Category Archives: Day In the Life

Day in the Life: Yoga Instructor

My name is Renée LeBlanc and I teach yoga. About fifteen years ago I had taken a couple of yoga classes here and there (wasn’t impressed) but then a guy in my office said, “my wife teaches yoga at this place and I think you’d love it.” He was higher up than me so I said, “I’ll try it out this weekend for sure thank you!” That was the first time I thought about quitting my job. I wanted to have something to talk to the VP that Monday so, I went to the class.

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The first thing I noticed was that everyone had long muscles, seemed incredibly calm and had excellent posture. Also, I was the only one wearing socks. That class was the birth of my practice that has continued without any sabbatical until this day and I hope never stops. It seemed that everyone in the class was smaller than me but they were all stronger than me. Part of what made me go back the next day was a sense of competitiveness (that I’ve long since learned to let go of but which served its purpose at the time) – I needed to be as strong as these people and they seemed to be holding some sort of secret “yoga key” to strength and flexibility I didn’t have.

But there was an even stronger pull: I had been a ballet dancer and, when I quit classical ballet in my teens, I resigned myself to the fact I’d never be in that “zone” again – that place where time and space are irrelevant and your mind and body are in perfect sync and you feel like if you really wanted to, you could fly. But about 10 minutes into the class, and many years since the last time I had felt it, I was back in that zone and it lasted until the end of the class.

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But it was better than ballet – the goal was my overall well-being and not the position or how I looked. My goal when I teach is to get people IN THAT ZONE. It’s a place where you can’t think of your office or your ipad or you’ll fall down. It’s a place that nourishes you inside and out and it’s !@#$ing great.

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A typical “day in the life”

6a’ish – Wake up, hit snooze button.

6:30a – Get out of bed and either go for a run outside or at the gym (I can be really wimpy about the weather and will run inside any chance I get.) I think I love listening to music even more than I love the actual running but it’s a wonderful, meditative time that I make sure I do about three times a week.

8aWater with lemon and more and more water. Then, espresso! I love that little shot of coffee and I look forward to the ritual of making it every day. Also I usually have some Ezekiel bread with soy butter or almond butter. While I have my breakfast, I answer emails, Facebook stuff and, work on upcoming retreats or workshops.

10aAround this time I usually teach private students. I’ve recently decreased the number of private students I teach. I love my students and want them to be able to expect a lot from me and I finally understood that if I have too many students, I’m unhappy and the quality suffers. My classes are rigorous and demanding of focus and concentration from both the teacher and the student.

Noon – 2pI try to read or do a little writing and play with my parakeet Paloma. I also try to practice French and Italian (I’m very bad at both. I recently downloaded the app “Duolingo” and I can’t recommend it highly enough / forced practice!)

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2p – Home practice. I’m a big believer in practicing on your own especially if you’re a teacher. It’s my time to create and learn and do whatever practice I need. The practice I do for myself will be the basis for the classes I teach for the next day or two. I try to take public classes at least once a week – I’m pretty good at challenging myself but it’s just as important to listen to other teachers and to be a STUDENT. Also. Paloma does not like me to be upside-down so she flies around my feet when I’m in handstand and it drives me crazy because I’m in handstand a lot.

5p-8 or 9pteach classes. I teach primarily at Back Bay Yoga and it has been the best thing for me personally and professionally. The students bring unbelievably great energy and love to their practices. I owned a yoga studio from 2005-2013. It was great and tough and educational and frustrating and exhilarating and everything in between and, after 8 years, it was time to move on so I sold my company and was lucky enough to be put in touch with Lynne (owner of Back Bay Yoga). She has been a mentor to me and I can’t imagine anyone else being my boss after so much time not having a boss (I was nervous!)

Night time no matter how late, 8, 9, 10pm I have to eat a good dinner. If it’s earlier, I meet up with friends around Boston and enjoy some time out but I also LOVE to cook– there is always homemade stock in my freezer and almost always eggplant drying in my kitchen. When I have the time, I love to plan a big meal for friends and family (I sometimes cook for two days straight, make everything from scratch, for me it’s the most relaxing and fun thing in the world.) I think every night should end with a little bit of red wine (like 1⁄2 a cup) to relax but most of the time I’m too tired so I end up with a long shower and bed.

Day in the Life: Fitness Photographer

Hi! My name is Lucie Wicker and I am a photographer specializing in fitness photography. I work with all kind of fitness professionals; Pilates/yoga/barre instructors, fitness competitors, dancers, personal trainers, nutritionists, fitness models, and I also photograph gyms and studios in and around the Boston area. I started working with people in the health and wellness industry because I was (and continue to be) endlessly amazed by their discipline, determination, and their desire to help others achieve their own goals. I have been photographing the Boston fitness world for three years now and I am still inspired by my clients regularly. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of!

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I recently moved from the loud, bustling North End to quiet, coastal Cohasset so my daily life has changed pretty dramatically. One of the big changes was moving my studio which I set up in the barn behind my new house. It gets great light and I’m so excited to be able to offer it as a location option to my clients!

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Like most people Cara has interviewed, my days vary quite a bit from week to week which can be hectic but I love it too!

7:00-8:00am: Wake-up. My alarm clock goes off earlier but I usually press snooze button for a while. Sometimes I scroll through my Instagram feed to help wake up! I enjoy seeing how others start their day too.

8:30-9:00am: Breakfast. Coffee with almond milk and I’ve been on a cereal kick lately mixed with a little bit of granola and topped with fruit.

9:00am: Dog walk! I have an eight-year-old beagle named Apollo and our walk is a nice way to begin the morning and a good excuse to explore our new neighborhood.

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9:30am – 12:00pm: Computer work. Answering emails (I rarely feel totally caught up!), social media (I’m especially fond of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram), and scheduling posts on my blog.

