I am an avid blog reader. It’s how I get my own daily dose of inspiration. One such blog I follow is Kate Swoboda’s Courageous Life blog. There are many days when her posts resonate so deeply with me. My friend Corinne and I read her blog and frequently email each other writing “WOW! Did you read Kate’s blog today?! So great.” I am absolutely thrilled that Kate is a contributor to the “living your authentic life” series. It is such a pleasure to share Kate’s authenticity with you today.
Can you share a bit about yourself?
My name is Kate Swoboda–also known as Kate Courageous. I’m a Life Coach, writer and speaker who works with changemakers to help them amplify their greatness. I’m the creator of The Courageous Living Guides e-programs, as well as the forthcoming e-program for Coaches, The Coaching Blueprint.
How do you define authenticity?
Being where you’re at. If you’re happy, you’re happy. If you’re angry, you’re angry. If you’re defeated, you’re defeated. I suppose one way to say it would be to say that authenticity is a state of no resistance.
Can you describe the path you took to get to the place where you are today? As in, how did you find your calling?
I think that we each find our calling by paying attention and noticing what arouses an “Inner YES!” within us. When I first learned about Life Coaching, it was because I saw an email someone shared with me from a Life Coach. It resonated with me, and I paid attention to that feeling of “I want to do that someday.” Whatever the “I want to do that” feeling is–I’ve found it helpful to follow that.
How does your current career and creative journey reflect your authentic self?
Working for myself has been the clearest connection to being where I’m at and releasing resistance that I’ve ever experienced. Any time I’ve tried to avoid feeling whatever I’ve been feeling–whether that is sadness, happiness, anger, frustration, comparisons, etc.–I just disconnect from myself, further. Working for myself has required more work with self-care than I’ve experienced in the past. Self-care requires constant work of getting real with where I’m at and releasing resistance–which is very connected to authenticity.
How do you ensure that you maintain your own authenticity, when often it can be a struggle?
I don’t think I maintain authenticity and I don’t usually think of it as a struggle. I think that I just get more present to those places where I’m not aligned with what I really want or need in a moment–but I don’t really think of it as a sense of something being maintained. I’m in fewer and fewer situations and communities where I’m asked to show up differently than where I’m at, which helps immensely. But even without that, I take the view that it is authentic to be authentically pissed off, or authentically tired, or authentically not in the mood, or authentically joyous (even when other people insist that being happy is fake). How can I fail to maintain my authenticity in any moment–when every moment is me, being authentically me?
For people struggling to find their own authenticity, what advice can you offer?
Follow that “Inner YES” when you see it. That’s usually the easier part, because it feels good. On the flip side, follow that strain of anger or depression when it arises. Unpack it. Get curious. Explore it fully. Be in it and trust that there’s an opportunity in there, somewhere.
If you had to use one word to sum up your year, what word would that be and why?
“Busy!” Or perhaps “tired.” Interestingly, I chose “ease” as my word for 2011, and what I’ve found is that it’s been the busiest year yet, with the fewest easy opportunities to relax/practice ease. I was pretty frustrated by that at first, until I realized that perhaps the Universe was on to something–perhaps I was being challenged to find ease even when the circumstances were not perfect. I’ve found also found nuances to the experience of being busy-tired; it’s possible to be busy and tired and then tap into some kind of reserve strength, and that can be very enlivening. Nonetheless, I’m totally going on a vacation in early August. No email, no phone, nada, zip, zilch.
Lastly, where can we find you in the web-o-sphere?
My website is at http://www.yourcourageouslife.com, my Guides are at http://www.yourcourageouslife.com/shop, my Twitter handle is @katecourageous and my Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Your-Courageous-Life/154503827623
Kate, thanks so much for participating in the series. If YOU would like to take part in the interview series or know someone who you believe truly lives an authentic life, please send me an email: amanda[dot]coolidge[at]gmail[dot]com.