Katie Wonders No. 005 – January 2016 Monthly Favorites // Gratitudes

unnamed-2Welcome to episode 4 of my new podcast mini series Katie WONDERS. I’m so psyched about this. I hope you guys love it as much as I do. You can read more about the concept in this post where I explained it. Before you read the shownotes do 3 things please::

1. If you want to help with my book launch join my Let It Out Book Ambassadors here!

2. Join the Facebook Group for Listeners to the podcast here.

3. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes please!

This episode is my monthly favorites again where you’ll hear what I’m loving this month across many categories. I used to share my monthly favorites in videos on YouTube (which you can still watch here) but now I’ll be sharing them on the podcast. The links and notes for everything I mentioned are below. Let me know if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below.

NOTES:

BOOKS::
-Listen to these books on audio like me! Use Audible via this link! & get a FREE audiobook.
-Kesley reads her book herself which is rad. Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life is her book.
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
-Hearing them read their own stories was great on the audiobook so try it on Audible and get a free audiobook using this link! if it’s your first time on Audible!

PODCAST::
Employee of the Month with Catie Lazarus
Modern Love Podcast
OMFG! Podcast 

PERSON:: 
Arden Rose // YouTuber
Will Darbyshire // YouTuber

MUSIC::
Alessia Cara 
Song: Here
Follow me on Spotify here.

FOOD::
Pumpkin Seed Butter- (raw and sprouted one)
Roasted really yummy pumpkin Seed Butter other brand this one.
Sea Clear only available here on Thrive Market  … love Thrive too.  + this healthy hair tea.
Roasted Almond and Beet Tea!
-Jess Lively podcast

MOVIE::
Joy

MISCELLANEOUS:: 
-TM Transcendental Meditation
-This video from Gabby Bernstein and Bob Roth explains it well and Bob is coming on my podcast soon. Get excited.
-Join the street team for my book!!!! here!
-My new Fragrance WONDER with Good Medicine Beauty Lab, check it out if you haven’t already!

Join my Facebook group! 

Theme song::
I Wonder by Kanye West

Listen on iTunes here & if you like the show please leave a review.

Ode to Elizabeth Gilbert + Eat Pray Love Book Club

Elizabeth-GilbertCat is out of the bag that I’m majorly obsessed with all things Elizabeth Gilbert. I gush about her like a ninth grade girl does about her new crush. I’m re-reading, well actually listening, on Audible to the Elizabeth Gilbert library in preparation for her new book Big Magic coming out on September 22 (yes that’s my lucky number, thanks Liz) which I’m beyond psyched about.

Anyways, as I listen to the Eat, Pray, Love on my walks and drives I find myself savoring it like a really good piece of food. I love every bit of it: the words she chooses, the accents she does for the myriad of characters she introduces in her book, and the lessons I’m acquiring while simultaneously being massively entertained and engrossed in the story. I don’t want it to be over (luckily she has many amazing books) so I decided to enlist my friends (all of you guys) to have a book club with me about it. If you want in just start listening // reading.

large I picked this book because it has many themes that are particularly relevant for myself, my clients and my friends.

Namely, the intensity of emotion from ending relationships, the cultivation of pleasure (especially through food), and the excitement & discomfort of creating a spiritual practice of your own understanding.

All things I’ve been though or rather constantly go through & coach peeps through, so it was nice to sit back and have a book read to me about all the issues I’m going through and helping people through. As she says in the Italy section of the book countless times, “I’ve been there.” and clearly Liz has too. If you feel like joining our little mini book club, I’d love to have you and hey it’s not school so if you just watch the movie  and still want to come there’s no grade so you’re welcome to! (but you should totally listen to it on audible because it’s rad.) Info on that will be sent out in email so make sure you’re on my VIP list or on my FB.

Either way below I’m going to share all my favorite things about Eat Pray Love & it’s author I admire so much. Liz Gilbert couldn’t be further from a one-trick-pony (did you the movie Coyote Ugly was based off an article she wrote for GQ in the 90s?) so below you’ll see all the massive inspiration and creativity she gives to the world through yes her books but also her talks, interview, and just random things I love about her.

