creative practice

i have been cultivating a writing practice all of my life. when i was younger i planned to leave instructions to have my writing published posthumously.  { i fancied myself a modern day emily dickinson} i applied to writing residency’s, summer camps, studied poetry, read poetry {outloud} and wrote poetry, i have the alphabet tattooed on my leg because it creates the words that i use to express myself.  

i consider myself a writer.  i have never published anything i have written.  someday i hope to.

this year i have been focusing on writing 1000 words every morning.  based loosely on julia camerons book, the artists way i started to explore my own relationship to a daily practice.  

it’s very satisfying.  i found a website that kept track of how many days in a row i write.  it even counted my words for me.  before i went on vacation i had written for three months consecutively.  last month under the full moon i burned all of my journals from high school.  


my relationship to writing and words is a life long friend.  it is challenging and satisfying.  i get to come back to them and ignore them and explore them.  occasionally i share but i write more words than i share.  


all of this to say my writing practice is ever evolving, and i do not know how my writing practice will manifest, or what it will look like, but i am a writer and i have a writing practice.  and for that i am thankful.  


{this a monthly space where i explore my creative practice}


i’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts. do you have a creative practice?


xoxo

Self Care 101

Pre-S

I’m teaching Self Care 101 at The Alchemist’s Kitchen at Stockton Market on Saturday December 1st, 2018. Workshop starts at 11am and will run for 1.5 hours. Tickets are $25. I hope you join me. It would be great to see you in person!

Now down to business. Self care is pretty popular these days. Whether you’ve just added self care to your to do list, are deeply committed to your self care practice or have never heard of self care this post is sort of an outline of my self care 101 workshop and is bound to give you some juicy new inspiration and understanding of what self care can look and feel like in your life.

We have plenty to do in our lives, we live busy, distracted, exhausting days that blend into weeks and months, years and decades. Often it can feel as if life is living us rather than the other way around. Enter self care. Self care is our understanding, awareness & commitment to ourselves. It is a practice that holds us accountable for our actions and how we treat our selves in the hustle and bustle of our daily experience. Self care is not the same for any two people. Inherent in the concept is that it is defined by your individual needs.

So what are your individual needs?

Common examples of self care displayed in social media and our society at large are often spa related and involve chunks of time and money. Drawing a bath is a great way to relax but it is quite unrealistic for a lot of people, or downright disgusting to others. Self care is not about creating more things on a to do list or spending money. It is about supporting yourself against burn out. It is about making sure you have what you need through out your day so that you don’t feel like a wet towel at bed time. It is about feeling at home in your life and your body.

So how do you self care if you don’t have $120 to spend on a massage?

Intuition. You are an intuitive being. You are your own magic.

There is merit in the saying ‘trust your gut’. That feeling we get in our gut that can guide us towards or away from something, is very powerful. We want to nourish that sensation of inner knowing. Start by listening to yourself, your body, the teeny tiny voice inside that whispers your deepest truth. This listening is process, it is something we continously teach ourselves. It is like a muscle, the more we use it the stronger it gets.

Asking ourselves questions to further understand our lived physical and emotional experiences can illuminate what we need to thrive. When I am trying to define something I like to start by brainstorming what it is not. Whether it is your practice of self care or your lived experience understanding what it isn’t can often teach us what we want it to be.

By examining where we experience frustration, devastation, grief, pain, & resistance we gain information about what it is we need, what is lacking in our life. Knowing what we are ignoring or not focusing on is important for understanding where we need to shift our attention and energy. This does not have to look any certain way. This is completely up to you. It is about the support you need and then figuring out how to get it. Whether it be asking for help, or holding yourself accountable, self care looks any way that feels good and helps you feel more you. This can be applied on both the micro and macro scales.

On the micro scale it can look like getting out of bed or staying in bed despite severe anxiety. Its putting one foot in front of the other towards your next task. On the macro scale it’s living your biggest and best in the world without apology.

We don’t know what we need till we listen. We develop our ability to listen by feeling our bodies in space, in movement, in energy levels. There is information in the way we taste and smell, what we crave, what we avoid and how we sleep. Getting into our bodies provides us with a wealth of information.

Feelings as information:

When we can observe our emotions without judgement, we begin to recognize patterns of behavior. These patterns tell us what we crave in our relationships, with our selves and others. They tell us if we get in our own way, if we walk blindly, or create boundaries we’re not willing to enforce. Maybe we eat our way through our emotions or perhaps we get high to hide our emotions, or maybe we drink our emotions. We do not need to assign morality to these patterns. They have no baring on our worth. Our worth is inherent in our existence.

Our behavior patterns are just raw data. This does not diminish the lived experience it is simply a way of creating space from the experience so it is not consuming, or triggering. The space created by this remove helps eliminate the shame and guilt we feel. By working to remove our moral judgements against ourselves, we begin to trust ourselves, to trust our intuition. Our smallest success’ support and reinforce our understanding and trust of our intuition.

Self care is setting ourselves up for those littlest of success’ however mundane they may be.

The more we give ourselves positive reinforcement, in the form of mundane supportive success’, the stronger our trust will grow in our intuition and therefore our intuition begins to grow and become stronger, leading us closer to our biggest and best lives lived with out apology.

