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Kaity Astraelis

Connect to Your Deepest Wisdom

By Newsletter

How often do we listen to our bodies? My fiancé and I were on a hike today. A big burly beautiful hike through the Rocky Mountains. And as we crested the mountain, we came to an intersection with two trails leading home. The difference between the trails was a mile and a half, that’s it. My partner, ever the energizer bunny, was ready for the longer trail. But I had to pause. There was such a subtle ‘No’ lingering in my physiology. It presented as slight tension, almost undetectable, and just a hint of fatigue – lingering, waiting to express further if I pushed too far.

At home, I had quite a load of action items I was still accountable, so I knew I had to maintain a semblance of alertness once I was home. In other words, I didn’t have the space and time for a deep recovery. The kind that looks like dinner and a movie marathon.

I looked at my partner and said, “I feel scared of over-doing it, I’d really like to take the side trail down.” I knew he’s be disappointed -ever ready for more- but after a check-in or two, we were on the way down. And to tell you the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth-so-help-me-god, I felt guilty about my decision at first. I felt bad for not pushing myself further and for robbing my partner of that last length. Usually, we listen to that guilt and let it push us around, but I wouldn’t let it. My body had spoken, and we had group consensus. I let the guilt go. And lovingly, my partner told me how great the trail was that I chose. But it was later at home, when we had settled in and eaten a luscious dinner and were letting go into the evening with hours to spare and I was still clear headed and ready to work, did we look at each other -as he made a leap for the couch and I the office- and say, “Thank god we listened!”

There is something about listening… Something about putting immediate gratification aside. Something about making it easier for yourself to enjoy your whole life. Something about finding ways to bring gentleness and self-care to our experience through listening…to what? To our bodies. Our bodies tell us what’s up. If we need more rest, less rest, more food, less sweets, more water, a different kind of exercise… Listening adds spontaneity to our life. We let routines change when we listen. It fosters deep connection. And it encourages authenticity because the truth of the moment is in the body. The body doesn’t lie. Believe me, there are days I took the long trail home and rolled in well after dark. I have great memories of that. So, it would have been easy to have gone on “what’s familiar,” “what I’m used to,” “my status quo,” “what people expect of me,” and more than anything, “what I expect of myself.” But listening allows us to expand our experience. Our bodies are temples of wisdom. They know us better than we know ourselves. And sometimes they are able to have a long-term view that we don’t have access to.


So, as we enter this holiday streak, I invite you to listen. Ask your body what’s it’s trying to tell you. And remember, it is ALWAYS about your best interest and success. I think that many of us push past what are bodies are telling us because we are afraid our bodies won’t support what we want. Not the case. When we listen, we learn to heal, and we come out stronger. Most of the time, in ways we could have never imagined.

Step Into the Void

By Newsletter

The unknown scares that crap out of most of us. We have all become professionals at managing our fear of this looming little void. We become incessant planners, scenario prep artists, masters of schedules, and more. Yet all these skills can’t keep us safe. We end up giving the unknown our power by being afraid of it, by losing sleep and sweating the things we can’t control. You see, the unknown is unavoidable, and it’s with us all the time. It lives in every moment of every breath. In fact, we do ourselves a great disservice by trying to keep it at bay. If we were more related to this element of life, we would probably cherish our moments with loved ones more, choose connection over being right, chew more slowly and allow ourselves to taste our food with more passion, say I love you with all our presence behind it… it would humble us, reminding us that we are not ever really in control, and open us to the magic of life and our gratitude for it.

You see, the unknown lives on the other side of control. And all of us, without exception, have faced the unknown this year. How have you done? Did you grip more tightly, or learn to let go? Did you try to keep things on course, or did you allow yourself to listen for ingenuity, creativity, and new insight while in the empty space? That beautiful potentiality that allows us to expand beyond our familiar known landscape and stretch ourselves toward new and unexplored horizons… that is also the unknown.

Being afraid of the unknown is normal. Let me just say that. In primal eras, the “known” was safe and the “unknown” was dangerous. Our brains are wired to fear the unknown and it’s that neurological wiring that has kept our species alive. However, as food, shelter, and belonging become aspects of life most of us take for granted (not all, but most), the idea of the unknown becomes an emotional, mental, and spiritual invitation. It becomes an invitation for personal growth.

After years of exploring this space called the unknown, I have come to learn one thing for sure: when I am face to face with it, I know I am on the precipice of transformation. But it wasn’t always like this. I have resisted it with all of my might, flailing in free fall, crying myself to sleep, grabbing for inspiration, pretending to be fine, spinning stories to keep me safe… Resisting the unknown, when it’s calling you, is maddening.

