Apr 21

The Resurrection

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Today I celebrated Easter. This may seem like an obvious statement considering the fact that millions of people in the US went to church, hunted eggs and spent time with family, but for me this Easter had a much different meaning. I don’t generally write about religions in particular. Although most of my posts have some sort of spiritual base to them, I tend to refer to God in the abstract sense. Not that I think the divine is abstract, but because I think everyone has a different idea of who God is. Of course, I have my personal opinion on the matter, but I understand that everyone’s idea is different and I think there is truth in all of them. Nonetheless, this Easter, I had the most humbling realization and I have to share it.

Throughout the Gospels, the Easter Story is told. On Easter, we all celebrate Christ’s Resurrection and his triumph over death, but before the Resurrection there is a moment in the story that is so telling of what is required for divine resurrection to take place. In Matthew 26, Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before he picked up the cross. On that night in the Garden, he cries out to God, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (NLT)  Knowing all that was ahead of him– the betrayal, the crown of thorns, the cross and the eventual Resurrection– Jesus asked, Is there any other way? As we all know, the answer was no– there was no other way. In order for Jesus to be resurrected and fulfill the enormous mission he was sent here to live, he first had to first, die. 

This part of the story resonated with me so deeply because it’s a beautiful mirror for what we have to do in order to reach our God-given missions in our own lives. At some point, we are all in our own versions of the Garden of Gethsemane asking God if there is any other way. At times, especially recently, I have found myself begging, “God I KNOW you have a plan, but is there an easier way to go about it? Do I have to go through this pain? Do I have to lose this dream? Do I have give up old habits? Is there any other way?” Just like that night in the garden some two-thousand years ago, his answer to me is a gentle,” No, there is no other way”. Something must die, in order for there to be a resurrection.

Fortunately, the garden and the cross are not the end of Christ’s story. By being willing to die and surrender to the greater plan of God, he accomplished exactly what he was sent here to do and gained the entire world. I don’t know about you, but I’m really glad the stakes are not this high for us. Nonetheless, we are put here at this specific point in time to fulfill a glorious purpose. In order to to fulfill our divine purpose two things must happen. First of all, we must be willing to fulfill our destinies and live the life we are called to live. Once the willingness is there, the difficult part begins–something must die. We all have different things in our lives that must be surrendered– addiction, lost dreams, the need to control, the way we “thought it would be”. At times, releasing these hopes and ideas seems unbearable, but keep in mind, the death is not the end of the story.

If we choose to surrender our own notions of how we want it all to go and truly be willing to step into our destines, then we are no longer limited to the finite understanding of our human mind’s. A divine guidance steps in, equipping us, enabling us and allowing us to say goodbye to all that kept us small and resurrecting us to the greatness we are called to live. This Easter, I encourage you to join me in celebrating the resurrection of Christ by choosing to surrender your plan and as a result, having a resurrection of your own.

Happy Easter,

Katie Hoffman

Apr 14

The Magic of Uncertainty

This weekend I went home– to my parents house, home. Although I visit them frequently for dinner or for the afternoon, it’s rare that I spend an entire weekend away from my current world. As a busy 21st century woman, I have a lot going on and I think I pretty much have this game of life figured out– home is where I go when I am reminded that I don’t.

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My Mom sat on the back porch holding me as I cried and finally processed all that I had been holding in for the past two weeks. I thought I was certain of how this was all supposed to play out and this was–sure as hell–not it. After I had cried out all that could be cried in one sitting, we sat there in silence looking at the waning moon. After several minutes of listening to the wind, blow through the chimes, my Mom told me of when I was a little girl. We would sit on the porch, just like we were tonight, and I would ask questions about the moon, “Why is the moon so big and why does the moon move like that?”. My Mom laughed and explained that she was always perplexed by my curiosity; she did not know the answers. Here we were twenty-something years later and once again, my Mom did not know the answers to the questions I asked: “Will I end up with him? Why does this hurt so bad? How do I let go?” All she could do was hold me and assure me, “this to shall pass.”

This beautiful moment with my Mom taught me a much needed life lesson about uncertainty. It does not matter how much experience we have or how many years go by, uncertainty is the one constant in all of our lives. Part of the human condition is wanting to know the answers to the questions life brings. We yearn to know how and when it all works out, but despite our sincerest desires to understand and predict, the simple answer is sometimes we just don’t know. Although we do not have control of uncertainty, we do have control over how we respond and relate to it.

