Updated: Nov 3
Three things we dive into in this episode:
How getting hit in the head with a water bottle and fearing for my life helped me find gratitude and clarity.
How to change the way you experience life by staying open
How to recognize your most authentic desires and realize the life you want.
Release restrictive dieting, break free from body shame, & create habits that help you live fully! Sign up for Caitie’s nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!
Listen to Episode 1: Wholeness: How to Feel Complete as You Are Now here!
Listen to Episode 3: Aliveness: Creating Your Dream Life with Candace Taylor here!
[4:30] Caitie’s New Year’s Intention for 2020
Caitie’s New Year traditions include reflecting on the past 12 months and thinking of a word or phrase to set her intention for the new year.
Instead of a more traditional and rigid New Year’s resolution, this practice helps promote growth and grace as human beings.
Caitie: “I believe we are human beings that are here to evolve and learn and grow and heal from things. But we’re not like problems that need to be resolved.” - Click Here to Tweet This
2019 was very busy for Caitie as she burned out trying to make ends meet. For 2020, she wanted to create space for authentic self-care.
[9:15] Having Space in the Schedule
By the end of March 2020, Caitie lost all her jobs due to the pandemic; only school remained.
There were a lot of bumps in the road, but she achieved her goals and started her practice.
Recognizing the privilege of the positive turnout of the year, Caitie promised to use it meaningfully.
It was also important for her to maintain the spaciousness she found to serve other people to the best of her ability.
[11:20] Being Open to Life in 2021
Her intention word for 2021 was "open." Staying open to life will help you stay open to new experiences and growth.
She reread Michael Singer's The Untethered Soul, which became the inspiration behind her intention for 2021.
Caitie: “It’s so important, just in general, to keep your heart open, right? To not keep this cage around your heart that prevents you from feeling the full range of emotions that life has to offer.” - Click Here to Tweet This
When you notice yourself becoming closed off or putting bars between you and the world for protection, remember that being open and letting life flow is how you experience your life to the fullest.
Caitie wanted to experience life with an open mind and heart in her new-found spaciousness.
[14:48] Living in 2021 and the Hydroflask Accident
Caitie followed a spiritual instinct and went on a yoga retreat in San Diego hosted by one of her friends.
On the flight to San Diego, a metal water bottle fell and hit Caitie on the right side of her head, causing her to black out for a moment.
The injury disoriented her, but she went on the trip regardless. She felt pain but pushed past it.
At night, the pain increased to a searing sensation. Caitie realized that the accident could have gone much worse.
The next morning, she had a new perspective on her life. While she eventually got in touch with medical services, this accident made her feel grateful to be alive.
[21:53] Being Grateful for Life
After her experience, everything surrounding Caitie was more beautiful, more vibrant, and brighter.
A fellow retreat attendee remarked that near-death experiences open you up to look at your life from a new perspective — mirroring Caitie's feelings exactly.
Caitie: “And so, I was going through this retreat in San Diego, and every single day that I woke up, I was seriously like, ‘Wow, I’m awake, like, this is great. I’m still alive, I’m still here, I’m going to be so open to every single thing that happens today.’” - Click Here to Tweet This
During the retreat, Caitie realized she wanted a deep, fulfilling, long-term partnership — criteria her current relationship couldn't fulfill.
This realization led to conversations with her ex-boyfriend, leading to their breakup. She discusses this connection in Episode 1 — go have a listen if you haven’t already!
[26:39] Opening Your Eyes Everyday
Openness means having gratitude that you're alive to experience life in its many shapes and forms.
Life is not a guarantee. Stay present and grateful, and you can experience life from a new perspective.
She adds that it's also important to honor what you desire and what makes you feel safe while pursuing a full and open life.
Her recognition and acknowledgment of her desires helped her set her path to the future she wanted.
[30:09] Honoring Desires
At the end of the year, during her New Year’s practice, Caitie chose her intention word for 2022: desire.
Honoring her desires complemented her life’s spaciousness and openness.
