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!

the collection .4: june series

I find that I stumble upon interesting things through out the week and the best way to share them with you would be to make a little list! So here we go!

  1. Book I am working on: Principles by Ray Dalio. I am a little less than a quarter of the way through, but this book has been phenomenal so far. I love learning about what makes people tick and how to create teams so this has been great for me. I highly recommend this if you are interested in exploring your principles more.
  2. Article I have read recently: How Your Daily Routine Can Turn Into Your Biggest Enemy by Ryan Holiday. If you don’t already know, I really like Ryan Holiday and his books, especially Ego is the Enemy. If you need a little smack of humble, read it. Anyway, this article struck me as important because I am big into routines and usually if I get out of my routine I turn into a big grouch which isn’t pleasant for anyone. This was a little reminder that I should be more flexible in my day to day life and getting out of my routine shouldn’t throw me off the rails.
  3. New music that I found: Somebody to Love by Abhi The Nomad. I heard this once on a random Spotify playlist and loved it. It is so catchy and has such a nice feel to hit. Such a good sunny, summer day song!
  4. Fun exercises that I have been implementing: Ab’Asanas 2 created by Morgan Tyler. I have made it a point to work on core exercises daily since I recently realized that my weak core is the root of my back problems while lifting. This may seem like a ‘duh’ realization but I had thought for a long time that my back problems were caused by my form but after dedicating some time each day for core work, I have seen a reduction in my back pain and feel stronger! It is awesome! I just started practicing consistently this month and I am so happy.
  5. Self care that I am experimenting with: massages! I had my first massage at the beginning of the year and it was an eye opener. I had no idea that my back, in particular my shoulders, were so tight! I decided after I came back from Arizona that I would start to get massages monthly and it has been a great experience so far. After one massage, I already feel a difference in my muscles! I also had my weak core revelation at my first appointment so I would say it has been a win win! If you have never had a massage, do it!

What are some things that you have come across this past week? Please share them in the comments!

 Can't you see why I love Principles?
Can’t you see why I love Principles?

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! 🙂


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?

the collection .1

The Collection will be a series of short posts that detail something that I enjoyed during the week. I find that it is important and beneficial to observe what is around you and the content you are feeding yourself. So welcome to The Collection series!

Throughout this past year, I have really started to enjoy listening to podcasts while I am driving or working in the lab. I like that they help the time pass and make a seemingly monotonous task much more enjoyable. The Tim Ferriss Show has become my ‘go-to’ when I want something to chew on all week.

One of his recent podcasts was The Master of Second Chances with Catherine Hoke, the founder of Defy Ventures. Defy radically changes the lives of men and women that are or have been incarcerated by helping create career paths and business ventures. Now. You may be skeptical about this (as was I) but my opinion was completely turned around after listening to all of the wonderful things Defy is doing to help these people.

Throughout the entire podcast, Cat talks about forgiving yourself for your mistakes and breaking down self-limiting beliefs. I was so touched by this because I think everyone holds onto something that is limiting them in some way. Whether it is something that happened five years ago or yesterday, it is important to forgive yourself and work to not become defined by your past. You are in control of your actions and emotions to determine how you greet each new day.

Since I spent the entire week listening to this here and there, I spent a lot of time thinking about the negative self-talk that plays in my head. How am I negatively impacting my growth? What am I actively convincing myself that is not true? For example, if I am having a very bad day at the gym, I automatically start convincing myself that:

  1. I  am unteachable.
  2. The effort I am putting in is worthless.
  3. I am not making any progress.

Reading those thoughts in a centered state of mind makes me very upset. I know none of those thoughts define me, but when the negative self-talk starts to creep in, it is sometimes hard to push it out. I have worked to notice when I am telling myself a negative story so I can get out of that mindset as quickly as possible. I recognize that everyone has bad days and I am not always going to be the best I can be. That learning comes from the struggle and some days are going to be harder than others. On these days, I work to remind myself that I am enough. No matter how the day turns out, I am enough and did meaningful work today, no matter how small.

So what are your self-limiting beliefs? How are you not forgiving yourself? Take some time to think about these and meditate on them. Start forgiving and building yourself back up again.

 

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.