I recall when I was fighting Lyme Disease so many years ago, how the unknown was trying to consume me. Devour me! There was a point while I was fighting it that I finally let go. I just didn’t have the strength anymore to fight. I let it swallow me. I surrendered in exhaustion. And it was in that moment that my health began to improve. It was the first moment that my mind became quiet, the first moment that my heart beat began to find an even rhythm, the first time that I was able to see light at the end of the tunnel… I remember it like yesterday. The moment I gave myself to the unknown was the first time I began to feel peace…and possibility.


Thus, I invite us all to learn to trust this loving space. Sometimes it alerts us with a veil of fear that must be pierced. But on the other side awaits the infinitely quiet, self-generating, star lit, potential. And getting to know this potential allows us to gain something we could only have hoped for in our dreams.

In this week’s practice, I share a meditation that invites us to identify and touch the unknown through the breath. This is a meditation I offered with co-founder of Gthx: gratitude, Omar Brownson, during a Thursday night class we facilitated together.

Let Your Heart Lead

By Newsletter

What does it mean when someone says “be in your heart”? Does it mean to be loving? To be kind? Understanding? Compassionate? Yes, it does. But there is so much more. It also means to have clear boundaries, to be empowered, and to be unstoppable in the pursuit of your dreams.

It might sound like a tall order. “You want me to be compassionate and unstoppable?” I can hear you say. “You want me to be kind and have clear boundaries?… Ummm???”

But here’s the magic… this is not a predicament meant to be solved with our minds. It’s an experience that comes from being in the heart. So, in order to “be in the heart” let’s take some time to understand the heart both as an organ and as an electromagnetic field. Once we do this, we begin to reckon with the fact that we all have a super-power inside of us; and this super-power is something that has been with us from the very beginning and will be with us to the end…

Let’s take a look at a few incredible facts about the heart, so we can expand our knowledge and understanding of this vital organ and powerful vortex of possibility. With this information, you will be able to understand what it means to be “in the heart” and why it’s so important. Here we go…

  • In the embryo, the cells which form the brain are the same cells that form the heart.
  • We have up to 40,000 brain-like cells in the heart that think, feel, and remember independent of the cranial brain cells.
  • The heart starts beating in the unborn fetus before the brain has been formed; thus, humans form an emotional brain long before a rational one
  • The heart makes many of its own decisions.
  • Oxytocin, the “love” hormone, is manufactured in the heart, not in the brain.
  • The heart has its own electrical impulses and can continue to beat if taken from the body.
  • The heart has the biggest electromagnetic field of any organ in the body.
  • The heart’s electromagnetic field is called the Torus and can stretch up to 60 feet in diameter.
  • Shifting the electromagnetic field of the heart sends messages to the brain about how to think and feel.
  • The heart sends more information to the brain through the nervous system than the other way around.
  • Scientist, psychophysiologist, executive vice president and director of research at HeartMath Institute, says, “We found that from the body perspective, the heart is the first to receive non-local signals or intuitions that are then passed to the brain. It’s a result I wouldn’t have predicted. The heart has access to information outside the boundaries of time and space. It’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.”
  • Finally, Gregg Braden shares on how to establish heart-brain coherence by saying, “There are four keywords for coherence: appreciation, gratitude, care, and compassion. When we practice moving into states aligned with one of these words, or some combination of the four, we create communication between the heart and the brain.”


Thus, we can begin to understand that by practicing appreciation, gratitude, care, and compassion, we expand the physical electromagnetic field of the heart, influencing the neurological signals in our brain and supporting us to feel and think more positively. When we begin to treat our heart’s intelligence with respect and reverence, we change our lives for the better; healthier, happier, and in coherence.

Here is a heart-centering meditation I made for you…

Time to Lighten Up

By Newsletter

Lightening our emotional load is worth it, every time. It accelerates our growth, allows us to maintain alignment in times of strife, and transforms our perspective and experience. There have been too many times in my life that I was clueless to what I was carrying, until I put it down. After letting loose various accumulated baggage I had picked up along the road of life, I realized immediately that I could breathe easier, think more clearly, listen better, and be more present to myself and others. But I didn’t know what I was carrying until I stopped and gave myself a chance to put it down.

Over a decade ago, I went through a breakup that was both relieving and surprising. But the relief didn’t come right away. At first, I felt let down, so deeply disappointed by the person I had ended the relationship with that I wasn’t sure how to pick up the pieces. In my perception, he withheld his love and replaced it slowly, over time, with cruelty. I was confused and angry and hurt. I asked myself, How did I not see it coming? How could I have let myself stay in the relationship? How could he treat me like that? I was beating myself up. I was blaming and judging him. But everything I was thinking and feeling was only hurting me. All the pain I was carrying was weighing me down and promising a very challenging future.

Caroline Myss, author and renowned medical intuitive, tells us that forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. And as I allowed myself to admit that no one was being burdened by my pain but me, I became intolerant to the emotional experience I was answering to. I started to forgive him…and myself. And through my process of forgiveness, my perception and experience transformed.

