Kate Schenk: “Get to know yourself”

Get to know yourself — get to know your own core values, your morals, question your own beliefs, by going down a road of self questioning it will allow doorways to open up to your inner self and what you find has the most meaning to you . I took an epic ‘get to know yourself’ journey in […]

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Get to know yourself — get to know your own core values, your morals, question your own beliefs, by going down a road of self questioning it will allow doorways to open up to your inner self and what you find has the most meaning to you .

I took an epic ‘get to know yourself’ journey in 2015, I became 100% honest with myself and how I felt in the life I was living, was I happy, was I just making do, did I want more? It was scary yet liberating, painful yet soul cleansing. By taking that journey of inner self discovery, I would not be here today, doing what I do and thriving by moving out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate Schenk.

Kate Schenk is an experienced Energy and Mindset coach based in Shropshire UK. She is the founder of the G.R.I.T process, a foundation to help women in business explore the barrier of fear of failure so that they experience life the way they want to live it.

Kate is the creator of the oracle card deck, ‘Mindset Reset’, which reveals hidden blocks that may be delaying your progress in achieving success.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood back story?

I was born in Belgium and moved to the UK when I was 18 months old. One of my first early childhood memories was going onto an aeroplane without my parents to Belgium to visit my grandparents who lived there. I was about 7 years old, I loved it! I think that was the catalyst to me travelling for 11 years after I had completed college.

My parents divorced when I was about 14 years old, there was no love lost between myself and my father, I was actually quite glad that he had gone. However because of this life experience I believe that is where I got my resilience and determination to take risks and live outside of my comfort zone.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

I had many work experiences from travelling for so many years, from working onboard the committee boat at the Valencian Americas Cup sailing regatta, working for a water sports company in the Caymen Islands, to name a couple of places! It wasn’t until I had moved back to the UK and had ‘settled down’, got married and had two children and got ill with Bells Palsy that I began to pursue my career in wellness.

My youngest daughter was only 14 months old and I was still breast feeding her. I woke up and the left side of my face was numb and it had dropped, it looked as though I had had a stroke. I was diagnosed with Bells Palsy. The medics told me that I had to make a decision within 12 hours if I was going to take the meds or risk not having 100% recovery, oh and I couldn’t remain breast feeding my baby.

A month later I was fully recovered and had full use back to the side of my face. I had my two children who were 14 months and 3 years old to thank for testing out if my smile had returned, acupuncture and the key to my recovery was my perception of it and determination that I was not going to let it win and make me feel like a freak. It was the beginning of my journey of studying and researching how the mind and our actions can dramatically improve our health, not only our physical, but mental and emotional health too.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My relationship with my mum hasn’t always been the best, at times we didn’t communicate for weeks on end. I guess to some degree looking back I subconsciously blamed her for what had happened in my childhood. However she was always there as a single parent doing her best. It was only when I became a mum myself that I truly began to appreciate what it means to be a mum and how your life changes in ways that there is never going to be a book to prepare you for. My mum was there to pick me back up and show me that you can achieve what it is you want in life, you just have to go for it. You have to remain positive as that energy is far more productive than the negative which just brings you and others around you down.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Shiny object syndrome! This actually exists. When you first head out in your career you are very much like a sponge, you want to learn everything and want to know it all and be like the other people that you read, see and hear about. It is a challenge to remain focused on what your true goal is. Then ‘offers’ begin to appear to you and you think ‘yes I want that’ or you have FOMO (fear of missing out). This was a huge learning curve to me, I learnt that I was good enough in my own right and didn’t need another person’s ‘permission’ to be different and to be vulnerably me.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I am a bookworm; I often have two or more books on the go at the same time! My bookshelf is crammed with a whole variety of books. The book that I read very early in my adult life that I still have today is The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, and I believe it has also been made into a film now. It resonated with me so much because when I first read it, it really confirmed to me that magic does actually exist, it is created within. It is with determination we make a change in our lives.

