Knowing what wellness is, is not the same as actually feeling it.
There, I said it. For a long time, I was in denial that I actually wasn’t doing all that well because I knew what wellness was (and I was eating “clean” what more did I need, right?). Like so many businesses start from personal experience, so does mine.
Today I help women identify and integrate THEIR own, personal, sustainable wellness naturally, one choice at a time! I’ve found over the years that it can be easy to be passionate and know what wellness looks like and at the same time very difficult in actually feeling it – and integrating it into our lives.
Can you relate? Are you passionate about health and being well but don’t actually feel it? Like really feel it? I have been there and know that feeling, and I would love to help you!
But if you’re curious like me, perhaps you’re wondering how I got from that feeling to where I am now, helping and coaching women on how they too can create their desired wellness experience from having their babies and beyond. For that (longer) story, plus 10 random things, see below!
I spent over eight years specializing in qualitative research and innovation and worked with some of the biggest brands in the world. I was really good at going deep within human behavior data and anecdotal evidence, identifying insights, then using those insights to innovate, create and strategically plan how brands could best serve. I lived and worked abroad, and was a jet-setter (let’s be honest it was NOT a jet!), a “working mom”, and a “stay-at-home-mom” – two titles I’ve never really been a fan of. If we must label, can we just say “mom”? All moms work, PERIOD.
In a nutshell, like so many, I was rarely still.
I did all those things until I found myself at a crossroads as a new mom to twin girls, back at work, and in the midst of losing my dad to a terminal illness before he ever got the chance to retire and feel what it’s like to put your feet up. These things were hitting me, and hard, although you wouldn’t have known it because I was so entrenched in my identity of having answers and spilling optimism. For me, this is when my internal work and my external work were coming to a crossroads.
I have always been passionate about my health, but this time I found my passion didn’t mean I could reach and feel fully well. And honestly, my practice of wellness (focusing on just my food and exercise) was failing me. I could not keep up as more and more responsibilities and emotions were put on my much larger, life plate. So what did I do?
I surprised myself and everyone who knew me and took a “pause” from work. I laugh now thinking about it because that’s literally what I told my co-workers when I was leaving; I was so unbelievably uncomfortable with the feeling of being jobless that I couldn’t completely cut ties with it. I should’ve known the girl who got a paper route in sixth grade, the girl who averaged three jobs through college and then graduate school, would be extremely uncomfortable not working. And yet, it still surprised me.
The Pause (but not really).
That empty inbox was an unexpected blow. Don’t we all dream of an empty inbox?! I worked on unlearning social norms when it came to working inside the home and thinking and doing by my health and wellness. We grew our family and had a son, another homebirth. I felt another peak of empowerment and awe in just how much our body can do and provide for us if we have empowering care (which can come in all places not just at home). I got used to the piles of unfinished tasks and the stuff that fills your home (every little corner) with kids. I got used to managing my expectations and what can get done in a day. I sought a lot of help physically (hello diastasis recti and pelvic floor repair), mentally, and spiritually from books, therapy, coaches, mentors, trainers, and more. I had a lot of support from my husband who is a chiropractor and has always had an alternative lens when it comes to approaching health and wellbeing.
I worked on his business behind the scenes, satisfying some of my brain’s yearning for creative work outside of domestic work. I laughed and cried, many times about my noticeable discomfort in even the word “domestic” associated with my name and responsibilities. I learned to cook. I worked to understand wellness and its many facets from relationships, joy, health, physical, and more and how all those things can be fed into, sometimes in seasons. Put simply, I’m doing a lot of things now that I didn’t before:
- I work daily on not falling into the cultural norm that motherhood = reckless abandonment of self
- I’m aiming for motherhood = living MY best life (which means the best life model for my kids)
- I’m getting comfortable saying “I need…” and “Here’s how I feel…” words I used to pride myself on not saying
- I’m getting comfortable creating what I need even when (especially when) no one is asking me what I need
- I am working to live how I hope my children will live
So now I was jobless, at home, raising twin girls. I sat with that feeling of an empty inbox and the effects it had on my ego.
While in many ways I was becoming a lot of things like a mother, what I was really feeling and doing was un-becoming so much more.
I’m getting comfortable saying “I need…” and “Here’s how I feel…”
words I used to pride myself on not saying.
I’m getting comfortable creating what I need even when
(especially when) no one is asking me what I need.
The Amplified Mission.
