We would like to say that Woodfield first met Catie like many people have, on an juicy episode of the Bacholer Canada.
But we first met Catie after She had a brief stint into the Crossfit world a couple years ago. Since then her magnetic personality in the health and wellness space landed her an special ambassador invite to Woodfield Muskoka this past year!
We caught up with her over a green tea in the heart of Toronto's financial district, Catie was calm in the chaos.
For someone who has never met you, what are the most essential things to know about Catie Fenn?
Catie: The essential thing to know about me is that I am a beacon of love and positivity in the world and my mission is to inspire others to reconnect with themselves, step into their power, learn to love themselves more unconditionally and live a life that fuels exciting and deeply fulfilling. I am a meditation and soul coach, lawyer and inspirational speaker. I lead workshops, speak and coach others to tap into their own deeper wisdom to connect with the magic of life.
I passionately shares my stories of her unravelling and becoming, and the transformational tools I have learned along the way in order to help others to live their most purpose-fueled lives. I created and lead the Circle, a popular community event of changemakers supporting one another to rise into their full potential, run transformational international retreats in Costa Rica, and am at the helm of a significant social media community love warriors, while continuing to work as a downtown Toronto litigator.
You highlight on your website that sometime in 2014 you had what some people call a spiritual awakening. Tell us a little more about that moment and was the most important catalyst of change that keep you on a new path in your life was?
Catie: In late 2012 I started to get this feeling deep within me of “nudge-nudge” - there’s something off here. I had this objectively perfect and successful life: an amazing job I had crushed through seven years of school for, an amazing partner, a wonderful place to live, and a passport with a ton of stamps in it, and yet I felt disconnected. It was that nudge-nudge that was from my soul awakening me to live in a different way, but I had no idea what that would look like or how to get started so I ignored it for quite some time.
Here’s the thing with your awakening: it’s coming for you whether you’re ready for it or not. Eventually the nudges and signs that I was going to make significant changes in my life got louder and louder until I couldn’t deny them any longer. The first moment that really catapulted me on my journey was when I made my way to a yoga class and the teacher read out a quote which said: “don’t let fear of future hurt stop you from the inexplicable joy of being alive.”
My heart cracked open in that moment and the path was illuminated. I realized that I had been scared to listen to the nudges because i was terrified of the future hurt it would cause me, the people around me who had supported me so much, and to dwell in that uncertainty, but also knew deep within my bones that there was a greater joy in love available to me that at the time I was completely disconnected from. I now know that’s such a big thing for people in their awakenings: learning to face the fear and simply choose to follow where your heart/soul are leading you. That led me to end a relationship and decide to take some time to figure out who I was and what my life was about, but at the time that seemed too daunting so I did what many people do when faced with having to deal with an existential crisis and chose to tinder over, netflix over, and party over it. That was, however, until February 3, 2014 when my inner voice/spirit/universe/god said “Enough. It’s time to stop running.”
From that day forward, I started meditating and started a daily self-reflection practice of journaling and reading spiritual texts and my life transformed profoundly over a very short period of time.
Mindfulness and meditation are trending these days. What is your take on the emergence of the concept and practice over the past couple years? Where do you see it going in the years to come?
Catie: I think that people are opening up to mindfulness and not seeing as it being out there due to the proliferation of science based data confirming itself benefits. Absent this data, I think a lot of people were hesitant to embrace it, but now that there’s data even the most skeptical can’t argue with the positive benefits its been shown to have on your brain and overall well being.
I also feel like meditation leads to people connecting with themselves, which then leads to them living more connected, authentic lives. I think as more people start to meditate, they’ll learn to unravel who they thought they were into becoming who they want to be, so I’m hopeful that a byproduct of an increase in meditators is an increase in the authenticity and realness we see in the world to counteract our current climate of a heavily filtered or curated life.
I personally feel that people are starting to be drawn to meditation because its a space to connect with yourself and go inward in a time where so much is focused externally, and there is so much focus on hustling, going, doing, and creating, that it becomes necessary to find a practice to balance that out by turning inward, connecting and reflecting.
In the next couple of years I think meditation and mindfulness will only become more mainstream as further research comes out touting its benefits. I think we are going to see a lot more large-scale meditation events and meetups, and more meditation classes and communities budding, which is awesome, because so many of us feel disconnected and are in need of community.
What are some mindfulness based tools or techniques that you use in your daily life that allow you to find clarity? What is your advice to someone who might be new to the practice and concept.
Mindfulness is ultimately about breaking down our sensory experience to become totally attuned to the present moment. So focus on one aspect of your sensory experience and just focus on that - anywhere you are. What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you feeling? Anytime you want to become more present in the moment bring all your awareness to one of those things and you’ll feel more grounded. Meditation is obviously my favourite tool, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Set your alarm for 5 minutes and count in for four breaths and out for four breaths.
My advice for anyone who is new to the practice is: you cannot do it wrong. This is about you learning how to quiet the mind and become more present. I also remind people that small hinges swing big doors, meaning that a small, tiny meditation practice of a couple of minutes that you continue to build upon can actually have a profound change on your life.
Woodfield’s mission is returning people to this idea of “True Nature”. From your experience up at Woodfield Muskoka and connecting with our community through our events in Toronto, what about Woodfield stands out the most to you? What do you define as True Nature?
True Nature is being who we really are, and having the courage to live life on our own terms. Woodfield fosters a community of people being radically authentic with one another, which to me is my favourite thing about it.
You can learn more about Catie and the workshops she offers on her website. Catie also regularly leads our weekly meditation gathering.
Join us every Wednesday evening at for a unique meditation practice. Each week will feature a new session leader, providing relatable mindfulness techniques through sharing their unique story and leading a guided meditation. Sessions are complimentary, 1 hour in length, and include time for group discussion.