I was lucky to meet Kate Taylor at a Qoya event. Kate is a girl with a lot of strings to her beautiful bow. She is an empowerment and creativity coach, NLP practitioner, writer and speaker on a mission to empower women to connect to their creativity, to seek out their ‘why’ so they can live a creative life on their own terms.
Up Coaching came to be when Kate worked with clients on some of the UK’s biggest household names for digital agencies in London. These are highly pressured and highly creative environments, and Kate noticed she was having the same conversations with women again and again – the big questions, the unanswered questions, the constant niggling doubts, the fear of being ‘found out’. There just seemed to be so much that women were not giving themselves credit for and it was holding them back from living a truly fulfilled life; both in and out of work.
So Kate re-trained as a life coach and NLP practitioner and now works with women throughout the world helping them to create and design their best lives. Kate is champion, cheerleader and challenger; passionate about empowering women to connect to their rightful place, own their spaces and find their voices within traditionally male-dominated environments. She’s on a one-woman-mission to help other women live a creative life, to live well, work well and feel good.
When not on a mission to help other people live creatively, Kate can be found experimenting with hair colour, getting over excited about collaboration projects and being inspired by people and things. She writes about, and Instagrams, anything going: mostly about her dog Bertie and life by the sea.
Meet Kate Taylor.
How has your own personal journey influenced your work and life choices?
My personal journey is my work. I wouldn’t be able to work as a life coach have an empathetic view of the world if I didn’t feel my way into what I do each and every day. It is the reason I do what I do. I consider myself very lucky to have had the experiences I’ve had throughout my life – good and bad, grief and trauma, fun and wild times, adventure and mis-adventure – each and every one has had a bearing on where I am right now, and the choice I make as a result. Nothing is ever wasted.
After your lightbulb moment how did you make the move to leading the life you love?
My lightbulb moment came the very next day I put my feet on the floor after my mum passed away. She had spent her life as a nurse looking after other people, and latterly had been caring for my dad as they struggled with his fight with Parkinsons disease and dementia. She was just about to fully start enjoying her retirement after the gut-wrenching decision to house dad in a care home. 3 days after he went in, she collapsed and 3 weeks later she was no longer with us. As you can imagine, that series of events has a profound effect on how I viewed my own life. Up until that point I had felt as though I was drifting along in life. So, I snapped into my body and vowed that I was going to live every day to make them both proud. This meant leaving the sleepy Isle of Wight and heading back up to London to pick up my career in marketing. Over the years that followed I learnt that I didn’t need to make them proud – they already were, so the only person I need to be proud of now is me. I take pride in living a life on my own terms and saying yes to the things I love, spending time with people who inspire me, and saying no more often to make space to do exactly that.
What approach do you take to helping others?
When I am working one-to-one with with coaching clients we start by doing a deep dive into the life they desire which we map out in full technicolour. By providing this space to dream and create it allows for all the wildest of adventures and schemes to play out. From this point onwards we go about getting it. This will often take the form of practical planning and steps for taking action, but it also means working with people to get them out of their heads and into their bodies. By using the mind-body connection you are tuning into the body to access all the wisdom from within. It’s this work that I call Practical Magic.
Tell us about the key challenges you see facing people today?
We’ve forgotten how to develop trust our own instincts and we put up with living a life with ‘shoulds’ and ‘needs’. We look to other markers – such as where we think we are compared to other people around us, or things we think we should be doing – rather than really tapping into our core desires and motivators; in turn honouring our own values systems. This can lead to a life which lacks essence. It means that we’re living a life of grey rather than blasting it with techn-icolour.
How do we bring more creativity into our everyday lives?
Well, it’s my belief that we don’t have to be born with a paintbrush or pencil in our hands to live a creative life. By the very nature that we’re born means that we are creative beings. You can bring more creativity into your life by taking some time to encapsulate all those things which make you feel alive. What are the experiences that bring you joy? What music makes you want to dance, cry, sing at the top of your voice? What books change the way your think about the world? Which places could you sit and stare into the world for days on end? Where have you always wanted to go to? Who do you love spending time with? Who inspires you. Make a pact with yourself to go and do more of these things – have creative adventures and bring them into every day however big or small they seem to be.
