Current Clients



Learn more

I’ve got five kids, I’m a queer feminist, and I just might be the only life coach in the world who doesn’t believe in the Law of Attraction.

Hi, I'm katherine


Browse by date

My Main Job Is To Not Abandon Myself 

*My Story

Yesterday was the autumn equinox, and we’ve officially tipped over that fulcrum point, tumbling toward autumn. I can feel the momentum of what’s coming, the dwindling of gold and the surging of winter, how the leaves shrivel but a fierce momentum is picking up– and I can feel too the energy of what’s approaching in my own life, swimming toward me like eager seals in the bay– a new book of poems that’s SO close to completion, my creativity program for blocked artists opening in October, and my birthday in November.

These things are coming. The holidays are coming. There will be merriment, berries, a cohort of brave creatives, a slim volume of vulnerable words, and hopefully a new tweed jacket in my fall wardrobe.

But this weekend, friend, I want to tell you something– I can’t even think about those things. I feel too daunted by my own life.

That feels like an unwise admission. Maybe even an appalling and almost dangerous one.

After all, I’m a writer and a coach whose whole thing is that life is impossible but we can do it anyway; that this world is a mess but we can make it gorgeous anyway; that everything is a disaster but it’s also a goddamn miracle anyway.

That’s my whole thing. And I have gotten quite good, over the years, at finding ways to navigate through life, even as someone who is naturally quite anxious and terrified, who is scatterbrained and absentminded, who doesn’t like anything sticky or poky or too hot or cold or itchy or tedious, which is most of life.

But here I am, feeling wildly daunted by life.

Honestly, it’s the gd sportsball that might undo me. We got everybody’s schedules this week, and heaven help us we will be driving people places seven days a week. I understand that some people love this part, but it makes me want to shriek. I am The Scream emoji. It feels relentless, unsustainable.

And my own distress feels silly to me, embarrassing, in poor taste. In so many ways, our family has finally landed. We are flourishing and thriving on this green growing island, the kids are blooming and funny and wonderful, and Nick and I are still in love with each other after 7 years of marriage. I love my work, I adore my clients, I can breathe in this soft damp air. I can walk down to the sea, for heaven’s sake! And I am buoyed and sustained by trees and flowers in this living, breathing place.

So I do not want to feel daunted. I want to feel joyous, grateful, brimming with generosity and gratitude, spilling over with mirth and delight and magic and fun plans.

But oh, friend– instead, I feel daunted. And worse, I feel anxious and embarrassed that I do.

Listen, we will figure the schedule out. (We are creative and wily and excellent problem-solvers.)

But that isn’t what’s really important here. What’s crucial in this moment, like all intense moments, is for to remember that my main job right now is not to fix it.

My main job is to STAY WITH myself.

By which I mean that the most important thing for me to do here is NOT TO ABANDON the part of me who is so very, very daunted.

Not to shame her for being weak; not to guilt her for feeling big feelings at such princess problems; not to berate her for not being grateful that our kids have such full, abundant lives. And it is also not my job to shut her up or tell her to put her head down and suck it up. And it isn’t even my job to fix it, to figure it out, to make it better, or reassure her.

My main job is just to stay with her.

To be in that discomfort.

To say gently, “Oh honey, you feel so daunted, huh? It feels so impossible, doesn’t it?”

And she nods tearfully and wildly and then I hold myself in my own arms. (It’s very romantic.)

This is the holy secret of everything I know:

I need to stay with myself. That’s where the good stuff happens.

It takes some muscle, some energy, but I stay with all the judgy arrogant scornful ones in me, and the crumpled despairing exhausted ones, and I put a finger to my lips for all the eager excited ones with Very Good Ideas and Helpful Suggestions and Complicated Solutions and reassure them that we will come to them in good time. (We will.) For now, I just stay with the part of me who is daunted, in this season, in this moment.

This energy of steady witness is the most powerful magic I know.

Everything in me wants to get OUT of the discomfort: rant and rave about the cruelty and futility of sportsball, spray my feelings out on my family, yank my kids from their activities in a huff, yell at my husband, hire an army of assistants I can’t really afford, and scoff at myself for being overwhelmed then go into a panic-driven problem-solving hyperdrive and draw up unbearably complex timelines and flow charts and schedules.

And not that those aren’t marvelous ideas, but first I just stay in the uncomfortable part. I stay with the self who is so, so daunted. I let it be okay that it feels so intense.

Then a remarkable alchemy happens.

Suddenly, being daunted is just this one particular human experience I’m having, not an indictment or a danger or a disaster.

Let me say it again– this shift is subtle but profound. I go from feeling broken to seeing myself as someone who is just experiencing a kind of human weather pattern. I can have compassion on this person. I can even observe her with a kind of amused fondness.

This changes everything.

Because with that compassionate, curious energy, I am finally– for the first time in this whole situation– available to get creative about it. Instead of being so dismayed by my own overwhelm that I try to shut it down or crowbar my way out of it, I can just take it into consideration.

It’s like my wisdom comes back online.

This is what I do with my clients again and again– I stay ruthlessly gently loyally WITH them until they can be there with themselves too, fiercely and tenderly being present with their truths and complexities even as life tosses and twirls them– and this profound holding of presence gives them enough space to see and breathe and consider. (Incidentally. I have this feeling that there’s someone out there who is longing for coaching but is holding back: I’m pretty booked, but I can’t shake the feeling, so if it’s you, please email me and we can talk.)

I hold this profound space for my clients, my coach holds it for me, and bit by bit, we all find we are more and more able to do it for ourselves.

It looks like nothing; just a closing of the eyes, a slowing of the breath. A softening toward myself. A silent reminder: I’m here, I’m right here, I’ve got you.

This is a deepening of this year’s work, echoing my personal theme for 2023, which is: I’ve got you. You’re safe with me.

Such subtle, powerful magic: to simply stay with myself through every experience. The waves still toss, the winds howl, but I am not so afraid. New things are coming this way, and so I will navigate them.

As long as I can stay with myself, then I am not alone; I am in the excellent company of myself.

And nothing is quite so daunting then.


Katherine in the Autumn

Just 7 minutes, because you're absurdly busy. 7 minutes to clear your mind and refresh your spirit. 7 minutes to thank your fierce tender holy sacred tired body. 7 minutes that'll leave you centered, grounded, & clear-- like the epic fucking badass you are.

a free grounding meditation

take 7 minutes for your heart

& come home to yourself

reader faves

browse by category

my story

epic fucking badass

life is beautiful

life is hard


secret mystics



Learn more

I’ve got five kids, I’m a queer feminist, and I just might be the only life coach in the world who doesn’t believe in the Law of Attraction.

welome to my blog



I write things for women with big, gorgeous, COMPLICATED lives. I help women become epic fucking badasses… but I still retain my right to cry at every diaper commercial ever made.

Things get personal on Instagram

follow @katherine_north_saltspring



Sustenance for the journey -- notes from a fellow
traveler to remind you of your own magic.