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How To Make Your Life Easier & 2023 Reflections



Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. What I encountered in 2023

  2. How I made each of the things I went through harder for myself

  3. How I learned to make my experiences easier


📘Resources


📌Episode Highlights


What I experienced in 2023, how I made it harder on myself, and how I learned to make it all easier:


1. I learned how to surf.


This summer I spent a lot of time in Lisbon, so I decided to take up surfing as a new hobby. I wanted surfing to be something I was good at. I found myself not enjoying surfing and feeling frustrated with my surfing when I was trying to be good at it rather than leaning into the experience of it. Surfing and nutrition are similar in that they both require basic structure, but once you grasp the structure it's about experiencing them. When you focus on the "performance| of it, you slip back into your head and no longer listen to your body. You don't get good at surfing. You experience surfing.


How I made it harder for myself: I wanted to be good at surfing and impress my instructors.

How I learned to make it easier: Being present and leaning into the experience of surfing is more important than being "good" at it.


2. I went into financial debt.


I needed to make some investments in my business in order to be able to invite you on the retreat this year. I needed to invest in my education a little bit this year because I wanted to deepen into trauma-informed self-confidence coaching as part of my business. I traveled a lot and inevitably ended up spending some more money than I thought I would on food, last minute accommodations, and all the things that come with travel. So I went into a bit of debt. Because I made debt mean failure I walked around with a bit of an undertone of anxiety and questioned the success of my business. And the reality of this year for me was that to be the healthiest I could be, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and to help people in the way I want to help people in my business, I had to utilize debt as a tool. We need to take the negative connotation off of debt. We need to stop automatically seeing it as a failure because it might actually be a tool that you utilize for your greatest success. A tool that you utilize to get yourself out of a bad situation. A tool that you utilize to help others. A tool that you utilize to feel really, really good.


How I made it harder for myself: I told myself that being in debt meant that I had failed.

How I learned to make it easier:  I explored my relationship with debt the same way I explored my relationship with food.


3. I fell in love and I fell out of love.


I had one of the most emotionally healthy and positively different relationships I'd ever had...in the beginning. In early May it became very clear that this was not a relationship that I was going to be in for the rest of my life. Just because you don't have the relationship yet does not mean that you aren't living a really awesome life. By focusing your goals or orchestrating your moves around trying to get a relationship, you end up missing out on all of your other power.


How I made it harder for myself: I forgot that I don't need a partner to live an incredibly fulfilling life.

How I learned to make it easier:  I let go of the pursuit of a partner and trust that I will meet my person along the way.


4. My parents got legally divorced.


Even though my parents were separated for 10 years, it was difficult to deal with their divorce becoming legally official. With my family trauma I've dealt with it by trying to be strong and use it as a way to facilitate my growth. And although there is some beauty in that, I still wasn't letting myself process it. Muscling through manifested itself in overworking and prevented me from being able to unwind in my life. When I give myself space to grieve I am I am able to tap into my beauty, softness, and worth in a way I wasn't able to before.


How I made it harder for myself: I refused to let myself get knocked down emotionally.

How I learned to make it easier: I let myself crack open and process by allowing myself the space to be soft and to grieve.


5. I am still nomadic.


I love travelling and am still nomadic, but sometimes find myself challenged by not having a specific home base. I often wondered how I was going to find a sense of home if I didn't know where I wanted to live. But I don't need a lease to have a sense of home. I have the capacity to create a sense of centeredness and a sense of home and a sense of peacefulness within myself, no matter where I am. It's a matter of tapping into it. It's a matter of accessing that sense of home within me and bringing it everywhere, wherever I go.


How I made it harder for myself: I made a big drama out of the fact that I didn't have a lease.

How I learned to make it easier: I recognized the difference between finding a home and finding where I want to live. 


6. I am a human and want to do the right thing.


A lot of things happened on a global scale this year that were beyond our control, and it was hard to know what the right thing was to do and what the best way to help people was. So much of our personal power is taken away when we worry about saying the right thing. If we want to make a difference and be supportive, part of that is knowing that we don't always need the words. Our kindness and capacity to be of service to other people is just related to the way we are able to create a space for people to be themselves, express themselves, feel safe, and feel held. And our capacity to do good is blocked by caring about what other people think because then we're not really bringing our full selves into everything that we do.


How I made it harder for myself: I was worried about the exact right thing to say and was worried about people viewing me as helpful.

How I learned to make it easier:  I don't need to know the exact thing to say to fix someone's problem and if I bring all of me into what I do I can tap into my kindest and most aligned energy.


Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to my website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Transcript


Caitie: I wrote, my intention for 2023 is to remember that it's safe to live with ease and to slow down regularly, to fully enjoy my juiciest self and to fill up my cup so that I have the most expansive capacity to see the good in others and make them feel good about themselves.


Welcome to Whole, Full, & Alive, a podcast helping you feed yourself, feel yourself and be yourself. I'm Caitie Corradino. I'm a registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, a body image coach and the founder of Full Soul Nutrition, a method that combines nutrition counseling with a powerful toolkit of somatic healing modalities. I have guided hundreds of clients to freedom with food, their bodies and every aspect of their lives. I've also been through this healing myself, and on this podcast, I want to help you eat with confidence, embrace your body, form aligned relationships and create a life that you're in love with. I'll share actionable tools, no bullshit stories and interviews that will remind you why you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Are you ready? Let's get into it.


