Movement Matters #2: Creating a Personal Mission Statement
The second part of a 3-episode companion series intended as a sort of study guide for Katy’s upcoming book, Movement Matters, in which Katy discusses using a personal mission statement as a new alignment tool.
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DANI: Welcome to the Katy Says Podcast, where Dani Hemmat (that’s me!) and Katy Bowman talk about movement, the tiny details, the larger issues and why movement matters.
KATY: I’m Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA
DANI: And I’m Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher. And this episode of Katy Says is part of a series intended as sort of a study guide for the latest and quite possibly the most mind-blowing book that Katy has written.
KATY: And what’s it called? M-M-M-Movement M-M-M-Matters
DANI: And it matters oh so much already
DANI: and it hasn’t even hit the stands.
KATY: Yeah, I love that we’re doing a study group for a book that no one has read yet.
KATY: But, I got a text from someone who has read it and it was like, “I’m so glad you’re doing this series because I need it.” So I almost feel like because we’ve done it ahead of time, as soon as the book comes out, it’ll be like a cushion. It’s like these podcasts are cushions. They’re cushions that you can nest upon as you make your way through the book. Today, though, we’re not talking about the book in general. We’re talking about one piece of the book that I thought was … that’s helpful and even if you don’t read the book
KATY: I find it to be tremendously helpful. Which is why we’re talking about it, right?
KATY: It is the personal mission statement. a.k.a. pms
DANI: Ooh, I love pms
KATY: A never … everyone can be talking about, it’s like, “I’ve got a pms.” It’s like, “Oh really, do tell!”
DANI: I’m so happy now. I have a pms. I’m so happy. Everything feels better.
KATY: Oh, your personal mission statement. It’s also, it’s like, it’s like in a new alignment point. So if you were excited about knowing, you know, where, how to measure where your hips are relative to your ankles or your knee pits are relative to your thigh bones and where your head is and your ears are, and your clavicles… all these things, all these alignment points that I’ve put out over the last ten years, all of them reside within the context of this alignment point which is your personal mission statement. So, you’re gonna ask me a ton of questions because
DANI: There’s gonna be a lot of questions, I think, that come with this sort of thing.
KATY: It is. And that’s the nature of the show, but before we get going, you brought up the fact that the mission statement, when we discussed you reading Movement Matters, you were like, “Ok, the personal mission statement.” Do you have one now or yet or are you still thinking about it?
DANI: I am still… I do not have a completed one. I am working on my keywords, which is the first part of it. And I’m doing it by myself
KATY: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
DANI: Whereas you said that you sat down with your fam and did it, I have a little bit different family configuration because I have teenagers
DANI: and I imagine that what they think is groovy and their keywords are going to be way different from mine. And so we’ll talk about that later but right now I am doing my own so that when I go into a group one I have solid footing of what matters most to me.
KATY: Yeah. And I imagine that that’s gonna be a big thing. Like, “my family’s not on board with my personal mission statement.” And it’s like well, the good news is that that doesn’t really matter. Because I think seeing that in the future will keep you from actually fleshing out your own. So it’s like, there’s a lot of things that you’re deciding yourself
KATY: so don’t use that as a deterrent for doing your own. You know what I mean? Like, the fact that it’s gonna be hard later on, perhaps, should not be used as kind of a subconscious way to kind of undermine you doing your own.
KATY: Because there’s gonna be a lot of times when you get to make your own decisions and this is helpful. So, that’s awesome.
DANI: Well, and I’m kind of looking at it as having two. My pms and and Fms which is my family mission statement.
KATY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally.
DANI: So I’m gonna kind of put them in two categories. Yeah.
KATY: Can you share one keyword?
DANI: One keyword? Oh
KATY: Just one.
KATY: All right. I like it. Nature was definitely one of my keywords.
DANI: Yeah. Fresh air’s a biggie
DANI: That was actually when we moved from where we lived in Montana to Boulder, my husband, who wasn’t so keen on where we were living, he said, “Can I pick where we go next?” And I said, “As long as it has fresh air, mountains, and sunshine, I’ll go anywhere.” And so those are three of my keywords.
KATY: And so, well so I think a lot of people will say, “Oh I this sounds interesting.” You’ve probably been using some aspect of a personal mission statement. You just didn’t have it fleshed out before.
KATY: It was kind of like, “I was already kind of exercising, I kind of knew good posture, bad posture, it’s just kind of vague.” But what you’re doing now is you’re simply dialing it in to be a little bit more objective. That’s all.
DANI: Yes. Yes.
DANI: You go much more in depth in the book into the pms and the reason why we need a mission statement. Like why it’s so helpful to, you know, aligning your life. And I mentioned in our last podcast that it makes so much more sense when it comes to the stacking of your life
DANI: Like trying to – because you can get overwhelmed with all of the things you want to do. Like everybody’s busy. Like I don’t know anybody that I talk to that doesn’t say, you know, “I’m not busy.” Everybody’s like, “I’m so busy.” There’s got to be a way to stack it and get it all – get what we need. Could you kind of talk about how you came to realize that you wanted a personal mission statement and what creating it entailed.
KATY: Well, the nice thing about Movement Matters is that I kind of explain the process a little bit more. So I’m not gonna get into that super deeply, but it started like this. I’m constantly making decisions. Constantly! And I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a business owner, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m being asked to weigh in on lots of things. But I can’t imagine that the number of decisions I make are that much more than anyone else’s. Maybe they’re coming through – maybe you’re answering your family, and maybe your employer. But when you work with the public and you work in such a wide spectrum. Like I just work with so many – I mean thousands of people – I’m being asked by a lot of different people to weigh in on decisions. And I was just feeling overwhelmed a few years ago. Every time someone would ask me something special, like I’d have to re-think through all of the pros and cons and I had no … I had no beacon for how to make a decision any longer.
