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Lately I’ve been consuming books (biographies and fiction) of women in the 1920s and it’s fascinating…like can’t.put.it.down, up ’til 4am reading, must get another book on Amazon asap. From Coco Chanel to Zelda Fitzgerald, these ladies shaped so much of the future for women and were icons – for better or worse – for women’s freedom and designing our lives.

They had epic adventures, great {and not so great} romances, and the gumption to design {not default} their lives, although in different variations and definitions.

I find myself wanting to jump into the pages and stories of these ladies.

Why? We all long for romance and adventure in some form – our form.

The problem is we reserve great romances and epic adventures for books, movies, and the “lucky” few in our minds instead of learning how to design it and unleash it for ourselves.

They had epic adventures, great {and not so great} romances, and the gumption to design {not default} their lives, although in different variations and definitions.

I find myself wanting to jump into the pages and stories of these ladies.

Why? We all long for romance and adventure in some form – our form.

The problem is we reserve great romances and epic adventures for books, movies, and the “lucky” few in our minds instead of learning how to design it and unleash it for ourselves.

Learn how to live and lead by design not default. We want you to love everything in your closet – and in your life. We are celebrating “to love” through intentionality: whether it’s clothing you love, travel you love, design you love, food you love, or more. Join us on our journey to live a life “to love” this year. Sign up for our email list to receive curated content you’ll love throughout 2016.

Learn how to live and lead by design not default. We want you to love everything in your closet – and in your life.

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the secret + map to creating romance & adventure

Lately I’ve been consuming books (biographies and fiction) of women in the 1920s and it’s fascinating…like can’t.put.it.down., up til 4am reading, must get another book on Amazon asap.  

From Coco Chanel to Zelda Fitzgerald, these ladies shaped so much of the future for women and were icons – for better or worse – for women’s freedom and designing our lives.

They had epic adventures, great (and not so great) romances, and the gumption to design (not default) their lives, although in different variations and definitions.

I find myself wanting to jump into the pages and stories of these ladies.

Why?

We all long for romance and adventure in some form – our form.

The problem is we reserve great romances and epic adventures for books, movies, and the “lucky” few in our minds instead of learning how to design it and unleash it for ourselves.

You are made for romance, adventure, and joy.
Don’t settle, wait, or wish. It matters.

If you’ve ever felt romance & adventure take a back seat (or non-existent) role in your life, this guest interview is for you.

Morgan Day Cecil has truly uncovered the what, why and how of unleashing true romance and adventure for herself but also for other women and we’ve got her dishing her secrets to the KDO tribe today in a video interview.

In this interview, you’ll learn and experience…

+ An entirely new way to define and experience romance + adventure.

+ A real journey of depression, anxiety, single motherhood, and low lows to joy, peace, centeredness, and a life filled romance and adventure.

+ The #1 secret to creating the foundation for juicy and delicious relationships filled with joy instead of disappointment.

+ Permission to have ultimate self-care and not feel guilty, ever.

+ What dictates the way and extent we connect to others.

+ A laid out map of 5 steps to creating your romance + adventure now.

www.MorganDayCecil.com   l    www.RomanceAndAdventure.com

Join the Romance & Adventure Pilgrimage >>>

Enrollment-Open
ENROLLMENT CLOSES THURSDAY, MAY 28th, 2015
 

How + why to stop obsessing over food

Something I’ve been experiencing lately is the power of story. Sometimes hearing another woman’s journey, stumbles, lessons, and thus wisdom gained is the exact missing puzzle piece to our own journey towards truly living and loving our lives.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been interviewing some of my favorite soul sisters and guest experts for my Skinny Dip Society Immersion online program. We’ve been jamming on period fixing, Divine feminine, inflammation, romance & adventure, re-wilding, and more.

Each time I finished these interviews, regardless of how tired, busy, or happy I was entering them… I left with a new level of joy, perspective, and a feeling of solidarity. A sisterhood.

For myself and most ladies I know, we are in information and “how-to” overload constantly and we miss the connection, the beauty, the journey…even the simplicity.

We want and need a story, journey, and real person to relate to. To connect the dots and our hearts.

A few weeks back, as I was chatting one of my own sisterhood ladies – Sarah Adler of Simply Real Health – I knew her story needed to be shared and experienced by you.

