Katie Brauer on Connection, Identity & The Power of Rest

Today marks the start of a series called “Happsters Happy Questions,” where I feature incredibly inspiring women once a week. In these interviews, we’ll dive deep into how these women got where they are today, what drives them and get their advice on how to lead happy, healthy lives.

I’m delighted to start this series with Katie Brauer. Katie happens to live just down the street from me, so I got the chance to sit down and connect with her in person for the interview.

Katie has a calming energy and I immediately felt at home as we chatted. She is an entrepreneur, educator and personal transformation expert and I was extremely impressed by her ability to eloquently tell me her fascinating life story with ease. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have always been fascinated by the body and human potential. I started out as a professional snowboarder and suffered a lot of injuries throughout my 7 year career, which provided me the opportunity to study a whole lot of things that I was interested in. The first time I blew my ACL out and needed a full reconstruction, I went to massage school and fell in love with bodywork, during my next bout of down time from injury, I did a 2 year program in classical Pilates. Pilates was a huge part of my rehab and became complimentary to snowboarding. When I had to have my second ACL reconstruction, the rehab wasn’t working and my swelling hadn’t gone down, so I decided to try to understand what was going on the inside. I went to the Vail library and started reading books on chakras, the energy body and emotional wounding and experimented with visualization and meditation. While I previously didn’t love yoga, once I started doing these things, I began seeing yoga as a mind body practice as opposed to just a physical practice. I’ve been down the mindfulness and yoga rabbit hole ever since.

Eventually I combined everything I learned from yoga, Bio Dynamic Craniosacral Therapy, classical Pilates, functional movement, Therapeutic Massage, Somatic Experiencing, trips to India and personal experiences to create my own teacher training program and worked to build out my yoga programming and approach. I’ve trained thousands of teachers over the last decade, have owned my own yoga studio and served on the Executive Team of the fastest growing boutique yoga company, Yoga Six.

Over the years, what kept coming back to me was that I needed to follow what I love to do instead of just doing what I’m good at. I figured out that:

1) I love connecting with and supporting people
2) I love educating
3) I love providing people with tools and resources to feel more aligned and alive

My career has followed a very natural evolution and I have no idea what is around the next corner, currently I am focused on two major areas of my business: I just launched The Yoga Professional™ and provide education, inspiration + a modern approach to supporting the evolution of Yoga Teachers to rise as Professionals that sets them up for long term career and financial success. While I was training yoga instructors, I learned that every yoga teacher I came into contact with wasn’t making the money they desired and didn’t know what steps to take to get there. Now I help yoga instructors with the business component of their careers with group coaching and masterminds.

The other leg of my business is focused on educating and supporting women in living an empowered life and teaching them how to skillfully ride the highs and lows through modern mindfulness techniques.

Editor’s note: See the last question to get more details on how Katie empowers women through her online program starting soon!

2. You’ve accomplished A LOT in your life. What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment both professionally and personally?

Personally, it would be my relationship with my mom because it wasn’t good for a long time and there was a lot of wounding on my part (I’m a highly sensitive person). I just can’t believe where we were and where we are now. I think that is a testament to how important the internal work is and our responsibility as individuals to pick up the carpet, look underneath it, and deal with what’s there.

Professionally, I’m proud of the fact that I make a multiple six figure salary doing something that I love. When I tell people I’m a yoga teacher and coach, many people “poo poo” it and it just makes me smile. It’s been interesting to observe the change in my identity along the way. From the identity of being a pro snowboarder to feeling pressure to moving on after my injuries to get a real job with a title to where I am now. There have been many different identities along the way as my jobs have changed, but what I have learned is the title doesn’t matter, but what you are doing, the impact you are having and the contribution you are making does.

3. Do you have a morning routine?

The first thing I do when I wake up is lie there for a few moments to check in with my body and notice how I am feeling. I notice how I’m feeling physically, energy-wise and emotionally. I ask myself “what do I need right now?” and do what I feel in that moment instead of doing the same exact routine every day.

My husband is in the military, so a lot of times he’s gone and I generally spend about 30 minutes hanging out with my daughter in bed. She’s starting to talk and that time with her is so amazing. Then I usually drink a big glass of lemon water and coffee, make my daughter breakfast, and we go hang out in the backyard together.

My old routine was wake up and get up right away. There was no pause and transition time, but now that I have my daughter in my life, my mornings are very spacious and not rushed.

4. Has being a mom changed how you’ve run your business?

It has heightened my awareness around the impact that my actions have on others. My daughter is almost 2 now and she’s modeling after me the same way that I modeled after my mom. I have a lot of incredible traits that my mom has, but I also have a lot of patterning that I learned from her like a “just get it done” and “keep going no matter what” mentality. Now after having my daughter, I think about how I show up for everything I do and how my actions impact other people.

5. What do you know now that you wish you could have told yourself 10 years ago?

Less is more. I know now how important rest is and that I need space for creativity. I know that by giving myself space, I’m able to tap into my best work. That’s a key piece instead of “go-go-go” all the time. I feel like something huge is on the horizon because I’m finally understanding that piece. I’m realizing that doing nothing doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing.