Can you share your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“She believed she could so she did”. During my time when I had Bells Palsy, I had depression. During the days when I was by myself I did a lot of soul searching and came to accept that I didn’t want to be in my marriage. I had to be honest with myself and my family and that was one of the hardest most painful emotional experiences I have ever gone through. But I believed I could get through it and I did and we (the ex husband and myself) have a good relationship and are chatty when we meet, for that I am grateful as it was important to me that my daughters saw us get on.

My mantra “she believed she could so she did” also came into full effect when I was in a narcissistic relationship after my marriage ended. At first I felt very stuck with no way out, but having faith and belief, I found a way out and life just blossomed.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I have three really interesting and exciting projects that I am working on right now.

  1. I have just launched my own oracle card deck. It has been a dream and it has actually happened. The box is called Mindset Reset. The cards reflect a process that I have developed called the G.R.I.T process (Growth, Release, Inspire, Transformation). It is the blueprint to understanding your gut instincts, connecting to your inner wisdom and to create positive ripple effects. They will help people to not only have inspirational quotes, but an extra depth with the guidance cards included which will help reveal hidden limiting belief blocks which will be preventing the person to reach the next step in their life, on any level, physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.
  2. I am excited that during January 2021 I am to become a Mental Health First Aider, (MHFA). This will give me the additional skill set to notice signs of mental ill health in others, and encourage people to break down barriers of mental health, teach others to listen in a non-judgemental way, and signpost those who are in need of support for recovery and also to achieve equality between mental and physical health. My aim is to share with other coaches this information enclosed in a course so that when they work with their clients they can be confident in supporting mental health in an effective and caring way.
  3. In the New Year I am launching How to Reclaim Your Inner Strength in 4 steps. It is a 4 week online course introducing people to the concept that what if by creating a more balanced mindset, a far more fulfilled life only requires a shift in the way we think? Enabling people to achieve their goals and desires in the fastest route possible.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Morning routine — By having a morning routine it allows you to control the start of the day rather than the day controlling you. When you wake up your brain can stumble into overdrive of all the things that you need to get done in the day. I know for myself as soon as I begin to create my morning routine I feel less stressed, relaxed, have a sense of achievement and feel good to begin the day. If for whatever reason I skip my routine it is like I have short changed myself as I regard it as a self care act. My routine looks something like this; as soon as I wake even before I have opened my eyes I practice my visualization and really put myself into the feeling of where I want to be and what I have achieved. My children jump into bed with me and we hug and we tell each other that we love each other. I then go downstairs to let my dog out and as I stand outside I look up into the sky and give thanks to everything I am grateful for. I then practice yoga which really wakes up my body. My first drink of the day is a large glass of water.
  2. Exercise — this really gets overlooked in my opinion and has a bit of stigma attached to it as well. Exercise can take on many forms, it isn’t about getting hot and sweaty in a gym, but finding something that you enjoy and that will keep you motivated. It became evident during the early days of the pandemic that people needed to exercise and they felt good for it. Online yoga classes were popping up everywhere, YouTube was flooded with exercise sessions, this gave people a purpose, to get up, exercise alone or with the family just to keep feeling well. Personally it is something that I have learnt that my body needs to achieve an equilibrium. I used to practice pole dancing fitness, I ran a 10K and now my go to’s are yoga and hiking up the amazing hills where I live. If exercise isn’t done then the body can become sluggish, metabolism slows down, brain fog will descend and a general feeling of unwellness will occur. What is the alternative?!
  3. Journal — a lot of people don’t recognize the amazing benefits of what journaling can achieve. It is a safe place where you can write (preferably with a pen and notebook book rather than typing, it has more feeling if you write with a pen). If you are going through a challenge in life or an event, journaling can become your time for you. It is an opportunity to write whatever and however you want and not worry about spelling or punctuation because you don’t even have to re read what you have written! I call it a ‘brain dump’, you are writing whatever is in your brain right at that moment and the great thing is that once you get writing it just flows, the only obstacle that you will come up against is actually to get going with it. I use journaling for times when I have so much in my head that I can’t think straight or if something has happened in my life that I don’t quite understand or has upset me in some way. It is a way of figuring it all out and untangling the spider web of thoughts that can keep you stuck or keep you mind from being calm.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