The first way is to avoid it. We can’t eliminate uncertainty entirely, but we can minimize it by choosing to stay in situations and places that are predictable and in the comfort zone. We can stay with that ok job, the relationship that kind of works and the mindset that gets us from day to day. The good thing about this approach is the illusion of security– we know what we are getting, eliminating the dreaded feeling of uncertainty. The not-so-good side of this approach is that we may be missing out on something so much better than anything the comfort zone could provide.

The second approach to handling uncertainty is to befriend it. While there may not be a way to completely anesthetize the discomfort of uncertainty, we can choose to believe that although we don’t know the plan, the plan is good. When we are forced into uncertainty, we are forced out of our comfort zone and into the place where the magic happens. The magic happens when we let go of what we thought we knew and surrender to the universal plan of something so much better. When we think we know everything that’s going to happen, we stop growing, we stop expanding and we limit ourselves to the finite possibilities our minds can understand. When we learn to befriend uncertainty, the doors of possibility are flung open and we are in the perfect place to receive all the support we need to reach our destines. One of my favorite lyrics is, “I believe if I knew where I was going I’d lose my way”. The confusion of uncertainty serves as a light that gets us from where we are now to where we are truly destined to be. Reaching our destinies can not happen without this light. Living life fully requires that we boldly step out of our comfort zones and embrace the magic of uncertainty. Uncertainty keeps us on our toes, it keeps us hungry and excited– it reminds us that LIVE is a verb.

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I know that befriending the perceived enemy is no easy task when life starts throwing curve balls, so by all means, process it, grieve it, curse uncertainty’s name, but when you’re ready… Get on with it! Choose to view uncertainty as something that is happening for you, not to you. This doesn’t happen over night and there will always be ups and downs, but know that your willingness is enough. Say to uncertainty, “I am willing to see you differently”. I’m convinced that God hears this simple prayer and that with our slightest willingness, everything we need to progress shows up.

Tonight I’m sitting on the back porch, feeling much differently than I did. Not much has changed between last night and tonight. I still wonder when it will stop hurting, I still wonder if he’ll ever hold me again and I still don’t know why the moon moves the way it does. But for the first time in awhile, I can honestly say that’s okay. I have the two options I explained above: I can stay stuck in my old patterns that protect me from uncertainty or I can work with it and befriend it. There are times where the first option sounds alluring, but when it’s all said and done, I’d rather experience the magic.

 

All my love,

Katie Hoffman 

 

PS: If you enjoyed this post, spread the word! Share it, tweet it, pin it and regram it with the hashtag #BringOnTheMagic. Let’s use social media to spread the love. :) 

Apr 04

Life on Island Time- Part 2

Happy April!

 

A couple of weeks ago, I spent one amazing week in the Caribbean. The trip was exactly what I needed to calm down from the stressful changes that had been going on in my life. But what surprised me most was that the things that de-stressed me, had less to do with the salty ocean air and more to do with the small actions I took. They can be taken anywhere and are guaranteed to have you living life on Island Time. Here are my top four, along with a few Fun in the Sun pictures:

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Sand writing is my favorite.

 

Take a Social Media Hiatus- A recent study conducted by The University of Gothenburg in Sweden discovered that there is an undeniable link between Facebook use and low self-esteem, especially in women. The study found that the primary reason for this link is because Facebook provides unlimited grounds for comparison. It’s so easy to look at everyone else’s wall, see a rose colored view of their lives and jump to the conclusion that they are more beautiful, more successful and all around better at life than we are. Facebook has become another way to look for external validation. In the same way some may look to relationships, jobs or social status to validate them, Facebook has become a vehicle for instant validation… and instant self-loathing. At the pivotal points of self-development, it’s important that we step away from the sources that cause us anxiety and a sense of false validation. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and all that social media offers, but it is also important that we step away from comparison land and cyber-connection so we can reconnect to the moment and enjoy life in real time. I said no to Facebook the entire week I was on vacation and it really helped me make so many beautiful memories that 10 million cyber likes could never replace. I’m not suggesting you have to give it up for a whole week, but even an afternoon or day free of social media can reduce stress.  If you’re someone who LOVES to post on social media (like yours truly) take pictures, take notes and post them later, they will still be just as beautiful then.