6. I heard you have a great program for empowered living starting soon. Can you explain what it is?

Absolutely. My Flourish Program for Empowered Living starts Wednesday the 10th of May. I run the program every spring and it takes place over 10 weeks. The program is online with an incredible group of women who come together each year. It takes them from where they now in their life in every category – spiritually, health, financially, relationships, socially, career – so that they have a snapshot of where they are now. I introduce them to my philosophy on life and help them get where they want to be in the categories where they don’t feel like they are a 10 out of 10. We’ll talk about how to enjoy the highest highs and navigate the lows. Every module I give them new tools and resources to use from the breath to conscious communication to mindfulness techniques. They complete the program being able to recognize patterns in their life that are not serving them, having the tools to change them and feeling more empowered. I like to call it a system software update for your life.

You can learn more about the program and sign up here: http://bit.ly/kbflourish. Get $50 off your registration with code “50OFF”.

Thanks so much to Katie for the inspiring interview! You can also follow Katie on Instagram at @katiebrauertransform.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Top 5 Inspiring Snapchat Accounts to Follow

Top 5 Inspirational Snapchat Accounts to Follow

Snapchat is my new obsession. I cannot get enough of the behind-the-scenes looks at peoples’ lives. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that it isn’t easy to find inspirational accounts to follow so I wanted to solve that problem! Here are 5 motivational and inspirational Snapchat accounts you should follow.

1) LoveSweatandFit
Katie is a southern California fitness professional and blogger who kills it on Snapchat. I love watching her days whether she’s filming a new YouTube video or just showing what her grocery haul is and chatting about her favorite products. Love her! Add her at: LoveSweatandFit
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Screenshot this to add LoveSweatandFit on Snapchat

2) MichelleObama
Michelle Obama recently just got her own Snapchat account. I love her personality and have found it incredibly inspirational to peek into her life and see all the good she’s accomplishing in the world on a daily basis. Add her at: MichelleObama
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Screenshot this to add MichelleObama on Snapchat

3) SophiaBushSnaps
I’m a fan of Sophia Bush from her days on “One Tree Hill” and her Snapchat does not disappoint. She snaps lots of photos and videos on set of her TV show and highlights causes that she’s an activist for. Add her at: SophiaBushSnaps
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Screenshot this to add SophiaBushSnaps on Snapchat

4) Rachel_Brathen
Rachel Brathen is also known as “Yoga_Girl” on Instagram with 1.9 million followers. She gives a glimpse into her life being a yogini in Aruba with her husband and adorable dog. What you see is what you get with her and I love her down-to-earth real vibe. Add her at: Rachel_Brathen
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Screenshot this to add Rachel_Brathen on Snapchat

5) KelliDav
This is my Happsters Snapchat account! I post happiness Snapchat challenges, happiness tips and a peek into my daily life (which lately has a lot of art, my fiancé, friends, beach time, and neighborhood walks). Add me at: KelliDav
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Screenshot this to add “KelliDav” AKA Happsters on Snapchat

Happy snapping!
Kelli
P.S. I just realized all of these inspiring Snapchat accounts happen to be women – girl power!

Introducing HappsterMail Pen Pals

Ever since I started the Happsters 2+ years ago, I’ve wanted a way to connect members of the community. I recently came up with an idea to create a way for you to meet other Happsters in the most fun way possible! It’s a pen pal program for happy people! Basically I am going to match up Happsters based on similar hobbies, ages, etc. so that you can exchange letters and happy mail just like good old-fashioned pen pals!

Snail Mail - PaperedThoughts

Photo via Papered Thoughts

I first came up with this idea when I saw @paperedthoughts on Instagram (see her pen pal mail above). She sends the cutest letters to people and uses hashtags like “#penpalswanted” and “#snailmailrevival”. I was blown away by how many people send these types of letters to pen pals all over the world. If you search “#snailmailrevolution”, it has over 100,000 photos tagged!

As you probably know, a large part of happiness comes from forming friendships and social connections. And what better way to do this than by connecting with the happiest people around the world through happy mail?

Announcing #HappsterMail. Here’s how it works:

1) Fill out the short survey here to tell me about yourself and what you’d like to find in a #HappsterMail pen pal.

2) Get matched with a #HappsterMail pen pal by me. I will email you both to let you know who it is. Isn’t the suspense killing you?!

3) Send your pen pal a letter filled with whatever you want inside. Suggestions include:

  • A nice note wishing them a great week
  • A long letter with fun facts about you and questions about your pen pal
  • It could include confetti
  • It could be decorated with doodles
  • Anything you want!

Share your mail by taking a picture and post it on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #HappsterMail so we can all see what you got (optional).

4) Keep sending letters back and forth for however long you want and make a friend for life. If you want another pen pal for some reason, just fill out the form again.

Click here to get your HappsterMail Pen Pal

I’ve already asked some of the Happsters in the community if they would like to join and gotten an overwhelmingly positive response, so I can’t wait to get this started!

This is a picture of my letter going out to my first #HappsterMail pen pal, Shelley.

HappsterMail

Here is more inspiration for your #HappsterMail that I found on Pinterest. P.S. These are just examples to get you thinking. Yours can be as simple or as elaborate as you want!!

Click here to get your HappsterMail Pen Pal

P.S. I started an Instagram account dedicated to this project. You can find it at @HappsterMail. If you use the hashtag #HappsterMail, I will feature you there!