REALLY hate wasting time! But here I am…scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. I find that I always have something that I want to do once I get home to unwind but by the time I look at the clock, it is pretty much time to go to bed.

This was happening since I got back from Arizona and it was getting on my nerves. I decided that it was time to make a conscious effort to put my phone down to open up time for the things that I want to do at home. For example, spend time with Mitch and Lux, work on my blog, or read.

In doing this, I realized that I am happier! Imagine that ha! I have opened an avenue up (again) to fit in things that bring peace into my life during the hectic work week. I tell you what, it is so so worth it.

So all during this month (and continuing on) I am going to put my phone down at home to make time for myself. I am hoping that working on this will make it a habit once July rolls around. If I do feel that my phone time is creeping back up again, I will gently remind myself to put it down and do something better for myself.

What are you working on this month? Let me know! 🙂


be present

I tend to always think about the next thing I have to do. The next task, the next place I have to be, the next step in planning a trip. While remembering what I have to do can be beneficial, it often pulls me away from fully focusing on what I am currently doing. I notice that I do this. I notice that it creates a lot of stress because there will always be something else to do.

This past weekend, I went to my favorite coffee shop (hey Six Shooter Coffee!) to relax a bit and read. The book I was reading naturally touched on mindfulness and fully experiencing each moment. Doing so creates gratitude and reduces stress. I read this and laughed a bit to myself. How could I have forgot this? How do I always get swept up in the things that I feel like I have to do to get ahead?

I put my book down and soaked everything in that was going on around me. The smell and taste of my cappuccino. Customers chatting at the front counter. The sun pouring in through the side window onto my table. The soft music playing in the background. The breeze coming in through the propped open front door (Ohio weather is amazing and unpredictable).

I felt contentment and happiness wash over me. Even writing this now, I still feel it. I was reminded of why I love going to coffee shops and reading. That taking in the little moments is so important because life is made up of little things. Little meaningful moments.

I encourage you to slow down and really observe what you are doing or where you are. Take time to pause and be all here.

creating contentment in your life

Constantly focusing on the next best thing creates unhappiness. We start to criticize ourselves and possessions. We compare ourselves to others. It creates discontent in our current life. If these thoughts start to get out of control, we start to lose sight of what can make us happy each and every day. Finding joy in what we do have creates contentment. It cultivates an attitude of gratitude. I read the following quote by Epictetus and thought it was a good analogy for how to look at life and reduce wanting.


Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t come yet? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth — one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods.

— Epictetus, Enchiridion, 15

I try to remind myself of this quote when I find I am being critical of my situation. That finding contentment eludes us when we are always looking for something else instead of focusing on what we currently have and being thankful. Your situation could always be “better” if you are always focusing on what you don’t have in life. I am not saying that if there is something that you want to not set goals and strive for it, but to be thankful for where you are in your journey. Take time to appreciate how far you’ve come. Enjoy the journey.

breaking through fear

This past weekend I broke out of my comfort zone and conquered a fear. I want to share my thoughts to encourage you if you are struggling with committing to a new experience.

 breaking through fear

I had recently signed up to take an inversions class alone and in the moment was very excited. I could not wait to learn more about forearm balances and handstands! However, as the date of the clinic crept closer, the more I experienced fear seeping into my thoughts. I knew I was happy to go further my practice and learn but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I would be judged in some way. I was fearful that other people in the class would judge me for not being good enough at the poses and that I would be a failure. The realization that my main fear was judgement was freeing.

These feelings root in perfectionism and the feeling of not being “enough”.

Identifying the area of fear allowed for vulnerability to shine through and encouragement to be accepted. I was able to come back to my initial reason for signing up for the clinic, which was to further my practice. I feel stronger for having this experience and breaking through fear.

What type of thoughts are holding you back from signing up for a class or experiencing something new?

a reminder to breathe

I am reminding myself to breathe when I get

frustrated.
tired.
irritated.
angry.

Take a moment to pause and collect myself. These emotions are normal, but need to be managed. Today is a new day. Greet each person with kindness and love, remembering that they are human too. Equally full of emotion and struggles.

Project kindness and receive kindness.