Starting our day with a solid foundation is a must! It sets the tone for how we set up for success. I wake up early, between 430 and 5am. I either workout or make coffee and sit. I just breathe. I practice gratitude. Grateful for a warm shower, a home, a full family, a job that I love, a partner who is supportive and forgiving of my temper tantrums. I meditate by using the Insight Timer app (I highly suggest following Sarah Blondin) to slow down and find inner peace.
Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, unchallenged, and have nothing to look forward to? It doesn’t have to be that way. One idea that I always advise my clients is to “Get Out of your mind and connect with your spirit”. Be creative. I don’t care if you pain over the same canvas, or knit, undo- and knit again, or cook and feed it all to pigeons- I want you to get into the process of creativity as when we create we are out of our mind, we tap into the realm of the spirit and we learn how to manifest!
As a part of our series interviewing experts on how to live a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelley Kitley, Owner of Serendipitous Psychotherapy and best selling author of an autobiography of survival, ‘MY self.’ Kelley is a sought after international mental health expert who has appeared on Dr. Oz, TODAY, Access Live, and hundreds of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Redbook, Shape, Self, and Cosmopolitan.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
At the age of 16, I was being treated for an eating disorder and had such a positive experience on my healing journey. I knew then that I too wanted to become a therapist and help others heal.
What does it mean for you to live “on purpose”? Can you explain? How can one achieve that?
To me, to live “on purpose” means to find one’s passion and be intentional about your role in the world. We can achieve this first by listening to that inner voice and gut feeling. Often, we know exactly what we need to do but talk ourselves out of it because of fear or self doubt. I encourage my clients to tap into what they are most afraid of and do that.
Do you have an example or story in your own life of how your pain helped to guide you to finding your life’s purpose?
My mess is my message. I’ve experienced a lot of adversity in my life, it wasn’t just one thing that helped guide my purpose. As a woman in recovery from substance abuse, postpartum anxiety, an eating disorder, and several traumas, my life’s purpose was always right in front of me. Through experiential learning and earning a graduate degree in social work with a concentration in mental health, I was always eager to become the best version of myself and share my experience, strength, and hope to help others heal.
The United States is currently rated at #18 in the World Happiness Report. Can you share a few reasons why you think the ranking is so low?
I think the ranking is so low because we are spread so thin. We multitask creating a sense of feeling overwhelmed and never being good enough. As a result we numb out through food, substances, and toxic relationships which prohibit us from being fully present. When we take time to pause, reflect, and ultimately make changes to better serve ourselves and those we come in contact with, is when we can find true happiness.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have a solid platform that allows me to change the conversation about mental health and addiction. This has given me the privilege to lead retreats for women looking to better their lives, I organize fundraisers for charities I’m passionate about bringing people from my community together for a common purpose, and I have the honor of speaking around the country to inspire others to find their passion.
What are your 6 strategies to help you face your day with exuberance, “Joie De Vivre” and a “ravenous thirst for life”? Can you please give a story or example for each?
Starting our day with a solid foundation is a must! It sets the tone for how we set up for success.
I wake up early, between 430 and 5am. I either workout or make coffee and sit. I just breathe. I practice gratitude. Grateful for a warm shower, a home, a full family, a job that I love, a partner who is supportive and forgiving of my temper tantrums. I meditate by using the Insight Timer app (I highly suggest following Sarah Blondin) to slow down and find inner peace.
I set intentions for the day and check in with myself regularly to ensure I’m not feeling too lonely, angry, lonely, or tired. I move my body outside and love the crisp cool air on my face. It helps me feel alive and get outside my head. I reach out to others and check in to shift my focus from myself. I hug. It helps me feel grounded and connected. I cry, it helps release tension. I sing my favorite songs at the top of my lungs to and from work in my minivan which is a natural high. At night, I journal in bed next to my oil diffuser filled with lavender. My sleep is crucial to my level of functioning and I’m strict about my 8 hours.
When I don’t practice these things, it throws my day off. I’m not perfect and I make plenty of mistakes. Sometimes because of my fast paced life I’m unable to hit these behaviors. I acknowledge, accept, and aim to do better the next hour or day.
Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that most inspired you to live with a thirst for life?
Outside sources that support my work are a crucial part of my growth. I saturate myself with books, podcasts, and speakers that inspire me. Some of my current favorites are Brene Brown, ‘Dare to Lead’ and Michelle Obama, ‘Becoming.’ I also listen regularly to Super Soul Sunday conversations with Oprah Winfrey, The Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and seeing Pink, Florence and The Machine, Cheryl Strayed, and the Together Live event gave me a huge pep in my step this year.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that relates to having a Joie De Vivre? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Do I have to choose just one? I have quotes everywhere! It helps me restructure any negativity that I may find myself perseverating on. A “Life is Beautiful”picture frame with a photo of my husband, 4 kids, and myself at the beach sits on my desk. A constant reminder that life is a gift is the best lesson I need to keep things in perspective.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’ve adapted my autobiography into a series made for tv. We are in the process of pitching to production companies. The goal is to have a visual storytelling platform to expand the amount of people whose lives we can touch.
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? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Thank you. Yes, it is a huge responsibility that I signed up for and I’m always up for the challenge. I want to host my own talk show similar to Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz-we need a female version to address taboo topics and give people a platform to tell their stories to inspire change.
About The Author:
Dr. Marina Kostina is a life and business fulfillment coach. She uses research and energy work to help professional women find their purpose and turn it into a profitable business. Dr. Kostina incorporates innovative marketing strategies and the creation of engaging, lucrative online courses to scale their businesses. As a result they enjoy what she describes as a “ravenous life” — a life filled with the passion, pleasure, playfulness and abundance that come naturally to those who dare to be authentic. Her book “Find the G-Spot of Your Soul” is available January 2018. Download a free gift from Dr. Kostina- an MP3 Meditation Album “Find The G –Spot Of Your Soul” and get unstuck.