12:00pm: Lunch! Now that it’s fall, I’m really enjoying veggie chili, specifically the Moosewood recipe from their latest cookbook. It’s hearty, healthy, and beyond delicious.

12:30pm: Photo shoot! Obviously the time I’m shooting varies quite a bit but I’m often found these days at my new studio in the early afternoon. If I’m not there, then I’m probably somewhere in the city or at a studio/gym shooting on location. It all depends on my client’s photo needs! I love how it is always something new and different. I’m also lucky to work with some fabulous stylists like Keely Witkowski of b.fetching (one of my main collaborators!), Jordan Wells, and Sadie Higgins. They are masters and I’m always glad when they are working with me on a shoot.

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5:00pm: Exercise. I’m an evening exerciser. I wish I could wake up early and get it done right away but that has never been something I could stick too and I think I work harder later in the day. Lately I have been running; I am a complete fair-weather runner so spring and fall are my favorite times of the year to run and I usually sign up for 5 or 10ks to have things to train for throughout the season. I’m also a big fan of barre, Pilates, and yoga. Oh and now that I am so close to the water- kayaking!

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6:30pm: Dinner with my fiancé, Seth. I like to cook over the weekend and have things that are easy to assemble during the week. I have been making a lot of things from the Oh She Glows cookbook by Angela Liddon and everything I’ve tried has been a winner.

7:30pm: I’m probably editing. People may think the bulk of my work is shooting and that’s true but I also spend almost as much time (maybe sometimes more) editing too! After a photo shoot I upload the photos right away so I can go over what I’ve shot and pick one of the best ones to feature on my Facebook page. I also upload the proofs to the client so they can go through them and narrow down their favorites which they then send back to me to edit. I’m always surprised how much time this takes but I really enjoy it; it’s another way to express my creativity. While I’m editing, I listen to podcasts like the Moth, This American Life, or the Story Collider. Editing is work but it’s also a good way to relax and unwind at the end of the day.

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If I’m not at home, I might be at a networking event which I try to do regularly; anything from a blogger event to something I found on Eventbrite to a Sweetgreen passport class. I like the social aspect of these meet-ups and it’s a perfect way to meet other people in the industry. Plus some of them involve a good workout too which I’m always up for!

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10:00-11:00pm: Bedtime. I’m probably out like a light!

Thanks to Cara for letting me share my story! If you’d like to connect, here’s my contact info:

email: lucie@luciewickerphotography.com

website: www.luciewickerphotography.com

Day in the Life: Wellness Marketer, Yoga Teacher, Herder of Cats

Hi. I’m Matthew, founder of patientMoon, a wellness marketing and web development studio I started in 2004 and took full-time 3 years ago. Let me back up. I began writing computer programs in the 80’s and developing websites in 1994, creating websites for my schools and several small business. I’ve been practicing yoga for 10 years or so, and started teaching about 5 years back. I currently teach at Back Bay Yoga and New England Conservatory.

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The alchemy of my life’s work has brought me to to where I am now – helping fitness & yoga studios/teachers show the world what they’re about through effective marketing, and helping students see themselves as they truly are.

Mostly, I’m here to help people calm the F down.

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6:54am Wake Up & Start the Day

I set my alarm for 7:30am, but I always wake up before then, even on weekends without an alarm set. I’ve never been someone who can sleep in. I start off my day by responding to client emails and following up with people we’re in discussion about working with, and reviewing the day’s meeting schedule.

7:32am Get Ready

Once I know what the day holds, I shower, get ready and get dressed. This also seems to be the most common time for me to have sudden epiphanies of new ideas for the business or our clients. Which, apparently, is not uncommon

8:06am Breakfast

Time for breakfast. I almost always have a bowl of granola with almond milk, usually with a cut up banana added if I have any. I generally read the news and Facebook while I’m eating.

8:23am Crime Watch Admin

This is usually around when I pack lunch (generally a mix of leftovers and easy-to-prepare items), but today I’m having lunch with my father, so I have some time to catch up on admin tasks for the Leather District Crime Watch. (Yeah, I know you probably have no idea where the Leather District is – it’s the area in downtown Boston between Chinatown and South Station.) I started the Crime Watch a few months ago to address ongoing issues with epidemic break-ins and drug dealing in the neighborhood by meeting with leaders of the Chinatown Crime Watch, who’ve been in action for nearly 10 years. We’re a group of residents in the area who find time amongst busy schedules to volunteer to patrol the neighborhood together (in shiny vests!) for a few hours each evening, reporting crime, addressing issues of public safety and working to improve the neighborhood. We also meet with Boston Police, EMS and other city departments regularly. We’re up to 40 volunteers as of this week, and we’re seeing noticeable effects from our efforts.

8:42am Off to the Office

…which is literally across the street. Nice side effect of being the boss: getting to choose where our office is. We’re in the awesome WeWork space, surrounded by other small entrepreneurial businesses.

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9am Stand UP & OUT!

Each member of the patientMoon teams stands up and updates the group about what they are working on for the day, and what they might need from other people. We focus as a team and make sure we are all on the same page. Lindsay works as the Content & Design Strategist and is our super organized, friendly client liaison, ensuring photo shoots are scheduled, content is created, and things are running smoothly. She does a bit of everything here. Dyle is our in-house designer, creating visually stunning website designs, logos and print materials. He is a painter of pixels. Kate, our Content Crafter, writes and edits all of the written material, making sure it sounds on-brand and doesn’t get stale. Dan works as a developer, mostly behind the scenes on tools to help us publish web sites faster, keep clients’ costs down, and make maintenance easier. The Stand Up gives us a chance to get on the same page, and ask for a second set of eyes on any projects mid-production.

