Author Archives: Katie Goodman

Holding My Breath

I’m holding my breath. 

I’ve been noticing it more and more and catching myself. It’s literal but more importantly, it’s figurative. I’m holding my breath until the election. I’m holding my breath until the pandemic is over. I’m holding my breath until my kid gets into college. I’m holding my breath until my kid leaves home. 

And there’s so many other things that I am worried about in the future.

Will theaters reopen? Well my remaining parents stay healthy for years to come? Will our country come back from the brink of insanity? Will my friends stay healthy and not get COVID? Will black lives really start to matter to everyone someday? Will women catch up in leadership roles? Will climate change destroy everything or will we find solutions through all getting onboard and implementing new technology? What does the future hold for our kids and the younger generations?

The uncertainty is staggering.

But right this minute I am sitting under the most gorgeous autumn orange-leafed tree. The sky is a staggering blue and I can hear the giggles of my husband and his father social-distance visiting behind me on the outdoor deck. And my big grown-up 17-year-old is home by himself totally taking care of himself with no problems whatsoever while we are away. Even though we’ve had tremendous tragedies this year, right this second, this one moment, everything is pretty damn gorgeous.

So I’m letting out my breath. Just for a minute. 

And shit man, I TEACH this stuff all year long: be present, be creative, be in the flow, connect with what is right in front of you, give up the specific goal and give up knowing what your creativity or work or life is going to turn out like. And that’s the road to sanity and innovation and happiness. And yeah, I teach it because I know it and believe it and also because I want to be reminded of it every day. 

So I’m letting out my breath. And looking around. If just for this moment. And then maybe if I can, for the moment after that. 

Allowing Yourself To Grieve

cristian-newman-Zi8-E3qJ_RM-unsplashSix months ago I had three or four things come into our life that were difficult. We lost someone unexpectedly, someone we know was diagnosed with a difficult illness, my kid moved into his junior year of high school which made me start thinking about empty nesting and time passing, I was noticing how it takes long for my body to recover after a hard workout, and a lot of my work has been changing…. It was all just a big jumble of bad feelings! So, when I was at Canyon Ranch teaching and “Improvisation For Life” workshop, I decided to get a coaching session myself. I talked to my coach about everything that had been throwing me off balance. Of course I didn’t present it clearly because I didn’t know what was wrong exactly, I just laid out all the things going on and she was like, “Dude, this is all grief.” What all these things had in common was grief. Duh.

So what was the cure for my malaise?

“Grieve!” She said. “Just let yourself grieve without trying to fix or solve anything.”

Uh-oh… “but I’m a professional fixer!” Ha! Of course I’m not actually a professional fixer, I’m a life coach. I don’t actually “fix” anything. My whole job is to help people see where they are, and reflect back things they may not be noticing– just like this coach did for me!

As you can imagine, the subject of “allowing myself to grieve” has come up a lot since this pandemic began. Even though I’m having a really centered and creative time during our stay-at-home orders, there is absolutely a lot of grieving going on, from our own, smaller losses (like not being able to get my hair cut!), to the epic, heartbreaking loss of life affecting the whole world.

Well, as you know I’m not a therapist… but what I do know is that a key to dealing with grief lies in the Buddhist teachings I’ve studied, the life-coaching coaching processes I teach, and in improvisation as an art form. The 3 components I want to talk about here, are:

  1. Letting go of the past and what we know.

  2. Being more comfortable with the unknown in the future that we haven’t arrived at yet.

  3. Being creative and thinking outside of the box to solve problems and change our thinking in the present.

[To listen To the full version of this on my Podcast, click here!]

(I could extrapolate on these three components forever, and if you’re interested in learning more, please check out my “WTF” Membership Program. It’s a monthly, super affordable, women’s life-coaching membership program that I started this past April as a way to help people pivot to life during a pandemic. We would love to have you join us, and you can learn more about the program by clicking here.)

So this allowing yourself to grieve stuff? Here we go:

Don’t stay isolated. Keep in touch with your friends and family. Keep regular schedules where you regularly connect with other people, whether it’s a group work-out class, a group meditation or weekly cocktail hours. Don’t go this alone.

And of course, look around to see who you can help. It always helps me when I’m feeling extreme grief, to look outside of myself and help other people. Find ways to “be of service.” Being in service can be altruistic but it can also be the most supportive thing you can do for yourself, and that’s okay. It can make you feel like you have meaning and purpose, and that’s one of the things we talk about the most in all the coaching I do. So, stay strong, connect to your meaning and purpose, and allow yourself to grieve.

It’s simple but it works. And I mean right now, simple is good, amirite?? You should see the terrible quiche I tried to make the other day. “Complicated” is NOT a good pandemic plan. I’m thinking microwave meals level, guys. That’s our sweet spot.

Hang in there everybody.