For a pretty smart person (I skipped third grade and was high school valedictorian), I spent a lot of years thinking some pretty unhelpful thoughts, primarily feeling overwhelmed and sorry for myself. Even though I accomplished some cool things, my efforts took a big toll on me, my health, and my relationships.
I initially sought out yoga and meditation to help me with my stress over 20 years ago. After moving around a lot as a kid (I lived in five states before I was five, and another five by the time I was 25), being in my body on the yoga mat was the first time I ever truly felt at home. When I quit my corporate job as executive producer at iVillage.com to do a year-long yoga teacher training program at age 33, I thought I wanted to teach yoga classes for a living.
Ironically, all that time on the mat and meditation cushion helped me hear what I truly wanted to do, which was write. In tribute to where I got my inspiration, I covered all things wellness as a freelance journalist and began publishing books on stress relief for the real world. (I do still practice yoga regularly—Iyengar all the way, baby.)
When the Great Recession hit, many of the magazines I wrote for regularly began to close. I hired a coach to help me make more money as a writer but was blown away by how helpful it was to have a skilled mentor who could lovingly point out the ways I had been habitually sabotaging myself. It helped me do something with all the awareness I’d been cultivating in yoga. Eureka!
I ended up getting trained as a coach to help others do the kinds of things I’d been writing about but in a one-on-one, real-time relationship. So now, in addition to writing—both for myself and for companies and individuals—I also work with clients as a personal development coach.
Clearly, I do a few different things. But they all feed each other, and they all share a common theme of helping other people reduce their stress, find clarity, and do more of the things that matter the most while taking less of a toll. Frankly, it’s an honor and a real kick in the pants to do this work, and if you’ve read this far, I hope that you and I will have a chance to do some of it together.
Choose to focus on the things that matter. Stop stressing about the things that don’t.
Kate Hanley is a book author, New York Times-bestselling ghostwriter, and personal development coach. Her books include Stress Less, A Year of Daily Calm, and The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide.
In addition to working one-on-one with coaching and writing clients, Kate teaches and speaks about avoiding burnout, mindful time management and finding work-life balance at companies and events both large and small, including HP, EMC and the Bryant University Women’s Summit. Her articles have been published in dozens of national publications, including Real Simple, Parents, Yoga Journal, and Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, and she’s been quoted in the Harvard Business Review blog, the New York Times, and Fortune.com.
Kate has appeared on the Today show, where she noticed seconds before the cameras started rolling that her sweater was on backwards—it was the perfect opportunity to practice what she teaches.
Kate lives in Providence with her husband and two kids and a rescue dog named Cookie.
Contact Me: Via the contact page or at kate at katehanley dot com.