When Getting Sick Is A Good Sign

When Getting Sick Is a Good SignNow that we’re entrenched in cold and flu season, I though it might be a good time to talk about how, sometimes, getting sick is actually an excellent development.

For instance, a couple weeks ago I did two things that I was supremely excited about – one was a day-long planning seminar and the other was appearing on my local morning news program, The Rhode Show.

Planning has never been one of my strengths, so it was very different for me to dedicate a full-day to mapping out the year ahead. And let me tell you, it felt good. I saw that I didn’t have to carry around all my ideas all the time, to the point that I felt like I should somehow be working on all of them all the time. Not that I ever could, mind you, but only having them in my head made them all feel urgent. I was LOVING be able to look at a 12-month calendar and see what the biggest priority for each month was, and knowing that I’d factored in important events in my and my family’s life so I wasn’t planning to attend a conference the same time that my son would be starting kindergarten and would likely be in need of some extra love and attention.

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You Are Already an Expert

mug expertI’m so happy to finally be able to announce one of the projects I’ve been working on…it’s a book for National Geographic Books called A Year of Daily Calm. It will be out at the end of 2015, and it’s a day-by-day guide to creating more peace in your life. I’m beyond thrilled about it!

I’m also excited that I can announce it because while working on it, something happened that led to an insight, and wow do I love to share me some insights. =)

I was writing about the benefits of heart-opening yoga poses, and went to go do a Google search to confirm what I was writing. And wouldn’t you know, I did three separate searches using slightly different keywords, and each time, an article that I wrote came up toward the top of the list. For a minute I was frustrated – I really wanted to find something from an “expert”!

Ha. Well played, universe, well played.

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How to Re-Combobulate

snow tubingIs it just me, or is everyone poking their heads out into the bright light of post-holiday life and blinking, slightly stupefied, like naked mole rats emerging from a hole in the ground?

There’s a general sense of discombobulation: I’ve noticed strange traffic patterns, as if people had forgotten how to get to work and school. And unusual emotional outbursts, like when my son came into the bathroom this morning while I was drying my hair with tears in his eyes, “Mommmmeeee, I m-m-m-miss New Hampshire!!!” (where we spent the weekend, skiing and—our favorite—snow tubing!).

I am right there with you—this work year got off to an out-of-the-norm start: I spent yesterday at a “Create Your 2015 Profit Plan” seminar led by the amazing and inspiring Dana D’Orsi, a business coach I am so happy to have connected with right here in my home state of Rhode Island. Then this morning I rolled up bright and early at our local morning news program, “The Rhode Show” to share tips on how busy women can take more time for themselves (you can see the clip here!). Read more…

Just Say It. (Preferably Before It Gets Weird.)

singingbirdHello, my name is Kate, and I’m a bite-your-tongue-a-holic.

But first, let me back up. I had intended to write a light, uplifting post about taking some time to look back on 2014 and how cool it can be to give yourself the chance to see what you accomplished, what you did that you’d never done before, the lessons you learned…you get the idea. I did this very activity this week and it was insightful and inspiring.

But then I heard from a couple people who are dealing with some big, wacky, dark crap, and I experienced some of that action myself. And it makes sense, because that’s what hectic times, such as the holidays, do—they turn up the intensity, making things that have perhaps been simmering bust out in a full boil. (My brilliant friend Judi wrote about it here.) So I switched my subjects for all of you who may be experiencing some of the same kind of stuff.

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Priority Number One: Feeling Good

number oneRaise your hand if you’re feeling any of the following right about now, what with the holidays and life and work and laundry and moving the Elf on the Shelf:

  • Put upon
  • Exhausted
  • Frazzled
  • Slightly ticked off
  • Really ticked off
  • Confused
  • Doubting
  • Grumpy

OK, listen, I get it. There’s plenty going on in just regular ole life and then here come the holidays. And Thanksgiving was a week later than it was last year so already you’re kind of ‘behind’ in holiday prep, and you’ve probably got some added layer of complexity—right now for us it’s that our four-year-old son is giving up sucking his thumb and so is prone to be a wreck in the afternoons and our laundry room is out of commission while our basement reno project waits for backordered doors to arrive. (First world problems, I realize!)

