Emotional Independence


When I talk about reaching my potential, I’m not just talking about being outwardly successful.

I appreciate recognition and job offers and money and Facebook likes and invitations to cool events but I recognize those things for what they are: symbols. They are evidence of my internal progress. When I talk about reaching my potential, the metric I’m using to measure my progress is my ability to feel good in any situation.

When I talk about being in perpetual flow state, I’m talking about being able to relentlessly see the opportunity even when others think I suck.

Imagine being insulted publicly and your first reaction is excitement and activation. Utter doubtlessness— able to extract whatever learning you can from the nuggets of value and completely disregard the rest.

I want to be filled with gratitude and awe in the shittiest of scenarios. I want to feel loving, confident and clear regardless of my circumstances.

Emotional Independence.

I knew starting this blog and committing to 100 posts over the next few months would be catalytic for me.

I knew it would draw lots of ‘circumstantial stimuli’ (people responding in all kinds of ways) which would be good practice for me to master new levels of emotional independence.

99.5% of the feedback was tear-jerkingly positive. Already, just starting was beyond worth it. Ok pause let me just dive into that for a moment.

Megan Cyr told me my post and video were exactly what she needed to hear, then she went and posted a beautiful blog of her own. Read it meow. She credited me with bringing her “out of hiding” and “smacking her out of her state of self pity.” That was the first feedback I got that made me feel like what I’m doing is worth it.

Then one of my favorite humans on the planet who I met while I was traveling in Europe last year, Nithin Charuvila all the way over in Kerala, India— sent me a message saying “Katuna. Fuck. I love you. That was exactly what I was looking for. Amazing blog. Perfection is truly seductive. I was very hesitant about marketing my work, thinking of perfection! Now I’m much more confident in writing.”

Not to mention the boatload of love I got on the Facebook post. Jesus. THANK YOU GUYS!

All this positive stuff feels good automatically. It resonates. It’s like adding gas to a fire. It’s empowering and consistent with the way I want to feel. It requires no additional energetic expenditure to integrate it. No need to reframe or interpret differently. It’s purely positive, supportive and optimistic. I love that.

But there was one person who gave me constructive criticism. I had a hell of a time figuring out how to feel good when shitbrain James Nielssen gave me 30 text pages of drill sergeant feedback. James is an impressively talented social media / marketing dude. He’s @cool_as_heck on Twitter (hilarious) and he’s taught me a lot about how to make stuff go viral. (I’m jk about him being a shitbrain btw I love that idiot). Here are a couple snippets:

“People upload millions of videos a day across all the social media platforms so why would I choose you in your backyard on your iPhone camera?”

Lol ruthless. Or this:

“It’s just lazy tbh. One three minute video on your iPhone. Unless you’re fucken Einstein or something nobody will watch. And even if you were, do you think Einstein or Tesla or Steve Jobs would settle for an iPhone selfie video? They would science the shit out of it and make it amazing to get their point across.”

It wasn’t just tough love though, there was some friendly love too:

“I love to give the critiques though because you’re gonna be huge ya know. There’s no way you won’t be. And I feel like I can only help that.”

I know this is the gentlest of critiques people get online— and we’re friends so I know he wasn’t being a hater, but it was still confronting.

To be totally honest, his specific feedback hasn’t even made it into my brain yet. Somehow it’s not landing. I’m sure it will once I get further along in this process and start producing better videos, but for now I’m just going to keep moving one step at a time. When critical feedback feels intimidating or overwhelming, I’ll disregard it until it becomes relevant or until I can integrate it. 

So while I LOVE the positive feedback, I’m proud to say I also appreciate the little dose of tough love because it was an early phase catalyst. It was my first opportunity to practice Emotional Independence on this blog journey.


“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle


Btw my sister took that pic of me today on the Brooklyn Bridge. Thanks Jamie

5 thoughts on “Emotional Independence

  1. Progress not perfection. It means taking that criticism just like you did. Have you ever heard the expression, “Ready, fire, aim.” I love it. I’m terrible at it, but it’s almost always just what I need and just what you’re doing. I agree with James though, you’re gonna be fucking huge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If your first video had been perfectly polished and professionally crafted, the raw courage of “Just Fucking Start” would not have had the same impact. The beauty of what you are offering, and the reason I am SOOO interested to follow, is not only to hear your message, but also to witness your process of “becoming”. I already do the text book hesitation, the refusal to start because I see myself as not ready yet. To see you leap anyways, to feel the impact of that first video, to be deeply inspired to move forward with my own dreams is HUGE. And all was attained without a professional, polished presentation. In fact, it all happened BECAUSE it wasn’t polished. I could forever watch the professionals, those reaching thousands and thousands of followers and making the big bucks, and continue to see myself as “not as good as….” To feel the positive influence of your courage and vulnerability IS why I will continue to watch, read, absorb and fertilize my own “becoming”. You will indeed be F-ing HUGE….. and you will in the process inspire others to be their own F-ing bright and brilliant selves.

    Liked by 1 person

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