By Mayshad Mag
Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.
Could you please introduce yourself to our Mayshad Community? What are your top 5 values? What do you owe your success to?
Of course! It’s a huge honor to share and I’m truly grateful to be a part of the Mayshad community. My name is Katherine Oakes Englishman. I’m an outdoor travel and sustainability writer and yoga teacher living in the beautiful city of Portland, Maine.
My core values are connection, gratitude, hope, creativity and advocacy.
Wow, while I feel like I am always in the process of finding “success”, what got me here was a combination of wanting to forge my own path and having some really amazing role models along the way.
If you had to choose, what one word best sums you and your vision combined?
I always say that it’s connection. Connection to ourselves, to the earth, to others around us. Everything I do, from writing to yoga, to environmental stewardship, truly stems from that. So, I hope to help others foster an awareness of that in a way that resonates with them.
The name of your digital platform “The Basic Goods” is no doubt special, but what was your inspiration while creating it?
Thank you! It felt very obvious to me when creating this platform that it needed to be called The Basic Goods. Growing up, I felt frustrated with the jaded perspective that so many adults had and I never wanted to feel disconnected from all the simple things that make life good. It seemed really ridiculous that we had to replace doing what we loved with being stressed out and unhappy for the sake of making a living. As a writer, penning articles for a blog/website just came naturally to me but I always knew that the end goal was to make it something more tangible. I like to connect people, be outside and be together offline, so The Basic Goods became a platform for me to facilitate that.
Is the message of empowerment important to you? If so, why and how? What’s the most empowering story you could share with us today?
Absolutely. It’s always important to lift each other up. Whenever I catch myself comparing my success to somebody else’s, I try to remember that a rising tide lifts all ships. Meaning, you are exactly who you’re meant to be, with unique gifts, connections and insights that no one else has. Why would you waste that? It’s just not worth it. Focusing on your mission while supporting other women’s ambitions only makes the world a better place.
I’m really so fortunate to know so many inspiring, brilliant and supportive girls, which makes it hard to pick just one story! However, I’d have to say that my yoga teacher and dear friend, Omni Kitts-Ferrara is the embodiment of empowerment to me. I struggled with an eating disorder for a long time as a young girl and worked really hard in therapy to get better. When I became a yoga teacher, I stepped in with this very visceral connection to my body, mind and emotional state that not everyone else had. I was equipped with a deep understanding of how those processes worked and had a language for it as well. However, many of my students were twice my age, if not older, so I felt really uncomfortable as their teacher—almost invalid. How could I possibly offer them something? At that time, my teacher Omni would say, don’t discount yourself. Don’t discount the time put in, the work you’ve done to get here and what you’ve learned along the way because it’s valuable. Cultivating this trust and faith in myself is surprisingly hard but I know that I’d give the same advice to someone else, so I try to to listen, ha!
What would you describe as the most pressing environmental issue we face today? In your opinion, how can we resolve it?
The ocean. We live in a world that is 71% water and 96.5% of that is held in our oceans. I don’t know if many people realize how vital the ocean’s health is to our own collective wellbeing. It absorbs the atmosphere’s carbon and mitigates global warming, it provides food and nutrients, it is a source of joy, healing and connectivity for us and yet we don’t do enough to take good care of it. I am a water lover through and through, so this one in particular is truly important to me but it should be important to everyone because of its life-changing impact.
We need to invest more in restoring healthy corals, stopping offshore drilling and reducing plastic use which severely damages marine life. It’s such a tough one to swallow but ocean conservation is the most urgent environmental endeavor in our world today.
I’d recommend checking out Mission Blue by the amazing Dr. Sylvia Earle, Sea Legacy co-founded by Christina Mettermeir and Paul Nicklen and Blue Mind Works by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols. They are doing incredible work.
Based on the following description, how would you say that you relate to the Mayshad Woman Philosophy?
Being a Mayshad Woman is a choice that women make to live stimulated lives with a positive philosophy based on gratitude, acceptance, accomplishment and human empowerment in order to be who they want to be. Mayshad Women handle different aspects of their lives with confidence and make sure to always stick to their values, in other words, to stay themselves. Mayshad Women are free spirits that design and drive their own lives while inspiring others to do the same.
100%! When I feel insecure or doubt my abilities my husband always encourages me to own it, ha ha. I think that empowerment is a byproduct of being comfortable in your own skin. If you are happy with yourself, you’ll want to see other people be happy as well. It’s a chain reaction and one I’m happy to be a part of.
If you had to share a few words with our audience about how to initiate their lives and projects, a thought that you would like the world to know, what would it be?
My guiding principle is knowing what you do every day is what makes up your life. From your actions, right down to your thoughts and self-talk. That perspective gives me the motivation to keep going day in and day out; knowing that I’m working hard to build a life that I love and am proud of living.