Self-Development

This is something I’ve wanted to write about for awhile now, but I knew it would take me to a deeper level of vulnerability than I’ve ever known before. People often tell me that they see me as brave, strong, powerful, courageous… which I truly appreciate, however some of those terms have kept me from sharing this part of my life. For it’s a part that I’ve had lots of shame around, which has haunted me for the last 2 years. But I feel ready to let that go, to put down the shame I’ve been lugging around and to share openly with you. Your support for my stories truly amazes me and I appreciate all of you that take the time to read this.

So here it goes…

While traveling in India in late 2015, I found myself falling in love with a man that was charming, open, loving, and portrayed himself as someone that would always take care of me, that would provide financially and that would love me like no one else ever could. I was enamored, drawn in by his ability to connect quickly and deeply with me. The relationship quickly progressed into one that was emotionally and mentally abusive. And at first I didn’t see the signs. Well, let’s be honest, I chose to overlook the signs. I forgave him over and over. I forgave when he cheated on me, I forgave when he blamed all his problems on me, I forgave when he lied to me, I forgave when he made me feel worthless, I forgave when he borrowed money from me without repayment, and I forgave his emotional outbursts. I took responsibility for the relationship not working time and time again. I thought if I could just do a little more, be a little better partner, if I could truly help him, then things would get better and we could live our big dreams together.

Throughout the 7 months we were together, I found myself reaching out to friends less and less. I was isolating myself, one because of his strong jealousy when I talked to someone else but also because I was ashamed at finding myself in this situation. I had always thought of myself as strong, independent and capable, but I had started to feel worthless, needy and co-dependent. I doubted that I’d ever have the strength to stand up for myself, because I started to believe all the lies he told me – that I wasn’t attractive, that no one else would love me like he would, that I owed him so much, that I’d be lost without him, that I didn’t deserve a real partnership.

I started to accept this as my truth.

It’s taken me a year and a half to be able to clearly see how much his manipulations of my mind and emotions took a tool on my self-confidence and my feelings of worthiness. I can see they were issues that needed to come to the surface for healing, but I want to share this story now for my own healing. There’s a power in knowing that I can re-write my story. That I get to choose what I believe about myself.

And if this helps just one other person then I will know all of my experiences have been worth it. For I know when looking for support and being told to simply ‘just get out’ or ‘to get over it’ is not going to help someone that’s in the thick of it.

I can clearly remember when I ended things – I flew to Nepal to get away from him. I finally had the space to see how unhealthy everything had become for me. Once I ended the relationship, it felt like I had just come up from being submerged in a dark, murky pool of water for the previous 7 months. I could finally breathe and see the sunlight again, but I was freaking scared… Who was I really? How much was true of what he said about me? What would I do now?

Luckily the universe took great care of me during the month I spent in Nepal – bringing new friends into my life, leading me to the most peaceful homestay I could ever imagine, overlooking a lovely lake and the Himalayas and orchestrating soul-refreshing connections with a couple of local Nepalese families.

But it’s really these last couple months (more a year since my time in Nepal) that have brought the most clarity for me. I have gone deeper into my Akashic Record work, exploring reality, non-reality and universal truths. This has given me much insight into why I connected with him at that time in my life and what illusions I bought into about myself.

However, at times it still feels like I have psychological scars that will never fully heal – that I will always be untrusting in a relationship and that I will always doubt my worthiness. I’ve learned that hearing someone telling you ‘you are worthy’ will not make you believe it, it takes you going to the root of your beliefs about your worthiness to be able transform them. It truly has to start from within, no matter how many people around you want you to believe it.

For me, all of the insecurities that this challenging relationship brought forward were small, destructive beliefs that I already had about myself, that’s why he could use them to hook me. So he didn’t create those beliefs in me, he just figured out what they were and made them bigger and bigger beliefs until they started influencing my everyday decisions. So I will not blame him for those feelings, but coming to the realization that some people will use your greatest vulnerabilities to keep you in a state of needing them is a heartbreaking reality for me to accept. Especially when it’s someone you love dearly, be it a friend, relative, partner, co-worker or anyone else in your life.

