Life / The Refined Collective

The Refined Collective // Slowing Down

11.15.18

Photos c/o Lydia Hudgens // Outfit:  Sseko Designs

My backpack bounced on my back as I turned the corner.  Weaving in and out of parked cars on my block, I started sprinting.  If I didn’t hit any red lights,  I’d make it just in time for my cycle class.  But how often does everything go the way we plan it to?

I started running in the street because it seemed faster.  As I passed a white Jeep my hand smacked the rear view mirror so hard it knocked the wind out of me.  The F word barreled out of my mouth as my hand instantly started to swell. 

Slow down Katherine. 

My mom has said this to me for as long as I can remember.  I’m always running off to things. Jam-packing my days to the brim, leaving little to no room for margin, or let’s face it life.  Doesn’t the universe know that I’m important?  I’ve got things to do, people to see, hands to smack on cars, and cycle classes to make it to.

I’ve often been the person who looks for the shortest line at Target only to realize I’d have checked out sooner if I had stayed with the initial line I was in. .  

I’ve pushed past people in the subway because I was in such a hurry only to stand next to them while we waited for our train for the next 10 minutes in silence.  I felt like such a jerk.  

Some days I’m running to things, and I’m running from things.  More often than I’d like to admit I’m texting sorry running about 5-10 behind.  I blame it on traffic as opposed to owning I’m doing this thing I do once again—this thing that I hate:  running from thing to thing.

Why is slowing down so difficult?

I pay a price for rushing through my day.

I live with a scarcity mindset fearing I won’t have enough money, friends, dates, the list goes on.

When I don’t arrive on time I lack integrity and dishonor people’s time and my own time.

It steals from my being present and enjoying the moment at hand.

All of this jolts extra cortisol and adrenaline through my body which impacts my sleep and compromises my immune system.

I disappoint others and myself.

I’m stressed.

I lack peace

I create drama.

It seems I’m paying a high price.  So why do I keep behaving this way? 

Well… it’s thrilling when everything comes together and I actually pull off the crazy schedule I’ve created for myself. 

It makes me feel good about myself, productive, efficient… better than. 

When I take on that extra job even though I’m burnt out and exhausted, I go to sleep a little easier at night knowing that money is in the bank account.

The reward runs deeper.  I find some of my identity in productivity.  I pride myself on being efficient.  I love crossing things off my to-do list; it makes me feel accomplished.  My heart says look at all the things I can do, look how efficient and capable I am.  Aren’t I impressive and important?  Don’t you want to hire, accept, love me?

Until the price outweighs the reward our behaviors don’t change.

Let’s take it a step further. 

I struggle to believe that God has my back.  Jesus tells a story about the lilies of the field.  How they don’t strive to grow.  A lily simply is, and God provides everything she needs.  Jesus says how much more will I take care of you if this is how I care for the flowers.  

My actions reveal my small faith.  Because underneath the running to and from is fear.  Fear that my future, finances, and relationships are up to me.  So I sprint from thing to thing exhausting myself and others. 

What I’m really doing is playing God. No wonder I’m so tired.  

But it’s no way to live. 

I don’t have it all figured out.  Writing this is humbling.  My pride wants you to think that I’m amazing and have it all together.  I don’t.  What I do know is that I want to lift my foot off the gas pedal, and give myself permission to be.

The Bible has many promises from God to His people.  One is, The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).

I want to slow down.

I want to leave behind the impulse to prove myself.

I want to enjoy the walk through the park and not be so fixated on what’s next after that.

I want to have a soul at rest.

I want to slow down enough to connect with the humans I’m colliding with on a moment-to-moment basis.

I want to trade productivity for presence and fear for peace.

I want to be like the lilies.

I want to trust Jesus at His word—trust that He has my back, that I have nothing to worry about because He knows exactly what I need.  Because He’s good.

What price are you paying for all the running, the hustling, the pushing, and the striving?  

If you’re interested in practicing the art of slowing down, click here for a free guide I created:  How to Practice Slowing Down.

With you on the journey,

Kat

This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group Lauren Scruggs, Sarah Shreves, Kathryn McCormick, Yvette Jain, Jessi Green, Michelle McCoy, Erica Chen, Jessica Hoffman, Jess Koehler

Podcast

029: Ben Higgins: Faith, Influence + Impact

11.13.18

Unless you’ve lived under a rock, you know Ben Higgins from ABC’s The Bachelor.  But what you may not know is that this man has a heart for social good, faith, and leadership. He understands that purchasing power can and should be used to make an impact. This episode, I talk with Ben Higgins about life on The Bachelor, his faith, and his work creating sustainable change through his for profit organization, Generous Coffee.

“The euphoric feeling of having your ego stroked ended- I was left to question a lot of things”

Life After The Bachelor

  • When you’re on The Bachelor, you all of a sudden have an audience and millions of eyes are on your life.

  • While it’s so easy to use this newfound fame and get a big head, Ben has committed to making a difference in the world.

  • Ben remembers a time when he enjoyed having all eyes on him as the bachelor, but it didn’t last. “The euphoric feeling of having your ego stroked ended- I was left to question a lot of things”

Faith and Work

  • He recognizes the partnership between faith and action.  Instead of just praying things into existence, which is important, he knows we have vital roles to play in creating a world and culture of hope and change. “I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit sometimes.”

  • “God has entrusted us with skills, intelligence, and wisdom to get to a place where we can be good stewards for the world He has created for us.”

