Cate Stillman: Awakening the Power of the Five Elements

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April 7, 2020

Cate Stillman: Awakening the Power of the Five Elements

Cate Stillman April 7, 2020

Cate Stillman teaches audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda on her weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show. She has published two books with Sounds True: Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga and Master of You: A Five-Point System to Synchronize Your Body, Your Home, and Your Time with Your Ambition. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the Ayurvedic concept of the five elements. Cate emphasizes that these elements aren’t external qualities, but universal constants that live within you as well. Tami and Cate also discuss what we all can learn from Ayurveda during the COVID-19 crisis, including a “first aid kit” of practices to make the most out of days in quarantine. They talk about the inherent “superpowers” of the body and how to assess what elements you should focus on during practice. Finally, Tami and Cate speak on values you can embrace for greater productivity and what it truly means to have mastery over your life.

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Cate Stillman has been teaching audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda since 2001. She hosts the Yogahealer Real Thrive Show, a weekly podcast featuring dozens of experts in the field. She splits her time between the Idaho border country and Mexico.

Author photo © Marlene Wusinich


Listen to Tami Simon's in-depth audio podcast interview with Cate Stillman:
Body Thrive »
Awakening the Power of the Five Elements »

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Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

Cate Stillman: Awakening the Power of the Five Element...

Cate Stillman teaches audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda on her weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show. She has published two books with Sounds True: Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga and Master of You: A Five-Point System to Synchronize Your Body, Your Home, and Your Time with Your Ambition. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the Ayurvedic concept of the five elements. Cate emphasizes that these elements aren’t external qualities, but universal constants that live within you as well. Tami and Cate also discuss what we all can learn from Ayurveda during the COVID-19 crisis, including a “first aid kit” of practices to make the most out of days in quarantine. They talk about the inherent “superpowers” of the body and how to assess what elements you should focus on during practice. Finally, Tami and Cate speak on values you can embrace for greater productivity and what it truly means to have mastery over your life.

3 Ways to be in Financial Integrity this Holiday Seaso...

In the whirlwind of holiday parties, gift-giving, and cooking, you can lose your grip on financial integrity faster than slipping on ice. But, your integrity is essential to your happiness and your self-worth. Here are a few easy ways to regain your center and empower your choices to give from your heart instead of your wallet.

Treasure Connectivity

When your presence is truly a gift to others, you won’t find yourself needing to overspend. Practice loving presence with the little interactions you have through the day. Slow down. Listen more. Smile more. Appreciate the uniqueness of the person in front of you. When you treasure connectivity, you won’t find yourself spending money on things that aren’t in alignment with your values.

Affirm Your Unique Values & Convictions

Speaking of aligning to your values … what are YOUR values? What do you value about the holidays? About gifting? About receiving? About money? Take a minute and write down your values and your convictions about the holidays. Read your convictions before bed, and upon arising. You’ll be more likely to live up to your convictions with money. And when you don’t, you’ll be very clear exactly what value you violated. When that happens, stop. Notice. Course correct.

Gift from Your Values

Whether you’re baking cookies or filling stockings, make each an act in alignment with your convictions. At first you may be aware of how your extended family or friends have different trends, values, or convictions. That’s ok. Notice. And be YOU. Be in your integrity. Make your people paleo gingersnaps or whatever you find nourishing and delightful. Tell your people why you gift how you gift. They love you for being you. And you being you will help them find their own financial integrity.

Cate Stillman has been teaching audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda since 2001. She is the author of Body Thrive, and hosts the Yogahealer Real Thrive Show, a weekly podcast featuring dozens of experts in the field. She splits her time between the Idaho border country and Mexico.

Cate Stillman: Body Thrive

Cate Stillman has taught yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness improvement to thousands of students over the course of nearly 20 years. She hosts the weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show, a podcast devoted to exploring wellness with dozens of experts in the field. With Sounds True, she has released Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the 10 habits prescribed by Body Thrive for creating a more energetic, optimized life. Cate explains the Ayurvedic and biological origins of these habits, as well as how we as humans can better synchronize with our natural rhythms. Tami and Cate discuss the epidemic of sleep deprivation in modern society and why we should avoid giving in to the energy of a second wind. Finally, they talk about discovering the “bliss body” described by ancient yogis and the sacred duty humans have to preserve our ecosystem. (73 minutes)

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What do I do when a loved one is suffering? How do I have empathy if I’m getting a divorce or losing my job? If my family treats me unfairly? Or if I’m emotionally overwhelmed or in chronic pain?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, I’ve written The Genius of Empathy for you. It also includes a beautiful foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the book, I present empathy as a healing force that helps you overcome obstacles in your life with dignity, grace, and power. As a psychiatrist and empath, I draw from my insights and present techniques from my own life and from the healing journeys of my clients, students, and readers. As I say in the book, “Empathy softens the struggle, quiets the unkind voices, and lets you befriend yourself again.”

Empathy doesn’t mean being “on call” 24 hours a day for those in need. Empaths can often wear an invisible sign that says, “I can help you.” However, if you want to heal yourself, have better relationships, and contribute to healing our tumultuous world, you must learn how to set healthy boundaries and observe, not absorb, the energy of others.

To start taking a more proactive role in how much empathy you give others at any one time, I suggest that you keep in mind the following “rights.” They will help you maintain a healthy mindset and prevent or lessen any empathy overwhelm that might arise:

  • I have the right to say a loving, positive “no” or “no, thank-you.”
  • I have the right to set limits with how long I listen to people’s problems.
  • I have the right to rest and not be always available to everyone.
  • I have the right to quiet peacefulness in my home and in my heart.

Practice: Take a Sound Break to Repair Yourself

Plan periods of quiet to recover from our noisy, fast-paced world. This helps calm your nervous system and your mind, an act of self-empathy.

It’s rejuvenating to schedule at least five minutes of quiet or, even better, complete silence for an hour or more where no one can intrude. As I do, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your office or bedroom door. During this reset period, you’ve officially escaped from the world. You’re free of demands and noxious sounds. You may also get noise canceling earbuds to block out noise.

If too much quiet is unsettling, go for a walk in a local park or a peaceful neighborhood to decompress from excessive sound stimulation. Simply focus on putting one foot in front of the other, which is called mindful walking. Nothing to do. Nothing to be. Move slowly and refrain from talking. If thoughts come, keep refocusing on your breath, each inhalation and exhalation. Just letting life settle will regenerate your body and empathic heart.

Embracing your empathy does require courage. It can feel scary. If you’re ready to discover its healing power, I would be honored to be your guide to helping you in overcoming your fears and obstacles, and enhancing this essential skill for long-term change.

Though many of us have never met, I feel connected to you. Connection is what fuels life. While empathy is what allows you to find peace. With both, we can make sense of this world together.

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This is an adapted excerpt from You, Me, Us and Racialized Trauma by Resmaa Menakem.

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