Hey, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full, & Alive. Thank you so much for tuning in today. I am so grateful that you're here. I am so grateful that I know I am speaking to humans when I speak into this microphone. When I first started this podcast, I felt like I was speaking into a void because I probably was. Over the past little over a year, there has been a community built around this podcast and I'm so grateful that I hear from you, that I know you're out there, and I'm thinking of you as I'm speaking right now. 


And because I'm thinking of you as I'm speaking right now, I want to invite you as we are starting this episode, as we're kicking off this episode, to drop into a little bit more of a nurturing energy. Whatever you're doing, whether you're on a walk or doing your dishes or doing your laundry or whatever people do while they listen to podcasts, can you relax your jaw a little bit. Can you alleviate some tension above your eyebrows? Can you bring a little bit more softness into your face? And finally, can we take a deep breath? Inhale, fill your chest, fill your belly, and exhale, let it go.


Like I just said, I'm really grateful that you are tuning into this podcast and because it's the end of the year, it's the holiday season and just because I love you, I want to offer you a gift. If you DM me the word GIFT in all capital letters on Instagram at caitie.c.rd, I will send you a free meditation that will help you really practice self-compassion and get into a self-compassionate energy in order to reflect on your year, on your 2023. You can also email me at caitie@fullsoulnutrition.com, the word GIFT, all capital letters, say no more, and I will send you that meditation because today's episode is the 2023 recap episode and you might feel hopefully after listening to this episode, inspired to reflect on your 2023. And before you do so, I wanna make sure that you're dropping into a sense of self-compassion and you're not coming at it with a sense of rigidity, shame. What did I do wrong this year? I want self-compassion sprinkled in there. So that is what that meditation is for. And I'd love to offer it to you for free as a listener. So yeah, that's the first thing. 


And before I dive into this really meaningful episode, I also wanna remind you that I have a few spaces open at the top of the new year for one-on-one counseling and coaching at my practice, Full Soul Nutrition, where I combine nutrition counseling with a toolkit of somatic healing modalities, body image coaching, and self-confidence coaching, to really help you feed yourself, feel yourself, and be yourself, and just lean all the way in to your life. 


I also have a few spaces open as of right now, December 3rd, 2023, on my Nutrition & Intuition Retreat. The Nutrition & Intuition Retreat is happening in Scotland in March, and I am so wildly excited to welcome you to Scotland for a week where we will eat together, move together, breathe together, peel together, adventure around Scotland together and really have a meaningful, beautiful, life-changing experience. This is going to be the type of retreat where you're not just in like a rigid wellness incubator like doing yoga and drinking smoothies every day. This is a retreat that is going to help you find balance in your self-care in a way that you can really truly take home with you when you leave Scotland. And you're also going to get an amazing group of new friends and we're going to be together in real life. So exciting. So yeah, if you're interested in that, you can also visit my website, fullsoulnutrition.com/retreat, or you could DM me or email me just the word RETREAT in all capital letters. I'll know what you mean. And I can tell you more about it. We can hop on a commitment free discovery call and we can figure out if it's a good fit for you. I know it's a big deal to invest in a retreat. So I really want to help you figure out if it's a good fit for you, and help make it work for you, make it accessible for you. So that's that. 


Let's dive into the 2023 recap episode. I am not gonna sit here and just tell you everything that I went through this year. That's not what this is. This isn't Caitie’s diary. But this is me reflecting on what I learned this year. And I'm going to be really honest and vulnerable with you. I am going to open up on today's episode about a few topics that I haven't really talked about before because these topics were a really big part of my year. I'm going to talk a little bit about my family for the first time. I haven't really talked about that too much. I'm going to talk a bit about my relationship with money. Of course, I'm going to talk about food and body image and exercise and how those things manifested for me this year. And I'm also going to talk a bit about my love life.


And as I dive into these different areas, I am gonna tell you the ways in which I felt like I made these things harder than they needed to be this year. Why am I coming at it with that lens? Well, because my word of the year was ease. I, at the beginning of every year, and I've opened up about this on the pod before, I choose one word that I want to kind of be my theme for the year, because I believe in intentions rather than resolutions. And through all of the journaling and reflection and processing that I did at the end of last year, I recognize that I really wanted to step into more of an easeful energy this year. I believe that it was from a place at it. I'm just going to read you the 2023 mission statement that I wrote in my journal at the end of last year. 


I wrote, my intention for 2023 is to remember that it's safe to live with ease and to slow down regularly, to fully enjoy my juiciest self and to fill up my cup so that I have the most expansive capacity to see the good in others and make them feel good about themselves.


