Mary McDowall | Creative Strategy Coach
I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and photograph all kinds of amazing human beings.
While they are in studio, it is a privilege to learn about their businesses, or the work they do, their family, their interests, and hear a little bit about their story.
As a coach and facilitator, Mary specializes in empowering women to make clear, confident, and creative choices in both their personal and professional lives. By integrating principles from Kaizen, Yoga, and Ayurveda, Mary fosters sustainable momentum towards desired results while meeting clients where they are on their journey. With master certifications in Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coaching and Kaizen Creative™ NLP, as well as expertise in Ayurveda and Yoga coaching, Mary can offer comprehensive guidance tailored to individual needs.
Mary has extensive experience spanning over 30 years in program development and facilitation across various sectors, complemented by ownership of her own business and a small marina. When Mary has some free time, she enjoys nature walks, reading, and embracing life's experiences from her hometown, Parry Sound, along the picturesque shores of Georgian Bay.
What inspired you to develop your idea of get into your business?
Most of my employment was in the not-for-profit sector. I took several years off to focus raising and homeschooling my family, before stepping back into that world again in 2009. When I left in 2012, due to health issues, I knew that I needed to make a change. The following year I began the first of many trainings and opened a coaching practice. I’m currently at a new transition phase in my business. I’m creating content and building a community focused on sharing what I call the Kindness in Motion Method, to encourage and support anyone who wants to develop the practice of thinking, speaking and acting from a place of love, compassion and reverence for all. It’s an ancient practice with transformative powers to change not only oneself but those around them. And, collectively I believe that Kindness in Motion has the potential to make a positive impact around the world.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
The biggest and most impactful shift in my priorities occurred when I stopped trying to achieve an external ideal and began to focus on what aligned with my internal values.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
Of course because hindsight is 20/20. Yet, I’ve come to value all the struggles and difficult moments because not only have they shaped who I am today, they are why I am where I am today. I’ve begun to trust that everything in life is a lesson - an opportunity to learn, integrate and build upon.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
Releasing perfectionism is probably the biggest obstacle I have overcome because it had led to several rounds of burn out. Learning to really believe in myself and to trust my inner guidance is an ongoing process that I’m building and relying on more and more.
How do you define success?
I always find this a loaded question. The definition of success is such a personal thing. For me, it’s being able to do what I love, and to continue to learn and grow as a person.
What is keeping you up at night?
Insomnia. If I get carried away by all the things that I can’t control rather than focusing on what I can do - my mind will get a little hyper active in the worry department.
Describe some of your key routines or habits that you have to keep you going?
I meditate everyday - spend time playing with my border collies - and more days than not, I try to engage in some creative pursuit just for fun.
Do you, and/or, how do you find time to develop your creative process?
A lot of what I do as a creative strategies coach is to help people connect with and understand their own unique creative process. Personally, I find it’s not so much about developing my creative process, as it is about staying connected to it and working with, not against it. I think that the creative process is like the heart beat of your Soul. It’s always there, and unchanging. It is one’s understanding and connection to it that changes.
What are some hard choices that you had to make to get where you are?
Stepping away from something that is working in order to step into something that has greater potential but less certainty. That’s where I find myself now. It goes back to trusting my inner guidance and following what aligns with my core values.
What book and/or podcast are you enjoying right now?
I’m currently enrolled as a student in the Inner MBA program from Sounds True. I’m enjoying learning from some of the top thought and business leaders in the world and connecting with other students, across the globe. We are learning how to become conscious leaders in our own businesses and spheres of influence. I’m also taking several other courses. I’m a bit of a compulsive course taker.
What is one thing people would never guess about you?
That I’m a real fan of space operas!
Where can you find Mary: