Pausing for Thanks

I hung up the phone from a coaching session with my own coach, aAbstract Collage-Woman-Wingsnd teacher, Kate Michels of Core Alignment Coaching, I realized something very profound.  The topic of discussion was about being in the state of happiness.  I realized that, in my past, I had been viewing happiness from an outside perspective, thinking that it was going to somehow jump into my body and glitter some fairy dust across my soul and I will be happy forever.   I pictured it as this place where you visit and suddenly become happy.

laughing_iguanaIt was important for me to grasp this concept…of happiness.  So, I even took a course on the Pursuit of Happiness.  Yes, there is really a structured course on this topic.  From the beginning of time, philosophers, psychologists, neurologists, and scientists have studied, theorized and tested what happiness is and what it does for humans and animals.

This is what I know about happiness from a purely human experience:

When I am mindful of everything around me, I am in a state of awareness.  This awareness is about taking note of each thing and asking where it came from, how it got there, what was the purpose of it, why do I keep it, what is it good for, who is it good for.

As I looked around the room a few days ago, I realized that each of the things I noted, and asked those questions, were a part of me.  I chose the piles of papers on my desk, I purchased the multiple books lining the shelves of the bookcase that I also bought to house the books.  Each book meant something to me, because I chose it for specific reasons.

IMG-0403I chose the Asian decor and lighting, and a Native American drum on the wall because these fill my spirit.  Yes, these are all external things, here, but I chose them.  The choice is what became so transparent to me in that single moment.  I get to choose.  And, in that same moment, I felt this warmth of being thankful for that gift of choice.

My life had not been easy with a failed marriage, being raped, losing a child, living in poverty, and raising children alone.  It was the times, however, that I recognized that it was happiness that kept me moving towards the light – that life I wanted for myself and my children.  Happiness was found in those minute moments of gratitude for someone’s generosity, or just seeing the smiles on my children’s faces when they were happy.

Choice is our gift toward thankfulness, peace, freedom, and happiness.  It is there inside us at all times for the partaking.  Whether we live in poverty or live in a castle, we possess the gift to choose how we will perceive each moment, how we will view our surroundings, and how we live in those surroundings.

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When we celebrate our moments of abundance during this season, we will pause for one day to be thankful, it is our choice.   Some gatherings will go around the table and ask what each person is grateful for, others will simply say grace, while even just a few will pause, not realizing the choice they have made to give thanks.  It is in this moment we can choose to make this our day of change -to pause for thankfulness and happiness every single day of our future lives.

I wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful season of Thanks, and hope that you will make the choice to live in mindful gratitude each day.

Thank you for reading my blogs each month.  I am humbly grateful that my thoughts through words on a page make a difference in people’s lives every day.

For this, I am happy.

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Kat is a Professional Core Alignment Mentor who specializes in the art and science of NeuroLinguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training. She is founder of Taproots for Life.

Kat has helped many people realize their own potential, improve parenting, build confidence, respond more wisely to stress, and more.

Kat’s practice spans the globe for English-speaking people.  Her passion is helping people awaken the light of wisdom within themselves to live a life of joy.

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Leadership: InPower? or EMpower?

With the recent occurrences in our world, I felt compelled to write about the attributes of a true leader in any situation, whether it be in our family, at school, at work, social networks and other places where leadership can elevate or sabotage an event or situation.

In my years of management, I experienced empowering mentors and ineffective mentors.  While the empowering mentors helped me grow, the ineffective ones also taught me a lot about growth in a different manner.

I will share a couple stories that bring out the qualities that make someone ineffective as a leader in an organization, and share other stories that create a spark in the consciousness that make people come alive in a work setting.

file8841263254299I was already a single mom in my 20’s, a budding manager,and excited to help people succeed. I knew I had a lot to learn and looked up to my superiors to teach me the ropes.  What I quickly learned was that not all managers were effective.

Maureen (not her real name) was an experienced nurse in her prime years of care for patients.  She partnered with another nurse and created a successful hospice service to patients experiencing end of life.

Maureen shared with me that the only reason she became a nurse was that she was forced by her parents to choose a profession and that it was mandatory that she attend a prestigious college.  Her decision was to become a nurse because it was the shortest path to gaining a degree that her parents desired for her. This was Maureen’s path.

I attended my interview Maureen and her partner, complete with suit, pumps, and pad and paper for notes. I answered their questions and shared my experience.  I liked the diversity of the two personalities and enjoyed the short conversation.  I walked away from the interview not knowing if I was hired.  Two days later, I received the call:  “You’re hired.”

In my five years with this organization, I created better communication, scheduling practices, and earned the owners’ trust in running the organization in their absence.  But, then the abuse arrived at my door like a thief in the night.

Maureen lived in a world of fear, hatred, and self-doubt.  She was used to gettangry-womaning what she wanted no matter how unrealistic or painful it was for others around her.  She stomped her feat, screamed, and slammed doors.  This was her management style.  The company’s turnover hovered around 75%.  But, I was not a quitter.

I soon became known by my peers as the “whipping post” for everything that went wrong, even though I was not technically overseeing anything, except those I oversaw in a closely controlled, loosely described supervisory role.  I knew this would be the case, but I was just learning and at the bottom rungs of my career.  I could take a little abuse (I had already been there, I thought, with an abusive husband).

One day, Maureen, came to me and openly reversed on a principle that she made known to everyone in the organization.  She told me to do something morally wrong that served her purpose to appear “large” in the eyes of a client, who was well-known in the community.

file4781300045861Humbly, I repeated her principle back to her and she came unglued. Big mistake on my part. Her arms began flailing in the air, her eyes on fire, feet stomping, and her voice raged like the fury of a mother jaguar.  She came at me, all five feet of scrambled wildness to my five foot nine.  She wrinkled her face, lunged up at me, and screamed for over five minutes.  After a minute, it was like hearing the teacher in Charlie Brown cartoons: “wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.”  Then…silence came.  I drew in a deep breath and without a beat,  calmly asked her if she was finished and said, ” Thank you, may I get back to work, now?”