From a space of restriction and confusion, to traveling through Italy and experiencing celebration, vino, and truly LIVING, to a newly published cookbook…

Sarah’s story and journey of how + why to stop obsessing over food is refreshing, real, and mega freedom + joy inducing.

Today, I’m bringing her to you in a fabulous and juicy video interview PLUS a delicious and generous giveaway from Sarah (see below the video).

In celebration of Sarah’s story + newly released cookbook, she’s giving away 3 Simply Real Health cookbooks to the KDO tribe!

I’ve got my hard copy of this cookbook and the recipes are flat out delicious, not depriving, and EASY! Sarah has won not only my sisterhood heart but my food and taste bud heart, too. From brunch, to cocktails, to snacks, Sarah has created a cookbook that I will actually use, daily. Plus…a picture for every.single.recipe? Yes, please!

Official Bio: Sarah Adler is a nutrition coach, healthy lifestyle expert, food blogger, real food lover and owner of Simply Real Health—a company with a mission to share a more real-world, hip and simplified approach to a healthy lifestyle. With chocolate. And happy hour. And all the fun parts of life included and celebrated, instead of ignored. Sign up for her weekly email of awesome healthy recipes + inspiration or find out more about her here. Her first hardcover cookbook, The Simply Real Health Cookbook: Easy Recipes for A Healthy Life Made Simple was just released and is available NOW.

Dare to Be Soft

I know, I know… you might have been wondering, “Where the heck is Katie? Where are her ‘weekly’ emails?” Or maybe, {hopefully!} your summer has been so packed with away-from-the-screen fun, that you’re like, “What weekly emails?”

Either way… hello again! I’m back! And honestly, I’ve thought for weeks (errr, months?) on what to share, write, and give. But here’s what happened…

As May came to a close, my intention for the summer was >>> wild.free.alive. Eeee!

But… with one phone call, my plans went out the window. My mother, who has multiple sclerosis, was back in the hospital with her health & strength deteriorated, dementia rearing it’s ugly face, a move to rehab, and then to a nursing home (again)… with Bro & I as sole caretakers and decision makers.

Travel plans were changed. Meetings rescheduled. Numerous drives between Colorado and Iowa were made. Less than 10 days this summer was spent at home. And less than that with my wild.free.alive plans. My creativity and ability to give fully and freely took a nosedive.

I kept telling myself… “This isn’t going to change my plans. I can muster through this. This is resistance. Great things come from challenges, right? Be strong, Katie. Be tough.”

And I was for a good bit. Then…

I got tired of being strong and tough. And people commending me for being strong and tough.

In a moment of clarity (or desperation), I decided I had enough hardness and toughness. And, in that declaration, I realized…

There’s a time to be strong and a time to be soft.
Both are necessary.

There are lessons to learn in the challenges we face & overcome with strength and toughness. We can develop character, find truth, gain wisdom, and ultimately feel deep joy & gratitude.

BUT – there is a part of us, a softness, which has to be turned off in order to stay strong for long periods of time. A special softness that gives birth to creativity, compassion, intuition, playfulness, ease, and some aspects of joy. A softness that allows us to feel, to experience, to be. A softness necessary for truly coming alive; for living, loving, and giving fully.

Here are 5 reminders I’ve been using for why I need to
listen & lean into softness (daily)…

>>> Leaning into your softness is not giving up or giving in. It’s owning your worth and needs. Remember… our worth is not dependent on how much we take on, accomplish, or say “yes” to.

>>> Freedom. There’s freedom in admitting when it’s hard and when you need a rest. Freedom in voicing the truth.

>>> Beauty & Humanity. There’s vulnerability, connection, love and support when you allow space for someone else to lend you her strength when you don’t have enough.

>>> Patience & Grace. In our fast-paced world it can be tough to ask others to slow down. But, it’s okay to ask for patience and grace. I’ve asked it hundreds of times this summer and it’s been granted generously with hugs and prayers.

>>> Permission. If you need rest, softness, retreat, or simply permission to say “no” or make a request, this is your permission. Right here, right now. (And don’t wait for permission next time… or wait until you are completely drained like I did.)

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Art by Emily Watz

And to showcase the beauty of community & support in the midst of it all… the kdo Team has brought together the most incredible Skinny Dip Society Blog Tour for the month of August plus an uber fun surprise I’ll be announcing next week.

