EP21: The Art of Just Being w/ Katie Garces of KatieGarces.com

The Art of Just Being w/ Katie Garces of KatieGarces.com - Less Alone: A Podcast About Connection


“You’re not breaking any rules because there are no rules.” How to ask yourself important questions like: “what if I made friends with my body?” and, “what’s getting in the way of my greatness?” The joys of being a student, how to just “be”, releasing the mental obsession of “should I? Or shouldn’t I?”, big growth coming from big discomfort, letting go of the illusion of control, and trying to surrender to our bodies’ needs. 

We talk about all this and much more related to our connections to the mind, body, and spirit in our interview with the wonderful, Katie Garces, so be sure to tune in! 

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Intro and Outro Music Credit: Night Owl by Broke for Free from the Album Directionless EP (Creative Commons License)

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[0:00:00.6] ERIN LINEHAN: The contents of this show are for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only. Any information on the show does not create a client-therapist relationship and should not be taken as professional advice. Before making any decisions regarding your healthcare, ask your personal physician, or mental healthcare professional, or call 911 for any emergencies.

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[0:00:21.5] AMY MOORE: We are three friends exploring connection. From the coffee shop to the podcast studio. I’m Amy.

[0:00:26.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: I’m Anna.

[0:00:27.6] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m Erin.


[0:00:35.0] AMY MOORE: All right, everybody. We are so glad to be back in the studio. Today, we are with Katie Garces. Hello, Katie.

[0:00:42.5] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, Katie.

[0:00:43.2] KATIE GARCES: Hey, everybody.

[0:00:43.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Hey, Katie.

[0:00:44.7] KATIE GARCES: Hello, hello.

[0:00:45.5] AMY MOORE: Yeah, we’re super excited to have you on the podcast to talk a lot about – your work is around connecting people, I think primarily women. Is that right, Katie?

[0:00:57.1] KATIE GARCES: Yes. Primarily women.

[0:01:00.4] AMY MOORE: Really connecting them to mind, body and spirit from what I gather, in a nutshell.

[0:01:06.6] KATIE GARCES: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

[0:01:08.1] AMY MOORE: That’s awesome. Just a little bit of background. I first heard of you years ago through a Whole30 challenge. At that time, you were pretty involved in nutrition.

[0:01:20.3] KATIE GARCES: Yup. That’s how it all started.

[0:01:21.9] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Do you just want to dive right in and tell us about your journey, how it started in nutrition and then where you are today?

[0:01:30.2] KATIE GARCES: Yeah, absolutely. I’m a nurse practitioner by trade. That was my first career, if you will. Then after I had my kiddos, I have twin boys, I obviously took some time away from that work. Got really interested in nutrition and went and got my nutritionist certification and started down that whole path, which was exciting, because I’ve always been into nutrition and health. It was cool to start a coaching business around that. I was really focused on the paleosphere and Whole30 was literally my first coaching program that I ever did. Amy, you were definitely one of the first in there.

Then that just evolved over the years. The clients that I tend to attract tend to follow my own journey, which is really interesting. After really holding tight to a strict paleo diet and just lots of strictness in general around food, I had my own awakening around that and had to let go of that stuff and break up with paleo, break up with CrossFit, give myself some space to figure out what it was that I needed. Interestingly enough, it seemed that my clients and my following were on the same page. That really opened up a –

[0:02:35.0] AMY MOORE: Interesting.

[0:02:36.4] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. The personal development sphere, the spiritual development, intuitive eating. It really is getting back in touch with ourselves as women and what it is that we need and want, not because a diet says so, or a book, or a blogger, or the latest trend. That’s been several years in the making. Now a little bit less focused on nutrition. I still do some of that, because I’m geeky and I do love and nerd out on doing macros plans and stuff for people.

From a heart standpoint, what I’m really passionate about is really helping women connect and also just connect to their hearts and connect to themselves and figure out what it is that they want and need to be doing in their life. Not because they started down one path, so they feel they have to stick to that, or whatever. I feel we as we age, as we get – move on in our lives, those things change and what we need changes.

I feel we’re waiting for somebody to give us permission to make those changes and step out of maybe the old box that we were in, so through various ways, whether it’s one-on-one coaching, or groups that I do, we work on that.

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[0:03:55.8] ERIN LINEHAN: Did you have a specific moment in time when you talked about, you realize that things were strict with CrossFit and paleo and Whole30 and those things. Did you have a specific moment in time where you’re like, “I need to loosen the reins a bit.” Or was it gradual? Or what did that look like for you?

[0:04:09.9] KATIE GARCES: It was a little about – I got hit with adrenal fatigue in a big way.

[0:04:15.0] ERIN LINEHAN: The worst.

[0:04:16.5] KATIE GARCES: Yeah, I didn’t want to admit it. I learned about it in school and I was like, “Oh, yeah. That happens to other people. Not me. I’m super type-A. I can do it all.”

[0:04:24.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: What is adrenal fatigue, for those that don’t know?

[0:04:27.4] KATIE GARCES: Sure. Adrenal fatigue; our adrenals, the glands in our body that help kick out cortisol and help us get through emergencies and stress. They’re there for a reason. They’re important. If we live in a very high-stress lifestyle constantly, those adrenal glands basically poop out. We’re not meant to be –

[0:04:48.0] AMY MOORE: Is that the fight-or-flight?

