Two years ago I made an interesting decision. That decision was to put my life on pause and go on reality television and go on the Bachelor Canada. while this experience was now exactly two years ago, I still get asked regularly about why I chose that experience.
I thought it was time to explain why, in the hopes that it’ll inspire you to say yes to life, trust that you are being guided by the universe, and to let go of your “plans” for how your life/path is “supposed” to unfold.
In order to understand the place I was in when I applied, it’s important to share where I was at in my spiritual practice at the time. For those of you who aren’t interested in this, you can skip down to “Applying” below.
At the end of 2017 I was deep into my spiritual practice, such that in the jungles of Costa Rica I had a level of awakening I had not experienced before. This had come after years of meditation, deep internal excavation, and practice. I dropped all sense of “self” or “I” and was in pure presence. I saw that the vessel/body/spirit that was me was also the trees, the animals, the ocean, and every other human that passed me by. In other words, it was all one.
I felt that everything was inexplicably and unbelievably connected, and in that the same ways that the trees don’t worry about how to get sunlight or how to grow, that I need not do anything to play my part in the cosmic web. It would all unfold.
Everything was always unfolding in perfection. Everything was one. Everything was simply unfolding. I need not do anything to make anything happen. It all just was. In every moment, everything was perfect. And it was so, so beautiful.
While I had read this before and understood it from an intellectual perspective, this was the true experience of that.
The Ego Death
In the months leading up to that experience, I had been having a full “ego death.” In one’s journey, we will go through many, many situations that cause use to release parts of ourselves, our identities, tendencies, memories, and habits in order to become the vessels of love and spirit that we are here to be.
In late 2017, I was in the process of mourning myself. The best way to describe it is that I was having a funeral for myself. I would see memories of myself as a child, a teenager, and every other stage of myself, and have this experience of mourning these versions of “her” because they have all past, do not exist in the present, and therefore were not real.
I’ll share more about this process of self-realization and purification in the future, but the key to understand is that in doing so, you drop all sense of identity and feel, deeply, that you are merely a channel/vessel of the essence of spirit, which is love.
Integration – The Right Teachers at the Right Time
Here’s the thing – I was wandering around the jungles feeling one-ness with everything, and soon after that would be arriving back in Toronto to plug back into my Bay St. law life. I felt in a deep way that the entire society and world we lived in was made up, and it was hard for me to reconcile.
I came back to Toronto and basically felt like an alien, trying to be in this world but struggling to understand how. Because you always find the teacher you need at the time you need it, I soon found the book “the End of Your World” by Adyashanti, which described the experience I had, and allowed me to begin to integrate how to be in the world but not of the world.
I will also say that the experience of “oneness” gradually faded; this is common in this experience (Adyashanti speaks of it). Namely, because it’s difficult to ground that state of consciousness indefinitely when integrated in society. The lessons from this space continued, and I’ll still have spaces of time or experiences where I experience it, but I don’t walk around every day with my sense of self obliterated.
The next book I came across was the Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. While I understood that everything was unfolding, and we were just along for the ride as the witness, I hadn’t found a living example of someone who lived by this principle and had very much lived “in” the world. Michael Singer’s story deeply impacted me, merely by showing an example of how someone lived from the same place of letting things unfold and surrendering or saying yes to whatever comes.
My new mantra became “my mind does not know shit” and I chose to live from a place where I would follow through on every intuitive nudge, every intuitive message, and every opportunity that came to me, so long as I was ready, willing and able to do it.
Applying to the Bachelor
I started to get a strong intuition that I wanted to share my messages – modern spirituality, the power to co-create your reality, practicing mindfulness and presence, how to awaken your authentic power, the rising of the divine feminine and how to live as an embodiment of love to a wider audience.
At the time, I had been teaching meditation for 3 years, coaching for 2 years, and running Circle for about 3 months. I had been regularly writing and speaking about meditation, personal growth, and how to cultivate inner peace and happiness. I had built everything slowly, but consistently, and was seeing slow and steady success and growth as a result.
I loved making videos – and at the time, had been making regular videos and posting them to my social media, so wanted to go on television and share more in that way.
I reached out to a friend who worked in TV and asked how I could get onto some of the national lifestyle shows sharing these messages. She said that it was about a two year process and I would have to start on basic local shows to get a reel, and then go from there, or….
