Have you ever met someone that you were pretty sure was made of magic? For us, that’s Kate Bartolotta. All the usual labels for amazing beings like her seem to fall incredibly short, but we will try to describe her anyway. A cheerleader, writer, wellness worker and self-care maven, she champions the cause of becoming. She is a change maker and a catalyst, literally transforming anything she touches. And trust us, that’s just the beginning.
We recently received our copy of her latest book, Choose Joy: a year of creating the extraordinary in everyday life, and we were so inspired we wanted to know more about why she created this daily guide to cultivating exuberant daily practices.
With all the interesting things you write about, what made this topic ‘book worthy’?
I feel like Choose Joy truly encompasses most of the topics I write about and teach. In the book, each month focuses on a different aspect of life – from daily practices, to our spiritual selves, gratitude, creating new habits and love and self-care. Each entry can stand on its own as an encouraging focus for the day, but when you put it all together, it truly is an entire year of proactively choosing joyful living.
How long did it take for you to get this book out?
Forty years! Ha ha! No, all told it took about 18 months to complete, but portions of it were pulled from earlier writings of mine. Initially, I intended to organize it into longer chapters, but as it evolved, I settled on small steps for every day of the year to help the reader more fully engage with life.
If you could your readers one single “nugget of wisdom”, what might it be?
Your joy doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. There are a million and one new books and articles daily about how to be productive, happy, smarter, etc. And when we get stuck in that happiness-chasing mode, it’s usually because we believe we should do it the way that someone else does. We can have it all – if we’re willing to stop letting what ‘all’ looks like, be determined by someone else.
You always say self-care isn’t a luxury. Is it really possible for busy people to have that ‘vacation feeling’ all the time?
Too many people wait until a vacation to truly relax, when they could be feeling that way more than ninety percent of the time! I’ve said it over and over but it’s worth repeating: self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity! I am a single mom, I have my own business, I’m a recent breast cancer survivor and I spend at least 21 hours a week on self-care. And that number doesn’t include sleep, which is another self-care necessity too many of us scrimp on! That’s nearly one full day’s worth of self-care a week, and if I can do it, anyone can do it. My goal is to help women shift out of survival mode and into that vacation feeling, 365 days a year.
Other than your book, is there anything else you suggest for cultivating a more joyful life?
This summer, I am launching a few DIY ecourses that build on some of the concepts in Choose Joy. A big part of my business over the years has been working one-on-one with clients on stress management, building self-care routines and using massage, nutrition and other wellness modalities to help them develop their own routines and practices to enjoy life more deeply. I’ve wanted to find a way to share these tools on a larger scale, without depleting myself or burning out in the process!
There will be options that can be purchased separately or together, to help guide participants through their own intuitive process of creating daily routines, new habits and self-care practices. In the meantime, there is the book – so feel free to buy it now and Choose Joy for yourself.
For more information about Kate Bartolotta’s books and workshops, check out her self-care and wellness coaching site.