Thanks for your patience & grace,

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When overwhelm & stress paralyze, do this.

Can we get raw and real with a topic that has been permeating my life lately, please?

Overwhelm and stress…

and the possibility (or probability?) of mental/action paralysis.

In the past 3 months, KDO has experienced incredible growth…

  •  Over a dozen interviews – there’s a fun one on sugar woes (how to have your cake and eat it too, literally) with Young Female Entrepreneurs and another on Habits for a Happy Belly with expert Nadya Andreeva.
  • Over 100 new women who dove in fully to the Live By Design Program – shout out to them! :)
  • 9 live events at kdo STUDIO.
  • 100s of hours planning and content writing.
  • AND…1000s of women joining the movement to fully come ALIVE – with freedom, contagious joy, and living fully.

Humbled. Grateful. And, of course, giddy as can be.

And with that growth… I faced overwhelm, like the kind of overwhelm that has me starring at my computer screen at midnight with one eye paralyzed and the other eye shedding a tear to my hubbs.

I wanted to retreat.
To quit.
To hide under the covers.
For someone to say it’s okay to give up.

No one did.

In that moment (okay, let’s be real…over a couple weeks), I realized I have a choice.

We all have a choice.

Overwhelm can happen with work deadlines, relationship squabbles, childcare hiccups, starting a new diet/lifestyle, or simply with the day-to-day life.

We have a choice to be paralyzed and retreat because of overwhelm (masquerading fear, self-doubt, lack of clarity, or poor time management), shrinking back into playing small and staying “safe” or…

We can choose to rise, stand, shift the way we view the situation, and reinforce the foundation.

How are you viewing the situation? What’s your foundation?

Here are 5 ways I rebuilt my foundation and stood (plus some awesome secret nutrition tips to assist).

5 Ways to Shift Overwhelm & Reinforce your Foundation

+ +  Support your body. Overwhelm is not all mental. If your car was almost out of gas AND needed a tune up (alignment, low air in tires, malfunctioning flux capacitor ;), etc), you wouldn’t keep forcing it to drive across the country and expect the gas to last forever, would you? First we need to manage the current stress, then we need to reset the body back to its sweet spot.

3 natural ways to support your body during stress:

  • Rhodiola (an herb) – works with the homeostasis of your body to increase resistance to stress, improve memory, and boost attention.
  • Drink water – simple lack of hydration can make your body handle stress inadequately. How much? 1/2 of your body weight in ounces (ex: 150 pounds = 75 ounces of water/day).
  • Coconut oil – Add in 1 T. of unrefined coconut oil before/with each meal to assist in keeping your blood sugar balanced and you as cool as a cucumber. (Nope, won’t make you gain weight… actually it’ll help you lose it.)

+ +  Call in the troops – your support team. Do you need a coach to ask the right questions to provide clarity? A project manager friend to shed some time management insight? A hug and date night with your man? A friend to share in the responsibility? A co-worker to take on an extra task? A homemade dinner and listening ear from you mom? Often times we try to pull the superwoman act and do it all ourselves. This leaves us feeling alone, isolated, and overwhelmed. 1) Identify your key support people and ask for what you need (be clear, concise, explain why it will benefit you, AND why it will positively impact the other person’s life). 2) Hire on more troops if financially possible – house cleaner, baby sitter, book keeper, virtual/personal assistant, errand runner. Don’t have a community? Check out this post: How to Create a Community When You Feel Alone.

+ +  Get clarity on what you WANT (not what you don’t want). Often times we’ll give a list of what we don’t want, but we never get clear on what we truly DO want. Take 10-15 minutes (yes, you can find that small chunk of time) and simply write down what you WANT the current situation to feel, look, and sound like. Move towards that instead worry.

+ +  Set a date for something fun that has nothing to do with what you are overwhelmed with. Crafts, date night, fiction book reading, happy hour with the girls, etc. This is non-negotiable. Don’t try to justify why you can’t, you MUST.

+ +  Be aware of how you spend your time and identify what you can STOP doing. Feel overwhelmed but you just spent an hour on facebook? Stressed out but you just neeeeded that 3 hours spree of Netflix? For one day, set a timer for every 30 minutes – when the timer goes off, write down exactly what you’re doing. See where your time is going. If that activity feeds you and brings you ALIVE, keep at it. Not so much? Ditch it. Don’t try to be superwoman. Try to be YOU.

