# 2 - The mid-life strategist
In this week's episode:
A talk with Kay Newton
Kay is an award-winning International Speaker, enthusiastic author and Midlife Strategist, whose clients love her straight-talking and no-nonsense practical holistic guidance in dealing with life at 50+. Kay’s books include: ‘The art of Midlife Stress Busting - Seven Steps to Declutter Your Mind Without Pills or Potions’ ‘How to Clean Your Home Organically - De-Stress Your Surroundings’ ‘Tips and Tricks for Stress-Free Downsizing - A Step by Step Guide to Moving On’ Kay is also a co-author of the six Kindle books in the ‘Quick Fix For’ series, and a contributing author to ‘Hot Women Rock’ and ‘A Journey of Riches’. Originally from Leeds, Yorkshire, the UK in her early 20’s she jumped on board a private yacht leaving Hull marina for sunnier shores in Spain. She refused to swim back. Kay lives a simple, stress-free life by the beach in Mallorca.
You can get Kay’s free Table of Life Guide at https://www.kaynewton.com/free-gift
Kay Newton Sun, 6/13 2:03PM 30:24 SUMMARY KEYWORDS life, people, leg, walked, zanzibar, big, days, important, space, job, camino, women, pandemic, connection, work, empty nest, table, sit, boat, takeaway 00:12 Hey everyone Today I'm talking to Kay Newton. Kay is a midlife strategist. Welcome, Kay. 00:20 Thank you for having me, Kate. so wonderful to be here. 00:24 Oh, I'm so excited to talk to you. I'm so intrigued by your story. So maybe we could just start out by you telling us about this amazing journey that you've had in your life. 00:37 It's interesting, isn't it? When you think when you get further down the road, your journey is obviously bigger. And I noticed this, I'm not buying them at the minute because of COVID. But when you buy a flight, and you have to fill in fill in your birth date, it seems to be an eternal age. Now I have to scroll to get to my birthdate. So yes, definitely noticed. I have lots of stories I could tell you. I think the biggest one and big change in my life happened in my 20s. So after university, I got myself a job in retail hated the job. My parents had a very small boat and when the local marinas in the north of England and this mega boat mega boat, mega yacht, private yacht came into the Marina, and I ended up jacking in my job getting on this boat sail into my Orca with strip three very strange men that I've never met before. And I tell everybody, I never swam back. And that happened to me 35 years ago. Wow. So yeah, been here, an eternity been here longer in Spain than I have in England. And that really started my old my journey off, worked on boats for a while, then started my own cleaning business working for the rich and famous looking after their Kay Newton Page 1 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aiholiday homes. And then we bought a property which needed renovating met my husband, he was from South Africa. We made my yagura home became a landlady extraordinaire, working from home as we raised the kids. And I think it was just one of those days watching the kids grow up by the pool that I realized that I was going to be having an empty nest very soon. And that's what got me interested in coaching. So I've been coaching over 20 years now. And we haven't another huge big turn of events in our life in 2015. Both boys have by that time flown the nest. And my husband got offered a job in Zanzibar Tanzania. So we sold how our lovely home our five bedroomed four acre property, our electric luxury lifestyle and went to live in a two roomed tin roof towers by the near the beach in Zanzibar. And he was there for an 18 month contract to build a hotel, which turned into nearly five years. So that was an interesting time. So So there have been an empty nest, I ended up with no nest. And whilst he was there, I was still a resident in Spain. And so I had to use utilize some time I had to be in the country, my engine at three days. And so one of the years I walked the Camino de Santiago, which is across the top of Spain. So that was seven engine 29 kilometers, over 34 days. And we'd been in Zanzibar with 20 kilos of luggage thinking that was an awful lot at the time, but when I walked, I walked with seven and a half kilos, and survived very, very happily for those 34 days with seven and a half kilos. And that's when you make the realization that simplicity and space are one of the key things that we've forgotten about in our modern day world. And so that's why I've become quite an advocate for those things, simplicity and space. So that's in a nutshell, very quick. 04:18 That's an amazing journey. Um, I think what really struck me when I was reading through the free gift that you offer on your website, was just about that idea of the epidemic of dizziness that I know that in North America at least it's almost a badge of honor to be busy. Can you tell me a little bit more about that that idea of the epidemic of dizziness. 