meet kat inokai, writer, content creator, advocate, and a disabled mom of two.
what brings you comfort when facing the unknowns in life?
The unknown used to be a huge source of panic for me, until I realized
that I was panicking about all these negative things and I had just as
much of a shot at wonderful things unfolding. That thought alone
turned ‘I don’t know’ into more of a comforting statement. I also use
a lot of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) to come back to the
present when I’m anxious or overwhelmed. Meditation, breathing,
compassion, and remembering that I only need to focus on the next
moment, also bring me a lot of peace, as does practicing gratitude.
how do you stay true to yourself?
I’m not going to lie- I find it really hard sometimes. As a mom I tend
to feel pulled in many directions; as a storyteller I can feel the
lure of creating for an algorithm or an audience; and as someone with
chronic health challenges it can be a battle to not be defined by
them. I try to listen to my intuition, and see what is really
resonating at my core - what is really 'mine' - and what I might be
carrying around that doesn't belong to me. Once I can identify and
release those expectations it's such a relief, and my path feels so
much clearer - so I check in as many times as I need in a day to feel
grounded in my true Self.
what does balance look like for you?
I used to strive for Balance all the time, but the truth is I don’t
think it exists the way we traditionally think about it. I have never
experienced life in 'equal parts', and the hunt for that made me feel
super overwhelmed. Instead I’ve just accepted that sometimes life
looks a certain way- maybe sometimes there’s more emphasis on family,
or on work, or wellness. When I started actively practicing gratitude
and self compassion, it became less about making all those parts work
to receive the same amount of attention, and it became more about
asking 'is this all harmonizing'? When I feel like life is giving me
way too much of one 'note' then I gently assert boundaries, call in
extra help, or give myself extra rest or self-care.
whats your biggest passion and how are you pursuing it?
I love writing and storytelling so much - no matter what I've done
over the years I feel compelled to write and share, so I'm definitely
pursuing that. Part of that stems from the fact that I tend to process
my own life experiences externally, and it gives me great joy when
people can relate, feel supported, connect, and find community through
my writing or stories. I'm shifting my blog and branding around at the
moment, but Instagram has become an intense microblogging platform for
me, and I absolutely love the community that has taken shape there. I
also have some top-secret production plans that I'm still sitting on,
but you'll be the first to know when it starts unfolding.
your best piece of advice?
Let go of expectations and comparisons. We are so hard on ourselves so
much of the time because we are looking at what someone else is doing,
or how successful, or *insert adjective* they are, and that seriously
impacts our perceptions of self. Also, when you see the incredible
the world around you as a measuring stick that you're always falling short
on, we experience so much needless stress and suffering. I think it's
natural to look around and feel influenced, and inspired, and maybe
even wonder how someone might achieve something- but it's important to
know that you are unique and that your path is your path, and no one
else can walk it, or bring your special kind of light to the world.
what/who is your biggest inspiration?
My kids are my inspiration. I mean, there are lots of people that
command my respect and that really does influence aspects of my life in
the day-to-day - but for me true inspiration breaks holes into your
darkest hours and brings some light with it. It lets you reassess the
moment and course-correct. The kids do that for me, no matter what
feelings I am working through. They are the reason I push to confront
my limitations; that I advocate for myself and others; and that I find
my way to the next breath when things get hard.
what does your perfect (pure) morning look like?
I wake up with energy and no symptoms, go downstairs with the kids,
have breakfast with the family, help them get the kids ready for
school, and then sink into my writing. I am so grateful for those
days. I love the stillness and how easily everything seems to flow.
Throw in some tunes and some hot coffee, and I'm in heaven.
how have our affirmation tags helped you?
I now make a point of wearing my crew when I know something might
trigger my anxiety, if I'm flaring, or if I'm experiencing a self-doubt
day. The other week I was going for some routine medical imaging
(which always makes me nervous) and threw on my crew just so I could
reach down and feel the affirmation tag in my hand in the waiting
room. It's comforting, it interrupts my panic narrative, and it's an
immediately actionable act of self-compassion. I love having a
reminder of my self worth and self love at my fingertips.
which Instagram accounts are you crushing on right now?
Oh boy, that's so tough! There are so many incredible storytellers out
there! Here are 5 that come up a ton for me.
@thebirdspapaya - Sarah Nicole Landry is a favourite for lots of
reasons. There is such a lovely depth and vulnerability to her posts
about body image and acceptance, as well as a joy and levity about
every day life, and an honesty about trying to balance mom life with
it all. I find her posts so refreshing and relatable, and my 10 year
old daughter loves her messages too.
@the.holistic.psychologist - Dr. Nicole LePera's posts give me
goosebumps every time. so many of her messages resonate deeply on my
self-love and trauma healing journey.
@selmablair - Selma Blair - I started following Selma because I was
looking for a fancy cane, and some ideas to bling up my mobility aids
for my wedding. She was customizing one for the Vanity Fair party that
marked her return to the red carpet after her MS diagnosis. From that
moment I was in love with her candid, authentic, and vulnerable
sharing. Her account has given me so much strength as a disabled mom,
and most importantly it's also connected me with @be_alink and
@the_alinker_world - who have been huge game changers for my mobility,
my empowerment, and my the way I seeing my body positively since
dealing with chronic illness.
@chitterlove - Chiti Anand - Sometimes I honestly think Chiti is
comparable to Rumi. Spiritual truth bombs for miles.The way she shares
her journey is so enlightening. She talks about her own journey
healing depression, anxiety, and emotional eating in a soft and
powerful way that stays with you for days. Her stories are also super
@wheelchair_rapunzel - Alex Dacy is an advocate, an entrepreneur, and
just a beautiful human. Her content empowers people with and without
disabilities, and challenges everyone to embrace their body confidence
and unique beauty.
whats your favourite way to wear Pure Balanxed?
I love my crew with leggings or lounge pants, and it looks great under
a jean jacket - I'm also trying it out with a blazer as soon as it's
out of the wash. In all honesty I could probably wear it 24/7. It's
ridiculously soft and I kind of never want to take it off.
Kat represents everything that we value and share at Pure Balanxed. To follow along her journey check her out on Instagram.