The Curation Of Creativity With Coach Kate Taylor

PRACTICAL MAGIC, CREATIVITY, MOVEMENT AND LEADING THE RIGHT LIFE FOR YOU

Happy Monday everyone! From my last post full of inspiring advice from some very inspirational women I turn today to another fabulous woman for my latest splash of interview motivation to lift you up this brand new week. Kate Taylor is an empowerment and creativity coach whose distinctive coaching style embraces a number of original and unique techniques designed to bring you more in touch with the life you really want to live - not to live in fear of a life that doesn't stick to all the rules. She encourages people to find out, explore and express the creative truth within them and to use that to "live well, work well and feel good." So make sure to read on and learn more about Kate, her career and her coaching work. Plus don't miss her top tips for living a well-rounded life that will simply make your week a lot brighter should you choose to embrace the brilliant advice that she has to offer.

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Hi Kate! Please could you begin by giving us a little insight into your career to date and what led you to become a coach?

My career(s) have been a many varied and splendored thing. I’ve always flirted with the creative industries; starting out as a fashion journalist in London before a move back to my hometown of the Isle of Wight, saw me having a serious amount of fun working for Bestival and starting my marketing career. After 4 years working with them, I moved back to London to forge a career in the advertising industry where I (hard) earnt my stripes for the next 10 years. It was here that I re-trained as a coach, as I saw the need to help women in the creative industries take up their rightful place; both in terms of tapping into their limitless capabilities, but helping to support their confidence to do so. 

Could you let us know a little more about the types of coaching that you practice and why you chose these particular styles? How can they help people in their working and everyday lives?

I’m a magpie when it comes to my coaching career. This is mainly due to the fact that I have dropped into my purpose, so I'm positively obsessed with the work I do. It’s my calling to help people live a creative life on their own terms, which I do so through a blended approach, something I call ‘Practical Magic’.

Essentially what this means is that I help people to drop out of their heads and into their bodies to work from a place of heart and soul, rather than being trapped in logic and living from a place of ‘shoulds’. I believe that we hold pretty much all the answers we could ever need in our bodies if we allow ourselves to tune into intuition and instinct. Practical Magic does just this; it combines creativity and empowerment coaching, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and a movement practice called Qoya.

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

What is it that you love most about the coaching work that you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

Oh my goodness, I love SO much about the work that I do, but if I had to pick; it has to be watching the transformative power that occurs when people give themselves permission and trust to make a shift happen. I hold space for my clients to emerge from their chrysalis to lead a life that is wholly for them. There’s nothing better than when people realise that it’s OK to put the oxygen mask on first and that by shifting the focus they have so much more to give than they ever thought possible. Daily motivation comes from being surrounded by (and being part of) a tribe of fierce and feminine women who are all leading their own destinies, and they’re rocking it hard!

I love your belief in the power of living creatively, even in spite of the fears and uncertainties that it can bring. Could you explain a little more about what this means to you and how it plays a part in your coaching work?

To be creative doesn’t mean you must be born with a paintbrush or pencil in your hand, living a creative life is all about tuning into the creative spirit that lives within each and every one of us. It’s all about choosing a life of full technicolour high shine, rather than a grey ‘me-too’ life.

But, dancing to the beat of our own drum can come fraught with its own anxieties; we fear that people will think we’re crazy, or that if we choose to follow our dreams the life we've carefully curated will come crashing down around us. Anyone who’s read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic will resonate when she talks about the fact that fear and creativity go hand in hand. I believe it’s all down to the idea of ‘Meraki’, which means to weave a little of your soul into everything you create. When we do this, it means the stakes are high. We can fear the risk of failure with such abject terror that it can stop us in our tracks before we even start. I work with my clients to work through their fears and to dial up their inner strength so that they can progress with confidence.

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

I'd love to know a little more about Qoya; as someone who spent much of her youth training in the arts and loving to dance, I personally really believe in the power of movement to help people unlock potential and to express themselves. However I hadn’t previously heard of Qoya - could you tell us a little more about it and why people might find it helpful?

