Individuals need to start with loving themselves because when you’re operating and interacting with others from a space of self-love you bring that experience to others. You show them what’s possible for themselves. Also, seeing and interact with others through the lens of love. People don’t need to be made wrong. Instead, they need to be amplified in love. Every person can help others understand and accept themselves by accepting the differences in people. We were never designed to all be the same, to hold the same beliefs, and to express in the same way. When we accept others as they are, we give them permission to be their most authentic expression of self.
As a part of my series about “Connecting With Yourself To Live With Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Kat Trimarco. Kat is a life coach, sex & relationship coach, published author and speaker. Everything Kat teaches is centered around coming home to your true self — your true soul self, your desires, your true sexual self, and living the outward expression of your most authentic and powerful self. She coaches and teaches people to understand their inner world of thoughts, emotions, and energies to turn internal struggle into inner peace, and live a personalized version of your best life. Kat’s first book, Self Approved — A guide to accepting, loving and expressing the person you truly are, was published in 2017 and is available worldwide on Amazon.com. She is available to be hired for one-on-one life coaching, sexuality & relationship coaching, as well as group workshops to teach and speak.
Thank you so much for joining us! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.
The true work for me started after hitting my personal rock bottom in my early 20’s. I’d been abusing drugs and alcohol since I was a young teenager — for almost ten years. At the time, I was in an extremely unhealthy relationship and my partner was addicted to opioids.
I didn’t even realize that the dynamic in our relationship was unhealthy because I hadn’t known anything different. I’d never had healthy relationships modeled to me growing up. I accepted that a lack of love and always chasing love was the normal dynamic in relationships. And therefore, that’s what I recreated relationship after relationship.
I’d spent a couple of years trying to help my partner get clean from drugs and alcohol. It became my mission to help him get sober. I became somewhat of a caretaker and all sexual intimacy vanished from our relationship.
Eventually, the dynamic between us got so intolerable and I realized that I just couldn’t help him turn his life around in a positive direction and that I had to leave the relationship. I had to put myself first and decide what future I wanted to create.
In the back of my mind and in the center of my heart, I’d secretly hoped that me leaving the relationship would be the rock bottom that my partner needed to get clean and sober. It wasn’t and his addiction continued to spiral until he passed away.
Leaving the relationship was a huge wake-up call for me. A wake-up call for me to look deep inside myself and figure out who I was and what it was I truly desired. After my ex’s death, I started asking deeper questions about life like why we are here and what this existence is all even about.
This sent me on an incredible soul exploring journey inwardly learning about my emotions and who I am underneath the layers and layers of who I thought I had to be. As well, it led me on an external journey where I literally traveled to different countries solo all across the globe in search of deeper meaning.
I had a burning desire to understand myself, intimacy, and relationships. I didn’t understand how things had gone so astray in my relationship and I wanted to create healthy dynamics moving forward.
This began my journey of self-discovery and self-love.
I went on to share my story and teachings of how others can come home to their true selves, love and express who they are in my first book, Self Approved.
I wanted to teach and help other people looking to better themselves and transform their own lives so I went on to attain a certificate in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and became a certified sex & relationship coach.
Part of what inspired my desire to be a sex coach was finding myself in an almost sexless relationship and desiring deep intimacy and physical connection. Also, I had never been able to orgasm with partners. Only by myself. I wanted to open up pleasure in my body and know how to open up and orgasm with a partner. This was a big reason I explored my sexuality so deeply and wanted to help other women and couples to know their sexual desires, to fully awaken their pleasure energy and to be able to communicate and ask for what they desire in bed.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?
Yes! I’m so excited about what I’m working on right now! I’m in the process of writing my second book, Aligned AF — Master the art of following your highest calling and manifesting your dreams.
In this book, I help people understand the inner dynamics of their thoughts, beliefs and emotions and how these are creating the life they’re experiencing. I take my readers through processes to dismantle limiting interpretations of their past to free themselves in the present and create a new future.
I’m most excited about this book because these principles can be applied literally to any different area of a person’s life to create transformation and peace.
I also have an online program I’ve recently created called, Self Approved Sex. It’s a women’s specific group coaching program where I help women connect with themselves sexually, embody their full sexual expression, to feel safe in their sexual energy, to know their sexual needs and desires and how to communicate these to a partner.
Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?
I had a period where I was stuck in a loop of using personal development as a way to hate myself further. Personal development can be a tricky subject and it’s important to ask yourself if you’re using it as a way to improve yourself and develop a new skill or if you’re using it because you think you’re broken and need fixing. Those are two very different energies.