“The Bachelor is casting right now. We just got an internal memo. I think you would be hilarious. Why don’t you apply?”
There was my moment. Do I say yes, and trust what was unfolding, or did I let my mind jump back in with all of the reasons why this was insane and not what I wanted to do.
I decided to play the game, and see what the universe had in store.
I sat down that night and recorded my two-minute video, sitting down on my floor. A few days later I had an interview with the producers over Skype, sharing laughs while I crushed tacos inside my condo. A few days after that I went on vacation in Tulum.
Getting on the Show
When I got back from Tulum I got a call from the producers.
“We didn’t want to bother you when you were on vacation, but just so you know, we’ve pushed you through to the finals. We’re pitching you to the network tomorrow, can you fill out this paperwork and send it back to us?”
I laughed at the cosmic joke of it all – was this really happening? Is this actually where the universe is guiding me to go right now to share my message?
I was speaking with my assistant at work about how this seemed insane when one of the partners in my firm walked by and overhead me speaking. She pulled me into her office:
“Catie – if you get offered this, you should do it! I’ll support you. This is a once in a lifetime experience. How fun! You will always have law, but you should do this.”
I sat there dumbfounded – what world am I living in where I am being actively supported in doing this?
I soon after got the offer and felt conflicted. Do I actually say yes to this, or do I continue to let my path unfold in a different, more conventional way?
The decision to say yes wasn’t easy, because from a rational, logical and mind-level place, I knew the following:
· I was going to be judged;
· Everyone who knew me wasn’t going to understand my intentions;
· Part of my mission centres around empowering women, and wasn’t this show, at its core, contrary to that?;
· It could potentially put my law reputation at risk;
· It could put my personal reputation, and the presence that I had a created as a teacher of spirituality and personal growth at risk;
· There were so many other ways for me to grow my audience than this;
· I could be sent home after one day, and then have to figure out what to do with a 2 month leave from work that I didn’t need.
Listen, I have a strong mind. I’m trained as a lawyer and naturally am a critical thinker. There was no part of me that was naive to what I was getting myself into, which is where the internal struggle arose. Mind versus heart. I understood of all the possible scenarios, all of the risks and all of the potential judgments that were coming to me.
And yet – I also firmly believed that this is where I was being led by the universe. I spent a lot of time in meditation, and in contemplation of whether this felt right in my body, and with my intuition.
Every time, when I thought about it, eyes closed, hands on my heart – it felt expansive and open. My inner voice would guide me…
Q: “Catie – don’t you want to connect with as many women as possible to help them remember that everything they are searching for outside of themselves exists within”
Q: “Isn’t this one of the best ways possible to get in front of your exact audience of women in their 20s and 30s who might be looking for someone just like you to help them?”
Q: “Doesn’t the idea of lounging poolside with a group of other women in the sun, spending time dressing up and relaxing sound like fun?”
That was the thing – at the end of the day. It felt fun. So I followed the fun, and said yes.
At the time, I had no idea why spirit/the universe had led me to the show, but I trusted that there was a reason – there always is.
Was it fun? Sometimes. More than that, it was extremely challenging – but challenges are where the growth is. Just like everything in nature – “no pressure, no diamond.”
I got to see so many ways that my ego was still full of attachments – to how I was perceived, to how my path would unfold, to caring what other people thought, to certain outlets like meditation, writing, and daily movement to help keep me centred, to my friends and family, and to my sense of external stability.
This experience was some of the deepest internal work I’ve ever had to do – and I eventually figured out the reason why I was led to the show, which I’ll share in my next post.
What I hope you take-away from this, is that that universe is always supporting your highest growth and finding ways for you to be of service. Often, however, these opportunities or detours may not fit into your mind’s “plan” of how your path is “supposed” to unfold for you.
This is the key, because our minds are so limited and there are infinite possibilities for how our paths can unfold. The more that we surrender and say yes to what is in front of us, the more we can trust that we are being led to experiences that are for our highest growth, evolution, and impact.
The next time that an opportunity comes to you, whether its someone asking you to go to a new event that you’re unsure about, or to travel to a new place, or someone asks you to speak somewhere – say yes.