I tend to live life in the fast lane. I tend to do a lot. I'm a very action-oriented human being, and I love to squeeze the juice out of every single day. And I decided this year that tendency is not serving me in some ways. And I really, really wanted to slow down and find ways to live with a little bit more ease and a little bit less force so that I could make sure that I had the most juice that I could possibly have to really see the good in other people and help other people feel good about themselves and make a meaningful impact in the world. That was my mission for this year. And so as I'm reflecting on how things unfolded, I am looking at what did I learn about bringing more ease into money, what did I learn about bringing more ease into family, what did I learn about bringing more ease into nutrition and exercise, and I'm going to share that with you. And I guess I just want to say on the onset that I'm a little nervous about this episode because I am going to be really vulnerable. I mean, I always am open on this show and also I know there's some things I haven't shared before. And there's some things that I've hesitated to share before.


But what's inspiring me to dive a little deeper into certain topics that I haven't dove into before is remembering that some of the most wonderful mentors and teachers and people who have had a really big impact on my life are people who have shared their stories, honestly, authentically, truthfully, and vulnerably. And as I'm going deeper, I just wanna share that I can sometimes feel a little sticky about it. I'm like, am I being self-indulgent? Am I trying to become an influencer? And as I've been sitting with this a little bit deeper, I have just kept receiving the internal certainty and external confirmation that story is a way to serve. So that's what this episode is, is a little bit of my story of 2023 by way of the lessons I learned through some hard things and how I learned to make them easier. 


So, all right, without any further ado, I'm trying not to make this intro too long. Let's dive in. 


So here's how I'm gonna do it. I am going to share some hard things that I experienced this year. I am going to tell you how I made those hard things even harder. I'm gonna tell you how I made my life even harder than it needed to be. And then I'm gonna tell you how I found ease in each of those areas. So I'll share hard things that I went through this year, how I made them even harder for myself, and then how I learned to make them a little bit easier. 


And my greatest intention is to turn each of these things into tangible tools that you can take away today, that you can apply to your relationship with money and your love life and your home life and your family life. That's how we're gonna do it. I'm gonna share like, I think five, six hard things that I went through this year, how I made them even harder, then how I learned to make them easier and then we'll talk about how you can apply, yeah, what I learned to your life. So let's do it. What hard things that I experienced in 2023. 


Like I said, I am gonna get a little bit vulnerable, but before I get vulnerable, I wanna keep it light for the first one. The first hard thing that I experienced in 2023 was a self-imposed experience. A hard thing is that I learned to surf this year. That was a hard thing that I decided to take upon myself this summer. I spent this summer in Lisbon for the most part, and there is a big surf culture, a big surf community here, and I decided that I wanted in on that. When I was living in Denver, I didn't really get into skiing and snowboarding that much, and I was kind of like missing out on a little bit of the culture there because of that.


And so I decided, you know what, surfing in Lisbon is significantly more accessible than skiing and snowboarding in Denver ever was. And this feels like a little bit easier to get involved in. While I'm living here, I might as well do it. So after not having very much experience with surfing, I did a little bit in New Jersey, but not too much. I decided to learn to surf and it's a hard thing. It's not easy to stand up on a surfboard and ride a wave if you've been on one, you know, and here's how I made it even harder for myself. I made it harder by wanting to be good at it. I made it harder by wanting to perform well at surfing, by wanting to receive validation from my instructor that I was good at it, and by wanting to say, yeah, I'm good at surfing, this is something I'm good at. And one day I was really enjoying myself out there. I had just caught a pretty big wave and I had just like turned for the first time ever on the wave and I said to my instructor, I feel like I'm kind of getting good at surfing now. And he goes to me, Caitie, you don't get good at surfing. You just experience surfing. And at first I was like, okay, Buddha. But then I sat with it for a second and I was like, yeah, you know what? Every time I don't enjoy myself when I'm surfing, every time I feel a sense of frustration with surfing, it's because I'm trying to be good at it rather than leaning into the experience of it.


And I realized that this actually really applies to so much. And it applies to eating, to nutrition in particular. So think of it this way, we need basic skills with surfing. We need to know how to stand up on the board. We need to know what a good wave looks like. We need to know which board to have the width, the length. We need some basic structure when we start surfing, but in order to find a sense of ease and enjoyment with it, you have to get that basic structure and then lean into the experience of every wave because the motion of the ocean is unique. Every wave is really different and you have to be present and feel into it. And you're just going to garner more and more experience with it over time and get experience with what the waves feel like and what to do with certain types of waves and how to work with it. And that's exactly what eating is like too. We need our basic structure. We need protein, fats, and carbs. We need good meal timing. We can't have this like massive gap between our meals. We need to have some structure around that. We need to know what foods are high in fiber and vitamins and minerals and sprinkle those onto our plate every once in a while and have some semblance of structure and basic knowledge about nutrition. But then from there, we kind of just experience eating because we need to just learn to experience our bodies and trust that and know that our bodies are going to be sending us different cues, different signs, different signals every single day and we have to kind of feel it the way we would feel a wave when we're surfing. And similar to the way I was trying to like be good at surfing and kind of wanting to like be performative with surfing, we can't try to be good at eating and be performative with eating. 


I mean especially as a dietitian, even when you're a dietitian like me that is focused on intuitive eating and food freedom, I can slide into a tendency to want to be performative with eating, to want to show people that I have food freedom and that I have balance. As soon as I get into a headspace of like, I want people to see me as a good eater, then I stop leaning into what is my body saying because I'm in my head now. I’m not in my body anymore when I'm thinking about what other people are going to think about when they see me eating. Similarly with surfing, I was like as soon as I think about, oh what is my instructor watching me gonna think about me on this wave, I'm in my head thinking about what is he gonna think rather than feeling the wave that is breaking beneath my feet that I need to be able to feel into. 


