I’m working hard each day to grow EcoFitYogi, I aim to create a company out of my passion. I reached out to one of my spiritual role models, Kelsey J Patel. She agreed to this interview with such kindness and support. I hope you find light and comfort while reading this interview. Kelsey is a spiritual empowerment coach, healer, and entrepreneur. A strong woman with a life goal that inspires.
What is your personal mantra?
“I am open to receive for my highest good with harm to none”
Every month or even week my mantra changes and I truly connect to the feelings, happenings and energy of where I find myself each day, week, month and year. I believe we are all evolving all the time, so to me I work with the quote or mantra that really feels powerful during the time of change and shifting I’m in. For September, it’s been this mantra. Another reminder I always share with myself is: “Life is 10% of what is given to you and 90% of how you react to it.” So many things in life happen and how you react to it all is where you will find your ultimate peace, acceptance and happiness.
What does your morning routine look like?
Every morning, I usually hit the snooze button once or twice and slowly allow myself to consciously breath and wake up J and then once I’m awake, I lay in bed and play my monthly meditation which is about ten minutes long to really connect and set myself up in a calm, centered way to start the day. The meditation is a free monthly-guided recording I produce each month to help my students and subscribers practice a 30-day intention setting and power mantra. It’s a very powerful way to start the day and I feel like I’m already connected to my community, as I’m right along with them in the practice each day. I then place my hands over my heart and prepare my heart, my body and my mind for the day ahead. I ask for guidance, I share my intentions for the day and then I wake up and start the day. I love nourishing myself in the am, so I try to take my time to wake up and then I intentionally hydrate all parts of myself before starting the day. I usually drink a big glass of alkaline water with lemon to prepare my body and I also always cleanse and deeply hydrate my face, neck and skin. I’ll then usually walk around the corner to my favorite coffee shop and grab an Americano and head home to make myself a juice, chia seed pudding with fresh fruit or a smoothie. I love my mornings and really cherish the time to prepare for the day.
How do you implement self-love into your everyday?
A lot of my self-love comes from my morning practice. I’ll usually always connect and check-in with myself throughout the day as well to see how I’m feeling, what I need and how I can serve my body, mind and spirit. I love working out as part of my self- love practice as well. And, because I own a fitness studio, Pure Barre Beverly Hills, it’s easy for me to hop in for class in the middle of the day. I also have a gym at my home, so whenever I feel like I need a break from my technology or calls and meetings, I’ll throw my clothes on and head up for a good sweat. I also teach classes at The Den Meditation Center, so whenever I’m in the space of teaching or working with my one-on-one clients in my private reiki practice, it’s important for me to be connecting from a peaceful, open state of mind. Many times, I’ll do a quick meditation or just some breathing exercises to really open myself up before I teach or meet with a client so I can be fully present and feel my needs have been taken care of before serving others. My self-practice and self-love is everything to me and I’m always learning how to grow and see more of what my heart needs and wants. It’s definitely a life long practice, and I’m here to explore it all.
What goddess do you connect with? Why?
I would say I feel a very close connection to Mother Theresa. I often feel her energy of service and commitment to the world and feel very deep in my desire to be of service to this world for as long as I’m in it.
I also love Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess for Wealth and Abundance. It was very hard for me in life to practice accepting abundance in all forms and to believe that I am worthy of receiving. As much as I love to give in my life, the true challenge has been for me to open up to receive abundance in all forms, but especially in the form of money. For some reason, it was just very hard for me to accept money for the services I provided and the work I have done. I now am learning the importance of valuing myself, as I have no problem valuing others. It’s been a beautiful way of connecting to my worth and value thru the essence of Goddess Lakshmi.
As a woman with a corporate background, what motivated you to change your career path?
I’d say the biggest motivation for me is stagnation and the need I have to grow. I really like feeling out of my comfort zone in my career. I also secretly hate it because it’s uncomfortable and challenging, but it’s a big reason for me to have made three very big career changes. One change was from working in U.S. Senate in Washington, DC, where I was a public servant and worked in a small, but crazy talented and intelligent office of about 25 people for Senator Kent Conrad on Capitol Hill. I always felt like the least intelligent person in the office but I learned to use it to my advantage and do my best to soak up every ounce of wisdom that I could from everyone around me, including the Senator. Then, after about 4.5 years and moving up the ranks to several different job titles and roles within his office, I made a big move to LA to work for a huge FORTUNE 300 healthcare company called DaVita Inc. I went from a small team of about 25 people in Washington, DC, to a huge headquarters office in El Segundo, CA, and a nationwide company of about 30,000+ employees, at the time. Again, I worked way out of my comfort zone and was working with people who absolutely had higher IQ’s, likely by hundreds of points than mine, or at least that’s what I still believe. I actually remember coming home crying to my husband after a work trip because of how unintelligent I felt after having an intimate dinner with about 7 huge healthcare executives. It wasn’t because any of them would have said I’m not smart, but they were all just so smart and well-versed in talking about things, that it made me envy their life wisdom and words. I can now look back and recognize that they were all a good 20 years older than me and that some things in life just come with age and experience. I always used my personality and eagerness to learn as a tool, and it worked. People like being around me, and I loved learning from them. I traveled a lot for the first time in my job with DaVita, and it was great. I did amazing things with great people in my job there and, ultimately, after 5 years and incredible experience under my belt, I made the leap to being a franchise business owner. That is worthy of a whole book! And, the most recent change is expanding my network to now be a multi-unit franchise owner, a private business owner with my own practice as Kelsey J Patel, and more recently a co-owner and operator of a conscious and inspiring active apparel line called I am Vibes. I have always known it isn’t about where I am in my career, but how it makes me feel. The moment I felt like I have stopped learning or that there isn’t a role for me to move into or work towards, I started exploring new options. I think that’s personal growth. For me, the moment I got comfortable and things started to feel easy, I know it’s time to start something new.