Yes, I whole-heartedly agree with you. Qoya has changed my life. It’s allowed me to travel the longest journey of 6 inches from my head to my heart, and with it, I have been able to peel back the layers I had built up around myself to get to my true essence. I call Qoya coaching using the body. It’s based on the idea that through movement we remember that we are wise, wild and free. Through slowing down and connecting to our body’s infinite wisdom, we can live from a place of truth.

What I most love about Qoya is how we can express ourselves creatively by simply moving in the way our body wants to move, and the great thing is that there’s no way you can do it wrong - when it feels good you know you’re doing it right.

Qoya also brings women together through community. We gather in the magic of everyday rituals to embrace the power of the divine feminine. We share experiences and witness each other’s journey with zero judgement and in the safety of a sacred space, so we can accept the invitation to feel more.

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

What has working as a coach taught you about yourself? Can you let us in on some of the highlights as well as some of the challenges that it's offered along the way?

What hasn’t it taught me?! I’ve learnt everything about myself through coaching. I’ve learnt that nothing is ever wasted. I’ve also learnt that it doesn’t matter how you get to where you want to be, as long as you come on the journey with an open mind, and an open heart. I understand that by tapping into our ‘why’ and nurturing our own values system we can live from a place of truth. This means we can get so much more done than by sticking our noses over other people’s fences to see what they’re doing.

My absolute favourite thing about what I do is the fact that there are no limitations. I can be as creative with my business as I wish. This has seen me travelling the world to share my work and busting a fear of public speaking to get up on stages all over the globe. As I type this I’m on a plane to Helsinki to deliver a creativity workshop for a super-cool brand. I also get to collaborate with incredible people; including my Blush Love Retreat with work wife Gail Schock! She’s someone who, like me, always says ‘yes’ to the adventure. We launched our first Qoya, Kundalini and meditation retreat in Portugal last year, and it has been named as one of the top retreats of 2017.

Running your own heart-centred, creative business definitely comes with its own set of challenges. Leaving the corporate world was like jumping off of a cliff and praying that there was a safety net (btw there always is, you just have to remember that sometimes it can feel like you’re on a trampoline). I’ve also had to process a lot of old money stories which told me you have to work yourself to the bone in order to earn money. The truth is, that it can be easy to earn money from doing what you love. You’ve just got to be daring in trusting that it will happen.

When it comes to your career and especially to setting up your own business what’s the one piece of advice you might go back and give your younger self if you were able to do so?

Keep yourself focused on how you choose to feel when you have the career or business you desire. Really tune into how it feels in your body when you consider how you want your life to be, and how you wish to be in it. By doing this, you are not only setting a destination into the sat nav for where you are heading; you are instructing all parts of yourself – both consciously and unconsciously – to go get it!

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Finally, work wellbeing and work-life balance are important topics here on The What Now Blog so I’m intrigued to know if you have any tips for keeping balance in your life and if it’s something that you believe can be achieved?

I’m a Libran, so I totally believe in the idea of balance, however, I also recognise that the scales can tip wildly in either direction. Work-life balance is something that I am always striving for, although it’s a lot easier now that I don’t commute into London every day!

My tips for a well-rounded life are:

Stop With The Glorification Of Busy: As I say, working hard and burn-out are old stories of mine, so I have to check in with myself if I'm feeling drained. I listen to my body if it’s feeling out of whack, or I'm displaying symptoms of disease. It’s a misnomer that working longer and harder will get more done, it doesn’t. By packing so much into our lives we are making ourselves stressed-out, ill, and less effective. We all have a duty to look after ourselves, and allow other people to do the same.

Find Your Own Natural Rhythms: We are cyclical in nature; meaning that we should honour our natural patterns, rather than working in a linear way as if we’re computer-programmed. We have something called Circadian Rhythms, which are based on a 24-hour clock. Throughout 24 hours we mentally, emotionally and physically respond to elements such as light and dark in our environments. This is why you may feel more creative and alert at certain times of the day. It’s normal for us to have a slump at around 4pm, and want to run our faces into a chocolate bar!

