So here’s the truth… I am no more “perfect” than anyone else.

I don’t work out every day.

I don’t do the variety of movement I would prescribe for a client all the time. I like to do the things I’m already good at!

I don’t always get enough sleep.

I don’t always manage my time very well.

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media that means sometimes I lose too much time but don’t always post strategically for my business.

And here’s a big one… as a nurturing person who loves her clients I don’t always make good decisions for myself. I sometimes find I’m taking care of my clients, taking care of my studio, taking care of my family, but not taking very good care of me!

When I am coaching my teacher clients, they wonder if I suffer from the same doubts and struggles that they experience. I’m here to say that one of the things I bring to my coaching is the fact that I AM RIGHT THERE IN THE TRENCHES WITH YOU!

I run group classes every teaching day (5 days a week) and I teach anywhere from 15-23 private sessions a week. I do administration and content creation on Mondays. I know from deep inside myself what it’s like to not have enough time, enough energy, enough empathy for MYSELF because I spent it all. I recognise the honour and the privilege of being that busy, of having wonderful clients and classes to teach, but it does have its costs. My current challenge is to better limit my schedule so I get as much refresh/ re-set time as I need to be the best teacher/ mum/wife/friend/ sister/ daughter/ human as I can be!

I also remember the building phase of my teaching career. I had two little kids, a husband who worked long hours, only three clients and it still felt like too much! I would think “Good grief, how do people DO this? I can’t even take the time to shower!” and then I would get accustomed to that extra client and things would settle down. Then I would take on another class and all hell would break loose again until I got accustomed to the new pace. That just kept happening over the years as my kids got older (and my husband kept working long hours) until I opened Boomerang and added a whole lot more hours to my days. And I got accustomed to that. So I added Masterclasses, mentoring and coaching for teachers to my schedule. I got used to that, so of course, now I’m building some online courses to go along with the live offerings. Guess what? I’m feeling really busy again! It’s time for a slow down.

I know myself pretty well. I get super enthusiastic about things that I love. I can get overwhelmed by the details and spend a lot of time wandering around in the trees missing the big beautiful forest. And I can forget to look out for myself.

I have an amazing, robust team of people who look out for me and keep me on point when I start to spin out.

My amazing husband and kids, who will gently remind me that I haven’t been around much and that I spend way too much time on my phone. From them, I learn the power of love and being present in the moment.

Lindsay Gamester, admin goddess, artist, Village Nutritionist and friend who smoothly and gracefully does some of the things that take me DAYS to accomplish. From her, I am learning to delegate.

Sara Downing of Yoga Village and the Village Healing Centre who told me many years ago in the tiny-kids stage to stop washing out my zip-lock bags on the days when I was so overwhelmed I was in tears. From her, I have learned to prioritize.

Lyn Christian of SoulSalt Inc, my business coach and new-found friend who helped me see that running pell mell after every shiny new idea isn’t productive. From her, I am learning patience.

Katy Bowman of Nutritious Movement and Restorative Exercise has taught me to look with curiosity at the details of my own movement patterns, to know that what I feel may not be the only way to assess what my body does and what it needs. From her, I am refreshing my commitment to consistency in my practice.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about these parts of our job, I have worked with some amazing people and I have had over 15 years of figuring out my strategies, and I love to share them with others. If I can help another teacher streamline their self-care process, help someone get out of a slump or avoid teacher burnout, it’s a good day!

I think that as people who really tend towards that helping profession-nurturing personality (why else would we be teachers and healers in the first place??), we can get lost in the idea that we must do everything possible for the others in our lives. When was the last time you said “no” to something that someone else asked of you because you needed to tend to yourself first? And how guilty did you feel if you managed it? When was the last time you berated yourself for not having done “enough”? Enough time on the mat? Enough research? Enough continuing education?

Let’s commit to being a little more gentle with ourselves. Let’s commit to believing that we are enough. All day, every day. Bring your love of your movement (whatever it may be), your love of teaching, your love of your clients and most importantly your love of your beautiful self to the table!

August brings you a Summer Self-care Love-In! We all need our networks, our people we reach out to and who respond with their hearts. I would be honoured to be one of those people!

The Summer Self-Care Love-In will be a 4-week FREE challenge. Each week will bring a theme with a short thoughts and challenges video, a movement or breath video, a pdf of actionable reflections (small, easy, no-stress, I promise!) and a 5-minute opportunity to give yourself a little break, a stretch for your body or your mind, an opportunity to find some space in your physical or emotional world. We will explore the gifts I have received from my team: love, presence, delegation, priorities, patience, and practice. We will meet up on the private Facebook group to share stories, struggles, and triumphs and offer help, support and empathy.

Make space for yourself in your life and you make space for success!

xo

Alison

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