Welcome to This Is Me Thursdays! To read other posts in this series, click here. If you want to be involved, please email me for more details! Today, learn more about Cait Byrnes, someone who makes me want to be my best, most creative and witchy self.
We originally got connected on Instagram a few years ago I think, and I really love how she blends creativity with spirituality and following your intuition in a world where people often feel burned out. She hosts virtual healing circles around the new moons each month, I really dig her overall vibe and energy, and I love that her word for 2020 is ease. She’s an all around really cool person, and I’m really excited to see what she does and who else she’s able to help in the future. Visit her website, Facebook page and Instagram profile, and let her know you saw her post here!
This Is Me: Cait Byrnes
Share a little about yourself, your background and what you’re doing now.
Hey there! I’m an artist and a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach/BeachWitch who helps creative womxn boost their energy and lower their stress through physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. My practice includes a mix of helping folks with food and mood healing, incorporating daily radical self-care, and getting in touch with our own inner magic. I’m ALL about helping creatives feel good so they can do more of the work they love, and the work that we so desperately need in the world.
I’ve always been interested in holistic wellness. Back in the day, my blogroll was pretty much exclusively nutrition and alternative healing blogs, but I was also always an artist at heart and, in particular, interested in the way art can be used as a healing tool to strengthen relationships and build community. I got my BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, did a ton of community based art, and served 3 years with the Community Arts Collaborative Americorps program. I was convinced that I’d spend the rest of my life making real change in the world by working at large arts non-profits.
But, I learned very quickly that the arts world and the non-profit industrial complex unfortunately has a huge culture of burn-out for artists. While in Americorps, I watched my fellow collaborators start each service year feeling excited and motivated, only to be completely burnt by the end of the year and having to leave immediately after (sometimes before their term was up). Conversations about new projects and community organizing techniques quickly turned to “how do I physically keep doing this?”
It was through that process that I realized creatives are rarely given the tools to take care of themselves, while also being undervalued and taught to do labor of love projects, work for “exposure”, and generally paying their dues before ever seeing a real paycheck. I also saw that any of the work we were doing in community was not sustainable if our staff had such a high turn-over rate.
So now, I’m dedicated to helping womxn creatives feel their best and and understand their value, so they can make their work, get paid for it, and create sustainable change in the world.
Have you discovered your life purpose, and is that important to you? What motivates you in your life?
My motivation has always been healing and service. These two things have been the common theme throughout all my endeavors (what my dear friend and fellow coach Michelle Gomez refers to as my Golden Thread), even when it comes to my creative pursuits (burlesque, puppetry, painting, etc). Working as a holistic health coach for creative womxn is 10000% my life’s purpose, and it feels fucking amazing.
Thinking about your life now, is it what you always imagined you’d be doing? Why or why not, and what have you learned because of that?
As a kid, I always knew I wanted to be an artist. But past that, I had a really hard time envisioning what exactly that would look like. Even as a young kid, I knew I wanted to do something more than show work in a gallery…. I wanted to be of service, and I wanted to use art as a connection tool. In college, I imagined that I would work in for arts non-profits my whole life, but I quickly got burnt out and could not continue.
In a way, what I’m doing now is exactly the thing I imagined, even if I didn’t know it for some time. I get to be of service, be super creative in all areas of my business, do spells and magic, and I get to create community and foster new relationships.
What’s something you desperately want other people to know or realize that may help them in their lives?
We’re all creative, and we all have an inner knowing we can tap into at anytime. Creativity is the same as intuition, we just have to learn how to listen to it more fully. Which is why I love practicing different rituals to help myself (and my clients) ground down and tap into the energy within.
When we encounter challenges in our lives, we can choose to run from them or to them. What have you learned from either of those ways of thinking in your own life?
What I’ve learned over time is that there are merit to both of these approaches. Some challenges that we encounter are there to show us what we DON’T want, and that we should run far from it! But then, of course, sometimes we have to move through challenges so we can fully grow and shift into our highest selves. The practice really is to tap back into your inner knowing to figure out what is a sign from the universe that you need to bail, and when are you being triggered from past trauma, which is what I help my clients through.
How have self-care and self-love played a part in your journey so far?
My own journey with self-care is what got me here today! By recognizing that I should be taking better care of my body (in whatever way feels good, not what some dumb diet fad says is the only way), working through my emotional blocks, and reconnecting with my own rhythms and the rhythm of nature, I was able to more fully step into my power, start my business, and help other womxn do the same.
Photo courtesy of Cait Byrnes