As I navigated my own life changes, I saw my friends’ lives transitioning alongside my own. I was constantly thinking about how our wellness is so completely and utterly personal. Our ability to reach for wellness is tethered to so many personal things:
- the way our homes function
- mental and physical exercises of the mind and body
- work hours
- if you can have kids/want kids/don’t have kids
- fluctuation in schedules
- who travels for work and or commute times
- childcare options
- birth/pregnancy/postpartum experiences
- available help/support
- the time you have to yourself in a day
- our goals
- and yes the food on our plate (and taste preferences of everyone in the household!)
- and more!
- The list of nuances that make our lives uniquely ours are personal and have got to be a part of our wellness plan if it’s actually going to stick!
I realized, we just don’t research ourselves enough.
We women, we often don’t research ourselves enough – we are so wonderfully aware of what’s going on with others and how to take care of them that we neglect inward curiosity. I was so intrigued by this thought that I decided to go back to school to become a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach for women, postpartum doula and I became an Evidenced Based Birth Professional member. Today, I work to bring my unique blend of expertise in research, innovation, nutrition, a woman’s journey from birth, postpartum, and beyond to help women create a WELL all their own with Free WELL.
I would love to help you create a sustainable wellness all your own – to learn more about how we can work together explore the Free WELL Offerings, or message me directly. I offer free discovery calls to see if we’re a good fit for one another!
Time is our currency. With that in mind, I offer some free resources for you from our doable dishes Recipes to our perfectly imperfect Blog where we can learn what it means to be human and WELL together.
Free Well, where the things that make our lives uniquely our own intersect with our creativity, our free will, and our wellness!
I LOVE to ask questions and wonder a lot. Just ask my husband, who felt like our first date was an interview. It’s not surprising I fell in love with qualitative study and working to realize a person’s story. But in the last ten years, I have turned my research and curiosity inward in getting to know myself more deeply. This has been my greatest journey, and while not always smooth sailing, it is a story I can’t afford to not realize.
I am the middle child of three girls, and very grateful for the perspective it gave me. I’d like to think I’d be saying the same thing no matter birth order, but I’ll never know!
My favorite instrumental sound is the cello. I don’t play but wish I did! Putting it out there so one day I WILL take lessons.
I had all my babies at home with an experienced and professional birth team (I didn’t even know that was a thing people did until I started researching options about a year before we even started to try to conceive!). Today, I help lead the Homebirth Collaborative group in Cincinnati and I’m in the process of getting my certification as a doula, and I’m a Professional Member of the Evidenced-Based Birth Academy®. HEAR ME – I do not care where women choose to have their babies, BUT I do care immensely that all women get a chance to enjoy, feel empowered, supported, heard, and in control of their own bodies (prenatal, during birth, and postpartum – their whole lives really). And side note, I think the spirit and mission of a doula (to provide emotional, physical, and educational support) is so applicable to any client I work with on their wellness journey. In other words, I think we should all have our own personal well doulas! Are you with me? I’m pictured here after my first homebirth, holding my twins for the first time, with my friend and doula behind me, Lauren Wales with Luminous Bodywork. What a moment.
I mastered the art of going out to eat and traveling solo while living and working in Europe. But what I should say is the beauty that lies within being out and about (and knowing NO ONE) won me over. When we are solo, even if it’s within our own neighborhood, we give ourselves time and space to find more of ourselves – this is certainly true for me, a 2 Enneagram and empath. I’ve realized my wellness depends on alone time.
I’m told I hold writing devices “the wrong way”. My thumb basically hugs the whole pencil in place – so my thumb is hugger! But what I know is, there are many ways to hold a pencil, just as there are many ways to do wellness.
I think the first time I exercised my entrepreneurial spirit was when I handed out flyers to pull weeds in yards with a friend so we could buy a trampoline. We earned the money but we were never allowed to get the trampoline.
I have “an incompetent lip” (says an ortho). My lips just can’t totally rest closed, as hard as they try! So yes, oftentimes my mouth rests open, and my lips are usually moving when I’m reading, and I will never be able to pull off serious-face photos. I may have an incompetent lip but I have a very competent smile and laugh!
I was definitely addicted to sugar and would binge eat growing up and well into my 20’s, but I didn’t recognize it then. My late 20’s and 30’s have been about learning, awareness of eating patterns, facing past experiences, and how they’ve influenced my relationship with food, and repairing the damage done to my gut. Today, it’s about intuitive eating without falling into total rigidity that’s not sustainable (or fun in my opinion!). I still love a good sweet!
I didn’t learn how to really cook until my 30’s. Before then, I referred to my rare attempts as “special meals” which I really only had like 1 or 2 recipes to choose from.