“First intention; then, enlightenment.” -Buddha

find your soulI know this feeling. Maybe a little too well.

It starts in the pit of my stomach and makes its way into my subconscious.

It’s hard for the people closest to me to understand it and almost impossible for onlookers. They think I’m flippant or unhappy where I am, constantly seeking change in an effort to find happiness. But the truth is, I am happy. Wildly happy. Everything I have envisioned for my life up to this point has come to fruition in some shape or form. Own my own business…check. Own my own car…check. Own my own house…check. Find the perfect husband…the BEST check. Have a successful career…with time, check. Run around the world…Morocco, Kenya and Patagonia, triple check.

So what is it? Why do I still get this feeling? This longing in my soul to be more, do more. To live my potential. To change the world. To get out of my comfort zone. To figure out who I am and what I’m meant to give back to this world. To make more mistakes. To find greatness. To fly.

I had coffee with a friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Big things are happening for him, and it’s exciting! It inspires me. I love the feeling of starting from nothing and building your dream. It takes so much heart, determination, and hard work. It becomes you, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. He asked me how things were going with me, and I quickly said things are really good! Then I paused, and in a moment of complete transparency, I replied, I’m hungry. I’m ready for change.

Being an entrepreneur himself, I think he understood the feeling. He wanted to know what excites me. I love this question! Everything!! I’m full of excitement for lots of things! But when he asked me, I all of a sudden went blank. I had gotten so comfortable with my surroundings, that instead of living passionately, I have been going through the motions. I wasn’t challenging myself anymore, or learning something new, or creating something beautiful, or pushing myself through uncomfortable situations. I was simply living. So why does that scare me so much? There is no momentum. There is no change.

My husband knows when I get this feeling. He says I’m here, but not present. I’m too busy thinking and dreaming to be part of the world around me. My motivation gets low and I stop producing. I start doing the bare minimum to get by, and I get lazy. The truth is, I thrive with a lot on my plate. When things are absolutely overwhelming and unmanageable, I become my best self. I can make it happen. I can do what others won’t. Get up at 4am? No problem. Sell ice to an Eskimo? You got it. The point where others start to break, I gain strength.

As fate would have it, I looked back over my Strength’s Finder results last night. My number one strength is Activator, characterized by the reoccurring question, “When can we start?” The book tells me that I am impatient for action. I can express my goals, feelings and desires, but in the end, only action is real. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, I cannot not act. Action is the best device for learning. I make a decision, I take action, I look at the result, and I learn. I can’t grow if I have nothing to react to. I must put myself out there. I must take the next step. To grow, I must consciously expose myself to challenging experiences that test my talents, skills and knowledge. Underlining theme? I must act. I must move. I must challenge myself. I must change. So what’s the next step?

I ran ten miles the other day, in a constant dream state. I can’t remember the last time I went running, that’s how long its been. I’ve been on a yoga bender for the past three months, restoring and revitalizing my body and mind. Just goes to show how far your body can support you when your mind doesn’t tell you to stop. The dream? Living in New York City. Smack dab in the middle of it all. Is that cliche? To dream about living in the city that never sleeps because it is constantly dreaming? Regardless, I can’t deny the pulse, the energy, its cathartic. It truly makes me feel alive.

This isn’t a new dream. It has been one of my life goals for as long as I can remember to live in Manhattan. Every time I visit, I pretend to be a local. I throw on my headphones, walk briskly, and pretend I’ve been there my whole life. I’ve even had multiple tourists ask me for directions! I smile, point them in the right direction, and keep the pace. I wake up before the sun, head to a sweat drenching fitness class, grab breakfast and watch the people go by. It’s a melting pot of cultures, dreamers and people just trying to make it. Everyone has a story, and it fascinates me.

Now to be fair, this isn’t just something I got from watching Sex in the City, Gossip Girl or Million Dollar Listing on TV. My parents used to take our family to NYC every Christmas. We would wake up Christmas morning, pack our bags and off we’d go. It was magical. Before we’d go I’d make lists of things locals would do and dragged my parents to each one, including “the best place to eat hummus.” I remember being bundled up for the Macy’s Day Parade, sitting outside of Macy’s on bleachers holding a christmas balloon and smiling ear to ear. Or spending Spring Break with my mother and literally walking into the St. Patrick’s Day Parade when we didn’t know it was taking place. Or watching shows on Broadway and wishing I was in them. To this day, if you ask me what I want to be when I grow up, it’s the star of a Broadway musical! I can’t sing or dance, but being under those lights would be a dream come true. Even just sitting in a diner and listening to the buzz of the people around you is exhilarating. Everyone has a story. Everyone is trying to make it.

The fear of failure is a strong motivator. I have been blessed to have a fairly positive life. I have been supported and loved beyond measure. My safety net has always been closely underneath me. But what I love most about leaps of faith, is the fear behind the action. Will I find a job in NYC? Could I support myself? What if I don’t make it and have to come home? Will I be a failure? Will I disappoint my parents by leaving Austin? If my husband stays in Austin, will I be able to set up a foundation for him to move up here with me? Will I be lonely?