Caitie: “You can identify your deepest desires and your personal values and the things that are important to you and make them a container. And then allow yourself to flow within that container.” - Click Here to Tweet This
Caitie adds that you can use that container to let your desires and values flow in sync. In this way, you can work towards meeting your desires while appreciating every moment in front of you.
[32:30] Find Healing in Meaning
If she didn't push through with her trip, she wouldn't have had the opportunity to start her training to serve her clients better.
Caitie isn't an "everything happens for a reason" person. Sometimes, things don't go your way, and it sucks.
She believes in finding healing in meaning and learning from everything that happened in her life. Connecting the dots of things that happened and what happened as a result of them can inspire a sense of gratitude for how life turns out.
Her incident helped her realize that she needed to stay open in life and explore what she wants her life to be.
[35:50] Processing Prompt: Find your Desires
This episode’s processing prompt is an invitation to contemplate what you truly and deeply desire in life.
Consider what you want other people to remember you for at a celebration of your life years from now to help uncover your deepest desires. Write about these desires from a place of the present. Keep in touch with how you feel as well.
You can also think about people who inspire you and the traits they emanate. How they live their lives can also reveal what you want from your life. When you identify your values, you also identify your desires.
Noticing what is in front of you and processing it can help you realize that it is something you can handle.
[39:07] Experiment: Life in the Moment
What’s happening at the moment is what you can change or affect right now.
Notice when you are closing off your mind or contracting from life and find a way to relax and stay open.
During stressful moments in her clients' sessions, Caitie finds a way to stay open and relaxed to help her clients and meet them where they are. That's where healing finally happens.
Caitie adds that when she takes a deep breath and stays open to the experience unfolding in front of her, she almost always feels better. If you’re having a hard time relaxing and staying out of your head, Caitie suggests getting in touch with a counselor of any kind to teach you ways that will help you stay open to life.
Don't get too caught up in your head and inner agenda that your life passes by you.
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Caitie Corradino: When I was randomly nailed in the head with a water bottle, and I thought maybe I wasn't going to make it. I learned to be more open every single day. I learned to have more appreciation for the fact that I opened my eyes every single day.
Welcome to Whole, Full & Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician, nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition.
But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy, you have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive. Right here. Right now. Let's get into it.
Hey there, welcome to episode eight of Whole, Full & Alive. I am so excited that you came back. Maybe it's your first episode. Either way, I'm so excited that you are here. Before I dive into today's episode, I really do want to pull aside and say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for listening. And thank you to everyone who has given me feedback on the show. So far, I really love hearing from you. It is blowing my mind how many people I have heard from who I have never met before that are listening and have provided feedback on the show.
I just want to say that if you are one of those people that feels comfy, reaching out to me and providing feedback on the show, please feel free to get specific. I want to hear from you. I want to hear what thoughts and questions and suggestions you have. I want to hear suggestions for guests I want to hear. Yeah, like specific thoughts and places you'd like me to go with the show I would love for hopeful and alive to become a community. And one way to make this a community is for us to share thoughts and ideas. So please feel free to keep your thoughts and feedback and specific suggestions and questions rolling to me. I love love love hearing from you so far. And I'm so grateful that it made it to Episode Eight.
We are not quite on double digits yet. But this still feels pretty significant that we're here, that we're at number eight. With that said, let's dive into today's episode. It is just me on the mic today. And I want to talk about openness. Maybe you have no idea what I mean when I say openness, and that is okay. I am going to clarify. What I'm going to talk about specifically on this episode is what I learned when I thought that I might die. Maybe that sounds a little bit dramatic. But that is the place I'm coming from today. That is part of the story that I want to tell. So let's get into it.
As always, I am going to talk for a little bit, tell you some stories, share some ideas. And then towards the end of the episode, I'm going to provide a specific processing prompt that you can use to write in a journal or talk to a friend or talk to yourself or talk to an audio note in your phone to unstick what stuck in process whatever's inside of you. And then I'm going to provide an actionable experiment so that you can plug it into your life and see what happens. It's not a do this or else it's not a you have to do this so that this will happen. It's an experiment with it, throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.
