New Year. Who dis?

Reclaiming-New-Years-resolutions

Here at Walker Whole Health we are in the throes of our first ever instagram challenge, and by throes I mean its day three ya'll.  Intention.  But let me back track for a second.

Reclaiming New Years Resolutions.

Living in a fat body is exhausting.  Not because I am carrying around weight but because I carry so much fucking stigma.  And this time of year it is even worse, everybody is selling something that is gonna make me lose weight, get healthy and live the best year of my life.  Reality check.  The only thing that can give me the best year of my life is me.  Nothing I buy will do that for me.

So I was thinking, rather than hide from all the New Year, New You bs, what if I reclaimed new years resolutions for myself?  What if I made a resolution to trust myself, to listen to my own intuition and celebrate my body for all the joy it brings me?

Then I realized that this message of listening to our deepest knowing resonated with others.  People you would never imagine suffer body stigma were like YAAAAS!  Thank you for talking about this.  So I kept talking.  I'm getting louder.  What better way to get people engaged, talking out loud about being in the body they have right now, than to take it to social media.  By now you all know that I don't do f-book.  So an instagram challenge seemed like a good way to reach folks and get a conversation started about loving ourselves as we are right now.  

Cue the #radicalresolution challenge.  Today is day three, intention.  I designed the challenge to get us thinking about our own mindset, tools and practices that can let us give space to our intuition.  How can we love ourselves as we are right now?  What makes us happy?  Where do we get frustrated?  Can we shift our perspective so that we meet ourselves with a gentle understanding and reverence?

Leave a comment below, send me an email, and if you feel inclined; join the challenge, its fun and there are prizes!

xo

Cathlinstar

Establishing Sovereign Borders

establishing sovereign borders.jpg

Somewhere recently, I read about sovereignty as it pertains to being a woman in the patriarchal world culture.  The idea of establishing boundaries, maintaining them and then to be in charge of how people engage with said boundaries resonated with me.  I thought only of nations as sovereign and was mildly intrigued by the concept of sovereignty, but after reading a dictionary definition I am really interested.  Being sovereign is about autonomy more than anything else. Yes there are hints of royalty and excellence, but the autonomous aspect makes more sense to me on a personal level, especially in relation to the current conversation around sexual assault, #metoo, and consent.   

I have talked before about how much I love to read the dictionary  and I stand by that statement, in true nerd fashion I read the dictionary with no shame, and glean a lot of historical information from the definitions.  The part of the definition of sovereignty that stood out to me was “supreme power esp. over a body politic” so then of course I looked up body politic.  Politically organized persons identified as a collective unit.   As a queer fat women I would argue that body politic extends to my body since my body is regulated and discussed in politics and publishing, courtrooms and on the senate floor, or even on tape behind the scenes of a talk show.  

Declaring sovereignty in my own life, establishing my boundaries in regards to my expectations.

Therefore the idea of declaring sovereignty in my own life, establishing my boundaries in regards to my expectations rather than external expectations sounds pretty damn awesome.  So what are my expectations?  How do I want to interact with people?  With myself?  How do I want to show up?  What space do I want to create?  How do I consume media? Do I choose to eat in public?  Or eat at home?  Do I wear clothes for me or other people?  Am I showing up in my body?  Or in my head?  If it was up to me would I have to have this conversation?  Because in this patriarchal world culture I do have to have this conversation, and conversations about assault and violence against women and conversations about not getting paid my worth.  But if I am talking sovereignty then don’t I get to say what conversations I want to participate in?  Lets reframe the conversations!  Let’s move away from talking about my body, but start talking about what liberates us from patriarchal values.  How can we move in a direction that elevates, celebrates and supports women on financial levels, intellectual and educational levels.  How can we change the paradigm?  How do we build a new structure of power in which a creative collective is empowered rather than a fraction of a percentage of white men?  

I have a boss lady friend who always says if you love femmes pay femmes.  I recently hired another friend of mine for a strategy session to bang out some work I needed to do that I didn’t completely understand the mechanics of.  So I paid a femme to work for me.  I think we can reframe the conversations we have about women and our value and our worth, the importance of our consent by paying women to share their expertise.  Investing in what feels good to not only me, I got some great actionable know how out of my time, but also supports and feels good in the community of women business owners I am a part of.  

This can be applied in every aspect of our lives.  In the media we consume, endorsing female political endeavors and candidates, buying female owned work and services.  But also focusing on the parts of you that you want to see more of, endorse those people that see you, or if there is a vacuum, fill it! Take up some space, use your voice.  In a big way but also in small ways, in your everyday life.  

Bring the sovereignty back to your everyday life.  Create space in your life for the way you want to show up.  Recognize where you can create space within boundaries for yourself.  Get really visual with it.  Imagine fencing a huge field.  The fence holds the space for that field, in this case a field you fill with time for your stamp collection, or tarot journey, or side hustle, or vegetable garden.  Or maybe that fence holds space for healing that needs to happen.  Perhaps you need another fence to hold space for therapy every week, or a writing practice.  When you start to imagine the space you need to hold all of the parts that are important it feels powerful.  Because all of that space is within you.  You are infinite in the space you can create for yourself.  

