Giddy With Catherine

Living intentionally with Catherine Geewax   


Because seeing others walk to the beat of their drum makes me feel like getting out my own drum and start walkin’ too.  


I’m starting a project of interviewing friends that inspire me with their intentional living. They light me up, and I think they'll light you up, too.


Living intentionally means doing the little things that help your best sense of self sing. It means paying attention to that stuff that makes you tick (in whatever way ticking feels good to you). It means ignoring society’s default settings and listening to what excites your spirit.


Seeing others being intentional with the way they approach their life makes me to pause and ponder, too.  Plus, it’s cool to create a community around this lovely stuff. 


First up:  Catherine Geewax  

 In our senior yearbook, we picked Catherine as the most likely to be CEO of a major tech company in the next 10 years. She's pretty dang close to doing exactly that.  One of the most passionate, hardworking, and intelligent people you’ll meet, Catherine gives her all to the people and the practices she loves while always keeping her thirst for new adventure alive. On weekdays, you can find her taking charge of the growth of a major SF tech startup, but spend one Sunday with Catherine and her beloved Philadelphia Eagles or listen to her stories about her 6-month backpacking expedition through South America and you’ll see what I’m talking about.


I'm going to let Catherine take it from here.  Here's what she has to say about her daily practices: 

"There are a ton of practices (both big and small) that I incorporate into my life at various intervals (daily/monthly/annually). If I hear of a certain practice or strategy, I am always down to give it a try and see if it fits in with my rituals. I am always down to try anything and then find it important to be just as quick to remove it when it no longer serves me (which can be surprisingly hard).

To level set, I am a fairly Type A person who likes feeling organised and in control. Some of the things I do won't necessarily jive with everyone's energy and/or the season that they're in, but for me, I find they create calmness, joy, and intention and reduce anxiety in my life." 

Catherine's Daily Practices:

Morning routines are sacred to me. This is often the only time I have alone throughout the entire day. 

  • Look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I love myself. This is often one of the hardest/most uncomfortable things to do (especially on bad days), but it is so important! As someone who can struggle with confidence and self-love, this is a must
  • Drink 2 glasses of water immediately upon waking (often I do this with my daily vitamins/supplements). Drinking water upon waking flushes your system post-sleep, keep you alert, fights infection, fuels the brain, jumpstarts the metabolism, and helps your skin)
  • While listening to NPR podcast, concoct + drink a mixture of Apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, and collagen. This combo helps with heart health, digestive health, fighting infections, and hair/skin/nail health. It also helps wake me up and has become a trigger for my brain that my day has begun. 
  • Spoonful of Manuka Honey.  Helps with fighting infection and does wonders for my skin.
  • Meditate and/or short exercise (Melissa Wood is my go-to for <30 minute yoga/pilates flows)
  • 3 gratitudes
  • If I am in a bad mood/not excited for the day, I make sure I change "I have to do X" to "I get to do X". I say it out loud and it completely shifts my mindset for the day.
  • Really try to do no phone from dinner time onwards. I put it across the room or even in another room to prevent myself from subconsciously grabbing it. My focus for 2020 is being present and this helps.

Weekly Practices

I am someone who finds that if I go into the week with a plan, I will be more present in every moment and not thinking about about my to-do lists/what I may have forgotten. Every Sunday, I take an hour to plan out my week. I list out my schedule, my to-do's, and when I am going to complete those to-dos. 

Is there enough alone time/am I overbooked? Do I have a date night/time with my partner? Who are friends I want to prioritize/call/check in on? What birthdays/anniversaries/life events are coming up that I want to remember + celebrate?  When am I going to get outside and hike?

I find that this plan/scheduling reduces my anxiety drastically. I am no longer sitting up in the middle of the night trying to remember what I "may have forgotten to do" or "who I forgot to email back". It is all laid out for me when I begin my day.

The most important thing though - be ready and willing to change the plan and not beat yourself up about it. Things happen. I want to watch Real Housewives instead of working out because I had a crappy day? Awesome! Be kind to yourself and don't stress about it. If I find myself getting into negative self-talk here, I like to put things in perspective. In 5? 10? 50 years? Will me skipping this workout class change the trajectory of my life? I sure hope not!

BIG Things :)

1. Give time/money/resources to a different charity or local business at an interval of your choosing. Better yet, do this with your friends or partner. It can spark a lot of interesting conversation + discussions about the world and create a meaningful activity with those you love.

2. Quarterly: set personal and professional goals. I actually put them on my calendar so that every 3 months I get to see how far I've come in that short time + areas I want to improve upon. Goals should be both aspirational and attainable... there's a very fine balance to getting this right

3. Seasonal: clean + donation -- so freeing! I always feel better after I do this. I also do a "mental" clean: Set your timer for 15 minutes.Write through anything weighing you down.  Once the timer goes off, write 3 brags, 3 desires, and 3 gratitudes to close it up! 

4. Annual - write a letter to yourself. Recap the year, set goals, review your personal mission/vision. We began doing this in high school and it has stuck with me ever since.


What motivates you/ moved you to start adding in more intentional living practices?  

I am extremely Type A and have anxiety, so I noticed that I was up late overthinking things, running through my to-do lists, thinking "when am I going to do X?" and always feeling like I could be spending my time differently and/or "better". i.e. if I worked a few extra hours, I would feel anxious/regret that time that I could have spent treating my body to a hike or spending time with my fiance. This would eat at me + keep me up at night and I had to do something about it.

I also wanted to remind myself how much I LOVE LIFE and how amazing it is !  That little-kid giddy wonder with the world had disappeared a bit. I was spending too much time on these tactical things and not enjoying the moments (big or small). Taking an hour or 2 at the beginning of the week to plan everything out began to save time later in the week AND make me happier/less anxious. 


What are your favorite podcasts? Source of "intentional living" kind of inspiration?  


Lauren Gleisberg - similar Type A personality and extremely relatable

Teddi Mellencamp - also Type A but less "relatable" :) 

Chontel Duncan - reminds me to be happy, love life, and remember how grateful I am (she is also so physically strong and her workouts are amazing)


Ed Mylett - sometimes he can get a bit preachy for me, but some of his guests are really incredible and inspirational

Meditative Story - Ariana Huffington meditation podcast

School of Greatness by Lewis Howes

Optimal Daily Living - good when you don't have as much time (usually episodes are ~ 10 minutes)

Unlocking Us - Brene Brown

The Savvy Pschologist - very tactical and < 15 minutes i.e.  "5 steps to overcoming nightmares", "what is your attachment style and how does it affect your relationships?"  


The Defining Decade - some people might find this book scary and intense and it's definitely not for everyone, but I appreciate the "no BS" approach and the tactical things to improve your life at this moment in time

Girl, Wash your Face - each chapter is a different lie you tell yourself. Some of these went over my head (for instance, the author is very religious and a mother ... two things I am not). But many chapters hit home so much that I re-read the chapters 2 or 3 times

You are a Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life - When I am having issues with my confidence, this is the book I go to to remind myself I am in control and awesome :) 



    1 comment

    • Geewax is a gift to the world! Love this Cinda. xox


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