A couple of weekends ago, Elizabeth Gilbert, the bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, spoke at the International Women’s Summit with the message that what we need is more “relaxed” women in the world. While I was prepared for the re-packaged dogma of “work hard to get ahead,” it took me by complete surprised when the opening night’s keynote question was: “How much more would you accomplish if you chose to be a relaxed woman?”
This message has been swirling around in my head, especially as I have been ‘on assignment’ as Granny Nanny to my two granddaughters, ages 3 and 7, while my son (who just graduated from medical school) and his bride of ten years are vacationing in Europe for a little well-deserved rest and relaxation.
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Inga Tara once felt that she had it all—a beautiful family, financial security, the freedom to spend her time traveling abroad. And yet there was still something undeniably missing. “I was feeling dissatisfaction in my career, disconnect inside me, and a lack of inner peace,” she remembers. After participating in a full-body detox program in 2009, Inga finally found something that resonated powerfully with her: a love of nutrition. This shift is what Inga considers a major point of self-mastery and a significant first step in the journey to her divine purpose.
Years later in 2014, with an empty nest and a husband at work, Inga knew it was the perfect time to pursue her interests more actively. “I felt that that was a good time to go back to spiritual practices that I used to do for years (and made me feel happy and complete) and work on my creativity, self-actualization, and giving back to people.” Still, reconnecting to self through spiritual practice was not filling the void that Inga felt within her. She yearned to formalize her knowledge of holistic healing to bring happiness and well-being to others. She began to seek out schools and programs and decided to enroll at SWIHA soon after discovering it on an online search.
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When you hear SWIHA Instructor Ann Cabano’s story, it’s hard to imagine that the path she has walked has been carved by anything other than destiny.
A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to do a 5K Run. I could have easily said, “Oh, I’d like to, BUT I haven’t run in over 30 years.” Instead I said, “Yes, sign me up!”
Staying stuck in a rut, and 'yeah butting' myself has never been my style. My saying YES immediately produced incredible results: I ended up placing 5th in my age group despite all those years of not running. Once I became committed to removing the ‘but’ from my life, I have gotten farther, faster!
As a long-time Transformational cCoach, I have worked with hundreds of people who have come to me for life coaching, saying they want to fast-forward their lives and leave behind the things that hold them back. One of the most powerful exercises I offer them is the opportunity to make a list of all the things they want to do in their lives, yet have not done. After they create the list, they are invited to take the things on their list and add the word ‘but’ to the end of the sentence. These are typical examples:
After several years of emotional and physical struggle to complete her Bachelors from ASU in Design Studies, Natalie found herself sinking into a feeling many recent grads become mired in. She was uncertain of her path, worried that she had wasted mountains of money and years of her life on an unfulfilling career path, and couldn't see through the fog of fear that began to form around her. She knew on a visceral level that her soul longed to express itself creatively. However, no plan that she was able to forge in her mind painted a picture that she felt truly passionate to pursue. The only thing she knew for certain was that Corporate America would never be her home, and that she was determined to become her own boss. Sadly, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, Natalie wound up in a call center after graduation and could feel her happiness slipping away each day.
Later 2011, after a series of “rock bottom moments,” Natalie decided to turn her attention toward her health and wellness to try and recalibrate, by participating in a 30-day hot yoga challenge with friends. Though she had previously practiced informally, this was her first fully-immersive experience into the world of yoga.
Think about the amount of time you spend either holding in emotions or apologizing for them. It’s a lot isn’t it? Our culture doesn’t exactly encourage public displays of emotion in all circumstances. Sure it’s moving when a public figure drops a tear while giving a powerful speech to the masses, although bursting into tears at the office can be seen as juvenile. Or worse…weak. The truth is that sensitivity is a great gift because it means that you’re an empath. What does that mean? That YOU are spiritually gifted.
Ask the average person about the benefits of massage therapy, and they will surely be able to list off a few of its many perks, from alleviating the aches and pains of everyday life to lowering stress. Massage has become an increasingly popular service in today’s wellness-centered climate, with more people than ever seeking it out to resolve their physical ailments or to carve out the time to unwind. Yet despite the growing interest in the world of massage, energy work—one of the practices that complements massage best—largely continues to go unrecognized by traditional therapists.
At times referred to as “energy medicine” or “spiritual healing,” energy work involves moving above and beyond the physical to understand the aspects of the human energy field. By addressing the presence of our “life force” in a way that chooses to honor and awaken it, we can create holistic balance.
In 2013, Niki Meadows gave herself a metamorphic birthday gift that would ultimately change the course of her entire life. In order to ensure that 2014 would be the year she would stop wishing for change and start working for a more fulfilling reality, she quit her corporate job and enrolled in SWIHA’s life coaching program.
A natural-born life coach to those in her life, Niki chose to complete our 100-hour Life Coaching program to help her sharpen her skills so she could extend her gifts to others in a more professional capacity. Now the proud owner of Niki Meadows LLC, Niki identifies as a Women’s Worthiness and Authenticity Coach, working with women to heal the relationship they have with themselves. “I love to connect with people! I’m now able to serve people and it’s incredibly fulfilling to do something that has meaning and purpose. I’m also able to use the gifts and talents I was born with instead of trying to find creative ways to incorporate them into an environment that didn’t have room for them.”
If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly moved to tears in yoga class, you’re not alone. The sensation can be a little alarming if you’re not used to crying at the gym, however, rest assured that it’s a sign of good things happening. Our bodies tend to hold onto a lot of tension that’s both physical and emotional at its root. Just like our shoulders can tighten up when we’re hunched over the keyboard day after day, our hips can tighten up from emotional stress as well. Certain yoga poses unleash the tension and suddenly make you feel something that you haven’t felt in a while.
When you’re holding a yoga pose you’re often attempting to balance as well as stay strong and support your own body weight. (Our egos fight pretty hard to avoid being the person who topples over onto their mat.) These moves are using a variety of muscles at once, require concentrated breath, and also physically stretch us in new ways.
Mathina Ross has always been a healer and philanthropist at heart. Though her background is not necessarily one you would expect from someone who now has a bustling career offering signature massage experiences, throughout her life she has mastered the art of caring for others. In fact, before attending SWIHA and completing our 1000-hour Massage Therapy Program, Mathina cultivated a profoundly rewarding career in cosmetology, in which she chose to specialize working with children who experienced spectrum disorders toward the end. She shares that the work was fulfilling to her soul, yet left her feeling drained. “I loved the work, [however, I] got ‘burned out.’ Given my specialized status, when I chose to move on, my options were very limited. Prior to specializing, I had worked in hair, skin and nail care, and had been massaging much of the body, so the transition to massage seemed an appropriate one.”
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