The shift came for me when I had a deep inner understanding that I am whole. Who I am is a being of creation and creation doesn’t make mistakes. I realized that at my center I am so incredibly worthy and lovable.
From here, my relationship with personal development changed and I’m now able to look at it as an opportunity to take myself further towards my dreams and desires and to live a more fulfilled life instead of needing to fix myself.
In the past, I struggled with self-acceptance in almost every area of my life — body image, my looks, relationships with men, and my work. I’ve been quite hard on myself in the past and it’s something I’m always reminding myself of — to be gentle on myself. What’s so beautiful about self-love as a foundation is that it seeps out and transforms so many different areas of your life. When we love ourselves as a standard, everything around us shifts to meet that standard. It truly is incredible.
According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?
Absolutely! The causes are most definitely because we are fed an image of what beauty is. We see a particular standard of beauty portrayed externally in the media and even in our peers that we go to school with growing up. If who we are and how we look doesn’t match that standard we often internalize it to mean that there’s something wrong with us.
This can happen with all aspects of self. If what we feel or want to express doesn’t match what we see in others, it can be internalized as something wrong with self. All symptoms of not loving self.
The consequences are not living a fulfilled life. This can range from not allowing oneself to reach for and attain dreams, goals, and visions and maybe not even to have dreams, goals and visions. It can lead to not being able to connect meaningfully in relationships.
Returning home to the true worthiness of who we are is an inside job and it’s absolutely the basis for a happy and fulfilling life.
As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?
I used to raise my eyebrow at the phrase myself! Until I experienced how deeply transformative self-love truly is.
The very first benefit is that you feel better! Everything you’re reaching for in your life is really because you’re reaching for a feeling of what having that thing will provide you. Why not start at the foundation of it all and feel good first?
Loving ourselves is at the foundation of connecting with other people and building meaningful relationships. When you deeply love yourself and know of your innate worthiness the need to convince anyone to love you or depend on their behaviour to validate who you are, you open up a doorway to actually connect with others.
When you’re coming from a place of love for yourself and inside yourself, you are able to see others through this same lens of love. This transforms relationships.
Self-love can heal your relationship with food and exercise.
It helps you believe you’re worthy of following your dreams and tapping into the desires that live inside your heart.
When you truly love yourself, you know you get to have what you desire in life and in love.
Beyond that, it helps you have the courage to ask for what you desire in relationships and in all areas of life.
Self-love for me is a practice. Like going to the gym or yoga, we don’t do it once and we’re done. It becomes a conscious way of being with yourself and being in the world as you relate to others.
Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?
People stay in mediocre relationships for three main reasons.
Firstly, they don’t know something more is possible. Secondly, if they know that something more is possible but they don’t believe they are worthy and deserving of receiving it. Thirdly, if they are playing out relationship patterns of their own past or their family past. We see different relationship dynamics modeled to us growing up through our parents. This dynamic becomes normal even if it’s not what we desire.
This is where working with a qualified coach is massively beneficial in helping you to become aware of your patterns and shift them, creating new patterns that allow you to attract relationships you desire.
There’s so much freedom is recognizing patterns and having support to shift them.
When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?
Absolutely! Loving ourselves does not mean becoming complacent! In fact, truly loving ourselves often requires us to make changes.
Ask yourself, “If I’m truly honest with myself, is this relationship in alignment with what my heart truly desires?”
If you’re in a mediocre relationship, start by working on your own self-love first. This shift in your own energy can shift the relationship or you might shift so much that the next logical step is to end the relationship because you’re no longer in alignment with one another.
I wrote an entire book about self-reflection and realizing that I needed to make massive changes! I went from going out partying and doing drugs every weekend to cold turkey sober because I got honest with myself about the choices I was making and the detriment they were causing me. In my heart, I knew there was more available in this life for me. I knew that if I didn’t make the necessary changes, nothing would really shift.
It was during this same time I chose to end my relationship because I knew it wasn’t healthy. I knew that being in this relationship was holding me back and causing me pain. Even though I loved this person I had to get honest about what I truly wanted and understand that I couldn’t force another person to change.
So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?
This question follows your previous question perfectly!. First off, is looking at why you might avoid being alone in the first place. Being alone isn’t scary unless there’s something you’re avoiding and not addressing.
Many people avoid being alone when they aren’t listening to their hearts wisdom and choosing to stay in the comfort of the familiar when really they’re being called to make changes. When you spend time alone and truly feel into yourself, what you really desire makes itself more clear and known to you.
To be able to be alone and feel comfortable is an important building block in relationships for building connection and intimacy.
How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?
When you understand yourself and your own emotions in a relationship, you know what is yours and what is not yours. We are each responsible for our own inner emotional reactions. Without self-awareness, your emotions feel like they’re happening to you.
