17. Cultivating a Welcoming Space and the Joys of Reading with Katie Gordon

episode description & show notes

Harriet is joined by Katie Gordon. 

Katie Gordon is a coach, yoga teacher, founder of Every Body Studio and parent. She has previously worked as an associate literary agent and a fiction editor in the publishing industry. She brings a corporate background to her work in creating new business models for the yoga and wellness industry.

She has a special interest in mental health and trauma and outside of work at the studio, she works with corporates and individuals as a coach, mindfulness practitioner and movement teacher. Her approach is collaborative and empathetic, combining evidence-based tools from yoga, mindfulness and breathwork with psychology.

Katie and Harriet talked about the joys of reading, Married at First Sight Australia, cultivating a welcome space and making friends with procrastination.

Books mentioned by Harriet and Katie;
Girl A, by Abigail Dean 
The Searcher ,by Tana French
Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell
Here Again Now, by Okechukwu Nzelu

You can find Katie here:

Read the full transcript:

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, read, teaching, feel, book, yoga, procrastinate, tasks, yoga teacher, studio, procrastination, big, find, oxford, life, hear, space, remember, coaching, question

SPEAKERS
Katie Gordon, Harriet McAtee

Harriet McAtee
Hi, and welcome back to season three of In Our Experience,e a podcast exploring the many ways of living well with Nourish Yoga Training. I’m your host, Harriet, yoga teacher and founder of Nourish. Today I’m joined by Katie Gordon. Katie is a coach, yoga teacher, founder of Every Body Studio here in Oxford, and a parent. She has previously worked as an associate literary agent and a fiction editor in the publishing industry. She brings a corporate background to her work and creating new business models for the yoga and wellness industries. I had a fabulous time chatting with Katie, as I do whenever we catch up; we talked about the joys of reading, our shared love of Married at First Sight Australia, cultivating a welcoming space, and making friends with procrastination. I’m really excited to share this first episode of season three with you. And as always, I would love to hear what you think. So do pop us a message; you can find how to contact us in the show notes. Right, here’s my chat with Katie. Hi, Katie. Welcome to our experience.

Katie Gordon
Hi, thanks for having me.

Harriet McAtee
Oh, my pleasure. I’m very excited that you’re our first guest of season three. And we’re gonna get started with the question that I asked every guest, which is what’s nourishing you this week? And I will I will help you off, and I will get us started. So my nourishing thing this week is that recently I’ve been getting back into reading, which I know is something that we share; like, when am I never don’t reading?

Katie Gordon
When did you get out of reading?

Harriet McAtee
Well, more like I had a month or so where I just couldn’t settle with a book. Like I could maybe do a few pages and then. I couldn’t get into it. But the past few weeks, I sort of found my way back into it. And now I’m sort of more in the zone.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
I also find sometimes, if I picked a book to read that I’ve like, I’m experiencing some, some resistance around, then I often will like forget to read it because I don’t really want to read it.

Katie Gordon
Well, then maybe you should just not read it if you don’t want to.

Harriet McAtee
I know, but I think in my life, there were like maybe less than a handful of books that I’ve started and not finished.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, I’m like that as well.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I’m like no, because also sometimes those books where you experience like eerr, like frustration with at the beginning, you get to the end and you’re like, Oh, that was worth it.

Katie Gordon
Sure.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
I mean, what’s the book? Is there a specific?

Harriet McAtee
Um, I can’t remember the one I was fiddling around with now, but at the moment, I’m reading The Searcher by Tana French, which is really enjoyable. It’s like a thriller set in the Irish countryside.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
But yeah, I can’t remember the one that I was frustrated with, but I literally can’t remember. But I also read down and out in Paris and London, which I really enjoy.

Katie Gordon
Okay, yeah. That’s really good.

Harriet McAtee
That was the one that got me back in. George Orwell will do it every time. So what about you? What’s nourishing you?