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The Stand Out is our own patientMoon team creation – we close up the morning huddle by listing things that stood out to us as being exciting, innovative or inspirational from the day before. Once a week we read them together and pick out the best items from the daily lists, and once a month we highlight the very top items from the weekly lists. It’s a nice opportunity for us to remember our successes and keep perspective on our progress as a team over time without always focusing solely on the tasks of the day.

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9:30am-11:30am Heads Down Time

We set aside two hours daily of uninterrupted focus. No phone, emails, meetings or chats about Nicki Minaj/slinkies. This enables us to really fly through the most pressing work of the day, and keeps us productive and on task.  

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11:30am-12:30pm Client Mood board meeting!

While many of our clients call in or connect virtually (we have clients from Maine to Arizona), some of our local Boston clients prefer to meet in person. A mood board meeting is a way for us to filter what we know about our clients – the look and feel of their studio, their style and the feel of their brand into some “swatches” or slices of possibility for their website and other marketing. Our designer Dyle assembles visual examples meant to elicit responses, and from those responses he is better able to conceptualize the new website. Kate, our content crafter, is able to ask questions and listen to our clients as they form opinions on aesthetics and thematics that she can later use to craft a brand-appropriate narrative as well as getting a sense of an authentic voice. We think a lot about color and mood, texture, font and emotion. It is a fascinating and engaging artistic process that everyone participates in, and it the catalyst for future design iterations for the site and brand. The mood board is an eddying vortex of ideas, and a really exciting meeting for us and our clients.

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch with Dad

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I usually have lunch with my father once a week, which is a nice opportunity to catch up on what we’re each doing and get out of the office for a bit. It’s a great way for me to reflect on the last week and volley around new ideas. His perspective is fresh and informed, plus he always orders his avocado on the side so I can have it on my salad. What are dads for, right?

2pm-3pm Website Pre-Launch / Print Marketing / Pricing Strategy Meeting

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We’ve constantly got projects in every stage – this morning’s mood board meeting was early in our work with that client, while this meeting is to review the website development progress for a site we’re launching next week for a brand new fitness studio that we’ve been working with for months. This one’s in person too, with the whole team and the client hashing out final punch lists for tweaks before we go live. Today’s agenda also includes reviewing printed flyers we’re designing to help promote the new studio, and tweaking the pricing on memberships and promotions for the studio’s grand opening. This is typical of our work with clients – we take a global-holistic look at the business and marketing, not just single pieces like the website. And after this site launches next week, we’ll continue an ongoing working relationship with this client, constantly improving the website and supporting the studio’s growth and sustainability as we help build their client base.

3pm-4pm Initial Conversation with a Potential Client

Speaking of projects in every stage, Lindsay and I have an initial conversation by phone with two yoga teachers in California working on opening a non-profit studio designed to serve folks in the inner city who wouldn’t normally have access to yoga for financial reasons, as well as people recovering from addiction, PTSD and trauma. We pride ourselves in knowing a lot about our clients and their visions, so we spend more of this initial conversation learning about the studio plans and the teachers, and less time talking about our services and pricing. For most marketing studios this would be a sales call, but for us it’s the beginning of a dialog where we truly get to know each other and decide if and how we can help them. We take our time in this process, talking multiple times and preparing written “intention statements” about how we can work effectively together before deciding whether to take on the client. This is the result of years spent evolving our process, influenced by all the “intention setting” Lindsay, Kate and I do as yogis.

4pm-4:45pm More Work Time

Today was a bit more meeting-filled than usual, so the tail end of the day is well utilized  finishing up a few more tasks from my list.

4:45pm-5:00pm Stand Down with Lindsay

Lindsay and I have a “Stand Down” meeting at the end of the day (to contrast the “Stand Up” at the start of the day). She and I quickly review the status of all projects to make sure we know the priorities for the next morning’s Stand Up.

5:00pm-6:45pm Prep for Teaching Yin & Restorative Yoga

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I head home, change into yoga clothes and plan class by practicing at home. Anyone who’s taken classes with me knows I’m quite the fan of yoga props. Thankfully I’ve got a nice open space in the living room to sprawl out. Today’s prop mix for class is pretty minimal for my norm – 3 blankets, 2 blocks, 2 tennis balls, 1 bolster and a strap. This may actually be the fewest props I’ve used for one of my classes in weeks.

6:45pm Off to Back Bay Yoga

The studio is a nice 15 minute walk from my place, heading past Emerson and the Boston Common. I’ve been practicing at Back Bay Yoga since 2009 and will always have a strong personal connection to the studio from sharing many hours in Restorative Yoga classes with my grandmother Joan, who died in March 2011. Joan was able to attend the first public Restorative class I taught at Back Bay Yoga in January 2011, which was particularly special for me. She often credited Restorative Yoga for helping her be the most relaxed she’d ever been, and not a class I teach goes by without me thinking of her.

7:15pm Teaching Yin & Restorative Yoga

I love teaching active yoga classes for the opportunity to get geeky about anatomy and alignment, but nothing beats facilitating a quiet, introspective practice space for my students. As someone who’s always busy and constantly working on accomplishing things, teaching and practicing in this way is deeply therapeutic for me. It’s remarkable how much spending 90 minutes in a room helping other people calm down focuses and quiets my mind as well.

9:45pm Dinner & Decompressing

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My partner David and I eat at home a lot, usually cooking fairly simple meals since we’re often both very busy. Tonight we’re making a concoction of sauteed frozen peas and corn with tortellini all mixed into a red pepper and tomato soup. For some unwinding entertainment, we watch an episode of Star Trek: Voyager on Netflix. Being a bit of a trekkie, I’ve certainly seen this episode several times before, but I still love them anyway, especially sharing in the experience with David.

11:30pm Bed!

Some nights it’s a bit later than this, especially if I have to squeeze in some more work, but it’s been a long, full day!

Tomorrow promises to be another busy day, filled with a pre-launch review meeting of a Boston-based yoga teacher we’re building a website for, work on three fitness studio websites, a logo and a slew of other exciting things we’re working on.