The cutest little bakery on the island!

The cutest little bakery on the island!

 

Listen to your body- We live in a go-go-go society. We go to the gym, we socialize, we work over time. we are parenting and being partners– I totally get it– all of that is necessary. But in order to manage such fast-paced lives, healthy bodies and minds are required. Therefore, it is essential that we choose to keep our bodies’ messages as a top priority. Before my trip I was exhausted, stressed and overextended, so I went on vacay knowing my number one priority was to restore my body and mind. I did that by listening to what my body had to say. One night in particular, we wanted to go dancing at one of the local beach shacks, I could not wait to move my hips to the Caribbean beat, but my body was screaming, “I’m exhausted and I need sleep!” We skipped the local scene, and the next morning, I woke up feeling refreshed, with the whole day ahead of me. Learn to say no to the people and activities that you know will leave you drained and exhausted. Our bodies have a way of knowing what’s best, learn to listen.

 

Be active- When our minds our engaged in activities that require our focus, problems that seem to need solving have a way of disappearing. If you’re like me, you assume the best way to solve a problem is by thinking and analyzing until the answer comes to you. In reality, the opposite is true. Have you ever heard those stories about people who got their “big ideas” when they were cleaning house or gardening? Maybe you’ve experienced moments of clarity while you’re on the treadmill or taking a walk. When we engage our minds in simple but attention requiring activities, we tend to forget the things that don’t really matter and work through the things that do. Try playing a new sport, going for a long walk or cooking a healthy meal. These sort of activities require our focus and allow us to settle in the present moment. Then the worries of the unknown seem much clearer.

I really suck at tennis but this is such a fun picture.

I really suck at tennis but this is such a fun picture.

Don’t sweat the small stuff- The thing about travelling (unless you travel alone) is that eventually there will be some sort of argument or disagreement that comes up. One of the things that helped me de-stess and truly enjoy myself on this trip was the fact that I chose to let little, insignificant issues go. Most of us know deep down that not every battle is worth fighting, but when you’re in the moment, mountains are made out of molehills and everything seems like it needs to be an issue. Trust me, it doesn’t. When a possible mini-drama comes up, ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Do your best to look at whatever is going on from a logical perspective and ask, “Is this REALLY true?” A lot of times, we catastrophize events in our minds, when the truth is actually something much less extreme. Also, consider the source. Is the person who said or did the “crime” in question out to hurt you? If they are a vengeful person, then redirect yourself to better company as quickly as possible. If they are good, loving person you trust, express your concerns gently, then let them off the hook.

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When I got back from my trip, my dear life-coach and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: I had THE MOST amazing time! I was so relaxed and care-free. It sucks that I’m back because now I’m going to be all stressed out again.

Jill: Is that really true? Yeah, there was a beach, but YOU were still YOU, you just CHOSE to show up in a different way.

Jill was right! The beach was incredible, but it wouldn’t have matter one bit if I had continued to compare myself on Facebook, run myself ragged and fight with my travel buddy the whole week! Ultimately I’m the one who de-stressed myself because I chose to show up in the ways listed above.

We can live our lives on Island time every day of the year. Choose to slow down and disconnect every now and then, listen to what your body is telling you, stay active and choose to let things go. It’s all up to you!

 

Much Love,

Katie 

 

PS: If you missed Life on Island Time- Part 1 click here.

 

Mar 27

Life on Island Time

Hello from the Caribbean!

 I’m writing this post on island time—relaxed, carefree and on the beach! This Spring, I had the opportunity to spend a week in paradise and it couldn’t have come at a better moment. Over the past couple of months, my life has been going through some major transitions—starting my first “big girl job”, growing in my romantic relationship and having a completely different schedule, have all been very positive changes. However, regardless of how positive these transitions may be, I have had to do my fair share of adjusting which at times has been stressful and overwhelming to say the least. One week of Fun in the Sun later, I’m feeling more like myself than I have in awhile. Of course, it’s easier to relax and slow down when you’re steps away from the ocean, but there are a few de-stressing tips I learned this trip that can be done anywhere. I started to list of all the tips, but each one became a post of it’s own with too much goodness for one blog! So over the next few weeks I will be sharing pictures and self-care tips I learned on my week in the Caribbean. Some of them are simple, some require discipline, but they ALL can be done absolutely anywhere and help you bring a little bit of “Island Time” to your everyday life. For now, here are a few pictures from the beautiful islands of Anguilla and St. Martin.

