‘I started to not just how much women struggled with confidence and ownership of taking up their space—not just in work environments—but in all kinds of places and spaces. I noticed just how much women would give ownership of their ideas and identity away,’
Meet Kate Taylor, transformation coach, author, and founder of The Awakening Weekend. Kate is on a mission to support women in realising their potential and finding their voice - and, unsurprisingly, much of her work focuses on the loss of self many of us feel as we transition through menopause.
This interview is honest, rich and full of nuggets of insight. I hope you enjoy reading it.
With love, Rebekah & The MPowder Team.
First, tell us a little bit about you and your work. What motivated you to do what you do now?
I’m a life design and business empowerment coach with an obsession with disco balls and helping others to live a BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL life. My journey to this work started back in the heady days of London advertising world, when - working as a client services director - I started becoming aware that I was being called to live and work connected to purpose.
Working with women in male-centric environments, I started to not just how much women struggled with confidence and ownership of taking up their space—not just in work environments—but in all kinds of places and spaces. I noticed just how much women would give ownership of their ideas and identity away, which meant dimming their light and talent, to allow others shine.
I noticed the over-apologising and apologetic behaviour for being talented or having a strong opinion, or being a working mum (heaven forbid!) who’s time and energy get’s stretched in so many different directions, it’s a surprise she doesn’t snap! And I saw and heard that sneaky sneaky imposter syndrome creeping in at every opportunity. I could see phenomenal women who had so much potential inside of them that they were holding back on, or couldn’t see for themselves that I knew helping them to step into what a BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL life means for them would become my calling. I re-trained as a coach and Master Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and Qoya teacher (an embodied movement practice), and stepped away from the corporate world nearly 10 years ago now to run may own gig, and I’ve never looked back.
How has your own peri/menopause transition influenced your outlook towards work and life?
It’s made me so much more aware of the challenges that women have had to deal with all throughout their life. It’s turned me into even more of a feminist than I was before.
The softness of the hormones that might come from bringing little people into the world and caring for them has dissipated, and instead I can feel all the bumps in the road of injustice and a hella lot of BS that we’ve had to put up with for so long.
This has powerfully impacted my work, because I’m no longer afraid to come out and say it for fear of upsetting the status quo. It’s made me incredibly passionate to help women of all stages of life take ownership of their place in the world. And that anger drives the passion, and that’s totally OK.
In fact, I definitely have less f*cks to give about what people think of me, and that’s a huge liberation. I am def initely here to help other women own that space too.
I’m also incredibly aware of the impact of stress on mind body and soul and how powerful wellbeing plays part in our lives to sustain and support us through this transition phase. I am noticing incredible changes in my own energy levels, and just how much I over-worked my adrenals throughout my life. I can also see the patterns in my own mother’s health and menopause journey too, even though it wasn’t something we talked about when I was younger. I really wish we had.
How do you define success - both within the work you do and yourself individually?
For me success is fulfilment and making a positive contribution to the world, in whatever shape or form that takes. My success comes from helping women step into the truest sense of who they are, and how they get to show up for their own lives, and there’s nothing that gives me a greater sense of achievement.
Since stepping into the work and career path, I have always defined success as striving for my own version of what a BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL life and business looks like and feels like to me, and that has creativity, passion and expansion at the heart of it. I’m never happier than when I’m bringing an idea to life.
Has your definition of success changed over time as an entrepreneur and individual?
I would say that success has always been something that comes from the inner self for me. It’s a vibe and a feeling. It’s the confidence, clarity and ownership of the mission I’m on to help others. What’s changed over time is the knowing that success is something that comes from within, not what others think success is for you - that’s definitely been one I’ve had to navigate in a world where money and status are so heavily prized.
And the thing I love — that when that definition of inner ‘success’ is met, then the outer reward seems to rise to meet it above and beyond any previous expectation of what that might have looked like.
What correlation, if any, do you see between age and ambition?
In my own experience I think it’s grown, but in a different shape than that of my twenties and thirties where ambition was climbing a corporate career ladder - although I cared more about doing a great job that would help support the people around me than anything else.