Without Further ado 10 cool ways Liz Gilbert has inspired me :::

1. PLEASURE  I once said this mantra to my friends. “Pleasure is your roadmap, follow the fun.” It just poured out of me but I think Elizabeth Gilbert was the one who taught me this. The first section of Eat, Pray, Love when she’s living in Italy is all about PLEASURE and she really does use it as her guidebook for where to go. She finds pleasure in learning the Italian language, meeting new people, but above all from food. This concept of finding pleasure from food (especially authentic Italian food) is not some distant far-out concept, food is something the majority of people find pleasure in, but it’s something I didn’t find pleasure in for a while. Rather food taunted me. It was my greatest source of pain–a far cry from the way Liz relates to it in this section of her book. Reading her Italy chapter had a profound impact in my eating disorder healing. I remember thinking at one point, “Enough is enough, I want to enjoy food like Liz does.” In that moment, I was so over exclusively eating super-foods for fear of changing my body, in fact Liz does quite the opposite in her book, she embraces her changing body and trusts it will bounce back after her months of continuous eating and zero yoga (chapter 6). And guess what? (spoiler alert) it does. In fact, she’s healthier than ever and a few pants sizes bigger. Confirmed the fact that weight is not an indicator of health.

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Luckily they did this scene justice in the film version.

There’s this scene in the book where she goes to the farmers market buys fresh asparagus, goat cheese, and a plum takes it back to her apartment plates it beautifully and goes and sits in a patch of bright sun with her Italian newspaper to read her one Italian article of the day. The way she describes this in the book is so beautiful and that scene became my ideal…my ideal for how I think every meal should be eaten ideally. Full on pleasure, awareness, freshness, and a side of sunshine.

I bring this full on pleasure into all areas of my life now. Yes pleasure from food but also from how I wash my face at night to how I dress, to how I work, all inspired by the Italy section of this book.

2. WORDS– She’s so great with words. I know duh she’s a writer and that’s her job and yes, that’s true, but what I really love about her work is that she writes like she speaks. A tendency I pride myself with doing as well but I have no choice because it’s all I can do. I actually don’t know how to write only how to speak so I just do that but typed and I love that it feels like she’s doing that too. Even in her massive amazing novel about 19th Century botany, The Signature Of All Things, Liz’s voice that I love so much remained. Even her usage of language and dialog is on-point. In Eat, Pray, Love  she so loves the Italian word ‘attraversiamo‘ which means ‘let’s cross over.’ I find myself saying it it my mind for fun now every time I cross the street. There is so much sincerity in every aspect of the book even the way she writes the broken English dialog as we meet the fascinating cast of characters that become her homies throughout her travels. That sincerity is magnified immensely when you listen to it on audiobook (yes she reads her own memoir, thank God) because Liz is a master at accents. Her impression of these people (perhaps because she was actually there) gave me a better depiction of them than even the movie did.

3. PRAYER– Her quest for finding God through finding herself in this book is something I connect with deeply. I’ve been on something of a quest to find both things in the past few years only I’ve done so staying on one continent. There are so many valuable lessons about prayer and developing a spiritual connection of your own understanding through this book that I can’t even count. But mainly the theme of collaging together pieces of philosophies, religions, and cultures is what I resonate with most. That’s what I’ve been I’ve been doing for the past few years on my spiritual path. I realize now without guilt that I can take the parts of all the religions and spiritual practices that I like and leave the rest. I believe there is both truth and dogma in all religions and spiritual practices. The truth is we all have to take our time to find what works for us. Taking what resonates and leaving what doesn’t seems simple yet there’s another step you have to do to make that work. To know what resonates for you, you first have to know you. Getting to know yourself has to be the first step to figuring out what works for you in cultivating a spiritual connection of your own understanding. I help my clients with this all the time. First I coach them to “date themselves” aka figure out who they authentically are and what they even enjoy // brings them pleasure, then we can dive into life purpose and developing a spiritual connection of their own understanding.