We’re all unique of course, so understanding your own rhythms means you can work with them. Tune into when you are at your most alert, and do your thinking or creative work then. Listen to your body for when you might need to take a break – and take it. Ladies, also track your monthly cycles, as there will be natural highs and lows based on your menstrual cycle.

Improve Your Sleep Quality: Sleep is a wonder drug. Not only does your body get the rest and repair it needs, but your brain and the central nervous system get the chance to process everything we’ve fed it throughout the day through dreaming. Get a good sleep routine by trying to keep to a regular sleep pattern, not drinking caffeine past 4pm, and cutting down on booze. Also, get those devices out of the bedroom, and don’t be checking your email before you go to bed, or as soon as you wake up – it’s a recipe for stress. If you currently use your phone as an alarm clock, then simply go and buy an alarm clock – no excuses!

Get Outside Every Day: It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or an hour, but get yourself up and go outside. Wherever you are, take a walk and look up at the sky. It’s the best leveller, and can completely shift your perspective. Looking up also helps us to get into creative thinking, and giving ourselves much-needed space in each day is essential.

Move Your Body:  Dance, shake, jump around – moving your body will help you drop out of your head and into your body, and will help you to feel alive. It’s a natural stress buster, it puts a smile on your face, and it can help you find creative solutions to any problems that you may be facing.

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Photo Credit: Kate Taylor, Creative Living

Thank you to Kate for an insight into her work and for some serious motivation to get through this working week. You can learn more about Kate and her coaching work on her website www.katetaylor.co and I highly recommend signing up to her newsletter - it always drops into my inbox at just the right time with just the right amount of much-needed wisdom to get me through my day!

Before you head back to your desk today take a moment to connect, to move and to invigorate yourself. Don't let the working week run away with you and forget to look after yourself. Move, breathe and take a break when you need it. Look after you and the rest will take care of itself.

Louise

 


Inspiring Advice From Inspirational Women

One of the main features of this blog is the interviews that I love to conduct with other professionals on the topics of careers, wellbeing at work and work-life balance. I've been lucky to interview some wonderful people and always enjoy learning from their trusted advice, motivation and encouragement. Among them have been some truly inspirational women who are carving out unique paths in the working world and who have offered some thoughtful wisdom that has certainly helped me and I hope has also inspired you as readers. So today, as it is International Women's Day, I thought it was about time to reflect back on some of my favourite tips and pull them together here to provide continued creativity, imagination and determination for all of us in our working and indeed our daily lives. Without further ado here are a few of my very favourite interview snippets!

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

1. ON VALUING YOURSELF AND KNOWING YOUR WORTH

From Business and Personal Coach Kim Morgan at Barefoot Coaching

When it comes to your career what’s the one piece of advice you wish you could go back and give your younger self?

That’s a great question but it’s hard to choose just one piece of advice as I think I made so many ‘mistakes’ along the way! If I had to have just one it would be - value yourself and what you are offering. That means:

  • Deciding on your fee structure and sticking to it
  • Resisting the impulse to over-deliver (giving away your time)
  • Believing that what you are doing is making a difference
  • Not discounting your skills and recognising all of the time, energy, training and investment you have put into being able to do what you do.

Read The Full Interview Here: Discussing The Power Of Positivity And Everyday Coaching With Kim Morgan

 

2. ON FINDING HAPPINESS AT WORK

From Happiness Consultant Samantha Clarke

Are there any key points that people reading this right now can consider to help them find more happiness in their own working environment?

  • Identify what’s authentic - take time to distil what really matters, what you need. Educate yourself or your team on your core values to make sure you are consistently embodying and aligning yourself accordingly. When things feel out of sync pay attention to it, interrogate it and hold yourself accountable to the changes that you need to make to put things right.