Katie Gordon
So I’m in the middle of a week off work in the sunshine. And I went to visit a friend, went to the seaside. And now I think I’m going to spend the rest of the week in the garden with a book. And actually, I’m reading a thriller as well, which I don’t normally. I’m reading Girl. Is it Girl A? I think it’s called,

Harriet McAtee,
oh, I’ve heard of this, but I’ve not read it. What’s it about?

Katie Gordon
So I ran out of book in the train station and went to WHSmith and just like made a random choice. And you know, it’s, it’s, it is what it is. It is quite good. It’s a page-turner, and I’m enjoying that. But yeah, I think book sunshine. And I’ve also been eating quite a lot of nice food. I went out to lunch, which I never normally get to do because I have a toddler. So I spent an afternoon in the pub, which was just like glorious. Yeah. Boozing and eating. Yeah, it’s great.

Harriet McAtee
We will link to both of those books in the show notes. The other thing that I’m reading at the moment, which I will lend to you after I’m done with it.

Katie Gordon
okay,

Harriet McAtee
Because it’s just sensational. Is the right to sex by Amia Srinivasan.

Katie Gordon
Oh, okay. I’ve heard of that.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, it’s so she’s actually she’s in Oxford. I sometimes see her walking past my boat. And I’m like resisting the urge to like, ‘I love your book’. Actually, I’ve seen a whole bunch of, like, famous people walk past my boat; I’ve also seen Tim Minchin and Richard Dawkins, okay. Yeah.

Katie Gordon
I don’t know if I’d recognise Richard Dawkins and like because he just he just looks like an old doesn’t

Harriet McAtee
he just looks like an old white man.

Katie Gordon
Right?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I’ve seen him in Jericho quite a bit as well. I think he lives nearby But anyway,

Katie Gordon
top celeb spots

Harriet McAtee
I’m not stalking you, Richard Dawkins. But yeah, the right to sex, it’s, it’s, it’s sensational.

Katie Gordon
Okay,

Harriet McAtee
it’s really good.

Katie Gordon
I have one for you as well, which is possibly the best fiction book I’ve read for a couple of years. And I’m gonna forget what it’s called and the author’s name, but I think it’s called here again now or something like that,

Harriet McAtee
oh,

Katie Gordon
it’s an author that I didn’t know. And I picked it up. And it’s kind of about all those big things like love and grief and death, my favourite topics. And it’s just; it’s brilliant. So I’ll lend that to you as well,

Harriet McAtee
please, thank you

Katie Gordon
I’ll remember what the author’s called as well,

Harriet McAtee
I almost exclusively read. Like, sad books.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. I mean, that’s what books are for.

Harriet McAtee
I agree.

Katie Gordon
What’s the point in reading?

Harriet McAtee
One of my one of my graduates, one of my old training is She’s an English literature professor. And she was like, I read things to feel. And I was like, I feel the same way. So she was like, you know, you want, you want to read the sad stuff you want to read? Like the stuff that makes you emote?

Katie Gordon
Yeah, I mean, part of reading is like to discover other people’s stories and other people’s lives. And I think it helps develop empathy. And there’s even some research on that, but, but also, to, like, find stuff that reflects your experience as well. And I feel seen in a book, I think, so both those things I think are really like, wonderful. Like, yeah, I could read all day. But I do also have phrases of like, not being able to read a book, and only being able to watch TV, and I pick up a book and like, oh, yeah, this is good. Yeah, yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, exactly. Do you have like a go-to like TV show for when you need to switch off your brain?

Katie Gordon
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
That you publicly admit to.

Katie Gordon
That’s what I’m thinking. Do I admit to this? So I, Yeah, reality TV is one of my go-to and like I really am enjoying married, at first sight, only the Australian for some reason.

Harriet McAtee
Oh my gosh, yes, the Australian version. Yes.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. Sorry. Good. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
People take the piss out of me for loving Married at First Sight. And I’m like, No, it’s trash. The people are trash. It’s trash. It’s just

Katie Gordon
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
magnificent.

