SYCAMORE – Katie Lesniewski has written a book, had her work published and featured online by HuffPost and has traveled to 13 countries – and counting.
Lesniewski, a 2010 graduate of Sycamore High School, wrote her first travel article after a months-long solo trip to Australia and New Zealand. The article was promoted on HuffPost’s travel webpage.
Lesniewski, a holistic health coach, had her first book, “You Are Light,” published in August. The book’s topics vary from exercise, nutrition and meditation, to empowering your dreams, walking in confidence, and using your specific talents to beautify the world. The book is available for purchase online on Amazon.
Lesniewski met with MidWeek reporter Katrina Milton to discuss her book, her travels and her goal of inspiring others to make a positive impact on the world.
Milton: Have you always wanted to write?
Lesniewski: Yes, I’ve always loved to write. Through the years my family and friends have supported my writing. I was born in Clearwater, Florida, and I attended kindergarten through high school in Sycamore. In school, I had the encouragement of my teachers when I expressed how much I enjoyed writing. In college, I kept writing. When I returned home from my first solo travel experience to Australia and New Zealand, I wanted to write about it.
Milton: How did that trip spark your interest in traveling and writing?
Lesniewski: It was a solo trip over a couple of months, and I wanted to share that experience with others. I wrote an article for HuffPost, and they promoted it on their travel page and requested I submit more. Ever since my very first trip to Mexico as a little girl, I’ve loved to travel. When you travel, you get a taste of that country’s culture and lifestyle. I wanted to bring something back from each of my trips, so I buy a ring from every city or country I travel to and keep them in a little pouch. That’s really why I write. Just like the rings, my writing preserves those memories.
Milton: What is your most recent article about?
Lesniewski: My latest article on HuffPost is about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. My article gives positive tips and strategies on how to combat SAD.
Milton: Why did you decide to write a book?
Lesniewski: I have this theory called “The Sweet Spot.” I probably chose the name because of all my years playing tennis. I think everyone wants to have an effect on the world. They want to feel empowered in some way. For some people, they create a family or a business. For me, writing is one of those. My book is a guide to manifesting your best self in body, mind and spirit. I received my Holistic Health Coach license in the spring, and I wanted to express my knowledge and share what I learned in the field by writing.
Milton: What is holistic health?
Lesniewski: Holism treats the human system as a sum of many parts. I take into consideration the body, mind and spirit of a person. The purpose of holistic health is healing from the inside out. Whether you’re dealing with acne, eczema, diabetes, depression or heart disease, there are many natural remedies to help in your fight for better health. For example, instead of taking medication to relax before going to sleep, I drink peppermint tea and practice deep breathing.
Milton: What topics do you cover in the book?
Lesniewski: I cover a number of health topics like exercise, meditation, goals, relationships and keeping all things in perspective. It’s just as important to be kind and have a laugh with friends as it is to take vitamins.
Milton: Why did you choose the title “You Are Light?”
Lesniewski: Light is energy. Energy is the currency of health. What are you focusing your energy on? Is it productive or not? If not, shift your focus. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and that applies to your mind as well. If you fill up the space in your life with positive thoughts and habits, there’s less space for negativity. Just like you fuel your body with healthy foods, you should feed your spirit with things that light you up.
Milton: Was it difficult to write the book?
Lesniewski: No, I made up my mind to write the book, so it was easy to sit down and write. I wrote the book in about 10 weeks. It was a breeze. All the stress falls away when you find something you’re passionate about. It’s still a lot of work, but it felt easy and exciting. I love to share, and I think anything that anyone does is a means of expression, from the way you dress to the way you speak. Writing this book was a way for me to share knowledge and positivity with others.
Milton: How is the book organized?
Lesniewski: Each chapter begins with a positive affirmation such as “you are healing” or “you are passion.” Then there are steps of how to apply that to your body, mind and spirit. Every chapter includes some research and statistics, as well as some of my own adventures in love, travel and health. I finish off the chapter with a health tip.
Milton: What feedback have you had from the book?
Lesniewski: I’ve been blessed with the response I’ve received from the book. The book has been sold in six countries, mostly by word of mouth. I’ve had people share how they’ve applied the book to their lives. A friend in Germany refers to the book as “uplifting” and “the little blue book” he takes with him on his travels.
Milton: What are your goals for the future?
Lesniewski: I’m currently working on my second book. Once you finish something, it inspires you to do more. Publishing the first book has shown me that I can share what I love with others. I’ve done a few book signings, including a book talk at the library, and would love to take part in a book tour, as well. I hope to continue sharing my book with others, writing and exploring the world: 13 countries and counting.