To learn more about the work we do at patientMoon to help fitness and yoga studios and teachers with marketing, check out http://www.bostonfitnesswebsites.com (for fitness instructors) and http://www.bostonyogawebsites.com (for yoga teachers)

 

My Inspiration: We Finish Together

Today I would like to recognize a dear friend of mine, Kim Stemple. Kim is someone who is truly radiant. She embodies love, inspiration and life. She has touched my life deeply in so many ways. This blog post is for you Kim; to the community you create and the love you give to each and everyone of us. Keep shining your bright light and allow yourself to receive. We love you. We truly do “Finish Together”. 

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Kim Stemple, a marathoner and yogi, has created and founded, We Finish Together, a way of sharing your strength with others who need it. In life we’re confronted with struggles, obstacles and challenges and it‘s through love and light that we’re able to preserve and we’re able to become even stronger than we were before. Kim truly embodies this strength and this perseverance in her fight with Mitochondrial Disease and progressive muscular degenerative disease. For Kim, her disease has no cure but it’s touching the lives of others that gives her strength. As she states, “…because our friends, not medicine is what keeps me moving forward one mile at a time, one day at a time through the journey on which this diagnosis has taken us.”

We Finish Together is simple. You run a race or complete an endurance event. You receive a medal for the completion of that event. Now we all know that the medal is not just a medal. It symbolizes hundreds of hours of training, tears, laughter, community, love, courage and everything else it took to cross that finish line. Before giving the medal to We Finish Together, you attach an inspirational message. Maybe it’s your mantra you used during training, a motivational quote or something that inspired you at that very moment. Then We Finish Together passes the medal on to someone who’s in need of it.

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I received my medal through We Finish Together a few months ago. Kim found out that my husband and I were running the Chicago Marathon to raise money for Parkinson’s disease (Team Fox, Michael J. Fox Foundation) and gave us this beautiful medal with this message. This medal has given us so much strength and love during our training.

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Now I want to pass this movement forward. My husband and I are donating our 2014 SeaWheeze lululemon half marathon medals to We Finish Together. We want to extend our love, our strength and our story just like it has been passed onto us. It’s time to come together and create community like we’ve never done before. Who’s in?!!?!

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To donate your medals and to learn more about We Finish Together, feel free to e-mail Kim Stemple directly at kimberlystemple@gmail.com, visit the website or Facebook page.

 

 

Day in the Life: CEO & Founder of Project BeGritsy (soon to be MoveWith), EIR at CRV & Matrix Partners

Hi.  I’m Holly Shelton and am honored to be part of such an inspiring group of people that Cara has chosen to feature in her blog.  I’m originally from small-town Idaho, was a transplant to California as a young 20-something, fell in love with San Francisco where I spent the better part of a decade, and am now a recent transplant to Cambridge.  I moved here with my husband exactly one year ago so he could start a PhD.  I fought the move for the better part of two years so that I could stay in California and keep my secure, exciting job at Apple where I was the Product Manager of the MacBook Pro.

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Moving to Cambridge meant leaving Apple and chasing the opportunity to do something I’ve dreamed about since I was young… start a company!  I’ve been an entrepreneur in residence (aka EIR) for the past 10 months which has afforded me the time/space to pursue this dream. Although we’re starting a tech company, we think of ourselves as more of a people company. We believe that people are our greatest motivators when it comes to moving so we’re building MoveWith (now known as Be Gristy) to make it easier to move (i.e. get fit) together and form community.  Along the way, we guide people towards their healthiest, most confident and connected selves.  Our platform is built with teachers in mind and ultimately is about giving great teachers agency so that they can motivate and inspire more people to move.

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I grew up as an athlete, spent as much time outdoors as possible, and am very passionate about all things movement (I like that word better than fitness).  What I gained from athletics was so much more than a toned, muscular body.  It was a lifestyle that I loved, a connection to an inner voice in myself that could conquer anything, and a sense of community/team.  I want to help people at all stages of life move not just so that they’re healthy, but so they’re happy.

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When it comes to work, no one day is the same. At the moment, we’re just getting the company off the ground and I’m juggling fundraising, hiring a rockstar founding team, logistics that cover anything from legal to insurance to benefits, designing and building technology to support our vision, creating our brand and our values… the list goes on and on.

A Sample Day

7am – Wake up and get a quick 30-minute run in on the Charles with our pup Henry.

8am – Enjoy an earl grey tea and 8-grain cereal while I catch up on the latest tech news and check emails.  I can’t get going without food, but always try to find something healthy.

9am – Ride my bike into either the CRV or Matrix offices (a welcome change from the hour+ commute to Apple.)

9 to 11am Product brainstorm with my cofounder, Tricia.  I’m typically at the whiteboard and sketching out our product plan. We’re working on leveraging the latest technology to create a really compelling experience for students and teachers around movement.  We’re targeting our first beta (mobile app) early next year so are hashing out the first features that will make it easier to MoveWith each other, and give teachers agency through a platform that connects them with new teaching opportunities and their community.

11am – Investor meeting.  A weekly meeting with the partners I work with at CRV and Matrix to update them on our progress, latest product thinking, and progress on building a team.

1pm – Grab a quick salad to-go at Tatte and head back to our small conference room to work on the early forming of the company.  This time we’re focused on brand and go over a mood board to hone in on the 5 brand attributes we really want to come through.

2pm – Customer interview.  A call with a yoga teacher to better understand her current pain points.

3pm – Call with our UX designer who has wireframes (a view of how a user will interact screen to screen with our app) for us to react to.

4pm Coffee with an iOS engineering candidate who will ideally build version one of our product.

5pm – Checking out a new space for our next Project BeGritsy class IMG_0175

6pm – Head home and set up shop in our study.  Will spend the next few hours working on a pitch deck that tells the story of our MoveWith vision and how we plan to grow our company and build our product.