Maureen spiraled around in a fit of flames, stomped to her office and flung the door shut, creating a jarring slam that I am convinced woke the dead.   Nothing was resolved, and I was still sitting with a dilemma that could have lost us a very valuable account.

This was my first experience with a manager who had no respect for herself or others. She never took time to understand a person or situation before losing her true identity as a caring person (who was, sadly, lost).  There is more to this story, but I digress and put this one on a shelf to tell you about an effective manager.

About ten years later, I was hired as a manager to an international organization that provided internal service to hospitals.  I worked for seven years before making it to corporate management.  Just prior to getting there, I was under the direction of a boss who looked out for people. He helped them become successful.  He asked their opinions, offered engagement in processes.  He valued the people who worked with him. He went by the name Garvey.

Garvey took time with me when I was frustrated that I could not get buy-in from the teams on some of my projects.  He taught me about people and the importance of meeting them where they are.  Further, he saw something in me that I knew, but never really took it to heart.

Garvey asked me, “Do you believe that leaders are created or born?”  I truly believed that leaders could be both.  I believed there were leaders who were ineffective – think Hitler – and those who empowered others -think Mother Teresa.   Garvey and I got along quite well, and he became my professional mentor.  He helped me learn how to take over his job.  I came from the same school of thought – teach others to be at least as successful as me.

One day, I was called into Garvey’s conference room “office.” He traveled to multiple locations within the region.  He said, “shut the door and lock it behind you, we are going to have a discussion.”  Needless to say, I was very concerned. Very…

“Kat,” Garvey said, “I want you to know some things about your management style and what you do with your skills.” Now, I was seriously contemplating handing him a resignation.  “You possess the skills of a leader that I have not seen in a long time.”  As I wiped the sweat from my brow and shook my head, I felt myself looking around to see who he was talking to.  I relaxed into the conversation.

Garvey was talking in a very serious manner.  He had my attention.  “You will be the next regional manager,” he said.  I was speechless.  The silence felt like hours.  I gulped and responded, “But, Garvey, I have no formal degree, or any accounting background, or…”

“Stop,” he said.  “Hear me out. You possess the qualities of a good leader.  You’re not perfect, but you know it.  You set a standard, hold people accountable, but teach them how to be successful. These are the signs of a true leader in my book.”

I nearly cried to hear these words, especially since I recalled the prior conversation when he informed me of his belief that leaders were born.  He really believed that!  So, I sucked up my “girliness” and choked back the tears.  I began to feel my confidence rise with his words.  I felt like I had real purpose in this huge company where employee’s ambitions easily became homogenized, for lack of solid managers to support them.

Later in the year, Garvey retired, and the next director called me into his office.  He said the familiar words I learned about leadership, and I was promoted to the next regional manager -over thirteens states.  My time with Garvey, and other effective mentors along the way, had been fruitful.  I put in the work and it paid off.

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Today, I  have learned so many lessons: from others, and my own shortcomings, as well as the celebrated successes in life and business.  I am now an empowered woman in her golden years, still leading with my love for people and helping them get to a place that brings empowerment to their own lives- a place of happiness and freedom.  I am ever so grateful for the people like Maureen and Garvey who taught me so much about the person I’ve always wanted to be.

 

 

When we empower ourselves, we have completed our own  basic need for attention, the need to feel validated or heard.  We begin to see ourselves in others’ eyes, seeing our own places of opportunity while being grateful to be in the presence of these teachers in our lives.

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Nurturing Voices to be Heard

Kat is a Professional Core Alignment Mentor who specializes in the art and science of NeuroLinguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.

She has helped many people realize their own potential, improve parenting, build confidence, respond more wisely to stress, and more.

Kat’s practice spans the globe for English-speaking people.  Her passion is helping people awaken the light of wisdom within themselves to live a life of joy.

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Contact:  info@taprootsforlife.com

Site:  https://taprootsforlife.com

 

 

 

The Silver Lining of my Soul

This week, I was blessed with a visit from a young lady, named Bella, who is about to start her life in the adult world.  She expressed her fears of becoming an adult.  Bella’s fears were simple and reminiscent of when I was her age.   I listened intently as her youthful light shone through her eyes.

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While Bella was excited to step out into the life she had created so far, she was terrified of “growing up.”  Bella feared responsibility and independence because it seemingly lacked freedom from this young view.  She had seen so many of her friends fail at the forefront of their careers and family life.  Bella saw the struggles of her married friends as young parents trying to make ends meet. It all seemed so confining from experiences of life she lived as a child.

But, Bella lent me some insight to her worries,  because I began to recall the same worries at her tender age, and, now in my late 50’s those fears and obstacles were shadows of the past.  However, this young curious woman gave me a new view:  There is more information for this generation than ever before.  Information that can assist them in taking short cuts:  blogs, search engines, libraries, videos, and…the wisdom from their elders.

When Bella came to me, her words made me realize that I had grown into my own wisdom that she sought for herself.  I was flattered.  As we emerged from our chat, mentor to client, we began our curious conversation toward her new outlook on life.

It is to young Bella, I dedicate the poem I wrote this morning.  These words for the little wisdom I had when I was young, facing one tragedy after another; yet, it was not all for nothing as I realized much later in life.

My life and its striving moments has meant something.  And now I see the great moments that have brought me courage, curiosity, and a new vigor for life.  I share this with Bella and see a bright future where she will share the same to inspire others.

I hop0f0d060d4e0cb3ce3c17409e4246694ee this poem will inspire you in some way with just a thought that will bring light to your day.

In my youth, I would fear:
That I will grow old
My body will falter
My hair will  gray
My eyes will  fail
My hearing will wane
I will walk bent over
My hands will tremble
My face will sag
I will forget things
My speech will lag.

In my Golden Years I Know:women-1013116_1920
There’s a new world each day
Filled with hope and surprise
I am thankful for each moment
My eyes are able to see
I am grateful for each day
I feel and I love
I find joy in seeing youth grow
In my heart and in my soul
My body is not important
Because my spirit flows free

The young person in me only saw the outer cover of the core of who I was.  I wanted things, I saw things, I feared things.  There was a lack of love for myself, confidence was low, and my vision was cloudy.   I felt I deserved nothing, but if I looked good no one would notice…never leaving the house without a smile, or nice clothes, or showing up with make-up being perfect, covering the internal…and external…bruises.