  • Build the right support framework around you - once you have clarity on your goals, there is no shame in reaching out and connecting to get help to take you closer to where you want to be. Either by getting a consultant into your business or investing in your creative learning or growth, perhaps on a retreat or workshop. Also look to see how you can help others, it’s a two-way street.

  • Don’t be scared to challenge the status quo - without innovation, your work life will become stagnant and not a true representation of the evolving individual or your company. Embrace change head on and any challenges to seek new opportunities.

  • Know your goals - map out the vision you have for your work/life. Is this path you are on taking you closer to, or away from these goals? How much progress are you making? Focus on noting down your wins and successes towards this goal as well as identifying where you might need to pivot, readdress, get creative and move through the friction and resistance that comes with change and action.

Read The Full Interview Here: Finding Happiness At Work With Samantha Clarke

 

3. ON STAYING MOTIVATED AND FINDING THE RIGHT SUPPORT

From the Founder of The Business Girls Network, Amanda Ayres

What is it that really drives and motivates you on a daily basis and how do you keep this momentum when feeling under pressure?

I'm a firm believer of supporting women and giving women opportunities. I think it's something that is naturally inbuilt in me and I do a lot of charity work too which supports this theory.

When I'm under pressure I go and exercise, just take some time out or reach out to the number of different people that support me. I think it's important to have a support network where you can get some coaching.

Recently I was so overwhelmed with the volume of work I nearly gave up. I think I had ‘start up fog’.  Nothing made sense to me. I took some time out and hey presto everything seemed to fall into place! 

Read The Full Interview Here: Amanda Ayres Discusses The Importance Of Supporting Women In Business

 

4. ON MAKING MISTAKES AND STEPPING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

From the Founder of letterbox florist company Beards & Daisies, Jo Lambell

How do you set about conquering your biggest fears and setbacks in your working life?

When I was working in sales there were always scenarios that took me out of my comfort zone, whether it was a project, a meeting or a presentation. It would be easy to play it safe when you have your own business as there's no one to push you or challenge you other than yourself. It’s cheesy but at least once a month I try to force myself to do something which takes me out of my comfort zone or makes my stomach turn with fear. For example going to a networking group where I don’t know anyone. ‘Living in fear of making mistakes, is the only mistake you can make’ is a great motto to live by.

Read The Full Interview Here: From A Passion For Florals To A Blooming Beautiful New Business

 

5. ON WELLNESS, BALANCE AND LOOKING AFTER YOU

From the Co-Founder of Work Well Being, Louise Padmore

If you could give one piece of starting advice to someone trying to find better balance in their lives what would it be?

My single biggest piece of advice to someone trying to find balance within their working life would be to trust your instincts and remain firm and courageous in your need for space and time for wellbeing.

I know that this is often much easier said than done but, for me personally, now that I look back there were lots of little warning signs pointing me to the conclusion that the path I was on wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t eating well, didn’t feel particularly engaged around those I love, was incessantly scrolling through my phone often even without any real sense for what I was searching for, wasn’t sleeping well and just generally had a sense that all was not right. I do think that perhaps if wellbeing during the working day had been made available to me, then things could have been different. 

Read The Full Interview Here: Discussing Work Wellbeing With Louise Padmore

 

I hope that the great advice from these very inspirational women sparks encouragement and a sense of support within you this International Women's Day. If you're after more motivation take a look through the many other What Now interviews to get some more top tips for work and life here: The Interview.

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Louise

 


Wholeheartedly Healthy With Laura Agar Wilson

HEALTH COACH AND BLOGGER LAURA ON LOVING YOURSELF AND FINDING A REALISTIC SENSE OF BALANCE

Happy Monday everyone! This brand new week I'm bringing you a brand new interview. This time with health coach, writer and recipe developer Laura Agar Wilson who you may previously have come across on her website and blog, Wholeheartedly Healthy. Laura's personal journey to wellness is an inspiring one. As someone who has experienced a very familiar journey wrestling with dieting, weight loss and extreme exercise, Laura has come to understand what real balance means for her and helps others to achieve that same sense of wellness through the work that she now does. The great news being that it doesn't involve extreme dieting, punishing exercise routines and general levels of total stress and anxiety. Laura has learnt to love herself and wants to help others to do the same. So if you're feeling a little less than bright after a hectic weekend, then give yourself a break and read on for some top tips and inspiration.