Now I am mission-driven so my ambition is firing heavily towards helping people live well and be well.
Having this purpose means I have a dogged determination to make it happen, so any idea I come up with in alignment to this purpose and mission means I am have the ambition to make it happen - from crowdfunding the Practical Magic Activation Deck (a life coach in a box) to curating and organising The Awakening Festival of Wellbeing on the Isle of Wight, to writing a book on living a BIG, BOLD BEAUTIFUL life - this determination and ambition is there because, I know this work is something I will do for the rest of my life, and I am here to make it happen.
What are your aspirations for your business over the next 24 months?
With the Practical Magic Activation Deck having been picked up by a publishing house, and a book coming out in the next 12 months, my aspirations are to take the BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL work and make it global. In 2020 I created a coaching and facilitation programme to train people to become coaches to support others through powering up intuition, empowerment, creativity and wellbeing using the deck as a toolkit in all walks of life.
My mission is to work with people all over the world to have coaches on every continent, and in many different environments helping other people step into their BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL lives.
I would also love to see this work taken into corporate environments to support people to power up creativity, empathy, wellbeing and intuition to make for more well-rounded organisations.
What do you wish your younger self had known about:
Life - Worrying about what other people think of you will fade. It will become less important. What will become more important is the things you care about that really matter. The noise of people’s opinions of you and how you live becomes less important. What you do with your life doesn’t.
Love - Don’t give all of yourself away trying to make other people happy. Your journey is your journey, and theirs is theirs. You don’t have to fix what they can’t heal.
Health - Look after your adrenals. Be aware of stress and what it’s doing to you. Supporting your wellbeing on every level - mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually at an early age will support you as you progress through the years.
Work - Get some balance (still working on this one). Take up your space. Own your achievements.
What would be your key advice to women transitioning through menopause today? What practical steps could they take to better support their bodies and minds?
Spend time in community and in spaces like the MPowder community - Talk, talk and talk some more. We can learn so much together. On your own your will struggle way more than you need to.
Find the kind of exercise you love to do. I promise it’s out there. For me, it has to feel fun. I love dancing and the newly discovered joy of weight training! Who knew?
Don the oxygen mask of wellbeing and self care. Make sure you are putting yourself higher up the queue than you probably have been. Giving all of yourself away to help others may well be your go-to, but no-one is going to do it for you, so you have to do it for yourself. No you. No helping others. Wellbeing and self care can be in the simplest of things you can do for five minutes each day. We have devoted a whole festival to this.
Get out in nature. She knows everything.
Come to The Awakening Festival of Wellbeing across the weekend of 24 - 25 September! We’ve created an entire line-up and programming based on this. Taking this one day (and a bit) out of life to focus on you could have a positive impact on the rest of your life!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the MPowder community about our second spring?
The second spring is a huge period for growth and learning about who you really are beyond the layers of who you think you should be. Take the time for that rediscovery. There’s a possibility that some things you’ve been putting up with for years (including people and situations) might fall away, and that’s OK.
This is the time to discover who you are at the heart of you, and that’s incredibly powerful. Don’t let anyone ever tell you it - or you - are not!
Finally, we all know that stress can exacerbate menopause symptoms and we’re all living with a constant underlying anxiety in society today - fall out from the pandemic, from the disproportionate impact it has had on women, but also political upheaval… unprecedented job insecurity, fear for our loved ones..an overall uncertainty about the future… What have you done to better support yourself in the last 24 months? What have you learned. And what are you carrying with you as the world once again shape shifts?
I’ve put firmer boundaries in place. I’ve stopped saying YES to every single thing, and got really OK with NO being a complete sentence. I’ve also got help and support in ways I didn’t have it before.
The big thing for me is not rushing out of the gate to ‘get back to the way things were’. I can see that happening for women all over the place and the cracks that were there even before the doors closed and we had the last two years that we’ve had are turning into chasms in mental, emotional and physical health.
These boundaries are staying with me for life!
To find out more about Kate and her transformational coaching work head to www.katetaylor.co.