[0:04:50.0] KATIE GARCES: Exactly. Yeah. Fight-or-flight, like I said, that’s very important that we have that and that would help us evolve and stay alive as a species, but we’re not meant to be in that mode all the time. We’re meant to be in that mode for brief little bursts, to save our life from running from a tiger, or that was thousands of years ago. Now to save our life when we’re in a car incident, or whatever. We don’t run at that high, high-level of stress and cortisol day in and day out for months at a time. That includes physical stress, so CrossFitting way too much, eating way too low carb. All of those are stressors on our body. Tie that into I was going to school, I was building my business, I was still working, I had two year-old twins. I mean, there was no rest. It was non-stop.

[0:05:33.7] AMY MOORE: Oh, my gosh.

[0:05:35.7] KATIE GARCES: One day and I started gaining weight and I gained 10 pounds in six months at doing absolutely nothing different. I was like, “What is going on?” I wasn’t eating any different. Really not so smart of me. I just started exercising harder and eating more low carb and my body was like, “Enough.” One day, I just found myself on the couch. I just couldn’t get up. I couldn’t get to a workout. I had been to several different practitioners. Finally, it was an Ayurvedic doctor was like, “You need to just rest. You need to just rest. The only thing you are allowed to do is walk and maybe gentle yoga.”

Of course, to my brain and my heart [inaudible 0:06:09.9] was like, “No.” By then, I knew at my heart, I was like, “You have got to stop.” That was a big turning point. I did start walking outside every day and that was just time for reflection, time to look deeper and be like, “What is going on,” right? Because I had to let go. I had to let go of control. I had to give my body the rest. I had to step back from work. That was definitely a pivotal moment going from just hardcore coaching and working to, “Okay, there’s more to the picture here. We need to dive in.” That was the beginning of a big spiritual journey for me and personal development and more to the picture than just diet and a calorie counting type-A freak that I had become.

[0:06:53.0] AMY MOORE: That is super. I mean, the three of us are pretty type-A as well. I feel when you have those, it’s just so hard. I’m sure, I can only imagine how much you had going on, like how much you were pushing. I mean, just with two-year-old twins in and of itself. Then the business and then your own business and the exercise and the dieting. How was that emotionally for you, just to go from pushing so hard, to then – I mean, really, just surrendering I would imagine at some point to your body’s fatigue, or your body’s needs maybe. I don’t know.

[0:07:33.5] KATIE GARCES: Exactly. Yes. That is the exact word that I use when I think about that time in my life was surrender, because I had to. I had no choice. To function as a mom, to function as a person, I mean, I had to surrender and be like, “Okay, I have to give my body the time.” I will say it took close to a year; nine, 12 months for myself to really feel like myself again after that rest. To be able to enjoy the workouts that I’d like to do, a little bit more intense and stuff.

Yeah, it was really – it was one of the hardest lessons of my life. I am thankful for it, obviously. In hindsight, it was really rough to go through at the time, but I’m thankful for it now because I can not only help others see it. When we’re in it, like I said, I learned about this in school, but I was never – I couldn’t look at myself and be like, “Oh, my gosh, do you see that you’re about to – everything’s about to crash.” I couldn’t see it for myself. Now I’m able to help others see it before they get to that point. That’s a big goal. I don’t want to get to that point, where they can’t get off the couch and they can’t get their work out and they gain weight and feel like crap.

For myself, because I am still wired that way, I still tend to go balls to the wall and I can now recognize when I’m getting, pushing a little hard. I can say to myself, “Okay, you need to take it off. You need to go for a massage. Or you need to go for a walk, instead of going to lift at the gym, or whatever it is.” Those were lessons that are hard earned, but I’m very thankful for now.

[0:08:58.4] AMY MOORE: Yeah. From the nutrition then, how did you – so you went from nutrition, then you had your own experience of learning. You had the break up with the strict dieting plans. Then where did that whole journey lead for you?

[0:09:16.1] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. It started with just digging a little deeper like I said. I wasn’t just reading nutrition books anymore. I was reading more spiritual and personal development books and just trying to figure out, “Okay, what else is going on? There’s got to be more here.”

As I said, I kept – initially, it was the type of clients that would come to me. They would come and do Whole30, have some success. Then two, three months later, they’d be back, “Okay, Katie. I gained my weight back. What do you have for me now?” It was this roller coaster of – and I was the same for a long time. Okay, well I did – I really stick for a while. I have that ‘success’ I want at the scale and then things and out of that strict plan and then it’s like a free-for-all.

Yeah, just going from on or off site, on or off a challenge, strict and then a free-for-all. That’s very energetically draining. That’s no way to live. It’s actually not that healthy to be super healthy for a while than not for the rest of the time. That was where I got really interested in the psychology of eating, Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Marc David’s work and got really into intuitive eating, which is a scary place to be for somebody who has always felt like they need to be on a diet, or on a plan.

