WANTcast 049: On Making Your Mess Your Message with Kate Van Horn

WANTcast 049: On Making Your Mess Your Message with Kate Van Horn

the WANTcast

May was Mental Health Awareness Month – but just because the month is over doesn’t mean we should stop talking about it. I can’t think of a better guest to remind us of this: someone who is a prime example of taking your pain and trauma and turning it into something that can help and empower others.

Kate Van Horn is a wellness blogger, yoga instructor and entrepreneur based in Philadelphia. Kate promotes health through mindful living, intuitive movement, food freedom and a body positive message. Kate is the co-founder of a wellness events business, The GOOD Festival, which hosts festivals, retreats and workshops nationally. Kate was recently names 1 of 25 Influential Women to Watch in Wellness by Yogiapproved.com and her story and writing have been featured in mindbodygreen, Yoga Digest and Thoughtfully Magazine.

After recovering from an eating disorder and experiencing childhood trauma, Kate chose to heal through community. She now shares her story with her audience in hopes of about building a community centered in authenticity and radical self love. (Kate is also a dog mom, lover of matcha lattes and anything “woo woo”, from crystals to astrology and tarot.)

This episode is AMAZING for anyone who wants to build a community of like-minded people sans the BS (whether in-person or online), interested in creating serial success instead of being a one-hit-wonder, loves wellness but is looking for a little more substance than what’s on-trend, is curious as to how wellness practices can ACTUALLY heal past wounds and trauma…and, speaking of trauma, anyone who has either experienced trauma in their past that might be holding them back, or knows someone who is still working through their own trauma and might not even recognize it.

So grateful to Kate for sharing so much of herself and being so willing to talk about some sensitive subjects. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes, not just of this season, but of all-time.

(Note: we do not go into graphic detail, but if you have experienced trauma or abuse, please be mindful that we DO talk about these subjects. We make sure we don’t speak in a triggering way, but everyone is different – you know yourself best.)


You need to make your mess your message. - @shebekaleinem Click To Tweet

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Show Notes:
Website
Instagram
The GOOD Fest
Jessica Murnane on the WANTcast (and here!)
Katie Dalebout on the WANTcast
Talia Pollock on the WANTcast
Getting Curious by Jonathan Van Ness
Christina Rice
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy



This episode of the WANTcast is so graciously sponsored by FabFitFun, the seasonal subscription box that includes full-sized beauty, fitness fashion and lifestyle products and TRULY DELIVERS. Use code WANT for $10 off your first box (so $39.99 for super-quality stuff…usually valued at $200, such a steal!) at fabfitfun.com

If you liked this show, make sure to sign up for The (Good) Word, weekly WANT tips, tools, and resources to shift around your negative self talk patterns. Be sure to subscribe in iTunes and leave a five-star review if you’re feeling it, so that iTunes knows to get it into people’s ears AND so that future guests can get excited when I approach them to be on the pod. All that stuff helps the algorythms and goes a long way, plus, I love knowing what you’re enjoying and why, so I can give you more of it!

Aspiration, Inspiration: GOOD + My Relationship With Wellness.

Aspiration, Inspiration: GOOD + My Relationship With Wellness.

Body Community Most Popular Posts Motivation + Inspiration WANT Women

I don’t often post about the events I do or the places I speak. I feel like, for me, it borders on self-indulgent and sets a precedent that I’ll write something about every event I do or place I speak. But I do like sharing with you the ones that spark something new inside me…the ones where I can sense a shift happening. The ones that offer up more than just a recap and some fun photos. The ones that blow my mind.

This weekend, I had the immense honor of speaking at The GOOD Festival, an all-day wellness festival in Philly for anyone wanting to live well and “make choices that are in alignment with their body, their career, and their lives.” Basically, the GOODfest focused on all of the things I love about the wellness industry: the community, the curiosity, and the small choices that end up making a big difference in the long run.

But I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t love everything. A couple years ago, I felt my relationship with the “wellness” community starting to shift. Because wellness was shifting as well. And I didn’t really like much of what I was seeing: elitism, ego, judgement, and a focus on the external WHATs instead of the internal WHYs. Leaders and “gurus” encouraginig spiritual bypass, the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid dealing with hard things, was becoming just as if not more common than encouraging spiritual growth.

