As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.


  • Linda Samuels

    When I read this, my thought was that at times the things that create worry, strife, and stress for me become so intense that the kind thing to do is to shift. At those times, instead of pushing myself to do more, I allow myself to ask, “What do I need now?” And the answer has often been to move in a different direction than where I was headed. So instead of returning another email, completing the next step of a project, or forcing myself to write when the words aren’t coming, I don’t. I shift. When the “cares” overtake my energy, and the knots appear in the pit of my stomach, I turn to the things that will help me restore. I pivot. I’ll take a walk in the woods or by the river, curl up on the couch with my soft, cozy blanket, or take a drive to nowhere with my husband, Steve. I might bake or cook. I might sit with a cup of tea and sip. For someone that enjoys being productive, there is one other key. I let go of the guilt of NOT doing. Guilt can become its own challenge. I remind myself that life isn’t just about doing, going, and getting shit done. It’s about paying attention to your internal state and responding flexibly. It’s about being nurturing and kind to yourself. Because without that, how can we extend that to others?

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear Linda,

      I love how you tune into your body and listen to it. When all else fails, our body has the truth and knows what we need to do that’s in our best interest.

      You and I are similar on how we self-soothe … nature walks, meditation, curling up with a cozy blanket and a hot cup of tea, taking a drive, cooking … I’ll add daydreaming here 🙂

      I used to take these activities for granted but not anymore. It’s always the little things for me. As for guilt … well that’s a whole other topic. But … I’m getting better with age and experience.

      Thank you for sharing! <3

      • Linda Samuels

        Tuning into my body and listening is something I’ve learned to do. As much as I adore my mom, and as much as she taught and continues to teach me, paying attention to my body wasn’t one of those things. She ignored all signals and was more of the “I’m invincible” and “Just push through it” type. We used to tease her that she slept with her eyes open because she believed in living each day to its fullest and not wasting any time. She used to tell me that we sleep one-third of our lives away, so she didn’t want to miss any of the waking hours. What’s fascinating, is that as she aged, and was diagnosed with dementia, some of that drive diminished. She leaned into naps (something she never did,) and was content to just be. Always the teacher. And while I had to come to “listening to my body” without her help, I am inspired to see her continue to change and honor her needs at the ripe young age of 91.

    • Twink McKenney

      You two inspire me! When I need to get out of my head and away from my “cares” my long walks are my salvation. I have many days when my schedule is my own and I can close up shop and put my walking shoes on — whenever I feel the need for some “me” time. I lose myself in nature and love walking with my dogs in all kinds of weather. But I may have more in common with your mother Linda! I have pushed through with many things and I think curling up with a book, daydreaming, and being creative just for the fun of it are things I could to add to my self-soothing routines.

  • Twink McKenney

    Just re-read and see that I skipped right over “how does your body feel” … have to say that I have always been a stress eater and these past few moths that has escalated. Hoping to get some insights into this. I love to cook and eat good, healthy food – just too much when I am feeling that my cares are getting the best of me.

    • Yota Schneider

      What great observations, Twink. I am looking forward to seeing what messages your body has for you as you continue to contemplate and explore self-care at a time when life and work are changing once again. It makes sense that you’d have to evaluate your routines and habits and give your body what it needs so it can fully support you.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    As I read this quote again I thought about how I do often withdraw from the cares that won’t withdraw from us. I was brought up to handle things- don’t cave into emotions -just keep a stiff upper lip and forge on. One of my Mom’s favorite sayings was “If you want something to cry about, I’ll give you something to cry about.” So I think in many cases I have learned to avoid those cares that won’t withdraw from us. While many of the ways to avoid them can be pleasant, I wonder if looking at some of those cares might be more helpful. I don’t know if I have truly grieved all the losses that have happened within the past year. I don’t know if I have looked at how I feel about the changes in my living situation. I know this is a different way to look at that quote.

    • Yota Schneider

      Hi Kathy,

      I have to say, I love how the quote continues to shape shift. How can we possibly let go of anything unless we know its nature and its effect on us?

      Grief has a rhythm and pace of its own. It’s personal. It takes time and it comes in waves … often when least expected. Do we ever get over our losses? I don’t believe we do. We go through the grief process, for as long as it takes, and eventually we learn to live in the absence of those we lost. Can we avoid the process of experiencing it? Of course not. How can we? Why would we even want to?

      Our culture has done us a disservice. That stiff upper lip attitude serves no one. True resilience and perseverance come from owning and processing our experiences. Pushing out emotions away produces backlash.

      Your life has changed drastically. Everything happened in quick succession and now it’s up to you to unravel the threads of change and loss, and the grief that comes with it all. This can’t happen when you’re caught in the unforgiving pace of taking care of business. It begins to unfold when you sit still. And, you’ve started.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    I think I am just beginning to see the rhythms of the grief process. My mother instilled in us a stoicism that didn’t allow for much emotion. My sister and I have been talking about it lately and wonder if it is because her sister died pretty brutally when she was 12. She was playing on the train tracks and was run over. My Grandfather had to identify her from a shred of clothing. We think as a result of that pain she pushed a lot aside and buried it. She very rarely told us anything about her sister. I can also probably count on one hand the number of times I saw my mother cry. This makes it sound like she was hard and cold, but that was not the case.
    It was interesting to me when you said “now you have to be your own parent”. That is so true. Sometimes you just want someone to say don’t do that, or slow down, or just take care of you. My mother did all three of those for me. She was never at a loss for an opinion about a move you were making in your life, she wanted me to settle down in one spot and never could understand all the “running around” we did and even up to a day before she died she would make supper for me and stand at the front door waving until you pulled away from the curb.

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