Visionary #7: Poems and Dreams with Pause Place

Katie has spent her year so far diving into work, seeing clients at her Harley Street clinic, or in the cafe at the end of the road: “Being open, experiencing vulnerability, ups and downs but being ever so grateful for the wonderful life I live”. To Katie, Pause Place is- in her words- “the most nourishing, beautiful, exciting and healing adventure that I could have ever dreamt of. When I sit down with a client, I fall out of the conceptual framework of my mind and into the vast mystery of the unknown. There is nothing quite like that experience. I feel it in every part of my being and it feels like home”.Pause Place also recognise the power of dreams, implementing dream study into their client sessions: “I have always been fascinated by dreams and it is only in recent years that I have come to respect the wisdom that is carried through imagery, archetypes and the messages we are given from the beyond” says Katie “I have quite vivid dreams at the moment and enjoy uncovering the mystery that they bring”.

“Self care is having time on my own to be”– Katie Abbott, founder of Pause Place.

Have you ever had a proper chance to take a pause in your life? Katie Abbott is advocating her clients to do exactly that at Pause Place, a practice that she co-runs with her friend and mentor Bill Cumming. Pause Place offers training for those wishing to be life coaches using a grounded and spiritual process. Katie describes the work that Pause Place does as “Holding every human being in a place of unconditional love. Honouring both our human and spiritual nature and allowing love, presence and connection to bring meaning and depth to our lives”.

Katie was led to create Pause Place when her clients started asking where they could train to do the work that Katie does: “After recommending lots of different courses but finding that nothing felt quite right, I decided I had to run something myself”. At Pause Place Katie works inclusively with a wide variety of people: “There is nothing like working with someone who is disillusioned with everything the world has to offer and to see them experience the simple beauty of finding home within” she explains.

I asked Katie how she creates an open heart in a busy and active world: “Well, I suppose to be open to knowing that we are all the same. Bill says that the same four things reside in all of us. We all want to love, we all want to be loved, we all want to know that we matter, and that we have a choice. I like to remember that we are all the same, within. We can also create an open heart by simply being open; smiling, loving, talking, sharing, being vulnerable, being honest and being open to everyone” Katie tells me.

There is such a wide spectrum of pain and love in the world, that we- as humans do- tend to feel insecure and out of sync at times. Katie encourages clients that they use trust in their own ways to get back to balance: “For some people it is exercise, for others nature, for some music, meditation, the list goes on. For me, it is poetry and reading words of the great mystics”. There are so many books on personal growth and development, especially around this half of the year, that I wondered what kinds of books that Pause Place recommend to clients. “Again, probably poetry” Katie says “Anything by Daniel Ladinsky– he has created wonderful collections of poetry, containing words from spiritual teachers from the East and the West. I struggle to recommend self-help books and personal development books these days and I prefer to encourage people to trust the wisdom within themselves”.

Outside of work, Katie enjoys time with her family, her two boys and her partner Nigel. “They keep me grounded and remind me that the greatest spiritual practice is everyday life. Chopping wood and carrying water. I love being with my friends too. The wonderful human beings in my life who I can chat with, laugh with, share with. I go to a lot of galleries as Nigel is an artist and I also love listening to music, reading poetry books, smelling oils, painting my nails and lying horizontal on a sofa. Also being with my Mum and Dad- they are the greatest support and allow me to do the work that I do by helping with the boys. I also love my friend Henri because we see all sides of each other, can be utterly honest, and share all the challenges, discoveries and pitfalls that one inevitably faces on a spiritual path. We also give each other foot massages, read to each other and dance like crazy people in the sitting room to music turned up to full volume!”.

Pause Place are gearing up for a busy year; their life coach training programme begins in May and runs over a course of 6 months. “A Pause Place day, once the training begins, involves creating a beautiful space with candles, incense, flower… welcoming the participants, allowing them to relax deeply, to feel comfortable and to know that all of them are embraced and accepted exactly as they are. And then the magic begins…” Katie says. Katie also takes clients to retreats in Italy and to India. “Kerela, in Southern India will always be a place I feel grateful for experiencing” she explains.

Switching over to discussing Katie’s own self care routine, we talk taking space for yourself with a busy routine: “My only resolution for this year was to mediate for 10 minutes per day. It is so easy to prioritise other things, especially with young children, but most days I do take this time to remember that life exists beyond our everyday perception. A connection with the beyond requires our attention and care”. Over to aesthetics, Katie tends to favour cotton or silk dresses- bought from trips to India- and the wearing the colour white, as well as “lace up shoes, pink nails, pink lips, my heart locket necklace that was given to me by the first year of Pause Place participants and probably rose or essential oil perfume. I have used Dr Hauschka for years to clean my face, and then after that I use a tinted moisturiser”.

So what does it take to be a life coach? “You don’t need to be perfect to coach, only human” Katie says “If you have a desire to work with others intimately, to have meaningful conversations with other people about life and what it means to be alive, there is nothing in the world quite like it”.

Find the Pause Place website here.