What challenges did you experience when starting your new career? How did you overcome them?
The main challenges I have experienced and still experience in my career are also what I consider the biggest blessings. I am learning all the time. I never know what’s going to happen or come at me next. The biggest lesson has been trust. Trusting myself, trusting others, trusting God, trusting the timing and allowing the process to unfold and work its own magic for my highest good. Whenever I try to control things, I get in the way. I can certainly create intentions and develop a plan to activate my energy and move things along, but then I have to also be willing to let go and be guided by what occurs and how it falls into place.
What advice do you have for woman who are afraid of making that career shift?
It’s ok to be scared. I always remind myself and have great teachers who help me stay reminded that fear is a part of the human experience. If you can honor your fear, rather than berate it or make yourself feel bad or less than others you see out in the world, then you’re on the right path. Be scared. Be vulnerable. Be nervous. Be excited for the possibility that you don’t even know exists for you. Give yourself space and time to feel it all and once you do, you’ll be closer to trusting yourself no matter what happens. There is no one forcing you to make the career change, so give yourself some time to feel all of the feelings about it. Then, when you’re ready, even if the fear is still there, you will do it. I have been scared every time I have made a career change; but somehow it has always worked out incredibly. And, I believe that the fear was part of what helped it all. I was scared, I knew it, and I did it anyways. Find the place deep inside and go for it! We’re all in this together. Your fear is mine and mine is yours. Let’s lift each other up and just be the bad ass humans, God made us to be.
Many of my readers deal with body image issues and have dealt with eating disorders, what advice do you have for them when it comes to self-healing?
My biggest advice is to actively seek healing. You can only heal when you’re ready to – if you struggle with your body, weight, skin, hair, face, job, finances, relationships, love, etc. it is up to you to see it and seek the healing for it. I write this in the most compassionate and sympathetic way, as I have dealt with a myriad of my own issues related to my body, my value as a woman and a human, my weight, my ability to be loved, my nose, my intelligence etc. My advice is to write out how you feel now and how you want to feel, even if you can’t imagine how it might happen. Then, take a real look at it and feel into what type of assistance and guidance can help you in your healing. I have worked with several teachers, healers, read several books, done different classes, retreats, workshops, shared my fears and insecurities with different friends, family, and groups and I know that each element of opening up has helped me in my healing. I am also always still seeking and connecting to keep opening myself up to my greatness and deepest form of self-love. I encourage you to do the same.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
To let go!
When you experience stress or a low, what do you do to calm and lift yourself back up?
Great question! Every time it’s different. This week I am working through loss. My very last grandparent died this week and I am en route to her funeral. It’s a lot of different emotions from happiness and peace that she is with her husband and son in heaven to deep sadness and fear of the loss and the change this brings to my life. I wasn’t able to fully feel the emotions the first couple of days after she passed and then just yesterday morning it hit me. So, I cancelled all of my meetings and calls so I could just be with myself and give myself space to cry, rest, pray and just be with the feelings.
Other times when I’m stressed or having a hard time feeling at ease, I check in and see what I’m actually anxious or stressed about because usually it’s not really about whatever I think it’s about. I love taking some time to check-in by grabbing a journal, and one of my favorite crystals, lighting a candle and just sitting with myself or playing some soft music and meditation to really connect and open up to myself. If I’m feeling a big low, I’ll let myself just be – I may nap or eat or do really whatever I feel I need at the moment. Sometimes, I know I need to get up and push myself to go to a yoga class or for a walk in nature or the gym and I end up feeling amazing afterwards. A lot of it is just trial and error; you won’t know every time what you need until you try it and see if it helps you. I also believe it’s important to give yourself space to just be. So many of my clients come to me because they are feeling anxious and stressed. When we get into the session, they find that a lot of the stress and anxiety comes from deeper places of feelings that they have been running from and not wanting to explore., which is why they feel anxious in the first place. My role is to help them get into the feelings and actually connect to them so they can work through it rather than running away from it.