830pm – Cook dinner with my husband and briefly catch up on the day.

930pm – Back to the computer.  This time working on an updated product spec for the designers so we can continue working on wireframes and product development.

12am – Wrap up the day by responding to any unanswered emails.

1230am – Get a quick 10-minute meditation in to ground myself and let go of all the stress from the day.

1am – Head to sleep, exhausted, but filled with excitement because I’m building something that I’m proud of and want to see in this world.

For more information on MoveWith (Be Gristy) find the social media channels and our website below and feel free to follow me on Twitter at @hlshelton.

Twitter: @begritsy
Instagram: instagram.com/begritsy
Facebook: facebook.com/bgritsy
Website: www.begritsy.com

Day in the Life: Yoga Instructor + YogaNut Founder

What an honor it is to be featured on Cara’s blog, alongside many truly inspirational and hard working individuals! Cara and I both teach at Sweat and Soul and Back Bay Yoga, as well as recently participating in a mentorship program under Lynne Beiger. On a more personal note, Cara has been a big part of my teaching support system over the past year, giving me solid advice and inspiration along the way. So thank you for that, Cara!

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Let me begin with the basics. My name is Alissa Portet…hi!! I am a yoga teacher in the Boston area, and absolutely LOVE my job. Two years ago (almost to the day) right before my 27th birthday, I decided to make a life change and leave my management job at L.A. Burdick Chocolate to become a certified yoga teacher. It was one of those distinct moments when I re-assessed my life, and asked myself the simple question, “What will make you happy?”.  It was a decision based solely on intuition/instinct, and one that I know I will never regret. That being said, it was a BIG change from my previous life chapter, and one that I am still adapting to every single day.

To be honest, there is no “typical day” for me. Some days my focus is solely on teaching, and other days I direct my energy towards my blog, sequencing, playlists, or my YogaNut brand. Regardless of the day though, I get by with help from my calendar, a little pizazz, and of course, some form of yoga. Since there is no typical day for me, below I compiled a rough sketch of the various components in my crazy, awesome life.

6:30-7:30am: Wake up.
Generally with coffee, but ALWAYS with a healthy/filling meal. I find that I am often most hungry in the morning/afternoon, and it really gets my day off on the right foot.

7:30-9am: Work on a new playlist.
This is something that I did not expect would take up as much time as it does, but certainly makes a difference in class. Not only choosing the right songs, but also placing them in a way that enhances the sequence/experience.

9-1:30pm: Teaching morning/afternoon classes.
As a yoga teacher, I often spend as much time in my car as I do in the studio. So, depending on my mood, you will find me either driving in silence to have some quiet time or blasting the jams while practicing calming yoga techniques in the midst of traffic. There is also always some form of trail mix/fruit munching involved…a girl needs her energy!

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1:30-4pm: Catch up time.
Head home to grab lunch, catch up on emails and work on my YogaNut blog/brand (www.yoganutstudio.com). Right now I am selling tank tops as well as sporty headbands! 

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4-9pm: Teaching/Taking class.
During this time, I am usually taking a yoga class somewhere, teaching, or working on my weekly sequence.  Oftentimes, I am attempting to get all of these things in! It is extremely important to continue the learning process.  It not only makes me a better, more informed teacher, but it also keeps me sane!

9pm-11pm: Dinner/Relaxation. 
By this point in the day I am starving, and ready to SIT DOWN! I usually end my evening with a healthy meal, and some quality time with my handsome boyfriend. 

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Life is all about balance, so it is important to keep all aspects of my life in check. In my free time, my friends and family are priority. I do my best to keep in touch with the people I love, and plan as many visits as possible. These aspects of my life feed my soul, and provide me with a constant feeling of gratitude.

Feel free to reach out to me at alissaportet@gmail.com or check me out at www.facebook.com/alissayoganut. “Live the life you deserve!”

Day in the Life: Team J+A, Co-founders of the 14-day Whole Food Detox

After Cara’s yoga class this week, we were chatting about the movement happening among the 20/30-somethings in Boston. If you haven’t already noticed, there’s been quite a significant movement away from the traditional values like stability and security and towards adventure, towards the desire to fully experience life.

We can no longer say it’s coincidental that we ran into yet another young entrepreneur or that we have the conversations we have only because we hang in circles of creative types. The movement is happening all over the city, in conversations with financial analysts and lawyers, school teachers and moms. We’re thrilled to be at the forefront of this shift and to be crossing paths with other amazingly talented, progressive professionals, who want to build, create, express and inspire!

With that being said, we’d like to thank Cara for asking us to share a bit about ourselves and hope it gives you an honest look into the day to day of two young women who want to change the world doing what they love.

Who we are: Jody and Ashley, otherwise known as “Team J+A”. In 2012, we co-founded a company, Whole Detox, that offers virtual wellness programming to busy urban professionals.

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Our signature program is a 14-day Whole Food Detox which leaves participants feeling lighter, more energized than ever, in control of food cravings, free of chronic pain, headaches, and digestive discomfort, with clear skin and balanced moods… and much more.

All of this is done without restrictive dieting or calorie counting. Our approach is rooted in the philosophy that pleasure and health can and should co-exist, with a large focus on finding joy in one’s food and beyond.

We’re also rolling out an exciting new offering, a one-day Urban Retreat, which we’ll host in Boston this September. The purpose of this full-day “time out” is to challenge the idea that we need to fly to Bali or Tulum to reset our body, mind, and soul. Through yoga, dance, cooking demos and other interactive wellness workshops, we’ll guide a group of women to find stillness among the chaos of the city and to walk away feeling empowered with food and in life.

Registration for the retreat will be limited. So get on this list here to be first in the know! For more info on our signature detox program click here.