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It’s Time to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

smile - overwhelmIf you’ve been reading this newsletter a while, you have probably heard me talk about how I felt like I was drowning after my second baby was born. Even though he was so easy and smiley, I felt completely tapped out for months after his arrival. Each day, I woke up in a panic and went to sleep feeling like a wrung-out dishrag.

I know I had a harder time adjusting to motherhood than many, and I know now that there was probably some postpartum depression involved, but I also know that so very many women—whether they’re mothers or not—are walking around with a daily experience of feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed.

And now that the holidays are imminent, that experience of feeling like it’s all just too much to take is more present than ever.

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What If You Stopped Squeezing Things In?

my daughter's art classI’m writing this newsletter from the couch at my daughter’s art class (that’s my view of her from between the bookshelves). This is her second year of regular Thursday afternoon art lessons. And for the first several classes, here’s what I would do—park the car, walk her in, wait a few minutes while the drop off rush died down, and then go run errands. As many errands as possible, to be exact. More than once, I’d have to call my husband to go pick her up as I was sitting in traffic, trying to make my way back in time.

Silly, really. I may have gotten a couple things ‘out of the way,’ but at a pretty high price—the rushed, breathless, if-I-just-had-5-more-minutes feeling has a way of tainting at least the next couple of hours.

Now I stay put. I cozy up on the couches set up for parents and enjoy a little time to write or read. I can’t see my daughter, and she can’t see me, but we both know the other is nearby. The class is very old school—there’s always classical or jazz playing in the background, and the kids really go into the zone of concentration. Also, there’s no wifi.

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It’s Not Just About You

its not just about youAt the end of my free initial conversation with my first coach, I told her I needed to talk to my husband before making a decision about continuing on. Even though I knew I wanted to work with her, knew it in my bones. But it was an investment, and I wanted him to be on board.

When I brought it up with him, that night after the kids were asleep, I had only talked for about a minute when he said, “I support you. Besides, I appreciate the courtesy of talking to me first, but it’s clear you’ve already decided.”

So I swallowed hard and jumped. And so many important things have changed since that day.

Including, my husband.  A few months later, he came home and said, “I signed up with a personal trainer today.”

“Oh really?” I said. “That’s great! How often are you going?”

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What’s In Your Imaginary Shopping Bag?

shopping bagImagine that you have a shopping bag. It could be paper, plastic or reusable—your choice. Now imagine that there’s a big ole navel orange rattling around in that bag. And the bag is tied to your ankle.

Is this getting weird? Bear with me.

So, you’re going through your day with that bag with the orange strapped to your ankle. It’s just an orange. Not that big a deal. You can hide it for the most part, maybe even forget about it for a while. Until you try to get in the shower. Or roll over in bed. Or jump on to the subway at the last moment and the door closes on your bag.

Why in the heck am I even talking about this? Have I been spending too much time with preschoolers?

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And Now, Here It Is, Your Moment of Zen

Seekonk River

Photo credit: Katia Silva

This photo is of the Seekonk River, which runs not so far from my house in Providence. The photo is not exactly, but pretty darn close to, the view I see when I’m sitting on my favorite rock.

I get to this spot by walking down my quiet street, crossing a busy boulevard, climbing up a stone wall, following a trail through the woods, walking down a hill through a cemetery, and then following a tiny path. The whole route takes about 15 minutes.

And then I sit on this rock and gaze out at the view a couple minutes. After a little while, I close my eyes and meditate.

(This is an audio recording of the sounds I can hear from this rock—it’s one minute long and makes a nice listening meditation if you have need of such a thing. There’s a little wind noise but I like to think that adds to the authenticity. =) )

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