KATY: I was like, who am I trying to, like am I trying to move my business forward? Am I trying to, you know, voting? It’s just like, it’s issues. There’s just so many issues that I was constantly having to think through every single time. But I had no beacon. I had lost true north. Because something could be beneficial in one way but it would be – I found myself in situations where it’s like, “Well that’s great, that was good for my business but I feel personally like my family just took a step back.” Or I had to subtract from my personal health to meet this other need over here.
DANI: That’s probably like what every single person listening to this struggles with right now.
DANI: So familiar.
KATY: I only know my own experience and so maybe this has nothing to do with owning a business or working with thousands of people. This might just be our reality right now. Which is you are constantly doing these pro/con lists in your head. Right?
KATY: And so I found it was just really hard to make a pro and con if I didn’t know what I was after, right? Like, what’s a pro? Like, something could be a pro but pros and cons, good or bad, right or wrong, they’re not inherent properties as much as you need some sort of zero or beacon that you’re trying to head to. Right, like
KATY: what’s a good training program? Well, it depends. Are you trying to be the top cyclist in the world or do you want to be able to walk ten miles when you’re seventy? Right? Like there are good or bad exercises for either one of those outcomes. So I was like, “I’ve got all these – everyone’s got, in the movement world, these training protocols and these super nuanced with like, ‘I’m gonna increase my run by this many seconds’ or ‘I want to be able to go strong or harder'” like there’s training protocols, that a lot of people are following to dial in their physical performance. And I thought, I really feel like my life as a whole warrants the sane. I need to figure out where I’m headed. What do I value? What don’t I value? So that before I say, before I make a decision, it’s like is that taking me farther away from what my goal was. I realize I didn’t know what those were. I didn’t know where I was going. So, I started with a personal mission statement. And I’ve probably been, before it had a name, probably been working on a personal mission statement for the last ten years. You know there’s lots of ideas about alignment and living in alignment and when you’re in and out of life alignment and I always felt badly when I chose something that, you know, was a good – like it wasn’t a bad decision, but it just didn’t … it wasn’t an authentic – it wasn’t a good expression of where I wanted to go
KATY: but that’s where I started. And that’s what this has grown out of.
DANI: Well and you mention in the book too that you had read somewhere that, you know, every company should have
KATY: Yes. Thank you.
DANI: and every organization should have that.
DANI: Is that kind of when it clicked in like “Oh, maybe that’s what I’m looking for?”
KATY: Yes. Thank you. Thank you. I totally forgot that I wrote that. I was in a meeting. I serve on the board of a non-profit and this non-profit that was just starting, which is the nature school non-profit that I’m on the board, she was saying, “You’re board, your organization, needs to have these principles. And the principles are there.” So like for example, we’re a pretty local, natural organization. So it came time to do, like a fundraiser. And someone’s like, “Oh, you know, go to Costco and grab some hot dogs.” And it was like eeeeer…that felt totally out of alignment
KATY: for this particular organization. Or someone was saying, “Well I can get some sodas donated” and it was like, “We don’t want to serve sodas and hot dogs from the industrial food complex necessarily at this striving to connect with your community.”
KATY: So you know, it was to that degree. And I was like, “Yeah, man, that’s right.” So she was just saying, and that was one application of it, but she said, “There’s all sorts of decisions that you’re making every day. Who to hire, where to take money from, where not to accept money from. You know all these things that we totally get on the bigger scale but maybe just didn’t apply to ourselves.” And I was like, “Well, man, that would be handy.”
KATY: Because if I had just even three or four things written down. And I’ve got a bunch of loose things in my head, but to have them written down, that’s empowering to go, “let me consult my, let me consult my principles on the matter.” You know. And then it was really easy to go, you know, I couldn’t, sometimes I couldn’t even figure out what about a decision bothered me, but when I had my list it was like, “Oh, it’s right here.” It’s like this aspect of it isn’t jiving. And I can see clearly an easier way to do it.
DANI: Well it seems like it’d be easier to keep multiple principles and desires straight
KATY: Exactly. Exactly.
DANI: Whereas, you know, in your head you’re just like, “Ah, I don’t like that. That’s not what I want to do.” But there’s all sorts of different layers
DANI: It seems like having it written down you could keep things more … be more clear about what you’re doing.
KATY: Yeah. And it’s almost like my gut had a reaction to this isn’t right, this doesn’t feel good. But that’s not very specific. It’s kind of like looking at a math problem and going, “I don’t know if that’s right.” But you don’t know where it’s incorrect. So you can’t fix it.
KATY: All you have is a vague sense of it doesn’t feel good, and that’s where I stopped. And a lot of times I would choose things that seemed pretty ok but they didn’t quite feel good. And then through this personal mission statement, I was like, “Oh it’s because I didn’t break down what it is that I wanted clear enough where I could see that this wasn’t taking me closer to it.” That’s all that it is. It’s a super simple – and I have felt like – you know last year on our end of the year show we’re talking about where we see ourselves and I really feel like this, this is a biggie. Right? You know this process. It’s not something that you whip out in a day.
