Gillian Fowler is a firm believer in empowerment, after her own experiences saw her life change overnight.
She has previously spoken out after breaking her back in a horse riding injury in 2008, and went on to undergo numerous painful surgeries.
But despite the many challenges, Gillian is now thriving and has been coaching others on how to flourish no matter what life throws at them.
Having been mentoring and coaching for some years, she now helps people from around the world to lean in to the power of the mind.
Alongside numerous other projects, she also offers Walk & Talk.
The initiative has proved hugely popular, and does exactly what the tagline would suggest.
From shorter days of Clachnaben and Kerloch to longer hillwalks of Bynack More and Lairig Ghru, people can take part in one to one or group walk experiences, with the outings taking place across Aberdeenshire, Cairngorms and the Angus Hills.
The concept allows people to work through what’s on their mind, whilst enjoying the stunning countryside.
We caught up with Gillian who is based in Aberdeenshire and found out why mindset, is in fact everything.
Gillian turned to nature following her accident, and was finally able to go hillwalking six years on.
It’s not just good old fashioned determination which has propelled her thus far, and she believes that post pandemic, her services are even more in demand.
“Life changed instantly and quite dramatically for some people,” said Gillian.
“The isolation alone was very detrimental to people’s health because we are social beings.
“Mentoring and coaching can be a a way of overcoming anything which has given your confidence a knock.
“Even in the darkest of times, I believe there can be a glimmer of light.
“There is always a way forward.”
Gillian decided to call her business Usana Mindset, with ‘Usana’ being a South African word to mean fresh chapter, move forward.
“It’s a fresh start, drawing a line in the sand,” she said.
“My job as a transformational and mindset coach, is to help people use their mind in a way which is healthier and kinder to themselves.
“It’s not to say that we don’t have challenges in life, but you don’t need to stay stuck in that place.
“We have a choice in how to manage those those situations.”
Gillian offers in-person and online coaching to people from a wide variety of backgrounds, with personal, executive and corporate coaching all on offer.
“I offer fortnightly sessions over teams or zoom where you can speak about things privately, as sitting face to face can be daunting,” said Gillian.
“It’s really quite humbling, it’s a position of privilege to enter someone’s world.
“Often we will be discussing things which they have never mentioned to anyone else before.
“You need to have zones of trust, I think that’s really important.”
Gillian tends to work with clients for a period of six to 12 months, and provides them with the necessary tools so they reach a stage where they no longer need her services.
“It’s about building someone up, equipping them and empowering them to fly off and do brilliant things instead of using me as a crutch,” she said.
“My whole ethos is empowerment.
“I help people to find clarity, confidence and knowledge so they can make fundamental changes and know where they are going.”
Power of nature
When it comes to Walk and Talk, the initiative sees Gillian escape to the countryside on a weekly basis whether in groups or private outings.
“It has been very popular and most of my walks are always fully booked,” she said.
“Everyone gets a chance to have some one to one time with me, but it’s done in a subtle way.
“People start out as strangers but I always find that in a group experience people will start bonding with one another.
“The experience offers quiet reflection, a chance to walk off whatever is on your mind.
“You can get a different perception when you’re out walking, because you’re away from the general busyness of life.
“There’s no emails, no phone calls.
“It allows you to be fully present.”
Indeed, technology can contribute to overall poor wellbeing and mental health.
But by switching off, Gillian believes people can finally breathe and assess what’s important in life.
“I think it’s really important that we allow and enable ourselves to have that time away from technology,” she said.
“Disconnect to reconnect, we’re so connected to technology and daily stress.
“You can literally give yourself the gift of time and return feeling reenergised, it can be very healing and grounding.”
Going forward, Gillian is hopeful that the corporate world will continue to focus on the mental health of employees.
“Marketing and communications has been my career for more then 20 years,” she said.
“We all have resilience, but sometimes you can just need that little bit of help.
“There’s still stigma surrounding mental health, despite the fact it is spoken about a lot more.
“Over 50% of my clients are male, and they’re just not talking to their friends about certain issues.
“I think it can be seen as a positive that they’ve recognised they want to make a change.
“Many of my clients are highly driven by nature, but they may not be where they want to be in their career.
“Sometimes it can be about their outlook, and ultimately they leave Usana Mindset feeling more fulfilled.”
To find out more, head to www.usanamindset.com