And now, for a day in the life of J+A…

6:30 am: Wake up + morning routine
We like to stay unplugged for a good hour first thing in the morning. Rather than reacting to emails or texts we spend this time setting the tone for the day. Yoga and/or meditation and a good healthy breakfast (i.e. farm fresh eggs + bacon, green juice) usually does the trick.

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8:30 am: Bike to the office
Ashley heads right down the street from the condo she shares with her hubby and the most precious pup in the world, Reese.

Jody bikes from the North End, the neighborhood she’s called home for the past 8 years!

9 am: Workday begins
Just recently we transitioned from working out of home offices to the lovely WeWork in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston. It’s refreshing to be around people again. Wow! We’re quickly remembering how good it feels to be surrounded by many personalities, to bounce ideas off other professionals, and to simply interact beyond our virtual world!

Our typical morning includes:
* J+A admin meeting – updating each other on our priorities for the day
* Answering emails
* A bit of social media
* Prepping scripts for training calls and live workshops

12 -1 pm: LUNCH TIME!
Our favorite time of day, of course. We’re not the “eat at the desk” kind of girls. We walk together to a nearby park or to the farmers market in Dewey Sq and enjoy the fresh air while we chomp on some of our favorite foods. Typical lunch might be a huge kale salad with avocado, tomatoes, and a few hard-boiled eggs or zucchini noodles with a basil pesto sauce.

It’s unlikely we won’t follow up lunch (or dinner for that matter) with a good quality piece of chocolate.

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1 pm – 5 pm: More work
Back to the office or to meet potential clients, a typical afternoon might include:
* 1:1 introductory meetings with yoga teachers, studio owners, or follow up conversations with alum of our programs
* Writing content for our blog or email newsletters
* Program development and updates

5:30 pm: After hours
These days we’ve been spending at least two nights a week out and about at networking events or offering tastings of our detox recipes at various locations (post yoga/dance classes, at Crossfit studios, etc.)

On the nights we’re NOT working, we love to:
* Dance (Fire & Ice in Harvard Sq. and Havana in Central)
* Do yoga (North End Yoga and South Boston Yoga)
* Go out to eat! (Sarma in Somerville is our most recent top pick!)

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10 – 11 pm
Unplugged once again, we each usually wind down with a favorite book or just some good old fashion conversation with family or friends. And that’s that! What we love most about what we do is the flexibility of our lives and the unexpected conversations and ideas that fill every day. We’re definitely not without our fair share of struggles and doubts but at the end of the day, we feel proud of the commitment we’ve made to live the life of our dreams.

We’re having so much fun uncovering it just a bit at a time and we hope you’ll join our community. Thanks again Cara for the feature and thanks to you all for reading!

Social Media:
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/teamjanda
Instagram and Twitter are @wholedetox

Day in the Life: Founding President, MS Student, Personal Trainer + Worksite Wellness Specialist

I am honored and delighted to be featured in Cara’s series entitled “Day In The Life”. It has been so refreshing and invigorating to read about the many zealous and enthusiastic individuals in Massachusetts and beyond sharing their talents and passion to improve the health and well-being of the masses. Kudos to all of you!

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I first met Cara while running the corporate wellness program at State Street in Boston, MA. From our very first meeting, it was clear to see Cara’s bountiful energy applied to her work and passions in life, one being yoga. With her eagerness and motivation to embed her love of health and fitness into the lives of the clients she works with, it has been a pleasure to see the great success she has captured amongst many. As such, I am excited to support her vision of community involvement and engagement through thought-provoking ideas, movements, experiences and practices. Here’s to happy! Here’s to healthy!

My name is Colleen Faltus and I am the Founding President of Healthy Fusions and a part-time MS degree-seeking student in the field of Nutrition and Health Promotion at Simmons College. In addition to these specific roles as founder and student, I am also a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a worksite wellness specialist through the National Wellness Institute (NWI).

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My passion for all things health and wellness did not come to fruition until my sophomore year of college. It was at Springfield College, majoring in Exercise Science, that I became a certified personal trainer and recognized my fervor and zeal to apply such concepts into an individual’s everyday life. Post undergrad, with experience at Athletes’ Performance in California and as a private trainer at Equinox and Sports Club LA in Boston, the enthusiasm for such principles and practices in the realm of Exercise Science became much stronger. With several years of commercial sector and in-home personal training experience under my belt, I was afforded the opportunity to expand my horizons and launch the first ever corporate wellness program, in collaboration with a Registered Dietitian, at numerous State Street locations in Massachusetts. It was this experience that formed the groundwork for the development of my business venture, Healthy Fusions, which will be launched this coming fall in Boston, MA. As with any business venture, the schedule can be unpredictable but busy nonetheless. With that being said, here is my “Day In The Life”:

8AM: Fueling My Fire
No morning would be complete without a hearty breakfast to fuel the day’s activities. Although much the same- oatmeal, peanut butter, fresh fruit and a glass of orange juice- this breakfast provides the right amount of energy to keep me satiated and satisfied for the work (and fun) ahead.

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830-1130AM: Empowering the Mind
The importance of education, in the form of academia, conferences, presentations, seminars, webinars etc can never be overvalued. This component of both my academic and professional career has played a potent role in my growth and development as a student and business owner.

Likewise, in a field that is constantly evolving and presenting with conflicting strategies for health promotion and disease prevention/management, education and sound research play an integral role in health advocacy and informed consumerism. With this being said, in addition to usual emails and meetings, I spend quite a bit of time in the morning researching information that provides the consumer with the best resources possible for healthier living and optimal well-being. After reading through several articles and studies, time is spent updating all pertinent social media platforms directly correlated with my business, Healthy Fusions. Such platforms include Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Because each platform targets different audiences, the content presented will vary based off the audience at hand. However, the main objective remains the same: to provide the most concise and appropriate information for the masses to support positive behavior modification.

