Sabbatical Announcement.

I am writing a quick note to tell you that I am taking a bit of a sabbatical from this space.  I have been working behind the scenes to align my work with how I best work.  Meaning that I am starting to focus more energy on in person workshops and group coaching opportunities.  The online creative entrepreneur sphere is a hard space for me to work within because I am so susceptible to comparison spirals, imposter syndrome and 2nd guessing myself into paralysis.  I work hard to honor my intuition in my business and I have found that I trust myself more when I am working 1:1 with folks.  I am more dynamic in person, I love myself more, and I feel as though the work is more aligned with my highest and best self, therefore making me a more pure conduit of service for the collective.  

That being said, I am not planning to go anywhere, I am not closing up shop, I am just shifting focus and that takes lots of writing, planning and creating.  My favorite stuff, other than smashing the patriarchy by teaching self-love.  

So while I may not be posting here for the next month or so know that I am fiercely writing my way into something really big for Walker Whole Health and I can’t wait to share it all with you.  

 

See you in April!

in unrelated news we make a lot of fucking trash.

It feels as if I have been travelling to new england almost every weekend since the new year.  On a recent train ride from Vermont to New Jersey I sat in the window seat.  I love riding the train.  It is one of my preferred modes of travel.  Recent Amtrak crashes aside.  At age 21 I rode a train from the 413 to Seattle.  The only disappointment was that we went through the rockies at night.  Needless to say I was looking forward to my ride.  I had some writing to do and was anticipating getting some work done as well.  I did not get any work done and I only wrote a few pages because I was so distracted by the trash.

Granted there is a specific bleakness to rural new england when a recent rain has melted the snow and left piles of plowed gravel and detritus in its stead.  But the light on this Sunday afternoon in mid January was gentle and lovely. Grey linen sheets of clouds hung low and let the sun create moody shadows.  I have always loved winter because one can see the shape of the earth without her full bloom and foliage.  There is a starkness to the slope of a mountainside silhoetted against the trunks of a bare forest that I love.  Unfortunately all of the garbage I saw loomed larger than the winter landscape.  The rotting cars, piles of discarded plastic, forgotten along the train tracks practically screamed to me during my ride.  

I should admit I’ve recently been thinking quite a lot about how much stuff I throw away.  The @trash_canyon_ account on Instagram is a very interesting experiment in examining our relationship to waste and consumerism.  I am currently reading The Year of Less by Cait Flanders.  My only interest in the recent cultural disaster most people call the super bowl is if it was actual #zerowaste as it had been advertised to be.  I can’t seem to find anything post fiasco to know if they were able to meet their goal of 90% waste diversion.  Here at home we have curbside compost, our recycle bin is always full and we have a half bag of trash a week.  So we pay attention to what and how we throw away our waste.  We are the minority.

Trash is everywhere.  I didn’t get my work done on the train because I was fixated by all the trash accumulated on the side of the railroad tracks, against fences, in abandoned parking lots, crumbling buildings, junkyards full of rotting cars, swamps full of trash bags, yards full of rusting yard equipment.  It was overwhelming.  

I am not sure what actions will rise from this overwhelm.  But I felt as if I needed to state my current mindset.  It’s too early to tell how this feeling will weave into my current work.  The least we can do is start talking about our trash, that is the first step to taking responsibility for our actions.  

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!