AE Heart & Soul | Katrina Kenison

This week I want to introduce you to some wonderful, meaningful words from author Katrina Kenison.

As most of you know, I strongly believe in the beauty of ordinary everyday life. Documenting simple everyday stories is my passion and it's what I come back to again and again in times of struggle and awesomeness.

Recently I received an email from a reader named Deirdre who suggested I read an interview with Katrina that was published on a site called

Here's a link to that interview: Our Journey Inward - From What Was To What Is: An Interview With Katrina Kenison


The entire article was inspiring to me but I was specifically drawn to these words:

"It was definitely an “ah-ha” moment, because it made me see that life didn’t have to be as complicated as I made it out to be; that in any given moment, or whenever I felt confused or unsure, I could just choose the loving gesture, the loving word, the loving path.

This is hard to explain in just a few words, but I will say, learning to pause and ask myself the question, “What is the loving thing to do here?” has given me a new assurance. It helps me to see when I’m reacting out of fear, and to choose love instead. It has made me at once more courageous and softer,  more confident and less attached to being right. I don’t have to be right; it is enough to be loving."

That simple concept of pausing and having a question to ask oneself is wonderful. Framing it in love is another level entirely. I can't tell you how many times I thought about this and worked to get myself to asking this question this past week.

The other part that really spoke to me in the interview was her answer to a question about suggestions for people going through transitions:

"Assess everything. Take a look at your old dreams; if they don’t still make your heart soar, let them go and clear space for new dreams. Let go of old, out-worn ideas about the way things “ought” to be, and take a good hard look at things as they are. Change what you can change, and learn to accept and work with what can’t be changed. There is a relief in surrender, a beauty in acknowledging that our white-knuckled grip on life isn’t serving us or anyone else. Opening to change, welcoming it rather than resisting it, is part of the dance of life. Whenever the choice is between dancing or sitting it out, dance. When the choice is between love and fear, choose love. The rest will take care of itself."

Printing that one out and taping it to my mirror so I can read and re-read it again.

Check out Katrina's books:

Thank you Deirdre - this was exactly what I needed to encounter this week.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

21 thoughts

  1. Katrina S.

    2013-03-08 06:45:57 -0500

    Katrina is amazing, isn't she? I had the privilege of meeting her a few years ago at a retreat hosted by Karen Maezen Miller. I would also highly recommend Karen's book - Hand Wash Cold - Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life.

  2. Paula

    2013-03-08 07:12:49 -0500

    Perfect for me today - as I weeble and wobble through a week full of uncontrollable snafus (again) - reminding me of all the good in each day as well, and that some comic relief, some acceptance and lots of love will take care of everything. Thank you.

  3. Jo-Anne from ZA

    2013-03-08 07:39:27 -0500

    'A beauty in acknowledging that our white-knuckled grip on life isn’t serving us or anyone else.'

    Wow, that was an Ah moment for me! An EYE-OPENER.

    Really needed it this week:-)

  4. Lisa W.

    2013-03-08 08:06:42 -0500

    WOW...Ali this really spoke to me, I think to I need to print this out and look everyday! Thank you, and thank you Katrina, Happy Weekend:)

  5. Joan

    2013-03-08 08:08:28 -0500

    Thank you for sharing Ali. I just read the interview and it was exactly what I needed to take in. It's amazing how that happens! Turning 50 in a month, and all the physical changes happening along with that milestone, IS a transition. It's hard to believe this is where I am, and yet I am SO very grateful for life, health and all the love around me. At the same time, it's nice to acknowledge and give myself permission to feel a bit of grief about what is no longer. Katrina articulated it perfectly. Again, thanks for sharing and glad to know her words have been helpful to you as well. Happy weekend!

  6. Lindsey

    2013-03-08 09:54:58 -0500

    I am an enormous Katrina fan, have read every single book of hers, and am privileged that she has become an important mentor and teacher to me. I think of her words every single day. xox

  7. Tere

    2013-03-08 10:21:53 -0500

    Wow Ali. This is good, really good. Thanks for sharing these words. They fit well with me. On to learn more about Katrina.

  8. Heather V

    2013-03-08 10:29:28 -0500

    Thanks for sharing this, Ali. I needed to read something like this today. Her "opening to change" part is a great reminder for your OLW, and I think the whole thing can be applied to my OLW: self-control.