I fell in love with Yoga many years ago and it has always been my go to practice. There are many different types of yoga that you can choose from from Ashtanga, to Hatha and Vinyasa. There are the gentle flows and the more ‘aerobic’ teachers offering classes. I have the intention to practice every day and the type depends on what my body needs. As with yoga, meditation can also take on many different forms, it isn’t all about sitting in a crossed legged lotus position chanting ‘Ohm’. A peaceful stroll outside in nature can be regarded as meditative as is sitting listening to a guided meditation in a comfortable place, both have their benefits. It is easy to become overwhelmed by today’s society so taking the time to practice either some form of meditation and/or yoga is imperative to optimum health on the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Hydrate — 60% of the adult human body is made up of water, the brain is composed of 73% water this is one of the reasons why staying hydrated is important for optimal physical health. Hunger, headaches and tiredness can all be linked to dehydration, seeing as our body relies so much on water it really is a no brainer to reach for the water as the primary source of hydration.
  2. Meal plan — not only will this save you time, money and stress it can also present an opportunity to consider your goals and needs. Do you want to lose weight or cut down on sugar, by meal planning you are in control, knowing when and what you are having for your meals and eliminating the chance of snacking in between.
  3. Sleep — there was some sense when as a child you were told to get a good night’s sleep! Feeling tired after a bad night’s sleep can leave you feeling lethargic, reaching for the sugar or caffeine to get that energy kick, it can leave you feeling a little foggy and unfocused and everything seems to be just that little bit harder to achieve. By being aware of your sleep and night routine you can feel energised in the morning and make good health choices as by sleeping you give your body the chance to restore itself, cells to repair and the brain to reboot itself, that is why when you have a decision or something you need to take action on and you are not sure what to do, by ‘sleeping on it’ in the morning you can have a fresh perspective.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

The main blockages are more than likely to be an old story that you subconsciously tell yourself over and over again. You may well know the importance of eating healthy but if you have a story that ‘it is in the family’ of being large then that is your belief. A belief isn’t factual, it is only something that you have decided to tell yourself or someone else has told you. Another example may be that a woman has been through a divorce and living alone and doesn’t feel sexy or attractive any longer and she may have the thought or belief that no one else will find her attractive so she may think what is the point and choose to make the unhealthy choices even if she does have the knowledge of how to eat healthy. The blocks are the beliefs that we think are true.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Accept how you are feeling — if you make a mistake, accept it and learn from it. Some people do not accept that it is okay to express how they are feeling, that it is better to suppress how they are truly feeling because either it is too painful to accept the feeling that they have or that they do not want to appear weak by having feelings.

I learnt this very early in my personal development journey that keeping feelings and emotions suppressed will only manifest in a physical form such as an illness or an injury. From personal experience if I feel upset, my appetite diminishes and I struggle to have a balanced diet, which then just escalates as I then feel bad for not eating well and my performance (mental clarity and physical health) takes the battering

Remain positive — this does not mean that each and every day you have to be positive as life happens and circumstances change. But having the outlook of being positive can lead to optimal emotional wellness. Having the approach to a change of circumstance that you can either let it make you feel negative and ‘what shall I do’, to ‘what can I learn or take from this to grow and expand’?

I have always been told that I am too hard on myself and I never really understood what or how that looked. It took some time for me to realise that I pushed for a result, if you push you meet resistance. I now have the outlook and approach that everything is an exploration and if it doesn’t work out then what a great experience to have and to be able to share.