So when developing our self care practices we can apply this process on both the micro and macro levels. For instance I just travelled to my in-laws. Previously I have had a hard time staying gluten free when I visit them. There are not a lot of food choices in their rural West Virginia town. But this past visit I planned and prepared a bag of gluten free options for myself. I asked my partner to support me in staying away from gluten loaded options. She was very helpful and having the food I needed to feel good made the trip so much more enjoyable.

That is self care. Supporting yourself to feel good in your lived experience.

On a macro level it can be applied to nourishing yourself so you have strength and capacity for the collective. Whether supporting a partner, raising a family, building an empire, hosting refugees, marching in protest, or breathing deeply, providing your own care in simple and tender ways is foundational for your calling.

I have introduced you to the idea that self care is setting ourselves up for mundane success. You may be saying that’s all well and good but wtf? How do I figure out what my self care actually feels like? What do I need to be doing every day?

I shared the example of me planning and preparing myself to be gluten free at my in laws. It is as simple and mundane as that. What is the easiest way you can support yourself?

Often it is getting a bit more rest, holding deeper connections, more focused concentration. Because we feel better when we have a bit more room in our lives to breath. To hug ourselves, to eat by candle light instead of in the car. These small tasks, that can seem monumental to shift, give us space to live our lives rather than have our lives live us. And the littlest bit of planning and preparations can go a long way.

For the longest time I have called self care a strategy. People have asked me if that was the word I wanted to use, since it has connotations of conflict, marketing, business and war, but I think that being strategic is about being aware. It is acting with informed intent. It realizing goals and making steps towards them, however small or mighty they may feel. So in recognizing our behavior patterns and spheres of our lives we neglect or ignore we can start to see where we need to support ourselves avoid burn out and unhappiness. If we are always waking up exhausted and which leaves us grumpy with co workers in the morning. Perhaps planning bedtime routine you can stick to would help your relationship with your team mates. Recognizing cause and effect can go a long way. If you have terrible indigestion in the afternoon that keeps you from concentrating on your client meetings, perhaps packing a lunch that sustains your brain and your belly enjoys. Does that mean going to the grocery store? Does that mean learning what foods make you feel good and what foods make you feel gassy and bloated, or tired and cranky?

These questions about your mundane routine are very micro applications to our self care. But often the most accessible solutions are the ones that completely evade us. The more we support our selves to live out our biggest and best expression of ourselves the more we are able to achieve. Because when we live without apology or self deprecation that is when we get to realize our truest expression of self, which is when you are the best for you and yours.

So meditating while your doing the dishes, is the first step to enlightenment. It doesn’t have to be 90 minute yoga classes 16x a week. It has to be the thing that you do. The thing right now that will help you feel better when your head its the pillow tonight. How can you take care of your self?

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!

Wrapping up the #radicalresolution challenge...Be gentle dear souls.

The radical resolution challenge is over.  I really enjoyed the consistency of daily devoted thought about how I want to show up in the world.  Did you?  By the end of 2017 I was craving routine and rhythm so it felt really good to take the space of the daily challenge to understand those cravings and brainstorm how I could develop daily strategy for what I need.  I mentioned in a few previous posts the calling I had through this month to hold my intention close to my chest, as if to tend to its spark and insure its sustainability.  Here I am at the end of January feeling confident with the business strategy I have in place, but more importantly I have created a schedule that has my self care priorities built right in.  Which has stood me in good stead these past few weeks as my boundaries have been tested and my frustrations exhausted.  

If you are interested in more musings about the #radicalresolution challenge and what shape it will be taking from here on you can leave your name and email here and I will put you on the list.  Think access to accountability, some worksheets and prompts.

Today is the blue moon lunar eclipse.  It seems fitting that the #radicalresolution challenge would end on such an auspicious day.   I sat outside on my back steps this morning in the dark, with a cup of tea and some of my amethyst crystals at my feet.  By all accounts these last few weeks have tested me.  So I am working on being gentle with myself, not attaching myself to any one outcome.  Recognizing what I can let go of, where I have capacity and where I feel tight.  Ya know tapping into my intuition and letting that voice guide me.  Because we all know the best laid plans go right out the window sometimes and that shit hurts and feels awkward and then someone ignores you and before you know it your eating an entire box of cookies while watching bbc crime drama.  So I sat outside in the dark.  Breathed in the cold air and the quiet of my neighborhood waking up.  Let myself bask in the cloudy aura of the eclipse I couldn’t see and just sat with all the parts of me that don’t follow that awesome weekly schedule I worked so hard on.  All the parts of me that still think I need to shrink to be me.  I sat with the part of me that doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and go for a walk.  I sat with the part of me that wants to lose weight so I can fit into a cute skirt I saw online.  I gave them all a little bit of my attention so that I feel out how and where they are still attached to me.  

I talk alot about listening to our inner voice, honoring our truth, knowing what we know, feeling at home in our bodies.  Part of the work is looking at the shit that feels wack.  Acknowledging the parts that hurt, or we regret, the parts we don’t want anyone else to know about.  We don’t have to wallow in them, but we do need to know them, understand them, see them, say hello, ask them why they are present, what they need in order to move on.  It isn’t always love and rainbows it’s more often tears and anger and forgiveness.  Remember to save some  forgiveness for ourselves, remember to be gentle with ourselves so we may show up even when it’s really hard and resentment feels easier.  

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