So yeah, if you're new here, that's the structure to all my episodes. If you're not new here, just a little review. Let's dive into openness, and also what I learned when I thought I might die. But before I get to the part where I thought I might die, I want to rewind and actually start in 2019.
So at the end of 2019 It was December 31 2019. And I was doing this ritual that I do at the end of every year where I sit and journal and reflect on everything that happened over the past 12 months. And I decide on a word that I want to make my theme or my intention for the new year ahead. Now maybe this sounds a little bit cheesy to you. But honestly, this was one of my favorite favorite things to do. I don't think it's cheesy at all, I find it really fulfilling.
I don't like the idea of New Year's resolutions, like, at all, I feel like resolution has this connotation of like resolving and resolving has this connotation of, you're a problem that needs to be fixed. I don't believe that we are problems that need to be fixed. I believe we are human beings that are here to evolve and learn and grow and heal from things. But we're not like problems that need to be resolved, right.
Resolutions also have this connotation, typically of diet programs, restrictive diet programs, juice, cleanses, weight loss, and rigid and restrictive, like fitness programs. You know that I'm not at all about that. So I do not like the New Year's resolution. But I do love the new year. The new year is an awesome time, I think it's really cool. To be able to kind of step into this sort of like, collective energy that's happening in the whole world of like, this is the end of the year, or in most of the world.
I know other parts of the world celebrate the New Year at different times. But most of the world, a lot of the world is stepping into an energy of this is the end of calendar year. And we're going to look and reflect on what happened over the past year and shift into a new year together. So I love stepping aside, pulling aside and just thinking about how much has changed over the course of 12 months, what I've learned over the course of 12 months, who I've met. all that stuff. And I love picking just like one word that I want to be sort of a guiding theme for me in the new year.
So I don't set resolutions. But I'm like, here's a word that I kind of want to make the theme of this new year for me. So it's the end of 2019. And I realized that at the end of 2019, I was burnt out. So I was working about six jobs. And I was finishing my master's degree.
I was finishing my master's degree in clinical nutrition at NYU, while living in an apartment in New York City that I could barely afford. So I had to work six jobs in order to make my life work out. So my day is often looked like teaching a 6am, 7am and then sometimes 8am fitness class, then commuting to the private practice that I worked at, to do nutrition counseling for a few hours, and then commuting to NYU to go to class for a few hours and then commuting to another fitness studio to teach two to three evening classes.
I was working at two different nutrition private practices that were not mine, I was working under two other dietitians. And then I was also teaching at five different fitness studios. Every single day I was even working on Saturdays, I'd wake up really early on Saturday mornings and see nutrition clients for many hours and then even come teach afterwards.
By the end of 2019, all I wanted was just some space in my life. I wanted space. I wanted time, I wanted to be able to experience life more deeply, deepen my relationships, have space to rest and relax and take care of my own health and honestly practice what I was preaching to my clients, both my fitness clients and my nutrition clients, I felt like a freakin hypocrite at the end of 2019, I was working so much.
Work was the only thing that I really was able to give energy and attention to. So the end of 2019 I was like, my word for 2020 is going to be space. And boy, did I get space. The universe laughed in my face. Because we all know that in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and within the first three weeks of the pandemic, I lost all my jobs, every single one. I was completely unemployed. By the end of March 2020. School was the only thing I was doing. And I was quarantining with my best friend at the Jersey Shore with so much space in my schedule.
Of course, I had to pivot so that I could make money and survive. And basically the two things I could do to pivot were get a job at a hospital or put my foot on the gas starting my own private practice. And I decided to put my foot on the gas starting my own private practice. And I can talk more about how that part of the story went. But the point I'm focusing on today is that I got space.
My whole life changed in 2020. And there were bumps in the road. There were nuances. There were moments of freefall where I thought that maybe I was not going to make it. My business was not going to make it, I was not financially going to make it, I wasn't going to be able to finish my master's thesis, all this stuff. In the end, I did make it. I built my own private practice. But I was able to find spaciousness, the spaciousness that I had always wanted, the spaciousness that I had always told my clients that they needed to have in their lives.
