Katie Kurtz is a licensed social worker, aspiring life coach, and a Cleveland (and Ohio!) enthusiast. She's a daydream believer and she is super passionate about empowering others to be the change that they wish to see in the world. Read on to learn about Katie's heart-centered self-care routine and what she's doing to bring a little more courage, soul connection, and wit to her community.
My daily schedule is never the same so being flexible and adaptable are key with some prep and planning intertwined. I am an early riser. I like to try to get my blood pumping and head cleared in the morning with movement. From the moment I wake up until right before I hit the pillow, I am drinking water. I have always been hell-bent on hydration and have a water bottle on hand wherever I go.
I know that for me to function at my best self and be flexible and adaptable to whatever is thrown at me that day, I need rest. I don’t shy away from the early to bed early to rise grind. I don’t own a TV and used to fall asleep to Netflix on my laptop. Over the last few months I have broken up with that habit and have noticed a significant upgrade in my sleep routine. I was recently introduced to essential oils and started using a diffuser to accompany my nightly ritual of journaling. Sweet slumber!
I am imperfectly perfect and a constant work in progress. For many years, I focused my energy on workouts and diets that were not serving me. I am short, curvy and have learned to love the skin I am in while striving to be the healthiest I can be. I work my ass in every sweat session, focus on balance, and put a heavy emphasis on self-compassion. I feel my best when I nourish my body with whole foods, lots of water, sleep and self-love. I’m conscientious about eating organic, non-gmo and locally sourced foods by frequenting the farmer’s markets in my community. Breakfast: I am a big breakfast fan because I know my body craves that energy. I have been into perfecting my smoothie bowl game as of late. I usually go right from spinning to work so I brought my blender into my office and keep frozen greens and fruits in my little kitchen to blend up and top with coconut chips, granola or fruit. Oh, and tea. Always tea. Lunch: I meal prep on Sundays and I keep things pretty simple. I usually have some sort of chopped salad with a form of protein mixed in. Snacks: Nuts, hummus, popcorn, and fruit. Dinner: Again, I keep it simple. Some variety of roasted veggies, quinoa, chicken or lean beef mix. Drink: Water! I recently started dabbling into fruit/veggie infused waters, which is fun to play with and super refreshing. Splurge: Ice cream. The answer is always ice cream.
My journey with fitness has led me to realize my mind, body and spirit crave to move and sweat. My need to engage in physical activity goes beyond the health benefits but becomes my meditation through movement. I’m a spin junkie! There’s something about the bike and the beat that gets me out of my head and into a really amazing space. I crave those sprints, hills and riding with a pack so I try to spin at least 3-5 times a week. I’m a regular at Harness Cycle in Cleveland’s Hingetown neighborhood. I love the instructors inspiring classes and the energy of riding with a group of kickass Clevelanders. I am also a certified spin instructor and hope to go from the pack to the platform sometime soon!
When I’m not on a bike, I am on the mat at Inner Bliss Yoga Studio. Yoga is my medicine. My poses are far from perfect. My breath is loud so I can empty my mind. Sometimes I am laughing and other times I let the tears roll. But each time I step on the mat, I am reminded that this is all a practice--a practice of beginning again. I love my city and you can find me at all the awesome local fitness pop up events throughout Cleveland either on a roof, in an art studio, or even at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
I believe that connection is what we are meant to do. That this is the basis of our human existence. Meaningful and soulful connection is a vital part of my life and one of my main core values. I am grateful to have an incredible family and amazing friends. I cultivate and tend to my relationships because they are my foundation and I offer gratitude each day for the incredible people I am so lucky to surround myself with.
When it comes to relationships, I believe in authenticity and embracing the messy. There is no such thing as perfection and once we let that mindset settle in, we can allow ourselves to lean into vulnerability and shed the layers that mask our truest selves. That raw, genuine you--that is who I want to know and connect with. There is a beautiful story there and so many gifts to reveal and let shine.
Home is where my family is. I am a total homebody and although I am outgoing and love to be connected with others, I am also a classic introvert that needs space to rejuvenate and settle my body, mind, and soul. I strive to spend time at home, with my pup, reading, writing, learning and recharging.
I have a meditation altar in my room that is filled with small tokens to keep me grounded and rooted in love. I have a small collection of quotes, pictures, candles and malas on my alter to help me slow down and refuel whether it’s while journaling, meditating or putting laundry away. My favorite part of my home is my bookshelf. I am a total self development book nerd and I am currently in two book clubs--Jacki Carr’s Novel Grapes on Facebook and my yoga studio’s Blissful Book Club. I am a forever student and always willing to grow and expand and these books are a great way to stretch my mind and soul. I am always adding to my book bounty so if you have a good read-send it my way!
Stress-Release and Centering Tools
As a social worker, I have a fairly intense job that has schooled me in learning how to become a self-care ambassador. I set pretty strict boundaries for my work/personal life and ensure that my self-care is a priority. I believe that self-care should encompass the mind, body, soul, and spirit. These are daily rituals, practices and mindset shifts that help renew my energy and help me stay centered on self-love and compassion.
When you work with individuals who have experienced trauma or have serious mental illness, it is not uncommon to develop secondary trauma or compassion fatigue. I sometimes present on these topics to help encourage helpers and change makers to become more self-aware of their mind-body connection and recognize the red flags in order to prevent burn out. Common go-to’s in my toolbox include body scanning, Kundalini deep breathing and Breath of Fire, mantras, any type of movement, daily journaling, group texts with my tribe, taking self-care days when I know I need a break and any time I can get near Lake Erie I am in my happy place.
On the eve of my 30th birthday, I walked into a tattoo shop with my beautiful mama and had the word “joy” inscribed on my wrist in her handwriting. I made this choice for several reasons but the main one being to remind me to seek out the small joys in every day. This is ultimately my daily practice and at the core of my self-care routine.
If there is one thing I know to be true it is that my purpose is to serve. I believe that our soul is our essence--it is our truest, most authentic self. I believe my purpose is to connect and guide others back to their soul to be the change they wish to see in this world of ours. What I have found in my own journey over the last few years is that I can no longer play small. I have gifts that are meant to be shared with the world and I am committed to showing up to giving my all.
In March, I launched a daydream into reality with the Soul Connect Tribe. The Soul Connect Tribe is a collective of women who are redefining the girl’s night out. I wanted to create a space, a community, a movement where women could connect in a meaningful and authentic way. No judgments, no frills; just real women, talking about real topics in a really soulful way. I want to be able to curate a supportive and fun network of women that promotes courage, self-care, and belly laughs. This group is growing by the month and I am so excited to see how it evolves.
I am currently in the process of becoming a certified life coach with the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy. I am in love with this heart-centered program that is equipping me to create a beautiful business to serve the world with more soul. I plan to work with women who want to gain more clarity, harness their courage, and inspire shift in their lives in order to become the best version of themselves. I believe that in order to show up bigger and brighter in the lives of others, we need to first tend to our own souls. I am so excited to gradually unveil everything that I am dreaming and scheming. I live in the incredible city of Cleveland where there are so many dreamers and doers who are elevating this magnetic vibe of passion and creativity. Life is so juicy sweet right now and the best is yet to come!