04:45 So when you think about it when you don't have time to stop when you don't have time to really sit and connect with nature. You You miss out on the magic of life and the in this space, where we have our you know, our brainwaves and our, you know, our great thoughts. And, you know, we know this through history, but we've we've lost that ability, we're so busy filling up our days, and our time. And I think it's not until somebody says to you, actually less is more stop, breathe, you know, connect to nature, go and do some exercise, I'll just go and set that you realize Actually, it's, it's Pro. It's negative, it doesn't help you. It only causes dis ease, really. And we are like sheep in a way, we follow what everybody else is doing. So if everybody else is busy, we feel we need to be busy too. And it's not necessarily that way around. It's about getting curious about why you're busy. And why you're doing what you're doing, I suppose because I jumped on board, a yacht, and in my 20s and did things differently, didn't get that nine to five job hated having my nine to five Kay Newton Page 2 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aijob that I don't, I do do things differently. everybody laughs at me, but you know, one of my phrases is every day is a holiday. And that's how I see life. It's meant to be left, not just waiting for those 14 days or whatever it is you have per year of holidays to go and enjoy yourself every day should be enjoyment. 06:38 Do you think that that buisiness and the focus on working Do you think that connection can be made to also the accumulation of things when you talk about having your seven and a half kilos on the Camino trail? do those two things go together? 06:56 Most definitely. And you know, when you think about it, logically, it makes sense, doesn't it? You know, you're having a nine to five job, you're getting your wage, you're paying for your mortgage, you're paying to put your kids through education, you're paying to look, the part, your clothes, your car, that the whole thing must take those holidays, which we talked about. If you take away all those letters, you don't actually need any of that. So you don't need to compete with the Joneses or with society. And that, in turn, is extremely useful because then you're not harming nature in the same way. Because you're not buying for the sake of buying the new iPhone or the new, you know, upgrade or whatever it may be. Because she don't need it. Actually, it's not important. 07:50 Do you think that during the pandemic, there's been any shift in mindset in that direction, or maybe in the other direction wanting to accumulate more things? 07:59 It's really strange, isn't it? Because I think we've really got, we have a product in England called Marmite, by phrase with the Marmite as you either love it or hate it. And again, I think there's a really as becoming a division between people who cannot wait to go back to normality as they see it, to go back to where life was before the pandemic. And there's people who have gone, you know, thank goodness for the pandemic, I had to stop, I had to think. And now I don't want to go back to the old ways. So I think there's definitely becoming a divide between two sides of those who can't wait to get back into the process of, of living our modern day life. And those who are going to you know what, we can do this much better, we can find a different way. Kay Newton Page 3 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.ai08:53 Yeah, I've been asking just people in my life recently about do they feel apprehensive that our vaccine schedule is now sped up? Do they have any feeling around? Boy, I'm gonna have to return to how potentially how I was before? Yeah, it's, it's fascinating. 09:16 I think the thing we lost and has been taken away from us, through our lifestyle, and we live our education system, particularly, is the thought of getting curious or being that black sheep of the family and going Hang on a minute, why do I have to do it that way? Who says that I have to behave in this way? It doesn't sit well with me is there not something else I can do? And when you think about the western lifestyle that we've had, at the end of it, what do we really achieve from it, we achieve dis ease. We are not well, individuals because of it. Which doesn't make sense. It's completely but you have to do You will have to sit and listen to yourself and listen to your heart and go, what is it that I want to achieve in my life? I look at people who are constantly saying, you know, I and 10,000 this week in dollars in sales and and you don't need that if you know what your NF is. You can define it in a completely different way. And the humility of walking the Camino with just your seven kilos, I can understand why the Buddhist monk has he has a robe and a bowl and nothing else and is completely happy and at one with the planet. 10:42 Just the irony of how simple that is, and how you miss it. Yeah, very bad, very big. So is that what you mean when you use the term sensibly selfish? 