It was real scary, because when you don’t have structure and you don’t have anything to follow, you have to learn to trust yourself. You have to learn to tap into what your body really wants and needs. That’s more carbs. You’ve been eating low carb for your last two years, that feels scary. Trusting my body and really learning how to tap into that was one of the most freeing things that I ever stepped into.

[0:10:53.6] ERIN LINEHAN: Is there specific ways that you started to trust your body and to tap in? Do you have a way to do that, or what was your process around that?

[0:11:03.1] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. I mean, I – I think I just told myself – well, let me think. Yeah. When I finally decided to do it for real, it was around the holidays which is an interesting –

[0:11:12.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Atta girl. That’s a big challenge. Go big or go home, Katie.

[0:11:17.4] KATIE GARCES: Right.

[0:11:18.0] AMY MOORE: We appreciate that.


[0:11:21.8] KATIE GARCES: I mean, every January 1st, I was a hot puffy mess, like desperate for a detox. I was like, I want to see if this January I don’t have to have a resolution around weight loss, or around getting “back on track.” I just wanted to see. I’d learned enough. I’d read enough about it. I was, “Okay, I’m just going to see if this holiday season when I go to a holiday party on a Tuesday night, if I see a plate of cookies that look really good, instead of eyeing them from across the room for two hours and then finally at the end of the night, going and having five. Letting myself have one, because it looks good and then moving on.”

When you take that internal dialogue away of “Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it,” and then you finally break down and have way too much, when you just say, “Everything, okay,” it loses some of its energy. It loses some of the power over you. It just dissipated. I was really surprised to see that I wasn’t over-eating all the holiday stuff. I was just letting myself have what I wanted and then moving on.

Some people when they step into this, do tend to eat a little too much at first. Then they realize that the world is going to keep spinning and everything’s okay and it’s not a big dark thing the next day. It was just interesting that I – not only did I not gain weight that holiday season. I think I made it even lost a pound or two, just because all the stress around not eating, overeating, “what am I doing?” That stress, that piece was gone. That cortisol that’s coursing through our veins when we’re stressed out about food, or dieting or overeating, that – when you drop that cortisol out of your life, your body naturally will find where it wants to be.

[0:13:03.4] AMY MOORE: That is so interesting. Really fascinating, I think.

[0:13:09.7] KATIE GARCES: I did put together a little e-book program thing, because people were so interested in it. Now we can certainly link to that. It’s super low pass, just a beginner. Because a lot of people are like, “I don’t trust myself. You tell me I can eat anything. What if I go eat five McDonald’s burgers?” I don’t know whatever it is. The thing is, you might one time, but then you lose that, I don’t know, it’s a novelty, or around it, because you’re not breaking any rules because there are no more rules. Then you start listening to your body and you’re like, “What actually sounds good,” right?

Vegetables actually sound good to my body. Tomorrow, it might be a little higher carb, or higher protein, or whatever. As women, our bodies change, if not day-to-day, definitely week-to-week from our hormones. If we’re not tapped into that, then I always say, “Make friends with your body as opposed be against” – no, this is how we’re eating, this is how we’re eating. Your body is like, “But please, I need some carbs. I’m ovulating or whatever, right?”

To say like, “Okay, body. We’re in this together anyway, why don’t we walk side by side, as opposed to butting heads?” That is such a – it sounds cheesy, but it’s such a more beautiful and peaceful place to be.

[0:14:20.4] ERIN LINEHAN: That’s what I was thinking in my head. Doesn’t sound cheesy at all, Katie. You get two hey and high five for that.

[0:14:27.4] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. That’s been really freeing and a nice place to be after literally 20, 25 years of dieting and leading up to that. That’s definitely been my MO for the last couple years.

[0:14:38.1] ERIN LINEHAN: That you’re helping people discover that, to get on that journey for themselves because I can imagine that would be terrifying. You be like, “No, you could just try this,” and give them a little push. That’s great.

[0:14:50.6] AMY MOORE: I mean, it’s such a – obviously, our culture is one full of diets and dieting and low fat, high fat, good food, bad food. I don’t know, so many rules around food all the time. That I think about the cookie story and it’s telling yourself like, “Oh, it’s okay to have a cookie,” is so different than eyeing it. To give yourself – to be allowed to have the cookie and then to realize like, “Oh, and you know what? There will be a cookie tomorrow too.” I think that’s just such a mind shift. If – rather than being like, “Oh, my God. There’s a plate of cookies and I could eat all of them, or I can’t have any of them because they’re so bad.” But, “No, actually I could have one.” Just knowing that it’s not the ultimate last time I’m ever going to have a cookie. Because I guess that’s where my mind goes.

[0:15:45.8] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m guessing that people would then – I know for myself, like if I were to over eat something and it’s not – I don’t do super well with dairy. If I ate too much of that, then I just naturally just don’t feel well. Then if you’re tapped into that then it’s like, “well, I don’t want to eat that, because I don’t feel well when I do.”

[0:16:02.3] KATIE GARCES: Exactly. Yeah. I always say, every time we eat is a chance to get curious. If you do decide, you make a choice to eat something that doesn’t feel well with your body or settle well and you feel crappy later, instead of beating ourselves up and going into this horrible shame spiral about it we’re like, “Okay. Well, noted. I’m going to probably not do that again. Or if I do, I’m going to be ready for this. Or if I ate too much, you know what today, I’m going to eat a little lighter. I’m going to eat more greens. I’m going to have more lemon water.” It’s okay.