Katie Gordon
I think there’s stuff about reality TV as well. That is kind of deeper than you might like. You really see people like, go through.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
Their own psyche. Like what’s happening to them, how they react to being challenged, like particularly in MAFS. Did you see last night? Was it last night?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Which I think I think I’m slightly ahead because I watch it through.

Katie Gordon
Oh,

Harriet McAtee
I know. What are you, What Episode Are you up to?

Katie Gordon
So I watched the one where I can’t remember what his name is. That’s married to the really beautiful brunette. He’s really pretty.

Harriet McAtee
Have you had, without too many spoilers for people that haven’t watched it, Have you had the wineglass incident? Yeah.

Katie Gordon
No.

Harriet McAtee
Oh, okay. I’m ahead of you.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
But yeah, you could see really well how he responded to being challenged. And, and then also how he, she said something about how she didn’t feel desired or wanted. And he was like, turned it into being about him. But as she was just expressing how she felt.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie Gordon,
so yeah, I think there’s deeper levels. I mean,

Harriet McAtee
is it? I’m gonna try to remember the names now.

Katie Gordon
They look like they should be in some sort of magazine.

Harriet McAtee
But they all look like they should be in some sort of magazine.

Katie Gordon
but even more so

Harriet McAtee
he’s not American, is he? No.

Katie Gordon
That guy, let’s not even start on that.

Harriet McAtee
Terrible. Is it Jack and Dominica?

Katie Gordon
No,

Harriet McAtee
no. Oh, Ella and Mitch

Katie Gordon
Yeah. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
I love them. I’m obsessed with her.

Katie Gordon
But he I just he, yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Oh, no, he’s a child.

Katie Gordon
He needs some therapy.

Harriet McAtee
I mean, they all do, which is why they are on this show? Yeah, yeah. No, I am. So I watch. I’m ahead. So I’m in the final weeks like, I’m up to final dates.

Katie Gordon
Okay,

Harriet McAtee
so I’m in the future.

Katie Gordon
What are you watching this through?

Harriet McAtee
secrets secret

Katie Gordon
secret? Okay.

Harriet McAtee
It’s so good, though. I’m like, I can’t wait for people to catch up to where I am because there is shit. I need to talk about it.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, I’m imagining there might be some interesting developments.

Harriet McAtee
Like in an unexpected way.

Katie Gordon
Oh,

Harriet McAtee
yeah. Like it’s so unreal reality TV show, which I really appreciate. Wonderful. Well, let’s get back to topics after that long segway through books at MAFS. So I am curious to hear a little bit about your background and how it is that you would describe what you do. Just a small question

Katie Gordon
So, background is easy. I worked, I did English at uni and then did a master’s at LSE, which was an interesting experience. And then I realised there was this whole industry where you could read books and publish books. And I didn’t really know about that. So I did some; I worked in publishing at a literary agency. And then, as an editor for 8/10 years, something like that. Lived in London and then got to the point where I was kind of stuck with my career and couldn’t publish the books that I wanted to publish. So I was kind of like, well, what’s the point then, if I can’t publish the books that I think are of value, and at the same time, big, big changes happened in my life, and my sister died suddenly by suicide, which is kind of the defining event of my life. And my mum also had cancer and was getting more ill. And I just got to a point, I where I was like, fuck this, like, what am I doing? If I’m not doing something that I enjoy? That brings me like some sort of joy or satisfaction; then what am I doing? And I’ve been practising yoga for a while, not like a super long time, kind of on and off. And I started doing a teacher training just for myself. And then, as everyone started teaching, I enjoyed teaching, but knew I didn’t want to teach full time because I think some people can teach 20 hours a week, 20 classes, 30 classes and don’t seem to kind of find it that hard. I can teach four, like, that’s my max.