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Hi Laura! Please could you tell me more about what you do and about your blog Wholeheartedly Healthy? 

I’m a health and wellbeing coach so I support women to make sustainable changes to their lifestyle and mindset to help them in creating a healthier and happier life. I also share articles on related topics on my blog, especially recipes and tips around self-care and self-love.

What led you to this kind of work and how did you arrive at where you are now?

I started my blog after I’d lost some weight as a way to keep me motivated to lose more and keep it off. After quite a journey I learned how damaged my relationship with food had become and decided to train as a holistic health coach to help myself and help others. It blended really well with my experience and training in complementary therapies such as CBT and NLP and the knowledge of sociology, psychology and teaching that I’d picked up when doing my MA. As my employed work contract was coming to an end and I was pregnant it made sense to take the leap and make it my full time business.

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

What is it that you love most about the work you do and what motivates you on a daily basis?

Without a doubt the women I get to work with each day. I feel very lucky to get to inspire and motivate them and remind them how awesome they are! On a more practical level, I also feel very blessed to be able to do something I love so much that is flexible around my needs as a Mum.

What are the biggest challenges that you think people face with food and their health? Can you offer any simple advice to help people make a positive change right away?

I think most people believe it’s something to do with the food they eat, which of course plays a big part, but from my perspective it’s the mindset they have connected to the food that causes more issues like self-sabotage. The best thing people can do is quit any kind of ‘diet’ (the diet mentality can be very damaging in the long term) and add more vegetables, fruit and whole grains into their diets and work on seeing things as a long-term lifestyle shift where the odd dessert is totally encouraged!

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Do you have any simple tips for people trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle but struggling to do so whilst balancing work, life and everything else in between?

Try focusing on one thing at a time instead of attempting a total life overhaul. Maybe start by batch cooking some healthy meals at the weekend so you always have a healthy dinner on hand that just needs to be heated up when you get in from work. Then it might be looking at how you can be more active. Remember that it’s being active that’s more important than working out, a lunchtime walk, for example, is a great way to increase activity.

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

How can we deal with setbacks when trying to improve our wellbeing and lifestyle?

If you can flip your mindset and see that setbacks are just part of a lifelong journey and that you haven’t ‘failed’ in any way. Often people have one small setback and that leads them to going completely off track. If they’d just accepted it as a small slip up and got back into their usual habits it would have made little difference!

What’s the one piece of advice you would go back and give your younger self when it comes to your own health and wellbeing?

Never go on a diet! Looking back I can see how yoyo dieting damaged my metabolism and relationship with food. I would have been better off teaching myself how to cook vegetable based meals from scratch and enjoying treats in moderation!

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

When it comes to looking after your own work-life balance and wellbeing how do you like to unwind after a busy day and make sure you feel refreshed and refocused for the rest of your week?

I love to play with my son after dinner and do the bath and bedtime routine. I’m currently working hard on staying off social media as much as possible on an evening as I can easily slide back into work mode that way! I like to finish the day with a guided meditation in bed, I sleep really well after them.

What does the future hold for Wholeheartedly Healthy and how can people learn more about you and the work that you do?

