Collective Care is a written interview series with people who are changing the world. Most often, these folks are working at the intersection of creative, healing, and/or activist work.
I’m in love with the idea of amplifying the work (and self-care practices) of people who are building a more compassionate world. In this series, I get to chat with people who inspire me like whoa.
Today we get to meet Laura Gaskill!
Laura, take it away…
How are you changing the world?
(What is your change-making, healing, and/or creative work? This might be paid, unpaid or a combination.)
I teach e-courses in mindful clutter clearing and intentional living, where my aim is to help people make more space in their homes and lives, unearth their treasures, and begin listening to the soft voice of our heart, that can so often get drowned out by the “noise” of everyday life. I’m also a writer and mom, and when I’m not working with my online students, I am trying to provide lots of room to explore + create, both for myself and my family.
What challenges your heart in that journey?
I love the flexibility that working online & freelance gives me, but it also means I have frequent deadlines – and since I’m a one-person business, if I’m sick (or someone in my family is sick) or something else comes up, it can feel really stressful to stay on top of everything. And I always have way more ideas than energy! Sometimes I really wish I could wave a magic wand and get things done without having to do all the legwork myself.
What inspires you to keep going?
Oh, positive comments from my students and readers, for sure! When I get an email from someone saying that I have inspired them to make a positive change in their life, that just takes the cake. And I am constantly inspired by my son – he is a boundless ball of energy, and keeps me on my toes, but I feel really lucky to be in a line of work currently where I can be there to take him to school and pick him up every day.
How do you support yourself or tend to yourself and your heart in that process?
What nourishes and replenishes you?
I’ve learned to embrace my introvert nature – l need lots of solo, quiet time to feel my best. I love nothing more than a Saturday morning in bed with a big mug of coffee, my journal & pens, and a fresh stack of inspiring books and magazines. If I can get that once a week, all’s well in the world! During my workday, I take lots of tea breaks, and I try to take a walk most days – I live near the beach, so there’s a nice walking path there. In the evenings, I put the screens away and read, write in my journal, and often do a bit of yoga and sip some herbal tea to help unwind.
How do you experience care within community?
How do others support you in your journey and practice?
After seven years living on the opposite coast, I feel really lucky to be living in the same town as two of my oldest, best girlfriends. We see each other at least once a week for tea dates, to try a new class (ballet, pilates, yoga…), dinner with our families, and sometimes just sneaking out for a quick glass of wine after all the kids are asleep. I also have made some really lovely, supportive friends online – some of whom I’ve also met in person – so when it comes to work-related matters, I really lean on my online network for support. And my husband totally gets me – if I need extra R&R, he’s happy to take our son Bixby out to a park for a few hours so I can have some peace.
What’s your best piece of advice you have for people who want to make a difference?
Give in a way that feels sustainable to you – some people are built for working with others directly, but if you are an introvert (like me!), being “out there” in the world, working with people one-on-one can be really exhausting and depleting, especially if you’re doing it full time. I used to be a teacher, and I loved it, but at the end of the day I would feel completely drained, with zero energy left for myself or my family. Give from your heart, but know yourself: there are many ways to make a difference, including lots that can be done behind the scenes.
Paint us a picture of the more compassionate world and future you imagine.
I am an optimist at heart, and I really do believe that the future will be a better place. I see a transformation in the way the world uses energy, and a shift to more sustainable housing and a more community-centered way of living. In my dreamworld, I would love nothing more than to live on a farm with all of my best friends and our families, each with our own sweet little cottage, and some shared space for making art, music, and playing and celebrating together.
Laura Gaskill is a writer, mom, and creative soul based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches e-courses on mindful clutter clearing and living with intention, fueled in large part by pots of tea and scones with cream at her favorite cafe.
How to connect:
You can find all of the Collective Care interviews right here!
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