And so that is, that's hard thing number one, the lightest thing on my list. I learned to surf this year. I made it harder by wanting to be good at it, by wanting to perform and wanting to show people that I was good. And the lesson is you don't get good at surfing, you experience surfing. And this is just like eating. You don't get, you're not a good eater or a bad eater. You have your basic structure that you learn in Nutrition 101, and then you learn to experience your body and what it's saying to you throughout your life, throughout the day, and you have eating experiences that help you collect data about yourself and how certain foods feel for you and how certain foods energize you, how certain foods don't energize you certain foods taste. And yeah, you collect these experiences that make eating more easeful for you. So that's number one.


Hard thing number two that I experienced this year was some debt financially, financial debt. And like every other person in the United States, I am in student debt, perpetual student debt that's not getting paid off for a really long time. And I'm not talking about student debt here, I'm talking about actual debt. I'm talking about credit card debt. I'm talking about I spent more money than I have.


I needed to make some investments in my business in order to be able to invite you on the retreat this year. I needed to invest in my education a little bit this year because I really wanted to deepen into trauma-informed self-confidence coaching as part of my business. And then I just, I traveled a lot and inevitably ended up spending some more money than I thought I would on food and on last minute accommodations and all the things that come with travel and I'm not going to explain to you exactly why I'm in debt line by line, but I am in debt. I'm in debt. And I made it harder for myself being in debt by making it mean that I failed. 


It's so common for us to see debt as failure. That is kind of like the primary narrative that you gotta avoid debt at all costs. You need to spend your financial life avoiding being in debt. If you're in debt, if you're in the red, it's financial failure and maybe some like personal failure in some way. And I've heard these words said explicitly. I had an ex-boyfriend who said to me one time, Caitie, credit card debt is the worst debt you could ever possibly be in. How do you walk around feeling relaxed if you're in credit card debt? Literally said that. How do you walk around feeling relaxed if you're in credit card debt? And he is just one of many, many people and narratives that I had implanted in my brain about what it means to be in debt. And so because I made it mean failure, I did walk around with a little bit of an undertone of anxiety for a bit. I was like, am I still a successful business owner if I'm in debt? Is my business still objectively successful if I'm in debt? And when people would congratulate me on the success of my business or say something positive about it, I'd be like, oh, but they don't know that I'm in debt. It's not actually successful. 


And here's how I made it easier. I made it easier by really exploring my relationship to debt the way I've explored my relationship with food. And I got some help with this from my financial planner, Meera, who was on the podcast just a few episodes ago. And I recognized that just like food, instead of trying to eat as little as possible, it's important to eat enough for your physical and spiritual and emotional health. Instead of trying to spend as little as possible, you need to identify what you have to spend in order to have physical and spiritual and emotional health. And the reality of this year for me was that to be the healthiest I could be, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and to help people in the way I want to help people in my business, I had to utilize debt as a tool. I needed to use some money before I had it. I needed to allow the credit card company to hold some money for me and take care of some expenses for a bit until I have the means and the resources to pay it off. 


I realize that if I always walk around trying to spend as little as possible, rather than trying to spend what I need to spend to have physical and spiritual and emotional health, I won't be fulfilled. I'll be walking around with low-key anxiety at it. I won't be fulfilled. The same way if I try to eat as little as possible, I won't be fulfilled as if I try to eat enough. Just like we need to eat enough, we need to spend enough. And sometimes spending enough actually does mean going into debt. I'm not saying that you should only ever spend via accruing debt. Just like I'm not saying that you should only ever eat cheeseburgers and french fries and donuts. But it is important to know that many different types of food are going to be used as fuel sometimes. And debt is going to need to be used as a tool for spending sometimes in order to meet your goals. If you're very financially fortunate, you know, maybe not, but I am not as financially fortunate. And I do need to spend via accruing debt sometimes. This is not me purporting a willy-nilly, trust the universe, go into debt all the time type of mentality. And it's me saying that debt is a very real part of living your best life sometimes. And we need to take the meaning off of it. We need to take the negative connotation off of it. We need to stop automatically seeing it as a failure because it might actually be a tool that you utilize for your greatest success. A tool that you utilize to get yourself out of a bad situation. A tool that you utilize to help others. A tool that you utilize to feel really, really good. And that's that. Hard thing number two is debt. I made it harder by making it mean failure, and I made it easier by exploring my relationship with it.


Hard thing number three of 2023 is that I fell in and out of love this year. Falling in love wasn't hard. The falling out of love and the breaking up was hard. I ended up being nomadic this year. I thought that I was going to spend this year in Denver, Colorado, but I actually ended up giving up my lease in Denver in the spring because I had an abundance of opportunities to travel. I started getting opportunities to lead retreats abroad this year. I started getting opportunities to go to conferences abroad this year. I spoke at a conference in London. And along the way of these travels, I ended up meeting a guy who lives in London, and we ended up having a relationship for the first five months of this year. 