Adios America! See you soon.

Adios America! See you soon.

 

This is a view I could get used to!

This is a view I could get used to!

 

Exploring the local beach and beach side restaurants at Shoal Bay.

Exploring the local beach and beach side restaurants at Shoal Bay.

 

The view from the top of Fort Louis in St. Martin was incredible! (I climbed to the top wearing jelly shoes. I was pretty impressed)

The view from the top of Fort Louis in St. Martin was incredible! (I climbed to the top wearing jelly shoes. I was pretty impressed)

 

Of course, the Caribbean sunset. Love.

Of course, the Caribbean sunset. Love.

Do you have favorite beach pictures? Share them with me on Instagram @iAmKatieHoffman or stop by my page on Facebook here. (Be sure to “like” it while you’re there.)

More coming soon!

 

Much love, 

Katie Hoffman  

Nov 04

Coming Alive: Thrilled for the Cause

It’s Friday morning, the day after Halloween and my blood is still pumping with adrenaline from last night’s festivities. Prior to this year, my Halloweens have blended together, marked vaguely by typical activities like trick-or-treating and attending costume parties. Although those events are fun, I wouldn’t say they are life changing. This year, my memories of October 31st are much different. I had the privilege of creating and organizing Thrilled for the Cause– a new annual fundraiser dedicated to raising funds and awareness for mental health research and advocacy. All the proceeds from this year’s event benefited the Mental Health Association in Tulsa, a non-profit organization that has been making a difference in the Tulsa community since 1955. I have been overwhelmed by all the support this endeavor has received– from the press, the community and especially the Association itself. Many people have asked me what inspired me to choose mental health as my cause. While there are several reasons that this cause is close to my heart, I’d like to share the part of the story that is mine to tell.

 

“I’m just kind of… in a funk”, I told my friend a couple of months back when she inquired about my blogging absence. It’s been five months since I’ve posted a thing on this blog and even longer since I’ve written anything other than a to-do list. A “funk” seemed like the most acceptable way to explain my creative absence, but the much scarier truth was, for some time I had been caught in a slow, downward spiral of depression and I was finally hitting my rock bottom. I say slow, spiral as opposed to quick plummet, because that’s exactly how it was.  No one had died, I hadn’t been through a divorce or anything clearly earth shattering, but there I was, for what must have been years, slipping further and further away from what I knew happiness was. What I have learned about “funks” is that they look a bit different for everyone. My  “funk”, in particular, was especially illusive because, for the most part, it stayed hidden behind big dreams, lots of motion and a very well constructed facade of “I’ve got my shit together”. It’s not that I tried to create a facade, I’ve been a high energy, big dreamer my entire life, so this part seemed natural– it’s who I am and it all came quite effortlessly. However, throughout the course of my downward spiral, I was unraveling, and my big dreams and constant motion changed from being a natural extension of myself to a mask that allowed me to hide how I really felt– very lost, spiritually empty and hopeless. For awhile this worked. My mask was so convincing it even fooled me. I kept busy with things that affirmed to everyone else and myself that I was living the modern day, twenty-something dream life– parties, nice dinners, travelling, dating and moving to NYC were all intricately woven into the mask. None of this “felt” right, but it always looked okay so I shoved my truth into the back of my mind and continued to create what society told me would make me happy.

 

Despite my best efforts, the spiral continued and the “funk” worsened, costing me friends, my education and a lot of money. On some level, I had been fooled the whole time but those closest to me never were.

“This is not you Kate! You’re not a bar-fly. Since when do you just date around and “hook-up”? You’re so scattered. What happened to your focus?”, are a few of the heart-felt questions asked by my very concerned Mother.

