Reminder: Create A Normal That’s Actually New.

Reminder: Create A Normal That’s Actually New.

Community Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration

“Monday morning, indoor group fitness opens back up in NYC!”

I saw the news headlines plastered all over my friends’ social media timelines, celebratory emojis abound. Not soon thereafter, the emails started rolling in.

As a group fitness instructor for the last almost-14 years, I’ve become intimate and familiar with the so-called “hustle.” The early morning, the late nights, the laughable pay (I once taught at a studio where one person showed up, and I got paid per head, so I made a whole $3 for that class), the long commutes. Teaching through sickness, through injury, through life crisis because you can’t find a sub. 

Not to say that’s all it’s been. Far from it. There are many reason why I’ve prioritized it over the years, and why I’ve stuck with it even when I wasn’t making enough to cover a gallon of gas: the community, the people, the way you’re able to make massive shift happen within a span of 45 minutes that lasts long after your heart rate has settled down.

Pre-2021, I probably would have been thrilled by all the emails rolling in talking about reopening. But this time, this year, in 2021, that was not the case. Anxiety hit. Hard.

I knew. And when I finally did get on that bike for my very first class back, my suspicions were confirmed.

I am not the same person as when I last got up on that bike.

~

This isn’t a post about group fitness at all, and it’s not about the safety logistics of “opening up.” This is about going Back To Normal. 

My experience teaching spin classes over the last two weeks since reopening has been great. Supportive managers, grateful class members, intimate classes of no more than 6. 

And. I am not the same. I can already tell that I lead differently. I facilitate a different experience. I imagine that when I go back to IRL speaking engagements, I’ll have a similar reaction. How ironic that it took the absence of pressure from weekly “stage time” — whether on a conference stage giving a keynote or a spin podium coaching through a breathless push — to feel as if I’ve finally found my voice all over again.

My experience has been one of a multitude of examples thus far in which I feel as if I’m going back in time and seeing my life through a sliding-doors lens, being given an opportunity to take one path instead of the other.

Maybe you feel it, too. Going places you haven’t been for a year and realizing you’ve changed but they haven’t. Being asked questions you would have answered with an emphatic YES or hard NO before, now bringing you hesitation and pause.

A transition has been brewing over the last year+ and can now FEEL everything starting to bubble to the surface. It’s incredible and terrifying at the same time. Because now, right now, in this moment, we get to choose our true New Normal.

Restrictions are lifting in more areas, vaccines are being rolled out in more places, and for some, life is beginning to look more “normal” than it has in 12 months.

My fear is that people will be so eager to “get back” to how things “once were” that they’ll forget all those moments over the last year that made them realize that “how-things-once-were” was, in a multitude of ways, NOT working.

I do not want to buy into the so-called “hustle.” I want to define my own success.
I do not want to say YES when I mean NO. I want to say YES when it means YES and NO when it means NO.
I do not want to distract myself into perpetuity anymore. I want to always be paying close attention.
I do not want trust without truth. I want truth, then trust.
I do not want an existence made of checked boxes. I want a life lived outside the lines that we’re told give it shape.
I want rest.
I want contemplation.
I want deeper conversations and holding someone to their word.
I want racial and gender equity.

I want evolution.
I want forward motion.

This past year has presented us with so many lessons to learn and unlearn. So many systems to dismantle and truths to face about our world, and about ourselves.

And here’s the kicker: they’re not new.

These aren’t new lessons and systems and truths. The difference is that this time, weren’t “too busy” or “too distracted.” We were sitting down and paying attention.

And I worry about our collective attention span dwindling and going back to the way things were.

Don’t let it happen.

Journal about it all (What’s Your Story? by Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond is a great place to start. I truly will never ever stop recommending this book). Keep talking about what you’re learning. Keep evaluating and re-evaluating the systems and structures in your life.

Keep reading. Keep getting involved. Keep setting boundaries. Keep speaking up.

Identify the kind of life you want to live and the kind of person you want to be and make it happen.

Do not forget.
Do not stop doing the work.

Don’t go back to normal.
Create an entirely new one.
One that serves us all.

123: On Feeling Seen + Navigating Invisible Illness with Harper Spero

123: On Feeling Seen + Navigating Invisible Illness with Harper Spero

the WANTcast
When business coach Harper Spero was diagnosed with an extremely rare immunodeficiency disorder known as Job’s syndrome, she was determined to create her own narrative. She believes that battling an invisible illness should not define you.

Not only has Harper learned to embrace her invisible illness, but she has carved a new path and given hope to many who feel equally veiled. Harper couldn’t find podcasts featuring stories of people similar to her. In 2018, Harper launched the podcast Made Visible to help people with invisible illnesses (and those who care for them) feel more seen and heard. In 2020, she launched the Made Visible Writing Class to help others write and share their stories of invisible illness.

In this episode we talk about what it’s like to live with an invisible illness, and what that means during the times of pandemic. We also talk about access and privilege when it comes to getting help, the countless benefits of learning about stories that look different than your own, how to feel — and make OTHERS feel — seen, and so much more.

How To Be Fearless. (plus…we’re on CNN!)

How To Be Fearless. (plus…we’re on CNN!)

Body Community Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration Tips + Tools

FEARLESS = FEAR < FAITH (or, “Fearless” is when the fear is less than the faith) was an equation I stood behind long, long before this past year.

But March 2020-March 2021 made me realize how vital it truly is to maintaining a sense of self-assuredness WITHOUT abandoning your very real responses to very real crises.

That’s why when CNN asked me “What’s a lesson you’ve learned during the pandemic that could help women in the year ahead?” my answer was a no-brainer.