I felt so, so grateful for that. For me, many of the twists and turns of 2020 were for the better. And I know that I'm so privileged in that aspect, I am acutely aware of the fact that the twists and turns of 2020 were not favorable for a lot of people. So I made a promise that I was going to use my privileges in a meaningful way. I was going to maintain the sense of spaciousness that I found in 2020, so that I could really serve people fully and I wasn't this empty battery counselor, and I wasn't this empty battery fitness instructor, and I wasn't an empty battery, sister, or friend or person in general.
And so when it got to the end of 2020, I decided that my word for the year 2021, would be open. And I decided the word open, because in the spaciousness of 2021, one of the things that I did was read a little bit more. And I reread one of my favorite books, the Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.
I believe that one of the most important themes in that book is this idea of openness, staying open to life, giving yourself enough space, so that you can be open to experience, right, because if you're always walking around with like, a rigid agenda, and you're always on a schedule, 24/7, you were unable to be open to experience, you're unable to let life kind of happen to you, because things are just so rigid. And if life is not able to happen to you, you can't evolve. And if you don't allow life to happen to you, it's hard to be attuned to the needs of other people and see the people who are in front of you.
It's so important, just in general to like, keep your heart open right to not keep this cage around your heart that prevents you from feeling the full range of emotions that life has to offer. If you put a cage around your heart, of course, you might protect yourself from being hurt. But that means that you also prevent yourself from feeling really, really deep love, you might, in some ways, protect yourself from feeling sadness or pain, but then you also prevent yourself from being able to feel the highest range of positive emotions as well.
So my favorite quote from the Untethered Soul is nothing ever is worth closing your heart over. So this idea that no matter what life serves you, stay open, stay open, and relax. When you notice yourself closing, when you notice yourself kind of closing off your heart or staying closed to an experience or starting to kind of like, toughen up and put bars around yourself, can you just stay open and let life flow so that you can learn from experience so that you can grow from experience so that you can meet new people?
Basically, I wanted to give myself the opportunity to continue to grow and evolve as a person and experience life in this new sort of spaciousness that I found. And so I lived my life in 2021. With that intention of like, I just want to be as open as possible. I don't want to be a closed minded person, I don't want to be a closed hearted person, I want to give myself enough space so that I can stay open to life, even when I feel like I have all the reasons to close to put bars around myself to be like, rigid and contracted. I want to just try to stay open and not be afraid of getting hurt and not be afraid of taking chances. And these are all concepts that are talked about in a lot of different books, but I definitely like, they were it was solidified for me when I read the Untethered Soul, and it really inspired me to make my word for 2021. Open.
So let's fast forward. I'm living my life in 2021. And I get this sort of intuitive nudge to go on my friend Maria's yoga retreat in San Diego. One of my friends, Maria relocated to San Diego during the pandemic. And she is an amazing person, she's so inspiring. I'll probably have her on the podcast at some point. But she started organizing retreats over there. And even though it wasn't financially the most sound decision for me to make, quite frankly, I just felt this nudge to go on this retreat that she was offering.
It was one of those decisions that I just didn't, I didn't think about it so much, it felt more, it felt like it was coming from more of a spiritual place more of I just, this feels good for me to be doing this right now, it doesn't make the most rational and practical sense. But it feels sort of like, it's going to be an opportunity to grow and learn.
So before I knew it was signed up to go on this retreat, and it was boarding a plane to San Diego. And this is the when I thought I might die part, I'm on this plane to San Diego, and I'm sitting in an aisle seat and I have AirPods in. I'm listening to a podcast fully just zoning out waiting for the plane to finish boarding when all of a sudden, someone who is trying to load their bags into the overhead compartment above me drops their Hydroflask water bottle on the right side of my head. So I'm sitting in an aisle seat, someone's trying to stuffed their bags above me in the overhead compartment above me while holding a Hydro Flask. And they drop their Hydro Flask square on my head. It's full of water.
It hits my head so hard that I blacked out for a moment. And it took me a good minute to figure out what had happened because it was so random. I'm sitting in the aisle seat of an airplane and someone just drops a metal water bottle full of water on my head and knocks me out. And then the next thing I know, I see all the people who had been sitting around me and saw it just get up from their seats and come towards me. Definitely one of those moments where I realized that a lot of human beings are very kind.