Oh, the strength it must take to be a good Mom. During those intimate conversations, I would raise my voice, slam doors and ultimately break down into tears because as much as I hated to admit it, Mother did know best. For years I had been in and out of therapy, on and off of anti-depressants and constantly wearing that mask that I felt would “fix me” or at the very least allow me to stagger through life without everyone knowing I was in shambles.

 

In one of our heart-to-hearts, my Mom practically begged me to stop focusing on what was wrong with ME and start helping others. This wasn’t a foreign concept to me. Prior to my funk I was constantly giving. Whether I was giving at school or at church, I was always using my creative talents and leadership skills to make a difference. I guess since it was something I had done my entire life, so it never dawned on me that perhaps what I needed to get out of my funk wasn’t another spiritual retreat in the California mountains or a new project that was gonna make me famous… I needed to give back.

 

After this conversation, I thought back to the last time I did something for someone else that really made me feel connected and alive. I remembered last Halloween when the Student Theater Organization and I taught Thriller to students at Rogers State University  to raise money for children’s cancer research. I thought a spin on this would be the perfect for Halloween in Tulsa. I chose the Mental Health Association because depression and/or other mental illnesses have been something myself and so many of my dear friends have struggled with. My goal was to raise money for this incredible organization and also to raise awareness, in order to change the negative stigma around mental disorders.

My dear friend Jenni and I “working hard” at one of the rehearsals.

 

After a couple of conversations with the Mental Health Association and Guthrie Green, we had an event. The next month was kind of a blur. I wrote press releases, made posters, recruited dancers and blew up social media promoting this passion project. I had no idea how it was going to go. I was excited, I was stressed, I cried, and I wanted to call the whole thing off about three times, but above all else, for the first time in so long, I was truly having fun. I felt alive- like I was doing something that mattered, and so I kept going.

 

The week of the event, I cried for different reasons. I was so humbled by the generosity of Tulsans, the loyalty of my friends who showed up to support me and the genuine gratitude I felt from the Mental Health Association, Guthrie Green and the community.

The thing about my depression is that I never wanted to die, I desperately wanted to live and I had completely forgotten how. As grateful as I am for all the accolades I have received, I am the one who owes so much thanks. Thank you to the Mental Health Association and the community of Tulsa for allowing me to come alive for a cause so much bigger than me.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”. It is my mission to combine the two and make my living by giving back. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but thanks to Thrilled for the Cause I am refocused and so much closer than I was before.

 

It’s good to be back,

Katie Hoffman

 

PS: If you would like to read more about the Mental Health Association, check out their website at www.MHAT.org. To stay updated on next year’s Thrilled for the Cause, like our Facebook page and stay tuned for the website, coming soon.

 

Jun 21

Carpe Diem

“I absolutely love it here!”, my sister said as we sat on the patio of her favorite bar in OKC. This past Sunday, two of my best friends needed a ride to the airport, so my sister and I decided to help them out and stay around for dinner and drinks. For me, it was just a bar and a pleasant day trip for me and my built-in-bestie, but for my sister, wheels were turning and she was lighting up.

As our conversation continued, my sister talked about how much she would love to move to OKC and go back to school. For the past couple of years she has been working hard and climbing the corporate ladder at a bank in Tulsa and although she does love her job, that day over Pina Coladas, a new dream was being realized– a dream that was a lot different that what she felt was possible and a lot scarier then the comfort zone that had become so familiar. We sat there discussing her dilemma: would she continue to work hard at the job she DID enjoy, in the city she was used to, or would she follow her heart and go for what she has wanted since high school– a degree from The University of Oklahoma and a fresh start in a new city?

I tell my sister’s story because she is facing the proverbial fork in the road that so many young adults come to. With so much uncertainty, it can be hard to navigate our ways through the choas and make the decision that will lead us to what we are truly wanting– happiness, connection and maybe a bit of adventure.

Do we stay with the job we know pays the bills, or do we take a step into the unknown and surrender to our lives calling? Do we stay in the semi-satisfying relationship or do we end it not knowing if we will find anyone better? Do we continue to live our lives in the way we always have for the sake of not disturbing the peace or do we boldly choose to do things differently? These are just a few of the questions that young adults are facing and let me tell ya, I know it’s not easy! But I’d like to offer one piece of advice to my sister, myself and anyone else who may find themselves at a fork in the road.

