What Rumpelstiltskin Can Teach You About Success

I was thinking about the relationship between having ambition, running a business and being a woman the other day and iit reminded me of the darkest parts of Rumpelstiltskin.  Hang with me and I think you’ll see it, too.

For a quick refresher, here are the elements of the story:

  • Lovely maiden.

  • Steep expectation to weave gold out of straw or die.

  • It felt impossible, so she made a horrible bargain with an imp to save her life. She thought she was free, but when it came time to pay her debt, she had to sacrifice her firstborn.

This woman had the ambition to be more than a poor maiden. Ambition (especially for women) is frequently made to mean you will have to make a major sacrifice.

Not explicitly though, no one says this out loud, but in my conversations with people, I’ve learned that  especially as women, we believe that:

  1. Being a successful woman in business means that you’ll have to forsake your family. You’ll sacrifice the wellbeing and care of your children, your business will take over your life and you might even be required to sacrifice your marriage.

  2. You’ll have to sacrifice YOURSELF… your own health and wellbeing. It means, little sleep, lots of stress. You might even age faster because of the pressure.

  3. And more subtly, you’ll have to sacrifice the best parts of you;: your quirks, preferences and ways of being that you actually LOVE about yourself and your life. You’ll have to become someone polished and poised (even at being “authentic,”… *eyeroll*

Have you had some of these same thoughts?

As a woman, a creative , and a freelance business owner,  I’ve been anxious and afraid for this, too. Almost afraid of my own drive, my own fire and ambition. Instead of just the normal fear of failure (that it’ll be all for nothing), I also had fear of success (what if it DOES all work, but I lose what I love most about my life along the way?).

Cited as “proof” are women who DID make these bargains of sacrifice in: family relationships, wellbeing, health, friendships and even their own self. We look at them with dread. We think in secret, “what if that becomes me?”

Not only have I struggled with this, but in talking with other women business owners, I’ve noticed this is SUPER COMMON. It keeps them stuck, scared, defeated and “just *kind of* trying” (being more afraid of being SUCCESSFUL - —and what that could mean for them - than being a failure. Their fear is that they really do go for it and realize at the end, it was all for nothing and they sacrificed everything -  (just like the woman in Rumpelstiltskin).

Here is my loving truth to you today:--- THIS IS A FALSE BARGAIN

Hear me when I say that when we believe in these sacrifices, we become afraid of our own ambition.  

Living from this MYTH is the REAL cost.

If you are a female in business, this myth will keep you from powerfully declaring what you want, keep you from owning your focus and passion, and  stop you from really GOING for what you want to create in the world.

I dive deep into this thinking with my clients, exploring concepts like:

  • ·      How to use steady power instead of force to make things happen.

  • ·      How to infuse the universal elements of flow with the flame of ambition so that rather than destructive pushing or burnout, you create a customized way of success that works for you.

  • ·      How to become a master at relationships with ---children, spouses, clients, friends and family. So NO human needs are sacrificed.

  • ·      How to integrate the best parts of YOU so that your work doesn’t mean becoming someone you never really wanted to be (a performing animal of sorts).  

Now, make no mistake - —as a success coach of highly- dedicated creatives in business, —I totally understand that success means making some trade-offs.

Just make sure that the things you’re trading off are really no big deal - ---that you’re not making a human-life sacrifice with Rumpelstiltskin like our maiden did. I may even speak further to this true sacrifice in the future.

But for today, ask yourself:

Where in your life and life’s work are you making a false bargain?

If you are avoiding DOING the work or holding back due to fear of what it could require of you, ---what NEW rules could you create for yourself? What could be YOUR conditions for success?

Join me! Start turning down the voices that present fake rules as the real rules. Start turning up the voice in YOU that is trying to share what your own rules could be.  

So, here’s to you and  your success!



Consider Being a HUMAN TEST SUBJECT in your Business

I’m a human test subject. No really, ever since I can remember I would tinker around with “I wonder what would happen if….”.

In the last 15 years, I’ve tried a TON of different nutrition eating plans, all sorts of various ways to exercise and move my body, a variety of mindset strategies, energy practices and spiritual rituals. I have tested out calendaring systems, time management strategies and project planning tools. I’ve worked with different business mentors, marketing professionals and all sorts of methods of business building.

Some of those tests came from a place of self-loathing: “I don’t like me so I’m going to try to find a way to FIX me”. Those tests were all fundamentally flawed and the results skewed.

