Women: Following their Dreams #5: Kate Reed, Sister Circles, facilitator, coach, author
Today I’m interviewing Kate Reed as part of my Women: Following their Dreams series. My aim in doing this series is to, once a month, introduce you to women who all have one thing in common, they have been brave enough to follow their dreams. Maybe you might be inspired by one of their stories, maybe their story will strike a chord with you, maybe what they are doing is something that you would like to do too, maybe you will find a new interest, talent, idea or realise that these woman are just like you and me and the only thing holding you back is you. So grab a cuppa and take a seat and see where this series might take you.
Kate is a dear friend of mine, one of the good ones that it doesn’t matter how long since you have seen or spoken you always pick up where you left off. Unfortunately we don’t get to see each other often living in different parts of the country but what Kate does is so interesting, so genuine, so kind and so needed that I wanted to introduce you to her, she really is one very special lady.
Meet the gorgeous Kate Reed
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m an ex-Sydney girl and have been living in Byron Bay for over 6 years now with my partner Al . We keep life pretty simple – good friends, good food, getting into nature as much as possible…
My career is a bit of a patchwork quilt (counsellor, youth worker, health coach and business owner) but the one constant amongst it all is my love for facilitating Sister Circles which I have been doing for over 15 years.
Kate & Al living the dream in Byron Bay
For those of us who don’t know, what is a Sister Circle?
The term Sister in this case, extends beyond blood ties and includes women in our life with whom we have a deep connection.
Women have been communing in Circles throughout the ages, sometimes openly, and sometimes in secret, but always with the intention to bear loving witness to the lives of their Sisters in a confidential and safe environment.
The Sister Circles gather on a regular basis and we share our stories and offering support, strength and wisdom to one another. The sharing is beyond every-day conversation, it is a deeper exploration of themes that we are experiences, challenges we are facing and hopes and dreams that we are calling in.
This type of communing has a powerful ripple effect on the women who participate in these Circles, that echoes through their lives in a profoundly positive way.
What led you to Sister Circles initially?
I have two blood sisters and many treasured friends who are like sisters to me. My mum modelled to us the importance of the ‘Sisterhood’ as we were growing up as she herself has a strong posse of special women in her life. I have always loved getting together with other women and sharing our truths in an honest and open way and I guess that is what sparked the first Circle that I ran with my sister Sarah many years ago in a little townhouse in Sydney. It was the positive feedback from that first group that really encouraged me to keep holding Circles. I realised that women are craving that deep connection that comes from opening up and being vulnerable and knowing that they are not alone. The bonding that comes from sharing laughter, tears, stories and wisdom lasts a lifetime and builds strong communities of women who have each other’s back (so to speak) during challenging times.
Having had such a varied career you have recently launched your own website The Sister Circles and decided to make Women’s Circles your main focus. How & why did that come into being?
The Sister Circles website was launched in July this year. It outlines information on what ‘The Sister Circles’ are all about as well as being a vehicle for people to buy and download my book ‘The Sister Circles – A Step-by-Step Guide to Running Powerful Women’s Circles.’ It also has a small selection of Ceremony tools for sale in the little online shop.
You have also written a book, congratulations. Can you talk us through that process?
The book really came out of a giant kick in the pants this year when two beautiful women who I have known since childhood, committed suicide within a month of each other.
It activated me to think deeply about what I am doing in the world and how I could contribute to providing a supportive safety net for women. Writing the book was a way of honouring these women by creating a template whereby anyone can set up a Circle in their own community to create connection, transformation and empowerment by:
◦Allowing women the time and space to tune into their deep and wise knowing.
◦ Creating a space to hear and be heard.
◦ Giving women permission to be vulnerable and raw and true.
◦ Supporting women to give and to receive.
◦ Leading women to self-understanding, compassion and deep healing.
Writing the actual book came easily as the model it is based on has been tried and tested over many years of sitting in Circles with many women. The thing that is blowing my mind the most is the flow that this project has had. There have been no stumbling blocks at all and I truly believe that I am being assisted by helpers beyond this world.
You are well travelled, what is your favourite place to travel and why?
Ahh Vic! Don’t make me choose!
Travel is one of my greatest passions. It fills my cup and stimulates me in every way. Al and I backpack on 95% of our trips. We book our air travel and the first two nights accommodation and make the rest up as we go. Our preference is home-stays in towns and camping in National Parks.
We love adventure travel and are drawn to places that are culturally different to home. We usually take off for 3-6 months every 2 years to explore somewhere new.
Favourite places so far?.. Central and South America, Nepal, South East Asia, Africa, Canada, Middle East .. I could go on and on.. every place has it’s own unique appeal and we still have so much more to see!
What are your favourite spots in Byron?
The beaches are amazing and most us who live there would go to the beach at least once a day and twice in Summer. My fave beaches are at Brunswick Heads and Main Beach in Byron.
The hinterland is also extremely special and we are blessed to be surrounded by national parks and rain forests. Minyon Falls is spectacular especially when the water is flowing and we have lots of friends who live on properties with creeks and rivers so paradise is everywhere.
Looks pretty close to paradise to me!
What’s your favourite meal?
I’m a big foodie and I LOVE to eat. I’m also a vegetarian so it’s big green salads and smoothies in summer and soups and roasted veggies in winter. I also love Japanese, Italian, Asian and Indian food.
What are you currently reading? Do you recommend?
I’ve got two books on the go at the moment:
Return of the Bird Tribes by Ken Carey
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
I highly recommend Return of the Bird Tribe. I’ve been working my way through it slowly as there is much to ponder on each page. The material in it is ‘channelled’ from the spirit world and it has got me thinking deeply about our connection to nature and animals and the purpose of our time here on earth.
Any thoughts you would like to leave us with?
I guess the thing that keeps coming through this Circle work is how much we crave and really need connection in our lives. It sustains us and gives us a sense of belonging and purpose to be part of something greater than ourselves.
In Modern Western society we have been misled into be believing that independence makes us powerful, but from my experience and observation, there is no joy in isolation. Happiness comes from sharing our lives and connecting our hearts.
Thank you so much Kate for sharing with us today. Your work truly is inspiring & I wish you every success for the Sister Circles.