Article Published in RESIDENT MAGAZINE JUNE 2015
Women in Darwin have likely heard of something called ART Your Life. But what actually is it? And what’s so good about it?
“ART Your Life has been in my heart for as long as I can remember,” said the program’s Territorian founder, Catie Kirke.
After bouts of anorexia and bulimia, Catie went from a size 16 to a size 4. She wore out a seat on the diet rollercoaster. She was frustrated and wanted to do something to help herself and other women like her.
In the early ‘90s, Catie became a fitness instructor and later opened Humpty Doo’s first gym. But she was still frustrated.
“While I could help them with their bodies, there are always deeper issues at play that create behavioural patterns,” she said. “It didn’t matter what exercise they did and what they ate—that alone wasn’t helping them to love life.”
After running the gym for 10 years, Catie worked for NT Police, training new recruits in operational and defensive fitness. Her day started at 4:45am and she often came home covered in bruises. Once it was broken ribs. Groundhog Day.
At that same time, Catie’s teenage daughter was in her final pressured years of high school. “I’d say to her, ‘Honey, you’re beautiful; the world is your oyster, and you can do anything’.” It was the moment when Catie realised she needed to follow her own advice.
“What has always called to my heart is helping women survive and thrive from horrible experiences,” Catie said. “Having lived through childhood sexual abuse, a broken home, eating disorders and severe body image issues, I felt I needed to make good of those experiences. To me, that meant helping other women live the life they deserved, no matter what they had experienced.”
Catie pursued her new path by commuting to Melbourne to study human behaviour.
She was soon armed with the most powerful tool to serve her journey: awareness. “I began to understand those dark times of my life and what had been going on,” she said. “I started to realise why I did what I did, why I always had the same type of relationships, why I reacted to things in a certain way. And desperately wanted ALL women to learn those things so they could ‘get’ themselves too, and start to love themselves—and their lives—in spite of what they’d been through.”
The ART Your Life concept evolved from there. Catie realised she wanted to help women decide that they DO want more out of life, and to activate it. To do that, they needed to reshape their old ways of thinking and behaving to then transform.
So what actually is ART?
ART Your Life provides a suite of personal development programs that help women love themselves, their bodies and their lives. There’s nothing like ART anywhere else in the world.
The signature program is a seven-week intensive encompassing nutrition and fitness, relationships, behavioural dynamics, personality types, beliefs and values, delivered via world-class mindset workshops, weekly webinars and one-on-one coaching.
ART coaches have more than 10,000 hours of experience coaching women and are recognised as some of Australia’s best. Since ART was launched in 2011, more than 400 women have completed the seven-week program.
Add Catie’s other workplace and mindset programs, and she’s helped thousands of women and men from the Territory and around Australia.
And the magic is about to expand even further—in August 2015, ART Your Life will be launched live in Melbourne. “It’s humbling and impossibly rewarding that a program I created here in the Territory has been embraced outside the Territory and will now help even more women paint the canvasses of their own lives,” Catie said.
“Because it’s too easy for busyness, disappointment, distraction, the opinions of others and negative influences to colour our life for us. ART Your Life is about saying ‘no’ to all that and deciding to paint our own canvasses.
And we will help you. We’ll not only give you the tools to create a life you love, we’ll hold your hand, embrace your heart, have your back and walk beside you, every step of the way.”