As I grew to realize that the foundation of true testing was SELF NEUTRALITY, the effectiveness of testing improved.

 Fast forward to today, I STILL experiment with myself and my business---and that’s one of things I love MOST about being a success coach. I GET to experiment with myself in all sorts of ways and then share those results with my clients. Then, I help them identify, set up and run their OWN experiments so that they TOO can distill down what’s their own secret sauce for success.

It’s just the funnest.

 Here are a few things I’ve learned about TESTING.

1.     I don’t have to believe it will work/not work before I begin. That’s the whole point of a test.

2.     The less attached I am to a particular outcome, the more new possibilities I’m apt to uncover.

3.     Accidents can be the path to innovation.

4.     If I start an experiment and then keep changing all the variables, the test is going to take forever, be super confusing and yield unhelpful data.

5.     There’s no room for self-loathing in the data. It’s simply neutral information to use so that I can develop my own effective systems.

6.     Testing keeps life FUN! I’m not a scientist by trade---but I’m a life long learner and explorer. I love that there is NO glass ceiling or limit to our own creativity and ability to think (and TEST) outside the box.

Call to Truth:

  • What would you like to develop in your OWN life?

  •  How might you turn that into an experiment?

 

The 4 C's of Leadership (and last one might surprise you!)

One of my very FAVORITE topics to work with people on is “how to become a more masterful leader”. There is SO much to be learned, honed and developed. After all, EVERYTHING is relationships.

While there is a lot I could share on this topic, for today I wanted to talk about two distinct leadership styles (aka: skills) and how the SMALLEST shift might make a world of difference when it comes to handling challenges that come up in the workplace (or with clients!):

The first style I’ll call the DECLARED DOMINANT STYLE: When this style encounters a mistake, perceived mutiny in the workplace, or a challenging relationship dynamic it’s fast on the draw. In this style—the go- to tools are :Calling out, seeking to Control (micro-manage, anyone?) and Correcting the person or behavior.

The second style is the SLOWED DOWN STYLE: Meeting a challenge or mistake with loving curiosity. Asking the person to “Tell me more about ___________.” (hint: this has to be done with kindness, by the way…energy speaks louder than magic words.)

In observing those two styles at play in my experience——I’m actually not making one WRONG and one RIGHT. One better or one worse. I’m sure you could make a case for when each of them makes sense. Remember, the standard for success is EFFECTIVE or INEFFECTIVE.

I believe in having effective leadership tools makes a more skillful leader. There are times when the first leadership style could be considered effective at creating change. There are also times when it makes challenges WAY worse (and that doesn’t always mean that the OTHER person is a total jerk). It’s always the easy road to blame your team, blame the other person’s character or lack of responsibility. But a MASTERFUL leader considers, “What could I do to be a more effective leader here?”

To illustrate how these two styles play out, let me tell you a story of a little girl…

This little girl was your normal girl. Normal big feelings. She generally floated through her days with some free spirit and a smile. However, when she messed up, made wrong choices, etc. and was then CALLED OUT, CONTROLLED or CORRECTED---she would dig in her heels with denial. She’d declare, “I didn’t do that!” “You can’t make me” or “You can’t break me” and it would only reinforce the conflict (and create separation). What it looked like on the OUTSIDE was sheer rebellion, drama and a spoiled brat. What it looked like on the INSIDE was devastation---total disappointment in herself for messing up. (And I should know what it looked like, because the little girl was me)

SAME little girl. But when her mistake was met with calm curiosity. When it was met with discussion. When it was met with “how can we learn from this moving forward”---there was a TOTAL melt down of remorse. There was a softening. There was the opportunity to take responsibility to make things right. A connection was forged. In that moment I was free to learn versus dig in and resent. In that situation, it was more effective. Also, fast forward to adulthood—-that kind of SLOWED DOWN response also helped me learn what it looked like to be a SELF leader, too. It can do the same for YOUR people.

Obviously there could be a parenting analogy here, but let’s move it into the workplace.

(Oh, SIDENOTE: it’s also worth mentioning though that your desired OUTCOME will determine what’s the effective style.

If your desired outcome is compliance. No questions. Straight, snappy policy—-then call out, control and correct are way better. In that situation policy over people makes sense. (Work environments like the military come to mind). If your desired outcome is CONNECTION though, I’d question your tactics. )

Look at YOUR team, relationship dynamics, client conversations:

  • If your GO-TO leadership style is to Call out. Control and Correct. How’s that working for you?

