As the world was losing its cool over COVID-19, I find myself (shockingly!) calm and productive. I know I have all the personal growth work I did over the past couple of years to thank. As the entrepreneurial journey became turbulent, self care was my stoic pillar!
So what did I do during the COVID-19 quarantine? I birthed an online program based on my personal and real-life transformation … However, before I tell you about the program…..
Let me tell you the story of a girl
Striving for perfection, control and constant rushing were a few of my best friends. They had served me well – I finished high school as a salutatorian, wrapped up undergrad with BBA in Finance with honors in 3 years, finished my MBA in Finance with honors in 2 years while working full time. I was progressing through the corporate ranks, lived in a nice home, drove a nice car – I had all those things that society told me were ‘good for me’ and I should be proud of. However, inside me, something was missing.
While I was ‘successful’ by all societal standards, what was happening behind the scenes was lack of sleep, high stress, anxiety, intense 1.5-hour workouts. Living in the moment wasn’t my thing. I was a hard-core planner, and my mind was constantly focused on where I want to go next. I was a master at go-go-go without stopping which “earned” me admiration from those around. I was ‘lucky’ to be able to function on 3 to 4 hours of daily sleep……till my body started getting really tired, my brain was foggy, I had a hard time focusing…. adrenal fatigue happened.
I discovered Pilates in 2012. It was different. It was annoyingly slow. It didn’t challenge me. It didn’t make me sweat. It didn’t get my heart rate up. Yet I was intrigued … probably because my ego couldn’t let go why I wasn’t getting it.
I discovered essential oils. I discovered them because of need and urgency – my 1-year old had experienced a febrile seizure. I was desperate to find a way to support her immune system without drugging her with Tylenol (side note: #1 cause of liver failure) I dug in and read, read, read…
Then I stumbled into environmental toxins. Ironically, my dad had passed from cancer caused by those. I don’t know why in the 20+ years since his death I had never bothered to learn more about them.
Awareness kicks in
Awareness kicked in with Pilates. I got out of my head and powering through the workout. I started paying attention to how I move. I became intentional with my breath. My Pilates sessions became meditative therapy which allowed me to check out from my to-do list. I felt not only stronger and taller but also less tensed and stressed post session.
I started experimenting with essential oils. I started taking deep breaths absorbing the aromas with my whole body. I found myself calmer, more focused. We started using the oils for anything and everything at home. We started reading labels and eliminating harmful ingredients.
New self care routine
It wasn’t about beating my body into submission anymore. I ditched the heart rate monitor. I tuned in with my body. It became about respecting my body, connecting my body, mind and spirit, breathing. My self care became empowering. I felt a deeper connection to myself. I was better able to hear my intuition speak to me: What are you waiting for? The perfect time is now. Jump for what your heart has longed for close to 20 years.
The silent voice became more powerful and loud to the point where it could no longer be silenced. Each walk into the office felt like hands around my throat suffocating me. I quit corporate. My entrepreneurial journey began….
Just the (brutal) beginning
I thought it would be a smooth sailing since I had undertaken step 1… but this one move was only the simple beginning of my transformation.
I had given up a 6-figure corporate paycheck and benefits. I was dealing with a marriage falling apart and a husband unsupportive of my choice, as well as a young child and a live-in mom caught in the middle of it all. The people who I thought would be my rocks were slowly somehow dissipating. To some, my move was ‘cute’ but made no sense. To others, my move was an amazing step … yet, they mocked me behind my back. It hurt. I felt alone.
I had just started a business. My world was crashing. I spent the first half year of my Rebellious business in victimhood……until one day I woke up and had a ‘WTF’ moment.
What kind of rebellious business was that?!? I felt fake and hypocritical, guilty, ashamed and horrified of what people would think of me … all of which made me feel worthless. I had lost my societal privilege. By societal norms, I was now just a Pilates instructor, and that didn’t carry the same weight as a Corporate Finance Director. I was allowing those around me to reinforce these feelings.
That’s when I had a defining moment. I realized “You have a fucking choice, Maria. Raise up or be a fucking coward and go back behind the desk and forget about your stupid dream. It is that simple. Which one is it going to be?!?”
20 years to make this one freaking move. I wasn’t about to waste the choice and opportunity to follow my heart. I also didn’t have the “luxury” of another 20 years to get my business going. I got up, dusted off the ashes and the scraped knees and threw myself forward.
Who is this girl?
3.5 years later, COVID happens. The world is freaking out. I am calm and collected and surrendering to the experience of being and embracing the opportunities this has brought upon me. I celebrate my tribe of people who get me and my move.
As you can imagine, much personal growth and discomfort happened in between. One thing I stand behind firmly – when I felt alone and down, it was my self care that pushed me though.
This story was shared
- If you have a dream, tune in. If you are on to something but can’t put your finger on it, tune in even harder. Tune in with you (not with everyone else).
- To tell you about the REBEL program. It is unique in the way it combines movement and mindfulness and I know it works first-hand!
REBEL – DISCOVER YOUR CORE & SELF online program based on my own personal self care routine!
A blend of the ABC’s of movement, Pilates and mindfulness, this program is specifically designed for women and men over 40.
Why over 40? Because I think that age is about when the aches and pains start. About then, we start questioning our marriage, relationships, job, purpose and whether the daily rut we live in is all there is to life. We realize we want more but somehow have no idea where to begin.
Tired of the mindless workouts? In pain? No idea what your core constitutes? Stressed? Anxious? Distracted? Mind that doesn’t stop spinning? Know that life as-is doesn’t cut it for you any longer? No idea what’s next in life? I encourage you to take a peek.
If you are at all intrigued, I encourage you to schedule your personal consultation to find out if REBEL is right for you.
The REBEL program is the baby of my passion and commitment to self care, which has supported radical transformation in my own life. I absolutely love what I do and guiding clients to discover the rebel within! It is a journey worth-while embracing. It is a journey to freedom!
Take a peek and stay rebellious!