Using Katie Yeakle's Secret for Reducing Stress: How Slowing Down Has Helped Me Get More Done

Will Newman

Becoming a copywriter made me realize my dream.

Not a dream of unbridled wealth. A dream of being able to do what I want to do, where I want to do it.

In my small town, I can be involved in my community as I've always wanted to be. Tutoring kids. Joining Rotary. Being on various boards and volunteering at numerous events.

All this on top of copywriting and working with AWAI and Circle of Success. Preparing for Bootcamp.

So much to do. So very busy …

I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. But times arise when everything I'm doing can be pretty stressful.

Not all stress is bad, but …

Some stress can be good. But too often, it seriously impacts productivity, clarity, and enjoyment of life. Too much stress of the wrong kind can hurt your copywriting.

I have a good friend — a fellow Rotarian — who used to tell me I should meditate. She was right. But, I figured I didn’t have the time.

Then a couple of years ago, I learned a secret about Katie Yeakle, one of the Co-Founders of AWAI. I’ve known Katie going on 15 years now. I’ve always been amazed at how much she’s able to accomplish. How much energy she has. And how good she is at what she does.

Katie is focused, confident … and successful.

I’ve often wondered how she does it. If anybody is busier and has more reason to be stressed than me, it's Katie.

Then, I learned Katie's secret … her secret to reducing stress, increasing productivity, and doing it all with a great sense of calm.


Since then, I've used a program that shares the same meditation technique Katie uses. (After all, I figured if it works for Katie, it'll work for me.)

Keeping stress reduction from providing more stress …

You know how I said I didn’t have time to learn to meditate?

The Meditation Program I'm using is recorded. I don't have to get stressed about spending time getting to a good meditation guide. And I can certainly afford 15 to 20 minutes each morning and night. That’s a tiny commitment of time that brings huge returns in my life.

Since I began meditating, I've noticed a remarkable difference in how I treat everyday challenges … as well as persistent life challenges we all face.

One of those persistent challenges is one faced by all of us copywriters. The “tigers of self-doubt.” Fear. Lack of confidence.

I was raised by my single-parent mother. She taught me the best way to deal with any sort of problem was to “bull it through.” (That was her expression, her life experience, and how she dealt with adversity.) So, I used to press ahead even when it all seemed futile.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Meditating has helped me tame those tigers. I feel meditation has helped me put my life into better perspective — helping me understand which challenges are best met head-on and which are best met less directly.

I feel more focused now. Deadlines energize rather than frighten me. I’ve found fitting the various parts of my life together much easier since I began meditating.

I hope and pray you don’t have to face those doubts, fears, and anxieties without tools to help you move beyond them.

I'm not saying meditation is the solution for you. I just know I'm very grateful I learned how Katie is able to deal with the stresses of her professional life so well … Because meditation has made a huge difference in my life.

How do you deal with stress? Do you meditate? Or do you use other tools to help overcome those tigers of self-doubt? Comment below to let us know.

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Published: June 28, 2016

21 Responses to “Using Katie Yeakle's Secret for Reducing Stress: How Slowing Down Has Helped Me Get More Done”

  1. Hi Will,

    I was expecting that there would be a link here for program that AWAI used to sell entitled Assessing the Writer Within, by Annette Annechild. It was just this past week that I asked AWAI staff about it and if it were still available. Barbara Hume responded and told me that, yes, it is still available. If it is still not listed in the catalog and you are interested, you will need to ask for it.

    [FROM WILL: Thanks for the information, Nora. That is the meditation program I use.]

    Nora KingJune 28, 2016 at 11:55 am

  2. Thank you for this very helpful srticle.
    I know meditation will work, even though I have never done it. Maybe it is time to cosider it.

    I have started the Copywriting course but have not been able to complete it. And I have a few doubts about my capabilities too. But it helps me in my other writings.

    Guest (Amyna)June 28, 2016 at 1:22 pm

  3. Hi Dear Mr Will Newman, Have You heard from strong "Mental Power".
    Some people like me have got strong mental power.By this power I am able to solve every sort of issues.I am used to surf in an ocean full of dangerous "SOUL ATTACKERS".
    But I do not avoid getting involved with.
    I encounter the attackers and I destroy stress by my mental power.I find even a meaningful way by this therapy every time.
    Best Regards,

    Ali Rely.

    Guest (ali rely)June 28, 2016 at 2:35 pm

  4. Will, Another great and relevant letter! Thanks for you.
    PS: I've been meditating for years; you are spot on my friend.

    Thanks again, Steve

    Steve HardingJune 28, 2016 at 2:48 pm

  5. Hi Will, the thinking mind keeps one from living consciously in the present. We need to get that mind out of the way and use the observing mind...the conscious awareness, to watch our present...our NOW, without being judgemental. When one does that , one stops connecting the past with the future...stops the movement of thought, or time, to make the mind still. The EGO, which is an unconscious state of our mind, connects our past...our identity, with the uncertain future, is kept quiet.

