Category Archives: Kinfolk Life

Life, Love, Family, Friends, Enjoying & Documenting every moment.

When friends teach you things

About a week ago I met up with a friend called Lauren whom I’ve known for 4 years now. We started out as work colleagues in the same part time job and she has now moved on within the world of law and I am very proud of her accomplishments. We hadn’t seen each other since my birthday so we decided to have lunch and a mooch around our favourite shop, the Body Shop together.

What I love about Lauren and what she teaches me is to relax and to treat myself more. She is not an over spender on things but she does work hard to get what she wants. When I tell her there is something I really want, her response is always “Get it then, don’t feel guilty for treating yourself.” and I love that. I do struggle with guilt and learning to value myself has been a hard road to walk down but I’m slowly getting there (Hence the red lipstick and tattoos). Through friends like Lauren I am learning that buying stuff for myself doesn’t make me a consumer or a shopaholic, it makes me normal for wanting to be attentive towards myself plus the Body Shop uses organic products that are not tested on animals. At the Body Shop Lauren found a body mist she felt would suit me and it did smell divine and very sensual and so she devilishly tempted me to buy this very sexy Black Musk body mist.
Lauren: “Katie, get it, it’s very you, I mean just look at the sign, it says “Sweet on the inside, Fierce on the outside.” it’s totally you!”
Me: “Do you really think so?”
Lauren: “Yeah it’s just you if you were a perfume.”
Me *with a smile*: “OK then!”

Sometimes you need friends around you to remind you of your worth and to teach you self love, in a world where we are bombarded with negativity on a daily basis, it’s important to give yourself some love, to be kind to yourself and others throughout the bad times by just getting that book or dress or perfume you wanted, sit in meditation for 5 minutes, laugh at puppy videos on youtube or take a nap and go see friends and family members whom you can be yourself around. Life is so short so practice love in all shapes and forms.

My trip up North, a time of Reflection

My time in the North of England visiting family and friends was good for me, it was a time of reflection and contemplation about the direction I want to go in with my career and life.
I’ve realized, Plymouth is not for me anymore, even though there are some loose ends to tie up and small things to do first before I move on (a sort of ticking things off the list so to speak), such as teaching classes in my local area, sorting out my teaching insurance, promo leaflets, website, Specialist TEFL teaching online course & attending my second Reiki workshop in May. Then after all of that, there is nothing in Plymouth for me anymore. By the end of March I’ll have also finished up the last two articles for Bad Yogi and Yogi Approved to give me a nice long writing hiatus to free up my time to put in motion my next step for my life. There is change in the air and I really don’t want to be in this part of the UK anymore or even this part of the world at all. I am searching for opportunities that suit me and thinking up ways to leave, I have itchy feet and a heart that has healed and is ready for the next adventure. I feel like something will happen over the next few months and although I am nervous because I feel like something is round the corner, I am also excited because I am bored out of my mind being in Plymouth.

Just spending time with my best friend performing and teaching in Liverpool showed me there is a huge creative and holistic hub where my line of work fits and in Blackpool I watched my Nephew attend swimming and gymnastic lessons at two different sports centres where their timetable may want to include a kids yoga teacher? And even in Preston, which is a big student city, is full of local, alternative businesses who happily allow teachers like me hire out their venue to facilitate workshops. The whole atmosphere up North felt more bohemian and more welcoming of individuals like me.

I am excited to have my website go live with brand new content but I will be keeping my Sunflower teeth website as an artist’s online portfolio and this lifestyle blog will remain the same. I am also creating new up to date resumes as an English, Art, Dance & Yoga teacher/holistic practitioner too. I have so much to work on and it feels like I am nesting in prep for the next phase, putting everything in order whilst I wait for the opportune moment, it’s all about divine timing.

Chatting for hours with my mum and best friend have given me the clarity I need. I found out certain aspects to my mum’s life are paralleled with mine and she has offered to help me fund the rest of my 200 hour yoga teacher training and to support me with this transitional period as I am with hers, and my best friend and I spent our days imagining running holistic music, art, dance & yoga workshops together around the North West. Another friend is in contact with a beautiful tea cafe owner who allows teachers to facilitate workshops in her cafe or assist her on her charity project in Gambia, these are all things I want to do and are within reach. I do believe before this year is up I’ll go back up North for a short while to promote my work in the community and to collaborate with friends. There is a Teen Yoga teacher training in Manchester at the end of October I am highly considering but between now and September I’ll be tying up loose ends here in the South West in preparation for a new chapter of my life.