  9. Deirdre

    2013-03-08 11:24:12 -0500

    It made my day to read this, Ali. I've found so much inspiration on your site over the years that it feels good to have reciprocated in some small way.

    Katrina Kenison's writing, along with Brene Brown's and Karen Maezen Miller's books, are my gospel these days. They overlap each other in emphasizing the same messages I've often found here---to let go of perfection and see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

    I thought your readers might enjoy Kenison's video for her second book, The Gift of an Ordinary Day. It ends with her reflection on her photo albums and wishing that she had captured more of the every day moments, the very thing you encourage so well:

  10. Kim H.

    2013-03-08 11:24:37 -0500

    I loved her book "The Gift of an Ordinary Day". It came to me almost two years ago and my son was a junior in high school. I have been keenly aware of the beauty of the ordinary day when our family is still four, as it will change this fall when he goes off to college. Happy Weekend!

  11. ME

    2013-03-08 12:08:09 -0500

    This is something that will take time to read and reread while it gets absorb in me. I am going through a real rough time and it's just the beginning. However, I have never lost sight on my main focus which is my children are always first. I now have to learn to take care of ME whereas I've always been taking care of others and everything else..... never me.
    Thanks Ali.

  12. Harriet Cabelly

    2013-03-08 14:32:24 -0500

    Hi Ali,
    Nice to 'meet' you here. I was so pleased to see that you linked to my interview with the incredible, Katrina Kenison. I read her words over and over and have underlined so much of her book. Thank you. All the best.

  13. Stephanie

    2013-03-08 17:02:40 -0500

    Ali...thanks for sharing this. Ironically, last week I finished reading Katrina's beautiful memoir which was just published - "Magical Journey. It is interesting when the right words come at just the right time, isn't it?
    I saw another reader shared the trailer for Katrina's last book "Gift of an Ordinary Day" I thought I would also share the one for "Magical Journey". It's words and beautiful images brought much clarity to me about my own journey at this special time in life.

  14. Leslie

    2013-03-08 18:56:18 -0500

    After being given her book "Gift of an Ordinary Day" when my first-born was a senior in high school, I have now given several of my friends in that same precarious position their own copy. It was such a comfort to be able to read exactly how I was feeling, to have someone else explain that it wasn't just my child leaving, but the phasing out of my "career" in a way! LOVE her!!!

  15. Kristin A.

    2013-03-08 22:28:24 -0500

    Thank you so much for sharing. Katrina's book "Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry" has been a sweet blessing to me. I think I first started reading it back when my oldest daughter was not yet two years old (not yet one?) and is a book I come back to time and time again. My oldest is now seven years old and is now in good company with a four and two year old. Her invitation to slow down and be conscious and loving in all we do in this incredible, challenging, amazing, scary job called motherhood has been such a wonderful reminder to never be afraid to stand back and reevaluate. It's never too early or too late to change the way you do things and less is almost always more.

  16. Amy w.

    2013-03-09 11:33:02 -0500

    This really spoke to me, thank you for sharing.

  17. Pam

    2013-03-09 13:19:05 -0500

    Just what I needed to hear today.

  18. Amy Mak

    2013-03-09 20:42:36 -0500

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Katrina this week - she really is an amazing woman, a huge mentor to me. I've posted it on my blog: and we are offering a Magical Journey give-away Please come on over and read more from Katrina and a chance to win her new book. Katrina is just the kind of author we should promote - her words bless us all. Wonderful blog!

  19. Jen Hart

    2013-03-11 17:28:00 -0400

    Hi Ali, thanks for sharing this writing, it really resonated with me and also for a friend who is going through a change. I have written it out and sent it to her.
    Thanks again.

  20. young c

    2013-03-13 23:28:43 -0400

    Thank you for sharing - a very inspiring interview.

  21. Pilbara Pink

    2013-03-18 22:54:27 -0400

    Ali, thank you for sharing this - like many others it was excatly what needed to hear (read?!). TO stop and ask `what is the loving thing to do' will make my life (and me) so much more gentle and calm. Being driven to be right all the time is exhausting and makes me hard to live and work with, I know. Time to take a breath, calm down and breathe. I so appreciate your frequent sharing from amazing writers and coincidentally the opportunity to connect, in some small way, with other who also read your blog.

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