  • How EFFECTIVE has that been as your only tool?

  • Where would happen if you used CURIOSITY at times instead?

  • How could that choice help you become the SECRET 5th C---and CONNECTED leader?

I’d love to hear if this resonates with you! Let me know. Also, tell me what OTHER leadership styles have you seen in your experience?

What Social Media Reveals about Being a Leader

First of all---just know I TOTALLY support all of you: the social media addicted, those that choose to abandon the online world (and they are likely not even reading this….but—I still love you!), those you still feel like they HAVE to do it for professional reasons (love/hate) and those who use it responsibly.

Remember back in the olden days when healers might make up a potion? One of the “Principles” was every medicine was also a poison. The difference was in the dosage and context.

There is no denying that there’s a dark side to social media/online platforms:

a. They are designed to pay to human nature’s habit of mindless scrolling, comparison shadow and the fear of missing out.

As a result of the DARK SIDE, many people also miss the LIGHT SIDE:

a. We are no longer tied to only be friends with people in our geographical location.

b. We can create collaborations and connections GLOBALLY for the greater good---WHAAAAA?

c. We can create even more freedom in our lives to travel and explore while ALSO sharing our magic with our people.

d. We don’t have to commute and be in person with peeps ONLY. We can ALSO connect with people virtually too.

1. Online connections aren’t the same as real life ones. Um B.S. Still a PERSON behind that profile picture. Our limitation to see that and create an authentic relationship is only limited by the bounds of our own heart and creativity.

2. Ok…maybe they aren’t IDENTICAL---but I call fatalism alert---since when does DIFFERENT mean “not as good”? Why can’t DIFFERENT also mean “JUST as good, just different?” What are the BENEFITS of these online relationships?

3. Irresponsible use of the “medicine”: too strong of a dose---mindless scrolling. It’s like taking a bottle of tonic and treating it like your new water bottle. Mindless and irresponsible and will likely not feel really great.

Too frequent of a dose

Why ARE you dosing?

Here’s a distinction I use and teach that helps me use ANYTHING with more wisdom, impact and intention. Shift from passive CONSUMER to inspired CREATOR:

We can mindlessly CONSUME social media. This choice will likely dishearten us, disconnect from our Spirit, and create DISCOURAGEMENT and DRAIN.

When someone is in CONSUMER mode and has reached the end of their energy tether---this is where we call it out as evil/dangerous and call for a boycott. NO! What if we took a healing herb and called it universally toxic and poisoning just because someone overdosed?

We aren’t at the mercy of the social media MONSTER. It’s not eating us. To take that route is to MISS the real gift and opportunity in front of us.

Instead, consider stepping into the LEADER role and use it as a CREATOR

  • Create real relationships

  • Create real value in what you choose to post and share

  • Create connection/collaboration by slowing down and really appreciating the quality of what someone else chose to share.

Social Media is simply a tool. It’s not a TOXIN. It’s not a DEMON. It’s not more powerful than you.

It’s a neutral TOOL to use responsibly, creatively and with wisdom.

I’m far from doing it perfectly. It’s a tricky medicinal blend for sure and requires patience, the joy of experimentation, a wisdom and a rock solid connection to one’s own SOURCE.

If you’ve (Where have you) been overdosing and (maybe you) need to create some space to cleanse. Hat tip to you for seeing that. We do what’s needed always. But come back. Come back and be ready to use it responsibly as a creative leader.

Call to Truth:

  • Where have I been looking at social media as a necessary evil?

  • How can I challenge myself to make the mental shift? How can I start seeing it as a bonus addition and opportunity?

  • When have I been looking at it as “not as good” as in person?

  • What could change in my business if I slow down and really SEE the people behind the profile pictures?

Join me in the quest to use social media as a tool to create friendships (not sales), to create connection instead of division, to create dialogues not diatribes.

The Quickest Way to KILL your Business and Your SPIRIT....

Here is the surefire QUICKEST way to tank you and your business (ESPECIALLY a mission based business): BECOME A PERFORMING ANIMAL. I’m serious. When I learned how to stop performing– it GREATLY improved my business success, my relationship with my spouse and my friendships.

