Transcript: Practices That Keep Me Sane with Dina Cataldo
Hello there. How are you doing today? So I am taking you on a little walk this afternoon, and the reason I'm taking you for a walk is because I thought it would be fun for me and just something different. Because today I'm going to share with you some of my favorite practices to keep my mind working the way that I want it to work. And this is my experience over the last decade of kind of playing with what feels really good, what is truly possible with my schedule, what I've, I've practiced over and over again to make happen. And that became easier and easier to adjust for myself as I saw myself following through on these practices. And so what I want to share before I get to these practices is that even starting out with these was a practice. There was no set it and forget it right until I practiced it over and over again.
And then it became more second nature to me. We are accumulation of our habits. And so when we start really paying attention to what our habits are, we begin to understand why we, our bodies, our minds are working the way that they are working or not working. So if you're feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, then you have an accumulation of habits that aren't working for you, whether they are how you are managing your time and your calendar or not managing your time, how you are managing your energy or not managing your energy. And a lot of times it takes while it always takes awareness of the problem before we do anything. And so I want to share with you my experiences and the habits that I have created after trial and error, that work for me. If you want to start exploring habits that will begin working for you, we are our habits.
So if you have an image of an identity of yourself in your mind of a person who is always getting things done, well, you can do that with ease, or you can do that with busy-ness and I get a lot done and I do it with ease. I don't do it with busy-ness anymore. And that took a lot of practice. It took coaching, it took, you know, really starting to get connected with myself, getting connected with my thoughts to start, okay. Understanding those habits that were creating the busy-ness and not creating the ease that I wanted to feel. So if you think that feeling ease and feeling calm means that you need to cut things out of your case calendar. Well, that might be true, but more likely what it is, is how you are structuring your day, how or how much you are, or are not making time for yourself.
Because I know know that when we make time for ourselves, when we begin to really look at the habits that we have for ourselves, the kind of care we show ourselves, it just starts filtering through to every corner of our lives. Our habits are our habits. When it comes to how we treat ourselves is going to impact every corner of our lives. So if you are not paying attention to how you're treating yourself or what you're doing to create space in your life, that feels easy. That feels like fun. If you're not doing that, your life is going to feel busy, overwhelming hard. So yeah, reason I want to do this is so that I can help you make your life easier. Okay. So before we get started really diving into the habits that I've created for myself to care for myself, and that have spread out into creating more time, right?
For myself, I want to share with you a master class that I did, it's called how to manage your calendar one-on-one. So if you are struggling with finding time with feeling busy and overwhelmed, I want you to go to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash calendar 1 0 1, because I break down the mindset behind what is creating the busy-ness and the overwhelm for you. And it's always what we least expect that it is. And I really took my time in this masterclass was really proud of it because it really hit on a lot of topics that impacted lawyers. I got a lot of good feedback from it. And I also know that these were some of the issues that I struggled with until I learned these concepts. And they're the fundamentals. Okay. And they're really going to help you with some of the concepts that we talk about today on the podcast.
So to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash calendar 1 0 1, enter your email and you will get that sent straight to you. Okay. So let's talk about my favorite habit. That's the ones that I have right now that are really, they feel really good. And they, it feels right now in this moment with the way I have my life being a full-time lawyer, being a coach, building my business, having this podcast, you know, taking care of my dog taking care of my aging mom, you know, all of that coming together right now. And it's, you know, just we're coming out of post. COVID kind of in a strange time right now. I found some, some really grounding practices that have kept me going all through COVID and have really in the last few months, there's a few that I've added that I really just feel really good about them.
They just are really nice additions. So the first thing that I want you to know is that I did not always have really good habits. I would jump out of bed at my alarm. And when I say jump out of bed, I mean, I would just like wake up at, open my eyes and then I I'd be like, oh crap, my alarm's on. And then I, it was written, the phone was right next to my bed. And then I'd turn off the alarm and go, go back to bed. You know, I'd snooze it until about, I don't know, probably seven 30 or so. I mean, I would just, one is late as I could to get to the office. I would snooze it. And then I jump out of bed and take a shower and get to the office. But I want to tell you that was horrible.