How to create a community when you feel alone.

{Cheers TV Show Theme Song}

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name

We all wanna belong.
We all want a tribe.
We all want to have people know our name. Know us.

Community. A tribe. To be known.

This topic is SO deeply needed – in life and in business. The question of “how in the world do we find A (meaning even just one!) quality friend, much less a community, once we’re adults?” has been something I’ve struggled with and almost every woman I’ve ever talked with.

From kindergarten through college, I was surrounded by hundreds/thousands of women to become friends with. Activities to bond over were constantly offered. I lived in 10’x10’ dorm rooms where close relationships were inevitable.

Now, I live in Denver. Beautiful city of adventurous and active 20 to 40 year-old-somethings. Should be perfect, right? ALSO one of the most transient populations. Most people move back to where they grew up when they’re ready to start a family.

And… for the 2nd time since I’ve lived here, my closest friends had all moved away (again).

I found myself craving to belong. To find my tribe. To not just….

  • Spend Friday nights with nothing to do (checking facebook is not a good idea).
  • Crave for a weekend getaway with “my girls” (whoever that might be).
  • Long to have random dance parties at 11pm at night.
  • Hope for soul sisters who don’t complain and stew but stretch and support.
  • Secretly (okay, not so secretly), wish for my own Sex in the City’esk tight-knit circle.

To have it. Embrace it. BELONG. And THRIVE.

AND, over the last several years, I have spent $1000s of dollars learning the secret insider “how-to” tips to grow my online community (that’s you!).

What I discovered… the art of finding and growing your tribe is the same regardless of business vs. personal.

Whether you’re looking to share your passion and online business with the world or you desire to personally COME ALIVE and live & love fully in community, a tribe that “knows your name” is almost as essential as eating (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, yo!).

We have a deeply ingrained need to belong. So how do we start AND maintain?

6 WAYS TO FIND & NOURISH YOUR TRIBE:

{tribe = your friends, family, colleagues, fellow bloggers}

1. Be perfectly imperfect.

Sharing your struggles with your tribe makes you authentic. Friends don’t want to see a perfect life; we want to see a REAL life because then we know we can relate, support, and share the “me too” without fear of rejection or judgement.

Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly says, “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

2. Get inspired. Be inspiring.

Experience LIFE so you have something to connect over and talk about. If all you do is watch TV, sleep, work and/or complain about your job… who would want to stay around that?

3. Give generously. To your tribe AND yourself.

Give without conditions, expectations, or obligations. GIVE generously.

AND… put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. If you continually give and don’t give yourself any oxygen, you’re gonna crumble, give at half capacity, or just simply be a Debbie downer.

When I sit down to plan anything for my business, my first question is, “How can I give the absolute best insights, tips, experience, and joy?” My next question is, “What do I NEED in order to give this?”

What might open up for you if you ask these questions in your life and your career?

4. Celebrate & connect every single woman that comes into your life.

We are easily sucked into the competition and comparison rabbit hole. Women smack-talk other women, are worried to share friends because they might lose them to someone “cooler,” and spend more time pointing out what’s wrong instead of celebrating what’s awesome.

If we spent half that amount of time simply celebrating the women in our lives and connecting cool chicks with other cool chicks, we’d be a much happier society.

When I ran my Skinny Dip Society Blog Tour, I had the honor of promoting 25 women I truly admired. I had the most joy, gratitude, and fun during that month than another other month in my business because it was straight up celebrating and connecting. And, the side bonus was making so many more incredible connections with women I can further celebrate and connect.

5. Once you have a tribe/person, ASK how they want to be supported.

ASK your husband, girlfriend, mother, or co-worker, “How do you feel best supported and included?”

Stop the guessing. Stop the assuming. Stop the confusion.

And to take it a step further… in romantic relationships, ASK how they want to be pursued – emotionally and physically. ASK what lights them up and what they desire you to do more of. (And, on the flip side, ask for what you need from them!)

Many times business owners will throw random newsletters, social media posts, or programs out to their small lists in the HOPE that something will stick. They’re afraid of sounding unprofessional if they ask their tribe what they desire and need. BUT it’s in the asking that you can truly give, support, and stretch. ASK your tribe (survey, email, social media post, etc.).