I felt torn. The wellness world had introduced me to some of my very dearest friends, launched my career, and helped me realize my through line. Heck, if it hadn’t been for the wellness world, I would have never started sharing my writing publicly or be even close to the person I am today (fun fact: my first blogs and first freelance jobs circa 2008 were all in what’s now considered the wellness realm). I owed so much of who I was to the wellness community – and yet I felt like I was watching a genuine and loving best friend get lured in by a Mean Girls-esque squad of crystal-carrying, sage-burning, side-eyeing Regina Georges. All aspiration on the outside and very little inspiration on the inside.

It broke my heart.

~

I’ve been very vocal about ways I feel the wellness world can shift, and every single WANT Woman that’s been featured on the site or the podcast is a shining example of what wellness can be if we lean into the parts of us that make us unique and let them lead the way. Literally, every single one of them. 

But still. It’s so easy to get caught up in the parade and charade of the opposite end of the spectrum when you’re scrolling through Instagram or reading an article and then all of the sudden it’s 12:42am and you’re paralyzed by fear that you’re not only doing everything wrong, but that your idea of what leadership means in the wellness world is no longer relevant.


One of the reasons GOOD was such a reaffirming experience for me was that it reminded me why I fell in love with wellness in the first place. Wellness, after all, isn’t just about the “well.” It’s not just about the adjective – or rather, the noun we’ve created from the adjective.

It’s about the verb – the “LIVING” part of living well.

“Well” is subjective. We cannot possibly know if what works for one person will work for someone else.

 

But living? Living is action. Living is experience-oriented.
And living well is…well, it’s moving forward fearlessly into the you you know you’re meant to be.

 

The GOODfest team blew me (and everyone else there, ps) away with their thoughtfulness and attention to detail. They’d carefully curated the day to reflect their mission and their values, and it showed in not just every single speaker and sponsor, but in all 300+ people who chose to spend their day with us. Deep conversations happened within a matter of seconds – real, no-bs, walls-down conversations – and each time a speaker walked onstage it was like they were being greeted by a room full of old pals.

Speaking of the speakers – the SPEAKERS! Oh my god the speakers. Being a part of this group was a dream come true. Some people were old friends (Jessica Murnane, Katie Dalebout, Jordan Younger), some were new friends (Gianne Doherty, Kristin McGee, Cassandra Bodzak, Sara DiVello, Kimmie Smith), and some I met specifically because we were both speaking at the GOODfest and then one month later we were the best of travel buddies (hi, Talia Pollock). In an industry that can sometimes seem so cliquey and elite, the GOODfest was anything but. It revived my love for wellness; for how *I* view living well. Which is all about being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to how you want to feel. All-around. Mind, body, soul.


Living well is about being proactive, not reactive, when it comes to how you want to feel. - @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet

This post is obviously about the wellness world, but I think this disconnect between aspiration and inspiration applies across industries and even life stages. Maybe your thing is fashion. Maybe it’s academica. Maybe it’s music. Maybe you’re just starting a family, or have been single for a while, or are just about to graduate college or enter empty-nestville. There are so many opportunities for us to doubt that what we’re doing is right or where we are is where we’re supposed to be (yes, social media is a big way we can get triggered into self-doubt).

But what the GOODfest reminded me is that those people who seem to have everything perfectly manicured and are “too cool to care” are in the minority. WE are in the majority. Side by side. No one has it all figured out, but if we join forces in our curiosity, we can explore the options together.

And that’s what I love about wellness: I love the CONNECTION. The community. The willingness to open up and move forward fearlessly…on the same team. We might not know anywhere near everything, but each of us knows something – and when we all work together to both hear and be heard, we’ve got a whole damn lot of options on the table.

Thank you Kate, Jess, Jen, Sienna, Brea, and the rest of the GOOD team for creating a space for women to unlock themselves and fully exhale. To my fellow speakers, I adore every single one of you and am honored to have been in your presence.



When we all work together to both hear + be heard, we've got a whole lot of options on the table. - @katiehorwitch Click To Tweet


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