Mind & Spirit

[Interview] Kate Bartolotta: on finding our true voices

 

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There doesn’t seem to be a better way to kickstart this month’s #FierceHeartTalk focus than with Kate Bartolotta. Full of light in her eyes and magic in her heart, she’s lit up writers and creative souls the world over through her website Be You Media Group, her book Heart Medicine: Write Your Story, Heal Your Heart and now, most recently, the launch of her personal website katebartolotta.com.

Our hearts are also all aflame from hearing whispers about her new book, Routine to Ritual: An Invitation to Love Your LifeBut before that’s out to warm our spirits this December, we spend a little cosy time with her, digging deep down into the spaces of our own dear hearts to discover what it means to reconnect to our true voices. 

I love that your website is called “Be You”. Why did you choose this as a title?

It’s a funny story:  I had been rolling the concept around in my mind for a while, but couldn’t quite settle on a name for it. I often recommend to my clients and workshop participants that sometimes the best way to a solution is to let it go and do something unrelated, that the best ideas often hit in the shower or while driving. And that was it! This was a lightning bolt / pulled-over-on-the-side-of-the-road / scribbling-ideas-down moment. I had been looking for a balance between having a clear editorial focus on supporting creative work without putting the contributors in too narrow of a box. This was it.

Your book Heart Medicine and a lot of your writings are about healing through creative self-expression (writing / art / poetry etc). How does this work and why is it so important to create?

I feel like the larger issue is that we do create all the time, and that in order to best enjoy our lives and live out our purpose, we need to be intentional about what we create. For example, we get up in the morning and for some, that negative ticker tape of everything that’s going wrong starts to kick in. Other people (myself included!) approach it with the intention of being curious about what amazing things might happen in this new blank day. We are always creating a mental story about what’s going on in life. Noticing this and proactively choosing what we create is essential if we want to live a joyful life.

What do you think it is that blocks so many people from expressing their true voice?

For many people, it’s an issue of self-worth, or not knowing and owning their own value. We get this idea in our heads as we leave childhood that there’s a certain way we should be — and that how we actually are might not live up to that. It’s true in our thoughts about our work, our bodies, how we are in relationships… so many things. When we do our personal work to learn to love ourselves, expressing from an authentic place becomes much easier, and eventually gets closer to the effortless way we did it as children.

What should each our true voice sound like, look like or feel like?

I like to say that authenticity isn’t something we do; it’s something we allow. When we strip away all of the scripts of what we think we “should” say or how we “should” be, it’s the essential true voice that’s left. People love to bash on social media, but I think it can be a great tool for self-assessment on this issue. When you see how you’re communicating in print like that, if you’re open to it, it can be a way to see where you’re being genuine and where you’re full of sh*t! The same is true for bloggers, to an extent. If you are writing on personal topics, reading your work out loud when you edit can help you get a feel for whether it matches your inner voice.

Do you have a favourite practice or ritual for finding and reconnecting to this inner voice?

Including ritual in every day life is a big passion of mine (and the topic of my upcoming book!) but if I had to pick one thing that I feel helps all of us connect with our inner voices more deeply, it’s having a physical practice we enjoy. For me, that’s yoga and dance. The more in tune we are with our bodies, the more easily we notice when our bodies react to that cognitive dissonance when our external expression doesn’t match our internal rhythms.

I’ve interviewed you before about overcoming busy-ness and learning to slow down. How else do you think we can bring ourselves away from all the distracting noises and voices of the world outside of ourselves?

Getting out into nature definitely helps. Even if you’re in a city, getting to a park and sitting on the ground for a bit instead a bench, getting fresh air, going to a botanical garden or heading to the beach… all of these things help remind us that we aren’t cogs in a machine; we’re part of a big, gorgeous eco-system.

What have been some of your favourite personal creations and why?

I love that my book, Heart Medicine, has resonated with so many people, but my favourite is probably also my most popular article: “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps.” The title and intro are meant to make fun of our speedy-click bait society, and that type of journalism in particular, but the article itself is about finding gratitude and joy in the present moment. I was thrilled that so many people were sharing a message on something so simple that we all can do to love our lives more.

Lastly, what do you think are the best drink, song and season for creating

Ahhhhhh, I’m so fickle on that stuff! Every new season starts and right now, I think, “Summer is the BEST!” But since it is summer (and summer is actually the best…) let’s go with iced Yerba Mate and Tiger Striped Sky by Roo Panes.

 

{Photos: Kate Bartolotta}

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Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. Her book, Heart Medicine, is available on Amazon.com. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Connect with Kate on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or katebartolotta.com.

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