How to Help Others Feel Seen and Heard with Kathy Rodriguez

It’s a basic and universal human need to feel seen and heard. So, for our relationships to thrive, we have to make an effort to ensure those around us feel seen and heard, too. Doing so will not only strengthen our ability to communicate with those we love, but it will empower others in our lives to be their best selves.

My guest today Kathy Rodriguez, does precisely that. If you need a friend or a good laugh, she’s the perfect person to find online and follow. Kathy is a soul-purpose life coach for women about igniting the Warrior Goddess. She helps you see your beauty and purpose in life and embrace who you are. We all need a Kathy in our lives!

She recently came to my home, and we recorded videos for Instagram to share body positivity messages and dress her and Georgina in fun weekend wear. I wish I had recorded clips of us behind the scenes; Georgina was so shocked that she loved many of the pieces I pulled for her without ever having dressed her. She was like, “OK, I know you want to hear it; you are really good at what you do. I get it now.” A big compliment to hear that because I just went on her Instagram to get a dose of her personality and then pulled colors and styles that I felt complimented her.

In this podcast, we talk about embracing who we are and where we are in our lives. I let this recording free flow into what our hour-long phone calls usually sound like. My favorite part about listening to podcasts is when you feel like you’re part of a perfect conversation, and you want to share your own feedback too.

In this episode, Kathy and I talk about:

  • When it’s time to change your routine
  • What she learned from her clients
  • How to change the way you see your body
  • Small gestures that can help others feel seen and heard

When it’s time to change your routine

Kathy decided it was time for a change when she became an empty-nester. “That was my starting block,” she said. Although she always worked in the fitness industry as a swim instructor and aquatics director, she went into fitness differently. “It’s hard to show swimming on Instagram,” she realized, “But you can show a yoga pose.”

Kathy received her yoga certification during COVID and started teaching other forms of fitness where she conversed with people in her classes. She discovered how important it was for people in her class to feel comfortable. She accepted no matter where they were on their journey.

“If people don’t feel like the vibe that the instructor doesn’t care about them, then I’m not doing my job,” Kathy noted.

Her biggest “ah ha” moment came when she visited another hot yoga studio. She recalled, “I laid my mat down in the front of the class and started chatting with my friends behind me. The instructor asked me if I could move to the back of the room because they liked the regulars to be in front.”

Kathy was shocked and felt unwelcome. “I assumed it was because they didn’t think I could make certain moves based on my age. At that time, I was practicing 4 times a week with my best friend Georgina,” she said.

Kathy ended up moving to the back. “I was fine with it because there was a man in front of me who was going commando in kinda see-through leggings! So I moved to the back of the room,” she laughed.

In fitness, having open and honest conversations in safe spaces is a struggle many people have right now. Kathy wants everyone to take classes and be welcomed no matter what they look like or how old they are.

What she learned from her clients

Some of Kathy’s clients are in their 70’s and attend her yoga classes. “They inspire me,” Kathy said, “They’re still moving their bodies, they’re loving it, and that inspires me to continue on in my fitness journey.”

Her clients also taught her patience, compassion, and understanding.

How to change the way you see your body

Kathy recently shared an exercise she did with a group of women about how to change the way they see their bodies. “It’s about self-love,” she explained, “Loving our bodies what it is now.”

She asked the group to write down two things they love about their bodies. Some struggle to find one thing, let alone two, but they start to change the conversation once they name something they love. “I love my shoulders because I have broad shoulders from swimming, but they’re also great for someone to lean on me and who needs a shoulder to cry on.”

Small gestures that can help others feel seen and heard

The exercise Kathy and the group did together helped them feel seen and heard. “I love to help women look beautiful, feel beautiful, find their purpose at every stage and every age,” she said.

Suppose you’re struggling with any area in your life, from style to fitness. In that case, Kathy recommends finding the experts and people with the knowledge. We are all going through phases. “If you think you handle it all on your own, you’re not really handling it,” she said.

What a beautiful soul. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with Kathy over the past few years through the work I do. What was your favorite part of this conversation? Mine was where she shared her experience with one of her students on a retreat. Where she shares the story of how to find that one part of your body you love or find gratitude for. 

Thank you for spending time with me today. Keep on building a life and style that truly lights you up.

More from Kathy Rodriguez:

Learn more from Kathy and follow along on Instagram at @joyfulpurposeyogi and Facebook at @peppyfitfoodie.

tannya bernadette

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