And then I just, it just becomes too much. So I knew that I couldn’t make a living. And I wanted to do something more businessey. So I was like, I’m gonna set up a studio. And I moved back to Oxford. Yeah, then that eventually happened. And we’ve just moved to new premises. And um, yeah, I finally made it through COVID. Hopefully, fingers crossed.

Harriet McAtee
Oh, he’s hoping.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. So that’s like the brief history,

Harriet McAtee
the potted history of cake, Gordon?

Katie Gordon
Yeah exactly.

Harriet McAtee
Ah, interesting. I think I really appreciate your honesty around like, the teaching load. Because one of the things I often struggle with is sometimes when people want to do the training, they call me, and they’re like, I’m thinking about quitting my job.

Katie Gordon
No, don’t do it.

Harriet McAtee
Like, huh, How do I tell you not to quit your job without giving you career advice? Because that’s also not my role. Because also, I think, I do think that teaching yoga full time; you end up existing in this very, quite narrow, bubble of a world.

Katie Gordon
for sure.

Harriet McAtee
And one of the things that I really appreciate about my job is the is the business management aspect of it.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, it’s really fun.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, it’s really satisfying. And I think being able to, like, balance that with like, the teaching elements, I find really rewarding.

Katie Gordon
Definitely, I mean, as long as you have an accountant, because that’s not my. that is so not my, my vibe. But yeah, I really enjoy the kind of behind the scenes stuff and the people like working with people. I mean, I hesitate to say managing people, because I don’t really, but kind of working with colleagues. And yeah, teaching, it’s, like quite lonely. Like you say, quite insular; I think you can get really isolated in that world. And, you know, the yoga world is, like, very problematic in many ways. I think it’s really good to have an outside interest and work. I can’t imagine just teaching. I don’t think I would be very healthy.

Harriet McAtee
No, I mean, I remember back to I had a couple of years, early in my teaching where I was teaching, you know, 20 classes a week for, you know, maybe two, two and a half years.

Katie Gordon
Oh, my God.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I think I just, I remember having a lot of like, weird spaces of time on my hands, because you would teach like a 6 am or 7 am class, and then you might teach lunchtime, and then you might teach like a few classes in the evening.

Katie Gordon
Yeah

Harriet McAtee
.And so you have these like, weird chunks of your day where you’re, like, not working. But you sort of are working.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, you can’t like go home and chill.

Harriet McAtee
Exactly. And also, this was in Australia, and I just remember spending so much time in my car because I was like driving to and from places in between studios constantly. So there was all of this sort of like dead time that got sucked up in my life where in. In theory, it was, it was great because I taught a class in the morning, and then I might not teach again until the evening. So you have a whole day in the middle. But it’s just sort of like, absorbed into like travel and procrastination.

Katie Gordon
And when you’re teaching in the in the evening, I don’t know if you get this, but I always like, I can’t properly relax in the day, if I know I’m teaching in the evening. It’s like, maybe like a slight anxiety or something like that, where you feel like you’ve got to be ready to go.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I know. It’s like my brain switches into wait mode. Yeah, I can do nothing else except to wait for the thing that is coming.

Katie Gordon
Yes, so you can’t get anything done anyway.

Harriet McAtee
Like, doop doop, it’s like when you’re about to go. I don’t know when you’re like waiting to get on a flight. Or I get it. Sometimes if I’m, like, excited about going on a date with somebody will be like an hour before you’re meant to leave. And you’re like, I’m just gonna sit here, like, stare out the window, because I’m not capable of doing anything useful.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, definitely.