  • We have to deconstruct our beliefs to strengthen our why’s and live with integrity.

  • Ben often thinks back to this quote: “Live your life like you’ll be written about in the Bible.”

Creating Lasting Change

  • Ben’s friend Riley Fuller started a non-profit called Humanity and Hope United, which focuses on ending poverty in Honduras.

  • Ben and Riley witnessed the poverty and saw that they were being helped, but not in a way that would create lasting change.

  • He remembered being angry about what he saw for years after until Riley suggested they partner with these countries.

  • They partnered with communities in Honduras to support them in reaching their goals.   Six years in he was overwhelmed with the realization that small businesses were succeeding and children were graduating school.

  • Today’s ceiling is tomorrow’s floor.  Ben challenges himself and others to never get complacent, “How far have we come, and how far can we go?”

“When you see a purpose, no matter how big or small, stay in your lane and pursue it and complete it and do it with vigor.”

Generous Coffee

  • He recognizes that The Bachelor gave him a platform that allowed him to get funding for their project, but that it won’t last forever.

  • Two years ago, he and Riley started Generous Coffee as a for-profit business to help fund the non-profit.

  • Now, Ben is the operating president, chief executive officer, and co-founder along with Drew Scholl and Riley Fuller.

  • Their coffee comes from nine different countries. T-shirts are made from water bottles by women in Haiti.

  • Beyond non-profits, there are so many for-profits that donate a portion of their profits to causes they believe in, like Newman’s Own. Following in the footsteps of this, Ben is looking forward to continuing his work with Generous Coffee.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Generous Coffee. It creates a community that creates sustainable change and believes in the unique power of the human being. It is a for-profit business and they’re always partnering with organizations that share their values. Join the movement! Go to generousmovement.com to see their products and what they’re up to.

This episode is ALSO brought to you by Steereo. Are you obsessed with music? Are you looking to stay ahead of the next big music trends? If you become a contributor at Steereo.com/contributor, you can get rewards for rating music!

XO,
Kat Harris

Check out this episode!

Podcast

028: How to Embrace Your Sexuality with Morgan Day Cecil

11.07.18

Integrated feminine wholeness coach Morgan Day Cecil’s message is that God designed you to embrace your inner sexy, and you deserve to lean into it. We are new friends, and already her femininity has inspired me. I hope she will inspire you to embrace your womanhood and sexiness as well. We talk about owning your sexuality for you, and not another person. We explore a topic I never have discussed publicly yet:  self-pleasure a.k.a. masturbation.

How to Embrace Your Sexuality

  • When women ask how to embrace their sexuality, they are asking the permission to find freedom.
  • “We want a feeling of authenticity and freedom and wholeness in this area of life that sometimes seems scary and shameful.”
  • The typical definition of ‘sex’ is focused on the male experience.
  • “I want to feel alive. I want to feel desired, loved, wanted.” Often, people see sex as the answer to these needs.
  • Morgan recalls how her relationship with sex changed before and after becoming Christian and finding a deeper understanding of her sexuality.
  • “I started experiencing my sexuality through sensuality.”

Your Sexuality Is for You

  • One of the biggest lies I believed was that my sexuality was for another person. But then I bought myself some La Perla lingerie for me, because I am worth being connected to my sexuality whether or not a man gets to experience that.
  • Morgan went on a retreat in Rome and distinctly remembers bringing these women to buy lingerie for themselves.
  • “It doesn’t have to be about men. When that masculine energy comes in, we feel like we are in the seat of power. Not power over, but power that belongs to us because we are inhabiting our wholeness.”
  • Too often, female sexuality is seen as dangerous and manipulative.
  • “It’s this divine dance of intimacy that we are invited to be a part of.”
  • Coming to a deeper understanding your own sexuality is to become closer to God.
  • “Start intentionally making love with nature.”

Heartbreak to Healing

  • Morgan found herself pregnant with the child of a man who wanted nothing to do with it. She reflects on the moments of loneliness in this time.
  • Fear and anxiety led her to the hospital, but she left with a clearer vision for her life.
  • “I empowered myself to do what I could from where I was at.”
  • She was in the Cinderella mindset: “Somebody else has the power to give me a beautiful life.”

Inviting God into the Desire

  • Masturbation is one of the number thinsg Christian women ask us about.
  • Intentional self-pleasuring can be a very sacred practice. Most people masturbate in a fantasy that is devoid of any real emotion.
  • We talk about the slippery slope between the experiences women can have with self-pleasure.
  • To avoid the wrong experiences, we have to ask ourselves, “What story preceded this desire? Was it a story where the theme is fear or love?”
  • If self-pleasure seems like a big step for you, go at the pace you feel comfortable with. Maybe that means just being present in nature. This is your journey and you make all of the decisions.

I am so grateful for Morgan and for this unexpected turn in our conversation that I hope will speak to your souls. You can keep up with her at her website. She also posts videos to YouTube daily and she has a workbook available called “A New Narrative.”

This episode is brought to you by Steereo.com. Are you obsessed with music? Are you looking to stay ahead of the next big music trends? If you become a contributor at Steereo.com/contributor, you can get rewards for rating music!

And another thing- I’ve launched a Bible study for YOU! The Space Between Bible Study and Meditation Guide will give you tools to create a regular rhythm of time with God. Head over to therefinedwoman.com/prayer to grab your guide.

XO,

Kat Harris

Check out this episode!