LIVE YOUR LIFE. Do what scares you. Take chances. LIVE WITH MOXIE. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “You must do the thing you think you can not do”.

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With any big decision , there will ALWAYS be a voice in your head that says it’s to hard, to scary, to crazy and it can’t be done. But if you listen closely, there is also a voice in your heart beckoning you to listen, reminding you it’s safe to step into the unknown. It may not come without fear, but I encourage you to listen to your heart anyway, it knows exactly what you need. Things may not play out exactly as you would want them to and you may ruffle some feather in the process but they play out exactly as we need them to in order to grow and experience life.

Life is for the living and we get one chance to make it whatever it is we want it to be. So live it, and live it boldly.

Carpe Diem,

Katie Hoffman

 

Jun 11

#SilverLining

This just happened– I’m driving home from Tulsa (a 30 minute drive) and my car dies 4 times. Why did I decide to keep driving after the first time? I think it was some combination of not wanting to call AAA and somewhat believing I could will my car to keep going (like if you believe it you can achieve it, kind of thing). For whatever reason, I kept driving and got my car to my family’s mechanic, just so he could tell me my car needed a new fuel pump and THAT would be $600.00.

“Seriously? You’re kidding?”, I asked him half expecting him to jab my shoulder and inform me he was just joking. I had recently paid another large chunk of money to fix my car and now this!?

I needed that $600.00– I have big plans this summer– a trip to LA, a move to a new apartment and at least a little bit of shopping. All of these activities depend on the little nest egg I have built for myself over the past few months and here this guy is threatening to take it all away. Sadly, he was not kidding.

Since my car was staying put I had no other choice but to start walking home and feel completely sorry for myself. I cried, I cursed, I text everyone in my phone book and told them how rough life was and then, after a good hour of mild insanity, I decided to look at this slightly different.

silverlining

While it’s true, I most likely won’t be able to move into a new apartment next month or go to LA this summer. There is still so much to be grateful for in this situation– I was safe on the car ride home, it’s $600.00 not $6,000.00 and I have a lovely place to live right now with no REAL need to move. Initially, I was annoyed that I had to walk home, but with the change in perspective I was able to see that at least the weather is beautiful, I’m getting my exercise and it’s really not all that far.

I know this whole incident may seem a bit trivial, but I’m writing about it to explain that even in inconvenient, less than desirable situations we have a CHOICE to look at the surface or to look at the silver lining. Although things may not play out the way we want them to, if we look hard enough we always have something to be grateful for.

The cool thing about gratitude is that when we are grateful for what we have, we attract more of what we want to us. On the other hand, if we focus on how rotten life is and how nothing seems to work out, we invite the universe to give us more of what we don’t want.

At times it is easy to see the silver lining, and other times we have to look a bit closer, but in everything there is a lesson, an opportunity to grow and a blessing in disguise. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not easy. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sulked and felt sorry for myself because that certain someone didn’t call, that job didn’t come through or that event didn’t go as planned. That’s ok too, feeling our true emotions is just part of the healing process, but once we’ve gone through the feeling process, it’s time to look for the lesson and find gratitude for the silver linings.

I’m writing this post from the little coffee shop in my hometown, I came across it as I was walking home. I’m so glad I decided to stop by, have my favorite drink and write. My day may not have gone exactly how I thought it would but I’m grateful that in the big scheme of things, all my needs are met and even in this, there are plenty of silver linings.

Blogging at Scoops and Grinds in Collinsville, OK

Blogging at Scoops and Grinds in Collinsville, OK

 

To very shiny silver linings,

Katie Hoffman

Jun 07

The Bucket List: Travel Edition

I have always loved travelling. There is something about experiencing somewhere new, befriending strangers and being totally out of the routine that is inspiring to me. Over the past couple of years I have had the privilege of  flying, road tripping and living all over the US. Although I’m happy with my travels so far, there is still plenty I want to do and see. Which is why I have created my travelling bucket list. In no particular order, here it is:

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1. Visit (and enjoy) all 50 states