Harriet McAtee
So what was yours? I think one of the things that really stands out for me with the studio is that there’s quite a specific, I guess, vision or energy or feel to what you’ve created. And I’m curious to hear sort of what you were trying to create. Do you think you’ve succeeded in that? Like, you know,

Katie Gordon
I think what I was trying to create is, in some way, in reaction to what I experienced and have seen in other studios. Um, of feeling out of place. And you know, like, the stereotypical thing about yoga studios has loads of white women in, in Lulus and not many other kinds of people. And, they’re not that welcoming, like you walk in, and it’s like, you’re supposed to sort of magically know where to go and what to do and how to behave. And I think I just wanted somewhere that was, felt a bit more like you were going around a mate’s house where there was a studio and like not that, you know, obviously in a professional way, but like you come in and you feel like comfortable. And I think, personally, I teach a lot of beginners, and a lot of a lot of people who are coming back to yoga, and some people with mental health conditions or recovering from mental health conditions, and I think I just wanted somewhere where you could go in and be like, Okay, I don’t really know what I’m doing. But I don’t feel like I shouldn’t be here. So that’s the main driver. I guess

Harriet McAtee
I get that.

Katie Gordon
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I think you’ve done that.

Katie Gordon
Thanks. Yeah. I mean, we have nice feedback.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
Nothing’s perfect. But like, Yeah, I’m happy with how things are right now. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
I always think it’s really funny what people decide to feedback on. It’s like, like, whenever, whenever a student has a complaint about something, and so that’s normally like you have no control over.

Katie Gordon
What like, I don’t know it was a dog outside.

Harriet McAtee
I remember when, when we were in the room or in the basement underneath sweaty Betty where project PT now have the, you know, studio, there’s a ventilation, like exhaust because you’ve got to, like draw the air out. Otherwise, there’s no circulation, but it means that there’s this big like, metal tube, that’s I don’t know, maybe the diameter of like a dinner plate, okay. Like, in on the ceiling.

Katie Gordon
Right.

Harriet McAtee
So if you were my height, and your mat was underneath this exhaust pipe, yeah. And you lifted your hands up; you would like touch it.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
And I remember a student once wrote a review that was like, there’s this pipe in the way.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
And I was like, I can’t, you can’t move the pipe or literally can’t do anything about that being decided to give us like one star on Google for this reason.

Katie Gordon
Yes. It’s not about that, though; it’s about something else.

Harriet McAtee
That’s what they’ve chosen.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. And that’s frustrating, isn’t it? When you’re like, what about the cost?

Harriet McAtee
I know when, whenever I’m feeling bad about the world. I go and read Google reviews for like, bad yoga studios. And I feel like a terrible person about it, but I just find it so. Like it really offers perspective. I think that’s why I do, because I’m like, oh, I’m doing okay.

Katie Gordon
We all do stuff like that, don’t like that we know that isn’t nice or isn’t particularly healthy, necessarily. But I think it’s also helpful because you see what people are saying. And you’re like, Okay, why do they think that what’s going on what happened to make them feel like this, even if their complaint is like, completely ridiculous?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah,

Katie Gordon
There’s still something happening.

Harriet McAtee
Agreed.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. I mean, we’ve only been where we are now since September, but I can’t like I don’t think we’ve had any, like, complaints, like we’ve had.

Harriet McAtee
Because it’s a beautiful space.

Katie Gordon
So yeah, we’re very lucky. It’s very beautiful. Yeah. But like, I think the people who tend to come kind of know what they’re getting. And I think it’s quite different to what else there is to offer around this area. So I think, yeah, people tend to like it or not come back.

Harriet McAtee
I agree with you. And I hear what you’re saying. I think I like knock on all of the wood. I think one of the things that I really feel about my business is I tend not to attract dickheads.

Katie Gordon
Totally, yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Which I feel really lucky about. But also, I think part of the reason why I don’t attract, attract dickheads is that I’m really clear about what my values are as a business.

Katie Gordon
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
And I think it’s the same for you as well. We’re like, this is the space that we’re in. This is what you can expect. You know, this is what’s important to me, important to Nourish.

Katie Gordon
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
So it’s like because I’m super clear about that. It sort of filters out the yoga dickheads.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, totally. And I think it’s also really helpful because people can read it and be like, No, I don’t. That’s not what I want.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
And then they just go away. And that’s fine.