The flight attendant comes over and they're like, are you okay? What do you want to do? And they're asking me to make all these decisions really quickly. Because I'm on the plane by myself. I didn't have anyone else with me. And we had already detached from the gate. And we were kind of getting ready to take off and they were like, do you want us to go back to the gate? Do you want to get off the plane? And I was so confused.
Frankly, if I heard this story from any one of you, any other person, any of my clients, I would say get off that plane and go get your head checked, do not go do not allow the plane to take off. However, in my disoriented state, I was like, No, I want to stay on this plane, I would like to stay on this plane, I'm going on a trip that I paid a lot of money for, it’s a retreat, I need to stay on this plane, I'm going to be fine.
I got the initial shock of being hit by a water bottle out of my body. And I just kept an ice pack on my head and I did my best to stay awake, wide awake for the entire flight because I know that you're not supposed to fall asleep after you get a head injury. So I did my best to just stay awake for the entire flight. And when I got to San Diego, I filed a police report and did things like that. But then I went to the retreat.
I was feeling like I had a pretty significant bump on my head. But I was fine. I was like you know what I'm good. Like I have maybe like a dull bruise on my head. But things are okay. So that was the first day of the retreat. I was feeling this like dull bruise the top of my head but I was like I'm fine. So I had like the first arrival day of the retreat, and then we're going to bed that night and I realized that I had a searing pain at the top of my head like I was starting to get concussion-like symptoms. And that was when I guess the trauma of the situation at hand kind of started to seep in, because I guess I was on a plane and I had a destination I was going there.
I went to San Diego. I did what I had to do to get transportation and arrive at the retreat center and then when I was going to bed that night was when the impact of everything that had happened kind of settled in. So not only did my head start to hurt more, but also I think I just it just registered with me that like I was sitting on a plane listening to a podcast when all of a sudden a metal water bottle literally knocked me out, like fell from the sky and literally knocked me out and it could have hit my head in such a way that I may not have made it. And I did, I made it and I was alive.
So that started to settle in for me, and I was like, I'm lucky to be alive right now. I'm lucky that that didn't hit me in the head and knock me out for good instantly. It was such a random freak thing. Things change so quickly, and yet, I'm still here. I'm still alive. Wow, that's so cool. I sat in that for a moment.
But then, the fact that I had a pretty significant headaches started to sink in again, and I got really scared. I eventually sort of dozed off into sleep, but when I woke up the next morning, everything looked brighter and cleaner and crisper. This was because I realized that I was grateful to have woken up. I was grateful that my head wasn't so injured that I didn't fall into sleep for good.
I decided that day to go get an MRI, which was a very smart decision, and that MRI was clear. But what I recognized from that first morning waking up the day after I got hit in the head with a water bottle was that it was just so thankful to be alive. I was so thankful that that freak accident didn't kill me, didn't completely take me out because it honestly could have. The water bottle hit so hard. I can still feel it when I think about it this day.
Later that night, after I got my MRI, after my MRI was clear, I was sitting having dinner with one of the women on the retreat, and I was telling her about how my perspective was that I'm really lucky to be alive. I'm feeling really grateful to be here on this retreat in this moment, and everything in our surrounding area looks like brighter and more beautiful. I'm appreciating the leaves blowing in the wind, and the hummingbirds we're seeing and all these beautiful people I'm meeting and the connections I'm having.
These are things that I appreciated at a baseline for my whole life, but my appreciation and my gratitude for them just exploded after I got hit in the head. The person I was explaining this to looks at me and says, you know, near death experiences really open you up, and I was like, yeah. Yeah, they open you up. I'm not saying that I had to get hit in the head with a water bottle to be open, and I'm not suggesting that the universe conspired to hit me in the head with a water bottle.
It was a really shitty situation, and I still have post concussive symptoms, and it's annoying. Also, the perspective I've been able to find is that this experience really opened me up, and it helped me meet my intention for 2021 of staying open. So I was going through this retreat in San Diego, and every single day that I woke up, I was seriously was like, wow, I'm awake. This is great. I'm still alive. I'm still here.
