Your Intention

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Yota works with women who are in the midst of personal and professional changes and milestones. Her approach is deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation. In addition to her work with individual clients, Yota speaks and writes on mindful living, overcoming self-doubt, and the art of letting go.


  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    My intention for this course is to be more mindful about how I am nourishing both my mind and body. I would like to understand more about why I have a need to control my environment and sometimes micro-manage it. At the same time I very easily excuse my lack of control in food choices, taking care of my body and use of free time. In our new corona-virus world this is all heightened.

    • theartofnewbeginnings

      Hi Kathy, thank you for your thoughtful answer. It gives me pause. I was wondering…how does it make you feel when you micro-manage your environment? What need does it satisfy? I find it interesting that while trying to control your environment, you’re finding ways to excuse your lack of control over food choices and free time. What does it mean to you, taking good care of yourself? What does your inner critic say about that? This is something we’ll be addressing in upcoming units but, it came up so I wanted to mention it.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    It took me a day to get back to this. I have a need to keep things orderly. I can let it get a bit disarrayed for a day or two but then it starts making me nervous. Babs is just the opposite. A constant source of our spats. I think when I am around her I have an even stronger need to control it because I am afraid it will get out of control. I also like how it looks when it is tidy.

    I think between my Mom’s funeral and moving and my foot surgery you are constantly being comforted by food. It takes energy to control it and I find I just give in to eating carbs and snack food. I have a thing about Doctors. I am particularly annoyed too since the foot surgery seemed to not help. The doctor thing is illogical but definitely a part of my make up.

    • Yota Schneider

      I am truly sorry to hear about the foot surgery. This is stressful.
      You and I are so alike. I need an orderly environment to function, I can do emotional eating, and I don’t like doctors 🙂
      My mind gets muddled when my space is cluttered and untidy. My family on the other hand … 🙂
      When we live with people we love and care about who are the exact opposite, it can be a battle that nobody wins. There are things we can do and I know how I handle it usually.
      What is it you can do? Is there an area in the house you can designate as no mess zone, an area that is your personal safe haven? Can the two of you talk and agree on a middle way? Remember, there will be times when you can handle it better than others. You’ll probably be more stressed when you’re trying to finish a project and need a tidy environment or you are having people over.
      Can you ask for help so you don’t have to deal with it alone? Think about problem solving and enlisting help rather than changing Babs. What is it she can do to support you? She doesn’t have to change completely and give up what’s important to her but she can make slight changes to support you.
      As for food, emotional eating can be a challenge. If you really want to change that, you’ll have to be tough. Give away or throw out the stuff you know is bad for you. Keep healthy snacks in the house and when you feel like eating ask yourself: Am I really hungry or stressed? Grab an apple and go for a walk or find an activity that can substitute eating.
      We’ll be talking about all this further on but remember this. The conversations we have in our heads and how we talk to ourselves matter.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    I have found it helpful to have containers that are Babs. She has a kitchen drawer so she dumps her stuff there. It helps her not lose things too. She has a basket in the living area to keep things in. Her room is upstairs here and that really helps because I don’t see it. I am a bit of a control freak so sometimes I don’t let her do enough. We are trying to work that out. I do the dishwasher she swiffers and vacuums, etc. This house is plenty big enough for us to both have personal spaces which is good.
    It is a challenge for me though to let her do things in a less fastidious fashion than I would. It is also a challenge for her because she likes having someone do things for her. Who wouldn’t.

    Two days ago we both agreed to clean the pantry and get rid of the obvious temptations. As Babs said the pantry is like visiting a candy store – you just pick whatever you want all day. Again containers are being helpful . The less open bag grabbing the better. I think all of us are trying to navigate this new Carona stress. Last week was a bit of a free for all. This week as the long term reality of this sets in we are trying to establish a schedule and routine so it isn’t all “oh what the heck!”

    • Yota Schneider

      Sounds to me like a good start. Don’t forget, you’re still in a period of adjustment to this new way of life; new house, new state, retirement away from the familiar, and the epidemic.
      It seems that your need for things to be done just so and Babs’ need to have things done for her, feed off of each other.
      The time will come when you’ll have to really look at this and decide whether you want to change it or not.

  • Kathleen Lauterbach

    An astute observation. I am working on trying to sometimes accept things done in a way that I don’t feel is the way it should be done. It is not easy though for me. Babs really does like having things done for her and most of the time I am happy to do them. How do you think we could approach this? I think she feels anything she does is not good enough and I get frustrated with carelessness that ultimately cause damage- I believe there are some things that just need to get done and she likes to say “I’ll do that tomorrow, the dishes can sit in the sink overnight or I’ll unpack my stuff tomorrow, we don’t need to bring everything in when we come home, etc. Postponing to me makes it worse. Yet, I can also procrastinate with the best of them on certain items. Like I still don’t have a will and that is freaking me out with this virus.

  • Yota Schneider

    Trying to accepts things done in a way different than you would do them, is a great starting point. No, it’s not easy. But, you’re trying to catch yourself and you’ll get better with practice. As you get better at accepting and Babs gets better at doing, it will get easier for both of you. A weight will be lifted off your shoulders. It takes a lot of energy to do things perfectly all the time, don’t you think? 🙂

    As to how to approach it, what if you started by having a meeting, over wine or whatever, and you can have a conversation and set some rules. For example …

    “Babs, it’s really important for me to have a clean sink before I go to bed at night. I like starting the day ahead not behind with what needs to be done. So, please, can you help me with this?”
    And, she can tell you what’s important for her and you can reach a compromise. Is it that important that she doesn’t want to unpack the stuff as soon as she gets home? Is there a place out of sight she can store her stuff and take care of it later? A closet maybe?

    In the end, what matters is the quality of life you share together. Not everything is created equal.

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