Okay, I get a bit esoteric now and then.  I find there is something comforting, even reassuring that we have everything we need within us.  That the infinite possibility of creating and maintaining our borders rather than being subject to others expectations of us is right in front of us.  By just defining how and with whom we spend our energy.  Often that tangible can be money.  Or exchange of services, it can be friendship and mentorship.  The everyday is connecting within ourselves and with others.  Having conversations about our commonalities.

Sovereignty is also about what is outside of the borders.

Because sovereignty is also about what is outside of the borders.  Any time we talk about a fence we are talking about staking a claim for ourselves.  There is a defined sense of self implied and with in that self is connotation that the outside, the other is in someway harming.  I often argue the harm of patriarchal world culture.  I talk openly about the expectation and should placed on female bodies in our dominant western culture.  The flood of sexual assault accusations, charges, and allegations is only the beginning of the curtain being pulled back to reveal an occurance so de riguer that it has been expected, tolerated and wrapped up neatly in non-disclosure agreements.  Can we shift this conversation so it becomes normal?  Can we teach consent in elementary school?  This is how establishing our sovereignty starts to shift the paradigm.  We begin to demand the conversation and focus shift to relevant, valuable topics, we change where we go for information.  

So this has rambled on and on into a diatribe on being a feminist with a call to heal myself and other women by leading each other into our own power.  Supporting each other as we stand in our power next to each other.

Reclaiming New Year's Resolutions or how I'm making new years resolutions on my own terms.

radical-resolution-challenge-reclaiming-new-year's-resolution

I love this time of year because I get a new planner and it is a blank slate of possibility.  It is time to take stock of what I have accomplished throughout the year. I find it interesting to examine where my focus is now in reflection to where it was earlier in the year.  That has not always been the case.  My relationship with reflection, resolutions, goals and intentions has changed quite a bit in the last few years of my life and this year it's changing again.  I am reclaiming new year's resolutions.  I am going to make a resolution to trust myself.  It's my #radicalresolution.

I used to hate making a New Year’s resolution.  

Every year I would make the same, join a gym, lose 25 pounds by April, run a 5k in September, kind of resolutions and not keep a single one past the 3rd week of January.  I thought something was wrong with me because I wasn’t disciplined enough to lose weight.  I spent years of my life trying to cultivate the discipline to go to the gym daily, and lose weight.  After a while I just saw resolutions as a way to set myself up for failure.  Why bother?

After I left the restaurant industry and started to dive into some deep healing work, I realized that I ached for intention.  I wanted to be present enough in my own life that I could have the forethought to be in a space and notice how I felt, maybe even be the master of how I felt.   I wanted to be mindful of my emotions and how I interacted with them.  I started to really examine my reactions to people and how I would spend my energy in those reactions.  I realized that I did not need to exchange energy that did not feel good to me.  I got to choose how invested I would be.  There are plenty of things in life that are annoying and frustrating and we don't want to spend time on, like talking to your internet provider.  I wish I had a person to call the internet company for me, but I don’t, instead I pay attention to how much energy I spend in the conversation, it’s easier being nice and letting it be what it is.  I save my energy for what feels good.  Do the annoying stuff, but don’t be vested.  Invest yourself in what feels good, what fills you back up; with that awareness & mindfulness I was able to realize intent and autonomy. I started to trust what I knew about interactions with others.  That ability to trust my read on a situation is where the deepest healing has occurred for me.  It is in this trusting of myself that then I get to say no thanks to people who judge my size, my health, my gender, my heart.  Instead I get to explore the idea of existing as a sovereign being.  (More about sovereignty later.) 

Then I started my own business.  It is easy to think that running an online business is a piece of cake.  It is not.  The learning curve was steep.  It’s a humbling experience.  I absolutely love it and love the community I have online.  I wouldn’t be here if it were otherwise.  That being said the secret weapon of online business owners everywhere are goals.  Big juicy goals full of action steps and to-do lists.  The kind of goals that planners are built for.  

When I first started working online I was all, I don’t need goals their just a way of setting myself up for failure, (sound familiar? The insecurity of decades of unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions rears its head.)  But then I realized I could pair the intent I had been cultivating with solid actionable goals and transform my love of to-do lists into some serious business planning.

What is even cooler is that when I recognized the power of combining intention and goal setting in my business I started to apply it in my personal life.  Strange how many times we have to learn something to really start to digest the lesson.  This is only how I figured out how to trust myself.  I have said it before and I will say it again, my daily practice is my own, I offer my experience as an example, we get ahead by sharing our strategies.  My daily practice is ever changing.  Your daily practice to trust yourself and feel at home in your body is your own.  When I was able to take my intent and my mindfulness so much space opened up for my life.  By trusting in what I knew I let go of so much bullshit that was not serving me.  In this trust I am able to feel at home in my body, I don't apologize for who I am or how much space I take up in the world.  By knowing what I know I get to show up in my body and be happy about it.  

I am reclaiming New Year's resolution making.