When you know yourself, you’re better able to regulate your own emotions in a relationship and recognize what’s yours to heal, transform and shift and what needs to be discussed with your partner.
Self-love allows you to connect and experience intimacy with another person without having an attachment to how they express love.
Often, people approach relationships from deficit energy, going to their partner to give them something and fill their cup. The irony is that when you fill up your own cup with love, you are now creating a signal that emanates from you that other people, including your partner, respond to.
When you’re residing in a loving space inside yourself, people come into your life that matches that love you already feel. It’s important to distinguish that it isn’t about trading a relationship for self-love but rather seeing self-love as something that enhances, deepens and elevates relationships.
In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?
A) Individuals need to start with loving themselves because when you’re operating and interacting with others from a space of self-love you bring that experience to others. You show them what’s possible for themselves. Also, seeing and interact with others through the lens of love. People don’t need to be made wrong. Instead, they need to be amplified in love. Every person can help others understand and accept themselves by accepting the differences in people. We were never designed to all be the same, to hold the same beliefs, and to express in the same way. When we accept others as they are, we give them permission to be their most authentic expression of self.
B) Society is a reflection of each of us individually. We each have a responsibility to do our own inner self-love work and that in turn shifts and changes society. We are a society. When each of us shifts on the micro-level, then the macro-level of society as whole shifts and changes.
What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?
Spoken word affirmations — As I’m doing things around the house or walking my dog I will speak out loud the programs I’m choosing to implant inside of myself. There’s something about saying it out loud that helps it feel more real. I’ll say things like “I’m so beautiful! I am so lovable! I am worthy! I am enough! I am good! I am loving!” I’ll just talk and talk until my energy feels aligned with the words I’m saying.
Spoken word gratitudes — Similar to how I do spoken word affirmations, I speak out loud the things that I’m grateful for. I pour appreciation onto myself and send it towards others. Again, I’ll walk around the house or while I’m walking my dog and say things like “I’m so grateful for my healthy body. I’m grateful that I get to move my body and exercise it. I’m grateful for my phone to connect me with people all around the world. I’m grateful for the beautiful clothes I get to adorn my body with. I’m grateful for the sun shining,” Etc. Activating gratitude shifts your internal environment and therefore shifts what you’re calling into your life and creating externally!
Self Prizing — Everyday I celebrate and prize myself for the things I accomplished in my day. It’s so easy for us to look at and focus on what we didn’t get done and what we should have done better. Self prizing shifts your focus to feel good about yourself in all that you did get done and all that you’re proud of yourself for. It’s a practice of writing down all the things you’re proud of yourself for.
Daily exercise — getting into my body, moving and getting my blood flowing. Sometimes this will look like going to the gym to lift weights, to a yoga class or for a nice relaxing walk outside in nature. This deeply helps me to connect with myself, get quiet and be embodied.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?
Aubrey Marcus Podcast — I love the depth in which Aubrey talks about our inner psychology and how we can make changes in our lives. He has a straight forward and incredibly authentic way in which he talks to his audience. I love that he dives deep into what makes up our consciousness and how we access our Higher Selves which is so important in the self-love journey — knowing and remembering our innate worthiness.
Love, Sex, Desire Podcast by Susana Frioni — Susana was my first ever sex coach! She helped me when I was going through a breakup and really being called to know and accept myself in a deeper way. I listened to her podcast every week where she has on a variety of sex and relationship professionals. I learned so much about what it means to be a sexually liberated woman in my own way and all that’s truly possible by accessing my pleasure and desire. I recommend it to all!
Abraham Hicks Books — Abraham teaches on the creation and how specifically our inner environment is reflected back to us in our external world. How we think, feel, and what we believe becomes our reality. They have multiple books including, “Getting into the Vortex”. Their teachings have massively helped me shift myself, how I relate with other people and situations in my life.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…
I had a vision a few years ago of setting up a hugging booth on the side of the street in my home city in Canada. The idea and intention behind it were to show everybody that they are loved, they have not been forgotten and to express free love to strangers because we are all so connected to one another. My vision would be to have one day dedicated to seeing, reflecting and expressing nothing but love towards one another and to see what unfolded after that one day.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?
“Creation doesn’t make mistakes” — I still use this quote personally with myself and with my clients all the time. Anytime in the past when I questioned myself, I’d repeat this quote to myself to remind me that my existence matters and that I am here on purpose. We all are. Anytime you feel less than or question yourself, say this out loud and come home to your true inner worthiness. Creation doesn’t make mistakes. Everything about you is on purpose.