I’m being a guinea pig for my friend and one of Liverpool’s loveliest, Karen Podesta, as she studies towards her Holistic Life Coach certificate and opens up the digital doors to More Love Yoga.
Before we get started, she’s getting my mindset into gear with a bit of an open-ended question – What’s Your Calling?
I had a series of self-reflection questions to answer for homework, and seeing as though this blog has turned into some sort of weird online diary, I’ll be brave and share my answers.
Who are you?
An Explorer of my inner self and world around me.
I was born an optimist and sometimes I wear rose-tinted glasses. I feel off-balance when I’m not being the best version of me. I feel centered when I have a purpose, when I’m making other people smile and when the future is a misty haze of opportunity.
I’m happiest on the seat of a bicycle, pedaling under blue skies, inhaling fresh air and marveling at the greenery around me.
I’m excitable. I can’t wait to do things, and see things and be things.
My ambition is knowledge-seeking and my success is happiness-driven – monetary gains are only ever a by-product.
Can you sum yourself up in three words?
I love this question, I used to annoy the hell out of everybody with it at school and beyond. I love how responses are never static and usually depend on how you’re feeling that day.
Today I am: Curious, Galvanised, Rhapsodic
If you we’re a brand what would your USP be?
A walking talking contradiction of multifaceted madness
What would your three brand values be?
Be weird. Be happy. Be you.
Why do your three values matter so much to you?
Be Weird – Weird usually comes with a negative connotation but I personally think it’s a compliment. Weird people are interested and interesting. They’re usually open-minded, accepting of others and happy with who they are. They’re creative and think outside of the box.
Be Happy – Being happy is all any of us want. If you’re happy on the inside, you’ll attract happiness back. Good Things.
Be You – You feel centred if you understand yourself and love who you are. Somebody who is unapologetically themselves is attractive.
What do people thank you for?
A lot of people seem to thank me for life and career advice. I’ve been asked to mentor people of all ages and all abilities at work which was really flattering. I guess I have a logical head when it comes to business, a low patience for bullshit and an unshakable drive.
I’m probably the friend that people come to when they want cheering up. And maybe I also get thanked for being the friend that will be up for anything.
..if you want to go and see an Indian flute band, go trampolining in a place where the average age is 6, go to the circus, get dressed up and go to the opera, wander in silence around an exhibition, take part in a debate on the treatment of refugees in the UK… if you want to spend your Saturday afternoon in an old library, hike up a mountain, get pampered at a spa, camp like a tramp, a big fat pint in a dirty old man’s pub or a seven course tasting menu in heels and a cocktail dress….
I’m always GAME.
What do you love more than anything else?
I guess this relates to the last point and being up for trying anything new. Doing stuff makes me happy; I feel like I’m living life, I’m having fun and I’ve got stories to tell. The occasional lazy Sunday and a bit of slobbish indulgence can feel like a treat, but making it a regular thing would be wasting the gift of life.
What could you give yourself more credit for?
How I survived something really difficult, but how I’m actually bettering myself because of it. How I’m restoring my mindset. And how I’m not necessarily the minger I sometimes see in the mirror.
What are you resisting?
I don’t think I’m resisting anything. Or maybe not patting myself on the head for all of the above?
If money was no object what would you be doing? Meditate on this and describe how this feels?
India is the first thing that comes to mind.
I’m on a plane to Mumbai and I’m reading Shantaram for the second time. An adventure awaits. I’m going to spend some time amidst the city chaos then after that I’m heading for a beach somewhere to think about what kind of business I want to start-up or what I’m going to do next.
I can hear Indian flute music playing, drowning out the noise of a street market. I can feel the winds of energy swirling around my chakras. My smile is uncontrollable. There are moths in my stomach. My eyes are almost blinded by colours of fire and life. My senses are being attacked with spices and smog. This is where I’m meant to be.
The feedback was that I’m very self-motivated and very self-aware, I know who I am and I’m happy with it…. but what came out of the conversation that followed, was that while I can apply my logics to most areas of life, the one thing I struggle with is self-image.
So my next set of tasks is this; I’ve got to meditate on the India ideal and journal out a list of core desired feelings. My intentions are to be emotions not goals, I need to write down how I want to feel, not what I want to achieve.
Next, when I wake every morning and before I go to sleep at night, I’ve got to look in the mirror and say I love you, repeatedly. This may sound a little bit mentally insane to anybody who has never practised meditation or affirmations before, but if you try it you might find it brings a tsunami of emotion from the pit of your stomach and when it’s over, tensions you didn’t even realise you were carrying are gone.
Another thing I’ve got to do is think back to my earliest memory of having a negative self-image. How did I feel at the time, and what were the thoughts that flitted through my mind to make me feel that way.
And then last but not least, write a letter to little twelve-year-old Laurie who couldn’t look in the mirror and tell her what she would have loved to hear.
I can’t go back to yesterday
because I was a different person then