Austin has been good to me. Maybe a little too good. With 110 people moving here every single day, there is no doubt that Austin is the place to be. Even my friends in New York dream of being back in Austin. With so many transplants, I am one of the few natives who call Austin home. Not to mention, the weather right now? Oh ya, it’s absolutely perfect. Yet I run around Lady Bird Lake and I dream of being elsewhere. Somewhere that lights a fire inside of me. It may be freezing, unwelcoming, harsh and more than a challenge. It may break me. But either way, it will make me stronger.

At the end of our two hour talk, that honestly felt like 2 minutes, my friend looked at me and smiled. He said, Katy, I can’t wait for you to come back to Austin in a fur coat as a straight up #GIRLBOSS and tell me you only have ten minutes to talk to me. I laughed. But he’s right. What’s stopping me? Kids? No, not yet. My husband? No, he’s with me for life and beyond supportive. My family? Maybe. My stable life in Austin? It shouldn’t. I’m an Activator. I make change. I excel at it. So what’s my big hairy audacious goal that scares me even to think about? It’s leaving everything I love and facing the Big City with open eyes and an open heart. I can do this. I’m ready to fly.

I wrote this post almost one full year ago on October 16, 2014 after my coffee date with Johnathan Haynes, but never published it. I’m sure you’re dying to know…did I go to New York? haha No, I didn’t. But I started asking myself serious questions. Was moving to New York the answer, or could I find the same answers right here in Austin? What about New York excites me? What could I do there that I couldn’t do here? Who did I think I could become, that I couldn’t become here?

I soon realized that New York wasn’t the challenge, it was the easy answer. If I wanted to optimize my life, find purpose and live my dreams, I didn’t need to move across the country, I needed to change my mindset. I needed to start taking action. I needed to be authentic to who I was and who I wanted to be. What did that look like for me? How could I get out of the monotony that was becoming my life and tap into something greater?

This may seem silly, but besides becoming a straight up #GIRLBOSS NYC Realtor, one of the biggest things I wanted to do in New York was become a SoulCycle spin instructor. To me, that was stardom! These instructors were insanely fit, 100% authentic, beyond inspiring, and had what appeared to be a zest for life that I wanted. If you’ve never taken a rhythmic spin class, you’ll have to trust me when I say it can be transformational on a mind, body and spirit level. It’s like lifting a heavy barbell overhead and immediately feeling empowered to go out and do anything your heart desires! I knew if I could be on that podium, I would have transformed myself into be the person I so longed to be.

Then as fate would have it, I heard about a studio opening up right here in Austin that wanted to take the rhythmic spin model and make it even better. I immediately thought, this is your chance Katy, take it. I had another coffee date with a fitness icon in Austin who was opening up the LOVE Cycling studio and it too changed the course of my life. At that meeting I was red in the face, trembling, and felt completely unworthy to be a spin instructor. For one, the workout was REALLY hard for me physically. I am a power athlete and heavy lifter, and spin is a highly endurance cardio workout. I crumbled on fast jogs and 3 minutes of 2 pound weight routines. My confidence and self love was low. I questioned whether I was ready or capable to be up there. Would I be motivating? Did I look the part? Could I embody the fitness mentors I looked up to? Did I zest for life? But regardless of my fears, I knew the journey would change me for the better.

I started thinking about what I needed to do and who I needed to become to achieve this goal. I cut out alcohol completely about six months ago because it wasn’t enabling me to do the things I wanted to do. I stuck to eating healthier because I knew I needed the fuel to make it. I made it a priority to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to help recovery. I started reading daily life optimization books, podcasts and articles. But above all I was given an amazing opportunity to train for three months under two unbelievable mentors for both fitness and life. As the time passed, I grew stronger and more confident. I started becoming the person I saw myself being right here in Austin, Texas. And as luck would have it, I made the LOVE Cycling studio team of instructors and we open next week!!

Have I finished my journey? Heck no, I just started. But now I know I am capable of any crazy idea I can dream up. To feel successful I need to go after the things my heart longs for. I need to challenge myself. I need to change. I need to develop. I need to optimize myself and most importantly, others. My list of goals is now pages long so I started this blog to hold myself accountable and to start helping others achieve their dreams.

One of the things that first coffee date a year ago told me, was to be authentic. Do you. Be transparent. Maybe it will resonate with others, maybe not, but don’t stop writing and don’t stop dreaming. This past year I learned to stop judging myself for being a Realtor, gym owner, spin instructor, and *insert passion. Being authentic to me is doing all of the things in my life that enable me to follow my core values, use my strengths, and serve others. I finally feel whole. Funny enough, I didn’t need to go to New York to find my SOUL. It was always inside me. Just as I could not have tried to find LOVE. I found it once I started breaking down all the barriers within my self that I had built against it.

LOVE team

Today’s Daily Affirmation: I am LOVE. I have purpose. I am on the right path. I am better today than I was yesterday. I LOVE myself. I LOVE others. I am connected to everyone. I am already whole, complete and perfect. Today I can make anything happen and today is the day I make my dreams come true.