Harriet McAtee
The Power of Good, good communication?

Katie Gordon
Yeah, exactly.

Harriet McAtee
So I think the other thing I’m curious to talk about all like hear about, as well as you have a coaching business that runs like a sister business to the yoga studio. And I think I would; I would like to know what a coach does.

Katie Gordon
Well, I kind of hate describing myself as a coach and, in fact, as a yoga teacher as well,

Harriet McAtee
OK, what would you say to then?

Katie Gordon
I don’t know. I just feel like the idea of a life coach and the idea of a yoga teacher are both, for what for what I do, particularly coach, it has a very, like, fluffy, maybe like, I don’t know, there have been some scandals about people taking money for like, not doing anything useful, in the nicest that’s describing it nicely. And I think when I decided to do the qualification, it was really important to me that it was like, science-based academic research-based. So it’s, so the qualification I did is in positive psychology and coaching. So everything that I do in yoga and in coaching is like looking at the evidence of what helps people, what doesn’t, why it does—and then using those tools, rather than, like, oh, I’ve done. I didn’t know EFT, and it really helped me. So I’m going to show everyone how to do EFT because it helped me, so, therefore, help everyone, which just isn’t true of anything. It’s really important to me that everything is done.

I mean, it’s a bit like, like, you say, person-centred, right. So like, I would say that everything is very individual. So one person who maybe some breathwork would help, the breathwork that will help them is completely different to help someone else. And I think there’s a lot of, particularly on Instagram, like, Do this, and you will feel like this, which just is just bullshit, basically.

Harriet McAtee
I know; it’s ludicrous. I mean, the whole like, one size fits all approach. I really try and tell my students like if you ever come across anything in the yoga space, that’s prescriptive, that’s like if you do this x will result right, like run in the other direction,

Katie Gordon
Yeah, in any space that’s not helpful like in school and in life in therapy, and any of that. If someone’s telling you this is what works for you, then be ready to question it; at least, if not, run away.

Harriet McAtee
I think sometimes it’s quite it’s quite hard to question it, particularly like because people come to yoga spaces or they come to coaching spaces because they are vulnerable and they’re seeking. They’re seeking support. And like how do we I think one of the things that I’m often working with people to think about is like, how do we build in a, I guess, a culture and a process to our teaching, that means that it’s like a safe space for questioning from the go. Like, it’s not something that we have to, like, get people to opt into. It’s just

Katie Gordon
Yeah, I think that’s hard to do. I think the problem with yoga as well is like; there’s not a lot of in most teacher trainings, there’s not a lot of talk about boundaries, ethics, you know, scope of practice, those kinds of things, whereas certainly in the coaching training I did that there was a lot of like, what you do when you do it, how you do it, what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate. And I think people who come to these spaces gym, I mean, most yoga teachers, right, had something bad happen. And then they became a yoga teacher. That’s like the trajectory,

Harriet McAtee
Or this whole like, yoga saved my life hashtag on Instagram, which I yeah, I mean, yeah, loath.

Katie Gordon
But I think, you know, vulnerable people come to yoga, they come to coaching, and sometimes people want to be told, you know, do this, and they’ll make you feel better, which is totally understandable.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
But, you know, it’s the practitioner’s responsibility to, like, put it back on them in the nicest possible way. Of like, let’s experiment with some stuff. And you’ll come up with the solution.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
I mean, that’s very simplistic. But yeah, essentially, it’s up to you. And as a teacher or as a coach, you’re here to facilitate that.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I really agree. I think often. Often, what I see my job boiling down to a lot of the time is, firstly, asking the right questions of people.

Katie Gordon
Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
to like, so that they can then answer that for themselves. But also, a lot of what I see particularly with my trainees is, a lot of them will come seeking permission.