I felt horrible. Well, when I did that, I felt groggy. I felt out of breath almost. As soon as I started my day, it was the worst. And so one day I just decided, you know what? I've had enough of this. I don't want to live like this. I want to figure out a better way. So I started playing with waking up earlier and I started at six o'clock and over the years, a combination of things I realized I didn't have enough time in the morning for myself. Cause that was the best time that I worked. I actually had a lot of quiet time to myself. I really enjoyed it. Then I got a dog. So long story short. Now I wake up at four in the morning, but what does that mean? It means that I've got to set my whole day in a way where I can go to bed at 8, 8 30, maybe nine.
And everything's like taken care of like, I gotta, I gotta be able to go to bed. And so that means my friends are having a party. Sometimes I'll stay later, but more likely than not. I'm the one who leaves early and they know it. So like, there are some sacrifices to that. I'm not saying you have to wake up at four in the morning, but for me to build a coaching practice on top of my law practice, I need to have that quiet time to myself. And so I either work out on my room machine or I do a little meditation, a little yoga, have a cup of coffee. And that's like my major, first thing in the morning, what I do. And then, and it doesn't have to be the same every time. Like I I'm don't want to be a robot. I mostly do the same things all the time. But you know what, sometimes you just want to have a cup of coffee, but I trust myself that I'm going to do the workouts that I want to get in that week. So that's the result of doing the coaching, work on myself as like, okay, well I trust myself. This is not a problem. The next thing that I, I really have found valuable for me
And, you know, over the years, so many people have said, oh, you've got a journal, you've got a journal. And I poo-pooed it. And I said, yeah, yeah, yeah. I said, yeah, I don't have time for that. Yeah. I don't even know what I would write about. Yeah. It's not super helpful because like, I just kind of like write down all my thoughts. I don't really, I don't really understand the point of journaling. So my brain didn't know how to journal. I do a lot of podcasts on this, so I'm not going to talk about all my journaling practices, but I'll link to uncovering hidden thoughts in the show notes. I think it's so one 11, I think. And I'll talk in that talks about some of the journaling practices I've done, but journaling is huge. And I'll tell you my clients who do the journaling, they make the most progress the fastest, I mean, not, you're still gonna make progress coaching, but there's something about journaling you're really getting into creating space between yourself and your thoughts.
And the only way to do that is to physically write them down. Like I wouldn't type down your thoughts. I would physically write them down. It really does create space. Another thing that I do, that's part of my journaling practice is writing down my dreams. And this is something that I have talked about very sparsely on Instagram. And if you are not on Instagram with me, go there, find me at Dina dot Cataldo. I have some really good stuff there. So go ahead and go there and, and follow me because I'm, I post some really I'm like, no, really I post some really good stuff there, but I do. So there, I posted about how I use my dreams to grow myself. And a lot of times when we have dreams, I mean, sometimes they don't click with us at all. There's nothing to them for us.
Right. We'll be one of those like silly dreams, but also a lot of times there are dreams there for, to make interpretations about. And that's really, the fun for me is to see where my dreams may have some interpretations that I can make. So just to give you an example of this is, you know, I might be dreaming about a subject and I'll start just writing it down in my journal. And then I start seeing like, oh, this is actually a pattern that shows up in my life. So for awhile, I was dreaming a lot about being in a house under construction. So recurring dream over and over, it was a house, a building any other things were going on, but the house was always under construction. And I knew for me that meant I was building what I wanted to build.
Like I knew that my life was also under construction and we can start to see these kinds of patterns if we're really looking for them. And then other times, you know, they, they may make no sense at all to you and that's okay. Like they're supposed to be fun, but that is a practice that I'm into. I really enjoy it. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had really vivid dreams. And so I have always made a practice of writing them down because when I go back and read them, I'm like, oh, that's what I was going through. Like a totally makes sense. I was dreaming about those things because I was going through some things during that time that my subject, I just picked up. So I just want to offer that to you is a practice that can offer you some extra insight into your mind, especially if you're really getting into this work of the subtle thoughts that are that are influencing how you behave in the world.