And it was incredible how it worked out. I mean, I, again, I was intending to live in Denver for this year, but through a series of opportunities, including an opportunity to sublet my apartment in Denver so that I didn't have to be committed to that, I just, I ended up traveling again this year and ended up having a relationship with someone who lives in a different country than me. And it was one of the most emotionally healthy relationships that I had ever had in the beginning. It was really positively different from other relationships that I had in the beginning. And then by late April, early May, it became very clear that this was not the relationship that I was going to be in for the rest of my life. It became very clear that this was not my long-term person. And I published an episode in May about changing your mind when I went through that breakup because I had to change my mind about that man. And the breakup was hard because I did truly love him. We did fall in love in a short period of time. It was a bit of a whirlwind, admittedly, and it was real. It was real. It was real, deep, true love. 


And so the breakup was hard. And I made it even harder in a way that I didn't realize until a couple weeks ago. So I'm going to tell you a little bit of a story. So basically, after I broke up with this man in early May, I went back to Denver, Colorado to pack up my apartment because I officially decided like I keep getting all these opportunities to travel and my business is remote. It doesn't make sense for me to have a home base right now. Let me pack up my apartment. And you know, not even pack up my apartment, sell all my stuff. I sold all my stuff, let go of my lease in Denver, which was already a hard thing in and of itself. So I'm packing up, selling all my items, kind of taking this leap and going nomadic again while processing this breakup. And so I decided I needed some healing, some support. So I walked down the street to a yoga and massage studio in Denver and I received a energy healing and massage session with this woman named Kathleen. And it was really lovely. It was just what I needed at the time. But interestingly, she said to me during the session, she was like, Caitie, I don't know why this story is coming through right now, but the story of Icarus is coming through. And there's this poem that says, everyone forgets Icarus could fly. And I was like, okay. You know, I was enjoying my energy healing and my massage, but at the moment, that story didn't really mean much to me. And I just kinda kept trudging through my breakup, feeling big emotions about it, made it through, went through the summer, and got over it, good timing. 


But then just a couple of weeks ago, my best friend, who's also nomadic, was going through a breakup and I was processing it with her and I was like, girl, let's do a spiritual fitness class right now. So we do a live stream fitness class that has like a spiritual tone to it. And at the end of this live stream fitness class, the instructor says, I don't know why the story is coming through right now, but the story of Icarus. And there's this poem, she mentions the poem too. She says, everyone forgets that Icarus could fly. And as I'm sitting beside my friend who had just gone through a breakup and also kind of being reminded of my own breakup from a few months prior, like six months prior, I was like, oh my God, that's it. I kind of forgot that I could fly.


Basically, the story of Icarus is that he can fly, and it's very cool, and it's a very impressive power, and it's amazing. And he gets so conceited about this special power that he has that he's like, I'm gonna touch the sun. And when he goes to touch the sun, his wings melt off. And the poem, Everyone Forgets That Icarus Could Fly, is basically saying, like, because he tried so hard to touch the sun, he burned off his wings and then everyone ended up forgetting about his gifts because he was, you know, didn't have the humility to not try and touch the sun or he was just getting so obsessed with this goal of like touching the sun that he melted his wings off. That's my understanding of it. 


And so my question to you with this is, what is your son that you're trying to touch? Is it a relationship? Are you having this like need to be partnered right now? And so you're bending to people and you're settling for the wrong people or spending too much time with the wrong people and forgetting that you can fly with or without the partner and they'll meet you along the way if you keep flying, is your sun like the need to be liked by people, by certain people, and as a result you're kind of orchestrating what you say or overthinking your next steps or holding back your sense of self expression that could actually like really contribute to the world in a meaningful way because you need to be liked, because you need to touch the sun in that sense.


Or maybe it's that you feel like you need to be thin, that you need to lose weight. Maybe the sun is the need to be thin, the need to lose weight. And as a result, you keep going on diets and having a chaotic relationship with food and dysregulating your connection to your hunger and fullness cues. Or you're developing body dysmorphia because you're constantly checking your body for size and that's resulting in body dysmorphia.


You know, what is your sun? What is the sun that you're trying to touch and melting your wings off as a result? And instead, can you remember that you can fly and trust that if you live a life that is in alignment with your values and take actions that feel aligned and kind rather than completely forced because you're trying to meet this one specific goal, trust that that is when you will live your most purposeful, meaningful, feel-good life instead of melting your wings off, trying to touch the sun.


And I said to my friend, I think us trying to, you know, find our boyfriends right now, like find our husbands right now, find this relationship right now, and being obsessed with that goal is like us trying to touch the sun and melting our wings off instead of just letting the sunshine and do its thing and embracing our gifts of flying and flying around it. And maybe this sounds cheesy, but it really landed with me in that moment of when I think that I need to touch the sun, I think that I need this thing, this relationship, this person, in order to prove my power, I end up forgetting to embrace everything that I already have and the ability that I already have, right? Because like Icarus wanted to touch the sun because he wanted to show people like, look, I can touch the sun. But people are already impressed with the fact that he could fly and people were already benefiting from the fact that he could fly. Maybe I'm making this up a little bit now, but let's just say that's the case. And you know, people, I think sometimes when the one relationship doesn't work out, it's so easy to see it as a failure. And just like what I was saying about debt, it's like, just because you're in debt does not mean you are not successful. Just because you are in debt does not mean you're not using that debt to live an objectively happier and healthier life. Just because you do not have the relationship yet does not mean that you aren't living a really fucking awesome life. And by pigeonholing, focusing your goals or orchestrating your moves around trying to get a relationship, you end up missing out on all of your other power. And I think that this happens for women a lot. It's like, if we orchestrate our movements, if we decide what we're going to do next based on the opportunity to meet someone or the opportunity to end up in a relationship, we end up not with the best partner or not having fun or not living to our fullest potential. 