In the mean time, alongside all of the little things I hope to do whilst I am still in Plymouth, I will be co-facilitating workshops with a few friends. One will be a two hour yoga & art workshop for tweens hopefully in May, another will be a monthly women’s circle involving yoga, belly dance & Reiki meditation at a local community centre and there is talk of me teaching children’s yoga at a festival in Dorset. So much is being planned, some of it may not come into being and that’s OK, but it feels good that these things are the final chapters to my time in Plymouth. It is coming up to the time now where I need to spread my wings and show people what I am made of after a few years of quiet servitude.

I’m a TEFL Teacher!

TEFL English Teacher
I am now officially qualified to teach English as a Foreign Language! So where do I go from here? Nothing is set in stone but I do have a general plan of action. I realize I’m not a young whipper snapper who still lives at her parents anymore, I have commitments and responsibilities to sort out so I am not going to rush over to Kuwait or Kathmandu any time soon. I don’t have that luxury like those fresh out of Uni and intend on traveling as a gap year.

So what do I want to happen? Well first I need to discover my teaching voice and boost my confidence by teaching English online and continue to set up children’s yoga classes in and around Plymouth. I am going to do this over the rest of this year whilst continuing to acquire the last few training courses for my professional development. These include: A Fitness Instructing Level 2 (Fitness to music pathway), Teen yoga teacher training plus a couple of specialist TEFL courses in ‘Teaching Online’ and ‘Teaching Young Learners.’ This will make my resume look the Bees Knees to employers/schools. Not only am I knowledgeable in Nutrition, mental health, creative therapies and child protection but I’ll be a skilled teacher of English and fitness (yoga & dance) to kids and adults. Also this year, there will be a lot of emphasis on my body too, so more yoga, dancing and gym sessions. I really want to be as strong and fit as possible for a 200hr yoga teacher training intensive I hope to do next year.

So alongside gaining teaching experience and finishing off my professional development, I am also in a long term relationship with Jon who owns a house and pays a mortgage every month. So again, I can’t just jump on a plane to Tibet right now! Jon and I are in talk about perhaps renting out the house and for him to try and get a sabbatical. This is difficult because it is a very good job and he is a senior member of staff and is therefore not seen as a disposable employee.

In early 2018 I do intend on going to Thailand for a 2 month long yoga teacher training, after that I may decide to stay a little longer to teach English at a local school on a short contract (and teach yoga and belly dance on the side) and Jon can just visit me as a holiday. We are potentially thinking about spending Christmas backpacking around Thailand before Jon drops me off at my yoga teacher training and then after I am qualified 2 months later he’ll hop on a flight to meet me again in the far East, perhaps in Indonesia? Who knows?

We both have the wanderlust bug, it is just a time in our lives where we need to figure out what is best for both of us. We may eventually move abroad or I may be content in being an online English teacher (& run my own freelance yoga, dance & art classes) in the UK but go on awesome backpacking adventures twice a year? Who knows? All I know is, this TEFL qualification is life changing for me because it will replace my retail job and catapult me into the role of teacher and leader as oppose to a number who registers her shift at a clocking in machine and is treated like dirt by consumers. It is important to me to live a life I can be proud of and feel free to tailor it how I want, it’s not about money to me (although that is a bonus), I’d rather be happy in the present moment, doing what I love and making my own choices than being told what to do every single second of the day by the Zeitgeist.

A slightly overdue hello, I’m back!

Portugal travel, Lagos

Hey everyone, we are back from Portugal and I feel both refreshed because we were away from the ‘rat race’ and excited for future travels!

Other than preparing for Christmas day I am catching up on my TEFL teacher training and working on my 3rd essay for the dance therapy diploma. I wouldn’t say I am hugely busy though, just winding down and finishing things up so that I am ready for the New Year. I have some exciting things to look forward to in 2017 that I am manifesting which involves more travel, with a potential trip to Cambodia and Vietnam in March plus ten days up North to see family & friends. I also plan to do a week long intensive in teen yoga teacher training, a level 2 in Fitness Instructing and the final weekend attunement as a Reiki Practitioner.