I saw that I had truly been doing the best I could. I saw that he had also been doing the best he could. Maya Angelou says, “When we know better, we do better,” and our heroic poet and sage is right. We are all doing the best we can given the information and education we have in the moment. Is ignorance now an excuse for terrible behavior? Of course not. Awakening from ignorance to knowledge is found through the power of examination; through stopping and contemplating what there is to forgive. This promotes insight, which promotes choice, which promotes new action. Every time we take a step toward self-love, we support the awakening wisdom of the whole. Your self-love matters.


Today, I’m offering the practice of forgiveness as one way to alleviate unneeded stress and strain. Forgiveness unchains us from the burden of blame and victimhood. It frees us from the heaviness of shame and guilt. It allows us and others to live their lives more freely.

When we forgive, we lighten our load. We allow our light to shine more brightly. We can move at greater velocity on our path, we can navigate life’s hurtles with more grace and ease, and we can smile more easily. Right now, the world needs our light. Your loved ones need your light. And we deserve to radiate because it feels good.

Let’s Simplify Things…

By Newsletter

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. But how? I need my job. My family, well, I’d like to keep them. No matter how nuts the kids are, I’m keeping them too. Friend drama…sure, but I love them and it’s worth it. Indeed, it took me a few years to figure it out, but the simplification of life has nothing to do with our external world. Work, family, kids, friends… simplification doesn’t start here. Let me tell you a little story…

When I was in my twenties, my teacher said to me, “Oakley, with simplicity you will succeed.” At the time, I pretended to get it. “Don’t have too much going on, be organized, keep things clear and straightforward,” I told myself, “Okay, I got it, no problem.” But I didn’t really get it, not at all. This key to the universe went sailing over my head and left me feeling tired and stressed. I had to humble myself, admit I didn’t get it, and open to the possibility of its meaning to begin to see its effects.

Today, life has felt far from simple. But here’s a hidden truth about life, the energy of life is always simple, it’s the human experience that can feel complicated. Yes, we human beings can complicate life. And our seeking to control the energy of life is futile. It’s like running into the ocean yelling at the waves to stop reaching the shore… which I also tried.

After a few years of deep contemplation, curiosity, and exploration, a new perspective emerged. Trying to control external circumstances and other people’s reactions and behaviors wasn’t making my life simple. It was having the opposite effect, in fact. So, I continued my meditation, and many of the training practices I’ve shared with you, and I built stronger the space of quietude within. And over time, looking outside myself to create simplicity stopped making sense. Creating simplicity started within.

As aggravating thought patterns began to quiet and emotions became steadier, my life experience changed dramatically, without anything outside of myself changing. The way I related to family, friends, and work became more refined and more clear, uncomplicated and straightforward. And as my priorities came into focus, my personal sense of power and empowerment grew. I began to cultivate my relationships with more intention, I began to build my business with momentum, and I felt more in touch with my health and my needs.

All from the practice of aligning myself with the flow of life, did life become simple. Rather than trying to keep the waves from reaching the shore – in the words of an age-old metaphor – I learned to surf.


Thus, this month, I am sharing with you a sacred Sanskrit mantra, So Hum. Mantras have been used for thousands of years to train the mind to focus. And as a result of this focus, the thoughts and feelings that do not serve us fall away because we do not follow them and give them our life force. In other words, when we declutter our inner space, we begin to feel the power of simplicity.

A mantra has a specific energy to it, a power embedded in the words themselves. All we are tasked to do is to focus the mind on these words, these sounds, and when we drift away, we must only bring our attention back to the mantra. That’s it. The energy of the mantra will do its work, expanding its ancient and pure vibration through the body, mind, and spirit, purifying our mind and our emotions as it goes. It’s like a drive-through car wash. Relax, stay in the car, and let yourself be cleaned.

The mantra, So Hum, can be translated to I AM THAT. What this means is that we are not one thing, we are everything. We are all that is. This focus on the universal consciousness in all things allows us to loosen our grip on identities to roles, feelings, outcomes, past and future alike. . . This mantra brings us into the present moment, where we accept all that is and align ourselves with the universal flow in all life.

It’s a deep concept that we don’t need to understand before we practice. When we practice with a mantra like So Hum, eventually the experience it evokes will illuminate the meaning I am describing. But just for today, and for tomorrow, approach this meditation practice with an open mind and a gentle heart. Open yourself to it without expectation.

After getting to know this mantra and its effects, we can begin to use it throughout our day. In my personal life, I will inhale and repeat silently to myself, SO. Then, I will exhale and silently say within, HUM. This is how we can use this mantra practically. And this simple act allows us to completely reset our mind, emotions, and nervous system. Inhale SO. Exhale HUM. Repeat.

This simple reset actually gives us the chance to be present to the moment, more light-hearted, open to what is, as it is. I am not one thing. I am not any thing, per say. I am all things. All that is. I am that, and that, and that…I am the universal flow in it all.