The advice I have for anyone in an emotionally and/or mentally abusive relationship is to take even the smallest steps to reach out to those around you that you trust. Although you may feel ashamed, like you did something wrong to cause this, if you can start to talk to accepting, kind, loving friends, you can start to unravel the illusion of what has formed around you. It’s like a tornado of lies that swirl around you until you start to take an honest look at them and decide what’s true for you deep in your heart space. This is not an easy journey. I’ve lived it and I know it takes courage, commitment, and trust.

There were plenty of times I’ve stumbled and called him again with the hope that he had changed. But having the space to see things clearly and people that I could speak honestly with has helped me come back to my center every time I’ve felt off balance. The challenging part is that it’s your journey, you can be supported if you allow it, but it’s still a decision you have to make for you and not for anyone else. To decide that you are worth it is powerful and life-changing. I commend and honor any and all of you that have had to make this decision in the face of someone you love. Your bravery and courage does not go unnoticed here!

 

*And if any of you are looking to go to deeper into your own healing journey and would like to learn more about an Akashic Record Reading, let’s set up a time to talk! Here’s a link for a free 15-min call : https://katiegarber.satoriapp.com/offers/133870-free-intro-to-akashic-record-reading-session

Here I am again, facing fears and taking risks….And it feels terrifyingly amazing!

I’ve felt all of these fears before and heard all of this ‘there’s no way you can do this’ talk from the ego, but I feel so much different now. I feel wiser, stronger, like I have a steadfast connection to my soul & intuition. I guess the difference is the level of trust I now have in the universe.

I can recall when I first boarded my flight to India last spring and I kept thinking ‘this can’t actually be happening.. I’m getting this wrong… this will never work…’. It’s like I was daring the universe. I was looking for any hiccup to run back to my safety in Cincinnati. However, all my flights we’re on time and before I knew it, I was landing in New Delhi. My time in India was tumultuous to say the least, but I discovered so much about myself. Through all of the tears, I came to recognize my strength, through all of the doubt, I came to recognize my light, and through all of the fear, I came to recognize my power.

And now I get to use all of my healing techniques, soul wisdom and light to help other’s and I couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity. It’s the perfect combination of what I love doing and I’m excited! Thank you for being here!

And for those of you that are new to my website, I’ve kept my blog posts about my time traveling in India from April 2015-June 2016. The don’t necessarily relate to my business, but if you’d like to read about what I learned on that amazing time of healing & adventure, please take a look.

Hi friends!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything on this little blog, so I thought it was time to share some updates. I’ve been spending most of my time in Pune although I did make a trip to the scenic hill station of Matheron to ring in the 2016. It was filled with gorgeous views and the sound of trotting horses, carrying people between the viewpoints.

matheron

Matheron

As for my time in Pune, it’s had it ups and downs that all existed mostly in my mind. I had lots of worries about my future surfacing since the start of 2016 that mostly had to do with my concerns of money and what the heck I was doing with my life. I know that I’ve followed my heart in my decision making up until this point, but at times my rational mind starts to freak out and say ‘that’s not possible’ or ‘that will never work’. I decided I needed a mental cleanse and put things on a pause so I could spend a week trying a new-to-me meditations at the Osho Mediation Resort.

I’ll fill you in on a bit on my experiences with mediation. My first exposure was when I was 17 years-old and taking a course on the psychology of sports for fast-pitch softball pitchers. The goal was to calm your mind and emotions to keep yourself balanced and focused during the pressure of gametime. However, the most impactful experience from this came a year later when I was trying to decide between a couple of very different options for college. I recall using the breathing and visualization techniques I had learned in the meditation class and then asking myself which was the best college for me before falling asleep. I woke in the morning full of energy and had an innate knowing that I should attend the University of Cincinnati for Design. I ran downstairs to tell my parents my news (much to their surprise) and it ended up being a great choice for me. This was the first instance I can remember using mediation as a tool to ask a question, then going within and simply let the answer float to the surface.

Fast forward to January 2014 and I was going through some extreme endings in my life – closing my business and ending my relationship – both of which had been staples for me for almost 5 years of my life. I decided that I wanted to try mediation again, but didn’t really know where to start. So what does a halfway tech-savvy millennial do? Look for an app, of course! And I luckily found Headspace! I was hooked from the first meditation. I loved the different techniques offered and the way Andy explained observing your thoughts. This was the first time I understood what it meant to be the ‘witness’ of your thoughts and that I was more than all the dialogue that was happening in my mind.