If you feel like cutting that shame spiral that so many people do. It’s like, “Oh, I over ate last night. I feel like crap, so I’m going to eat more to make myself better, feel better temporarily.” Then it’s just that spiral and it’s getting out of that cycle and that habit is huge.

[0:16:44.7] AMY MOORE: Huge. I know that in October, you have something called Stoptober, is that right?

[0:16:51.4] KATIE GARCES: Yeah.

[0:16:52.5] AMY MOORE: I would imagine that that plays right into that shame spiral, because you’re encouraging people – well actually, why don’t you tell us about what Stoptober is?

[0:17:03.2] ERIN LINEHAN: Good call, Amy.

[0:17:04.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Thank you.

[0:17:06.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah. Take it away, Katie. It’s your program.

[0:17:10.4] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. I actually – my Stoptober, I actually call it Stoptober for Self-Care. The original Stoptober, I believe originated in the UK to help people stop smoking. That’s I believe where it started years ago. Then I decided to do Stoptober for self-care for people that – the tagline of the program is What’s Getting in the Way of Your Greatness. Being that, especially coming off summertime where all the rules get a little looser and there’s maybe more barbecues, or more glasses of wine on a Wednesday on a patio night. I don’t know.

People get back into school year and they’re like, “Okay, maybe I’ve developed some habits that I want to clean up, or maybe this behavior, or food, or whatever it is, it’s just – I can tell it’s getting in my way. I think I could be better without it.” Sometimes, those habits are really hard to break without some structure around them. Speaking to what I was talking about with the intuitive eating, I never want anybody to feel black or white or forbidden from anything ever in our life, because I think that creates an energy behind it that eventually, you’re going to just lose it and drink all the wine, or eat all the food, or – 

I want there to always be some gray area, but I also think there’s a time and place to say, “Okay, for 31 days I’m going to step away from X, Y, Z, because I think it’s getting in my way. I think I could be a better person, a better mom, a better wife, a better whatever without my nightly glass of wine, or without the online shopping that I become obsessed with.” It’s really anything anybody wants to step away from for the month and it can be – I think we have –definitely we have a lot of people trying to – just stepping away from wine. Some people are stepping away from sugar. There’s a couple people stepping away from coffee, which is almost harder than wine for most people.

[0:19:01.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: As we’re chugging coffee in here.

[0:19:03.5] KATIE GARCES: That’s a hard one. Shopping, that’s a big one because people just – it’s amazing how we have a tendency towards that. That becomes this little – it’s so easy right now online on our phones just to be like, “Oh, purchase.” You can buy a dress at a stoplight if you want. That becomes a habit and it becomes – you find yourself getting that dopamine hit from stuff like that and you’re like, “I need to not be doing this right now.” These women are awesome. They’ve recognized it’s about themselves, so we come together for 31 days, pretty much just on a Facebook group, that where we’re supporting each other, they’re supporting each other.

We have repeats from last year that maybe are doing the same thing, or doing something different and they can help the people that are new to the group. That’s just a really cool way. I also say it’s 31 days out of your life. You’re not giving up coffee forever, you’re not giving up wine forever. Imagine what you could gain in 31 days by just taking the space from that. If you have something that’s taken over, you’re feeling, you’re constantly feeling guilty about it, or you’re constantly saying, “Should I, or shouldn’t I and if I do, how much?” That’s a lot of again, energetic well, energy that you’re wasting, or you’re taking away from what could be making you great, or better, or the best version of yourself. It’s nice to just have that hard break, that hard stop from that. It’s amazing the insights that people are able to glean from that time and space. That’s a fun little group we do in October.

[0:20:24.9] ERIN LINEHAN: When you work with your clients, because you mentioned energy a few times, do you bring that – because there is energy behind those things. Do you work with your clients on that, or how does that work with the work that you do?

[0:20:35.6] KATIE GARCES: Just bringing awareness about that, you mean, or –

[0:20:37.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I think that that – I do energy work professionally, and so when you’re talking about that, I’m giving you some fist pumps in the studio because I’m excited that we’re talking about that, so I was just curious about how that comes into your coaching, or when you explain them that way are people more receptive to it, or what does that look like?

[0:20:54.8] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. I think a lot of people don’t even realize that it’s going on. The biggest thing I see is just bringing awareness to that. Saying to them like, do you realize how much energy you are expending every day by worrying about your dieting, or entering all your food in MyFitnessPal, or whatever? Again, there’s a time and a place for that, but if it’s taking over your life, if you’re spending 30 minutes after dinner entering every last little calorie instead of hanging out with your kiddo, let’s look at that. Is this how you want to live your life and spend your life?

If you get on the scale the next day and it’s not the number you want and it ruins your mood for the whole day, that’s that negative energy. Maybe we need to look at that. Maybe the scale isn’t going to be your best tool in your journey and maybe we need to look a little deeper.

[0:21:46.6] AMY MOORE: Exactly.