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I walked through life only as a shadow of what the world brought to me.  I would react to its harshness,  because, truthfully, my ego was on a mountain shouting its anger and fear.  I traded dignity for ways to be heard and acknowledged, attempting to feel fulfilled.  Life brought some really tough lessons, because I did not really pause to listen to my inner wisdom.  To listen to that voice that had been telling me that this is not who you really are.

Mother Nature and the world around saw where I was headed, and it was disastrous.  Failed relationships, lack of direction, no faith in any higher power. I was broken and felt alone.  My children suffered, my parents suffered, my friends left me, and I was alone in the darkness with my empty self.

The only hope I held was that my children, and grandchildren to follow, would not suffer as I did.  I would educate them on what they should and should not do.  I would shelter them from harm at any diversion in the road of life.

But…as I grew older, I began to understand that life is what you create.  When my children left home to live their own lives, I began to ponder what was important. What would my life now look like?  How would I now shelter my children and my grandchildren from the harm of making rash decisions?

I didn’t know what that life looked like until I learned that my entire life had already been lived from my soul.  Many times I did not recognize it for the shadows of my superficial material world.  It was important to me to look good, even though I was living in a vacuum of self-destruction.  I drank, disrespected my body, slept a lot, and starved myself of self-love and respect. I was unhappy with my life, unhappy with me.

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My experience of knowing the wisdom and living it and, knowing the wisdom and rejecting it was the key to the answer of how I lived my life to this day.  The days that I rejected my own wisdom were the days that were so dark and so dreary that I could not see the truth in myself.  The truth that I was a loving, deserving, confident single mother, who loved life and the people in it.  At the time, I missed the message.

My children were my hope for the future.  But, what was I teaching them?  It was a long road of self-discovery.  I sought the wisdom of a Catholic priest and I scheduled counseling for myself and children.   My children had become my teachers.  I did not always make wise decisions for them, and we all learned the hard way.   I began to observe their behaviors at school, with their friends and at home.  This life wasn’t what I wanted for them.

One evening, I found myself in a bar that was, well, not a very reputable place for men, let alone women.  The women who visited this place were hard, did time, and drank…a lot.  I had become friends with the bar tender because I had become her confidante for her personal and work life problems.  People at this place somehow thought I had it “all together, ”  to trust me with their hard luck stories. I didn’t care, I just wanted someone to talk to.  Anyone, just anyone who didn’t need a diaper change, a medical treatment to breathe (a son with Cystic Fibrosis), or want something more than I could provide.

As I sat there on the bar stool talking with Mel (Bartender),  a “old” grade school buddy sat beside me.  He sat in silence for awhile without addressing me.  We were classmates at a Catholic grade school.   Finally, Bill looked over at me, as he gulped down a swig of beer.  “Girl, what are you doing here?”  I responded with my cheeky answer, “having a beer, why?”  Bill looked at me with his concerning brown eyes, “Sweet girl, you do not belong in a place like this.  Come with me.”  I felt ashamed and allowed Bill to lead me out the door.

Bill drove me to his home, nearby.  He poured a glass of wine and we toasted to old memories.  At the end of the short evening, he leaned over and looked me closely in the eyes.  “Will you promise me that you will never go back to that place, again? You deserve better.  Your kids deserve a mom who is there for them. You are not that kind of a girl.”

Bill squeezed my shoulders in a deep, loving hug – like a father would give.  I left Bill’s place that night, wondering what it was that I was missing.  I was so confused about who I was, I wasn’t raised this way.  I left that evening, however, with a sense of comfort, knowing that my  true friends looked out for me when I most needed it.  Bill was such a friend.

Prior to that evening, I had many opportunities to wake up and pull it together, but it was Bill’s words that stung so hard “you are not that kind of a girl.”  What kind of girl had I become?  As I repeated the thought in my head, it ran deeper and deeper into my core so deep that I cried for hours over what I was really doing versus who I knew my self to be.  I had been wandering down a path of fire on both sides, wavering from side to side in a state of subconscious regret, fear, anger.  It was burning me up alive, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

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Bill saved my life that night.  There were so many ways I could have gone, but I finally listened to the words that I had heard over and over at that god-forsaken bar.  But, because Bill and I were friends, it became glaringly clear to hear it from his mouth.

It was not long after my seemingly coincidental visit with Bill, that I began to pull my life together.  I was not only dressing nicely on the outside, I took care of my inside (my soul).  My mind had somehow relaxed when I accepted what I heard from Bill.  It was all, by no means, a mistake or coincidence.  I began to listen to my surroundings and become aware of what was falling down around me.  I was realizing that I was responsible for my own future, this current life didn’t have to be this way.

As my mind became clearer on what I wanted, events began to occur.  I was referred by my former boss to another company and my career began to take off.  My confidence began to strengthen, I was smiling more.  Conflicts did not seem to bother me, as they once did.

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My successes became more frequent, my children were happier, I met a loving man.  These were miracles that came to my life with just one conversation and tuning my attention to what was really important to me.

I did not do this all alone, however.  I can not imagine taking on such a personal growth without guidance from someone who really cared about my welfare.  I found ways to afford counselors, coaches, and massage therapists.  I wanted to bring holistic approach to the value of my healing.

Even now, as I move toward 60 years old, I seek coaches and mentors who bring a holistic approach to my ongoing journey as a confident, loving, and caring wise woman who wants the same for everyone on this planet.  I have learned that no one is broken, they just have different information; and, gathering information gives us the best chance in making the best possible decisions for our lives as we are all learning how to live from our souls.woman-570883_1920

So, Bella, as you read this message, I smile and see your bright and shiny future that lies ahead like a diamond lit path.  There will be flaws in the diamonds, but it is there you will find your strengths and truths.  Ask questions, be curious, for it is also there that you will find your wisdom within.  It is in those moments that we truly shine in our vulnerability, standing out with love in our heart, that we find the silver lining to our soul’s purpose and speak from our voice of wisdom.