So I made my breakup even harder by forgetting that I could fly, by putting too much stock in like the having of a partner and of this one partner in particular. And I made my love life easier by letting go of the pigeonhole pursuit of a partner and leaning into the fact that the person I'm supposed to be with is likely just going to meet me along the way. I don't have to, like think about it as like, when if you're in like a bar or you're out one day, and you're like, okay, I need to meet someone here, I need to meet a partner here, you're probably not gonna meet the person that you organically vibe with by like trying to meet someone. You're probably not gonna attract the person that you organically vibe with by trying to attract them. What's gonna happen is that if you just do what you would do anyway, like if you love dancing, dance. If you love talking to people, talk to people. If you love trying out cool new cocktails or french fries or whatever from the bar, do that. Leaning into your energy knowing that the person that is going to click with you is going to meet you along the way. You will be walking the same path as the person that you're meant to click with.


And I really feel like that's the key to ease when it comes to the pursuit of a partner and perhaps the pursuit of a lot of things, but definitely a romantic partner. Trusting that what's meant for you is not going to miss you because you might as well trust that. I mean, honestly, you might as well trust that what's meant for you is not going to miss you if you are living a life that feels really aligned for you.


Right? If you're like sitting on the couch, like watching Netflix, not pursuing things that make you feel fully alive, that make you feel most like yourself, you are probably not going to meet someone correct. And if you are out there walking a path that feels really true to you, doing the things that you find fun, traveling, whatever it is for you, trust that a person that you are meant to meet is going to meet you along the way. If they're going to truly enhance your life and amplify it and make it better, they're going to be someone that's walking the same path as you. And you might as well lean into divine timing. I ended up writing in my journal earlier this year that I think that like divine timing is part of the key to ease. Like when you just trust that what's meant for you, the goodness that's meant for you is not going to miss you, you only have to take actions that feel aligned, kind, and not completely forced. If you're not leaning into divine timing, that's when we start to like force things a little bit more, you know? So that's the hard thing in relation to love life. 


So we have surfing, debt, a breakup, and now I'm gonna talk about something that I actually haven't talked about at all on my podcast before.


I'm gonna talk a little bit about my family life, my parents. A hard thing that I experienced this year in my family is that, well, first of all, my parents actually got legally divorced this year after being separated for a decade. It was never a question of whether or not they were gonna get divorced, but it just took them so long to get legally divorced. It was a really brutal battle for a lot of different reasons. And they finally actually signed the dotted lines this year. And I didn't think that it was actually going to impact me when they got legally divorced, because again, they've not been together fully for a decade. My dad's been in a relationship for like six years. But it did. It did impact me a little bit, because it just, there did feel like a shift in energy when they actually got legally divorced. And one of my parents has major mental health issues and suffers from addiction. And things kind of came to a head with that in the wake of the legal divorce. 


And so, yeah, I had to process some things related to my parents divorce and I also had to endure some things related to my parents mental health and one of my parents, like I said, suffers from addiction and it's been, you know, the legal divorce was moment when a lot of things came to a head with that and things got a little bit worse with that and I had to figure out how, you know, for the like fifth time in my life, how I wanted to navigate my relationship with this one of my parents. 


And here's how I made that stuff harder than it needed to be. I really refused to let it knock me down. I'm talking about hard things. I'm talking about divorce and I'm talking about addiction and I'm talking about, it's really difficult for me to talk about this without getting super specific with it. But just suffice it to say that a series of really dramatic and traumatic events unfolded due to my parents' divorce, due to the mental health issues of one of my parents, and due to the addiction that one of my parents suffers from. And I refused to let it knock me down. I was like, well, this is what makes me stronger. This is part of my story. This is what gives me empathy for a lot of the clients that I counsel. And I've been doing this for a really long time. I've been muscling through this really difficult part of my life. I mean, someone said to me recently, who's a listener of the podcast, like, Caitie, what are your parents like? Like, you never talk about your parents on the podcast. And the truth is I never talk about my parents on the podcast because it's complicated as fuck. And it's a challenging piece of my puzzle that I'm still figuring out how to talk about. And I know that I am meant to share more about this in a little bit more detail once I've got things sorted as to like, you know, what's my story to tell and what's my parents story to tell. 


But what I want to say for today is that I've made these circumstances so much harder for myself by not letting them knock me down by trying to be strong all the time by taking a what doesn't kill you makes you stronger approach to this family trauma. And what I've recognized is that by trying to muscle my way through these circumstances all the time, I've kept myself trapped in a pattern of muscling through, overworking, I've told you about how I struggle with that before, and just like a very thick skin kind of energy. And this muscling through, this thick skin energy has prevented me from being able to unwind in my life. And of all the things that blocked me from dropping into a sense of ease in my life, I would say that my refusal to grieve the really difficult things that have happened in my family is the thing that's made it most difficult of all for me to drop into ease.


