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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.