KATY: You kind of mull on it. Which we’ll talk about in a little bit. But it’s a long process. And I felt like it was just as going to a retreat. I feel like a lot of people are going to retreats and spending a lot of money, sometimes not on the relaxation but the self-clarification…
KATY: This is an exercise in self-clarification that can be applied to every aspect of your life, including, as I am fleshing out in Movement Matters, your movement or your exercise life. You know, who knew that your personal mission statement and your exercise program would sync up some day and occupy the same space in your Venn diagram but they do. Every aspect of your life really should.
DANI: Oh. I’m psyched about it. But it is a long process. I mean I kind of sat down and started, like, “Ok, I’m gonna write this.” And by the time I got through my keywords I was like, “Oh I’m done for now.”
KATY: Like a novel, you’re like, “I’m just gonna whip through this guys. I’ll be out with some self-clarification in twenty. So keep the home fires …”
DANI: “I don’t need your retreat. I’ve got a pencil and paper!” All right. Well going through this, like I’ve read that chapter several times and like I said, started working on my own. And it brings up a lot of questions. And I’m sure they’re not just questions that are in Dani’s head, like, and so I just compiled a list that I thought others might be thinking once they go through this work or listen to this podcast.
DANI: I’m gonna toss them at you for quick answers. We’ll try to stay on track because I want, well, I want to know what you think about it and what would be your opinion. Not like you’re the goddess of personal mission statements but you’ve probably encountered some of these in the past few years of working on your pms.
KATY: laughs. My pms.
DANI: laughs yeah
KATY: Is really on everyone’s mind.
DANI: All right. I know you don’t want to share your entire mission statement but could you just give a couple of examples out of your own mission statement?
KATY: Yes. So in the book, I kind of lead you through my process and really show you lots of my particular process but so little of my life is actually my own these days, so I have chosen not to share my exact personal mission statement. But it boils down to, and this is in the book, that it’s the search of movement responsibility fun
DANI: Yeah, you called it service, which I thought was cool.
KATY: Yeah, I mean service is
DANI: Is that responsibility?
KATY: No. I see those as two different things
KATY: Responsibility to me is, and you brought this up, I think, also too, taking responsibility means that to say something like, “I didn’t know” is different than like, “It didn’t occur to me to go out and find out to know.” Like there’s a lot of information that we’re not really assuming responsibility for because we’re probably not aware that it’s just inherited or passed down. So I’m really, I’m always just interested in, and maybe that’s where my curiosity comes from and my own pursuit, it’s like I’m interested in knowing for myself or assuming responsibility because I feel like my behavior is based on my knowledge. And if I’m not sure where my knowledge is coming from then how can I be taking responsibility for my behavior. So that’s where responsibility is. Where service is, it’s really important to me to be doing things that don’t only benefit myself. So that’s what I mean by service.
KATY: That a large portion of my life is doing things for the benefit of others. So that’s the difference between the two. I’m sure they are probably linked somewhere but that’s how I see those two things. And then, of course, there’s this natural, that I tax, and this is through my awareness and through my responsibility that I tax others and the environment, that I tax everything as little as possible. That’s not more than what’s necessary. That’s taken a long time for me to really see what’s necessary and to see “wow, this is, I perceive this as necessary but really this is a byproduct of my laziness or my sedentarism” and so, Movement Matters is essentially an execution of my personal mission statement, right? All those pieces. With the exception that I had to be very sedentary to write the book so in that way through my own mission statement I perceived the value of exchanging that sedentary time for the output as maybe having a greater impact, like it was my responsibility to write the book, I felt
KATY: and that even though I was sedentary for a period of time, that I will, that the product of the book and me myself will make it up in the long run. That my contribution of service will be greater for doing so.
KATY: So it’s not always like, you’re not doing the exact same thing minute to minute. You’re just thinking of, like, “What’s my purpose here? And how do I want to spend my time.”
DANI: Well yeah. Your mission statement doesn’t seem like it’s two lines that you always have to walk inside. It’s like your lighthouse, is what it seems like.
KATY: Yeah. Yeah.
DANI: You know when you feel lost or overwhelmed it’s your lighthouse. It’s not like you have to be perfect for your pms all the time.
DANI: Then when you talked about when you did your keywords and you talked about how you made them into phrases.
DANI: Like nature was one of your keywords but then you made it into a sentence fragment, like moving through nature.
KATY: Well the process, yes, the process of writing the mission statement is that you list the keywords, you list words that embody you. And then …or that you embody, maybe. And then you kind of make phrases because like, in the book, I was like, well nature is a keyword but I don’t really enjoy, all that much, looking at pictures of nature. You know what I mean? So from there it was to clarify what is it about this keyword. Like for example, knowledge… books. Books interestingly enough was on my original list of keywords. But once you start integrating… first you take words and then you expand those words into phrases and then you start meshing the phrases together. And so books initially was on my list. Like I’m all about books. But after more reflection, it turns out, like, I’m more about knowledge or information
KATY: And so I was like, “Wow, books is kind of, it’s almost like the story.” Like I keep telling myself, “You need these books.” Well, it turns out that I don’t crave books in the same way that my daughter doesn’t crave high heeled shoes. She craves adornment. High heels were, like, the easy way to get it. Well, I crave knowledge, information. And books was just like the fastest fix. It was the model that was shown to me over and over again. But since then I’ve learned that there are other ways to gather knowledge that don’t require copious amounts of indoor sedentarism other things that were not on my list. Right?
KATY: And so that’s when I was able to clarify that it wasn’t books at all. That books was actually maybe working against me a little bit. That it was information.