But I always just thought that the best way for me to handle this is to use it as a way to become stronger. And in so many ways, that is great. It's so amazing that surviving my parents' divorce and my parents' battle with addiction has taught me to have empathy and compassion for people and has taught me to support clients who come from similar backgrounds. But it's prevented me from realizing that I'm also worthy and beautiful and enough when I'm soft. When I just need to take a moment to grieve all that I've lost in my family and all that I lacked from my parents, I'm still beautiful and I'm still worthy. I'm not only beautiful and worthy when I'm turning lemons into lemonade. And so that's how I learned to make this circumstance a little bit easier.


I developed a lot of survival strategies to cope with my family situation. I've developed a sense of resilience. I've developed a sense of empathy. I've developed a sense of independence. I've developed a sense of healing. I mean, I've gone really, really deep in my own healing because of what I've been through in my family and that's given me the capacity to be an amazing counselor. However, I haven't given myself enough space to just drop my survival strategies and just be soft and grieve. You know, I've been so celebrated by so many people for the ways in which I have overcome really difficult circumstances in my family. And again, I'm not even going into what they are. Like, oh, you're so strong. You're so this, you're so that, like blah, blah. And just because those things are amazing and just because they are celebrated and just because I've actually literally made a career out of the sense of resilience that I've developed in my family doesn't mean that I'm not beautiful when I drop that sense of resilience for a minute. When I just let myself crack open and cry and be held and be and that was hard to share but one way I've decided I can make my life easier is by giving myself space to just be soft and to grieve what's hard and not try to muscle through it all the time. And to recognize that I'm really beautiful and maybe perhaps my most beautiful when I'm just soft and not muscling through.


So with that, there are two more hard things that I wanna share from this year. The next thing is that I obviously moved around a lot. So I've alluded to this multiple times on this episode and in this podcast, but I am, I'm nomadic right now. I have a bit of a base in Lisbon. I have a visa in Lisbon. I spend most of my time in Lisbon now, but I don't have a lease here yet. I'm kind of living sublet to sublet because I do still have a lot of opportunities to travel internationally, to lead retreats. And I just love to travel so much. And because my business, fortunately, is remote, I can travel and I am still single. I'm not tied down. So I continuing to travel and I don't mean to call that a hard thing necessarily, because it's an immense, enormous, fantastic, gorgeous privilege to be able to move around. And it is hard to not have a home, to not have one specific base, one specific place where my stuff is that I know is mine. And I've made this challenging reality even more challenging by making a bit of a drama about it throughout this year. I've been at different moments, okay, I'm ready, I'm gonna get a lease. I did tell you, I think earlier in this episode, at one point I was considering moving to London and I was like, you know what, maybe I'm gonna do my PhD there, but then I realized I'm not ready for that yet. I kind of want a little bit more time to build out my business and keep working with my clients super closely. And I was like, all right, I guess I'm not gonna move to London. But I was like but now I'm gonna move to Lisbon. But then I kept getting these opportunities to travel and I was like, it just doesn't make sense for me to get a lease. But I made like a big, big drama about it, about not knowing where I wanna live because I'm like, how am I ever gonna find a sense of home if I don't have a lease? Like how, how am I gonna find a sense of home if I don't know where I want to live? 


And I made it easier by recognizing that there's a difference between finding home and finding where I wanna live. And here's how I realized it. I was on a beautiful retreat in Mexico led by two of the most wonderful teachers I've ever met in my life, Aimee and Natalie. And on day one of the retreat, Aimee led us through this meditation called Center of Head. And basically what she did was coach us through creating a place in our head that feels cozy and centering and relaxing. And like we could just like unwind there. And when she first started doing it, I was like, okay, yeah, I've heard therapists do this before and I don't like it because I feel like you're just coaching people to escape from their reality. Like what the fuck is the point of that? We might as well be where we are right now. Like, why are we gonna create this fantasy world in our head? And Aimee actually said, right as I was thinking that, so, you know, the point of this is not to escape, it's to recognize that you have the capacity to create a sense of centeredness and a sense of home and a sense of peacefulness within yourself, no matter where you are. And I was like, oh. And I went through her meditation and in my head I started to imagine an apartment with a couch, with a bathtub, with a candle, with incense, with all of my favorite things. And I was just there alone in my robe, which I'm wearing right now. Very cozy. I felt a full sense of peace in my body. And for a second, I was like, okay, is the fact that I'm imagining an apartment a sign that I need to get an apartment? Like I should sign a lease? Maybe I should sign a lease. Like, you know, going back into that drama. And what I realized is no, this is actually a sign that I already have the apartment, metaphorically speaking. I already have the sense of coziness and centeredness and regulation and groundedness within me. It's a matter of tapping into it. It's a matter of accessing that sense of home within me and trying to create it and bring it everywhere, wherever I go. There's a difference between finding home and finding where I wanna live.