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Kat is a Professional Core Alignment Mentor who specializes in the art and science of NeuroLinguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.

She has helped many people realize their own potential, improve parenting, build confidence, respond more wisely to stress, and more.

Kat’s practice spans the globe for English-speaking people.  Her passion is helping people awaken the light of wisdom within themselves to live a life of joy.

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Contact:  info@taprootsforlife.com

Site:  https://taprootsforlife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accepting Home

Over the last few months, the reality of time and home have been on my mind.  I have been visiting my aging parents more frequently, and reflect on the moment as much.  I think about the past, during my childhood years, growing up the oldest of six siblings.  I believe our childhood mirrored a series or two of the Waltons, that is, without the mountain-we had a hill.  I realize that sounds hokey, but it is what I remembered in our semi-rural dwellings in the Midwest.

Our bare-footed summers were spent running through the woods playing hide and seek, creating secret hideouts in the trees, building dams in the creek, barricading forts in the woods for the “bad guys,” swinging from tree swings, long hours at the local ball field playing soccer, kickball, hotbox and fast-pitch. softball-1619396_1920

When my dad bought a vintage convertible, my brother and sisters and I would volunteer to wash it for him so we would have an excuse to hear stereo.  We would crank up the HiFi (yes, that’s HiFi, Gen Xers and Millenniums, not Wifi) and sing, “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog!”  We were free and loving life.vintage-car-852239_1920

In the winter, we could not wait for the snow to arrive.  The colder the weather and the higher the snowfall made for the best sled train ever.   The oldest kids would rally the neighborhood tots, tweeners and teens.   Everyone would link up their sleds at the top of the longest street in the neighborhood.  There would be at least 15 kids willing to brave the long hill.  This was the one time of year when all kids laid down their arguments and became a movie of interactive, collaborative characters in a winter wonderland.

We had sleds, shovels, toboggans, or whatever would slide through the snow and link into
sled-626832_1920the train.
We laid claim that it was the longest sled train in the universe.  Our parents were certainly amused by our spirit, as they watched us whiz by with kids rolling off and giggling in the snow, and the littlest guy with frosty red cheeks running to catch up shouting, “Hey wait for me.”

Many of those parents still live in that old neighborhood, including my parents.  They have stories to tell about their families and living in the 50’s and through the 80’s.

Aging parents, like mine, sometimes are forced to make decisions about their lives- do we stay or do we move?  Their limitations have become reality.  But, such memories here.  The family home, the memories of celebrated Christmases around the tree with their lit
tle kids ripping open presents, laughing, and singing carols; times around the campfire listening to Mom and Dad’s jokes and stories; music lessons, PTA meetings, dance lessons, 4-H club, scouts, football games, proms, cold brisk soccer games, and graduations. The timeline list of hustle and bustle could write a great American life story for anyone who lived in Maxville Terrace.bonfire-1867275_1920

Recently, when I’ve thought about all of these fleeting moments of joy in my own life, I could not help but wonder what my parents feel, as they approach the last years of their lives.  My mother had recruited a couple of us to help her downsize.  She had been preparing for the “just in case,” moment.  She made it known: “Dad or I could go at any time, but if Dad goes first I just want to be prepared to move.”  Logically thi
quilt-716838_1920nking, she- being the quilter, seamstress, and crafter- would obviously have more things to downsize, so she chose to move forward,ready for whatever emotions she might face, as she gave away fine memories that were attached to each scrap of fabric.  “Oh, this was a piece from
your father’s shirt,” or, “Remember when I made matching dresses from this for you and your sister?”

When I heard her words, I heard a bit of quiver in her voice.  She had been reflecting on the past, too.  As we pulled out old boxes of greeting cards from the closet, she seemed to have a story fwomen-1013116_1920or nearly every one of them.  I recalled some faded stories of the past, as well.  The cards dated back to the 1950’s with angelic faces, romantic watercolor pictures and cartoon characters of the times.

“Look, Mom, this one was when you and dad were married; Oh, Mom, look at this one.  It’s a shower card from when I was born.”  She stopped, looked at them, pondered, and smiled.  This was a moment for both of us.  Time stood still for just a moment.

She knew she couldn’t keep them, as it seemed like leaving a friend behind when we tossed them, one by one, into the wastebasket.  I felt her loss.  I reminisced with her with bittersweet sorrow, as she disguised her own with a smile.

I asked her if we had to dispose of all of them.  She responded quietly, “Well, the memories are all there.  I’m just saving the ones that have special messages written.”  I smiled as she said this, as I knew that she could not give up all of the beautiful cards, particularly the ones with special thoughts.  Giving up the cards were reminders of good memories, some not so good; however, I could see it was difficult.

After, we completed the first phase of downsizing, we paused.  I said, “Mom, I know this can’t be easy for you.”  She smiled and said, “It’s just stuff. I have still have pictures and memories of our family.”  We hugged, and I knew at that moment she was at peace with her decision to downsize.pictures-630378_1920

As I packed up my car with things that were bound for the thrift store, it occurred to me that the two of us were in a place of acceptance with a home that no longer represented a house or even the memories.

 

I sat in the driveway feeling grounded in a truth. My mother and I had explored, reflected, and discovered that our peace was in the women we had become. It was a place in our mind, body, and soul that we truly know as home.

 

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May you find joy in each moment as you discover your own sacred place of home in the heart during this season of love, peace and celebration. 

HippyKatKat is a Core Alignment Mentor and Professional NLP Specialist and Emotional Wisdom Trainer.  She is the founder of Taproots for Life, where she guides women, men and teens to awaken their light within to live a life of joy.at believes that each person deserves to feel grounded with conviction in their own authenticity, with a voice to be heard.

Kat holds a sacred space for people to grow as independent thinkers by exploring, discovering and embracing their true authenticity and to inspire others with love, understanding and empowerment.

Her mentoring has changed lives, locally and internationally.  She is also a writer, herbalist, aromatherapist and lightworker.