KATY: And then I was like, “Wow, well then I can figure out how to get more information on the go or in life classes.” And, you know, or whatever, or sitting down and just watching. Maybe I don’t have to read a book about birds. Maybe I can just sit out in a field for two hours and dedicate those two hours of reading time to just looking at birds where I just learn more about birds than I ever would have through someone else’s filter through this habit/perhaps addiction that I have which is the books.
KATY: Can you handle that!
DANI: When you’re taking those phrases, you know that define you or that you’re working on for your mission statement and you layer them on top of each other, you stack them so you’re not just, you know, you’re taking a walk and you’re listening to a podcast, so you’re getting your moving through nature and you’re gaining knowledge and that’s smart because then you’ve taken those two separate things, as we always talk about with the stacking your life, and you’ve made them both happen at the same time. Do you think when, like when you listed out the stuff in your mission statement and you began to overlap and stack them in the creation, did that kind of lessen …was there overwhelm when you looked at all of those? Because I would think that that would lessen the overwhelm of well this is all the things I want to do but there’s only 24 hours in a day but if I stack them up like that, it would lessen the overwhelm or was the stacking initially part of what you wanted to do for the mission statement. Was that, like, part of… was stacking one of your keywords?
KATY: Well, no. But it’s a key part of the process. Right So, you’re not, you’re trying to get all of your keywords into a single sentence. Or a couple of sentences, really.
KATY: You know, like, if you look at the mission statement of a company, it’s not always a huge list of principles. Eventually, it becomes a couple of statements that embody all the elements of it. And so that is, essentially, stacking. Right? When you take five to ten keywords and sometimes if you have a lot of keywords you’re looking and going, “you know, could I group these words together? Would there be a single word that would maybe pick up or replace two or three of these words.” So in that way you’re stacking, right? You’re
KATY: You’re getting closer and closer. Like, I feel like my entire mission statement could probably be replaced with a single word which would be Nature. And probably that is, ultimately, for many people. Where there’s just one word, but we maybe just don’t know it yet.
DANI: How long did it take to create what you have now for your mission statement?
KATY: Well, ten years.
DANI: Well, wait three years ago when you realized that you needed some sort of beacon, though? Is that?
KATY: Well, I think that you could probably, I mean if you took, you know, I’m not sure how much time out there everyone has to mull on something but I think that if you had the luxury of time you could probably craft a well functioning mission statement over a weekend. You know, that’s for people who don’t have any kids, who are like, “I’m gonna go to a cabin in the woods and make my mission statement.” Or you take a mission statement retreat, you could probably come up with something fairly quickly.
KATY: But the thing is, it’s malleable.
KATY: It’s going to keep changing. And the things that are important to you now won’t always be. And I feel like, you know, this show is a lot about solutions. I tend to be a lot about solutions. So when you can see what a solution is that maybe you hadn’t thought of some aspect that you hadn’t thought of before, you’re able to modify your statement into something tighter.
KATY: So I would say that the mission statement I have now was maybe over a few days
KATY: And it’s a not a personal mission statement. I would say that my personal statement is more – severe is not the right word – but there’s less room for – it’s more idealistic.
KATY: Mine personally is more idealistic When you branch out into including other people you have to consider where those other people are with theirs and that their life’s mission is not your life’s mission. So then, that’s where a family or maybe even a partnership mission statement will vary a little bit.
DANI: Ok. Do you have two separate ones? Like a family one and a Katy one?
KATY: I have a Katy…yeah, I would say that they’re less concrete but yes. I mean definitely, you know, my kids are small and as I said in the book, we involved our children with ours. But at the same time, we’re kind of responsible for steering our kids a little bit initially. So my son’s mission statement would probably be “eat all the sugar” And there’s a steering of that, you know, that comes out through dialogue and it’s like, “is that really what you want?” and then it turns out that maybe a more deeper keyword of my children’s ideal mission statement is that they’re in control of their own lives. That they desire control of their decisions. And so, I find that super interesting. So then, it makes it easier to see like, what you desire here is control which is why the opposite of anything I want or maybe your natural way of invoking your own control. So then it’s like, ‘Ok well then where else can we allow you to steer your lives 100% so that you’re meeting that need” without having to go with a thing that actually makes you by your own admission and demonstration ill and upset and you know all these other things. And so, like they’re, you know, my son, when he was, we have these iphones. This is an example of mission statement before it was really even an action. We got new smartphones before we had our first child. That was almost six years ago. And then maybe when he was two, I travel a lot for work so someone was like “oh you should get these apps for games” and I might have even said this on the show before. So we had a couple travel games, but he wanted to play them all the time. And I was like, “those are for travel.” I was saying “no” No, no no no no. And I was like, I don’t want to be the person to say no, and I was trying to explain to him and he was like, “can you just get rid of the game off your phone then?” And I was like, “Duh,” it never occurred to me. It never occurred to me. It occurred to me to say no
KATY: one thousand times. He couldn’t not ask. Like the desire for still, mental feeding was no different than me sitting down to a book. I want to be still.
KATY: I want to put things into my brain. He wanted the same thing. He couldn’t read. This was like the perfect way to get a fix in the same way that I would get a fix all day long if someone would let me. And I was like, “Oh my gosh. I never saw it ’til now.” I took them off that day. He never asked again.
DANI: That’s cool.