Katie Gordon
Okay,

Harriet McAtee
so they’re looking for permission to teach yoga or going, which is why he would do a teacher training course. But, you know, even within the course, you know, there’ll be given assignments, or there’ll be given tasks to do, and they’re like, is it okay if I do this? Do you think it’s okay if you do this? Yeah. But that like, yeah, I don’t like, that’s fine, then. But like, you don’t need my approval or my permission.

Katie Gordon
I think a lot of that is the school. And if you go through it, the university system isn’t it is that you have to do things in a very exact certain way, like, doing my references for my course, which was at the University of East London. Like, it’s mad that you get marks for how you arrange your references. Like, but that’s so, I mean, it’s not very inclusive. Is it, though? And it just is, it just feels when you look at it, you’re like, that’s completely ridiculous. It’s nothing to do with the content or the ideas. I get that there’s reasons for it. But it is also just ridiculous.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I mean, maybe your topic for another day, but there’s sort of like the lack of inclusivity around like learning styles, you know, I think is huge for sure.

Katie Gordon
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Well, sort of, related to what we’ve been talking about—this season. We have we have questions from our audience to tackle.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
And today’s question I picked especially for you because we’ve talked about before which is one of our listeners is asked about tips for overcoming procrastination.

Katie Gordon
Okay,

Harriet McAtee
so I guess my first question is, do you procrastinate?

Katie Gordon
Oh, my God, yes. All the time.

Harriet McAtee
OK, When do you find yourself procrastinating? Is it about particular things or

Katie Gordon
It’s usually something that I don’t want to have to do? I mean, that’s usually it’s in there. Or if I’m overwhelmed, then I’ll tend to like, avoid it. But it’s interesting that they’ve asked for overcoming procrastination because I don’t think it’s always a negative thing. Actually, quite often, it’s it’s a good thing. I find procrastination can really help me to get a new viewpoint on something that I’m doing or a new idea. So if I go off and I don’t know, what’s a common procrastination thing that I do probably go make coffee or watching TV or cleaning one for me, clean the studio.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
And then I can come sometimes it doesn’t work and I but sometimes I’ll come back, and I get the thing done. And I think there’s like room for.

Harriet McAtee
I should have bought you a snack. Yeah, I’ve got lunch on my mind.

Katie Gordon
Can we leave that in? Please.

Harriet McAtee
We can leave it in.

Katie Gordon
Um, I forgot what I was saying now. Procrastination,

Harriet McAtee
I think for me,

Katie Gordon
yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I tend to procrastinate. Like about specific categories of tasks. I’m not generally a procrastinator, but there are things that you have that I have to do that I procrastinate.

Katie Gordon
like what?

Harriet McAtee
So money stuff.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. Totally. Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
Because, like for somebody that runs green business, I’m still quite terrified about money.

Katie Gordon
I hate it. Yeah,

Harriet McAtee
it’s gross. Can’t wait for the end of capitalism. But, yeah, so anything to do with money. It’s interesting because like, not often from a business perspective, but like my money, personal money, I often get a bit like procrastinating about. The other thing is anything where I have to interact with the government.

Katie Gordon
Okay, well, that’s understandable.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. Because it terrifies me.

Katie Gordon
Yeah.

Harriet McAtee
But yeah, I think when I find myself procrastinating around work like projects, I’ve tried to reframe that in my mind as like, marination time.

Katie Gordon
Totally.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. I’m like, Oh, this thing just isn’t ready to happen yet. So I’m like, Okay, well, I’m not gonna force it. Because like, maybe there are moments where you, you have to sit down on like, white knuckle it a little bit. But often, I think, I don’t know. Like, for me, Joy is such an important experience. And like, if I’m not feeling joyful about the work that I’m doing, that I’m not particularly interested in doing it. And that’s a very privileged thing for me to say because I love my job.

Katie Gordon
Yeah, I’m not sure I feel joy about doing social media and writing invoices. But yeah, generally speaking, I agree. But I think taking a walk or taking a break from it like can really help.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
Like, it’s not something that you need to like; stop and just focus. But I do make lists. I make a lot of lists.

