Project U. Blog

Authoring Your Life Story with Care

Posted by Catherine Saar on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 04:22 PM

As a child, I always loved reading and writing stories, exploring the inner lives of others, and wrapping myself in the blanket of adventure that authors weave. Yet somewhere, along my journey, my alleged need for financial survival surpassed my desire for the magic of reading and writing stories. Instead, I earned a business degree, worked in finance and began “pushing the river” so I could achieve what I guessed success looked like. I donned my little grey suit and my Brooks Brothers blouse and became a conscientious and hardworking investment banker.

I believed that if I did the “right things” the “right way”, I would be safe from harm. Furthermore, if I cut off emotions, I wouldn’t get hurt. If I loved someone enough, they would love me back.

Years and tears later, I figured out that much of my day-to day existence was built on false assumptions that governed my thoughts and behaviors. Once I developed that awareness, I began to unravel the tangled ball of yarn that had become the foundation of my life.

I realized that whatever story I told myself is what I would manifest, so I’d better check into any narrative I had, to determine if it was true, or right for me.

For a long time, one of my favorite stories was that I was unlovable and somehow fatally flawed. As I navigated my way through one challenging relationship after another, my partners were often happy to corroborate that notion.

When I was in my late 40’s, I took a trip to New Orleans, and met a Tarot Card reader. He surveyed my cards, sighed a long sigh, and said, “ You have been unlucky in love, but it is not your fault. You are simply learning what you want in a partner - and, you will find it. The best is yet to come”

I believed him. His words, “It is not your fault,” resonated through my entire being. I adapted a new story based on his perspective: I wasn’t unlovable, I was learning! There was hope. I saw my world with possibility, and that changed everything.


I still feel blessed to have been awakened to my narrative in such an offhanded way. For most of us, with or without Tarot Cards, it’s not easy to retell our story when we don’t even realize that we have one. I now know, that each and every day I craft a story about how I feel and what will happen next, so I take greater care in how I author these daily chapters.

Perhaps reading this, you may wonder if you also have a story – or several stories that keep you from yourself.

To that end, I ask, why not write a happier story? Perhaps a story that is kinder to you, and maybe to others?

Ask yourself:

· What story am I telling myself?

· What is another, more optimistic story that might also be true or truer?

· Then, close your eyes and imagine the new, happier story coming to life. What does that feel like? What becomes possible? How are you different?

Use your imagination and breathe into it. Allow it to live. Visit that vision and those feelings from time to time throughout the day.

Each time you open your eyes, remember that you too, are the author of your precious journey on this earth, so create with consideration, awareness and care.

Tags: journey, awareness, unlovable, manifest, inner lives, the right way, author

Connecting Mind and Body

Posted by Catherine Saar on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 @ 03:43 PM

MP900302954 resized 600After years of feeling unable to find my yoga “voice”, I recently began deepening my yoga practice and teaching. I owe that to the inspiration of Matt Sanford, a paraplegic yogi who teaches yoga to able bodied and disabled people and yoga teachers.  After attending a short workshop with him, I remembered that the power of yoga lies in deepening our awareness of the connection between our bodies and our minds, not in creating perfect poses, or in caloric reduction – (although both of those things may also occur as a result of rigorous practice).

My brief time with Matt helped me to touch the impact yoga made on me when I first began practicing.  I was a young married mother, working in corporate America, who began to find a connection to myself through my practice – not even being aware that I had become disconnected!

This is not uncommon for people who have experienced repetitive physical or emotional trauma in their lives.  And lets face it, there are way more of us who have experienced trauma than those who haven’t.  Consider caregivers and first-responders! They see trauma daily.

And here’s what I find most interesting: according to trauma research, trauma ”lives” in our bodies on a cellular level, such that certain sounds, movements, smells, sights, any number of things can act as “triggers” causing us to feel as though we are re-experiencing the event that caused our trauma.  A physical practice, like yoga or martial arts can help release the trauma on a somatic level. (You can read articles about trauma research at )

As human beings, we unconsciously try to protect ourselves from traumatic pain by creating a separation between our mind and our body.  We literally cut off the connection; we “dissociate”.   For example, I sometimes work with coaching clients who claim they cannot feel or cannot identify sensation in their bodies.

This is a handy device in some ways, and unfortunate in others.  When we disconnect ourselves from our somatic pain, we sometimes also disconnect ourselves from our joy – and a ton of other useful information that our bodies can provide to us.

Apparently, I unknowingly, employed this protective behavior.  There were times in my youth that I woke up on a Saturday morning and had no idea of what I wanted to do, or why. The good news is that after I started yoga in the early 90’s, I reestablished a relationship with my body.  I didn’t even realize the transformation in myself.  Looking back now at 15 years of practice, yoga has so integrated me with myself that I nearly always feel centered.  Most of the time, I can perceive what I want and what I need with ease, even under stress.

Yoga reeducated me that my body and my mind need to take care of each other – and helped me to learn how to do this.  In this way, I have developed a loving, caring friendship with myself.

In short, I feel at home in my body. I can relax there.  I no longer discern who is master and who is servant. Mind and body have become partners, cuing each other as to what the other needs and wants.  And I am grateful and joyous to return daily to my mat to calm my mind and to reaffirm its partnership with my body.


Tags: relationship, connection, coaching, transformation, loving, Matt Sanford, emotional, martial arts, yoga, inspiration, disconnected, physical, research, triggers, friendship, grateful, bodies, calm, joy, awareness, caregivers, somatic, caring, integrated, relax, minds, stress, trauma, protective