I'm going to be so open to every single thing that happens today. On the last day of the retreat, we did this exercise where we all sat in a circle, and the retreat facilitator led us through this practice of identifying our deepest desires, like what are the things that we really, really desire in life? You can call it what do you want to manifest, or you can just call it what are your dreams. What do you really deeply desire?
She led us through this really awesome, fulfilling and just really good meditation and these really awesome journaling exercises. As I was sitting there in this meditation really thinking about what do I deeply desire, I was able to connect with the fact that I desired really intimate and fulfilling, long term partnership. When I was sitting in the circle in one of the most profound moments of the meditation, the facilitator was saying, like, when you consider the feeling of love and happiness, what comes to mind for you?
All I saw was these images of me and my boyfriend at the time building a fun and adventurous and fulfilling life together and laughing together and being committed to learning and growing together. As I talked about on Episode One, my partner at that time was not giving me any sense of assurance that that's what he had wanted, that he was in our relationship for that, that he was willing to consider a future and that he was excited about a future.
So it was in this circle, and I was like, whoa, wait, this is what I deeply desire. My life can end at any moment. My life can end when I'm on a plane and a water bottle falls from above and nails me in the head in just the worst place. Why am I going to spend more time in this relationship with someone who is not expressing excitement about a future with me when that's something that I deeply desire?
So that retreat was where I kind of started the process of, if you listen to episode one, this is kind of gonna connect perfectly, but if you haven't listened to it yet, this retreat was where I kind of felt inspired to start the process of having conversations with my ex boyfriend about, hey, what kind of future are we looking towards? I'm looking for this in a relationship. I desire this in a relationship. Can you maybe give me what I need?
The few months following that led to our eventual breakup. The point I'm making here is that when I had this, sort of near death experience, when I was randomly nailed in the head with a water bottle, and I thought maybe I wasn't going to make it, I learned to be more open every single day. I learned to have more appreciation for the fact that I opened my eyes every single day, and this is also a call back to episode three, when I interviewed Candace Taylor, and she talks about there's this certain level of gratitude that we ought to have just for being alive.
I realized that being open meant having a certain level of gratitude, just for being alive, because life is not guaranteed. The only thing that is certain is that life is going to end. So if it's not guaranteed that we are all going to wake up tomorrow, why not tap into a sense of openness for the experiences that you're having right now.
At the same time while I was having this experience of staying open to life and staying appreciative for every single experience that unfolded in front of me and trying to take my agenda off of it and trying not to walk around the schedule 24/7 when I could, I also recognized the importance of honoring your desires, and honoring what makes you feel safe.
So when I was in the circle, doing this meditation, trying to tap into what I really wanted in life, I recognize maybe I wasn't in a relationship that was making me feel safe, and maybe I wasn't in a relationship that was really what I actually wanted, what was actually going to make me feel fully loved. Because I had this new sense of life can end at any time, it's so precious, I was like, I've got to tap into my desires.
But then I found myself at this crossroads of, well, if I'm going to stay open, that means that I'm staying present in every experience, and I'm staying here now and I'm appreciating what's here for me now. But if I tap into my desires, then isn't that like future thinking? Isn't that future tripping? Isn't that what tear right now isn't good enough, and I desire more? It was interesting, because I felt so inspired by both these ideas.
I felt so inspired by the fact that I just got clogged on the head and it literally cracked me open and made me feel more appreciative of every single moment of my life than I ever thought that I could. I really have maintained that sense of gratitude ever since then, even though it's been almost a year now. But then I also felt really connected to this exercise we were doing where we were tapping into our deepest desires and manifestations and what do you want to cultivate and what do you want your life to look like, and I was like, yeah, I really want this long term, committed, juicy, passionate, happy partnership.
I don't feel like I have that with my current partner because he refuses to mention any glimmer of the future. So fast forward, a couple months later to the end of the year, and I decided to make my word of the year for 2022 desire. Since January of this year, my word, my theme has been desire, because I want him to learn to kind of balance, having a sense of openness and being open to the present moment and appreciating life as it is and unlearn from it as it's unfolding in front of me and maintain spaciousness.