10:59 So women as well, you know, we were so good at putting everybody else before I saw us at night. And there's any way that as mothers particularly, you know, we we service and serve other people before we look after ourselves. But when you do it that way around, it's actually the wrong way around, you know, and I learned this, you know, through my life as well. You become stressed and well, and not the person you really want to be people want to be around. Madness really isn't If so, if you look after yourself first, so your cup is overflowing, then you you can be and that energy will come out in the people around you so that they then take from the cup, but they take the good energy. So then they become much more happier and content in themselves, rather than you being completely empty constantly and trying to give more. Because all you're giving then is negative thoughts and feelings and energy, which doesn't serve anybody. Absolutely. Kay Newton Page 4 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.ai12:07 So it's this I you know, again, reading through some of your writing, is this what you mean, when you talk about not focusing on one area of your life, that maybe you find one thing that's not working and what I read in your, in your work was that, you know, as women, sometimes we can just focus on this one thing, a financial problem or a family problem. Tell me more about that. 12:37 So again, it comes back to the way our society is set up in many respects, you know, if we have an illness, or we have a problem, we go to a medical doctor. And they will diagnose that issue and will give us a prescription an hour we walk, and that maybe takes two 510 minutes. But there's no time for that person, that doctor to really look at you as a whole and go. Perhaps your headache has got nothing to do with your head. Maybe it's something to do with your back. And why is your back, misaligned? Is it because she are under stress? Or is it because she doing something like sitting every day? It's the same principle raining, we are holistic beings. So what's the point in just looking at one area, we really need to look at all areas and I call it the life table. And the reason why I use the analogy of a table is if you can imagine an old fashioned farmhouse, sturdy wooden table with four legs. You can put anything you like on that table, good or bad, but the table will stand. We can also be adaptable, parading we look at the four areas and the tabletops are the four legs. And the tabletop when you've got them are balanced and they're not wobbly. No matter what life throws at you you will be you'll be able to cope and be able to survive. So that 14:16 analogy of the table, I guess my question to you would be what is the leg that most women are missing? 14:25 Like it's not so much that they're missing? It's probably that it's wobbly. And I think it depends on you. We're all you unique and individual and different. So I wouldn't say there's one that stands out more than the others. So the table legs that I work with are health, connection, knowledge and financial flow. You can imagine health a big one, and that can be literally sitting with a person and questioning them about what What's going on in their lives? are they eating? Well? Are they sleeping? Well? 15:05 Are they exercising? You know, are they dealing with relationships that are, you know, causing Kay Newton Page 5 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aithem pain or grief. But it's a matter of, it's like having an attorney and you really need to peel off the layers and talk to them individually to find out where they are with their health. When you've got that table leg awareness, then they can go off and do the work they need, whether it's drinking more water, or changing their sleep habits, or improving their exercise that will strengthen that leg. Connections a big one. And I quite often wish I had a camera when I say this to people, because I'd have a lovely garden gallery of really strange looking faces. So we think of, you know, when we think of people that we have, in our circle of influence, we'll probably be able to name five or 10 people. And when I say to them, that's great. But if everybody's having issues like you are five or 10 people is really not enough for you to be able to reach out to somebody who may be able to help you. Your circle of influence needs to be bigger, around 30 people. And so when I use the word 30, just like your eyebrows went up, then people go, Wow, how many? And that's just so like, for example, if your business went down, who would you approach to say, you know, my, my business has gone bankrupt, I need some help to sort this out. Or can you put me in touch with someone who can give me another job or, you know, can help you restart, have you got somebody who could be a client of mine, whatever it may be, you may want somebody to support you, you may need a bed to stay on. And then if they've got problems with their parents or their kids or their own issues, then it's going to be a no. So you've got to have a big enough circle of influence to be able to reach out to them and say, I need help with this. And also for them to be able to reach back if they need help, or reciprocation. So once you've worked on your connections, and making sure those connections are are strong, good people, that's the other thing, not to be people who are constantly taking from you, then then that leg becomes 30. The third leg financial flow. it's twofold, you know, it's knowing your enough knowing how much you need to survive on. And quite often women are not really in charge of this not not all, but particularly if they're in a couple's relationship, it tends to be the men who look after the finances. So knowing what you need, knowing your enough, and then also your charity side. So part of that financial flow is giving back to community, which when you give back to community and you feel holding yourself which comes to be part of the tabletop as well. So so