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I first met this woman of action a few years ago when we were both undertaking studies as a Beautiful You Life Coach. I remember being one of our conference calls and hearing her speak and instantly I knew I liked her and I knew we would become not only peers in this coaching world but also friends throughout this journey that is entrepreneur land!
On those calls she used to introduce herself with a warm “Hi, its Kate from Tassie” and while she is this, she is also Kate Cashman who holds a PHD and lectures regularly, an award winning rest and renewal coach, a celebrated speaker AND a mother and wife. So let’s be clear and say Kate Cashman is definitely worthy of the spotlight in Women of Action!
MW: Kate you are a rest and renewal coach – can you tell us a little more about what this means and how you came to be doing this work?
KC: Absolutely – a rest and renewal coach is someone who helps you to feel more rested, rejuvenated and re-energised by your life – particularly your life outside of work, but in today’s working world, it’s a ‘whole self’ perspective. For me, it’s also about writing, facilitating workshops and speaking on stages about rest and spiritual, emotional, mental and physical energy.
The Breath Between helps busy professionals and entrepreneurs find time, space and strategies to feel truly relaxed, renewed and ready to show up in their lives outside of work with that feeling of being energised and rejuvenated. I work with both men and women, but they have in common that they find themselves experiencing a lack of passion for their life outside of work. They may be experiencing a sense of ‘Groundhog Day’, or they have so much time invested in their work and business that other passions and experiences outside of that work are not given the love and energy that they would love them to have.
I came to do this work because I felt all those things too! I was a workaholic (it’s always lurking, I have to be really present and focused on this element too), I was over-committed and I was experienced breathing difficulties and situational anxiety. Put simply, I had too many tabs open and was doing too many things that were not aligned with how I wanted to feel. I ran my car off the road one day about three and a half years ago when it felt like I was having a heart attack and I realised that rest needed to become something that was a non-negotiable in my life. I also needed to re-align what I was doing and feel energised again. Not totally and utterly exhausted.
MW: You are a mum of two, a wife, friend, a lecturer AND run a successful business… many would be wondering how you do it all and take the time to rest and renew yourself! What advice would you give to other women out there reading this who think they can’t even get their inbox under control let alone all of this… They may be at the beginning of their business and doing the juggle struggle?
KC: It’s always a delicate balancing act – but I’ve learnt I’m terrible at multi-tasking, so what’s really helped me the most here, is two things. Firstly, I uni-task – always. If I have too many tabs open I just don’t get anything done and I feel overwhelmed. As soon as I pair it back to focusing on one things at a time (eg certain days to just be ‘Mum’, other days for academic work, my business etc including time allocated each morning to the ‘must dos’), then I find that I can manage that juggle because my brain space isn’t allocated to wondering ‘when’ I’m going to get it all done. If I KNOW when it’s going to be done I feel less stressed about it all.
Secondly, I only do those things that align with my own personal values and belief systems, and the life that I want to live as a person and as a mother/member of my community. So what I do tend to focus on gives me energy – even the more ‘difficult’ tasks out of my comfort zone because I know the end point is moving me forward. I don’t have a lot of spare time – so I need to know that the time is spent on things that are truly important to me. Understanding your core values is a must here!
MW: I know you are all about helping women and men feel rested and renewed – Can you share more about your approach to life and any tips on how we can help strengthen that calm you embrace?
KC: My approach to life is that things that get scheduled are done. I realised very quickly that if I wanted to prioritise anything in my life, I needed to allocate and make time for it. It includes time for me to do ‘nothing’ or as Brene Brown calls it, ‘white space’. I make sure I have the time for work, time for purely family, the time I need to go for a walk, or a run, or a massage and time with friends and family. This is partly because if I know I have time put aside for the things most important to me I don’t have those things playing on my mind over and over and I don’t feel as though I have a million things ‘to do’ or running through my head, but also because it means I know I have what I need to make me feel calm and also what makes me feel energised. I don’t wait for them to happen, I make them happen.
MW: Let’s talk about overwhelm and action – you’ve recently won a Beautiful You Life Coach award as the upcoming emerging coach, developed a collaboration that will see you hosting a 2 day conference with Kate McCready and through this you have also had a son needing surgery in Melbourne – do you ever feel overwhelmed?? What happens – what impacts – and how do you get out of it?
KC: I find that if I have compartmentalised the various things that I juggle, and everything has a place. Sometimes though things do cross over – and for some time I felt like that meant I wasn’t being professional, but for me that’s how I manage being a professional and entrepreneurial mother who creates work that she loves and deals with the challenges of having a family.
I know when overwhelm is building though – my breathing goes wobbly first. I know now when I get the signs of rising (unhealthy) stress that I need to take stock of my commitments and pare something back. Or take a bit of time for myself.
MW: Do you ever feel you are out of alignment with your core message and how do you move through it if so?
KC: I don’t think I’d be human if I didn’t – it absolutely happens. Often I find that I am back to overcommitting – it’s like an addiction that I’ll probably need to constantly fight, but the difference now is that I’m committed to doing things that well and truly align with who I am and what I’m passionate about. That has been a really unique challenge for me – over-committing with all the good stuff! So whenever that happens, I go back to what is most aligned with what I want for my life, for my family and my own core values and generally I find a mis-match in there somewhere – either something is not at the right time, or I’m spending too many hours on something that takes me away from my family and if it makes my life overly complicated then my core value of simplicity then goes out. Using my values as a core guiding principle is one of the best and only ways I find I can move through that.
MW: What rules are made to be broken?
KC: “You always have to finish what you start” – if something doesn’t align, doesn’t feel good or doesn’t energise you it isn’t always the best time to ‘push through’ regardless. Sometimes we make decisions that take us in directions that we think might feel good or be our next best step, but they don’t turn out that way. Don’t be afraid to stop and change course.
MW: Finally, how do you do you…do you have any routines you would like to share that help you maintain your energy?
KC: My morning ritual helps to set the tone for the day – room temperature water with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar is a hydration cocktail that gets rid of overnight dehydration. I follow this with some meditation, some visualisation and affirmations and where I can, some movement. If I can’t move in a more vigorous way then it’ll often be some stretching or some myofascial release with a tennis ball. If I get that combination in the mornings, I’m set for the day!
I’m also not adverse to the old early afternoon nap either – but for me it can only be 20 or so minutes to elevate energy levels, and let’s be honest, this only really happens on the weekends. But where I can, bring that on! Breathing – conscious, deep breathing is always a sure fire way to transform energy levels too. It’s free, everyone does it and we can bring mindfulness into our life by paying more close attention to how we do it and how it makes us feel. Win-win!
Connect with Kate:
Kate Cashman from The Breath Between is a multi-award winning and internationally certified rest and renewal coach, educator, writer and speaker based in Hobart, Tasmania and traveling around Australia for workshops, coaching and speaking events.
With a background in legal academia and a PhD in evidence law and forensic criminology, Kate finds balance, passion and flow in education, coaching, speaking and research. As a coach, Kate is a multi-passionate professional who uses her legal, management, research and coaching qualifications, together with her personal experience, to help busy professionals live more balanced, simple and holistic lives.
Blending practical and proven frameworks with realistic action, Kate’s work leaves her clients feeling rested, renewed and re-energised in all four dimensions of engagement – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, leaving her clients with greater purpose, passion and joy for their life outside of work.