But I also wanted to add this layer of honoring my desires, and leaning into what makes me feel excited and happy and alive and loved and appreciated. What I think I've learned throughout the experiences I've had this year so far is that you can identify your authentic desires and the things that are important to you as a human, and kind of have them as a compass, or a container, almost like a structure that you create for yourself.
Sorry, yeah, like a container. I think a container is the best word. You can identify your deepest desires and your personal values and the things that are important to you and make them a container. Then allow yourself to flow within that container, so it's not like you can't move around in there. It's not like you're either caught up in your desires and the things that you want, or you're just open to life as its unfolding in front of you, and you're not thinking about what you desire at all.
You're kind of just taking life as it comes and appreciating what you have in front of you and recognize that there is a way to identify your most authentic values and desires, and also create space to flow within that and not have too much of an agenda and still be able to wake up each day appreciating each and every moment for what it is in front of you. I hope that makes sense. I am feeling super called to share this story today.
I really don't know why, but I think it's because I am in Austin, Texas today. I'm coming to you from Austin, where I'm doing a somatic breathwork training. The only reason I'm doing this training, the only reason I'm getting certified to teach somatic breathwork is because I went on that retreat in San Diego. That was one of the modalities I actually learned on that retreat that was really profound and healing for me.
I realized I cannot wait to learn how to do this and be able to teach this to my clients because it's such a good way to get in touch with hunger fullness cues and relieves stress and all this good shit. I'll probably do an episode just on that. When I was in the first day of the training today, I started to get a little bit of a headache. I started to get a little bit of my post concussive syndrome that's still unfortunately happening.
I thought about it for a moment, and I was like, wow, if I never got on that plane, I would never be here in this training right now. The training has been absolutely amazing, so far, like beyond words. I was like, it sucks that I was hitting the head with a water bottle. I am not one of those people who's like, everything happens for a reason. Don't ever label me as everything happens for a reason person. I'm not. I would never say that.
What I do believe is that we can find healing in meaning and learn from the things that do happen to us. They don't have to happen. Not everything happens for a reason. Things really suck. Sometimes and very often, I would argue, we can take little nuggets, and I don't like the word silver linings either, but we can find little nuggets of wisdom and connect the dots in the things that happen to us and feel profound gratitude for what we've learned and who we've become and how we've evolved as a result of the things that have happened.
Personally, what I found is that getting hit on the head with a water bottle made me more grateful to wake up every single day. It made me realize that really unexpected random ass things can happen at any moment and end at all. So I've got a live while I'm here, and I've got to stay open, and that also led me to explore this idea of how can I desire more, while also continuing to stay open. I'm still working on it.
I'm still working on what that looks like exactly. But like I said, I do think what I've learned is that we can take ourselves to a really deep and honest and authentic place and recognize what our desires and our values are, and build that as kind of like the container, but allow ourselves to flow within that and stay present within that and stay grateful within that and still allow life to happen to us and still allow experiences to happen to us and not get too rigid or fixed.
So today's processing prompts. I would like to give you an invitation to contemplate what you deeply desire. If you have no idea what you deeply desire, the thing that you want the most in life, the dream that you have, start with identifying what's important to you. How do you identify what's important to you? Well, consider that you're at a celebration of your life, or you're looking over a celebration of your life.
You're not here anymore, in 5, 10, 15, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, whatever, and people are sharing memories and stories and things about you. What would you want those people to be saying about you? What character would you like them to have seen in you? What memories do you want them to have with you? How do you want to be remembered? Consider that, and as you're considering that, use that as an avenue to recognize what your deepest desires are.
When you're writing about those desires, write about them from a place of the present. So I'm so happy that I have blah, blah, blah, or I'm so happy that I work here. Or you can write what your day looks like in the present tense, like I wake up, and I'm in this place, and I'm with this person. I do this thing, and we go here, and I work here and it feels like this. How do you want to feel, that's also a really important piece of the puzzle.
