In case you missed it, here’s a fun little Q+A I did with Boston Voyager. Click here to see the original article.
Life + Work with Casey Von Iderstein
Today we’d like to introduce you to Casey Von Iderstein.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Let’s do the CliffsNotes version (kinda)! I graduated from college and spent the first 8 years of my professional career living in New York and then Boston working at various “corporate” jobs trying to find my path. I was a jack of all trades and did some interesting stuff, but I never felt truly lit up by any of my work. I actually didn’t even realize that I should feel lit up by my work, because that wasn’t something that had been modeled to me in my years of school. I felt like I was just ticking boxes on the “adult stuff” checklist because that’s what I was “supposed to” do. I was overrun with anxiety and absolutely lived for the weekends – but I accepted this as normal and blinded myself to the fact that I was living completely out of alignment with my true purpose.
People always seemed to gravitate to me for health and life advice – I found myself in conference rooms at work helping people reconfigure their lives and wellness practices. Supporting people in figuring out how to become healthier and happier lit me ALL the way up. It didn’t feel like work, it felt like fun. For some reason, it didn’t dawn on me then that I could get paid to do something I loved so much.
I started practicing yoga on a regular basis. It sounds cliche, but it changed the course of my life. I connected to my breath, I tuned into my body, I found the space between my thoughts, I finally understood what the “present moment” was, my anxiety melted away. Months of consistently practicing helped me evolve into a completely different person.
After finding that sense of connection and alignment, I realized I needed to find a way to infuse my entire life with it. It felt so good! I enrolled in courses that made me super psyched about learning (for the first time ever) a health coach training program, an online biz course, mindfulness meditation training, and more. I created my brand while I still had a full-time job, and ensured all of my ducks were in a row before I finally made the leap to start my own biz.
Starting my business, Karmic Wellness is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m genuinely excited to do my “work” and be of service to people (and the planet) every day. I now experience levels of joy, freedom, passion, and trust in myself that weren’t even in my realm of consciousness before. And, I learned so much from my corporate days that help me in the day-to-day workings of my biz, so I truly believe that trusting the timing of our lives is key.
Has it been a smooth road?
Starting your own business (and living a purposeful life in general) requires a constant commitment to witnessing and overcoming your own personal limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors. For me, those have been the biggest obstacles on my path – and, honestly, I find those obstacles pretty empowering because we all have the ability to change our thoughts and behaviors. All it takes is a choice to identify what you’re letting stop you, mindfully move through that obstacle, and then dedicate yourself to consistently show up for your vision.
When I was starting out, my first mindset shift had to come from slipping out of the victim mentality that I spent so much of my life in – you know, the whole “why does this always happen to me?!” song and dance that leads nowhere. The next was learning how to be really honest with myself about why I was or wasn’t doing certain things. Asking myself things like, “Am I taking this action/resisting taking this action because of fear, or because it’s not in alignment with my vision?”. Consistent meditation and mindfulness practices were invaluable in this area because they really taught me how to be a witness to my thoughts instead of living on autopilot. Side note: your ego can and will come up with a billion rationalizations for why you shouldn’t do something that you’re scared of/you haven’t done before (it’s actually an outdated survival instinct) – so developing deep self-awareness and honesty is key.
My advice to young women who are just getting started on their journey: get clear on your vision and treat it like a business partner that you co-create amazing things with, sink into your core values and make decisions based on those, know your worth, only say “yes” to things that make your soul do a high kick, be resilient, and get ready for the most badass, worthwhile personal development journey of your life. Also, prep yourself for g-r-o-w-t-h, and remember that it’s usually uncomfortable, but you can’t get stronger without encountering resistance over and over and over again (just like lifting weights at the gym).
Oh, and last but not least, don’t forget to marinate in the good stuff and celebrate every single one of your small steps forward – our brains are hard-wired for negativity (again, outdated survival instinct), and purposefully enjoying your own expansion not only feels ah-mazing, but (if done consistently) can rewire your brain to default to positive thought patterns – which is a WAY more productive and purposeful way to live.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Karmic Wellness – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My primary goal is to empower people with tools to simplify and detoxify their lives. We accumulate a huge amount of physical, mental, and emotional clutter and toxins over the course of our lives – and, as a result, people are sick and stressed. I aim to help my clients cut through all the unnecessary crap and focus in on what really matters so they can show up for their lives fully. My tools of choice are two of the most empowering things I’ve ever introduced to my own lifestyle: mindfulness practices and essential oils. So simple, yet so powerful.
In everything I do, my underlying message is helping people come home to themselves – to look within for answers instead of constantly comparing and seeking validation externally. Many of us have lost our connection to our innate intelligence and intuition over time. We’ve forgotten that we’re part of nature and that nature can unlock the answers to many of the challenges we face in life. I want to arm people with simple, effective tools that they can easily reach for so they don’t have to rely on me (or others) for answers. Personal empowerment is a necessary component to making real, lasting changes.
I’m also incredibly passionate about conscious business – and by that, I mean businesses that value their positive impact on people and the planet equal to or higher than, their profit margin. People have been putting profits first for far too long and a huge shift is happening in entrepreneurs who understand the long-term implications of exploiting people and the planet for personal gain. It’s possible to have a wildly successful business, while still serving the greater good – and being part of that shift is super important to me.
Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
Oh god, yes! I may be a bit biased because I’ve surrounded myself with a community of entrepreneurs across the globe who realized they could do this whole business thing on their own terms, but when we think about the word “opportunity” as something we create for ourselves vs. something that someone else creates for us – it opens a world of infinite possibility.
Women are positioned well for whatever lights a fire in their soul – and, through technology obviously has its downfalls, it’s given us a platform to easily share our work and be of service to people anywhere in the world. That’s not to say the only opportunities are online, because they’re truly all around us if we open up to receive and follow our intuition (a little woo-woo, but it’s true), but I think we really need to expand our perception of what “opportunity” actually means instead of pigeonholing ourselves by trying to squeeze into boxes that other people already created.