I am a childhood people pleaser. I’m a recovering good-girl and total rule keeper. When I was young, I realized that if I kept all the rules it made people happy. I wanted people around me to be happy at me and so I became an expert in knowing the rules and keeping the rules. (There is SO much more I can say on this….yikes! )


Anyway, to my dismay, as I started into the self-employment and business world, I found out that “keeping people happy” wasn’t going to translate into the success and impact I actually wanted to make. 
What trying to keep people happy WAS doing was creating massive overwhelm and pressure for me. It was having me bend over backwards to try to make everything work for people “who may hire me down the road”.

Here’s the DIRECT UGLY TRUTH: I was making everything about me. 
How I was coming across. How I was being perceived. What was my image. What do you they think of me. That’s understandable as a child—it’s a developmental stage. I carried this habit into adulthood though. That’s when it got messy.

That behavior and mindset translated in always trying harder. Always trying to do more. It led to a self-allowed exhaustion that was going far deeper than I knew. A good night’s sleep and pedicure wasn’t going to address this. It was a fundamental wake-up call that needed to happen.

I needed to figure out how to succeed without the pressure of “trying to look good”. Because the pressure to look good to be judged as good had me acting and feeling like a performing animal---trotted out of the cage, told to perform some tricks, be clean and prettied up. Do all the things asked of you---with a docile, sweet spirit. You can’t afford to speak up. You have to “do your time” (performing animal) to be successful. 
Sorry , but f—- that. I’m over that. Here’s why….

The reason I got into business for myself wasn’t to become a burned out, self-tortured performing circus animal. It was to make a difference. It was to step into the confident leader I knew was inside of me so that I could actually HELP incredible, amazing, creative people rise to their greatness, not enable them the stay in their struggle.
And in order to step INTO HER, I needed to refuse to perform.

So, remember that DIRECT UGLY TRUTH: (making everything about me?) yeah…that was the gateway into my liberation. Make everything about THEM. (Wait—does that STILL sound like servitude to you? Making everything about THEM—my clients, other people---doesn’t that still sound like bending over backwards?) I know…it really can.

But what I learned for myself and what I delight in helping my people with now is to see---is SERVICE doesn’t have to equal SERVITUDE. They are FUNDAMENTALLY different. Service has a direct truth about it. It has a simplicity and a cleanness. In contrast, servitude has a complicated, heavy feel.

Servitude is fear dressed up. SERVICE is love—free and clear.

Why don’t more people do this? Um…because positive results don’t happen overnight. There might be even MORE conflict, misunderstandings and judgment at the start. Many people might start, come up against these challenges and decide that “this doesn’t work for them” or “they are doing it wrong”. Most people don’t stick with it long enough to develop the inner game to navigate this change or the outer skill set to make the transition as smooth as possible for ourselves and our loved ones. It’s a science and an art. There’s a process here. One has to learn the mindset and perspective. One has to learn the skills of genuine communication. One has to be willing to take it out in the field and try it in order to learn. Part of my job (and joy!) is to make this process as simple and light as possible. I can’t travel the mountain FOR you, but I sure can help highlight the simplest route and help shoulder the load a bit.

So, back to the topic at hand---how did learning the ins and outs of service versus servitude help my business? Here are a few results....
--I stopped promising the world. I started speaking honestly (this led to better relationships with clients and getting to do work I love with people I love).
--I stopped trying to look good. I started doing the work to be good (as I got better, my client's results got better, too. Deep calls to deep. Quality brings forth quality.)
--I stopped caring about my vanity metrics. I started doing what made a difference. (I ended up with more time and energy because I stopped doing all things and instead learned to do a FEW things really well—-artisan style!)
--I stopped needing to be liked. I started to learn how to love people. (Love = Service. Service = Impact. Impact = Success. Financial. Emotional. Mental. Physical.)

All very well for business but then what about personal relationships.
How has this shifted my relationship with my spouse? My friendships? 
It’s changed EVERYTHING. 
• My husband and I now aren’t afraid to have differences of opinion. Because I can confidently communicate what I want without fearing or feeling guilty about his response. 
• When we have a difference, we know how to negotiate with honesty versus fear. 
• With my friends, we know we can trust each other---not to say what the other person wants to hear, but what they need to hear. 
• My friends know that if I don’t want to do something, I will tell them that without drama. And as a result, when I’m in---they know I’m ALL IN. 
• When I stepped in and owned these skills, I also silently gave them permission to do the same in their lives, relationships and business. 
• As a result, an unshakeable trust is built. REAL CONNECTION.