Recently I said this to a good friend of mine and she responded with, “Why would you want to visit all 50 states?? Some of them are so boring!” In case you’re thinking the same, allow me to explain. I know not every state is going to have the glitz and glam of NYC or the eccentric flair of Portland, Oregon, but every state has it’s own charm I want to experience. I can’t wait to lay in some field in the Middle-Of-Nowhere, Wyoming and look at the stars or see miles of snow somewhere in North Dakota. As much as I want to travel the world, I love the beauty that we have right here in the US and I can’t wait to discover more of it. (PS: All my trips to Arkansas and Missouri as a child don’t count. I’m only counting recent, grown-up trips)

2. Have a place to stay in every state

My FAVORITE part of travelling is making new friends. There is something so refreshing about knowing that at any moment, I can call up one of my friends in New York, Los Angeles or Florida and have a place to stay while I travel. I want a friend to stay with in every state, and of course I will always return the house sharing favor.

3. Travel on a Budget: Be a couch surfer

So there is this fab website, www.couchsurfing.org, that allows you to securely access travelers and host from all over the world. On this site, people open up their couches and guest bedrooms to travelers and offer to show them around when they visit. Sound a little sketchy? No worries. In order to be “certified” you have to pay a small membership fee and have a general background check done. I have several friends who have had wonderful experiences with couch surfing and I’m excited to try it myself.

4. Travel in Luxury: Stay in a 5 star boutique hotel.

While doing red carpet interviews and movie junkets, I had the chance to stay at a couple of  New York City’s  most luxurious hotel. Let me tell ya: It is amazing! Although I can’t do it JUST YET, I fully plan on splurging a bit and staying in some of my dream hotels. The Morgans Hotel Group has boutique locations in LA, Miami,  Boston, San Francisco and NYC as well as internationally in London and Morocco.

5. Live in a foreign country

I’m not sure where yet, or for how long, but immersing myself in another culture is a must-happen. I’ll keep you posted on details.

6. Dance on a bar on 6th Street

There is nothing I love to do more than dance, and where better to dance than on a bar in one of the funnest, liveliest cities in the US– Austin, TX. 6th St. is where all the night life and bars can be found. It’s such a party that every Friday and Saturday night they close down the streets so participants can make their way from bar to bar.

7. Swim with dolphins

I don’t care where– maybe Greece, Hawaii or the Dominican Republic– as long as I get to swim around with the cute little critters.

8. Explore the Costa Rican rain forest

A friend of mine recently returned from her Costa Rican honeymoon and I am in love with all the stories I’ve heard! Snorkeling, hiking and pictures of rare birds and animals are just a few of the activities I look forward to.

9. Road trip down (or up) Route 66

Route 66, The Mother Road of the US, starts in Chicago, Illinois and stretches all the way to California. With plenty of states being covered, this gives me the perfect opportunity to check visiting some of the states off the list.

10. Make a difference

Go to Guatemala to teach people life and business skills? Love to. Travel the country speaking on women’s empowerment? Let’s do it. Help cities recover from natural disaster? I’m there. It’s my desire to use my love of traveling to make the world a better place.

11. Start where I’m at

There is so much more I want to see and do not only abroad but right here in my home state of Oklahoma. I look forward to saying yes to as many opportunities for day trips, camping adventures and hiking explorations as I can. With beautiful lakes, rivers and forests no more than three hours away, there is no reason to not start the travelling right now.

12. Above all else: Be open to where ever life takes me

I am big on saying yes. It’s my goal in life, as well as my travels to stay open to all that comes my way whatever that may mean– moving abroad, back packing across Europe, going to space (just kidding on that one!)– I’m up for it! I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

To living life as a daring adventure,
Katie Hoffman

Jun 03

Mid-Year Makeover

Confession: I kind of, sort of… ok I ACTUALLY believe in numerology. In the same way some people follow their astrological charts, I follow numerology. With the being said, I don’t make decisions and take action based solely on what the charts say, but I do tend to give them a little more than a passing glance. So this January, I greeted 2013 like any other year– with a meditation, a review from the year before and a glance at the numerology for the year to come.

 

[NUMEROLOGY 101: in numerology there are nine numbers (1-9) each having it's own set of characteristics and energy. Every person, place, and date in time has it's own set of numbers assigned to it and those numbers indicate what personality/energy the person, place or thing (nouns in general) will carry. Back to the story.]