I’ll soon be releasing a new digital guide called the Wholehearted Self-Care Guide full of advice and tips on creating a self-care routine. My Mindset Makeover Course will be opening again in May and The Balance Club, my low-cost monthly membership programme will be opening again in April. Check out Wholeheartedly Healthy for more and sign up for my free Ultimate Self-Care Guide here: The Ultimate Self-Care Kit

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Photo Credit: Wholeheartedly Healthy

Thank you to Laura for sharing some much needed Monday motivation to get the new week started. Actionable points that focus on loving yourself not punishing yourself. The kind of wellness that is right up my street! Make sure to check out Laura's blog to keep up to date with her latest news and get regular self-care inspiration and ideas via Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your week and remember not to be too hard on yourself, let the punishing and the pain go and love who you are and what you've got - give yourself a break, you deserve it!

Louise

 


The Value Of Loving Your Leisure Time

HOBBIES, LEARNING NEW SKILLS AND BUILDING YOUR OWN TERRARIUM!

When was the last time that you tried something new? Or even just indulged for a while in something you truly love that doesn't involve work or day to day life chores and admin?! Hobbies, trying out new pastimes and learning new skills can be a beautiful thing and an incredibly important asset for our stressful, busy lives. They provide a way to pass the time that can greatly improve our health and wellbeing. Yet they so often fall by the wayside as we grow up, fill our lives with all sorts of other necessities and forget to make some time for a leisurely activity that we truly love.

Terrarium Building Class

Recently I was invited to spend an evening immersing myself in trying something different via a new online resource called Obby.co.uk* and so I took myself along to the beautiful florist Grace & Thorn in Hackney to learn how to build my own terrarium! Now I'm a real fan of all things green, especially succulents and cacti. Readers of this blog will probably be aware of my previous efforts to encourage people to bring green into their workspace as it can greatly help to create a healthier environment in which to work day to day. So I was more than keen to take the time to learn how to build and to better look after the greenery in my space from the experts.

Want to embrace the benefits of bringing green into your workspace? Learn more here: 3 Quick Ways To Create A Healthier Workspace

Terrarium Building Class

During this two-hour evening class we learnt a little about the history of the terrarium before going on to build our own using all of the tools provided; including an array of beautiful succulent plants, moss and other welcoming green goodness! Cue the passing around of copious amounts of gravel and soil over a glass or two of prosecco, whilst chatting to new friends and pimping our plants. We swiftly created a little haven of peace and prettiness in the beautiful glass bowls that we got to take home containing our creations at the end of the evening. We were also guided in the care of the plants and took some time to look around the florist itself which was a very cool space in which to spend an evening. 

Terrarium Building Class
Terrarium Building Class
Terrarium Building Class

Whilst I don't anticipate building many terrariums on a regular basis, (I'll quite possibly have trouble keeping this one alive as despite my love for what should be very low maintenance plants they still seem determined to whither on me!) this was nonetheless a really fun way to spend an evening in London and a great way to meet new people and experience something very different. Obby is a great new site that enables Londoners to discover classes just like this that they can go along to and try out for themselves. Whether it leads to a new longer term hobby or just provides a welcome break from the stresses and strains of everyday life, Obby offers a platform from which to get started. From terrariums to cooking, to welding and spoon making, there really is something to suit all tastes and interests and their easy online booking system makes finding and planning your newest passion all the more simple and exciting. Plus they are quickly adding new classes and interests on a regular basis. 

Terrarium Building Class
Terrarium Building Class

If, like me, you have a love for all things green and fancy building your own terrarium - or if you just have the urge to try something new and completely different, whatever your taste and interest, then Obby have kindly offered What Now readers the chance to retrieve 10% off of any class booked on their website. Just head on over to Obby.co.uk, take your pick of the exciting classes that are on offer and enter the code WHATNOW10 when completing your booking.

If you do decide to take a class then I'd love to know how you get on and hear all about your experience so make sure you share it with me via Twitter or by leaving me a comment below. 

I'd also love to know how you spend your leisure time? What are your favourite hobbies and pastimes or have you just started something new and exciting that you never thought you'd so enjoy making the time for in your life? I love to hear your stories so be sure to let me know!

Louise

 

*I was very kindly invited to try this class out on a complimentary basis. However, if I hadn't of enjoyed the experience I wouldn't be sharing it here with you on the blog today.