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Laura in Greece, being all artistic and cool.
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Laura and her cool boyfriend Anthony just you know, relaxing all cool by the beach. omg. How cool are they? I can’t even handle.

4. TRAVEL– Nothing on earth makes me feel more free than being alone on an airplane. Whether I’m going to New York, which I do fairly often or travel to another continent which I don’t do nearly often enough, few scenarios make me feel more free. I always get this feeling when the plane is about to take of where I think, ‘Woah I could have somehow gotten on the wrong plane and end up anywhere in the world.’ While that probably terrifies most, weirdly I’m comforted by it because this makes me feel invincible and like I’m magic and with the snap of a finger I could literally end up anywhere. Which is basically true, except the snap of the figure is money, time, and a passport.  There’s this part in the book where Liz Gilbert talks about her love for travel and that it is just a part of her, I resonated with that. I think there are some of us who value travel more than others. For instance, I heard this podcast with her and her friend and fellow author Anne Patchet where they discuss Anne’s nature as a homebody who has no real interest to see the world in the way Liz does // did // still is. I’ve decided for myself I have that travel bone. Even since I studied abroad in college and got to travel to Spain, Portugal, and Italy I’ve been itching to do it again and rereading this book only made that itch stronger than ever. Bottom line:: to me there is nothing more freeing than travel and you have permission to do it if it is a value of yours. It’s not that hard. If it’s a value you’ll make it happen, you’ll save the money you’ll get the flexibility at work, whatever basically the stars will align but YOU have to make the choice to set things in motion. My best friend Laura (yes she’s the creative genius behind why anything I do in WWLand looks cool) is a perfect example of this. She wanted to travel but she had a really awesome full-time job, however she still made it happen. All she had to do was ask and next thing she knew she was on a plane to Greece, Turkey, and Bali. Since then she lives in Australia with her rad boyfriend she met on that trip. Now I know what you’re thinking, she should write a book about this it sounds like a modern day Eat, Pray, Love situation (I’m on her, hopefully she will) but for now be inspired by her story and let it show you that if you value travel you CAN travel. I can. We all can. I’ve gotta take my own medicine on this one…brb. Planning my next trip, I will be accountable on Instagram.

5. LOVE – Now this one I’m admittedly still figuring out but what I realize now, is that all of the above must be in tiptop shape before this one can even remotely come together, as proved by Liz in Eat, Pray, Love. There’s a reason why she doesn’t meet her Javier Bardem until the very end of the book, she had to get her inner shit together first. Once we do the following things and do them well; find ourselves, find a spiritual connection of our own understanding, fill ourselves with pleasure, and feel free through whatever that means to you (perhaps travel but not limited to that), then it’s inevitable that you’ll need a new assignment–a new stomping ground to learn and grow and that’s when the Universe will bring you a relationship aka your next teacher for personal growth. Relationships are assignments to bring up all our stuff, they become our mirrors and our guides, they teach us what we need to know. We can’t however, look to a relationship or a romantic partner to heal everything in our lives, we have to do that for ourselves first like Liz and Laura and I are // have done in our own unique ways. It’s a process, sometimes slow but your relationship will be the gravy on your already buttery fluffy mashed potatoes not the entire warm dinner plate…fill yourself in other ways so you’re not asking too much from the relationship, because let me tell you “Be everything to me, I need you.” is not a good pick up line. When you find someone from that place of wholeness, you’re attracting a really cool person. For example, just watch this video real quick about the type of dude Elizabeth Gilbert attracted.

Well that’s my wisdom on all of this. If you want to join my spur of the moment book club get on my VIP list & I’ll send you an invite. Until them eat, pray, and love. A lot. Oh and if you need the book, get it on audible, I’m telling you it’s so much better when the real author reads it to you omg.