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Back in January, I was pleased to find that for ME, 2013 was a 1 year, meaning it was a year to transform, progress and go-get-em. After having a challenging year in 2012, I was pleased to hear that perhaps THIS year I would have the universal energy to pursue my dreams moving in my direction. So I set out to make 2013 count by finishing up another year of school, being the social butterfly that I am and starting a new organization. On the surface, these advances seem to be exactly what the year called for, and in many ways it was. However,  they also came at a cost.

True to form, I had been pushing so hard and moving so fast that I had lost myself and my focus in the process. I didn’t realize this until two weeks ago, when I sat on my bed and cried, feeling more hopeless then I have felt in along time. “I did it again!”, I sobbed, feeling completely exhausted, uninspired and discontent. I had gotten so busy doing and going that I had forgotten the things that allow me to stay inspired and energized– being with friends, eating right and taking care of me. Although no one likes an afternoon of tears, I am grateful; this mini meltdown has been the catalyst for the consistent change I have been looking for and the inspiration I needed.

For years… yes years, I have put my accomplishments and achievements front and center, regardless of the cost. My recent meltdown has taught me, it ain’t gonna work anymore. It’s time to refocus and create the feelings I want to feel. I desire to feel inspired, grounded and vibrant and in order to do that I need some consistent action steps to make that a reality. There are still 7 months left of 2013, and I plan to make it count by giving myself a Mid-Year Makeover and writing about it once a week. After a lot of soul searching, I came up with the 10 things I will focus on in order to feel the way I want to feel:

The List (In no particular order):

1. Cut out Boy Drama!

For some time now I have either been dating, in a hot-mess of a relationship or somewhere in between. I can not think of a time in my young adult life that I have not been analyzing or obsessing over some romantic mini-drama and frankly, I’m sick of it.  I have always been a firm believer in being complete as an individual before committing to someone else and it’s time to take my own advice. Although I’m not swearing off dating for the rest of the year, I am taking a break and focusing on other areas of life.

Dont-forget-to-fall-in-love

2. Get on a Schedule

Consistency has always been one of my weaknesses, so I have made a schedule and plan to stick to it. This will help me eliminate distractions and feel productive.

3. Start a Budget and STICK TO IT!

I’m learning that no amount of travel or fine dining can replace a sense of financial security. It is my goal to create a budget that allows me to enjoy the travelling and going out I love while still building a nest egg and saving for more permanent investments. (Yes, it can be done!) `

4. Clean up my diet

This one is HUGE! I am constantly exhausted and I am convince it’s because I pretty much eat like crap. I will be blogging about my journey to healthier eating by cutting out caffeine and sugar and incorporating juicing into my daily routine.

5. Incorporate Hobbies

For my whole life, I’ve wanted to be a dancer— I mean REALLY dance. I feel so present and free anytime I get to express myself through dance. I am starting dance lessons next week and can’t wait to post videos and pictures of the progress! In addition, I want to continue my yoga practice and keep writing and blogging consistently.

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6. Build Friendships

No one makes me feel more loved and supported than my inner circle of friends and family. It is my intention to return the support by being the best friend I can be by making my inner circle a priority.

Me and my besties... Love these girls :)
Me and my besties… Love these girls :)

7. Be Present

Where ever I am, I’ll be all there

8. Practice Excellence

In his book, Secrets of a Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker says, “How you do anything is how you do everything”. I’m guilty of thinking I can half-ass my way through my job waiting tables and then somehow turn on the charm when I step on stage to speak, but this quote tells me differently. It is my goal to make excellence a habit in all aspects of my life, not just the ones I view as most important.

9. Commit to a Spiritual Practice

A spiritual practice is an intricate part of every one of my role model’s lives, so it’s essential that I develop a consistent practice that works for me. I will start and end everyday with some form of meditation, prayer or journaling.

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10. Love ME unconditionally

This experiment is not about perfection; it’s about continually looking within to heal myself and create the life I dream of. I’m not looking “out there”, I’m looking within and loving myself in every step of the process.

People, we are half way through 2013 and I’m SO EXCITED because I fully believe the second half will be even better than the first. What do YOU want to get out of the next 7 months? What do you want to create? Please join me as I share my Mid-Year Makeover, it’s going to be great!

 

To the year ahead,

Katie Hoffman