‘Living creatively is something we can honour each and every day, not just waiting for the weekend, or for that time when we retire – it may never come. Let’s choose to live, today.’ It’s not often an interview makes me stop and re-evaluate, yet as I find myself nodding along to Kate Taylor’s words, her attitude is infectiously inspiring. Working as an empowerment and creativity coach, Kate enables women all over the world (through the power of online learning) to live well, work well and feel amazing. As part of our partnership with Yogaia, Kate tells us more about her involvement with their online Home Retreat, the importance of living creatively and the problem with plate spinning.
So Kate, you decided to quit your job and retrain as a life coach – why?
It was more a case of the fact that I had to do it. I was living and working in London, overwhelmed in the job that I was doing – feeling completely burnt out. I just didn’t love what I was doing any more. The work just didn’t seem to fit with my beliefs, or what I wanted my life to stand for. My head was swirling with questions 24/7 about every single detail of my life, it was exhausting. Everything felt as though it was out of my control and I knew I needed to make some big changes.
So I worked with a coach to help me get clear on what I needed to do. Following this, I kept coming back to the same place – I wanted to be of service to other women who wanted to take more of a stand in their own lives. In working with a coach I had created a visualisation of living by the sea, working with clients in the creative industries and having the flexibility to have a more balanced life. I realised that it was now or never, so I jumped of the cliff and gave it everything I could. I’ve never looked back.
What’s the biggest life lesson you learnt from your training?
That we create our own reality: good or bad. The brain is incredibly adept at building pathways towards what we focus on. It doesn’t distinguish between the positive and negative, so if you are going to spend your time focusing on something, make sure it’s something that you want, rather than what you don’t.
I’ve learnt that absolutely anything is possible, no matter what your ego or fear may tell you is not. I also work as a neuro linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, which has been incredibly powerful for helping me break through any barriers that could have held me back.
Why do you believe it’s so important for women to live creatively?
Living creatively means living a life full of technicolor shine and purpose, rather than a grey and lackluster life. One of the key phrases I guide my clients by is, ‘If it’s not hell yes, then it’s hell no!’, it’s a simple thought that gives us permission to do the things we really desire. There can be so many demands and pressures on our lives, that it can be easy to give the power away to everyone else.
Living creatively means that you get to say ‘yes’ more often to the things that make you feel alive. I learnt very quickly after losing my mum ten years ago and my dad two years later, that it can be gone all too quickly. Living creatively is something we can honour each and every day, not just waiting for the weekend, or for that time when we retire – it may never come. Let’s choose to live today.
I love that answer! So, how do your workshops help?
We work together to zero in on any changes that need to be made, and you get some ‘aha’ moments by looking at things from a different perspective. I provide easy-to-follow tools and exercises, and bite-sized tips in each session, as well as exercises which can be downloaded and used again and again following on from the session.
How do you feel about teaching online?
I work a lot with clients online, from all over the world. I also deliver coaching courses and workshops online. That’s the great thing about my work, it’s transferable online and offline, and it means that people have access to what they need whenever they need it. I love being able to connect with people whether they are sitting right in front of me, or on the other side of the world.
Do these sessions work well with yoga and meditation?
Really well. The brain works at its best when it has been in alpha mode – this is the brain wave state we go into in meditation. I will often use creative visualisations and meditations in coaching sessions to get people out of their everyday thought patterns, and drop into their body. The body is our best guidance system and wisdom tool, so using meditation, yoga and movement to feel into the body will often give us more answers than our conscious thinking ever could. Slowing down and connecting into ourselves through movement and breath literally helps to breathe our ambitions to life. Bringing coaching and NLP together with yoga through Yogaia and the Home Retreat is going to be incredibly powerful.
What advice would you give to women thinking about tuning in to the retreat, or indeed, reaching out to a life coach?
Simply that there’s nothing to lose by coming along to the retreat. Through yoga, movement and coaching we will be finding ways to connect and explore your creativity. Everything we will be covering will apply to different areas in your life. So, if you’re finding that life is one long treadmill, or you would like to find some ways to bring more creativity into your life, then come along and enjoy everything the creative home retreat has to offer.
If it goes deeper, and you find yourself questioning pretty much everything, then do reach out to a coach. We’re here to provide clarity and accountability to get you out of stuck and into flow. We work together to create a vision of the life you would most love to live; we examine what’s working for you, or not; and then work together to start taking step-by-step action towards getting you what you desire.
Finally, what’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
That if you don’t like something, you always have choice and permission to change it. I used to spend a lot of my time in people pleaser mode. Making sure everyone else was happy is a full time job, in which you feel pulled in a million different directions. The problem with this is: that no matter how hard you try; you can never keep all of the plates spinning. All that happens is that you end up giving too much of yourself away, and you always disappoint someone.
I now cherish the idea of putting my own oxygen mask on first. It means that I can be fully in my power to live with purpose and appreciate every I do in my life because it’s of my making. This, in turn, has a positive benefit for the people I work with, and everyone else in my life. It also means that I give myself permission get to say ‘yes’ to the things that I most love to do, and ‘no’ to those I don’t. It’s a simple way to live creatively and honour the adventure that is my life.
Thanks Kate – this has been amazing!
You can find out more about Kate at www.upcoaching.co.uk. Kate will be running two creativity workshops for the Yogaia Home Retreat at 10am on the 18th and 19th June 2016. Fancy getting involved? Enter the code HOTCOURSES and sign up to your two-week free trial any time before 1st July 2016.
Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.