That's a processing prompt for today is just get honest with yourself about what's important to you. Another way to identify what's important to you is to think about the people that inspire you, and to consider what character traits they emanate, and how is it that they live their life that inspires you and that can also get you in touch with what's important to you and that can also help you tap into what it is you desire.
When you identify your personal values, the things that are important to you, and you identify your desires, the things that you want, you can kind of use those things as a compass for which you navigate the world, for which you make decisions and for which you structure your days. Within that structure, you can allow yourself to flow and stay open to life and let new experiences and new people pass through you.
This sense of openness is so, so, so important because we can't live with an agenda. We can't live 100% in our heads. We do have to be able to let life flow through us. That's what The Untethered Soul is all about. That's why I love it so much, because it's about dropping the mental dialogue, dropping the agenda, dropping the rigidity, and allowing yourself to notice what's happening in front of you.
Most of the time, what's happening in front of you is not as bad as your mind is making it. Most of the time, what's happening in front of you is something that you can handle in that moment, and the mind is just kind of creating a drama about it. Most of the time, what's happening in the moment is the only thing that you can do anything about. So staying open allows you to feel a sense of inspiration and allows you to fully experience life, and that's the experiment.
The experiment I want to offer to you today is to notice when you're closing, notice when you're contracting, notice when you find yourself diving into a mental battle, a mental debate, using your thoughts to block the experience that's happening in front of you, and can you use some sort of tool to relax and stay open. So a place where I often find myself contracting is when I'm in a client session, and my clients kind of freaking out, so this happens a lot.
I work with people on their relationship with food, and I work with people on their relationship with their bodies. This is really, really deep and complex work, and so often, I'm going to have clients who are feeling really activated during session. I find myself wanting to just close in that moment. I find myself wanting to just go into my head and figure out, okay, how can I fix this? What can I do? What science can I tell them about to calm them down?
How can I reassure them that everything's going to be okay? I go into like this mental story in my head sometimes, because the situation at hand is pretty tense and stressful, and all I want to do is fix fix, fix. But the most valuable thing I can do in that moment is notice that I'm actually contracting, and I'm going into my head, and I'm closing off to the situation in front of me. I'm trying to make it go away, instead of just taking a deep breath, relaxing, and holding space for the person, being with the person, letting go of the mental battle and the agenda in my brain and just relaxing, because when I stay open and I'm really seeing the person in front of me and trying to understand their experience, and be there with them and meet them eye to eye, that's where healing happens.
That's where learning from experience happens. That's where life happens. There are so many situations and scenarios in my life where I feel like I have all the reasons to close, all the reasons to just go into my head and try to block the situation that's unfolding in front of me. But when I noticed that I'm contracting and I try to take a deep breath, and stay open to life, stay open to the experience that's unfolding in front of me, I almost always feel better.
I almost always realize it's not that bad. I almost always recognize that I know exactly what to do. I know that that's true for you, too. If you're having a hard time with this idea of staying open or relaxing when you notice that you're contracting and pulling back and getting inside your head, this is what's so beautiful about working with a counselor of any kind, because counselors basically teach you how to relax, and stay open to experience and get out of your head and into your body and into the present moment.
Now, you can still use your personal values and your deepest desires as a structure and a container and a guide for living your life. In each moment along the way, it's important to stay open to the experience that's unfolding in front of you and not get so caught up in your agenda of what you desire and all of that that you miss your life. I hope that something within the story resonates with you.
I hope that something within this story lands with you. I think there's so much more I can share about this idea of openness, and I look forward to talking more. So it's just a little tip of the iceberg. Wherever you are, I hope that you're having a peaceful week, and that you can take some time to consider what's important to you, what you want to be remembered for, what you desire.
As you're moving throughout your days, can you remember to stay open, because life is happening in front of you right now. If you haven't listened to that episode with Candace Taylor, definitely go to Episode Three and kind of, if you want to cheat fast forward to last 20 minutes where we talk a little bit more about this and experiment that you can do that I think will also help with openness.
Anyways, I'm out. We'll see you back here next week. If you like this episode, please leave a rating and review and subscribe. I will be back here next week.