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Hacks To Stay In Wonderland Throughout The Day

It’s easy to stay in your Wellness Wonderland / high-vibe state in the morning while you’re going through your morning routine, it’s throughout the day where we get triggered by the busyness of life and become stressed out. We talk a lot about how to start our day or end our day for happiness, but what about the middle of the day when you’re working and need tools to stay sane the most. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy, happy, and centered throughout the day while you’re at work and busy.

1. Breathe– Take deep breaths throughout the day. We often hold our breath when we’re stressed but simply breathing can relax your mind and body.
2. Hydrate like A Boss– Yes drinking water is crucial since being dehydrated can make your brain work less effectively, but the real reason I like drinking water at my desk is because it forces me to actually get up and move to go to the bathroom. When I’m focused on a project it is so easy to say sedentary for hours. Drinking water forces me to get up.
3. Move As Much As Possible– Our bodies aren’t designed to sit in chairs all day and stare at screens which is why simply getting up and moving every hour at least is important. It has even been said that sitting is the new smoking. So get up and dance to a song every so often or do some squats or drop into a plank  if you work from home. If you work at an office walk to someone’s desk instead of emailing every once and awhile or take the stairs on your way in from lunch.
4. Be Around People– If you work in an office this one is easy (skip to number 5) but if you don’t this one might be the most important. If you’re an entrepreneur or have a remote working situation or home office, it seems ideal and in a lot of ways it is, short commute, great cafeteria etc. However, it is easy to hibernate and spend countless hours alone with no other human contact (I know I’ve done it). This sounds innocent enough but can create extreme cabin fever which is why getting out in public is crucial. This could be as simple as running some errands at lunch working from a coffee shop or better yet, joining a co-working space (this one looks rad) to get the feel of an office environment without the negative aspects. When people come together, creativity can maximize! Remember we’re social creatures for force yourself to get out for your health.
5. Candle Meditation To Refocus Your Eyes– Just like we weren’t meant to sit for long periods, we also weren’t designed to stare at screens for hours either so our eyes can get tired before our minds do. To help with this, simply stare on the flickering flame of a candle for about a minute, take some deep breaths. This will not only refocus your eyes, but calm you down as well.
7. Pulse Meditation– When we spend the entire day focused on to-do lists and other people’s agenda’s it is very easy to loose track of ourselves and become disconnected from our bodies. Have you ever come home at the end of a long work day to watch an entire bowl of popcorn disappear in seconds right before your eyes? It’s easy to go all day without eating or even checking in with our bodies at all which leads to overeating at the end of the day. This tip connects you in with your body throughout so you know what it actually needs and wants. Simply place your thumb on your pulse on your wrist. Then on each beat repeat a mantra in your mind like, “calm-down, calm-down”  for about a minute. You can do this at your desk, stuck in traffic, or even in a meeting, no one will know (trust me) and they’ll thank you for it later because you’ll be more chill.
8. Start With Important Tasks First- Do you ever have so much to do that you don’t even know where to begin when you sit down to work? Willpower is a limited resource so when you’re at your desk you’ll want to get the most important tasks done first since willpower diminishes as the day goes on. Also, if you get done your creative projects first this will inspire you and spark momentum to keep going throughout the day.
9. Don’t Get Caught On Email- Email is a time suck no matter how many messages are in your inbox. When you start your day by answering emails, it is easy to spend the entire day simply responding to other people’s non urgent requests and tasks instead of completing your own. Instead of using your inbox as your to-do list, do your important tasks first and then go into your inbox with a set amount of time for responding so it doesn’t suck your entire day. What I do, is send all the important messages I need to send before I even start reading or replying, that way what I wanted to send doesn’t get forgotten and I can check that off my list. If you use gmail, I’ve found this tool Boomerang to be extremely helpful. It takes messages from your inbox out and sends them back to you when you’ll actually have time to review them per your request so messages aren’t missed.
10. Make It Feel Nice– Regardless of your work environment do what you can to ignite your senses and make it feel good to you. Keep your space tidy, keep smells you like on hand I like essential oil or my little Imbibe Epoch Fragrance at my desk or in my bag. I also constantly listen to music while I’m working. It inspires me to keep moving or calms me down depending on what I’m listening to. Here’s my Spotify if you want to listen with me.