Contact info:  info@taproots.com

Visit her website:  www.taprootsforlife.com (currently under construction)

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Awakening to Gratitude- A Family Thanksgiving Message

On Thanksgiving, 2014, I recall that after some masterful cooking in the kitchen, we sat down to a meal.  It had become my  family tradition. After years of both sides of family arguing over whose turn it was that we come to their Thanksgiving, I finally had enough and drew the line in the sand to declare that my own family would be having dinner at our home.

By 1995, my children were at an age (17, 15 and 10) where it was even more important to gather the troops after  shuffling around our schedules and continual running with soccer games, track meets, religion classes, music lessons/concerts, trips to the doctors while balancing all of this with my busy work schedule.  My husband began to cherish and look forward to this time, as well, as he was the grounding force behind the scenes when things got chaotic.  It was his time to relax and enjoy the moment of fun, kids, and food.

In 2014, Thanksgiving was, in my opinion, the perfect feast. [Every year, I seemed lay claim that this was my best culinary year ever. Family cooks, I’m sure you can relate!]  Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sauteed green beans, maple carrots, salad, and my traditional RTS (rosemary, sage & thyme) stuffing.  Of course no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without wine and desserts: pumpkin and pecan piesfood-791640_1920

So! I’ve addressed the reason we celebrate with only my family, and, or course, the food – important on this day.   From the kitchen on that blustery 2014 day outside, I beckoned the family from the games they were playing in our warm, cozy living room, shouting the infamous “It’s time to eat!”  Imagine “kids” in their 30’s, running to the table, elbowing each other – now with grandchildren (16, 14, and 12) vying for their place at the table with the adults.  A happy, and familiar, sight for an aging mother’s eyes!

We finally sat down to eat, gazed in amazement around at all the food on the table and, at that moment, I decided that we needed to say out loud what we were thankful for.  I started.  “I am thankful for these days when we are together, laughing, playing and enjoying each other.”  We continued around the table and each person voiced gratitude for things in their life or the day.

Last, but certainly, not least ,was my oldest son, whman-1209574_1920o usually had an entirely different outlook on life.  He paused, swallowed, then said with deep thought, “I’m thankful for each day that I am able to draw a breath of life.”  Silence seized the moment, frozen still in a sudden time-warp of mystic befuddlement.

Everyone heard the message, everyone seemed to want to embrace the message, but were grappling with their own egos to respond delicately to such a profound statement.  My heart drew inward just that moment.  I felt his painful journey to gratitude, yet this was such a precious moment of beauty for the souls sitting around the table.

These words might not have much bearing on the average family at a Thanksgiving table, but this was different.  My son had accomplished living to be 34 years surgery-590536_1920old, battling Cystic Fibrosis since he was born.  His struggle to simply breathe had become a daily battle. Yes, his message was quite different.   How does one find gratitude when faced with the struggles of multiple stomach surgeries, diabetes, pain, and now, just breathe, function, and live life every day?

His words created a very sudden immediate, humbling moment for those around the table.  The family members  who said they were grateful for material things like turkey dinner,the upcoming football game, or something humorous to skate from any emotion that may creep in while listening to everyone else’s heartfelt thanks, were now questioning their own sense of gratitude.  My son was intense yet modest about his words of gratitude.  My son, who was usually the one to issue humor or gregarious quotes. The moment of silence was peaceful, yet this hollow space yearned to be filled.

Then a gift broke the silence..quite humbly, each person at the table began to thank him for giving his heart to this momentous piece of time.   I looked upon my family at this meal in a more loving light, as my heart beat with a heart-1318850_1920great sense of joy and satisfaction.  My children had become beautiful adults and I can be thankful for years to come that they will look out for each other and be grateful for different things in life.

I will always remember my son’s words that day.  It made me think of how precious our lives are on this earth with such little time to create our mark of love and gratitude.

My son’s words made time stand still for just a small moment to allow everyone space to go inward for a self-check of why we exist: To love, be loved, and walk in gratitude every single day of our lives.

May you all find love and peace in your moment at Thanksgiving and  wherever you celebrate gratitude around the world.

HippyKat

Kat helps people awaken the light within to live a life of joy.  She believes that every person deserves to live their authenticity with conviction and a voice to be heard.

She is a Core Alignment Mentor, Professional Neuro Linguistic Programmer and Emotional Wisdom Trainer.  Kat  is also a writer, aromatherapist, and energy worker.  Her work has helped many people overcome fear, anxiety, loss of confidence, memory loss and more.  She conducts 95% of her mentoring over the phone.

Kat is currently taking new clients for December 2016.                                                                        E-mail:  livingmywisdom@gmail.com or  call 314-359-2647

The Soul of America Yearns

I look over to a glass globe, setting on my desk, that is home to a little fairy child.  She is a porcelain figurine that holds a pearl in her uplifted hands, as if she were offering love to the world.  For me, this pearl represents the light of my soul.  The light that is in each one of us, unconditional love.

When the light is dull, we are not ourselves.  We are not embracing our authenticity.  The purest of love and compassion that lies within this light is always there, yet we miss out on it so often in our lives on earth.   PENTAX Image

With the recent events of an election, a surprise outcome occurred with the electoral votes winning out to a harsh, now president elect, which has left most of us questioning our faith in human kind.  “Have we lost our minds?” many people say.

mistake-1966448_1920And yet, those who were proponents of the candidate even questioned they did the right thing.  “It actually happened,” I hear them say.  This group seemed stunned that their votes actually counted, and, actually proved that they could vote in anyone they put at the helm.  It could have been Daffy Duck and it would have been a true vote, and interestingly, still bring people to the dumbfounded reality that their vote counted for what they believed to be the perfect president.

On inauguration day, it will be a day of mourning for most Americans, and perhaps people in other countries. There are chosen administration members whose character we question and test against integrity, honesty, and human kindness.  What human experiences do they bring before us in order to lead us?

