My parents divorced when I was 8. Just as everything about my home life was changing, I started a new school. So my dear Dad, who wanted to give me a little extra oomph during those tough times, had two T-shirts made up for me (with iron-on velvet letters at the local T-shirt shop)—one that said Super Kate! and one that said Kate the Great.
I loved those things. If I wasn’t wearing one, I was wearing the other. If it was too cold outside for their short sleeves, I put on a long-sleeved shirt, then put on one of those two T-shirts on over it. I’m telling you, great was my love for those shirts.
Aside from looking at this funny photo (does my Dad look like he’s on his way to a Village People concert or what?!?) from time to time, I hadn’t thought much about Super Kate in the decades since.
Then a blog post by my freelance colleague and friend Judi Ketteler (author of the fabulous sewing book Sew Retro, among numerous other feathers in her cap) about possible selves got me thinking about Super Kate again.
In her blog post, Judi talked about how a bad year in the freelance world was making her doubt her career path. Then, during a run-of-the-mill phone interview with a source for a story on finding the motivation to exercise, she learned that when it comes to working out, imagining yourself as fit, sassy, and feeling fine was just as motivating as picturing yourself all flabby, wheezing, and exhausted. Judi’s a-ha moment was this: If a positive image is just as motivating as a negative one, why not choose to imagine a positive outcome?
Why not, indeed? Except that we all seem to be hard-wired to say some really nasty sh*t to ourselves (as evidenced by my “When Mean Thoughts Attack” post).
Judi’s post reminded me of an exercise I did when I worked with the fabulous, vibrant and inspiring life coach Julie Zeff, who specializes in working with working moms, which is envisioning yourself 20 or 30 years in the future, then asking that future you for her advice. I combined Judi’s flash of insight with Julie’s future-self exercise, and boom—Super Kate came rushing back in to my life.
Now, when I’m sitting at the computer, debating whether to check in on Facebook, Twitter, or my fave blogs, I ask myself, “What would Super Kate do?”
The answer always comes instantaneously, and generally encourages me to fire off that email to the bookstore owner who doesn’t yet carry my book, reach out to the editor I loved working with but haven’t talked to in several months, get up and stretch, make it to yoga class…basically not fritter my hours of childcare away on web surfing. Well, not all of them, anyway. (Sometimes I just don’t ask Super Kate for marching orders—even the most awesome versions of ourselves need a little dose of aimlessness from time to time.)
I notice that when I ask myself WWSKD (what would Super Kate do?), I’m looking for a loving kick in the pants. And you know what? It works. The image of me, effortlessly making good choices and doing things that the petulant version of myself is afraid of or intimidated by, always inspires me to lose the drama and take action. She sees opportunity where I might otherwise only see a closed door. If I could bottle Super Kate, I’d make a mint.
I also recently attended my (gulp) 20th college reunion, and got in touch with my past self, who also has some excellent qualities that I could stand to re-introduce in to my life—playfulness, resilience (several late nights in the row), and some stellar (if I do say so myself) dance moves. It was a nice reminder that the “Super” version of myself doesn’t have to be all serious.
(Hello to all my fellow Generals! It was incredible to see you and realize how many of you are MsMindbody readers. It is so great to have you here.)
And the winner is…
The winner of The Happiest Mom giveaway is Reid! Thanks for participating, Reid. And big hearty welcome to everyone who signed up to receive this newsletter as part of the festivities.
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Take care and keep breathing,