I am making a #radicalresolution to trust myself. Wanna join me?  No more setting ourselves up for failure; instead this resolution is all about trusting what we know.  This resolution is about listening to ourselves and acting from a space of celebration.  I want to hold space for us to act from a deep sense of knowing.  I want to help other women hear their voices.  

Join Me for the #radicalresolution challenge on Instagram!  Starting January 1st 2018 I will send you an email prompt centered around some serious self love.  I designed the challenge as a way to explore actions of self expression.  This can be a fun photo challenge or you can take it deeper and work with the topics from a soul centered space, either way it’s about taking up space for ourselves and each other.  Oh and fun!  Lots of fun!

A Radical Resolution: trust yourself

I don't know about you but there are a few lessons in my life that I come up against over and over again.  To be frank my lesson is rooted in the fact that I grew up with an alcoholic parent.   I have done lots of work around this reality and how to live with the emotional impact of it.  I have had major breakthroughs and severe setbacks.  Each time I go through a cycle of learning this particular lesson, I come away with a bit more understanding of how I can move through it.

I recently realized that having spent my childhood on eggshells, never allowed me to sit in my own time and knowing.  Which is what I have been searching for in my adult life: the part of me that knows what I know.   I have rarely been good at asking for my worth when it comes to my pay, I second guess my business acumen, and I fall right down a comparison spiral when I start scrolling on social media.  

I know that I am here to learn these lessons, but at a certain point the resistance to learning the lesson is where the growth is right?  My resistance to sitting in the painful hurt of not trusting my self is the exact space where I will learn how to sit with myself.  

This lesson has shown up again and again.  In different people, circumstances, jobs, housing situations, I have found this thread of resistance to my true knowing of me.  Almost as if I seek them out.  So until now I thought the work was about loving my body, living on my own terms.  I thought I just needed to develop such and such a habit, a certain discipline, follow a certain resolution, find the right planner, make a plan, build a system, go to yoga class regularly, lose weight, find my person, make a certain amount of money, etc etc etc.  What I am realizing is that the systems are just a crutch.  They are getting in the way of me knowing myself.  Because I am imposing should in my life.  I am putting in place organization where intuition is actually the point.  

Trusting my intuition is the lesson that comes back to me.  So what if I were to look at what gets me closer to my intuition rather than making to do lists, and filling out blocks of time on my calendar?  What would it look like to make resolutions around what I know to be true for me, rather than others?

Here comes my radical resolution, to trust what I know.  This time of year is hard for a lot of people.  It is full of expectations, rampant consumerism, and heteronormative familial expectations.  Not to mention all the 'new year : new you' marketing that gets shoved down our throats.  What if we set all of that aside, or participated with it on our own terms, and really tapped into what our new year could hold.  Is there a way that I can show up in this new year so that I can really tackle this lesson that rears its head in my life repeatedly?  Is there a way I can invite myself to the table?  Can I make space for the part of me I am scared of?  Can I open myself to trusting me to do the thing that feels long term, satisfying, full of sustainable energy for me to be me?

I am hosting a radical resolution challenge.  It is an instagram challenge.  It is based on the tools I use to help me feel my most me.  It is part witch, part reclaimation, part body positivity, part mindful, part fuck it.  I am painfully aware that my journey to self looks very different than your journey to self.  I mean we are different people after all.  But I do know that the more methodologies and modalities I introduce to myself the more tools I understand and have at my disposal.  

 

 

Plants heal. Lesson #121,577

Plants. Heal.

So I have always loved plants.  I have a houseplant problem.  My wifi network is welcome to the jungle.  I had a friend who would count all of my houseplants before he left my house every time he came over.  He lived downstairs, he was there a lot.  Most often there were more plants than the time he counted before.  As we were preparing to move across the country my partner had to establish a rule that I was not to buy any houseplants till we were in our new house.  

I do not collect plants for the sake of collecting, rather it is the relationships I have with my plants that spur my collection.  Each one is a meditation in sustaining life and showing up.  My plants have taught  me lessons in routine, consistency, moving, letting go of what is no longer serving, resilience, thirst, famine, beauty, and breathe.  That is not an exhausted list, there are more lessons.

Often when people come to my house they are amazed by how many plants there are and how they seem to be everywhere.  They express surprise at their maintenance.  They proclaim they can't keep plants alive.  I would argue that the plants have kept me alive.  Because the secret of a plant, is that its only purpose is to grow.   It wants nothing more than to be its biggest version of its self and it will sacrifice in order to persevere.  

So the daily practice of having plants can be the analogy for the daily practice of trusting myself.  It is the repeated intuitive needs of plants that invite me to show up in my own knowing of my worth.  It is the relationship of responsibility for their life that demonstrates how to trust in what I know.  

I know this is a bit out there.  #woowooasfuck some might say.  But I am completely serious.  For me it is houseplants, and my garden, what is it for you?  Is there something in your life that sustains you?  Where do you learn your lessons?  How can you honor that something?  Do you prioritize it?  Could you write it at the top of a gratitude list?  Share it with people you care about?