True fearlessness is when the fear you have of a situation is less than the faith you have in YOURSELF.

I’d never advise anyone to write over their fear. That’s not how to be fearless. Whenever I hear people say things like “I choose not to live in fear,” I take a deep breath. Not only is that phrase one of my biggest spiritual bypassing/self-gaslighting pet peeves, it makes me so sad to think that somewhere down the line, whoever is saying that phrase has been made to believe that fear is not only a choice, but a “wrong” choice that must be locked away.

Lowering your fear is super hard for a reason. Fear is like an inner security guard: it just wants to keep you safe.

But upping your faith in yourself? That’s a different story.

Fear and faith can/should coexist. It’s what can help do everything from take the next smallest proactive step forward, to not giving up on yourself, to just getting out of bed in the morning.

I have faith that…

…I can brush my teeth.
…I can cook myself a meal.
…I can write something that means something.
…I can think and feel deeply.
…I can gift myself a good night’s sleep.

These are the types of things that have gotten me through my darkest days over the last year. Seriously.

Every tiny thing you have faith in – notice it. It counts. List out the reasons you already have to have faith in who you are. And slowly, the fear-to-faith scales start to tip from the fear over to the faith. That’s what can actually make a difference in the long run, and make you believe there’s more out there for you than just fear alone.

WATCH IT HERE.

BIG BIG gratitude to CNN for including me in this campaign alongside some of my role models, like Padma Lahkshmi, Malala Yousafzai, Lori Gottlieb, and more. 

Also grateful for what’s an important thought-starter for us all:

What are some lessons you’ve learned over the last year that could help others – or future YOU – navigate the year ahead?

 

122: How To Focus On Yourself When You’re Always Focusing On Others (…And Vice Versa)

122: How To Focus On Yourself When You’re Always Focusing On Others (…And Vice Versa)

the WANTcast

A healthy human, in relationship with herself OR with others, is meant to have balance when it comes to what and who gets our attention. We’re not MEANT to be 100% self-focused or 100% other-focused constantly – we need to be both.

In this episode, we’re diving into why you need a mix of “self care” and “others care,” and what to do to help yourself even the balance when it feels like you’ve gone too far in one direction or the other.



SHOW NOTES:

Read more about a “Joy Tab” here!

The WANT Your Self RETREAT in Paros, Greece: Oct 4-9, 2021
Join The WANT Community here!
WANT website
Katie’s Instagram
Leave a review on iTunes!

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This episode is in support of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the outreach, education, early intervention, support, and advocacy for all eating disorders. To learn more, visit allianceforeatingdisorders.com or listen to episode 121 with founder Johanna Kandel.

121: Walking (And Paving) The Road To Recovery with Johanna Kandel of The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness

121: Walking (And Paving) The Road To Recovery with Johanna Kandel of The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness

Body The Recovery Myth the WANTcast

After recovering from a ten-year-long battle with various eating disorders, Johanna Kandel founded The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. Since its inception in 2000, The Alliance has brought information and awareness about eating disorders to more than 340,000 individuals nationally and internationally. In addition, Johanna runs free weekly support groups, mentors individuals with eating disorders and their families, and helps thousands of people gain information and find the help they need. She’s also the author of Life Beyond Your Eating Disorder (Harlequin). As a passionate advocate for mental health and eating disorders legislation, Johanna has spent a lot of time meeting with numerous members of Congress, and was part of the first-ever Eating Disorder Roundtable at the White House.

In this episode, Johanna and I candidly discuss how to move forward proactively in your life if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, how you can effectively show up for others as someone who KNOWS someone with an eating disorder, and so much more.

SHOW NOTES:
The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness
NOT ONE MORE Weekend
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter
The Recovery Myth series on The WANTcast

The WANT Your Self RETREAT in Paros, Greece: Oct 4-9, 2021
Join The WANT Community here!
WANT website
Katie’s Instagram
Leave a review on iTunes!

Subscribe to The (Good) Wordour monthly email digest filled with tips, tools, motivation, and inspiration to shift your self-talk

This episode is in support of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the outreach, education, early intervention, support, and advocacy for all eating disorders. The Alliance will be hosting their first-ever NOT ONE MORE Weekend, taking place February 26-28. This will be a virtual three day event focusing on what The Alliance does best: Help. Support. Recovery. This international movement will urge individuals to reach out for help, get support, and imagine a life beyond their eating disorder. Proceeds from this weekend will directly fund The Alliance’s free weekly, therapist-led, virtual eating disorder support groups.

To learn more, visit allianceforeatingdisorders.com, check out the show notes…or, just listen to this episode :)

WANTcast 120: Now Is The Later You Dreamed About Yesterday (S6 Finale)

WANTcast 120: Now Is The Later You Dreamed About Yesterday (S6 Finale)

the WANTcast

Forget new year, new you. We’re so over that. (Aren’t you?)

This Season 6 finale episode is all about examining what it means to create a new outlook for yourself, even (and especially) if it goes against what’s worked for you in the past.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, underwhelmed, or simply unenthusiastic about making changes right now, this episode is for you – and only involves tapping into what you’re ALREADY capable of.

See you in February for Season 7!

SHOW NOTES:

Virtual workshop on January 17th – Reflections & Projections (get tickets here)

Episode 118 with Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond

Episode 119 on living a passion-first life

The WANT Your Self RETREAT in Paros, Greece: Oct 4-9, 2021

Join The WANT Community here!

WANT website

Katie’s Instagram

Leave a review on iTunes!

Subscribe to The (Good) Word, our monthly email digest filled with tips, tools, motivation, and inspiration to shift your self-talk