Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Real People Feature: Katie


Who are you?
I am a woman; strong, bold and beautiful. 

I am a lover to my wonderful man, and a mama to Juba, my Rhodesian Ridgeback.  

During my weekdays, I am an acupuncturist, a practitioner at Boulder Community Acupuncture Clinic, where we offer quality health care at an affordable cost.  
Katie and Tim on the summit of Grand Teton, WY
My weekends take me to granite walls or sandstone cracks of the desert, where I get to do the most fun activity in the world, rock climbing.    

What is the best advice you've ever given or received and why?
The best advice I have received is, “Shit or get off the pot."  

It came from a retired Scottish/Catholic monk turned international investment banker who is currently residing in the Bahamas on a boat. Simply put and direct, this advice has helped me make many life decisions. It keeps me moving forward.

The best advice I've given is learned through experience, the good and the bad— have a sense humor.  
Katie in Bhutan
Nothing gets you through the darkest of nights or the lightest of days like humor. It brings every moment back to earth. Humor is grounding. It opens your heart and frees you from the moment. You have to laugh with yourself, your family, your friends, your situation because the present moment is fleeting. Why not enjoy it?  

Laugh hard, laugh loud. Find the light in the moment. It is always there.

What has been the greatest challenge in your life and why?
The greatest challenge in my life was learning the essence of my freedom. I learned this surviving and persevering through three of the most heinous years of my life.
Bhutan
When I was 26, I fell hard for a man and our relationship went south before it ever made it north. The day I met him, I didn’t trust my instincts. I hesitated saying yes to his dinner offer. My intuition was screaming red flags but to no avail; I was wooed. He started out as a perfect gentleman but soon turned manipulative, abusive, and controlling. I was naive and had been struggling for a while “finding myself."  I had just quit my job and started a 3 year graduate program learning the ancient art of Chinese Medicine and found myself in an extremely difficult predicament.

Nine months into our relationship he got in a significant amount of trouble and roped me into the situation. I spent the next two years fighting him, fighting for my freedom, fighting for my rights, fighting for my future as an acupuncturist. I couldn’t breathe, cried every day, was bound to him. 
Castle Valley, UT
I thought things could not get any worse until they did: a dear friend committed suicide, my house was robbed, I lost my car, my finances were drained, I discovered that my ex had been unfaithful and my father (who has since passed) was very sick. The challenges were endless until one day in August, 2010...

After a long hard fight with little resolve, I was driving home with my friend Emma- completely broke and broken. We looked at each other and just started laughing. It was so ridiculous. It was so incredibly unfair. Nothing made sense. But I was finally free. Free from him. Free from lawyers. Free from the unknown. And I never looked back.
Sunset in Bali
Nothing brings perspective to life more than when you lose everything in your fight for freedom. I was face down in the gutter and it took awhile to stand up and crawl out, but I did. I preserved and became an excellent acupuncturist, a bad-ass rock climber, a surfer and world traveler. 

Post graduation, I traveled all over the world. I was fortunate to spend a good amount of time in Bhutan, studying the ancient art of Tibetan medicine and experiencing the many different cultures of Asia. 

Now, my dog is happy and I have met the love of my life. Nothing and no one can shake me. I control my happiness and my life.
Climbing South Platte, CO
What has been the greatest joy in your life and why?
The greatest joy in my life is chocolate chip cookies. They are pretty darn good; but really the greatest joy in my life is my family, my love, Tim, and my dog, Juba. They are the light of my life. 
Juba has been with me since he was 12-weeks-old. Not a day has gone by in nine years that he has not loved generously and shown me how to delight in the simple joys of life. He is truly the most amazing companion.  

Tim is my other greatest joy in life. I dreamt of Tim a month before I met him—he literally is a dream come true, tall and handsome, gracefully fearless, humble, kind, compassionate and the most enthusiastic person I know. He fills my heart and calms my soul. I am grateful for each day I get to spend with this man. 

Our second date was a 5 day climbing trip to Yosemite, the beginning of many adventures far and wide that followed. We live big together, follow our dreams and unconditionally support each other.  
Katie and Tim in Indian Creek, UT
What is one thing you have not done that you really want to do and why?
I really look forward to having a big family, full of happy, healthy children. Motherhood is a the greatest endeavor a woman can experience. I look forward to the blessed opportunity to create life and experience that journey with my love. 

I also really want to learn to fly a plane...because that would be so freakin’ sweet!
Castle Valley, UT
*****
I love Real People Features- learning about others and the events that spark positive change—those that become catalysts for moving forward in a healthy way.

To me, Katie's story is about freedom. While preparing her feature, I've thought so much about her journey. I keep going back to her commentary about laughter, how sometimes when we feel really down and out, a bit of gut-wrenching giggling is just the thing we need to remind us how alive we really are in that moment.

And now I really want to go on an exotic vacation to climb some really BIG rocks as well.  How about you?

Thank you, Katie—for inspiring others to keep their heads up no matter how rocky the road may seem, for reminding us that love and light surround us and that the view from the top is well worth the climb.

Send us a picture of you flying a plane someday soon! We'll send you some congratulatory chocolate chip cookies, girl!

XOXO From My Hearth to Yours- Cally

P.S. If you'd like to participate in a Real People Feature, send me a message at cally@frommyhearthtoyours.com or comment below. We'd love to hear from you.

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