Okay, so the final hard thing that I went through this year that I know every single person listening to this show is going to resonate with is just being a human and wanting to do the right thing, just really, really wanting to do the right thing and being unsure what the right thing is in a world that is ever evolving and ever changing and ever suffering and ever scary and a lot of things happened. A lot of things happened on a global scale this year that were beyond our control, and it was really hard to know what the right thing was to do and what the best way to help people was. And I made this hard thing even harder for myself by...in two ways, actually. The first way I made it harder is that I was always really, really worried about what is the exact right thing to say. I kept finding myself in a place of like, what is the exact right thing to say? And the second thing I made it harder for myself is that I worried too much about people viewing me as helpful, and I'm worried too much about people viewing me as someone who is saying the right thing.


And so much of our personal power is taken away when, one, we always worry about saying the right thing, because the truth is that we don't always need the words. If we want to make a difference and be supportive and helpful and kind, part of that is knowing that we don't always need the words. So much of kindness and so much of our capacity to be of service to other people is just related to the way we are able to hold space for other people and the way we're able to just be present and create a space for people to be themselves and express themselves and feel safe and feel held. And then so much of our capacity to do good is blocked by caring about what other people think because then we're not really bringing our full selves into everything that we do. What we're doing instead is orchestrating and overthinking and not contributing our unique essence to create a difference. 


And so I feel like I'm getting back into speaking in like abstract terms rather than from my own experience. But what I learned about doing the right thing and making a change in an ever evolving, ever complicated world is one, remembering that you don't always need to have the words. And it's so ironic that I'm sitting on a podcast microphone right now saying only words to you. But remember that you don't need to say everything. You don't need to know exactly what to say to fix someone's problem. You don't need to know exactly what to say to be inspirational. You don't need to know exactly what to say to show love. What we can do is drop into a sense of presence and just really be with someone, remembering that we are all so the same at the end of the day, we are all human beings. And so the best we can do is practice really seeing that in one another, practice seeing that we all are humans. And like this kind of reminding me of even with what I was saying with my parents, I mean, part of my healing from that is dropping in and remembering that my parents are humans the way I'm a human. And remember that my ex-boyfriend who disappointed me is a human the way I'm a human. And if we can all just practice presence and patience with each other, it doesn't mean we don't set boundaries. That doesn't mean we just give ourselves over to human beings who are gonna zap our energy, but it does mean that we don't need to know exactly what to say all the time. We all are so the same. We all are just trying to figure it out day in and day out. I feel like I'm spitting platitudes, but I hope that some of this is landing and I hope that the energy behind what I'm saying is landing. And the second way I made it easier to just try to figure out what the heck to do in this ever-evolving, ever-difficult world was to just bring more of all of me into what I do and to not be afraid to just be myself. 


I decided this year that I wanted to embrace a little bit more of all sides of myself and my business. And this was really helpful because sometimes I find myself being like, okay, I'm just another dietician. Like how do I distinguish myself from the other dieticians? And I've recognized that I don't actually have to try to distinguish myself from other dieticians because all I need to do is bring more of all of me into every single thing that I do and know that no one will ever do what you do as you do it. And the people who need you will find you if you dare to be you. The people who need other dieticians are gonna go find those other dieticians if they're being their fully expressed selves. And the people who need me as their dietician, their body image coach, their self-confidence coach, are gonna find me if I express who I am and don't hide parts of myself because I feel like I need to be coming off a certain way or perceived a certain way or distinguish myself from other dietitians in a certain way. It's like, just be, stop trying. You are who you are when you stop trying. You are who you are when you stop trying to get people to perceive you in a certain way and just let yourself be a little bit more. You can tap into your kindest and most aligned energy when you're just loose and self-expressive. 


All right. I'm kind of diving into stream of consciousness energy a little bit more here, so that's telling me that it's time for me to start to wrap up this 2023 recap episode.


As I'm wrapping up here, I encourage you to think about what did you encounter this year? How did you make it harder for yourself? And how did you learn to make it easier for yourself? And I encourage you to shift into a sense of self-compassion as you are reflecting on your 2023.


Just as a little recap here, some hard things I did this year were learning to surf and going into debt and going through a breakup and dealing with my parents' divorce and mental health challenges and moving around again a lot and trying to figure out what the heck the right thing to do in a world that is just so complex and evolving and changing all the time. 


And I learned that you don't get good at surfing, you experience surfing, and that applies to a lot of things in life. I learned that debt is a tool and you can change what it means to you. I learned to trust in divine timing to make sure that I don't forget that I can fly. I learned that home is not the same thing as knowing where I'm gonna live. I learned that it's important for me to not muscle through all the challenges of my life and let myself soften sometimes, not always turn lemons into lemonade and trust that I'm also beautiful when I'm soft and when I'm not turning lemons into lemonade. And I learned that I don't always need the words and often just being myself is the best way I can contribute in the world. 


So I can't wait to share what my word for next year is, but that is my year of ease in a 45 minute nutshell. I hope that you are taking something away from this that means something to you and I hope that you have a beautiful, peaceful end to your new year, that you can take some time to go inward, that you can breathe, that you can nurture yourself, and that you can do what you need to do to feel more whole, full, and alive. Thanks so much for being here.






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