6. Join groups of women with similar desires as you.

Over 25,000 women have joined the Live By Design 5-day Challenge and over 400 have gone through the Live By Design Program and the discussions, support, and relationships that are form are incredible! Why? There is already a common interest, challenge, and topic to propel the relationship and initial conversations forward. There is a built-in “me too” factor that instantly connects people.

Brain dump 15-20 groups, activities, or places that YOU are interested in personally (not because they’re smart for business).

Go. Join. Do. Explore…with no expectations (and yes there will be fear, it’s normal). It’s like kindergarten, you just have the mental capacity to think it’s scary and no parent to hold your hand. Bring some proverbial crayons… everyone loves crayons or animal cookies. ;)

AND, when you join these types of programs/groups as a business owner, other women will authentically promote you. A personal authentic recommendation is the most valuable way to grow your business any day (mine has grown 1000s simply by word of mouth and personal recommendations).

HERE ARE A FEW ENTREPRENEUR-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO STAY AUTHENTIC TO YOU:

  • What do I want to read about? Share what you learn.
  • Who would I want to hear from? Interview those people and share it with your tribe.
  • What ways do I enjoy social media? Do the 1-2 that you enjoy, it’ll show. Don’t enjoy social media? Then do a grassroots campaign and send an email asking for word of mouth promotion.
  • Do you regularly follow other bloggers/experts but they aren’t in your “area” of business? Who cares? If you love them, your audience will love them – just show why it’s connected to what you do. Ex: Fashion blogger. How we do one thing is how we do everything. If we cloak ourselves in drab outfits, and feel lousy it permeates into everything we do. Spice it up with this fashion bloggers tips and you’re setting yourself up with conditions for success from the very beginning of your day.
  • Do you talk about yourself all the time? Don’t. Spend at least 30% of your time promoting other people/bloggers/industries.

If you’re redundant, uninspired, inauthentic, hard to please, don’t put in the effort/seek it out, or are never there for your tribe, you’ll never create a community “where everybody knows your name.”

I rarely eat breakfast, should you?

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Oh man, do you ever get fed up (or confused?) with hearing the latest nutrition information on the Today show or reading the newest top 10 superfoods to give you a 6-pack AND firm your tush?

I was laughing as I was at the grocery store the other day and it was headline after headline about this stuff.

When I was studying integrative nutrition, we covered over a 100 different dietary theories. Each way of eating was presented with valid research, case studies, and a hell of a sales pitch.

And, each time I felt sucked in to trying the latest approach.

>>> Eat meat, don’t eat meat.
>>> Eat breakfast within 30 minutes, sip on green juice until 2pm.
>>> Drink water with your meal. Absolutely do not drink any liquids with your meal.

What is boils down to…we’re missing the point. No one way of eating works for everyone AND no one way of eating works for all stages of your life (teenager, pregnancy, post-menopause, ovulation vs. menstruation, etc.)

THE POINT…

Keep reading

Why you do that thing you wish you wouldn’t do.

Do you ever have “things” that you wish you didn’t do?
OR things you wish you did do but you can’t seem to kick the habit or ignite the motivation?

Like…

Quit watching TV so much. Start meditating.
Stop eating cereal for dinner (but it’s so easy!). Start planning meals for the week.
Stop yelling at your partner in the heat of the moment. Be more present in your marriage.
Drop complaining and comparing with the friend who “has it all”. Start celebrating more.
Stop working so much. Explore, find adventure, live in the moment.

But it doesn’t stop there…then you start saying…

I’ll wait until tomorrow, next week, next year OR when I’m rich enough/thin enough/smart enough.
I don’t know how.
I don’t deserve something to be that good.
I’ve tried this before and failed, I can’t follow through on anything.
I don’t have time.
I don’t understand why I just don’t do this.

This resistance feel familiar for any aspect in your life? Ugh, I used to do all of these.

After the chat board lit up when I started talking about this topic at the live online soiree this past Wednesday (you can catch the replay of the event by clicking here – it was off the hook! Errr something like that…) and after a woman at book club mentioned she had 186 things she knew she could do that would make life more simple but she just doesn’t do them…

I knew I had to share a little something I learned that has gotten me from a place of beating myself up because I didn’t do/did something…to freedom AND implementation around the exact things I resisted doing.

Keep reading