1. What is your book The Radiant Life Project: Awaken Your Purpose, Heal Your Past, Transform Your Future about and why did you write it?
The Radiant Life Project is my offering to the larger world that yearns for deep transformative healing and wellbeing. It’s a compilation of my 15+ years of clinical psychotherapy experience, combined with the gems I’ve acquired on my personal inner journey. Inclusive of modalities such as neuroscience, Buddhist psychology, creativity and art therapy, Internal Family Systems therapy, and so much more — this book is a jam-packed self-healing masterclass. Readers who are ready to dive into their inner journey and monumentally re-shape their life for the better will find themselves in these pages.
I chose to write The Radiant Life Project in an effort to reach more people than I could in my psychotherapy practice alone, and offer the deep transformative healing of my work on a larger scale. The truth of present-day society is that people are not as alright as they seem. Collectively and individually there’s a great deal of pain and suffering, which ultimately can lead to growth and healing if people have the tools to process it successfully. This book is a timely resource for this particular moment on our planet, and will have a profoundly positive impact for those who are willing to practice its teachings.
2. You worked 15+ years a licensed psychotherapist. In 2023 you no longer offered psychotherapy services, but now have stepped fully into your role as a radiant life coach, holistic healer, and transformative guide for people meandering the journey of life. Can you talk a little bit about that journey? Why did you make the transition? And, what is the difference between the psychotherapy services you offer and the services you offer as a radiant life coach?
After working tirelessly on the front lines of the Covid pandemic, I experienced profound burnout unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I wasn’t sure at the time what was misaligned within me, because I had always loved my psychotherapeutic practice — but I knew I needed to inquire deeply within myself and figure it out for my own health and the integrity of my professional work. I took a five-month sabbatical in 2022 where I explored my burnout in great depth, discovering that I had reached the end of one chapter of my professional journey and was being called to initiate something that could bloom from the foundation of my clinical practice. It was during my sabbatical that my book, The Radiant Life Project, truly came to life, as did my Radiant Life Coaching practice.
I changed both professionally and personally during this time, and recognized that the diagnostic, pathology-based medical model of psychotherapy no longer aligned with the healing offerings I wanted to bring to the world. I felt called to hold a perspective of growth and healing in my work rather than one focused on disease and dysfunction. The psychotherapy offerings of my past were tethered to a medical framework that grew to feel stifling, whereas Radiant Life Coaching felt boundless. I was able to integrate the depth of practice and eclectic training of my clinical background with this new model of holistic growth work for an experience brimming with possibility and empowerment for clients. My new coaching framework attracted a different type of client who was less attached to their illness or disease and more open to potential and growth. When a person believes in their capacity for growth, the inner work becomes accessible in new and exciting ways. It’s incredible to witness the depth and transformation accessible to a person who consciously chooses to remove self-imposed limitations and explore the extent to which they can thrive.
3.You write, “Fine is not going to cut it. Surviving is not thriving…” How can someone move from surviving to thriving if they are faced with the demands of the world and responsibilities of their life, such as raising children, working a job, and taking care of everything else their family may need?
This is a profound question that undoubtedly affects most people in this era of hustle culture and societal narratives of never-ending productivity. The very reason why this work is so essential is to combat the external pressures so many people feel that keep them from the freedom and peace their authentic Self seeks. These days, we’re expected to pour time, love, and energy into everyone and everything except ourselves. Not only does this under-resourced state keep you in a continuous loop of resentment and burnout, but it limits your ability to give generously and genuinely to others.
Surviving becomes thriving when a person redirects their time and effort away from others and towards themselves. This isn’t selfish, as society will have you believe, but an act of self love. My work centers around the belief that you can only truly benefit others if you have enough inner resources to sustain yourself first. This is a process where your attention to your own trauma, wounds, and maladaptive patterns fosters a new baseline of sustenance that allows you to serve others with your overflow — not from the bottom scraps of what’s left of your already overextended energy. You must rewrite the narratives that tell you to focus outside yourself first and attend to yourself last. Prioritizing gentleness and care with yourself is the first step in beginning a journey to thriving.
4. You talk about the power of curiosity. How can someone cultivate curiosity in their life?
Curiosity is simply adding a non-judgmental question mark to your thoughts, experiences, and interactions. It’s the idea that you could learn something new if only you refrain from closing the doors on your mind and heart. When you approach the people and experiences in your life with the possibility that there’s a lot you don’t know, you drop the rigid barriers within yourself that perceive the world as limited and predictable. It’s like reading between the lines and discovering an entire universe that lives within the spaces you had previously glossed over. Shifting to a perspective of curiosity is a simple process, but it takes practice — especially if you habitually default to judgment or rigidity. The best way to practice approaching your life with curiosity is to take a second glance at what you think you know, question the people and ideas you disagree with, and see if you can learn something. Inquire from a new perspective to see something you thought you had figured out from a fresh vantage point. The more you practice allowing space to be surprised, to learn something new, to understand someone deeper — the more you embody curiosity and open yourself to its gifts.
5. Can you talk about your own journey? Were there times in your life when you felt like you were only surviving. How did you transition from surviving to thriving in your life?
Oh yes. I am human, after all! I’ve certainly experienced periods of time, both long and short, where I felt like I was treading water in survival territory — and I expect I’ll experience this again as I continue to navigate the ebbs and flows of life. It’s not the goal to never experience the unknown and frustration of survival territory — the goal is to not get stuck there. In truth, being in a survival state offers profound lessons and learnings that we wouldn’t encounter in times of thriving. This is where we grow, and where to integrate new understandings of our limitations and capacities. The burnout I experienced that I mentioned earlier was a period where I felt deeply entrenched in survival mode for a prolonged period of time. The combination of my own stress during the pandemic related to fear for my own and my family’s safety, together with my desire to support the mental health of so many during a wildly unstable time on the planet, nearly did me in. My physical and mental health declined, and it felt like my inner light was burning dangerously low compared to its normal strength and vitality.
It became clear to me during this experience, with the help of a few trusted loved ones who reflected back to me my own diminishing light, that I needed change. The steps out of survival mode began with the acknowledgement that what was happening wasn’t working, then implementing necessary change to create a shift. For me, it was pivotal to own the fact that work (and life) as I knew it was causing me to suffer and that I needed a radical change. From this new perspective, I was able to construct a reality that felt aligned and powerful in its direction toward a life that nourished me rather than drained and depleted me.
6. Did you experience any serendipity or synchronicity in your journey? If so, can you share an example?
Something I’ve noticed along my own path of healing and growth is that the more I align with what feels filled with authenticity and integrity for me, the more the opportunities I’m presented with feel exciting and joyful. Call it the law of attraction, synchronicity, or anything else, but I’ve certainly experienced that like attracts like. When I became healthier and more present in my life, I was met with the same frequency in relationships, professional possibilities, and internal insights. I truly believe that the gems and learnings of life are always available to us, but we have to look for them and accept them as they come.
7. Anything else?
Thank you for taking the time to interview me! I can be found on social media here:
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Kate King is a licensed professional counselor, board-certified art therapist, radiant life coach, published author, professional artist, and creative entrepreneur. She expertly teaches a unique transformational healing strategy that integrates science, psychology, creativity, and spirituality. Her new book is The Radiant Life Project: Awaken Your Purpose, Heal Your Past, and Transform Your Future (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Nov. 1, 2023). Learn more at theradiantlifeproject.com.