I tried all of the Headspace meditations I could and then decided I’d like to try just sitting in quiet on my own, which lead to some profound visualizations and clarity in my life. I remember often choosing to be late for work so I could spend more time in mediation. I saw my productivity increase and as well as my ability to remain alert during conversations instead of getting lost in my own thoughts. In essence, I was learning to be more present.

This lead me to look for other types of meditation, so I tried shamanic journeying and kundalini yoga, as well as various other healing modalities (but that’s for another post!). Both of these deepened my connection with my soul (or spirit or consciousness, if you prefer) through getting out of my rational mind and into the intuitive knowings that grow from deep with-in. They we’re both instrumental tools for me as I made the decision to buy a one-way flight to a foreign land in May of 2015, as that decision made absolutely no sense to my rational mind, but my heart fluttered every time I thought of it.

Sikkim

Sikkim Vipassana Center

Before arriving in India, I was told about Vipassana meditations and I knew instantly it was something I wanted to try. My first sitting (10-days in silence, with no reading or writing!) was in the jungle of Sikkim in June 2015 and pushed me to the limits of what I thought I was capable of. It’s a grueling schedule with mediations starting at 4:30am and ending at 9pm with breaks from breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. I quite liked the focus on bringing more awareness to the connection between my mind and body. And again, some powerful knowings came my way, as did a 10-hour crying session, which released many of the fears I’d been carrying around about feeling unsafe in this world. By the end of it, I felt mostly just raw, exposed and couldn’t wait to dance 🙂 Restricting myself on the ways I most often connected to my soul – singing, dancing, writing, drawing- lead me to feeling disconnected and lost by the end of the experience. So I spent some extra time in Darjeeling, refueling myself before continuing on my travels.

I decided to try another Vipassana mediation in Kolkata in November 2015 to see if my experience would be different. It ended up being much more intense, as I had an extreme bout of diarrhea to which the mediation teachers said, “no medicine, just mediation”. I agreed wholeheartedly with this, but I also knew it was my task to find the types mediations that felt right for me and that one did not. I now incorporate certain aspects of the Vipassana technique to incorporate into my life, but also focus on activities that bring joy into my life.

So in February 2016 when I could feel my mind getting unbalanced, I took some advice from some lovely friends and tried 5 days at the Osho Mediation Center here in Pune. Although I don’t necessarily agree with all of Osho’s teachings or how he choose to use his influence in the world, I wanted to see what was drawing all the maroon-wearing Westerns to this lovely city. During the introduction morning the first activity was to dance and knew right then that I was in the right place for me! I had never experienced ‘active meditations’ before, but I loved each one I tried. Dancing, humming, laughing, whirling, breathing, jumping, shaking, and talking gibberish were just what I needed to clear my head. It was an opportunity for my rational mind to take a break and stop trying to ‘figure things out’. It gave me the chance to be so engrossed in the present that all my worries faded away and by the end of the 5 days, I felt an overwhelming sense of clarity and calm. Plus, I experienced so much happiness expressing my soul in this way that I observed myself grinning ear-to-ear during each meditation.

So now I’ve worked one silent meditation and one active mediation into my daily routine and I feel much more balanced, grounded and joyful. I’m always up for trying other types of meditation and I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had so far!

And if you’re looking to try mediation for the first time or try a new technique, I highly recommend:

  1. The Headspace app as an introduction to mindfulness mediation, plus anyone can commit to 10-minutes a day to start. And it has lots of options to continue on and try some different techniques.
  2. If you’re looking to go deeply inside, a Vipassana mediation is more than worth it and there are locations all over the world. It’s a big commitment, but you come to know how much you like (or dislike) being with yourself 😉 Plus it’s donation based!
  3. If you’ve tried a silent practice but can’t still for more than a couple minutes (trust me, I have those days too!), I highly recommend trying out some Osho mediations, which you can download for free here or head to Pune to stay at the resort. Also, there are instructional videos for each mediation here.

Thanks for following along! And more to come soon about what I’ve been creating in my time here that I can’t wait to share with you!