Have any of them truly lived in poverty?  Do they know what it is like to get up every 2 hours of the night in a drowsy stupor to turn their loved one who lies in bed dying, suffering of cancer?  And further, do they know what it is like to be broken when no one else stepped forward in outreach because “no one” had the means or integrity to do so?  As a result, someone died without any outreach.hands-compassion

A woman was forced to abort her child because of the humiliation, no means to provide, and no sense of how to even raise a child.  Where did we fail this woman, as human beings?  Where will the souls of our leaders reach out?

A child was left behind because no one cared that he could not read or that his mother was being beaten by his father every hour of the day.  Where is our human outreach?

My fellow souls, this, this place that we have allowed to become neglected is not our leader’s doing.  At some point, we must create a collective response as souls to care for our fellow human brothers and sisters.  While our vote may count, there’s an even greater response at stake.  Our choice to create internal love and allow that light to illuminate from us to our human families, as we assist them in small ways to lift them up.

What has transpired with our souls is not a mistake.  It is a deep belief that our souls yearn to use their advanced knowledge to move back to what is important:  Pure love

Our souls view that this new place of evolution is not a place of modern technology or streamlined modern society. Our souls have tired of the antics of our human bodies and long to be pure.  But with purity, comes an earthly price of coming to grips with our own mentality.  The ego must succumb to it’s own intelligence, ingrained beliefs and lessons from practicing less than love.

When our egos are challenged, we build more resistance, animosity, hatred, anger, retaliation.  This has become evident in the recent turn of events.  Both sides of the presidential race oozed the ugly tar-ridden muck that comes from ego.  What leadership was demonstrated?  The excuses that “the other” ran a dirty campaign  has only deeply reflected back in what they proclaim.

Now, the American people feel more broken, more divided, and more despaired than the anxiety that lead up to the election.  Our leaders, the souls who we entrusted, have yielded to the entrapment of their earthly ego and have forgotten who they really are.

While our leaders may have forgotten the light in their souls, as it grows dimmer, let us not forget our own light that beams within us.soul-1718453_1280

Recall why we stand for the rights for humans to live and die with dignity; the grave significance of being vigilant in holding dear our natural habitat and how it affects everything on this planet; the deep sense of respect and honor for each human to practice their spirituality in their own heart;and,  the right to live in authenticity with conviction and a voice to be heard.

For these truths I hold dear for our souls and an open space for love in the heart of America, that the collective soul of our country remain intact and pure in love as we navigate through a challenging journey that could change our lives forever.  United we stand, divided we fall.

 

HippyKat Kat has an innate talent to guide people to awaken the light within to live a life of joy.  She is a Professional Core Alignment Mentor who practices Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.  Kat is the founder of Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness, which has evolved to the new Taproots for Life.

Kat conducts workshops on the 7 Roots to Empowerment, Wheel of Life, Gratitude, Acceptance, The Power of Me, and more.  In addition she offers private phone mentoring sessions.

Contact:  livingmywisdom@gmail.com or call 314-359-2467

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I Got a Rock…

Most of you are familiar with a famous cartoon character named Charlie. On Halloween, Charlie and his friends step up to the neighbor’s door and yell, “Trick or Treat!”  The neighbor tosses  various sizes and shapes of treats into their bags. As they move away from the door, the kids begin to size up what treats they received. “I got gum, I got chocolate…!”
halloween-1773447_1920Lastly, Charlie says quietly with disappointment, “I got a rock.”   This not only happens once, but three times!  And, with equal tone and doom, Charlie begins to personify the heaviness of the drop in his bag.

In life, we meet many Charlies that could relate to this unlucky Halloween experience.  Do you see the friend at work who always gets overlooked for a promotion? How about a sister or brother who thinks that the cycle of not being included will never end? Or the boss who never sees the good things you do? Do you see a wee bit of yourself in Charlie?

Charlie tried to see the positive in life, yet doom seemed to follow him everywhere. Even his dog made fun of him.  What was missing from Charlie’s life that all his friends seemed to have mastered?

On the outside, we seem to do a good job of masking our feelings that occur deep inside us.  For Charlie, even his Halloween costume portrayed his internal woe of doom.  His ghost sheet full of holes screamed, “I am a failure!”  It reflected how he carried himself in his outer world.  If you know of someone who can relate, they could be wearing the same costume without realizing it. But there is hope!

Each of us possesses a core mindset where we can choose to feel like a rock or a gem. When we are able to develop this new type of thinking,  we can learn from our”rock,” about what we portray, what we say, how we say it, what we see as constant gloom and doom, the types of friends we attract, failure, lack of focus.

When we embrace our emotional existence, we can learn to move our internal negative self-talk from a rock to a gem with language changing to positive:

” I constantly say I’m a failure” to “I am a winner;” or ” I don’t make a lot of money;” to “I am grateful to have a roof over my head and food in my stomach.”

The “rock language” changes to “gem language.”The gem we create and embrace becomes who we are truly meant to be: loving,  giving, thankful creatures of the planet.  diamond-2028549_1280

We begin to feel more beauty in our space, opportunities open up, we smile more, people take notice. We see simple things for the first time that are simply beautiful!

So! The next time you are thrown a rock, what will your choice be?  Rock or Gem?harvest-moon-1828012_1920

Pardon me, as I stir my tea with a stick of rock candy…(beastly howl!Bwahaha!!).

                         Happy Halloween!

HippyKat

Kat Kohler Schwartz is a Core Alignment Mentor and founder of Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness in St. Louis, MO, USA.

Kat mentors women who face difficult challenges in life which include relationships at home, work, and socially.  She specializes in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.

She offers phone mentoring, group sessions, and face-to-face with aromatherapy and energy work.

Contact:  livingmywisdom@gmail.com  or call 314-359-2467

 

 

 

 

Some Day I’m Going to…

By Kat Kohler Schwartz                                                                                                                 Founder/Core Alignment Mentor at Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness, LLC

Have you ever caught yourself looking at lists of classes online that you always wanted to take? Like pottery, writing, carpentry, or painting? Or it might be a place you always wanted to visit. Like the majestic, snow covered mountains in Switzerland, or the sandy, serene beaches of the Caribbean. Or, perhaps, you just want to relax and catch up on all the books you’ve always wanted to read.