that leg, once you've got that information in front of you becomes important and becomes that leg become stable again. And the last final leg is connect his knowledge. And especially our age, you know, we've we've learned so much a lot of it we won't have a certificate for if you don't do the audit and sit down and go, you know, what do I know? What would I like to know more about? And what do I definitely don't want to learn about you're wasting space and time. And also you're not, you know, you could be helping finding new career. Go do charity work, whatever it may be that you want to do at that stage in your life. But if you don't do that audit first to know where you are, what you want to learn and what you definitely don't want to learn what you can pass on to someone else, then you've may be missing a really deep skill set that you're very, very good at that you haven't really thought about. That can you know help younger people or can help your community so it's important to do that. And then we have this massive great big wooden top on the top. And this is big because it's a big part of our lives. It's to know ourselves to know myself. warts and all. You know what am I good at? What am I not good at? What What do I like doing? What are my skill Kay Newton Page 6 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aisets? What are my passions, my values, my beliefs. And once you've sort of gone through all that. Then no matter what is thrown at you, you've already got the stability below you to be able to cope with me forward. So it's a process it takes time to deal with. 20:04 I love that I love that combination of things to consider. Two things stand out. For me their connection is something that I don't think a lot of people realize the impact on your health of having good human connection in your life, I always go back to that wonderful Harvard study of human development where they, you know, followed people over the course of a lifetime, it's one of the biggest studies of human health. And that they found that surprisingly, the thing that impacted health the most was having connected relationships, more so than anything else. 20:48 And choosing your relationships wisely. It's okay to have relationships. But if they're negative people constantly in your life, who pull you down, who don't support you, then the connection is not a good one. And it definitely needs to be reciprocal. You have to you have to want to help them, and they have to want to help you. And you know, you can, you can take time to make those. But it's been fascinating about the, you know, the process of the Internet, and particularly with COVID is that you can reach out to anybody in the world. You know, I've just been talking before this to a lady in Canada I have never met. And yeah, I feel as if I've known her for a long time. I have another lady in Panama, another lady in Argentina, another lady in New Zealand. These become important people in your life. And in today's world, we are definitely connecting in a different way. But it's doing it's making the effort to go out because people won't come to you, you need to go to them to start with. So yeah, important. Very important. What was the other thing that stood out for you? 21:58 I think that idea of knowledge is so interesting, because you know, the term that comes up over and over, and I'm sure you hear it in your work is this idea of imposter syndrome that women will even if they're very well qualified, they have lots of certifications, they say, I feel like an imposter when I'm in the room, I wonder if anybody's going to figure out that I'm not meant to be there. And I love the idea that you said take an inventory of all of your knowledge, not ones that are necessary or not knowledge that's necessarily, you know, validated by a certificate, but everything I think that's amazing, I just wonder in your work, do you find that that women will say, you know, but I don't do they have that kind of imposter feeling? Kay Newton Page 7 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.ai22:46 Not all women and there will be there will be ones who are quite, you know, quite confident, but it's still not made a realization that they've got some skills there. That can become important later in life. I always think of, you know, the way we have our computers with all the different types of what do you call it now float lost the word here we go my threads gone? Yeah, we've got all the different types of italics and different writing styles we can have, you know, we wouldn't have had that if somebody hadn't, you know, been involved in a course in calligraphy at some point. We do this, you know, we, you know, maybe you've got a passion for cooking. You know, cooking then leads you to other skills because you can be organized you know, you can you can work out numbers and it goes on and on. But until you sit there and really sit down and you know, what do I love doing? What am I good at? You know, I'm a great organizer, but I wouldn't have put that on a on a CV anyway, it's just something that I do naturally. It's not until somebody says to you, but you organize really well that you realize that actually it's a really good skill to have. So yeah, taking an inventory is really good and and I loved the part about What don't you like to do because