Read the inspiring story of Katie
Katie L., NJ
What would being your healthiest self look like?
My healthiest self is when my needs are in balance – taking in enough nutrition, giving my body the movement that it needs, working toward my dreams and purpose, and also giving myself space to rest and care to recharge. These are all equally deserving and necessary and I’m learning to balance them into every single day.
Tell us a time where you felt like you stepped into your authentic voice or authentic power. What does authenticity look like for you?
Making the decision to leave my job and take a few months off was a big moment of authenticity for me. I was afraid of how others would judge it, but in the end I knew I had a right to live on my own terms. For me, that’s authenticity.
Tell us about a time where you overcame a big hurdle. What got you to the other side? What would you say to someone going through something hard?
I’ve had to overcome many environments that drained me and put me down. It was relationships with people who love me and helped me have the strength to stand up for myself that got me through. I often had the urge to isolate myself, to not talk about it, to stay home by myself, but that’s often the worst thing we can do. If you’re having a hard time, reach out to people you can trust and let them support you.
Why is mental health important to you?
There have been times when my mental health has suffered and in those moments I couldn’t appreciate and enjoy what I had. I couldn’t move forward or live the life I deserved. After a while, it made me physically ill too, and that took a long time to recover from. After experiencing this, now I know that there is no price too high, monetary or otherwise, for good mental health.
When you think about living your best, boldest life, what does that look like for you?
My best, boldest life is when I am dedicating my daily energy to being in right relationship with others, myself and the ecosystem. When I can resist the culture of faster, better, stronger, and be my unique self at my pace. And when I can give a firm “no” to anything and anyone that seeks to impose something else on me.
Tell us something that most people get wrong about you.
People think that I’m really calm and happy all the time, because that’s what I show them. But really I struggle with anxiety and depression, and it takes work everyday to stay healthy. Somehow, I find it easier to be calm and steady for others, but not always for myself.
What do you think your life's purpose (or your soul's purpose) is? When did you realize this?
My life’s purpose is to be in ethical relationship with myself, other people, non-human beings, and the environment. To steward this experienced existence that we have because it’s a rare gift and may not even exist anywhere else in the universe. I’ve been building to this understanding for a long time by learning from communities like Humanist, Buddhist, scientific and ecologically-focused legacies of wisdom. They help me learn to stay grounded in what’s really important behind the distractions of life.
What do you love most about yourself?
My fierce love. I’m still learning how to really use it, but it's something I’ve discovered has always been there underneath.
What is a piece of advice you would want this reader to know
Be your unique self. The world has enough of the middle-ground and the expected. What your community is still missing is the one piece that only you can bring.