What is important to you that you are not doing right now?

I was helping a friend, Christine, move some seasonal clothes from the basement to the upstairs. We stopped for a moment at her sewing room while she showed me her latest projects. They ranged from clothes for the grandkids to the beautiful quilt she had been working on.

As I gazed around the room I could not help but notice the piles and piles of fabric in various patterns and colors of blue, red, bright greens and shades of yellows. She had them stacked in bags, totes, and proceeded to open a large storage closet packed with more bolts and folded pieces of fabric. It was overwhelming to me.

I had to ask, “Christine, what are you going to do with all of these gorgeous pieces of fabric?” She smiled, looked down at the open work on the table, and responded, “Well, after I get done with these three projects, some day I will get around to those projects,” as she pointed to the stacked containers. She had enough material to keep her going for the rest of her life and mine combined!

Knowing that Christine had always been a resourceful person, it seemed important for her to have these sewing projects. It exercised her mind, her body, and her drive. Sewing kept her alive inside. Her husband had fallen ill and she could not get outside their home like she used to. They were aging, but Christine still had the spark of dreaming. However, she had satisfied herself by doing things she liked without leaving home.

Becoming interested in how she thought about the state of things at home, I asked her, “What else do you want to do?” Sheepishly, she answered, “I’d like to travel, some day, or take up yoga, Tai Chi, or pottery.”

As she uttered those words, “some day,” again. I suddenly became aware that I have heard those words quite often among friends, in family discussions, in the workplace, and, well…I’ve heard it a LOT! Realizing that Christine had just turned 81, I curiously asked, “What does ‘some day’ mean to you?”

Again, she smiled, but this time reflected on my question a bit longer. Christine sat quietly for a moment, then responded, “Well, I guess I’ve run out of ‘some days’ haven’t I?” Chuckling, she looked up at me from her chair, her hazel eyes still twinkling. Slowly, her face became very solemn and she gazed down at her sewing work. She was feeling the reality of her limited time left on this earth. I touched something deep inside her….and me.

Christine’s response stopped me in my tracks. “Some day” was a phrase that I had used often. Some day I will lose weight, some day I will sing with a choir, some day I will take up yoga, some day I will meditate, some day I will visit places I’ve never been. Yes, I wanted the some of the same things as Christine, but I wanted much more than to still be dreaming it when I age to 80 years old. I wanted it to become reality. Christine’s message was a gift.

What do you mean when you say those words, “some day?” I’ve heard them in many a conversation at the water fountain at work, or standing in line at the coffee shop. So, what emotions do you notice when you say these words? What do they mean? Are you willing to explore the reasons for what keeps you from your dreams?

I know that I never want to run out of “some days,” so I now show up for myself when those words haunt my mind. I think of Christine, dreaming all of her 81 years and now the reality of her dreams has become limited. Knowing that my days could end tomorrow or next week keeps me motivated to continue to work towards those things I put off for “some day.”

In fact, I no longer say those words. I owe it to myself. Dreams do come true…

What is important to YOU?

What dreams are you holding onto for “some day?”

 

Kat Kohler Schwartz is a Core Alignment Mentor and founder of Salt of the Earth Holistic Wellness.

“I bring light from dark situations to create a sacred place of peace that is rooted in the heart.”

Kat practices Neuro Linguistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training.

She offers group workshops in the U.S. and worldwide phone sessions. Contact: livingmywisdom@gmail.com 314-359-2467

Honor Thy Cat’s Gifts!

Cat owners will appreciate the humor in this story:

Muffy whips out the door, at midnight when Margie takes the dog out for his last squat.  “Great! Now I have to find the cat,” she rants. Margie spent hours calling her name, tapping the food can, in hopes that the fluffy white puff ball would tip toe over the threshold, as she usually did.  But, no. It’s now past midnight, and Margie, with only 4 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours, is now beside herself  that little Miss Muffet just had to take a hike on this night!moon-182145_1920

Clambering back to her bedroom, desperate for just a piece of sleep, Margie  finds herself tossing and turning,all night, worrying about Muffy.  Could she be stuck in a pipe somewhere? Did she get hit by a car?  Did a rabid fox get her?  Eventually, Margie collapses into sleep out of worried exhaustion.

Early the next morning, Margie realizes that she fell asleep and Muffy was still out there… in the wilderness of the summer nights.   She bolts out bed, grabbing her robe; she hooks up the dog to his leash and heads for the door.  “Got to find Muffy before the kids wake up and find out,” she mumbles in a frantic fumble to unlock the door, her eyes sagging and red.

Margie opens the door, slips on one clog and steps forward with bare foot bouncing her big toe around to slide into the other shoe.  Hopping on one foot, balancing the dog’s leash, and a shred of dignity, her bare foot lands on something that does not quite feel like the soft shoe she anticipated, but this soft, squishy, a bit wet, piece of yuk.  Margie knows what it is, as it is all too familiar.

KakaoTalk_20150326_205625070Muffy, in all her glory, shows up at the front door,
attentively  tip-toeing back and forth, vying for her attention. “Meow, meow, meow,”she attempts to cue Margie’s smile in her flirtatious mews.  But no smiles, today. Margie looks down and sees that her dear little Muffy has brought…well… a gift, albeit a strange one, as she lifts her foot, stuck with mouse, and gags.

“No no, kitty!” she screams, kicking the mouse across the front lawn. Yes, it is the sacrificial field mouse.  Muffy has spent all night looking for the very special one, just for her stressed out owner.  Margie, in her haste,scowls at the dog, as he has one furry foot in the air; and, yanks him back.

Margie carefully hops backwards scraping off what is left of Mickey, and, heads back into the house, grabbing Muffy by the scruff on the way in.  Door slams and so the story of the day begins.

What did you notice about this story?  Is there anything familiar that you can take away?

For cat owners,  gifts from the cat are a very special occasion.  They may hunt for hours to bring back their prized sacrifice from the wild.

In our human-ness, it is often easy to overlook what others bring to us, as a gift.  Whether it is a lesson, a shared talent, or even shared time.  They are gifts of the heart.

