Discover a Fulfilling Post-Baby Identity

Align Mind Coaching

Viewing her own journey as a mother as her proudest achievement, Katie Sanders also discovered a need for better support through those crucial early years of motherhood. She is now passionate about guiding and supporting other mums through the massive changes and challenges that parenting brings – and helping them navigate the transition from baby to work. She loves coaching women through the process of finding their true self, looking at all the possible options, and helping define what they want to do now and in the future. She wants to help women see just how powerful they are and for them to know they already have all the resources they need to handle anything. At Align Mind, Katie provides coaching programs that empower women to discover a fulfilling post-baby identity. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind her business, the challenges she has had to overcome along the way, and her hopes and dreams for the future.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

I wanted to offer the support that I needed for so long but didn’t have.

In 2014, I was told I couldn’t get pregnant and would need fertility treatment. When the doctor said my condition wasn’t anything anatomical, but a hormonal “freeze” associated with high-stress lifestyles, I realised just how significant the impact of my fast-paced, high-pressure way of living on my poor body – not to mention my spirit.

That was when I began to explore and understand the incredible power of our mind-body connection. My interest grew and I decided to train formally, beginning my degree in Psychological Science.

While working and studying uni part-time, I did IVF and fell pregnant after a couple of false starts. We moved from Sydney to Brisbane for a career change my husband wanted, which was a huge adjustment and happened just a couple of months before my first bub was due. I was excited, nervous and figuring a lot out by myself. I turned to the support of counsellors and psychologists, mothers’ groups, acupuncturists, gyms – you name it – for support to navigate the ups and downs.

We went on to have a second baby thanks to IVF again, and I had terrible postnatal depression with both. I was especially exhausted and lonely from being wife to a police officer – he missed a lot of our kids’ “firsts”, and worked on birthdays and Christmas – all the things you’d imagine.  

As I was new to Queensland, we had very little support, and it all came to a head when my husband was in a huge motorbike crash when my second baby was 10 months old, and I was his main carer for a year while I worked part-time and he was home.

We got through it, but it wasn’t easy, and I learned a lot about mindset along the way. My husband’s mind was his worst enemy on some days and his superpower on others. I drew on everything I was learning about the mind to support him and the kids as best as I could.

Once life had just started to return to normal, my husband sadly lost his mum to a sudden battle with cancer, the pandemic hit us all, and then we went on to discover a surprise natural third pregnancy which I was shocked by. This series of events was the ultimate game-changer for me. It transformed me.

I got through it all, strong and leaning heavily on my psychology knowledge and skills. But I looked back and wondered how all this had manifested and reflected on the lessons I was destined to learn. The challenges fuelled my belief in my own strength, and the power of our thoughts and perception. We were all born “enough” just as we are, and as we grow into adulthood, our self-belief so easily gets stifled and eroded.  

I don’t want any mums to be feeling lost and alone like I was in the newborn days. My commitment is to support other mums through massive transitions and challenges like infertility, pregnancy, postnatal and motherhood. I offer the “village” when the more traditional village isn’t available. And most importantly, I want to help women see just how powerful we are and believe that we truly do already have all the resources we need to handle anything, inside ourselves.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

On maternity leave with my third baby, I was really craving meaningful interactions with people, working on real “human” things. My part-time day job was in communications and while the training and teaching I did was rewarding, I wasn’t able to go deep enough with people and really connect about what I feel makes a genuine difference in others’ lives. I knew coaching was the way I wanted to support people.

I knew, because the most powerful difference for my own wellbeing during all this was the mindset coaching I accessed and I began to learn about manifestation. Despite the almost two decades of therapy work I’d done, I still wasn’t seeing the shifts I wanted. It wasn’t until I explored coaching and began to understand some of the energetic concepts – and began creating a specific vision for my future, backed with really specific goals – that I realised how powerful my aspirations and manifestation practices were.

I journalled every day about my vision and my business idea: my goal to coach women from home, online and to run group workshops. Then one day I just started, with my Instagram page, and I began to create content on all the things I’ve learned and been inspired by. My website was next, and local PR. I offered pro-bono coaching sessions in my community and made handouts.

I had a calling by that stage to be creative and to serve and support other women who were on similar journeys to mine. From there it grew, and I left my day job a week before I hosted my first group workshop. I grabbed a casual wellness coach role with a multinational nutrition and weight loss company, which kept the lights on in my business while I’ve grown it. I have so many ideas that flow from me, it doesn’t even feel like work – I absolutely love what I do.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

I had the beginnings of a passion project in mind, envisioning myself hosting group coaching circles with like-minded women in beautiful, comfortable settings locally in Brisbane. I didn’t know where I was going to hold them, but I knew exactly how they would look, smell and feel. Every morning in my gratitude practice, I would write about groups of people I supported with my coaching and mindset work, and how rewarding it felt to connect with other women.

One day, I was in my gym and just on a whim decided to ask a staff member if they ever hosted wellness events. I just happened to catch the club franchisee, the owner, and she said, “Great timing! I’ve been wanting to start to offer a wellness series”. From there, we created a plan and I was given the space and freedom to create an ongoing series of women’s circles and group coaching for members and the wider community, in the comfort of the gym.

This was the universe rewarding my courage and belief in my dream. I adore hosting my workshops so much; I love working for myself and showing my kids how I grow my business and follow my passion.

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