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12-130PM: Practice to Preach
My passion for exercise would never be complete if I did not practice what I preached. Therefore, 5-6 days per week, I aim to incorporate a 1-1.5 hour training session into my day, which can include anything from high intensity interval training to strength and flexibility training. This session not only gives me the time to decompress but also improve and tweak current exercise prescriptions that have been designed.

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2-3PM (as well as 430-530PM): Commute
Commuting to Boston from Rhode Island, as this is where I currently reside, is quite a normal occurrence. Whether I am driving to meet friends, a client, or head into school, the hour-long commute has become a stress-free way to organize my thoughts and late afternoon agenda.

3-430PM: Exercise Is Medicine
I have always felt that exercise and proper nutritional strategies play a major role in disease prevention and optimal health outcomes. I take this same perspective and apply to the personal training session I have with my private training client in Chestnut Hill, MA. The session lasts an hour and a half and includes a variety of exercise strategies to suit the client’s needs and goals.

6-8PM: Relax. Rejuvenate. Refresh.
After the drive home from Boston, I typically sit down to enjoy dinner and the nightly news with Brian Williams (even though it is hard to keep a straight face after watching Jimmy Fallon’s mashup featuring him). On other nights, I also head out to dinner with friends as it provides the perfect balance between the hustle and bustle of life’s hectic schedule.

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8-11PM: Empowering the Mind
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins. The process of learning offers a fulfillment like nothing else and the ability to impact others with the knowledge and wisdom to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is in the last 3 hours of my day that I spend additional time reading and prepping my social media sites for the following morning.

11PM: Success Found In Sleep
The aim is to head to bed at 11pm every night which, more times than not, turns into midnight.

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Despite the fluctuating bed times, the importance of sleep will never be underestimated and plays an integral role in my development as a professional and the success of my client’s well-being.

Have you caught your Zzzz yet?

Be well, live healthy, fuel your fire. Here’s to healthy living!

Colleen M. Faltus, cfaltus@healthyfusionswellness.com
www.healthyfusionswell.com

Day in the Life: Holistic Health + Wellness Coach

Hi Everyone! My name is Jennifer Menzer and I am thrilled to be featured in my esteemed colleague and fellow yogi/cyclist Cara Gilman’s blog! Cara and I have known “of” each other thru teaching and Facebook for a while but it wasn’t until we were in Lynne Beiger’s Mentorship program that I was lucky enough to share space and get to know her!

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So… about me. In a few words I am a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. More specifically (and bear with me on this mouthful, but here’s what I do), I am a Certified Master Fitness Trainer, Certified STOTT® Pilates Instructor, Certified Vinyasa Yoga Instructor, an AADP Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Certified Pre and Post-Natal Fitness Trainer, Certified Group Exercise Instructor, Certified Kettlebells Instructor, Certified SPINNING® Instructor, Certified TRX® Suspension Trainer, and Certified GRAVITYSystem® Trainer I’m also b.good restaurant’s first fitness ambassador!

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I got my first start in the fitness business by “accident”.  While taking classes as a teen at the local gym in my hometown of Levittown, our usual instructor called out sick. The management asked me if I’d teach the class (I knew every move by heart) and I nervously said “of course!” After that, it was a done deal. The desire to educate, motivate and inspire was in my blood and I was hooked. 

Throughout college I continued to teach group exercise classes, and continued to teach during my post graduate work at Northeastern University where I graduated with a Masters in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Women’s Studies.  After three years of a professional career in the psychology field, I fully realized that my true passion was health and wellness. I decided to change to a career where I would have the opportunity to support clients in a more holistic manner, as they made meaningful changes in their lives.

That brings us to today where I spend my time doing all of the great stuff that I listed above. Each of my days is different but we’ll use today’s schedule to give you an idea of what “a day in the life of me” looks like!

7:30am: Wake up for my 8am client. I live around the block and shower the night before so I can get my maximum number of Zzzzz’s in!

8-9amPrivate Yoga with J. She’s so much fun as she’s game for whatever I have planned. Today was a core intensive flow so little did she know that standing eagle crunches were on the menu!

9-10am: Private Training with A. A is looking for all over strength and fat loss so we did a combination of cardio and functional strength training to get a total body workout. 

10-11am: As the owner of Saldare Body Therapy, I get the oh so glamourous job of taking out the trash, fixing the toilet, sorting thru the mail….you get the idea… general admin stuff, but can’t run a business without it! My pup Millie came to visit so it was a lot more enjoyable. 

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11-12:30pm: Quality time spent with my husband Jeff and Millie.  Since Jeff is in the restaurant business our free time is in the afternoon.

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12:30-1:30pm: Meeting with Jon Olinto, owner of b.good to plan our next sponsored Yoga event, as well as a super secret and exciting program launch that will be coming soon! 

1:30-3:30pm: Relax/take Millie for a walk/hang with the hubby/enjoy the day! 🙂

3:30-4:30pm Off-site meeting with a real estate firm to pitch a Corporate Wellness program for their employees. I co-own Boston Health Coaches with my two wonderful friends and colleagues Susan and Jenn. We offer private, group and corporate wellness, nutrition coaching and life coaching to help people live the healthiest, happiest, most vibrant lives!

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4:30-5:30pm Private Health Coaching with K. K is looking to lose weight, find an exercise plan that works best for her and be healthier overall. Love openminded and ready to change clients! Change is never easy…

5:30-6:30pm Private Training with S. S is looking for cardiovascular endurance and increased performance so we do alot of High Intensity Interval Training. Burpees anyone?! She also loves Pullups! My kind of gal 🙂

6:30-7:30pm Feed Millie and get ready to teach at Velo.

7:30-8:30pm Teach my 6 pak abs class at Velo-City Studios. Great energy and they love to WORK!

