Eat Dessert First

There’s been a pillow that reads “Eat Dessert First” on my family’s couch for as long as I can remember. Sometimes it felt annoying because I was also told that I also needed to eat my veggies first, make sacrifices for others (Catholicism y’all), and generally not make a practice of indulging, so that duplicity threw me off. But once I realized that this pillow was actually about doing more of what you love, and not about food, I loved it.

Eat Dessert First became a sort of motto for me. It was the permission I needed in my “earn” my worth programming to work to find pleasure in daily life, actually try to build a life around things that made me happy, and perhaps let simpler, easy things bring me that delight.

When I started Lake Effect Co I put together a design that said CHASE MORE SUNSETS, as for me, sunsets replaced dessert in the above metaphor. Inspired by the literal and absolute beauty of this major daily gift, this was the new daily reminder that I needed. Sunsets are there for the viewing, the taking, the pleasure.  And to be honest, the point was for you to substitute in your own mind whatever “sunsets” means to you. Maybe it’s carving time in for reading, working out, or taking that long overdue vacation. The point is, you have to build in time for the adventure or pleasure that calls to you. Do more of the things that make you excited to be alive.

This topic has been slapping me left and right lately for a number of reasons. As I rounded the corner into 2019, I set some aggressive goals, shifted into an intense masculine energy, determined to make them happen. And all I found was more misalignment and a need to course correct. That’s where I stand, with CHASE MORE SUNSETS in my brain, driving my next moves as I realize that yet again I have let myself stray from this guidance and become a slave to productivity - not a lot of joy in crossing off to-dos.

And what really kicked me back into this? A boy. We met through friends, spent time over a long, lakeside weekend talking about travels - sharing our best stories, enjoying each other’s passion for exploring a life outside of the normal, talking about fun people we’d met during travels and…sea life . More than anything, I think we just liked each other’s fun vibes and great tans. One of those nights, he and I were asleep in the same room when I heard strange noises and quickly realized, he was having a seizure. These were the most intensely terrifying ten minutes of my life as I evaluated what to do. I made sure he was breathing, not hurting himself, and watched my phone for the time to determine if/when to call 911. While just short of 10 minutes he broke out of it, saving me from having to make that terrifying call or witnessing anything worse. Apparently you don’t remember seizures, so explaining to him what happened the next morning broke my heart. He explained he has a seizure disorder that stemmed from a virus (from a mosquito bite) he contracted as a kid, and that is usually controlled by meds. When he drinks (and oh boy, had we been drinking) he stops taking those and this sometimes happens. His shoulders dropped and the happy go lucky guy I’d taken a bit of a liking to was no longer visible in him. The vision and panic of that night are forever in my mind. In the weeks after this, we chatted sporadically and he worked to get me to come back to Minneapolis for his birthday, to meet for drinks when he passed through Milwaukee for a work trip, to get me to contribute to the conversation like I had just weeks before. But ultimately, I was too scared that I’d experience that again. I don’t want to say I regret not giving him more of my time, but it haunts me a bit now that I let my stress from the event cap the potential for more. Yet, somehow I knew the need to protect myself.

And last week I got word he passed. Whether it was an actual seizure or something else that took him in the night, it got me thinking on quite a few topics. First, how lucky am I to be healthy. Second, how lucky were we all to have had the influence of his light in our lives. If I was affected by 48 hours and a few weeks of communication afterwards, I truly can’t imagine what those who knew him well felt for him and now grieve. Third, I felt like there was a knowing on his part that he was going to be on this planet less than most and it was his duty to live with an open heart, open arms, and to see as much as he could. He is someone who ate dessert first. He is someone who chased more sunsets.

It’s easy to focus on what’s staring us in the face in terms of stress, hardship, worry, but it’s never been more clear that focusing on “what is” and the hard facts of reality have never been what’s built a beautiful life or turned around a situation. We have the ability to feel good no matter what.  We have the ability to change our situations by feeling the way we want to feel. Time here may be short: do what you need to do to feel good, no matter what.

2018 | One Strange Dance

I’m over here looking back on 2018 like...WHOA wtf just happened? SERIOUSLY.

It's probably premature for a year's end recap, but full disclosure, I’m writing this on an airplane, one of the places where I get the most downloads. I've spent the last few months doing some strange dance with my life. Expand and contract. Accelerate and hibernate. One step forward, two steps... sideways. I refuse to say back. And that strange dance has prompted me to take multiple pauses to evaluate what was happening, why it mattered, how did my body react, and how did my heart react. What did I need to learn in that moment? Was I in my power? There’s a million questions I ask myself after any “growth” moment. The answers to these, especially lately, have blown me away. But if you don’t take the time to ask...shit, how can you learn and tweak and realize that you’re probably repeating the same patterns over and over again. For me, doing this has meant a life that’s felt new. And lighter. And a hell of a lot more fun.

It's really easy to let a year zoom by without being consciously aware of what you're creating, what you're consuming, and how you're living. Are there people who light you up and challenge you? Invest in them. Are there people who make you feel weird or small or like you're doing something wrong? Divest. Did you get closer to the goals you set out in January (or any point in the year)? Did you get closer to resembling the person you want to be? Were you more in alignment or out of it? Do you even know what makes you happy? Did you make time to truly listen to what you need and want? Sometimes letting yourself WANT is what you need. Then do what you want. Feel alive. Do something FUN. Don't even stop me there and insert an excuse or set of obligations that prevent this from being your reality. You create your reality. Your perception and attitude are kinda everything. I’m guilty of a bad tude creating a shit reality on so many occasions. But the awareness of it is all you need to start to snap back.