So that's another practice that I do. And all of this is in the morning. And usually I'll just sit and snuggle with my dog and do that while, you know, just kind of listening to the wind outside. I'll take my dog for a walk. Sometimes he really appreciates that. And I just I was sharing on Instagram the other day that I've started this practice of trying to get even quieter in my mind and slowing it down even more. And that has been really helpful what, what I've done. And one of my, one of the people who follows me on Instagram said, you know, this is, this is meditation, you know, only, but it sounds easier. And she's right, like, like you can go for a walk with your dog or by yourself, and to practice this, you know, bit of silence creating this for yourself, start to listen for a sound that is almost a little hard to hear.
Like for me, it was listening to Frankie's little pause, you know, walking through the grass or on the cement and just trying to hear that quieted my mind. And so I would walk for maybe 20, 30 seconds and I wouldn't think of anything except as pop prints. And then I would have a thought enter my mind, you know, like, oh, I w I wonder what I have to do today, you know? And then I could say to myself, oh, that's interesting that I'm having that thought. Or I listened to his pop prints for a few more seconds, and then it would come back to me like, oh, I wonder what the neighbors are going to think about my new windows. And I think, oh, that's interesting. I care what they think. Huh. That's interesting. Yeah. And that's the same point of meditation. Isn't to shut your brain down, it's to quiet it and get into that practice of quieting it.
And if you suffer from anxiety, this is a really wonderful practice for you to start really seeing how you can slow down your thoughts. And that in turn is going to start slowing down the emotions that are running through your body. It's just going to slow it down. Cause our, our thoughts are creating our feelings and we can't always pinpoint the exact thought that's creating the anxiety. At least I have found that to be true. Like there's not always a thought that I can pinpoint and say yes, that is causing the anxiety. I just feel anxiety. And and I just sit with it and I, you know, get quiet and it dissipates. Like that's how I manage that when that does come up. So those are my morning practices. And then in the evening cause like during the day, most of the times, right, I'm at the office.
So now we're full time. So I'm at the office all day and I get home and I have completed, you know, what I needed to do for me, like to fill me up the journaling, the walk, the quiet time, the workout, like that is what I needed before I get to the office to fill me up so I can have my day. And then in the evening I've kind of made a deal with myself. I don't do hardly any work in the evening. Oh, I should add one thing. Sometimes I have coaching calls in the morning. So I get ready for those two, a few days a week. So that is something that I also like waking up at four in the morning, four. So I have some time to prep myself and have that alone time before I even start coaching. And then in the evening it maybe I'll have a coaching call, but I've made a deal where, okay, if I don't have a coaching call, I get to watch an hour or two of Netflix. Right. Because I love watching television, but it's like, my it's like candy for me. Right. As long as I've done everything and I, you know, I'm fine. I can, I can watch TV. It's not a problem. And I really enjoy it more when I can sit there and immerse myself in it rather than worrying about other things that I have to do. Right.
I want to pop in to share what I do on a regular basis before bed. And that is taking at least five minutes to just quiet my mind. I love more time. I love to have like 30 minutes, you know, like an hour to get ready for bed. But sometimes I have five minutes and that's what I've given myself. So I'll do that or I'll stay up a little bit later so I can meditate longer. But that's what I need to wind myself down. I can't have a phone in my room. I have my alarm in my kitchen. I can't have, I don't have a TV in my room. I don't have any of that stuff to keep my mind busy. What I do is I, I quiet my mind and usually it's meditation. And sometimes I'll write a little bit more in my journal and sometimes I'll read a little, it just kind of depends on the night, but those are some of the practices I do at night that you can pick and choose if you want to do. It's just important that you have something that will help you wind down before you go to bed, preferably something that it takes you away from a screen for about 30 minutes.
