How do you start your day?
We have a daughter, nearly one year old, so a lot depends on her rhythms. Kindly, my husband lets me sleep in a bit while he gets time with her in the morning. Then we all have breakfast, together—my new favorite way to start the day.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
My default when overwhelmed or stressed is to want to put on my armor, which means that I get irritable, using anger or rigidity as a protection. I’m so appreciative that each year, I get better at noticing when I go into that space and seeking out vulnerability, instead. When I step into vulnerability, I practice what I call “consciously crying.” Basically, when I know that I need to cry it out to relieve stress, I do. I think that we all need to re-frame how we think of crying. Sometimes the tears need to roll, and it’s not a sign of dysfunction. It’s a sign of health and release. After purging some of that initial emotion, I try to get underneath the capital-S Stories that are driving the overwhelm. It’s always a Story, because of course, nothing ever “has to” get done. It’s all good. At my core, I know that that’s true.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
My daughter’s belly laugh. Not being hooked by a Story. Practicing courage. A really sweaty session of vinyasa flow yoga. Orgasm. Writing that just flows and flows and flows. Writing that connects with people, that’s useful to them and that helps their lives. Teaching—I love teaching.
What are you currently reading?
I’m re-reading many of the books that I assign to trainees in my life coach training program. At the moment, that happens to be Debbie Ford’s “Dark Side of the Light Chasers.” I’m also reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and because I geek out on endurance, I’m also doing a re-read of Bruce Grierson’s “What Makes Olga Run?”
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve recently been obsessed with the lyrics to David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” They’re stunning. All about love and looking out for one another. Other than that, I surf my music connection and have a wide taste. Sometimes it’s devotional music (Tina Malia, Jaya Bhagavhan) and other times it’s the Dixie Chicks and wishing I could hit the high notes as I sing along.
What is your go-to simple recipe?
Quinoa and kale with a bit of sea salt and vegan butter. It never disappoints.
What are some simple things you do for self-care?
I look for as many ways as possible to choose efficiency and ease over struggle and obligation. This often amounts to really practical choices: Get off the computer, and go for a run. Don’t eat processed food. Stop work at a set time each day, instead of pushing to get “one more thing” finished. Call a friend. Tell the truth about how I’m really doing, when I make the call.
What does nourishment look like to you?
Health is the word that rises to mind. Being fully in my body physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and using that groundedness to be connected to source, to community.
How do you make space for play?
My daughter provides a lot of opportunities for that. The belly laugh factor in our house is way up! I love it! I’d also say that I’ve come to understand that I want something that many people would call impractical: I want it ALL to be play. That’s my truth. I want my marriage to be play. I want my business to be play. I want my being-ness to be play.
To create that, I have very little tolerance for “putting up with” things. I’ll pay someone else to handle it or take it off of my to-do list if I really have that much resistance to getting it done. Life’s too short.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
“Life’s too short,” “What’s the opportunity?” “Watch what you make it mean,” “If you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it,” “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a hell no.”
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
See yourself as human and in process. Soulful and embodied living has some parts that are om-peace-chill, certainly, but the soul also makes room for us to be afraid, to make mistakes, to need the do-over. I believe that soulful and embodied living is about love, and I know that love exists in this world that is big and bold enough to embrace us even when we don’t look as put together as we’d like. You matter. The soul wants all of us, not just the parts that are easier to be with. Practice courage to work through the parts that are hard. It’ll be worth it.
Kate Swoboda, also known as Kate Courageous, is a wife, mother, and founder & creator of the Courageous Coaching Training Program and author of Coaching Blueprint, a program for life coaches who want to create fulfilling & successful practices. She believes that “Courageous living steps into the larger circle of acknowledging all of who we are. Courage is: Feeling afraid, doing it anyway, transforming.” Her mission is to “empower people to live bold, courageous lives—for the benefit of themselves, their families, communities, and ultimately, the world.” Read more on YourCourageousLife.com where she writes about courage, integrity, and ferocious love.