8:30-11pm Eat dinner, check my emails, plan for the next day and then, finally, relax on the couch with a good book (nothing serious… I like mind candy.. Rich fantasy type stuff.. Don’t judge)

11pm bed time! 

If you want to know more about me or find out more information about any of the services I offer please contact me at info@jennifermenzer.com or check out my site at saldarespa.com or bostonhealthcoaches.com. Also, if you think your company would benefit from a wellness program I’d love to hear from you!

Day in the Life: Intuitive Coach + Healer

Hi everyone! I’m Miriam Katz and I’m so excited to be partnering with Cara to share a day in the life as an intuitive coach and healer. Cara has been my dear friend since we met through work at State Street Corporation, where we spread good karma through community involvement. Since then we have both taken the leap of faith to leave and live our dreams, and our lives are richer than ever.

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Every day in my week is different, so I’ll share the highlights of what makes my life as a coach, healer and work at home mom so beautiful.

My Morning: Coaching & Healing

On a typical work day, I have a fabulous babysitter who comes after breakfast to engage my little one. When I say goodbye and head up to my office, I’m so excited! My work recharges my batteries, so I look forward to diving in and having some fun.

Most days I climb to my cozy 3rd floor office where I do my coaching work on the phone. On days when it’s beautiful outside, I bring my notebook and hands-free headset outside to the deck. I take 15 minutes before the session to review notes from my past sessions with my next client and to center myself, getting grounded and focused on supporting my client’s highest good.

My client calls when s/he is ready to begin, and it’s time for magic! I never know exactly where a session will go beforehand, and neither does my client – though they usually bring an idea that they want to work on – which is part of the excitement.

My client will bring up anything from recurring thoughts or emotions that are standing in her way, or a goal she’d like to accomplish, like finding fulfilling work, improving a relationship, getting more in touch with her intuition, or connecting to her core self. My sweet spot is helping clients identify and remove blocks that are standing in their way. With the blocks cleared, shifting into a state where we can manifest our desires is easy and instant.

On a given call we set an intention for what you want to achieve, using imagery or a description to evoke your desired feeling state and get grounded in the reality of what you’re creating. As obstacles arise I’ll gently draw attention to them, then go into the source of your blocks and dismantle them. You’d be surprised what kinds of amazing memories and messages can be found at the heart of our blocks. We spend so much time avoiding them, but each block has a gift at its core and a message that we can integrate for greater self-love and compassion. After a block has been removed, the sense of elation and freedom is incredible. I usually feel the shift along with you, which is an added bonus for me.

For example, a client who I’ll call Marlene became aware that the stories she was telling herself about who she was were holding her back. Like Marlene, we all have stories that play on repeat loops in our heads. Because we believe them, we act as if they’re true, and then – presto – we keep getting the same results. In order to shift Marlene’s outcomes, we worked together to identify, delete and consciously rewrite those stories.

I asked Marlene to picture a stack of books that represented her outdated stories. Then I drew her attention to the title on their spines. She saw three titles, and recognized them as judgments her mother had expressed in childhood, like “you’ll never make any friends acting like that”. Together we explored how those statements had blocked Marlene from allowing love into her life. 

Then Marlene recalled a stack of journals she’d been keeping from her darker times, which sat in her home as a constant reminder of those limiting beliefs. Marlene resolved to burn those books in order to make a symbolic and energetic departure from the emotional states they represented. She found where those ideas had lodged themselves in her body. I guided her to use what I call the healer’s toolbox to choose the ideal tools to dismantle them. One of those tools was a blowtorch that she used to blast apart a concrete barrier she’d erected around her heart! When we circled back to the three books (representing her old stories) that she’d seen earlier, she found their pages to be blank. She gave the books new titles that spoke to her deepest truth, including “I give and receive love freely”.

I then asked Marlene to feel and describe the feeling states evoked by each title in turn, and to step inside that feeling state. She chose a symbol to represent each feeling state, then envisioned that symbol in the place where she experienced the feeling in her body. This is a tool I use to anchor these juicy feeling states inside us, so that we can return to them at will.  

My work is deeply gratifying. It enables me to tap into my deep compassion for others, my intuitive compass to find the blocks, and my life coach training, which taught me that each client contains the wisdom and tools to their healing. I find my tools evolving over time and sometimes spontaneously tap into a new and potent tool for healing.

In the past few years, I’ve also embraced the talents I was born with, offering psychic readings and energy clearings for people, all of which I can do from my home as well. Some people love to get out and be in an office environment but as an empath who picks up on others’ emotions, it’s most healing for me to be at home. My readings often focus on life purpose, past life impacts on present patterns and relationships, and even connecting with loved ones who have crossed over. Those readings provide lots of fuel for transformative coaching sessions, providing the foundational understanding that enables us to release old patterns and actualize new goals.

Energy clearings can be quick tune-ups or more in depth healing sessions that clear and balance the energetic body, including the chakras and aura, and release blockages that interrupt your body’s ability to self-repair.

My work embodies my passion, which is helping people to recognize the divine, powerful and loving beings they are. After I get off the phone with my clients, I reclaim my kids, totally revitalized from the transformations I’ve facilitated and experienced.

My Afternoon: Yoga & Self Care

Two or three times a week I also go to a yoga class with one of my favorite teachers, like Cara’s lunchtime class on Tuesdays at JP Centre Yoga. Seeing Cara and spending some time stretching and pushing my limits helps me to show up more fully in my daily life, for my kids, my husband, and my clients.

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My Evening: Family time

I end my days with reconnective time as a family, including play, dinner and kids’ baths. Our family has crafted a beautiful tradition of incorporating gratitude in those last moments of awakeness that set the stage for our dreamtime. We share 3 or 4 reasons we’re grateful for each other or for our day. Gratitude is another anchor that helps draw more of what we want into our lives. Since we’ve incorporate that practice, our relationships have improved as have the quality of our lives.