Q & A with Kathy Freston: Best-Selling Author & Oprah Fave on Soul Mates, Relationships & Multidimensional Wellness
Best-selling author, Kathy Freston, promotes a body/mind/spirit approach to health and happiness that includes a concentration on healthy diet, emotional introspection, spiritual practice, and loving relationships, among other tenets.
She has been on Oprah, Ellen, The View, Good Morning America, and CBS's The Early Show. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Self, W, and Fitness magazine. Freston's books include Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness, The One: Discovering the Secrets of Soulmate Love and Making it Last, and Expect a Miracle: 7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship. Her latest book is The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21 Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Mind, Body and Spirit.
MindBodyGreen: How do you start your day?
Kathy Freston: I wake up with the sun, let my dog outside while I make tea (yerba mate with soy creamer) and breakfast (a bowl of brown rice with raw almonds and blueberries, flax seed oil and hemp milk on top), read the papers on my Kindle, and then go for a hike. I get home, shower, meditate for about 20 minutes, and then begin my workday.
MBG: Why is knowing what we want in a partner and relationship so important? How can we manifest it?
KF: If we don't really think about how we want to spend our life, we can end up simply repeating patterns of the past that don't serve our higher growth, and it will feel like we are stuck in a rut, not being fulfilled or purposeful. Once we analyze what we might be doing wrong that holds us in old patterns, we can start to think and behave differently, more conscientiously. And then we attract relationships -- or better, make improvements to the one we are in -- that reflect our hard work and authenticity.
MBG: What advice do you have for someone who's just left a bad relationship?
KF: Don't rush into a new one! Work on yourself. Journal. Take long walks and analyze what happened. Meditate. Join a support group or see a therapist if you are able to. And then focus on fulfilling yourself with meaningful work and friendships. Your passion will draw to you the right situation, so you need not go looking for anything.
MBG: How do you define a "soul mate"?
KF: A soul mate is someone with whom you have a strong connection, who draws you into your growth (like it or not!). The relationship is compelling enough that you don't just leave when things get challenging; you are pushed to become more than you were before knowing this person.
MBG: In your book Expect a Miracle, you give advice for growing spiritually to enable love and the right relationships into your life. How do you define a "miracle"?
KF: A miracle is an event that unfolds perfectly for the good of all involved, and which is not manipulated by us. It comes storming (or gently landing) into the picture completely unexpectedly. It is usually brought forth when we hold a strong intention for healing, and a willingness to do the personal work for the healing to happen.
MBG: The One talks about the importance of trusting one's intuition. Please explain why we all need to "practice allowing"?
KF: We are controlling by nature! Our ego wants to believe that everything is up to us. But life will teach us that, in fact, we are part of a bigger picture-one that is unfolding with an impulse to move toward love and benevolence. So when we surrender to that impulse, knowing that we are not the sole creators of our lives, we feel aided and guided by something bigger than our little rationales.
MBG: In Quantum Wellness, you discuss the "eight pillars of wellness." How do they relate to mind/body/green wellness -- and what does mind/body/green wellness mean to you?
KF: Wellness is multidimensional. We aren't well just because we exercise or eat right. And we aren't well if we just meditate or use green products. We have to tend to all the different areas of body, mind, and soul and work on the areas that might be lacking. We are part of something bigger than just ourselves, so if we don't tend to that bigger picture-the well-being of the planet and all its inhabitants -- we will not ultimately thrive. We don't exist in a vacuum.
MBG: How do you relax or exercise?
KF: I hike, practice yoga, work out in a gym -- whatever is available to me. And I vary my program.
MBG: Favorite quote?
KF: It is often cited, but I feel it's the most important thing to remember: From Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." No one is going to do it for us; if we want to see a peaceful world, we have to create that peace. First in our homes, then in our communities; and then those little adjustments will ripple out and make the dream of peace manifest worldwide.
MBG: Favorite getaway?
KF: A hike, just about anywhere. Love to be outside in trees and mountains.
MBG: Favorite guilty indulgence?
KF: I love Uncle Eddie's vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They are ridiculously good.
MBG: Who inspires you?
KF: People who make profound changes in their lives, despite the difficulties and the temptation to fall back on old ways.
MBG: If it was your Last Supper, what would you eat? Who would be there (past/present/future)?
KF: My Last Supper? Hmmm, it changes all the time. Maybe a big bowl of pasta with Earth Balance butter and shaved truffles. And a gorgeous glass of red wine. Heaven! And there are too many people to list whom I'd hope to include.
MBG: What is next for you? Professionally? Personally?
KF: I don't know specifically, but I feel that very exciting things are coming!
For more on Kathy Freston: