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Pet me. Notice me. Play with me.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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What to do when your life as you knew it seems to be crumbling around you?

I don’t even watch the news anymore but the following is what I have picked up through media channels in the past few days just in passing:

  • COVID numbers are going up, not down.

  • A community less than two hours from me, Kenosha, Wisconsin, has made the national news with riots, protests and murder.

  • Our local county has put so many restrictions on our schools, restaurants, bars and retail shops, my friends and community members are suffering financially and most importantly, mentally.

  • There’s an “unsurvivable” hurricane about to touch down around the Gulf of Mexico.

  • There’s litany of angry faces jumping out from the screens screaming for me to cast my vote for the lesser of two evils in an election that comes at the worst possible time ever.

  • I’m about to home school my children.

That’s a short list of the massive one that’s likely out there in your world too.

Holy shit, man. Armageddon anyone?

It’s hard not to get swallowed up in it all. Really hard.

But as I sit here, on National Dog Day no less, staring out my window at three very content, happy (all be it very hot) Australian shepherds, I’m trying to take a lesson from them. They’re just happy waiting for one of us to acknowledge them, pet them and play with them.

That WOULD make everything better wouldn’t it? Pet me. Notice me. Play with me.

Could it be that easy? Let’s see if we can translate from dog to human. Bear with me, this metaphor might get ugly.

Pet me.

We need to start caring for ourselves.

“Pet me” can easily be translated in to caring for our physical senses. They are the window to the world we see. Over stimulation of the senses creates a fatigue that dulls our senses and therefore our view of the outside world in a way that prevents us to see what is truly there.

By taking in information through images and video, we are overstimulating our senses of sight and hearing. Our mind then is in overdrive trying to process and compartmentalize all the information by level of importance, urgency and intensity. It’s called sensory overload.

Good times.

Just for today, can we step back for a hot minute? Take enough time to reboot the computer? Turn off the television, podcast, YouTube video? Turn off the notifications on our phone? Skip the news for a day? A week? A month?

Of course we can; it’s will we? That’s the million dollar question.

Let’s try concentrating on our other senses: Can one of the kids brush your hair? Tickle your feet? Maybe your spouse can rub your back (not “that kind of” back rub, unless of course the mood strikes)? A snuggle with a pet and a good, fluffy book?

If petting isn’t your thing and you’ll just die if one more living, breathing being wants to crawl on your lap or hang around your neck, I get that. Try washing your face earlier than normal. Take a bath. Light a candle. Make some tea. Eat a piece of fruit. Paint your toenails. Lay on your yoga mat.

I know there’s so much going on and it feels like there’s a never-ending to-do list; I’m there too. But, that entire list WILL be there tomorrow and unless someone will get hurt or die if you don’t finish it, put it away.

Notice me.

This one is a tough one because we spend most of our lives trying to get other humans to notice us. But what if we just stood back for a second and noticed ourselves?

What would happen if we started to notice what is going on inside? What happens RIGHT BEFORE we reach for the glass of wine, the bag of chips, the next NEW thing in our social media feeds? (I am notoriously guilty of this and I just can’t seem to learn my lesson that a cozy sweatshirt on the FB model will come from China as a Barbie-sized XXL.)

This sentiment of “take a breath before you…” has always made me roll my eyes a little. I mean I get it but it just seems so simple, it just can’t work, right? Much like the progress over perfection thing, this is a tough anti-extreme thinking tactic which goes against my grain.

But, I’m ready to give it a shot. Here are some the tricks I’ve found to use:

  1. Recognize the trigger.

    Notice any physical reactions in our bodies. Maybe it’s a racing heart, a pounding in our heads, that familiar knot in my stomach, or a gross sweaty palm. These are signs to activate our internal pause button.

  2. Press pause.

    Mentally say, “pause,” or if you’re alone and pretty dedicated to breaking this habit, say “stop” out loud. In my case, since I’m from Wisconsin and our “excuse me” translates to “OPE”, I find myself saying “ope” when I’m reaching for the refrigerator door to stare blankly inside. It’s about my favorite phrase in the whole world and since we can’t even get close enough to people physically to garner the phrase these days, I’ll just use it here.
    It does actually seem to be working and it makes me chuckle to myself so smile bonus.

  3. Take a deep breath.

    I know, this gets a little overused too, but it does work. I just asked the smart people over at Harvard Healthy:
    The ability to breathe so deeply and powerfully is not limited to a select few. This skill is inborn but often lies dormant. Reawakening it allows you to tap one of your body’s strongest self-healing mechanisms. Read More.

    Getting a quick hit of extra oxygen to the brain helps you compose your thoughts and brings you into the present moment.

    And ten thousand years of yogi wisdom can’t be wrong.

  4. Observe.

    If we’re interacting with other humans, let’s just take a beat to listen. There’s no rule that we have to say anything immediately and no word quota for the day we have to meet.
    This last one is a tough one for me…I like to hear myself talk and man can I preach. But, I’m going to try to notice the squirrels up there running around and simply observe for a while. Wish me luck.

    To curb impulse eating or spending, return to the “why” around this kind of situation. If you’re trying to reach a goal or break a habit, there must be a why. If you haven’t found it yet, now is the time to dig a little deeper.

    Again, allow yourself to simply observe the thoughts that pass through your mind.

  5. Press Play

    Now we’re ready to act. Mindfully.

    “This all sounds fine and dandy, Katy, but in the heat of the moment, I don’t have that kind of time!” 

    If you’re hard-wired, like me, to react immediately, it’s a case of reminding yourself it’s okay to pause. It’s the little things that make the big differences. Much easier said than done for me.

Play with me.

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I lost the dog metaphor somewhere along the way here, but this is an easy one to return to.

Quite a while back, I considered myself a runner. I had trained and run both a half and full marathon in my late twenties with a sprinkling of some 5k and 10k races in there. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I felt like I HAD to do it in order to lose weight or be considered physically fit. Like it was the only way.

And in true all-or-nothing-Katy fashion, I’d start a training program and because it just wasn’t in line with my passions, I’d never finish it. And running was only one of those things; I’ve tried cycling, lifting, HIIT classes, personal training, etc. None of it I loved long enough to make a consistent, healthy habit out of. And most of it I used as a punishment for some failure story I made up in my head.

But I love to walk. I can listen to a book or I can just let my mind wander to all the light (and dark) places. Whatever isn’t serving me at the time I can just leave out there on the road. It’s not a punishment for an over-indulgence or a chore on my to-do list. It’s my escape, my freedom from too many things to do, to think, to feel as an early forties woman in 2020. I never feel guilty about it because it’s my time to regroup and I’m lighter for my family, friends and work when I return.

It’s my play.

What’s yours? It could absolutely be anything; it doesn’t have to be physical…I also need a creative outlet (ahem, here) so if it’s crafting, sewing, reading, writing, photography, playing music, making a meal…doesn’t matter.

Let’s not waste one more minute doing things we think we SHOULD be doing.

“I should…” is for weenies.

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.


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