    Guest (Teejay)June 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm

  6. I reduce stress in a different way. Every morning before I get out of bed I read and ponder the Scriptures. I do this for an hour. Once a week I picked this Scripture to memorize and to ponder. This week I have selected Matthew chapter 11 versus 28 through 30. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden. And I'll give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly and in hard. And he shall find rest unto your souls. For my real yoke is easy and my burden is light. The Scripture brings peace into my soul.

    Guest (Jed Kelson)June 28, 2016 at 5:23 pm

  7. Hi Will, I have been using Annette Annechild's Meditation for Writers for some time now. A bargain, at $29! It has been, as they say, a game changer for me. She identifies all of the stumbling blocks we face as writers, then demonstrates how to make friends with them, so we can put them to rest once and for all. I'm so excited that Annette will be at Bootcamp this year!

    Joyce HJune 28, 2016 at 6:25 pm

  8. Hey Will, great article. It's awesome that you can sit down to meditate twice a day! I am only getting in one session per day. I'm in the process of moving to Washington and getting settled in the Seattle area, but my meditation keeps everything around me calmer and so I can still do what I need to get done. I am using the Headspace app and highly recommend it!

    Gatlin JohnsonJune 28, 2016 at 7:39 pm

  9. My relief comes from exercise. The more stressed I feel, the more I need to walk, dance, hike and fly fish. I found a fantastic dance instructor and I make it my business to get to class two days per week.

    Guest (Joan M)June 28, 2016 at 10:00 pm

  10. Regardless of our differences in life conditions, all doubts, stresses and fear,you have mentioned they are a daily challenges and game.
    So there's no way out of them unless through meditation to reduce self stress.

    Guest (Magey thow )June 29, 2016 at 7:09 am

  11. Thanks Will for sharing.
    I also find meditation and centering through deep breathing and focus my mind on desired outcomes very helpful when I'm feeling stressed or distracted.
    It's something I learned in martial arts training many years ago about body mind, and it has become a part of my routine for relieving stress.

    Once again, thanks for sharing.



    Guest (Wiliam)June 29, 2016 at 9:46 am

  12. Hi Will, I have been meditating for years as well as exercising. Both help me stay centered and accomplish my goals. It's always good to try new meditation programs and exercises. Both help to keep the mind sharp and the body conditioned.

    Julie LJune 29, 2016 at 11:31 am

  13. I found successfully slam-dunking a basketball in FIVE DIFFERENT decades helped mitigate stress tremendously. 2010 would've established a new world record @ SIX, but my body was telling me to slow down. But NOT my mind. Obviously.

    Guest (Chris Morris)June 29, 2016 at 11:56 am

  14. To deal with stress I pray and take a moment to think about the scriptures that apply to whatever I am dealing with. I take a few deep breaths while I give myself a pep talk then do what I need to do. If it's real bad I leave the situation and do all this before I return to the situation.

    Guest (Brigitte)June 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm

  15. I started several years ago with a mindfulness course by Jon Kabat-Zinn taught at the University of Miami. That was my real introduction to yoga and meditation.
    <br> Late last year I started with Holosync by Centerpointe and Bill Harris. Kind of a guided meditation but using binaural sound taking me deeper and deeper.
    <br> This second level introduces affirmations recorded in my voice (which I cannot hear). And of course some of them are for my copywriting business success. It works...

    David TomenJune 29, 2016 at 4:56 pm

  16. Hi Will: Interesting your discovery of Meditation at this stage in your career/life. Over 30 years ago I learned self hypnosis and meditation from a Doctor who was treating my stressed out wife (at the time). The tricks I learned then have proven invaluable over the years and has gotten me through a number of serious life crisis. I step back, enter my private space and go inside myself. When I come out, minutes or hours later, everything falls into place. It's a wonderful and I'm grade you're promoting the topic. I'm surprised AWAI doesn't have a 'Meditation for Copywriters' course. You and Katie could put it together....why not ? Cheers WillC.

    Guest (Will)June 30, 2016 at 8:44 pm

  17. I love how more people are exploring meditation! I've been doing it daily since 2011. 3 tips for beginners:

    1. EVERYONE has thoughts pop up during meditation. It's normal. It's the practice of noticing them and letting them go that "rewires" your brain.

    2. Consistency will get you the best results.

    3. How you feel during meditation is secondary (though it can be very calming). It's what you'll begin to notice outside your meditation that will surprise you... less reactive, more centered.

    NKPiperJuly 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

  18. Hello Will. Thank you for sharing with us.

    As a cancer survivor, twice over, I have a different lookout.

    What has keep me going through radiation, daily blood tests, and over ten surgeries is the realization that no matter what life throws at is still LIFE. There is only one alternative to that, and that is death.
    Daily stress just doesn't hold the terror for me that it once did.

    Thank you for letting me share my story.

    Sue BJuly 7, 2016 at 8:16 pm

  19. Hi, Enjoyed your writing on meditation and everyones' comments too. I am now doing yoga and meditation 6 out of 7 days a week. It is really great relaxation. In the past meditation has led me to some amazing spiritual or higher consciousness "experiences" - where and when I experienced incredible bliss and even an OBE - out of body experience. I would like to experience that more often, but I am grateful for the de-stressing and relaxation that meditation gives me.

    Phil in San Diego and Rosarito MexicoJuly 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

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