KATY: He’s never asked again. It’s never been an issue again. He’s never…he had control over the situation, he utilized it. I responded. And we have just done that over and over again. And one day I’m like, you know, “pick up your stuff, pick up your stuff.” Like every parent, probably. And then finally I was like, “You know what I want? I want to get rid of all the things. I want to go into a cabin, just a log cabin, one room in the woods” and he was like, “Can it have a fireplace?” And I was like, he doesn’t even care if we got rid of all of this stuff. Like that would be a solution for him, because he’s struggling to work against the environment that I have facilitated.
KATY: You know, like, to me you have no idea how downregulated this environment is. But it’s still up-regulated significantly from like his nature.
KATY: So, yeah, that’s how we kind of blend aspects of the family mission statement you know where they’re thinking of all of it.
DANI: How often do you check in with it? Do you check in with it intentionally or do you check in like, maybe we should modify it like when something like that comes up. I mean do you intentionally check in with your mission statement?
KATY: Yeah. I would say that my mission statement, I think of it all the time. Because, again, we’re making all those decisions all of the time. And you know it’s even little things like, “Oh I don’t want to cook tonight. Can we just order out?” And it’s like, “Ugh, that’s kind of against the mission statement” You know what I mean? Like.
KATY: Like, because, I’m not really tired. Or why am I tired? Then I look back at some choices that I made. You know, I might have to just, the consequences are, you’re gonna be a little tired as your schlepping your meal. Life because I made some other choices later one.
KATY: So it’s really easy to not pay attention to the consequences of my own decisions if I don’t use my mission statement. So I would say that as far as, you know, I’ve got big central pieces of my mission statement in my head all the time. Bigger decisions, pull out a piece of paper and take a look. Sometimes when a family seems to be at odds, pull out the mission statement, take a look. Does it need to be modified? You’re gonna find that it needs to be modified pretty regularly certainly if you’re really making decisions by it I think that you’re gonna find that it’s being modified more frequently. And in the direction that you, like becoming , like I said, becoming more idealistic. Because ideas kind of fall outside the spectrum of normal behavior until you start pointing your behavior that way. And then all of a sudden what seemed ideal like is now every day.
DANI: Right. That kind of makes sense.
KATY: And then it’s like, well where were we going before it’s like great. You’re just, it’s like transitioning. It’s like minimal shoes. You here you are, and you’ve been wearing, you know, air jordans for the last 40 years and you’re like, “I wanna go run this canyon barefoot.” Right. That’s the ideal. You are where you are. You’ve got the foot strength and mobility. Shoe closet, you know, people that you would go to school with and work with – all of that is what’s happening in your world right now. You make these tiny steps. But then a few years later, there you are running barefoot down the canyon and you’re like “I did it.”
DANI: Those are always fun realizations when you’ve achieved and ideal.
KATY: Yeah. It’s just like, so, so you can start with the most ideal that’s on there but you know you phrase it in a way that allows for some wiggle room a little bit.
DANI: Yeah. Could you guess how many times you may have modified it since you first solidified.
KATY: Oh a thousand.
KATY: No, I mean probably seven or eight, like you know, movement is a big deal. For our, for us, part of moving here, moving from California Los Angeles area to the rural area in Washington, now that was an execution. For those of you who have ever read the blog post about when we were going to move this, leave this rural area and made the decision in an hour that we were not, after having everything all complete…
DANI: Everything was packed up.
KATY: Everything was packed up. We had a lease. We had a lease in a new state. We had gotten rid of our house. We had done everything. And then in an hour we’re like, “This decision doesn’t feel right on the gut level because it is out of alignment for us.”
KATY: We, we mistakenly went in search for the thing that wasn’t our true thing. It was the easier decision to go than to stay.
KATY: And it was like, eeeeer… we did this huge thing that was like uuuuh… it was like uuuuugh… I’m making a noise because you don’t understand. We made the decision at like two o’clock in the morning. Everything we own had already been sold and was packed in the back of a like 15 foot…
DANI: A Uhaul trailer wasn’t it?
KATY: Trailer Uhaul hooked up to our van. And my husband came in at like 2 o’clock..there were so many signs, we couldn’t get it all loaded up and it wasn’t fitting and he came back in and was like, “I don’t, ugh, I don’t think we should move.”
KATY: And I was like, “No, I don’t think we should either.” And you know what, there was no real consequence to saying it. There was no real consequence. It also helps you identify what a consequence is.
KATY: Usually the things that we perceive as really big consequences are fiscal, financial. Like the penalties are about you know, dollars. And while that’s certainly on everyone’s mind and is a necessity to a certain extent, we usually don’t see the full picture of those dollars and why our lives cost, you know, the way that they do. And so when you think about it, large, and bigger and bigger, I was like, “I don’t want to regret this decision all because I’m afraid of the financial penalty. I’ll take the hit” Or we’ll work it out. And we did. We worked it out. We found a sub-lett-er for our other place. You know, I had to subsidize it a teeny tiny amount but I was like, so what, this is worth, you know.
KATY: I could find the value in it because it was a decision that was really in alignment with our mission statement.
DANI: Well, that’s kind of a good segue to the next question that I had: Did you originally put anything on the mission statement that wasn’t you that you thought maybe it should be you?
KATY: Yeah, that’s where a lot of the revisions are. The process, and this is in the book, when your mission statement isn’t working for you or you find that man, I made a decision based on my personal mission statement and it still didn’t work out, then I always realize there was an element to the mission statement that was more like who other people thought I should be. Who I thought I should be for others rather than my most authentic self.
