It’s in the inauthenticity that you create a perfect storm of unhappiness, so here a story of me, Taylor Ketcham — @gypsycoachlady.
My personal vendetta against the world happens to be that we blame the world for anything. What did mother earth do to you? That is how we refer to her—as mother, as provider, as caregiver. So, I ask again—what did mother earth ever do to you besides nourish and support you and all those you love?
I have always been the odd ball throughout my life. People referred to me as “extraverted,” “sunny,” “bold,” “ADD,” “ambitious,” “crazy,” “brilliant,” “wild” — the most notable and prevalent however was “gypsy” (which clearly stuck!). They’d laugh and exclaim “Taylor, you’re such a freaking gypsy!” I even received a homemade t-shirt for a team Secret Santa at Davidson my junior year. It read: “Weird Transfer Girl” and was an odd mauve color, made by one of my faaavorite freshman at the time. She had her locker right next to mine, was my back-up goalie and would become our starter and our defensive rock my senior year, a totally cheeky and hilarious human being (as great goalies generally are!).
I’ve embraced it though, all the weird, always. The fire & quirkiness is not my fault; My parents were the most supportive and kind as they encouraged my wildness and allowed me the time and space to pursue my passions. My dad introduced me to lacrosse when I was 5 and coached me my whole life. They both taught me to lead with heart, all of it. A common family motto “Laissez les bons temps rouler” reminds us to “let the good times roll”—a philosophy NOT meaning party your face off and never look back, though as a family the Ketchams have certainly embraced the celebrations through the years. It means that regardless of what you’re doing right now, your circumstances are worlds more positive than another’s so, let the good parts shine. Every moment is precious and carries within it the potential for a more positive future moment. As Sue Stahl, my coach at Old Dominion University, would remind us, when you drop the ball, that is your first mistake; don’t make a second mistake by dropping your head.
This mindset of pushing forward? It has allowed me to live a life of passion and purpose. That is the bright side— and as we learn from the yin and the yang—all bright sides have a shadow side, the side I’ve stayed silent about, the side we all generally stay silent about. The shadow side of pursuing your passions with purpose is my life has had an extraordinary amount of scrutiny when it deviated from the status quo, from “normal.” At times, I’d be led to ask myself some real life, terrifying questions – Am I ever going to get married? Am I going to be able to have a kid if no one wants to marry me? Do I have to either travel OR have a family OR run a business? Can I have all of it? Is having 4 animals as a single lady crazy? Do I care? Am I doing the very best I can for my businesses and the people I work with? Is coaching lacrosse worth being broke for awhile? Forever? Should I get a 9-5 job? Would financial security find me then? Does financial security ensure happiness?
I’m grateful to now teach what I’ve learned by making the second and third and fourth mistakes— We each have within us a unique power that is of paramount importance to both ourselves and the world. If we spend our energy questioning and grueling ourselves about ghosts of a perceived imperfect future, we cannot fully express the unique power we possess. And that is not acceptable to me. Through the years I’ve realized that what Soul does for kids on a lacrosse field, what I do for women and men who come to me for wellness coaching, what I will do when I open my yoga studio here in St. Petersburg— it’s all the same. I REMIND others of this unique power within them. I help to ignite their soul fire. I help them to REMEMBER their wise, wild and free essence, their divine nature.
We have been refining our abilities since the beginning of humanity. We want to be bigger, better, faster, stronger, smarter, quicker, more in tune with the spirit realm. The most natural thing you possess is a drive to be better than you are right now. What will define you is what you DO with that drive. Will you take action in order to know yourself better? Will you place yourself within a historical context of awesomeness or tragedy? Will you wallow in the sadness that may encircle you at times, or will you rise up from that misery and “put one foot in front of the other”?
Epoch Women Author
Taylor is currently the executive director of Soul Lacrosse, director of communications for the Gulf Coast Chapter of US Lacrosse, the president of Florida Gulf Coast Youth Lacrosse League, and wellness coach extraordinaire. She played college lacrosse at Old Dominion, Davidson College and Wake Forest, and went on to pursue her Master’s Degree in English at Wake Forest.
As a contributor to Epoch Women, her goal is to always inspire the best out of female players, discuss health, wellness – and most importantly, happiness. Taylor works tirelessly to always create a positive environment for fellow women and athletes – for a daily dose of positivity and inspiration, find her on Instagram @gypsycoachlady