What work tips work for you? Let me know, I’m always looking for good tips.

 

 

There Is A Way Through Every Block

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Monday Meanderings  have been a mainstay in Wonderland since I started the blog. A day where instead of sharing a new post from me, I share what has been inspiring me from around the web & a few insta-glimpses into my weekend. However, last week was special and I shared a little story and lesson that truly touched me & this week I thought I’d do the same, hope that’s cool with you.

I teach yoga every Sunday morning  to an amazing crew of peeps that teach me way more than I teach them (you should totally join them if you’re local!).  I’ve been teaching a new one of Yogi Bhajan’s 5 Sutras for the Auqarian age each week expanding on one of them in a little lecture at the beginning of class. They are beautiful, concise, and so powerful.

Here they all are, The Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age:

1. Recognize that the other person is you.
2. There is a way through every block.
3. When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.
4.  Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.
5. Vibrate the cosmos, and the cosmos shall clear the path.

If you’re willing, they can transform your life when you put them into practice.

Today’s class I focused on the second one.

THERE IS A WAY THROUGH EVERY BLOCK. –>tweet it!

Damn, good right? doesn’t it feel better just to read?

I preached that there is a lesson in every situation no matter how bad it seems & that the world is your classroom & people are your teachers. Even in a seemingly terrible situation you can always find the good. I offered the below affirmation that is a mainstay in my life. Say it whenever you’re in those moments of unease, stress, or fear. It does two things: calms you down immediately & gives the Universe time to step in and give you everything you need. & trust me is always does….(proof below keep reading)…

Here’s the affirmation:

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Nice one right? It always works I swear and when you use it, the Universe will give you everything you need.

Case in point: Today driving to my yoga class I woke up with terrible shoulder tension and thought ‘ouch, dang I could really use a massage.’ As I walked out of teaching class a massage therapist walked up to me and said, “would you like a free massage?” I’m not lying! Do you have chills on how perfect that was? I do. It’s just a perfect example of when you are calm and certain of the outcome the Universe will give you everything you need…in my case a massage. It didn’t stop there, for the rest of the day the lights were green, the front parking spot opened up at the grocery store, and I felt completely supported. See how long you can stay in this flow.

Here’s the thing, we teach what we need to learn. I had fogotten this and remembered it after I taught it to others that day. Look what my man YB says about this:

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Inevitably we will fall out. We will get out of sync. We will forget the affirmation. We will go into total freak out mode, but when this happens know it is fine. In fact, it’s natural and life’s not about staying in the flow, rather shortening the time it takes you to get back into it.

So how do you get back into it?

Well, there’s lots of ways. You can meditate, go to yoga, or wait for the guidance to come. All great options, but do you want one that is the end-all-be-all for getting back into feeling in the flow? HELP SOMEONE. I know what you’re thinking, if I’m the one in a funk why would I help someone else? Because that’s how we’re wired as humans to help and support each other, that’s what arouses us. This is the best way to get you out of your head & get you back into your flow. Try it. Namaste.

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WWOffice Q & A Ep 001 | How To Get Started Meditating

NEW Series in Wonderland: Q & A day! I will be taking your questions and answering them in a video in the WWOffice.

Today’s question came in an email and this Wellness Wonderland inhabitant asked How to get started with a meditation practice and in today’s video I give her 4 practical tips on how to get started.

Check it out and leave me a comment below with your questions and I’ll get to them in a future episode of Q & A Day in the WWOffice.

If you liked this video share it with a friend!

Or tweet the below to a bunch of friends:

“The trick to meditation is to just start.”

ps. here are the guided meditations that got me started! & one I love on YouTube!