Hello sweet ones ~
Part of my enthusiasm for life coaching relates to my love of people and stories. As I go through life, I meet so many people who strike me as lovely and vibrant inside and outside. I thought it was worth sharing them with you. I do not present these people as “perfect people,” or people with “perfect lives,” as I like to find the beauty in imperfection; beauty in learning and sharing what we’re learning. We are all works in progress. I share these folks with you as friends ~ as I think we can gain inspiration and momentum from one another. As I’ve mentioned, this blog is about self-awareness, authenticity, spirit, creativity, self-expression, peace, love, and being forces of good. I choose people I know, or folks who are recommended to me, who have stories to share about being forces of good in the world, and who are lovely and vibrant inside and outside. <3 Enjoy!
(And let me know if you have recommendations for future features ~ email me at email@example.com)
Katie Alley ~ Lovely & Vibrant ~ Inside & Outside ~
Katie Alley is an artist, graphic designer, lover of bouncing balls, hopping, running, and thinking deep thoughts. She makes the world a better place through her kindness, her social consciousness, volunteerism, artwork, and creative thinking. She is a force of good and an all around lovely and vibrant inside and outside person. I am delighted to share a little interview I had with her ~ and some of her thoughts and perspectives on the world. I especially love when she talks about “zings,” houseboats, and how she relates to the world through her art. If you get excited to learn more about Katie, check out her artwork at K.armenta designs website ~ or her Facebook page at K.armenta designs.
Katie journaling & working on art ~ photo by Solveig
Solveig: What makes you you, Katie?
Katie: I’ve actually always been fascinated by the idea of identity and how it constantly shifts…. I guess I always have to some degree believed that I am (and that humans are) a reflection of God in some ways, of the…I guess the Universe. I have some friends that would say the Universal Consciousness, and that our identity’s such a tricky thing because it shifts so much, from moment to moment; it’s like you’re a new person each time.
S: Are there any themes that you see in yourself?
K: Well, this is kinda a negative point, but I’ve always dealt with fear, and I’ve always considered it the opposite of love, and so often I have to look at — not that fear’s always a bad thing –I guess have to look at fear as helpful in some situations, but making sure that I’m not making decisions based upon fear, but that they’re based upon love…
I think that beauty is more beautiful when you have the dark contrast of things, and so love is more precious, I guess, when you have the outlining of fear, at least the idea of something so opposite and so, and so in that way you shouldn’t be afraid of fear.
S: What are some of your favorite things in the world?
K: Things that make me go “zing!” I don’t know if I’ve told you about this. I used to not like Picasso at all, you know, I just…I know he’s famous, and I could appreciate his artwork and I was like, “okay, I understand how important he is to the art, art history and movements, but I never really liked him until I was in a museum in Berlin devoted to him ~ don’t ask me how I got there. And, we were walking through and I saw this drawing of a reclining nude, which is also not a subject that I’m normally a big fan of, especially by a male artist ~ but it was all one line. And it was just, it just hit me in a way that was like ~ it’s almost like the world just kind of vibrates, and everything falls into place in this one pinpointed way for one person and it was soooo beautiful that I’ll never forget that. Just the perfect…he GOT it. He got this woman, he got the feeling, he got the, the beauty of the whole situation and conveyed it to me. So I guess it comes up periodically when I’m least expecting it — on a run, looking at the branches on the trees, just weird, weird ways of feeling like you’re being zapped by the Universe. You know, like, “remember!”
S: I’m reading this book that calls that the Universe winking at you.
K: Yeah. Zing! Well, cause when someone winks at you it’s like this little thrill, right? Like a zing. I also like chocolate, I like doing things with my hands, art, eating, and people in my life.
Katie doing artwork on the beach ~ photo by Solveig
S: Out of curiosity, how would you describe your personal fashion style?
K: I really like wearing solids, for the most part. I don’t like wearing things with words, for the most part… I used to not wear big earrings or makeup, which is funny to me now because I do both to extremes and so I guess it’s evolved. I really just like getting thrift store things and simple outfits and then twist them to together & accessorize.
S: This blog is called sol & heart because I believe that sunshine & love help people grow. What helps YOU grow, or where do you find inspiration?
K: I find a lot of inspiration in writing. In like, especially short stories, or people’s stories. I’ve been listening to the Moth podcasts where people tell their own stories, and just to have people turn a phrase in a certain way — it’s getting that zing again. And that’s always super inspiring to me. I always feel more alive after hearing things like that….Art, as well. And libraries; books. I love books! I love the feel of them, I love just skimming through them…but I also love libraries and I think it’s because it’s a space of reflection that you can sit and soak stuff in and think through things that I wouldn’t normally take time to think through.
S: You’re so neat! What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive in the world?
K: Definitely art. Definitely. That’s the one place where I feel the most confident and I feel like even if I don’t know what I’m going to do, and the next step, the next second, it just kind of comes to me in a way that that even if it’s wrong it doesn’t feel bad-wrong. Like imperfections are never awful; they’re just a part of the process of it. Which is a tough thing to pull into the rest of my life. My greatest desire & passion is doing art.
S: How do you think that you make the world a better place? You do!
K: I’d like to think that I help other people make the world a better place. So, editing papers for my friend who is very passionate about helping high risk youth…Hopefully bringing some joy into my family.
S: Through your art, too?
K: Well, that’s something that I’ve always struggled with — and I’ve talked to other friends who are artists and they say doing art is so important for the world. You might not see it, but it’s so important… So, it’s something I’m still working through and I would love for that to be my expression of love to the world, or at least one of the major ones.
S: I think it is already.
K: You think so?
S: What are your big dreams?
K: Well, one I just realized last week. I had this great day of doing art – the kind of day where you get up at 7:30 and you’re just workin’ workin’ workin’ and you’re switchin’ between projects and mediums, and you don’t even realize you haven’t had breakfast until like 2:30 in the afternoon; that type of zoning in on what you’re doing. It was sunny and I got to go running, which was just a lovely reliever. Running’s also a good time for me to think about art, and to just recharge. But I realized at the end of that day that my new goal in life is to be able to do that. To do that at least like 3-4 days a week… That’s my big dream.
I also have always wanted to live on a houseboat, with a flat roof that I’m growing grass on, and I would let a goat live up there. And it would be two stories and the top story would be all windows and that would be my studio.
S: Ohhh, where would this houseboat be?
K: In the Northwest I think – on a small lake. I just want it to be drifting around and maybe it would have a glass floor – in just like one little part – like little holes into the lake. So you could see fishies. And a diving board off the end.
S: How do you take care of yourself?
K: …I need to get more sleep. The older I get the more I realized that. But running is a big one, because if I haven’t run in a couple of days, I start to feel it. And it just feels so good. And I don’t even know how I got to that point ‘cause I used to – this is kind of recent in my life that I became a runner – but there are just some days where it feels so good, and you just keep going and it’s an exercise thing, so it’s good for me physically, but it’s also good for me mentally….
S: Do you think you take care of yourself in ways related to spirituality at all?
K: That is something that I would like to, actually. Because I do believe that there is some connection that I need to be making with a greater something. I believe that there is something greater and right now I’m not being true to myself, I think, in really searching that out.
S: What are some super special things to know about Katie that I haven’t asked about yet?
K: I can be ridiculously goofy, like having hopping contests; I like bouncy balls – the little small bouncy balls.
Katie on another beach ~ photo by Solveig