KATY: That’s what the revisions mostly are. Like, turns out, I don’t prioritize that at all. Or, sometimes it turns out that I had definite priorities that I had been not acknowledging, needs that I had not been acknowledging because I had felt that they had been too whimsical.
KATY: And there was a big hole in my life over and over again and then I was like, “you know what, I have this need but somewhere along the line I learned that it wasn’t a valuable need and so I kind of squashed it.” And so once I started putting that need down on paper, I’m like, “It turns out that I do need this.” Then low and behold, things started stacking more easily.
KATY: Decisions became more…
DANI: Are you gonna say what that is or is that secret?
KATY: I feel like I don’t need to.
DANI: If it’s secret it’s ok. That’s fine.
KATY: I feel like I don’t need to. I feel like that right now if this resonates with you there’s probably an aspect of yourself, it’s like, “Dang it. I do need to go on 40-day walk about every year”. You know or like, whatever it is.
KATY: Some wild, crazy, thing that you’ve been told is selfish or self-indulgent or egotistical or whatever it is, write it down. These are just your words. No one else has to see them right now. Not that there’s anything wrong with other people seeing them but if other people seeing them – your fear of other people seeing them – prevents then from writing down the things that you need then lock it up somewhere.
KATY: And burn it when you’re done. Like, those words that you write, just throw them in a fire. Don’t have to worry about it. Like it’s not your diary.
DANI: Right. That’s good advice. Thank you. How, well, this might be a really silly question. But like if you could, in a couple sentences, say how it has improved your life and your family life by having this in hand.
KATY: Decisions are easy. And it becomes clear where to put your time and attention. I, we all, are struggling, like our time and our attention is like spread thin over all of these things. And I think this is what’s key about Movement Matters, is the explanation of the separation of your life from the nature of all other living things, right? It’s like so thin and separate and vast.
KATY: That what we were able to do was realize that there were key places to be putting our attention that would meet the needs that had been met by putting our attention so thin. So, for example, those of you might have noticed, like my facebook presence is almost nil
KATY: Where Facebook used to make up a large portion of my work. My social media. Like I engaged with facebook regularly to teach that way. And I did that for a few years. I mean it was easy. I had kids, It was easy for me to put that out. Ok, I got that, teaching that. But I was like, you know, I don’t even want to go anymore. It’s too much screen time, you know, I still want to teach. I still wanted to teach. Teaching is important, you know, or being of services whether is was disseminating information or whatever, but I was like, “But I don’t want to sit on the computer. I want to move.” Like these people want to learn about movement, I want to teach movement. I don’t want to teach movement in words anymore. So that was when I was like, “Ok, what have I not been doing? I have not been teaching.. I’ve been not been making movement classes available to people.” So that allowed me one, so I know that you know this, but I’m gonna start having online classes that are recorded. So I teach classes here at my community. They’re recorded and made available for people listening. Which is helpful twofold. One, I don’t feel the need to have to go on facebook to connect with people through me standing in one place looking at a screen and typing. I can go down and I can move for an hour and now you learn and you can move for an hour too. And now my way of distributing information means that both of us get an hour of movement. That was different than me writing, you know, a paragraph on a research paper. Where everyone’s like, “That’s amazing, yes we should move more” Next thing on facebook.
KATY: You know what I mean? Like it became that. It became a lot of people trying to learn about movement but not actually moving. Meaning the prioritization, the constant input stream has really taken over and I was like, “Woah, I noticed that since teaching movement my movement has gone down and that seems wrong and out of alignment”
KATY: And so, I even changed the training program. I was like, the training program, the CEUS are now movement based. I’m moving, you’re moving, we’re actually moving to learn about movement. It’s less theoretical and you can see more now where you’re getting it and not getting it literally, you know, within your body. And so that was a way of stacking my life using my personal mission statement to shape my day to day behavior. My business behavior as well as how I am of service to others. But all of that, all I did was change one thing. I just started recording the class instead of taking that hour and working on facebook.
DANI: Ok. What would you say to someone who creates a very, authentic to themselves, mission statement but they’re just overwhelmed by implementing it all?
KATY; Well, you’re not really implementing it. I mean, you’re making a decision. Like, what’s a decision that you’re gonna have to make today? What’s for dinner? Right?
DANI: Well no, I plan my meals a week in advance so I have more time.
KATY: Ok, so
DANI: Organization’s one of my keywords.
KATY: Ok, so hold on a second. So you are going to make your dinner list
KATY: Well, that’s not true, though. You’re gonna just have to decide. Like what are you going to have for dinner tonight, Miss Organized?
DANI: A paleo chicken back with eggplants.
KATY: Ok. Is it already made?
KATY: Ok. So, outside is on your list
KATY: So you have the option, do you stay inside the kitchen or do you go outside to chop? You know what I mean? Like it’s implementing your mission statement the work simply is keeping it present.
KATY: Keeping your ideals present within yourself. You know you want to be outside more. Right? You said outside or fresh air, fresh air
KATY: Um, is there some aspect of what you’re doing offer you fresh air? Like that’s a big one for us. Like just being inside doesn’t feel good anymore. It’s like, “why aren’t we cooking things outside?” Like why don’t we have dinners based around our bar-b-que pit, like right? You love outside. Why not, and this could be fun and meet your family’s need for fun or different, like everyone, like if say, let’s blend our mission statements. Part of you know, responsibility is, you want to eat dinner? You need to contribute something to dinner, whether it’s you pick the thing, you help go to the store to get the thing or whatever. Right? That’s part of, for me, teaching responsibility. So if everyone in your family but the caveat is, we’re an outside family so therefore, everyone has to pick one meal, you gotta go on the internet and research it, look through your cookbooks that can be done, exclusively on the outside barbecue, and you have to come up with the ingredient list for whoever goes shopping. Right? So that’s, that’s a way of implementing your personal mission statement. Is to make the tasks that you do regularly, moment to moment be more in line with what you have said you are all about.