For me, there's no alternative way of living. If you're worth it, and you are, then why not make sure you're intentionally creating a life that you're jacked to wake up to every damn day. It might not come easily at first, Lord knows this is a constant work in progress for me, but the consequences of not making that top priority are kinda terrifying. Do you wanna feel like shit for a another full calendar year, which I’ve heard tends to just ooze into a lifetime? No, you don't. You probably don’t want that “another” month, week, day, hour, second. Just own your life already.

The way you own and change may be soft and gentle, or it may be an entirely abrupt overhaul, that’s also your choice. You have to take the time to listen, to truly know yourself before you can make those types of calls. If you don’t even know where to start, here’s a surefire way to help you get clued in: make a list of everything and everyone you truly love. Did you build your life around those things? There are so many ways to go from here, but getting clear on what you love and want has been the most important step for me.

So yeah, January 1 is a great time to give yourself the fresh start you're craving, but #protip: you make the rules so just freaking create the fresh start now and be on your way to a life that's HAPPY and uniquely yours. That’s almost an entire BONUS month of living a life that feels right. That’s a win.

Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

At the end of our 1:1 coaching last spring, Reese of Yes Supply Co asked me if I'd be interested in her NLP & Coaching Certification course. Without any hesitation, I said yes. In our coaching, we worked on all things LakeEffectCo.com, but for every step on that journey, there was a mindset piece that needed a shift. With each shift, there was more space for more growth and more good. I knew that if I could go deeper into this work for myself and my friends/fam, that'd be enough. And in the last few months, it's become increasingly clear that there is a tremendous need for this. Knowing how your unconscious mind works will only make you a better friend, teacher, lover, parent, salesperson, boss, AND, ya know, HUMAN.

The week of training in Toronto has been nothing short of pure gold. Not just because it was peak fall color, but because there's magic in knowing yourself and trusting your unconscious on a new level. There's magic in clearing away the things that are keeping you one or many steps away from your best life. There's magic in understanding why you've done things the way you have and in being open to choosing a new, lighter path instead. And it certainly doesn't hurt to be surrounded by a whole room of big-hearted, high vibe ladies with incredible stories and insights who are willing to DO THE WORK, hand over the kleenex, and laugh/hug it out for hours/days on end.

Drake said it best, "know yourself, know your worth" and it's only fitting that this would become so clear, so meaningful, and SO EVERYTHING to me in his city. ️

If you feel like you want in on this very-science-backed magic, let’s chat!

Lake Effect Co Oct 2018 (c) Natural Intuition Photography-127.JPG

32.

This year has blown my mind on so many levels. Personally and professionally, there's been a surprise around every corner, which has taught me to very intentionally stay on my toes and expect change, growth, and progress.

And then on Saturday night, I got a fun message from my aunt and cousin, some of my favorite woo-woo creatures, "don't look for it, but it's coming." Well-timed, to say the least. Within the last week or so, Lake Effect Co has been featured in the Rising Tide Society and Midwest Living Magazine Holiday Gift Guides. I was also recently interviewed for Lakeshore Living Magazine's Stylemaker section, talking about my journey to this place in my life. Lots of other fun things popped onto my radar that I really wanted, but have somehow seemed just out of reach for so long. In fact, one day last week I woke up and realized that a few pretty heavy things that had weighed on my mind for years - YEARS - really just no longer felt like my battles anymore. It's truly amazing to see these opportunities come up "out of nowhere." Well, I don't actually believe in coincidences, so...I'll just appreciate this as magic working in my favor. I’ve asked for it, and now…HAPPY, THANK YOU, MORE PLEASE.

I know a lot of good is around the corner for 32. While the Katherine of years past would aim to control and plan out every step of each goal, task and situation on the agenda, 32 year old Katherine is simply not. Goals can be achieved when met with an intentional, flowier approach, and hella faith in their coming to fruition without backbreaking work. At 32, I trust in support of others I’ve commissioned to handle various parts of my business, the overall sense that people want me to succeed (no sense feeling like you’re the only one pulling for yourself), and faith in myself to connect the dots in the timing that's truly meant to be. What happens when you tighten your grip on a handful of sand? It slips away.

So cheers to fresh tools, fresh adventures, fresh products (hitting LakeEffectCo.com today), and all sorts of fresh perspectives. I'm so excited to grow Lake Effect Co. into the brand I know it deserves to be, and after another beautiful shoot yesterday and bringing in plenty of solid ecomm and biz support, I know that's well on its way. I'm so grateful for everyone who has been a part of my growth in the last year - no matter how you contributed, supported or interacted with me, it's pretty incredible to be in a place where I can look around and see people and situations as teachers vs. triggers when I just take a pause to breathe before reacting.

And equally exciting, I'm heading to Toronto for the next week for an NLP & Hypnosis Certification Training because the one thing that rings true, is that with each new chapter, goal, situation, the power of mindset is everything. Want examples? I have STORIES FOR DAYS. :) So, if you're looking for some mindset help, or you just feel like you’re not living your best life, it’s time to hit me up because you can and really should consider making your life your most magnificent masterpiece.