[0:21:47.9] KATIE GARCES: I just try to bring, yeah. When I’m talking about the energy around it, can we – and even when we were just talking about the intuitive eating, like the conversation, like everything felt lighter and people and happy. When we talk about these heavier, like really rigid things, it just feels like a heavier energy. I believe when we feel lighter in our spirit, we oftentimes that does equate to shedding some of the physical weight. When we feel heavy and down in our spirit and our mood, I feel we just tend to hold on. If you think they are definitely connected and for a lot of people, they’ve never thought of it that way, and so just bringing that awareness.

[0:22:29.2] AMY MOORE: I love it.

[0:22:30.0] ERIN LINEHAN: I love it.

[0:22:30.4] AMY MOORE: It’s so good. You had your own personal experience with stopping. Was it stopping wine? Or you lived it yourself, I guess. I’m wondering if you could tell us a little bit about that and what you saw, or how did you see wine or whatever it was that you stopped that was getting in the way of your greatness and then what did you see that came out of your experience stopping it.

[0:23:00.0] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. Everything I just described was definitely born from my own experience. About a year and a half ago, I made the decision to step away from alcohol completely. The reason I did that was because I felt it had gotten to the place where it was taking over and keeping me from my greatness. It was becoming something that was too much of a habit. Again, should I, should I not have a glass tonight with my friends? If I do, should I have two?

It was taking too much away from me and I felt like, the reason I decided to go just cold turkey, if you will, or a 100% is because I was tired of having those conversations in my head. Well, if I have wine tonight then I shouldn’t have it tomorrow. It was just constant. It was a constant discussion. Then if I had one glass too much, I would beat myself up the next day. Yeah, just by taking it off the table a 100% has just opened up all that space to make me feel a little bit deeper of what else is going on in my life, what do I want.

It actually enabled me to have the space to say, “Okay, I think it’s time for me to take a little bit of a break from my business.” I was pushing too hard again, but I wouldn’t have had the space to even have that clarity if I was still just – every night circling around about wine, or feeling bad about if I drink too much over the weekend, or whatever it was. That was about a year and a half ago. That ended up being about four months of just straight off drinking, which I think it very much served its purpose. It got me clear on a lot of things. I think it was around the holidays that I decided to add it back in, but with the awareness of, “Do I want to have this glass of wine tonight because I’m bored, because I’m dealing with my kids and I can’t stand it, because I just got in an argument with somebody, or am I wanting to have this glass of wine because I just made a gorgeous meal and my husband and I are going to sit down and enjoy it together?”

I think the motivation behind why I was wanting a glass of wine was the most important thing I took away from it. That was hard when I was in that period of not drinking. There would be days where it’s driving me crazy and I have to make dinner and I was like, “All I want to do is – this would be made so much easier if I could just have a glass of wine with it.”

[0:25:12.4] AMY MOORE: Totally.

[0:25:12.8] KATIE GARCES: I had to sit with that, because I had made the decision not to. I didn’t like it. I was uncomfortable. We don’t like to sit in the discomfort, but that is where our biggest growth is, where we find it. That was hard, because I am somebody with – I tend to go for the immediate gratification, instant. I think a lot of us do. That sitting with it and just learning what can come out the other side if you give it a little pause, or you actually make the choice, make a mindful choice about what you’re doing, whether it’s eating or drinking, or any other behavior, as opposed to just reflexively doing it. That’s where it had gotten for me was – it was just a reflex. It was a habit and I didn’t like it.

[0:25:53.0] AMY MOORE: Yeah. Did you take a break from your business during that four months, or did that come after?

[0:26:01.1] KATIE GARCES: It coincided with the after. By the time I was ready, done with my four months of not drinking, I realized I was ready to have – I gave myself a self-imposed sabbatical.

[0:26:12.2] AMY MOORE: Oh, that’s great.

[0:26:13.5] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. I officially started in January. By November, I knew that that’s what I was going to do. It ended up being about a nine-month sabbatical in which I just really shut down. I mean, I kept one or two of my clients, but I stepped away from all my coaching, all my groups, all the promoting and the marketing and all that great stuff that comes with entrepreneurship and social media, having businesses online and stuff, which can be really exciting and fun, but it also can really drain you.

I was like, “I’m not going to do anything for the next nine months that doesn’t bring me joy, or doesn’t feel easeful.” I mean fortunately, I’m in a place where I was able to do that, so I know not everybody can and I definitely recognize that. I was able to just take a lot of time to myself, to tap back in. I actually took a class at Denver seminary. Just got really serious about my spiritual health and my spiritual life. It was just really needed. Then I did come bringing like early summer, I was starting to feel it’s time to come out of that. Just this last July, August, I ended my sabbatical after about nine months and back in and I just feel rejuvenated.

I just think it’s nice to take some time, whether it’s even a month and waiting to see like, “Okay, what do I want? What are my priorities? Get clear on things.” That’s been really – it was an interesting 12 months, how that all happened and shook out for me and my work.

[0:27:40.9] AMY MOORE: Yeah, I can just imagine what a benefit that would be to your clients, that you went through this yourself and then you’re able to speak to it. How did your clients take it when you told them that you were going to get off, or when you were taking the time off?

