My name is Katie Kizer!
I grew up on my family’s 55-acre farm in Oregon. When my parents split up when I was just in kindergarten, I became very introverted and reflective. I found myself asking a lot of questions, wondering why there were so many conflicts, and seeking solutions in which would help myself and my family all get along. Although I didn’t voice my thoughts much, I sure had a lot of them! Processing the chaos that surrounded me became a full time pass-time. I had an intense desire to explore and understand the world through my own lens.
Upon a lot of personal reflection and expressive thought, I began sharing my hardships, my triumphs, and ultimately my biggest life lessons in a journal. With hesitancy at first, I shared my journal entries with those closest to me. What I had imagined were only personal life lessons, ended up being valued, treasured, and sought out by my friends and family. That’s when I decided to begin expressing the content from my journal entries in other avenues, such as in front of a live audience in my classroom of third grade students, and in front of a global audience in the videos I post and share on YouTube. The feedback I have received, by simply sharing what is true in my heart, has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging.
It feels as if only yesterday I was living a completely different life, so introspective and reserved. And yet today, I am happy to have created a life in which embarking on adventures where I get to travel, reflect, write, teach, make videos, and express my truest and most authentic self is my daily jam. As I learn to dive deeper into my soul and to embrace the beauty in each of my moments, I continuously discover how to live more fully in the dreams I had once only envisioned. My sincere wish is that as you read on, that each and every one of you feel a spark of inspiration, that you learn to recognize your own value and the value of your moments, and that you embark on your very own version of an empowered reality, too!
It’s easy to get caught up in the ruckus of everyday life. It’s easy to get down on yourself. And, it’s easy to stop trying when it feels like it’s always going to be this way.
When we become overwhelmed, it is only a signal. You see, the feelings and emotions that are triggered by events are only there to help you to guide your sails. The winds are constantly blowing - that’s inevitable. As is change. What we do with that sequence of moments is entirely up to us. How we respond, what we think about the external environment, and what we think about ourselves in the process are all up to us.
You see, we are given choices at all times. We are given opportunities indefinitely. However, if you have habitually not taken a step out of your comfort zone, then those moments of decision come with self-doubt and that feeling of being overwhelmed. Possibilities can be turned down and growth and expansion can be denied, if you are not purposeful with your focus.
What you focus on, what you think about, what you feel, you become more of. To have internalized a societal norm that adult life cannot be happy or satisfying, and that it surely must be difficult is tragic. It is important to remind yourself of your worth. Be the greatest version of you there ever was. Don’t allow yourself to slack because your commitments to yourself are the most important ones. Build your own trust, and stand confidently in your own strength. With ambition, leadership, and inspiration, live your dreams!
Where do you find the line between visualizations in detail and having too specific of expectations for your outcomes? Knowing exactly where you are headed is necessary if you want to get somewhere, but what do you do when things don’t pan out as you had imagined? Or, more importantly, how do you not take it personally when a messy situation appears in your life? Because it will!
Over the last year, and the past few months in particular, I have developed new habits and routines that have allowed me to flourish and stay in a high vibrational state. It feels good to feel in control and purposeful with the feelings, thoughts, and actions I let linger within me. Yesterday, though, some major curve balls were thrown at me. I found myself falling back into old patterns of thought. Feelings of unworthiness, like I am not enough. Feelings of shame, like other people expected me to be something or someone I did not show up as. They crept in. Knowing that I take full responsibility for my life, I found it extremely difficult not to crumble under the heaviness of the experience at hand. I was looking at what I wanted and resonating with the fact that it hasn’t shown up in my life. My resistance only extrapolated my uneasy feelings. I was attached to an idea. And, I was judgemental about why it hadn’t shown up in my life.
“Non-resistance, non-judgment, and non-attachment are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.” -Eckhart Tolle
Holding onto these feelings spiraled me deeper into a disgruntled unhappiness. I cried - hard. And I felt defeated. I felt as if I had broken, and that the very fact that I wasn’t okay, wasn’t okay. I could feel myself being binded by these limiting thoughts. And then I got scared. My fears and insecurities about slipping back into an unhealthy, self-sabotaging frame of mind crept in. Now, not only was I resistant to the present, but I was anxious about the future, because I had pinpointed what I disliked about the past. It felt like a vice - and I panicked a little because I felt out of control. I felt scared that the ways I used to respond to conflict would just always be that way, and that I’d forever be bound by this crap!
But then it hit me.
Everything happens for a reason. We pull experiences into our lives based on the lessons and understandings we still need to comprehend and apply. I started to ask myself some questions.
- Why do you feel scared?
- What state of mind do you want to be able to meet difficulties or obstacles with?
- What patterns/habits need to be broken? And what do they need to be replaced with?
- Who are you at your core? And where can you grow?
By asking these questions of myself, my focus shifted to a much more creative and malleable thinking substance. I had tapped into a world of possibilities again instead of being rigidly stuck in one limiting perspective.
I cannot say that I have broken through all of my barriers just yet, but I know that I have identified where the barriers are. I see them. I am looking them dead in the eye and I am choosing not to ignore them. I am choosing to face the failure that is before me and I am instead choosing to make peace with it. Seeing this in my mind and adopting a more peaceful state changed the way my body felt. My shoulders dropped. My brow relaxed. And I could breathe more easily.
Moments of difficulty are only checkpoints. If we can carry on in the same direction while and after experiencing what I am currently going through, then we will demonstrate that we can handle the life of our dreams with the responsibility and the care that they deserve.
God (and the universe) is/are communicating with us at all times and it is important that we actually stay open to the opportunities that are before us. Challenging circumstances are here to remind us that there are infinite amounts of possibilities and opportunities in our lives currently. Staying open and saying yes to the ones that are there is key, because staring at the one or two closed doors you had high hopes and expectations for that are closed, will get you nowhere. And, being stagnant doesn’t allow your energy to be in motion, which is its natural state.
What I want others to understand, myself included, is that it is okay to not always be on top of your game. It is okay to feel weak and defeated from time to time, but you can’t stay there. Use those temporary losses of self-esteem and direction to notice what’s next for you. Notice the awareness that is lacking or the lesson embedded within the difficult moments. Give yourself permission to feel all that your experiences make you feel and adjust your GPS. Obstacles present themselves solely for us to meet them openly and to redefine our old ways.
Face your failures. Welcome your reality. Recognize the value in your moments. Understand and become aware of yourself. Change your limited focus. Widen in. See the full picture. Appreciate, and revel, in the beauty.
It’s not always easy, but it’s when it’s most difficult that you can level up the most if you allow yourself to.