What advice would you give to anyone who is questioning their role in life?
Keep questioning. Questioning is what keeps us seeking and creating change – as long as we do. If you’re questioning and not grounding any answers so it feels like a quagmire up in your head find someone to work with – whether that’s a life coach like myself, a yoga teacher or a healer. Whatever you need to work through is always easier and more rewarding to do when you’re working alongside someone else who’s dedicated to helping you with your life’s work.
It’s been an incredible year. What were your highlights of 2015?
Getting through it in one piece! I’m joking of course, but last year was a full-on year of freelancing, coaching, blogging, hosting and speaking at events. That involved a lots of hours spent on trains, which some people may hate the sound of. I actually quite enjoy it as it gives me time to think and write. I’m writing this right now as I speed through the Scottish countryside to Manchester! There’s nothing better than watching the countryside roll past the window to get me inspired.
My key highlights have definitely been watching the progress of my clients throughout the course of the year, and seeing their confidence shifts as we work together.
I’ve also loved beyond all measure all the people that I have met and connected with through hosting the Making Positive Changes events I have curated in London and Brighton, as well as being voted onto the stage for #HigherSelfie at their inaugural event, and co-hosting their 2015 Wrap Party alongside Lucy, Jo and the lovely Louise Androlia.
What’s next for Kate, what is your focus for 2016?
Walking my own talk – so 2016 is all about creative adventures. I started the year with 4 weeks away in Costa Rica on a lone travel adventure. Whilst there I started training to become a Qoya teacher, so I will be bringing that into the Practical Magic blend. I am also in the process of writing a book about creative exploration of our own inner universes, so aiming to have that written within the year.
As well as that I am all about creative collaborations – whether creating some serious kick-arse change work with one-to-one clients, group coaching in the workplace, dance parties, festival, my own events, as well as speaking gigs. There’s also a very exciting project underway to host a retreat somewhere warm towards the backend of the year, so watch this space. I’m always up for travelling to warm places to hang out with awesome women doing the job I love – thanks universe.
What does Holistic living mean to you?
Living a holistic life is to tap in to find where in our bodies, or life, energy may be stuck and to clear the paths to let it flow, in whatever form that takes. I work with all parts of myself – light and shade to fully honour whatever it is that I need to understand and work through. I also value myself by putting the oxygen mask on first, and encourage others to do the same so that we can respect our journey and give ourselves the best opportunity to live a creative life. This simple act gives us the power to lift other people up and help them to do the same. It’s a true act of service.
What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?
Have you ever tried to think your way out of a situation and found that you end up going ‘round and ‘round in circles until you become so confused, frustrated and unmotivated, or even so scared of making a wrong turn that you’re literally caught in the headlights when it comes to making a decision? It’s overwhelming and can make you feel physically sick. That’s because try as hard as we might we cannot think our way out of everything. That is way too much pressure to put on ourselves. We are full formed beings – not just walking heads! By tapping into our feelings, our heart, energy centres and instinct we allow the space to answer any of the questions that life brings up for us.
Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?
- Honour your body – tell it you love it everyday. Our bodies are the most wonderful vessels that hold all of the answers for life, the universe and everything. We can be the hardest on ourselves and our bodies, and a lot of the time we would not let anyone else speak to us the way we do ourselves, so it’s time to change the dialogue.
- Spend more time with your creative muses – whether that’s dancing on the table, singing your heart out, reading books that makes you want to change the world, listening to your favourite tunes, looking out of a window or staring out to sea.
- Spend time with people that fill your soul – it’s a no-brainer, why wouldn’t you?
- Know that nothing is ever wasted – Fill your cup by doing more of the things that make you feel alive. So have more adventures – you don’t need permission.
- ‘If it’s not f*ck yes, then it’s hell no’ – Say no more often to those things that don’t feel good in order to say yes to more of those that do. Believe me, when you make the space the good stuff comes rushing in.