Each month we will be highlighting a member of our Embody Teaching Team. This month, I’m incredibly excited to introduce you to Katelyn Warren who I actually first met at SOUL CAMP!
Katelyn came to an Embody class and had such a powerful experience returning home to her body through music & movement. Soon after, we worked together in my private coaching practice and I instantly knew she would be a perfect Embody Teacher. Less than a year since we met, she is now teaching her own classes in the Atlanta area. That’s how badass she is. You can follow her at @kaelwarr or come to Soul Camp West this year where she and I will be dancing up a storm every day!
Katelyn is an embodiment enthusiast who is committed to dedicating her life to helping people feel free and empowered in their own unique expressions and bodies. She approaches this both through her professional work as an occupational therapist as well as through her personal passions for studying Chinese medicine, psycho-spiritual healing, movement modalities, and trauma release techniques. Katelyn believes that there is a deeper level of healing possible for those who are willing to tap into the wisdom of their bodies and listen. What makes her especially passionate about this work is that she is constantly traveling on this journey herself. She is beyond excited to bring Embody to the Atlanta area and all of the incredible women there.
One of the old school marketing formulas of the patriarchy is the rags to riches story.
Well, I’m here to tell you my riches to rags story. Yep, you heard me right…
When I was 23, I graduated from a top Canadian University and got a corporate job in Dubai where I began the process of “adulting”. I had a nice paycheck, bought my first car and had a beautiful condo. That was the most money I ever made.
Fast forward 15 years, and here I am living in a very small, modest room with the bare necessities: a bed, a desk and a suitcase that doubles as my altar. I don’t have a car and about 80% of my clothes are from H&M.
I have a ritual of walking 1.5 miles to Kundalini yoga every Saturday while listening to a podcast. And often times, what the podcast is talking about and what my kundalini teacher ends up speaking about match up.
Today was one of those days.
On the podcast, Jay Shetty was telling Aubrey Marcus’ about how he grew up always admiring people with “rags to riches” stories and it wasn’t until he met a monk that that he had a model to admire who went from “riches to rags” so to speak.
At the beginning of yoga class, my teacher spoke about the time she got her first work blackberry and how her parents cheered her on for “having arrived”. Except it was simply an illusion of success. A ball and chain.
I remember that feeling. When I was the youngest woman in the boardroom meetings. When I was one of 25 students accepted to University of S. California’s Film Producing MA program. When I worked at a boutique NYC ad agency. All glamour on the outside and pure misery on the inside. I was following what I taught was the way to “riches”.
This year, in moments of pain and despair, I often found myself berating myself for being a total failure. I would be having one of those days and call a friend and sob about how I have nothing to show for my life.
Like most visionaries, I’m cursed by always seeing potential and require A LOT of presence to celebrate what is. And this year had an especially strong flavor of that. Because on the outside, I lost many things.
And like any reality, there are many ways to look at anything. And if you’re human like me, you know that the same exact situation can look AMAZING and LIKE THE WORST. And the truth is that it can be both – or somewhere in between.
Hearing Jay Shetty speak about the beauty of the monk’s path, that of stripping yourself from all the extraneous bullshit, all the external validation, all the excess really touched me.
Here’s why. I realized that no matter how often my inner critic comes out to point out all the places I “should” have reached so far: The 6 figure year. The husband with the kid. The emergency fund, that my soul is actually winning.
Because my soul knows. My soul gets that none of that shit matters. My soul is what told me to quit the job that would have “set me up for life”. My soul is what guided me away from a life of rich boyfriends, bottle service and empty conversation. My soul is what said “go to where the water is” and led me to San Diego during a period of intense healing. My soul is what persistently brought me back to my center day after day as my life unwinded and fell apart piece by piece this year.
My soul was simply cleaning up. Making space for all of me.
Making space for my heart, my faith, my resilience and my courage.
Making space for freedom.
Now I could end this right here. Clean cut. But that again, is a patriarchal format. It’s not clean. A story never is.
I’d really like to have a car. And beautiful organic sustainable clothes not made in Chinese factories. And money to provide for my future family. And beautiful, luxurious experiences that nourish my sensualist. And lots and lots of money for personal growth and self-care. Like SO many retreats and coaches please.
But I don’t need it. I’m not chained by it. Because I’m not buying it. This illusion of rags to riches as THE life journey to aspire to.
And I beg you. Don’t buy into it. Don’t let the world feed you a lie. Especially with the shiny social media accounts and the “rags to riches” stories that continue to pervade all our media. I’m not saying you need to aspire to monk levels of simplicity in your external world. But sometimes, we need to strip away the outside noise to really feel the vibration of our hearts.
And then, well then, get yourself the cutest outfit in the world.