Through her looking glass - Sarah Kathleen Peck

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Today I'm introducing a lady who has come to really inspire and motivate me over the last 6 months. Last year I was very blessed to of gotten myself a scholarship on to Sarah Kathleen Pecks Grace+Gratitude course, something that had a massive effect on my well being and maybe something to do with me being more laid back and open to the universe which in turn saw me getting pregnant very soon after...

Question 1
How do you start your day? Can you tell us more about the first 3 things you have to do to get your day started?
I wish I could say that my days all start the same—with peace and zen, with meditation and writing and a quiet cup of coffee—but the real answer is that a lot of days start with a bit more chaos. Most mornings begin with with me on my phone, checking in, reading, and catching up—a habit I'm working on finding alternatives to. I love social media and my friends, so I'll stay in bed and read a bit, check in with people, and then get up around 7 and either go to write or get started working. The best days start with quiet time and coffee and get straight into writing. If I can write for an hour or two before I check in with work at 9 or 10am, it's already a great day. 

Question 2
Share your favourite piece of wisdom and why it means something to you.
"You already have everything you need." 

So often we place our success and the outcomes of our goals in the hands of others. This externalization of our own abilities reduces our own internal power, wisdom, and strength. When we unknowingly buy into these hidden beliefs that tell us that we need more knowledge, money, or connections before we can do something, we place unnecessary blocks between us and our own creativity and freedom. You don't need a degree to do something. You don't need permission to begin. You can just get started. You are allowed to be bad at something. You're allowed to practice it. And you know what? We're also allowed to be good at something, right from the start. I think we've forgotten how powerful our own inherent knowledge and intuition is. 

Question 3
What is your go to thing for comfort when it all gets to much?
I have a favourite blanket that I love—I have had small blankets with me since I was a child. My home is always filled with blankets—afghans for the couch, snugglies for the chair, and extra blankets for the bed. When I'm feeling particularly sad or upset, I'll curl up in my bed, darken my bedroom, and sit with myself for a while. Sometimes I'll throw the blanket over my head or hold it around my shoulders and just sit for a while. 

If I can't sit still, I go for a walk. Something about fresh air and moving my body reinvigorates my senses. Everything always seems a little bit easier after a good walk. The stresses calm down, my body remembers that today's just one single day, and that I'm bound to make mistakes along the way. 

Question 4
Who are the women that inspire you?
There are so many people who inspire me. Most of my friends inspire me. The people who write to me and tell me what they're working on make me so proud from afar. My clients thrill me with their discoveries and creations. 

I am inspired by people who do things—women who take action. These are my friends, women I admire from afar, and women who work incredibly hard to make things happen, not for fame or fortune, but because they understand the power and blessing of creating great work. 

Suzannah Scully is a woman with the wisdom of an ancient soul, Kimberley Chambers is a phenomenal world-class open water swimmer who I love catching up with in San Francisco and swimming with (in 50-degree water!) and Rahaf Farhoush is a brilliant strategist who writes about the future of work and culture. What these women have in common is a blend of ambition, pragmatic gumption, and a belief in how much can change with a little elbow grease and a willingness to do the work. They aren't afraid to look at the world and say, okay, here's how things are—and now here's how I want them to be. And then they hustle, smile, and work to transform themselves, their surroundings, and their peers into amazing people, events, and even movements. I'm blessed to know them.

Question 5
How do you see yourself and what makes up your sense of identity?  
Identity is a tricky question, isn't it? Without getting too esoteric, what does it really mean to have an identity? 

If we look inwards at ourselves, first we'll probably start to apply labels. "Writer," or "designer" come to mind—those are words that I use to describe myself to others. We add these labels, but they fall far short of the essence that is a living, breathing person. Who you are at the core is this essence, a ball of light, a wonder of creation. It's more than just a moment or a word. If I can try to capture the idea of who someone is, I think it comes in the breath; the inhalation of soul, the exhalation of light. We are expansive, interconnected beings. 

I feel most connected when I'm in touch with both the concrete, tangible, material things in the world—as well as when I'm lost in ideas, possibilities, and the expansiveness of thought. There's a grounding that happens when I'm touching paper, holding hands, writing words, painting, drawing, running, or dancing. Likewise, there's an expansiveness, an other-worldliness that comes when I'm thinking, dreaming, scheming, and trying to understand the breadth of the cosmos and of life. 

I feel most at home when I'm doing something with my body and my mind. 

And my identity lies somewhere in between those two, if that's possible. 

Question 6
Do you have a favourite dish or recipe that makes you feel good or gives you a much needed boost?
I'm addicted to chocolate, and it gets me through the day. 

But as for food, I love a poached egg on top of a warm spinach or frisee salad. Give me a pile of greens and healthy vegetables and something savory and salty on top, and you've just made for a happy Sarah. 

Question 7
What's challenging you right now?
In my professional life, I'm working on a series of programs that have taken me the better part of the last year to put together. Over the winter, I released three new classes in the world — two workshops on writing and communications, and a third on cultivating qualities of grace and gratitude in your daily life. It was an ambitious quarter, and now I'm editing, refining, and scaling these projects and finding a way to make them available on an ongoing basis. 

In my personal life, I've been part of a year-long yoga teacher training program and each week I bring myself—raw, tender, scared, happy, whatever state—back to the yoga mat and I work through and on my body and mind. The program is challenging; we read a new book each week and we're asked to practice both on our own and in the studio nearly every day. Keeping up with the work has been difficult, and yet I wouldn't change it for the world. There's a deep satisfaction that comes from committing to something and focusing on building your ability and knowledge through dedicated practice. 
Photography By Melanie Duerkopp
And lastly, I just celebrated my own wedding with a man who is (in my opinion) the best husband in the world. Any partnership or relationship is always a challenge—and this one is a welcome one. We're navigating the turns of life together, and we're figuring out how we'll communicate, relate, share, and live together.
Question 8 
Tell us more about your latest or next project.
This summer I'm teaching the Writing Workshop again for the fourth time — it's a small group workshop that focuses on unlocking your creativity through twice-weekly writing prompts, stories, and community. Each time I teach the workshop, I get to see inside peoples' minds and souls as they sit down to write their stories. People have a lot to say, and often we forget that we need to create as much as (if not more than) we consume. Put down the internet, pick up a pen. In my course, I encourage people to see the world around them with fresh eyes and to journey into their own stories. It's always a transformative process, and we're just now opening up registration for the course to begin again in June. 

You can connect with Sarah and find out more over on her blog as well as...
Twitter: @sarahkpeck
Pinterest: Sarah K Peck
Instagram: sarah k peck

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