KATY: Right. And that’s the thing. That’s what stacking your life is. Is seeing where the things that you do, that the big ideals of your life that you have and the time that you’ve allotted for pursuing the big ideals of your life, the things that are most important to you as determined by you, you allot almost no time for. Meaning, like, you see your life as like this regular mash up of things that you do every day and then there are the big ideal things that you step out of your day to day life to do.
KATY: I’m like, your cooking dinner should align with your personal mission statement. Your choice for vacation should line up with your personal mission statement. Your donations, where you volunteer your time, where you go to school should line up with your personal mission statement. What your yard looks like should line up with your personal mission statement. Like every aspect of your life should line up with your mission statement. I suggest that everyone start with breakfast. I did this great interview with Kate Hanley and I’m gonna ask Kate if I can make it available. I wonder if we can get a clip from hers and put it in our podcast or maybe I’ll refer her that way.
DANI: Miss Mindbody Kate Hanley. Whooo!
KATY: Yes. Miss Mindbody Kate Hanley
DANI: Hashtag #KateHanley
KATY: I did a podcast with here where she was saying, “Where do we even start or begin?” I was like, “Why don’t we start with breakfast. It’s something that you do every single day. And chances are the thing that you do every single day might be out of alignment with who you are, you know.”
KATY: And I think there’s, I was like, “If you’re finding something…” like I remember once I posted on Instagram this, and I said this in our podcast, like I threw, I get up early, I take a walk. But I don’t only do that, I pop a chicken in the oven that I prepared the night before. And I’m not even that organized. So that when I’ve come back from an hour and a half of walk, I’ve got a fresh roasted chicken. Breakfast is done.
KATY: And someone was like, “I could never eat that. I could never eat chicken for breakfast. Chicken is for dinner.” You know what I mean.
DANI: Laughs. I actually have that on a bumper sticker.
KATY: A tattoo
DANI: Chicken is for dinner.
KATY: So it was like, we’ve got a lot of boxes in our mind about how we behave and that construct is really what’s keeping you from kind of executing your largest ideals – because chicken’s not… like my family would freak out if they didn’t have what for breakfast. Well then look at that, like is that serving you all … so like start with breakfast. How can you make your breakfast line up with your ideals somehow. Like
DANI: That’s awesome.
KATY: You know, like it’s just a good starting point. So maybe what could be cool is, how about this. You’re listening to this. You can send out some keywords. It’s like how can I get more nature in my breakfast. What do I do? I throw a blanket down outside and say “Kids, your breakfast is outside.” Right? That’s different than “We need to go outside for our health. We need to take a walk.”
KATY: Like they don’t value health. That’s not their, that’s like culturally conditioned to be like I need fresh air for my health. I need fresh air because it’s self-rewarding. It makes you feel better. Like feeling good is what you want better than a particular count you know, on your medical exam. So I don’t really preface anything with like here’s what we’re gonna do. It’s like if you want breakfast, it’s out there. Guess what, they want to eat. All of a sudden everyone’s outside. You know. It’s just more like that. So if you guys want to send us “how can I get more x” pick a keyword. Like music. What if music is your thing. Like, how can I get more, I love music and I love nature. I don’t know how to reconcile the two because I feel like practicing my instrument I’m locked up or whatever it’s like well, I was in the most awesome, like we were hiking and everyone had sticks this whole group of a nature school had sticks. We made a rocking forest band. We were out there and everyone had percussions and there was singing and we were in the forest just banging against…
DANI: Banging your sticks, that’s awesome.
KATY: Yes. I mean tapping and scratching the bark. (noise) and like shaking leaves and it was powerful because there was no part of me that wishes I was anyplace else getting something else. Like
DANI: That’s cool
KATY: It’s just that. I’m sorry to seem too excited about this everyone. If you’re like blech, too syrupy
DANI: I don’t think anybody’s like that.
KATY: I don’t know. I’m super excited about it.
DANI: Well this whole thing is such a big thing. I mean it’s not just this book. It’s just – it’s so big. And there’s so many different ways that you can go with this work. And it’s all very interesting.
KATY: Well I think so.
DANI: It is. It is. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting here. I’d be like, “man can she ramble on about stuff.” But no, it’s very interesting to me.
KATY: (sings) Ramble on…
DANI: Well I’ve got 10 minutes. I gotta pick up my kid at nature school. But I saw something on Instagram that I am guessing is totally like pms. Aligning with your personal mission statement
DANI: I saw a picture of your wee little pumpkins.
KATY: Oh my gosh aren’t they the cutest? They’re like apple sized pumpkins.
DANI: So sweet.
KATY: Grapefruits. They’re like grapefruits.
DANI: But we’ve got the American Thanksgiving coming up. Tell me what’s going on with these wee pumpkins
KATY: I don’t love Thanksgiving as a holiday. It holds lots of unhappiness for me. It was never a relaxed time with my family. It was always a stressful time. I remember people would be like, “dress up in your fancy clothes” and you know, my mom’s crying in the kitchen because the thing didn’t turn out and her parents are fighting. You know, it had a lot of weight. Also, I wasn’t in love with the history of it, either. So I just kind of, eh, never really made it, like it’s not like a family holiday for us. I mean it’s certainly, we’ll have a meal or whatever but it’s not a big deal. But I was like, I really, I do like this idea of giving thanks.