[0:27:56.3] KATIE GARCES: Well, a couple of them freaked out. Those longer terms are more my coaching clients, I did continue to work with. I didn’t take any new clients. My book clubbers were a little disappointed, because we’ve been running book clubs called Beyond Book Club as a small group that communities are going for almost six years. For me to pull back, I think everybody else thought, “Well, at least she’ll keep book club.” I needed to take a hard break from everything.

I think there was a little bit of disappointment there, but thankfully our excellent loyal people and when I was ready to start this fall, everybody jumped back in and it’s like, I never missed a beat. I really appreciate them respecting that need for me and coming back when I was back. It’s good to be back with them.

[0:28:43.2] AMY MOORE: We know that you’re in Denver. You’re at Denver, right? Do you have any online book clubs, or is it all in-person?

[0:28:52.2] KATIE GARCES: I have done online book clubs in the past. The interest in that, or the ability, some people just can’t make it happen, sort of waxes and wanes. I usually offer it and depending on interest, we either do it or we don’t. We’re not currently doing one right now. Last, let’s see, fall I did several. Yes. You can join my book club e-mail list. Every time I send it to a new session out, I usually say if there’s, “Let me know if you want to join the virtual group and it would’nt be the most fun with me and one other person.” It’s something I’ve done on and off over the years.

[0:29:30.0] ERIN LINEHAN: What books do you explore in your book clubs?

[0:29:33.7] KATIE GARCES: We read only personal development, or spiritual development books. We pick one book and we read it together over the course of six weeks. It’s not like you have to read the whole book and then show up to discuss. People can keep their neighborhood book club with their friends and stuff, but it’s very doable. A chapter or two a week. We meet every Wednesday or Friday for six weeks, discuss that week’s reading and chapter. We usually have chosen a personal intention for the six-week period, so everybody comes on week one, and says “Okay, this is what I want to work on for the next six weeks.” It’s nice to hold each other accountable, support people through that.

It can be something major, like, “I’m going to work on my relationship with my partner,” or it can be like, “I need to get my laundry under control.” I need you guys so to support me the next six weeks. Oftentimes, it has to do with what we’re reading. We just finished Atomic Habits, for example. That was everyone’s intention was about either habit they wanted to make, or break, or improve somehow. It’s fun to see everybody come with different intentions for each session.

[0:30:40.8] ERIN LINEHAN: Have you repeated any books?

[0:30:42.1] KATIE GARCES: Never have repeated any book.

[0:30:43.9] ERIN LINEHAN: Never. Okay. You have a favorite book that you use? I know that’s probably hard.

[0:30:50.1] KATIE GARCES: It’s so hard. Glancing at my bookshelf as we speak. I have loved – well, we’ve done several Gabby Bernstein books and everyone loves her. Then we read 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I don’t know if you’re familiar with –

[0:31:04.1] AMY MOORE: I bought that book because of your newsletter. I have that. Yup.

[0:31:07.9] KATIE GARCES: Oh, yeah. That was just a really surprise hit for us. He talks a lot about – basically, the premise of the book is he was so anti-meditation, yet everybody told him he needed to do it in order to get back together. He set out to just prove the benefits. Then over the course, he became this uber meditator, Buddhist.

[0:31:29.0] ERIN LINEHAN: He’s like on that speaker about meditation, everything, everywhere. It’s like he’s talking about that. I appreciate his skeptical nature.

[0:31:35.6] ANNA NEWELL JONES: He’s like, “Isn’t that great? Oh, wait.”

[0:31:39.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Yeah. Now he’s like the meditation dude.

[0:31:42.6] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. He’s funny. That was just a surprise, like I said, surprise hit. I try to alternate a masculine voice versus a female author. We’re just about to start Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable this week. Gabby Bernstien tends to be a little bit more spiritual, a little more woo-woo. Then it’s fun to get Atomic Habits by James Clear; very masculine, very – where like, he doesn’t understand what it’s like to be mom or whatever, but it’s a good balance.

[0:32:12.2] AMY MOORE: Definitely.

[0:32:12.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Then we all loved Jen Sincero’s You Are a Badass. That was such a favorite, just because she’s so funny. Yeah, Big Magic was really – Liz Gilbert. That was a great one. That was a favorite. Yeah. We’ve done quite a few over the years.

[0:32:26.1] AMY MOORE: That’s so great. I have a question about your experience in seminary. We talk a lot about spirituality on our podcast.

[0:32:34.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Just recently, we had [inaudible 0:32:35.5].

[0:32:37.9] AMY MOORE: It is interesting.

[0:32:38.4] ERIN LINEHAN: It’s super interesting to hear perspectives about — 

[0:32:39.7] AMY MOORE: — gone that way organically. Yeah. I have a couple questions. One, I’m curious about your childhood. Were you raised in a religious environment, if you’re okay talking about that? Then also, DU Seminary, so The University of Denver Seminary, I don’t know. I have no experience with that. I’m just curious, what is their religious philosophy, I guess? Then also, what class did you take, or what did you get out of that?

[0:33:11.0] ERIN LINEHAN: All those questions for just here’s 18 questions for you.

[0:33:13.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Yeah, there you go.

[0:33:14.2] ERIN LINEHAN: There you go, Katie.