This is what I want to leave you with: 
Business development isn’t just business. It’s YOU development if you embrace it as such. That development will ripple out and give you success on all fronts. 
Servitude will kill you. If not physically, it will kill your spirit. It will kill the quality of your relationships and create distance. 


SERVICE is love. It will set you free. It will allow other people around you to rise in their own lives. It will create trust and connection you never thought was possible. THAT is success on all fronts. That is truly being whole.

Let’s DIAL IT UP:

  • Where are YOU still performing in your life RIGHT NOW?

  • Where do you feel like you have to do x in order to get y (but secretly resent whatever “x” is)?

  • When will you finally CHOOSE to step up and step into the leader you know you are inside?

  • When will you choose to lead your business well versus let your business enslave you?

Lesson 8: Be the Warrior---Yogi Style

When I get on my mat, it’s a rare day when one of the Warrior poses isn’t a part of it. I love reminding myself that mindfulness, meditation and lovingkindness practices are useless if I only use them when I’m feeling sunshiney and life is going my way. Really, mindfulness, meditation and lovingkindness is a badass inner sport. It’s not for the faint of heart and we need warrior resilience, laser focus, and inner equanimity to navigate the choppy waters of relationships, cultural climate and life's curveballs. 

Give me an example, Lindsay! Why, I’m so glad you asked. Here’s an easy one. When was the last argument with your significant other? When where you last scrolling FB and felt triggered by something someone else posted? What happened during your frenzied morning between you and your kiddos?

Our spiritual practice is only as good as our skill in relationships around us---included our SELF relationship. 

It’s hardcore to be WILLING to be triggered to learn/engage. It’s hardcore to see that the triggers are the teachers. But that's the next level shift. It’s how we will transform into the open-hearted, strong and capable beings we were meant to be.

Get yourself right now into Warrior II. Just do it. One foot forward facing, bent knee. Other foot back and facing outward. Torso balanced and ready. Arms extend strong over the legs and the gaze travels down the front arm and over the fingertips. One pointed focus. Take 3 deep breaths there and connect with YOUR inner warrior. 

Be ready to engage your triggers, the teachers, today. Lean in. Trust yourself to breath and sit with the discomfort. Be uncomfortable AND ok. Tap out if you need to, but keep at it. You have nothing to prove---the most seasoned warriors know that. Each day---do what you can. Soon, this centered focus and inner discipline will become a part of the fabric of your soul. You won’t need to control your circumstances (or TRY to!) any more, because you aren’t afraid of challenge.You celebrate it, because you know that challenge is a secret code---it’s code for “I’ve trained for this, now let’s see what I can do”. 

P.S. Much of the inspiration from this warrior intention was shaped by learning with respect from my partner---a warrior by trade in the military years ago and a warrior at heart forever. He generally doesn't picks a fight, but isn’t afraid of one either. I remember when he was enlisted. Being stateside and training took WAY more patience than combat. Once deployed---although the loss and hardship was NOT easy, of course---I remember him sharing that there also was a sort of satisfaction in actually BEING on the field doing what you’d been training for. On a way lesser scale, it’s probably the satisfaction a marathoner feels in actually RUNNING the race they’ve been practicing for day in a day out. I’m no soldier—not even a marathoner—but I do look at life as training ground for challenge. I want to be anti-fragile. Every day, when I wake up, I’ve got a choice. Go with default mode and react to every situation as it hits me (or ball up defensively and hide out!) or go with intention, direction and focus. Set my attention for the day as I create a training ground and when situations arise---engage like the strong, calm person I choose to be. There’s satisfaction in that, my friends. That's resilience. And...the resilience in me sees and honors the resilience in YOU. 

 

Lesson 7: The Power of Focus

In yogic philosophy, there is the concept of dristi or focal point. In yoga, we can intentionally place the focus of our eyes on different points and experience a different experience as a result. For example, in downward facing dog: the dristi is traditionally on the naval---reminding us to tap into our innate intuition. Sometimes though, I might invite my students to shift their gaze point to the top of our mat---looking forward to where we are going. By doing so, they create a different focus and a different path of energy. Bringing the power of dristi OFF of the mat holds the same possibility and power.