KATY: Well I’m like “What am I truly thankful for?” I’m looking back at the mission statement and I’m like, Ok, I can execute anything via my personal mission statement and feel, oh, so good about it. You know, I can feel like this is authentic celebration. This isn’t a holiday handed down to me that’s celebrating something that I don’t even know about, doing things that are totally out of alignment with me. And I’m not gonna go buy, you know, do I want to support industries that are raising animals like that. All this stuff.
KATY: So I felt always ok doing it. But then I was like, I want to give thanks, I like holding space for giving thanks so then I decided what I’m going to do , and it’s kind of in celebration of Movement Matters and this new idea and this personal mission statements. It’s really in the front of my mind obviously. I’m going to create a meal that comes solely from my own labor. Meaning I’m going to only, I’m gonna make a meal out of the foods that I either grew myself or harvested or walked to harvest where I engaged in the direct exchange of my labor for the thing. My time and attention went into procuring the things that I am most grateful for, right? Food, which is just aspects of nature and you know foraging and time outside and I’m gonna try to cook the entire thing outside.
DANI: Oh wow.
KATY: And it’s not going to be the traditional meal. But that’s fine because the traditional meal is out of alignment with me. You know, it’s not, but I’m very in line with giving thanks. So it was like, well how can I do it so I figured out a way to do it. And I’m super excited about it. Now this is fun. Right? This is what I would go to the movies for or something else. You know? It’s just finding another way of executing it which really allows me to embody the thing.
DANI: Well it’s super cool that you’re changing the flavor of it and reframing it from, you know, from childhood too.
DANI: You know you’re turning into a very good thing and I always love that. It’s one of the cool things about being an adult is getting to redo that stuff for yourself.
KATY: Yeah, and it wasn’t like, well I don’t want to do it differently. Like that’s, I always look at my motivation. My motivation is to do it differently than my parents did. Like, I see that often as a primary way and so instead of making that my focus it’s more like, I want to do it the way that I want to do it. Like the way that I … I’m like that my kids and my way. It’s like I have certain things that are important to me and I want to make sure that everything I do is a reflection of that. So it’s just a way of reframing that. So now I’m super stoked about the, I don’t know, the meal of grapefruit sized pumpkins with tomatoes and some dandelions. I don’t know. But, it’s gonna be fun. And now it’s fun. It’s a project. It’s creative, right? It allows that creative outlet, which I don’t get that much of.
KATY: So anyway. The end.
DANI: No it’s not.
KATY: It is. It’s actually just the beginning. If anyone wants to join me…
DANI: You wanna ask people?
KATY: If you want to join me at all doing a dish or just changing or you know, doing one aspect of, I’m just talking about specifically you know, American Thanksgiving. If you’re Canadian, I’m sorry. Your time has passed.
DANI: We missed it.
KATY: Yeah, or this can just be part of the breakfast challenge. It’s like, I think that we should make one breakfast out of food that we, even if it’s only one, one time. That brings enough attention, I think, to this whole process. You’re like, wow that was totally different than all other breakfasts we had normally made where it’s just like you go to the grocery store, we put the box of the thing, we don’t know where the stuff inside the box really came from. You know, we just paid the money that you know it paid for and then we poured it. You know where it just kind of all, your attention hasn’t really gone into it very much.
DANI: Right. Well I’m gonna include your Instagram post in the show notes
DANI: Because it’s cool. And if you join in the challenge. I mean it can be anything. It can be any part of it. Like you gave some good examples, like, just have one dish that’s entirely foraged or grown.
KATY: Walk to the store.
DANI: Walk to the store.
KATY: Walk to the store and get your turkey. Carry your Butterball safely home on your shoulder and you are in and you are already doing it differently.
DANI: And then post a picture of you doing it with #MovementMatters.
DANI: We can all be part of this extravaganza.
KATY: Yeah. And like I said, like it doesn’t, like to keep from being overwhelmed just do one thing. Just do one tiny thing differently
KATY: You don’t have to go out and hunt a turkey. You don’t have to do that. You know. And, even if you don’t eat turkey or any animal, it’s still like where did that come from, you know? How can I move more? You know. Are you gonna run a turkey trot? Maybe put that movement to different action. You know. Go volunteer on a farm, you know
KATY: with cranberries. Go harvest some cranberries.
DANI: Infinite possibilities!
DANI: Really cool.
KATY: Speaking of infinite, we’ve gone on way too long.
DANI: Can we still order Movement Matters?
KATY: Yes. Preorder is gonna come out still, I think, before the preorder ends. At this point, you’ll probably have to preorder on Amazon. But pre-orders help. I mean the more preorders – it gets the book in front of more people, more bookstores.
DANI: And even if you don’t pre-order on Amazon you can still get it from the publisher, right?
DANI: Ok, good.
KATY: Well yeah, you can order from Propriometrics Press but that preorder will probably be done pretty soon. If not, Amazon’s your man. The man.
KATY: All right, thanks for listening everyone. For more information, books, and online exercise classes, you can find me at NutritiousMovement.com and you can find more from Dani Hemmat at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
DANI: Gobble Gobble Gobble. See you later.
Voiceover: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful but it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.