[0:33:16.3] AMY MOORE: We’re ready to sit back and listen.

[0:33:22.2] KATIE GARCES: That’s loaded.

[0:33:22.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: You got those all down?

[0:33:24.8] AMY MOORE: Sorry.

[0:33:25.3] ERIN LINEHAN: Store that in your head, Katie?

[0:33:27.4] KATIE GARCES: Yeah, I think I got it. I was raised Catholic and I still consider myself Catholic. I know that can be loaded in and of itself for a lot of people. I feel like I was raised in a way – I had a great experience. I know a lot of people don’t. It was also, as I explored spirituality in general, like we’ve talked about over the last five, six years, I realized there was more to it than just what I had been raised with and what I got when I sat in mass every Sunday. I needed that to be okay. I discovered Richard Rohr and I’m sure –

[0:33:59.5] ERIN LINEHAN: Oh, that a girl, Katie. I love him so much.

[0:34:03.8] KATIE GARCES: I love him so much.

[0:34:04.3] ERIN LINEHAN: He is the best. Yeah, that dude is – Yeah, he’s so good.

[0:34:07.7] KATIE GARCES: He changed my life completely, because right around that time with all that adrenal fatigue and all that surrender, I found him. I found him and Gabby Bernstein at the same time and they couldn’t be more different. I was okay with that. Richard Rohr is a Catholic priest. He is very open and he’s very non-dualistic, is his term. You can have A and you can also have B. It doesn’t have to be black or white. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It just opened up this whole new way of basically validating my own spirituality, that there was a lot of upbringing that I loved and that was important to me and then I want to share with my kids.

There was also all this other stuff that I was learning that made me feel good. I knew it wasn’t wrong. I knew it wasn’t wrong. To be able to mesh those two together and develop my own spirituality and my own connection, I call it like plugging back into your spiritual power outlet. I was unplugged. To be able to bring it all together in my own way and know that that wasn’t wrong was so freeing and so – it was just such an amazing feeling. That’s I guess the evolution of my own spirituality. I got really into the Enneagram.

[0:35:15.8] ERIN LINEHAN: What number are you, Katie?

[0:35:17.3] KATIE GARCES: Oh, God. I’m a three.

[0:35:18.4] ERIN LINEHAN: You’re a three. I’m a seven. These two haven’t done it. Erin and Amy haven’t done it yet. This comes up a lot on the podcast.

[0:35:24.8] AMY MOORE: It does.

[0:35:25.5] KATIE GARCES: Yes. Oh, my God. Yeah, you have to do it. I discovered my Enneagram number right around that whole time of giving up the alcohol. Not to get into that whole rabbit hole, but it shines so much light onto the way I was doing my work in my business from what are your underlying motivating factors. That’s one of the reasons I needed to take time away from work was to get a little bit more clear on that and get a little bit more.

Threes are, they’re the achiever. They’re really driven. At the same time, they are always trying to put out the facade of success and image and that when they’re unhealthy, when you’re an unhealthy three, that’s all that matters. It was really becoming obvious to me that every time, even a Facebook post, I posted if I didn’t get a lot of likes, or if I even got God forbid, some unfollows, it was like somebody’s murdering me. I’m like, “Why am I taking this so personally, like everything?” I was I was so identified with that and that is not who I am. I know that now, but I wasn’t able to get past that. That was part of that Enneagram work and the spiritual work and then moving onto seminary. Actually, it’s not the – it’s just Denver Seminary. It’s not part of – Yeah, so it’s Denver Seminary.

[0:36:40.8] AMY MOORE: Thank you for clarifying. Yeah.

[0:36:42.6] KATIE GARCES: Yeah. They are Christian-based. I just attended from my own personal, like I just wanted to learn more, as I had learned with the Enneagram different ways to “pray,” so contemplative practices, time and nature. Again, it was like my whole world had been opened up to all these different ways. As a Catholic, you’re raised to pray, like we do our Our Father and our Hail Marys. Those are fine and good. Having some time and stillness, silence, solitude where you can actually experience God or spirituality or whatever that’s going to be for you was like, “Hello. Where has this been all my life?”

It was just filling me up in a way that I hadn’t ever experienced. This was all coinciding with my time away from alcohol. I was just primed and ready for it. It was just what I needed on a spiritual level so badly. I was so thirsty for it. I signed up for a course at the seminary, which was on soul care. Just learning about just spiritual practices to help again, just deepen your own spiritual connection. That was amazing to be in a classroom with a brilliant professor that I just found myself so interested in.

It was nice to be on the other side. I’d been the one teaching and facilitating and coaching and stuff with my clients for so long. It was nice to just sit in the classroom and listen and soak it in and be challenged by other people in the room in what they were saying and what they were bringing to the table. It was just a lovely six, nine months of that work.

[0:38:13.4] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m struck by your – you see that there’s an issue, or you see that there’s something that doesn’t feel right and not in alignment with you and then you go and do something, or explore it more. Has that always been how you’ve operated, or when did that happen? I’d give you a high five for that.