That brings me to the weekend because the weekend has in the end, my week has already been planned ahead of time. Like, like I'm telling you all this right now and keeping what I taught in calendar 1 0 1 that I already mentioned all in mind. Cause I plan my calendar. This stuff doesn't just happen magically overnight. You gotta, you gotta work at it, right? Like you've got to make a commitment to yourself that you want to be there for yourself and love yourself because nobody else is going to do this work for you. You've actually got to do it yourself. Or it's not going to get done. So this kind of this kind of practice is all the underpinning of it is calendar 1 0 1. So if you need to learn how to manage your calendar, go to Dina, cataldo.com forward slash calendar 1 0 1 and I give it to you all right there.
Okay. So after the week, Hey then on the weekends, Saturday is a total free day. I don't do anything unless it's like, maybe it's a grocery shopping. Maybe I go to the garden center. I do some gardening. I take an impromptu drive to San Francisco or wherever, but Saturday is a free day. I don't do any work on that day. And then Sunday I coach and I do all, you know, on Saturday and Sunday I do all the same morning work that I told you Monday through Friday. And then Sunday I coach. And I write my posts up for the week so that I can post on Instagram without feeling in a rush. I don't always write my podcasts ahead of time. Yeah. I really don't like right now I'm recording this on a Wednesday night and I've decided that I'm okay with that because right now in my season of my life, I'm working full time and I, you know, Sunday it's coaching and writing, like, you know, I'm writing my posts, I'm, you know, doing things for my business, but I'm not going to wear myself out.
I decided when I took up coaching that if it's not fun, I'm not going to do it. And so I make this fun for myself. Like tonight, I made it fun for me by going for a walk with my dog. Like I can, I can still record my podcast. I can still make sure I'm helping people and sharing something. That's really valuable with them by sharing these practices so that they know what's possible for them. But I don't have to kill myself to do it. Right. So I want to offer to you that practices like the ones that I have here for you are totally available to you, that you can pick and choose the ones that sound the easiest, the most fun, the ones that you think might be the most impactful for you right now. And you don't have to pick more than one.
You can just pick one. You know, if, if hearing all of this sounds hard, then don't do all of it. Pick one thing that sounds easy. And one other thing that's really easy for us to get into is beating ourselves up by comparing ourselves to other people and I've done it before. So I want to make sure that I address this with you is when you hear the things that I do, I know that some people are inspired, which is great to hear, but I also hear, you know, that it's really easy for us to beat up on ourselves, right? For not being like a person that we admire. And I've done it myself. So I want you to know it's normal, but we have to love ourselves. And these practices that I've shared with you are all about loving yourself more. And when we compare ourselves to other people, we're ignoring all the work that they put in.
And I put in a lot of work on myself and this was not an overnight thing. This was something that took me a decade of understanding where I was and where I wanted to be. And I didn't understand that in one podcast, it took me coaching. It took me finding people to see how they were living their lives and to see what was possible for me. So what I'm hoping in this podcast is just to give you a little glimpse of what's possible for you and habits that you can integrate into your own life. So if you go to my Instagram page at Dina dot Cataldo, I'd love it. If you would tag me in a post about this podcast, tell me either at practice that you have that has brought you peace and you're lawyering, right? You're overwhelmed in your practice and you, and you have one that really grounds you when you feel that I'd love it.
If you would tag me and share what that practice is because that's going to benefit more people. I'm going to repost that in my Instagram channel. This is a practice. This is something that we can all do. It only takes just that one little step forward for us to begin changing everything for us. And if you want to take this work deeper, if you want to start really unwinding the practices that maybe you've had so far, that aren't working for you, I can help you with that. And if you go to Dina, cataldo.com and you go to the work with me button, just schedule a strategy session with me because when we're on that session together, I can show you exactly the thoughts that are preventing you from creating the life that you want to have. And from creating the habits that you want to have, because remember we are our habits and if we're not focused on the habits that we have now and on creating the habits that we want to get what we want, well, we're just going to stay stuck. And I know that you're listening to this podcast because you want growth. So if you want growth, let's talk. All right. Talk to you soon.