Each month I’m going to showcase a new person (normally a blogger) who I think is being really awesome and taking control of their own lives. They’re the people in the driver’s seat, and are choosing to be more purposeful in getting what they want. This next person is Kylie Bellard, who blogs about introversion, shyness and being kind to yourself. I really enjoyed her posts on being highly sensitive person and I adored her photography.
1. What is your ideal day like? Are you close to living that right now?
I’m definitely not one to have a super-specific ideal day. Every day is different, and I like it that way! However, there are certain elements of great days that I strive for as much as I can. Ten minutes of meditation, a morning walk, yummy meals eaten mindfully. A span of uninterrupted time for writing and/or photography. A coaching session or two. Some sweat-inducing form of exercise. And maybe even a chat with a friend, in person or on the phone. And then, at the end of the day, non-work time for socializing, unwinding, and non-doing. Also hugs. All days need hugs.
I don’t do all of these things every day. But I’m definitely on my way there. I get walks and meditation in much more than I used to. And I’m sure I’ll get even better at implementing more of the “ideal” stuff regularly as time goes on.
2. What is it that you desire the most for your life? What would you want your obituary to say?
I most want to live a life that’s kind to me and kind to others. I want to spend that life with close friends and family, and in nature. I also really want a dog.
I’ve never thought about what I want my obituary to say! Probably something like, “Kylie consciously brought kindness and compassion to the people she knew. She was funny, and enthusiastic, and full of play. She leaves behind the hope that we all aspire to enjoy dark chocolate, or whatever our favorite thing is, as often as humanly possible.”
3. What initially sparked you to go about creating the type of life you want? (ie: Some people get broken up with, laid off/fired, etc before changing their mindset).
I first discovered what life coaching was when I was at a job that was totally burning me out emotionally and physically. I had known that I wanted to create a life that was more self-directed for a while, but until then, I’d never actually imagined that it was truly possible. Finding out that this field (of life coaching) existed, this career where you could create your own reality and help others create theirs, just seized my imagination. I signed up for a coach training program, started taking photographs to fund my new educational adventure, and worked toward that lofty dream for the next several years.
4. Do you have a favorite mantra or saying you repeat to keep yourself motivated / centered / clear on your goals?
Right now, there are two. First, I’m always telling myself that “compassion is the way forward.” In most cases, having compassion for myself or another person is a very good first step, especially when I’m feeling emotional or stuck.
Second is a quote by Macklemore, a rapper who’s currently really popular and who’s from my hometown (Seattle): “The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint / The greats were great because they paint a lot.” I paired that quote with one of my photographs and set it as my computer background. It really, really keeps me going whenever I get discouraged.
5. What are you working on right now that’s bringing you closer to the life of your dreams?
I have an offering I created called A Day of Nothing. It’s a guided opportunity for people to interact with non-doing, which is often really challenging because our culture is so action-focused. I’ve offered this program a few times in the past, but I’m currently making it into a monthly offering, so folks can implement non-doing as a regular practice. This also helps me to prioritize non-doing, which is absolutely included in the “life of my dreams” (and my current life). It’s also a dream of mine to help people to really understand, with their whole being, that they don’t have to do anything to be worthwhile. They can just be, and that’s enough.
6. What piece of advice would you give someone who is nervous or scared about stepping into the unknown (in terms of going after what they want)?
This is not easy for anyone. It isn’t because people aren’t scared that they’re able to do scary things. It’s that they’ve found ways to move forward, even with their fears. Find people who support you in whatever crazy thing you want to do. Then take the scary first steps, going as slowly as you need to. Then, fall back on your supporters whenever you think you can’t go on.
7. How did you figure out what you wanted to do. Was it a childhood dream? Or did you discover it later on?
Neither coaching nor photography were childhood dreams for me. Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer and a singer. Now, I am a writer. It’s a huge part of my work. But coaching and photography are what allowed me to write on my own terms.
When I started both coaching and photography, they just felt good. They felt natural to me, somehow. Even though I was clearly a beginner and didn’t know what I was doing, there was this internal excitement that I knew I loved this stuff and I could work at it and become good at it. Starting to learn how to coach and take photographs felt very much like falling in love, for me.