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Lesson 6: Motivating with Love

When I would go to yoga class, I would spend the first breath or two releasing the drive to “get better”. I’d tell myself that just for today, and just on my mat, I could just be me. If I didn’t ever get into splits or headstand, I’d really truly be just great.

I told myself that over and over again---anytime I’d practice.

Pretty soon, I found myself remembering this concept OFF of my mat. I’d remember that my heart was in the right place and that as long as I was showing up in my life---that was enough. I started to trust that I could just be myself in my life OFF of my mat and enjoy growth just because. It was at that moment that the magic could REALLY begin.

 

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Lesson 5: The Practice of Self-Care

Yoga as self care? Maybe obvious--but I want to go deeper. Self care means something different to everyone---and it can change over time. If you had asked me years ago what it meant to me, I would have said the usual: “bubble baths, going for a massage, taking it easy, time alone, etc.” Yoga might have made the list—but as a treat rather than a practice. 


I still think all of those things and more can be self care, but they are also just scratching the surface. My practice on the mat, as it has evolved over the years, has taught me the value of CARING for myself. To be able to “hang out” with myself just like I would with another person and just be ok with who they are. I can see myself as real human being and not just a DIY project—and because of that I can notice my energy levels, whether I’m in a good space or not and I can ask, “what is needed here?” and to me THAT is self care. It’s noticing and doing what is needed because I value myself just as I’d value another human being: the difference being, I can take responsibility for myself FAR more than I am meant to of another. 

Self care on the mat practiced in THIS way can look like lightening up a bit on my drive to improve. It might look like NOT practicing poses on the mat that day but sitting and meditating instead. It might look like trying something new: a new class, a new yoga video, or a new way of moving (yeah—yoga can be a dance!) because I need inspiration. It might also look like challenging myself and sweating harder than normal because I really need to get out of my head. It might look like letting myself fall and fail doing something I’ve not tried before because I need to remember I am most alive when growing. All of that and more is self care---because from the perspective of the mat---self care is placing high value on what would nourish, support and energize me most at that moment. That is the OPPOSITE of indulgently selfish. In fact, being able to just be with myself patiently, to notice with curiosity what’s going on and to offer wisely what would be best in that moment—I’m strengthening the muscle to be able to do that with other people. What does it feel like to you to have a safe space where you can be yourself, to have someone in your corner who has your back no matter what and who seems to know just what to say or do? To me that’s priceless love and acceptance. When I have this from another human being, it inspires me to spread my wings with enthusiasm. I wonder what would happen if we could also offer this to ourselves? I wonder what would change if we could then offer this to others? 

To me—THAT’S a lesson from the mat. 

Lesson 4: Coming Together, Hands at Heart Center

Throughout class----we move, breathe, sweat, wobble, fall, get back up and conquer---it’s pretty amazing and magical. Something happens----we start to see ourselves as a community. Now, it might be a small casual community that will NEVER come together again. But for that one class---we are all in it together. We can look around and see

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Lesson 3: Have Your Own Experience

There was this sense that everyone knew what to do---except for me. I was the newbie. 
I remember looking desperately for a space somewhere in the back---a corner. No luck! The only spot left was torture as an introvert---the middle of the room. I contemplated leaving---but that seemed like it would make more of a scene. I just wanted to be invisible, to blend in---I wanted to belong.

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Lesson 1: Learning to Just BE

As I mentioned in my intro, I came into yoga as a “pusher” and “do-er” and a “self shamer”. No matter what I did, it was never enough and as a result I was never enough. The first pose that I remember really wrestling with was Savasana or “Corpe Pose” (or as we call it in my classes now, Nap Pose). It’s that pose at the end of most yoga classes where you outstretch on your back, legs relaxed out and arms down your sides and just close your eyes. The teacher would say “just BE”. I remember thinking, “yeah, ok----this feels silly and like I’m doing nothing.” I found myself fidgeting to get comfortable,

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Welcome to my Lessons from the Mat: the Bridge between Practice and Living

The first time I remember doing “official yoga” (whatever that is ;)) was on my own. It was about 10 months or so after my daughter’s birth and I was having trouble feeling like “me”. My back hurt, my core was weak, my neck and shoulders were chronically bent over and I just felt OLD. (I was in my mid 20’s so that’s not an ideal feeling.)
I had been active running and trying to lift weights pretty consistently. However, the WAY I did these activities was to

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