Welcome to The Firestarter Podcast—people, ideas and conversations that move us forward. It’s your host Willa Kammerer’s business and passion to make the world a better place through storytelling, which is why we’re here today. We’ll talk to mission-driven entrepreneurs, philanthropists, investors, thought leaders, and experts on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues about designing and thriving careers — and lives — of impact.
In this episode, Willa is joined by guest Katie McDonald, Founder and CEO of b.nourished, a business helping its clients discover the path of self care and self realization. Driven by her own desire and need for deep self care after burnout from corporate work and motherhood, Katie evolved into a self-care strategist with the mission of creating positive transformations in the lives of others. Listen as they delve more deeply into Katie’s story and work, share thoughts on the new year, self care strategies, cultivating respect for body and mind, and — last but not least — accountability.
To begin, Katie offers insight for listeners on how she got to the place she is today. Her work began for Time Magazine selling advertising for 45 national publications. She became exhausted, depleted, and felt she was trading her health for sales. When we don’t feel we are good enough, Katie shares, we often overwork ourselves. However, self care is a valid and legitimate pursuit and the way to sustainable success. After ignoring her body’s warning signs of burnout and exhaustion, it was when Katie missed one meeting that she finally had a wake up call that things needed to change. On one of her darkest days, she chose to leave corporate America for good. Within months of leaving her corporate identity behind, Katie and her husband became parents. She applied her same obsessive approach to business to motherhood, but with even higher stakes. It took another sickness for Katie to realize, again, that things had gotten out of hand.
Even during her time in the corporate world, Katie held interest in mindfulness and alternative medicine. However, she now knows that if your interests are only intellectual and not implemented into your life, they’re nothing more than useless mind candy. No resource you can buy will ever be as effective as self compassion, which is a habit to cultivate over time. Self care is knowing ourselves and being curious about ourselves, then having enough discipline to do for yourself what you know you need.
Next, Katie shares her methods for advising clients and how listeners can apply these principles in their own lives. First, remember to slow down and choose a reflective, rather than a reactive, approach to life. It’s in the quiet and sensory moments that we really get to know ourselves. Then, observe the habits you currently have. The way we think we are living is often not the way we’re actually living. It’s essential to have strategies in place so that we don’t continue falling into the same habitual traps. Katie doesn't believe in balance, but sees life more as an orchestra containing many different phases and intensities. She offers a planner which contains assessments for different areas in your life to measure accountability from a place of kindness.
We all have our own non-negotiable things we need in order to be at our best, regardless if we feel in the mood or have time to do them. These things must be the foundation of everything else we do. After fulfilling our responsibility to ourselves, we can then begin other things. Katie’s own non-negotiables include her morning routine, time in nature, exercise, planning time and tea time. She clarifies that non-negotiables are the things we do that make us like ourselves. Katie’s job isn’t to superimpose her own plan on someone else, but to help them reunite with themselves. Once you learn more about what you need to feel good, the tradeoff is simply too high to neglect it. The majority of people are so disconnected from their own thoughts that they begin to see their negative traits and habits as normal.
As the episode comes to a close, Katie elaborates on the idea of choosing a single word as a benchmark. For this year, Katie’s own word is “awake”. This one word can act as a discernment tool to ground and root ourselves. Finally, she shares her own advice for navigating te world today.
0:01 – Host Willa Kammerer introduces the podcast and today’s guest
4:43 - Katie’s early career and burnout in the corporate world.
7:18 - Katie’s healing journey.
11:44 - The significance of implementing daily practices and habits.
19:08 - Katie’s methods for advising her clients.
24:23 - Assessing the different parts of life and how they fit together.
31:16 - The roles of a therapist vs. wellness coach.
36:31 - Non-negotiable factors for success.
47:14 - The idea of choosing one word as a benchmark.
50:55 - Navigating the ever changing world.
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Self care, nourishment, life journey, health, wellness, mindfulness, societal pressures, productivity, career, achievement, self worth, therapy, self love, career, careerist, high achievers, clarity, corporate america, corporate identity, identity, motherhood, parenting, overworked, burnout, nutrition, alternative health, daily habits, clear thinking, plant based diet, nutrition