Harriet McAtee
I do love a list.

Katie Gordon
Yeah. So like, top three tasks got to do today.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
And then, like, non-urgent. I try and be like, what’s the what’s the word for opposite of ambitious?

Harriet McAtee
Modest,

Katie Gordon
modest? And what I want to achieve for the day? Yeah, so that I’m like, pleased?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, I think that’s really good approach.

Katie Gordon
Like trick myself into it, yeah,

Harriet McAtee
I think the other thing I find is often when I procrastinate; it’s because I feel, like you said, overwhelmed by the task at hand was too big. So one of my favourite phrases is like, how do you mean, how do you eat an elephant?

Katie Gordon
Okay,

Harriet McAtee
and it’s like bite by bite

Katie Gordon
Like all it once?

Harriet McAtee
Yeah. So like, if I have an elephant task, and I’m like, phwoar, that’s a big elephant, then what I do is break it down into other smaller tasks first the feet, like the feet, the trunk. The ears. so yeah, So then it feels more manageable. And I’m less likely to procrastinate because even if I don’t feel like I have the capacity to do all of it, I can do a little bit.

Katie Gordon
There’s another animal-themed thing around that’s like, swallow the biggest frog first. Have you heard that one?

Harriet McAtee
No.

Katie Gordon
It’s like, if you think of your tasks, like, I can’t remember, I’m going to describe this badly. But if you think of your tasks, like frogs,

Harriet McAtee
yeah.

Katie Gordon
Like, you swallow the biggest, for I think it’s trying to say like, do the worst thing first.

Harriet McAtee
Okay,

Katie Gordon
so the thing you really don’t want to do? Yeah, do that first.

Harriet McAtee
Okay.

Katie Gordon
And then everything else is kind of a bit like you’ve had a really big fog; a small frog is no big deal.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, it’s all about perspective. Do you ever write things on your to-do list that you’ve already done just to cross them out?

Katie Gordon
No, do you do that? That’s cheating.

Harriet McAtee
I think lots of people do that. Matt is nodding. I think like if it’s like a to-do list at the start of the day because maybe it takes me a little while to be ready to write my list. So I’ve already done a few things.

Katie Gordon
Okay.

Harriet McAtee
And then I write the list, and I’m like, oh, yeah, I’ve already done that.

Katie Gordon
I don’t I fit. I have a three and a half year old, as you know. So my days are like very bookended by child.

Harriet McAtee
Okay.

Katie Gordon
So like, the time that I have to work is quite limited in some ways. So I feel like by the time I get to work often, I feel like I’ve done a day’s work.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, gotcha.

Katie Gordon
If you see what I mean. Yeah, I still I quite often get to the studio and sit and have like a coffee.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah.

Katie Gordon
So I think writing stuff I’ve already done would be like, fed breakfast to a child. Yeah, like argues with child about walking to nursery.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, okay. I see what you mean. Well, maybe our listeners can let us know. Do you write things on your to-do list? Just to cross it off?

Katie Gordon
Maybe I’ll start doing that. Does it make you feel good?

Just for like the dopamine hit.

Okay, try it out. I try it.

Harriet McAtee
Let us know. Um, well, Katie, thank you so much for joining me today before we leave. Where can where can our listeners find you?

Katie Gordon
Online? I’m at everybodystudio.co.uk. Helm Collective is my coaching. In real life, I’m at the studio on Magdalen road in Oxford most days.

Harriet McAtee
Yeah, wonderful. Excellent.

Katie Gordon
Thanks for having me.

Harriet McAtee
My pleasure. Thanks for listening to In Our Experience. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review the podcast. We love hearing what you think, and it makes a really big difference. In the meantime, until the next episode comes out. Why not check us out on our Instagram account at Nourishyogatraining, or pop us an email via our website. See you soon

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