More importantly, it is our life journey that we discover, recognize and utilize our  own gifts.  These, sometimes hidden, talents are born from our mind and soul, and are delivered when our body shows up to bring them outward to our world.

When one is able to relax the mind by accepting the current emotions, accepting what is, loving what is, and having an attitude of gratitude, one is able, easily, to see the gifts within the heart; and, to recognize when others bring us gifts….such as Muffy’s very special drop at the front door.

How does one get to this point?  There is so much information on the web, in books, papers, etc.!  How do people corral all of this information to pull their inner wisdom and know where their gifts lie? Yoga, meditation, go to the spa, eat this brain food, take this supplement, stand on your head.  It is insane, you say!! 021_pp

Every ounce of my being says, “You…are…Correct!”  Inner wisdom has nothing to do with what we learn in books, how we meditate (although there are benefits to that), or even how much we rely on the internet for our answers to the “how-to’s.”

And the answer is (drum roll please)…..wisdom comes from your heart!

When our mind is in total alignment, we are well-grounded , we think positive thoughts. Our heart begins to speak in us and through us in ways we never thought we could imagine.

From the practice of bringing alignment emerges our gifts.  Our gifts of who we are, what is our true purpose for our life on this beautiful earth.  This IS your heart and living from YOUR heart.

Next time your little Muffy brings a “gift,” won’t you view it just a little differently?  View it with L-O-V-E!

HippyKat  Kathleen “Kat” Kohler Schwartz is a Core Alignment Mentor and owner of Taproots for Life (NEW).  Kat practices Emotional Wisdom Training and Neuro Linguistic Programming to help women realize their inner voice toward living a happier, more fulfilling life.

Kat conducts her sessions over the phone and is available worldwide for English speaking clientele.

Available by appointment only-                                                         E-mail: info@taprootsforlife.com

Visit her website:  https://taprootsforlife.com

 

 

 

 

Why I Blog…

I used to ponder the question, “Why do people blog?”  What’s in it for them?   There’s no money in it, I thought.  Even those who represent a company, what do they get besides a handful of referrals, right?  So, why do they do it?

I started on some new ventures in my life at the age of 56, after being laid off from a corporate position.  I jumped on the job search wagon, immediately. Surely, this is no big deal.  I’ve been here before. Nothing turned up after 9 months.d384bc6b06a44f1a0fc96a7bc6f379a2

In my state of haste,  I expanded on a dream,  invested some savings, and started an aromatherapy business.  I went back to school, found myself…you know the drill.  This was the time to discover!

What I discovered  was that I had an inner wisdom that I was listening to for a long time.  Yep, I became a “zen” student in the school of life.   Okay, so I didn’t become a monk or Zen master, but I did learn that my inner wisdom was talking to me and, somewhere during that year, I stopped listening.  What was I thinking?!

I reached out to some friends during the course of my exploration (I needed a job!) and felt a real need to listen, not to my own4db5a07b3b6432882530cfb1d3e8c159 wisdom, but to others.  This is where I learned about me, even more.  Some of the education was not so well received, but I listened, as these qualities are what people saw in me and I trusted their perspective.  Why didn’t I see these things? I thought.

What I heard from my brave acquaintances and close friends was that I needed to do what I know and what “speaks” to me.  No one told me the actual words, but the message rang clearer and clearer the more I reached out.  These conversations over the course of 6 months taught me that when I talked with others, I learned more about myself, even if people were not telling me anything.

My friends answered my questions and I was grateful.  I reached out to several coach friends, as well.   I still didn’t hear the words I needed to hear. The thing that I longed for, the thing that I am supposed to do for the rest of my life.  It was frustrating for me.

I went back to school to become a better writer (still working it), as it was a lifelong passion.  After I completed my courses, there was one more thing to do.  Become the person I always wanted to be.  I wanted to help people.  From the time I was seven years old, I knew this, but never knew what it really looked like, until the day I spoke with my friend, Jennifer.  Glasses on Book-Sketch

As I spoke about my experience, Jennifer said, “Back up for a minute. Say what you just said about coaching people at work to take your job. Tell me more about that.”   My story was illuminated with words like: sharing, empowering, teaching, forward thinking,  development, and progression.

Jennifer said, “Kat, I see this glow about you when you talk about how you helped people get promoted while under your direction.  That is where I see your passion.”  I stopped talking, sat there for a minute and said nothing (which is rare for me.)   The ringing in my ears was glaring and eye-popping.  “There it is,” I said to myself.  Everyone was trying to tell me, but I didn’t hear it.  I should be coaching people, sharing my experiences, HELPING them succeed, just as I had done for the last 35 years as a manager. Okay, I thought, I’ve got some serious work to do!

I know, I know, I can hear you now: “Get to the point, Kat!  Why do you Blog????”  I’m smiling, because you have now experienced why I blog and “tasted” just a bit of my coaching technique.

Since my journey to deeper discover (and I recommend  it for everyone), I have become a coach in Neuro Linquistic Programming and Emotional Wisdom Training. Living out my dream to help people, I also learn by other people- especially when I blog.

I have also become a writer (working on several books). When I blog, I tell you about my experiences where I have learned or had aha! moments, and share them with you.

I am humbled to hear that you are reading my blog.  It is my vision and mission to help just one person with my blogs, in hopes that they will pass on the message.

I wish to inspire to be inspired by you, taking the ripple effect out into the world, as we are all connected souls. Thank you for reading, as I learn by each person who reads, comments, and shares their own story.

So, I stand in my humbleness and say, “This is why I blog.” 5fb9394cad6f7509cd734483733b5966

 

HippyKat Kathleen “Kat” Kohler Schwartz is a successful Holistic Mentor in St. Louis, MO.

Kat practices Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Wisdom Training and Aromatherapy in her unique technique to help people overcome old patterns of thinking toward a stress-free life of living their dreams.  She offers person-to-person and phone sessions.

http://saltoftheearthholisticwellness.com

Contact Kat for Mentoring:  livingmywisdom@gmail.com