Practice gratitude — an attitude of gratitude. There are many things to be grateful for around you, you just have to look. Some things are large, such as the house you live in, others are seemingly small, a fork to eat your food with. By practitioner gratitude you raise your emotional wellbeing as you appreciate what you have around you.

When I first heard about the practice of gratitude I did think how something so seemingly simple could be so effective. It was only when I began to practice gratitude that I could actually feel the gratitude and how it lifted me on an energetic level. I now include this every day in my morning routine.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

The power of a smile can brighten any room and lift the mood for another person in an instant. A true smile, which by that I mean you can see it also in the eyes, is heartfelt. It can reduce stress and improve mood enhancing hormones such as endorphins. It is an emotional state of happiness.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Get to know yourself — get to know your own core values, your morals, question your own beliefs, by going down a road of self questioning it will allow doorways to open up to your inner self and what you find has the most meaning to you .

I took an epic ‘get to know yourself’ journey in 2015, I became 100% honest with myself and how I felt in the life I was living, was I happy, was I just making do, did I want more? It was scary yet liberating, painful yet soul cleansing. By taking that journey of inner self discovery, I would not be here today, doing what I do and thriving by moving out of my comfort zone on a regular basis.

Look for deeper meanings — this can be in the terms of consequences, random meetings, signs, or things just ‘happening’ in your life. By exploring a deeper meaning into such things can offer a different level of understanding of the world and your beliefs.

I love looking for the deeper meaning, the synchronicity in life, and the signs. When I notice something, be it a picture, song, saying or a person that suddenly makes me stop and have a feeling that there is ‘something’ more than it just being there and holds a meaning — (which I may not necessarily know at that time). My recent one was I was submitting an article to some pretty big publications, and I had got out of my own way of thinking ‘I’m not going to be considered’ and just went for it. There was just one problem, I had got so involved in my business that the thought of having professional photographs taken of myself just didn’t occur to me until I was asked to produce them. So this was just the push to get some done, except it was the Christmas holidays, there were national tiers of lockdown, social distancing and I had a deadline — and the weather had turned to snow!! I didn’t allow any of these circumstances to hinder what I desired. So I put the request out there and I was put in touch with a lady who would do some shots for me, and not only that but at an amazing discounted price if I was to write a review for her newly designed website for her business!

Read esoteric books — this is a fantastic way of exploring what holds value to you. There are many authors sharing their beliefs, by discovering different topics and subjects to read about will only add and increase your level of exploration and questioning in the realm of spiritual wellness.

I am a book worm and I have noticed recently that my range of books has grown along with my own development and my beliefs and who I find inspiring at the time. I think that books are a very personal thing, especially when it comes to esoteric reads as what one book may resonate with one person may not hold any interest to another. My feelings are that books hold something special and that it gives me great joy that my daughters are now picking up their own reads and exploring what holds their imagination.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Nature is the tonic to wellness. Not only does it make you feel better, being exposed to better quality of oxygen, greenness and Vitamin D, but it also contributes to your physical wellness reducing muscle tension and reducing blood pressure.

Nature holds a ‘life force energy’, regarded by some as ‘prana’, nature is alive, the trees breathe, plants, vegetation and there is an abundance of wildlife, some so small you may not even notice. Humans are spending more and more time indoors, when you are in nature you can’t help but feel a ‘connection’ to something unseen. It feels good to be grounded, connected to the earth.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

To encourage mums in business to break the barrier of fear of failure and not feeling good enough so that they can succeed. Keeping in the comfort zone is not going to achieve success in any level of their life, emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Tony Robbins. He just exudes an incredible energy. I would ask him how his line of work has impacted his children. Being a single mum myself I see tiny glimpses of my values appear in my children. (and can you get me booked onto one of your fire walks please?!)

How can our readers further follow your work online?

www.kateschenk.com I am also on the social media platforms under my own name.

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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