[0:38:31.6] KATIE GARCES: Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I think it could be part of my freeness, right? Okay, there’s a problem, let’s go solve it. One of my therapists at one point was I was like, “Okay, I’m really unhappy in work and I don’t know what’s wrong. Tell me what to do.” He’s like, “No. No.” He’s like, “You need to have some time and quiet. You need to just be.” That was literally the first thing he said to me is, “You just need to be.” I was like, “I can’t. You don’t know me. I can’t just be. I can’t just be still. I can’t just sit with my thoughts and myself.” He’s like, “That’s what you need to do,” and that was my work and it was the hardest damn work I’ve ever done. Now I know that there isn’t always going to be an action step. There often is, but not always. Sometimes the action step is to just get still and get quiet and tap back in to what’s going on inside, because I’ve always said this, I know we all have the answers that we need, or that we’re seeking within us.

Oftentimes, we can’t quiet our minds enough to listen to hear them. That’s a challenge for us, especially in the society. We are go, go, go and we are rewarded by the outcomes that we produce, not necessarily the person that we are. That was my work this last year and it’s – I mean, I think it will be my work for my whole life. It was interesting, challenging, but good.

[0:39:50.0] AMY MOORE: That is good. It’s so motivating. I really admire your willingness, not only your self-exploration, but then to share it. I’ve seen that through your newsletter and I just – I encourage all our listeners. Katie, where can they find you, so that they can subscribe to your newsletter as well?

[0:40:11.5] KATIE GARCES: Yes. They can find me on my website. It’s just KatieGarces.com. Or on social media, Katie Garces on Facebook, Instagram. Yeah, you can sign up for my newsletter there, you can sign up for Beyond Book Club there. Yeah, I’m out there. I’m available. We always love to have you folks. I do have a Facebook group, but basically a community. It’s called Sexy Spiritual Sane. The place for women to come and do everything from talking about spiritual stuff to sharing the best coupon they found for dinner, to – it’s just a place for us to be women on all levels, from a mind, body and spiritual place. Come find us there. Yeah, it’s a fun community.

[0:40:51.1] AMY MOORE: Thank you so much and thank you so much for being on our podcast today.

[0:40:56.3] KATIE GARCES: Well, thank you so much for having me. It was a lot of fun talking to you ladies.

[0:40:59.9] AMY MOORE: It was a true pleasure. We will –

[0:41:01.5] ERIN LINEHAN: Thank you. That’s great.

[0:41:03.2] AMY MOORE: Yup. We’ll be in touch and we’ll get everything posted on our website too, so we’ll do some cross-promotion and all that good stuff. Before we say goodbye, we always –

[0:41:14.1] ERIN LINEHAN: We’re starting this thing, this season of – Anna, take it away.

[0:41:18.2] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Like a random question that has nothing to do with what we just talked about, but just a fun thing to get to know you on a different level. Are you ready?

[0:41:30.5] KATIE GARCES: I’m ready.

[0:41:31.5] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay. The question is if someone wanted to kidnap you Katie, what would they have to write on the side of the van to get you in?

[0:41:41.2] ERIN LINEHAN: We don’t know these questions before this happens either.

[0:41:42.9] AMY MOORE: Nope. They’re a surprise to us too.

[0:41:45.2] ERIN LINEHAN: A surprise to us too.

[0:41:46.2] AMY MOORE: Oh, boy.

[0:41:46.8] KATIE GARCES: Honestly, the first thing that came to mind was free coffee.

[0:41:52.4] AMY MOORE: You’re in.

[0:41:54.3] KATIE GARCES: I am in. You know what, it’s like – I can’t resist, even if it wasn’t the best coffee, I will go have some, because I just love coffee that much.

[0:42:02.8] ERIN LINEHAN: I’m with you.

[0:42:03.3] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Same.

[0:42:03.8] AMY MOORE: We are so with you. That’s how our whole podcast started. We got to say, Moustache Coffee Club, if you’re looking for a new subscription for coffee. They’re supporters of our show. We’re testing them out and it’s delicious coffee.

[0:42:17.2] ERIN LINEHAN: It’s delicious. Yeah.

[0:42:19.2] KATIE GARCES: I will look for them, not to speak.

[0:42:21.3] AMY MOORE: Yeah. A little tidbit. Anyway, thank you so much again. We will be in touch with all the follow-up from the show.

[0:42:29.2] KATIE GARCES: Awesome. Thanks, Amy. Have a good day.

[0:42:31.0] AMY MOORE: You too. Thanks.

[0:42:32.0] ERIN LINEHAN: Bye-bye.

[0:42:32.4] AMY MOORE: Bye.

[0:42:33.6] KATIE GARCES: Bye.  

[0:42:34.7] ANNA NEWELL JONES: Okay. We talk about connection. That’s what our deal is here. We have a six-step roadmap for instant connection. You can get that at connectionroadmap.com. It will give you the hook-up on what to do to get instantly connected with people in this world.

Amy Moore: Remember, go to MyShapa.com and use the code LESSALONE for a FREE Shapa Scale (!!!) PLUS get FREE shipping when you sign up for a 12-month subscription to their app! 


[0:42:56.6] AMY MOORE: Thanks for listening. You can find more about this episode and a way to connect to the community at lessalonepodcast.com. If you like us, don’t forget to subscribe and be sure to leave a review. It helps other people find us and could be just what they need.


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