Kate Hartley

HOW DID YOU IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION AND THE WORK THAT SATISFIED YOU VERSUS WORK THAT JUST PAID THE BILLS?

Through trial and error! As most of us do, I followed the career path that I thought I should be doing – financial security, good pension prospects etc, but after some major life challenges such as losing my Dad to cancer and the demise of my marriage and ensuing acrimonious divorce where I represented myself in court, I decided that life is too short to follow a life that wasn’t in alignment with my own values and goals. First and foremost I am a mother and that is the best vocation I could ever have in life. I’ve raised two happy, balanced, respectful children and even if I turn up my toes today, I know that I’ve done my very best on that front. For myself, one of my top values is freedom and so I run my two businesses to allow me that freedom: both time and financial. Contribution is also incredibly important to me and I get a great deal of pleasure volunteering in Hospice when they need me.. I have always been spiritual and am a little bit psychic. I originally wanted to develop my more intuitive abilities, but with my divorce looming and knowing that we need paperwork to prove our professional credentials, I opted for the nearest best thing which was getting my psychotherapy and hypnotherapy qualifications. I still dowse and use crystals, but not as often as I’d like to. But when I started learning about body language and psychotherapy it helped me understand the importance of having a career which fulfils me over one which just ticks a few “societal” boxes.

WHO WILL ETERNALLY BE A WOMAN YOU ADMIRE AND RESPECT, AND WHY?

Boudica! Warrior woman through and through who stood up against the Romans and lead her Iceni tribe into battle. If I had to describe myself in one word it would be “survivor”. We all have challenges to face in life, but how we choose to face them ultimately decides in how we cope. I decided to be a survivor a long time ago. While I might not like the circumstances, you can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll try my hardest to find the best strategy to work my way through the problem.

IN LIGHT OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF OUR HASHTAG #WHYITRIBE, WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO CELEBRATE WHO WE ALREADY ARE TODAY?

As women, we are still underpaid in comparison to men. We are still viewed as secondary to male power in many instances. Where brain and mental strength are concerned I believe we are stronger. Compassion and emotional clarity underline healthy relationships – men are not so good at this. However, we are physically not as strong as men and I think we risk losing our femininity if we’re not careful. There is something inherently beautiful in being the “softer” sex. I think it’s important that we don’t lose our natural identity of womanhood while fighting our battles for equality. I’m conflicted about this. I love chivalry, I love femininity, I love the fact that as a woman I am a home-maker and a mother who nourishes and cherishes her children. I don’t feel as though I have to lose my femininity to have strength in a male-dominated world.

NAME A TIME RECENTLY WHEN YOU SAID SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF/HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

This morning! My back is freaking killing me right now – it’s gone into spasm. But as I lifted my legs out of bed, I told myself I’m a warrior and I’m bloody well going to give today my best shot.

WHY DO YOU THINK WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM CELEBRATING OR PRAISING THEMSELVES SO MUCH?

I think there’s a lot of confusion around egotism and vanity compared to truly valuing who we are. When you look about on social media, there are so many young girls and older women with various body parts hanging out. For a girl who wants to celebrate herself, I think it’s hard for her to know how best to do this. There is still so much perceived “value” attached to a woman’s body as a sexual object.

HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THE TENDENCY TO DISCREDIT COMPLIMENTS YOU ARE GIVEN?

I just say thank you. But I’m good at giving compliments, so I’m usually the first in and most people are too busy wondering how to deal with the compliment I’ve just given them to give me one back! lol

HOW DOES SOCIETY REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE, AS WOMEN, ARE NOT ENOUGH AND HOW CAN WE
TAKE THAT POWER BACK?

I’m not so sure that society reinforces the idea that we are not enough. Granted, we live in a patriarchal society still, but I think we also need to have responsibility for how we are perceived. Men use us as sexual objects, but we give ourselves over to that to a degree too. When you look at a lot of families, neither mother nor father work, they just rely on benefits. Many of them have addiction issues. We are in the middle of a crisis that spans far wider than sexual equality. People no longer know who they are. And the kids being born into these families hardly stand a chance! Education and schooling can help, but ultimately the responsibility should start with the parents. So, where do we start? Society seems to be crumbling, not getting better. Obesity is at an all time high, addictions are at an all time high, family units are broken and no-one seems to take responsibility for their own welfare any more. For us as women who are lucky enough to be educated to some degree, ultimately, I suppose we want to be treated fairly, as in equal pay and equal rights. It amazes me that we are still not paid the same as men for doing the same job. That’s crazy this still happens. In this instance, we need to raise more awareness about it and make those who create the policies more accountable. I think that things are improving though. More institutions are having to become more transparent about their pay policies, and it’s much easier to get legal representation for unfair dismissal or discrimination. However, how do you prove that a man was chosen over a woman in a job interview just because he is a man? I think we need to look at it fairly too though. Women of child-bearing age are problematic for companies / schools etc when they are taken on and then just a few months later fall pregnant. So I can see both sides of the argument. My son’s school recently took on a drama teacher. She’s now pregnant and will be leaving the kids half way through their A Level courses – while she may not have “known” she was going to fall pregnant so soon, I can see from an employer’s point of view why a man might be chosen over a woman in this instance. However, on the whole, we need more women in power – government, institutions etc. When you look at our world as a whole, we’re totally f****d. I mean, we’re worrying about female representation, yet there are way bigger issues, like the integrity of our planet. None of this will matter if we don’t do something super fast to make sure we start caring for the very earth we are all citizens of. Like equality, like protecting the environment, like medications over natural remedies, when money is involved, the aspect that counts most is discounted by the fact there is insufficient immediate “gain”. When you have a majority of men voting, they’re going to keep on choosing men over women. When you have massive profits involved in logging our rainforests, it will keep on being done. Maybe we should bring Boudica back from the dead and have her lead us into action that counts?

WHY IS THE TRIBE MOVEMENT IMPORTANT?

Because it brings community to women. It raises pertinent topics to consider. It could possibly be the catalyst for a woman to take action against unfair treatment when she knows she has a TRIBE behind her for support. In my online health and wellness groups, community is a key aspect. It’s a safe place for us to share our struggles and our wins. Maybe the TRIBE can be the catalyst for creating support groups for young girls in communities where prospects are poor? Maybe, by giving them the belief that they too could live a life of fulfilment , we could help them dig their way out to a life of contribution and healthy relationships with others and most importantly, with themselves.

Occupation: Psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, massage therapist, Reiki healer and health and wellness coach

Website: www..flourishtherapy.co.uk

Instagram: katehartleyuk