When me and Kate hook up for our second conversation of five, she’s just come home after a week off the grid in a tiny cabin on Windhorse Farm. There she practiced self-care, but don’t tell her I said that as she positively hates that word/concept… both of which she professes to in this conversation.

“It was […] wonderful just to spend time with myself. We don’t often think of ourselves as the friends that we are to ourselves.” ~ Kate Inglis

Besides the self-care-thing she was there for a writing retreat, which gives me a kick in the behind to book a couple of writing retreats for myself. There’s something special to treating yourself to (however long) a time of focus, where the distractions of every-day life at least are minimized. Just a shift of scenery makes a huge difference.

I don’t know much of the novel Kate’s writing (and finished writing during the retreat, which, possibly, might have been the 25th time she’s exclaimed Done! to this particular novel, so who knows!) but I know grief plays a part, and as such, grief, trauma, pain, suffering and feelings all were part of our two-hour+ meandering conversation.

What we fill our lives with, both on an emotional level, but also physically, matter greatly. The food I eat. The clothes I wear. The schampoo I use (or not), the shoes I stuff my feet in (or not…), how much sleep I get, if I ever stick my fingers in the soil, get outside in the sun… all of this impacts the quality of my life.

“What else might I not need to be doing? How else can I edit and curate my experience so that I can get closer to the source of what is healthy for a human being?” ~ Kate Inglis

And the question is, or rather, one question is, what can I pare down? What can I remove from my life that makes it richer, healthier, less toxic? How can I empower myself, take the agency that is mine, by birth, by entitlement (oh how that word is one I have a contentious relationship with. But I am re-shaping my beliefs about it, about entitlement. Choosing to see the positives in it, how it can and should serve. Because yes, for me entitlement has negative connotations, or have had…).

“…to see people who are empowered to swim against the current of where the culture is pushing us. And I don’t care how they do it and I don’t care why they do it, it is just awesome.” ~ Kate Inglis

It is my hope and desire that you will find at least one piece of tankespjärn here, that will have you noodling something or other for a day or two. Have fun!

Kate Inglis is most easily found through herwebsite

Windhorse farm, Nova Scotia

Banff Center for art and creativity

Kate’s tweet about feeling everything, or too much

Matthew Word Bain on Patreon

Episode 59 with Bella I don’t want to do the good thing. I want to do the real thing.