Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I'm a Selfish Mommy

Three years ago I held a small workout class based on the suggestions and requests of some friends. Six people came and without a formal name, I simply referred to it as a Plyo class. Lots of jumping , functional movements and laughter. I had no idea how to plan a class properly, and probably overestimated the ability of many of the participants. But you couldn't wipe the smile off my face as I took my role of a leader seriously, trying to ensure everyone got a great workout in a way that didn't feel (completely) like torture.


A few hours after class ended I received an email from a friend of mine who had participated. I'll never forget it. She had always known me to be a quiet person, coming into my life when my anxiety was really high. In her email, she thanked me for the class. She continued on, telling me she had never before seen me so confident, happy and secure in who I was and what I was doing. She said I had found my calling in life, and that she was happy she was able to witness me stepping into my life's role.

I bubbled inside with joy. As her words settled on me, so did the confirmation that I had absolutely started on a path very much authentic to me. It felt as though a light had been lit inside parts of me I hadn't realized were dark. That night I barely slept as excitement keep my brain working overtime.

That was the beginning for me. At the time I had a toddler and a baby. Since then I have added another baby into the mix. The growth of my business has been slow by choice, wanting to relish in the time with my kids while they were still small and enjoying my company. I have dabbled in different topics within wellness to decide what feels authentic to me. My focus has shifted and settled, only to shift again. As I have evolved over the years, so has my intentions for work. There was a period of time I was desperate for a niche, because that's what people tell you you need in order to run a successful business. I simply didn't know and beat myself up over this confusion.

I'm like that. I'm impatient. I want things done yesterday. I want answers a week ago. I have been told I'm a bit of a control freak (who me?? Can I refer to myself as a self-motivated woman instead??) When there's a problem, I make a list, create a schedule and make a detailed plan to solve that problem. So you can imagine my overwhelm when I didn't have this answer.

Turns out the answer wasn't what I was looking for. Instead, over time, my answer came from three distinct processes:

Time. Dabbling. Feeling.

I needed time to dabble in the various niches I considered a possibility for my work. Then I needed to immerse myself in those experiences and feel what landed with me. Which experiences stirred my soul, created energy within me and brought me excitement? Then I needed to continue on dabbling in those things while letting go of the things that left me feeling blah, unfulfilled and drained.

So I (slightly impatiently) did that and dabbled in many different things with a multitude of prospective clients in order to gain a sense of where I am meant to be.

I have done personal training with men, which was always a bit awkward for me.
I have held Bootcamp for Kids classes, which was fun but sometimes, as a Mama of 3, I like to get away from kids in general and actually interact with adults.
I've had bootcamp classes with women ranging in age from 17-65.
I have taught various yoga classes ranging from easy Hatha to really challenging Vinyasa classes to both just women and mixed genders.
I have presented workshops on Nutrition to just women, to men and women of all ages, to a cancer support center.
I have presented interactive programs at schools, creating and implementing fitness programs coinciding with the concept of resiliency and self-love.
I have taught an exercise class at a long term care home, for residents confined to wheelchairs.
I have gone into my son's preschool to run a mini Bootcamp class with obstacle courses and themed games for 2 and 3 year olds.
I've taught mini classes on journaling, meditation and morning routines.
I've been guiding pregnant women along their journey through specialized yoga classes.
I've also been guiding brand new Mamas and their sweet babes in a Baby & Mama yoga and fitness class.

Seriously, I've dabbled like my life depended on it.

Through it all, there is a clear theme underlying what I am drawn to and what people request of me. There is a single thread woven through all of these experiences that fills me up and motivates me to reach more and more people.

It's not necessarily health in and of itself.
It's not just strength and fitness.
It's not solely nutrition and wellness.

Wanna know what it is?

Self-care.


I came to a realization somewhat recently that I am an advocate for self-care...especially for busy Mama's, to which I can absolutely relate.
Unfortunately, people outside the realm of wellness view self-care as a selfish act. As though our jobs as Mamas is to pour everything we have and are into everyone around us without expecting anything in return. I call BS on this. And if you want to argue this, then let's just call me a selfish Mama and get it over with.

It is vitally important to practice self-care every single day in some way big or small ESPECIALLY for the busy Mamas. Without a full cup, how is it possible to be fully present for anyone else? It isn't. It simply just isn't.

Nutrition is a big way to care for yourself. What you put into your body will affect how you feel, how you interact with others around you, how much energy you have to put your craft out into the world, your motivation levels, your moods...so many things.

Exercising will do much of the same and possesses other benefits both in the short term and the long term. From reducing osteoporosis, to reducing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. To reducing stress and strengthening the heart...and the list goes on.

Yoga is beneficial for the body, spirit and the mind. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping relax the mind and body, producing a huge number of benefits. It's an opportunity to trust in yourself, connect with yourself and open the doors to creative flow. Flexibility and strength are added bonuses while instilling mindfulness (a very much needed practice in today's over scheduled society!)

Reflexology also initiates the rest and relax response while removing energetic blockages within the body, promoting better overall health.

I have immersed myself in a multitude of trainings and research on every topic regarding wellness I can consume at any given moment. During quiet times alone I can be found listening to inspiring podcasts. If not that, then reading books on nutrition, leadership or self development. I am obsessed (in the best way possible) with learning every morsel of information I can find regarding well-being. My mission is to teach people how to care for themselves. Whether that's through weekly Bootcamp classes with me or encouraging them to spend 5 minutes a day meditating. It could be creating a personalized meal plan that will no doubt support their health or it could be an Epsom salt bath weekly.

It blows my mind how often people come to me and admit that seeing me for whatever it is I am providing is the first thing they've done for themselves in xx number of years. YEARS!

So...let me provide you this. The permission and the space to start taking care of YOU. And if you are unsure where to start, I happen to have a multitude of tools and a wealth of knowledge in my tool belt to help you along. Once you begin, you'll wonder how the heck you ever lived any other way.

Just begin. xo

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