I am also going to become a Pagan Priestess (thanks to a friend, Despina for inspiring me), this is something I am doing for myself to connect with the divine in nature, I’ve spent a good few year working tirelessly on my career path and next year you’ll see my training coming to an end with the beginning of my freelance teaching business blossoming so I wanted to connect with my spirituality and delve deeper into my current knowledge of moon phases, the seasons, herbs, goddesses, deities and so on, I’ll talk more about this in the New Year but this spiritual path feels right for me, even Jon said “If we lived in a clan or tribe, you’d be the oracle or shaman” so yeah, I’m just doing this for me and my heart and I may create art, yoga and belly dance workshops centered around concepts of the goddess and mother nature in communities like Totnes, Glastonbury, Liverpool and Bristol where such a thing might be appreciated instead of scorned, who knows? I really just want to balance my work life with my spiritual life.

Towards the end of 2017, you’ll see me organizing and preparing for the big 200hr yoga teacher training intensive in Thailand, I’ll be living out there for almost 3 months! The general plan involves Jon coming with me so we can spend 3 weeks backpacking around Thailand together, he’ll leave me on the Thai island I am doing my training and he’ll go back to the UK, I’ll spend one month training and one month doing “Seva Yoga” which is yoga through community service, helping out in a local school, the yoga centre and animal rescue shelter. Like I said this is currently not set in stone but the framework is being prepped and I am happy!

It’s taken a while but I now feel happy in myself and where I am going, I still work in my part time job to fund my career path but it’s a means to an end, it is not my forever job and I feel great being able to visualize the life I’ve been working hard for, and you know what? I did it all by myself, I never faulted or gave up who I am for the sake of making others happy with me, it has shown me who really values and cherishes me and who tried to change me, genuine friends have stayed by my side whilst others disappeared into the shadows (or if they are still in my life, at least they know now they have no power over me.) and that is a beautiful thing, to feel in control of your life and yourself, to say to the world “This is me, this is what I am doing and this is where I am going.” We’ve only got one life so as long as your dreams harm no one, then be fearlessly you! Just fucking do it!

*Photo taken by Jon, of me on a cliff in Lagos, Portugal 2016

TEFL practical training

Last weekend I attended my practical TEFL training! For those of you who don’t know what this is; TEFL means ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language.’ and it is something I have been thinking to do over the past few years but didn’t have the courage until now. This is my second to last teacher training to fully set me up on this new career path.

Every yoga teacher knows that teaching yoga is not always a sustainable career path; it’s not impossible but many teachers opt to do a different full time job as well as teaching yoga classes perhaps at the weekend or for summer retreats. This is one of the reasons why I decided to become a TEFL teacher, this qualification gives me the opportunity to teach English as a full time job and have a comfortable wage.

Not only that, it seems both fun and rewarding to teach English to kids and adults whose mother tongue is different. I love people from different cultures and most of my friends are not English.

Another factor is; Jon & I are in discussion about living and working abroad, even if it is only for a year because in the past as 20 somethings we never had that opportunity to take a gap year from Uni to travel like a lot of people we know. Now in our 30’s we both feel like we’ve missed out on that experience. TEFL is a fantastic qualification to have for me to find work in a school whilst we are traveling, it would be a great gateway job for the locals to get to know me and I may find a local yoga studio to teach in on the side?

The TEFL practical was actually really fun, our teacher was amazing and encouraged what’s called “student to student” interaction, so lots of group work, pair work and lots of discussion. There were moments where we’d become the students we might be teaching so to better understand how it feels to struggle learning a new language. Our teacher did this by teaching a short lesson in Catalan and we were not allowed to ask for help in English, we had to figure out what was going on by body language, repeating words our teacher taught and recognizing “false friends” which are words that sound the same as English. The training was very holistic and humanistic with a lot of focus on being playful within a simple framework. I felt so relaxed and confident during the intensive and I highly recommend it.

I’ve worked so hard to get to this point, I began my professional development in learning more about mental health, art & dance therapy, anatomy, special needs, child development and yoga philosophy among others. This year I qualified as a Kids yoga teacher and I am officially a trainee TEFL teacher. It will take me 6 months to fully complete this course and my absolute last course is my 200hour yoga teacher training which will happen some time in 2017, making me fully equipped to teach English, Yoga, Dance & Art to adults and children. I could even incorporate art, dance and yoga as part of my lesson plan for my English classes.

I feel amazing to have created this path for myself pretty much from scratch and with very little support.I am proud of where I am at in my life right now. This life has not been down to luck, this has been hard-work on a road less traveled, and I just never gave up.