a lot a lot of women particularly if they're running their own business, you know, they doing stuff that they don't like doing and when and if they gave it to somebody else to do and frees them up to do the things they love doing it unless you do the audit you wouldn't know. 24:33 So helped me to understand the work that you're doing then as a midlife strategist. So I've heard the tabletop and it sounds like that's such an amazing audit to do, but tell me maybe more about the process of your work. 24:48 So for me, again, it comes down to simplicity. We're all unique individual people. And for me, the most important thing is to give space for the people. And to know that the work we do together is in a sacred space. And I'll hold that for you. So that you can find the answers that you need. And I think that makes it very simple. We, you know, we can go through the, the table of life audit so that you can see where you are, Jews got to do the work, I can only be there to support you doing the work. And I think that becomes important, which is what we went and we started with right at the beginning, you know, the fact that we're all busy doing, but we're human beings. And this is a big, you know, wake up call that we need time to be on, it's in that space where the magic happens. So for me, it's just about I don't run programs. And the reason why I don't run a program is because I feel that you we do get some benefit from a program. But because we're all unique and individual, you'll only get a percentage of benefit from doing that, you know, a program with 20 other people. But that'd be something of you comes out of it going, but I'm missing something. So it's about holding space for you as an individual. And celebrating that uniqueness. So that you can find your own way forward. I think that's a, you know, really key. And that's why I call myself a Kay Newton Page 8 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aimidlife strategist, not a coach. 26:27 There's so many coaches out there. Nobody needs fixing. We're not fixes, you know, the person is able to fix themselves, it's about you holding space, challenging them definitely, to think of things differently. 26:44 But it's not to do the work for them. So yeah, that's okay for me, if that makes sense. Absolutely. 26:54 So maybe you could just give our listeners, three takeaways, something that you would, you would think of the top three things to think about as a woman over 50 if you're trying to simplify your life. 27:11 So the first one comes from my experience on the Camino. And that it's to have a step by step process. So when you walk the Camino, you know that Santiago de Compostela, yes, 729 kilometers away, that's the big picture. But the little picture is getting out of bed every morning, putting your walking boots on, putting your backpack on your back, and setting off, okay, you have to find a yellow arrow along the way to guide you. But that's all you need to know, you don't need to know where you're going to sit, sit and drink a coffee, who you're going to be walking with that day where you're going to sleep that night, it's irrelevant, the big picture is way down the line. And to get there, you have to take those step by step processes every day. So that's the first one, have a big picture. But work on your step by steps. And then it becomes simple. And I think my second takeaway is, if it sounds complicated, it probably is. So you've two choices. pare it down so that it's no longer complicated. So you can come back to that step by step process. If you find yourself you can't do that, then put it in the bin because it's not relevant if it's complicated, find a way making it uncomplicated. I used to have a saying where I used to think of it a big wall behind me and in my youth I would have definitely found a way to climb over it, kicked it with my boots on dug a hole and and he got some dynamite and blown it out whatever it would have been. Now what I prefer to do is sit with my back to the wall and wait and contemplate until it disappears on its own accord and quite often it will do and that comes to having that space again. And the third one I suppose the third takeaway is really you know what we've been talking about the table of life when your table is strong no matter what life is life throws at you, you can cope. So really work on that table work on that your four legs and knowing yourself intimately your table top and then Kay Newton Page 9 of 10 Transcribed by https://otter.aiyou can you can cope your you'll have a wonderful life. 29:41 Amazing. So this has been so great to talk to you today. Where Where can we find out more about your work? 29:49 So you can find me on social media and decay Newton and my website Kay newton.com. So yeah, come and kind of say hi 29:58 antastic so So we'll make sure that all of the information is in the show notes for the podcast today. So listeners can go and just link from those notes. Thank you so much for joining me today. This has just been so fantastic and 30:15 pleasure. It's gone very, very quick. And thank you so much for having me. Take care. Thank you. Bye bye.
About the show
The Age Sister Podcast is where Kate talks with an eclectic mix of guests about issues related to being a woman in midlife.
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