Finding Balance in the Past, Present & Future

When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible. ~ Tina Lifford

by Jodi

Earlier this week our studio celebrated its five year anniversary. As a result I’ve been floating through the week feeling unbelievably grateful. Not only do I have two deeply fulfilling full-time jobs, I also have an AMAZING community of people surrounding me each and every day helping me to be the best version of me possible. This past week, I have been reflecting on what brought me here and dreaming of how many exciting changes and adventures the next five years will bring.  Spending the past 20 years working as a flight attendant for a major airline has been exhilarating, empowering, exciting and sometimes absolutely exhausting. When I suffered a life-altering spinal injury in a turbulence accident six years ago (another anniversary which just recently passed), I was devastated. Despite all the ups and downs of the job (pun intended😉), I still truly loved it and a huge part of my identity was tied up in being a flight attendant. What if I could no longer fly? What would I do? How could I go back to a ‘normal’ job when my heart already had wings? Who was I without my flying job?

What I thought was a tragedy, though, became a tremendous blessing to me as well as my husband and our little growing business. Since I couldn’t change the situation, I needed to learn how to deal with it. There were really only two things I could continue to do even during a flareup or after a surgery – yoga & swimming. As a result, I immersed myself in both. My husband and I began training for long distance triathlons so I could still compete as a swimmer. I am certainly not the fastest swimmer around but my body feels little to no pain and I am enveloped in tranquility as I glide through the water. Yoga also took up a HUGE new chunk of my life. Although I practiced with varying degrees of consistency for almost 20 years, it was after my injury that I began my teacher training journey and I have never looked back.

Becoming a yoga teacher is the best career choice I have ever made. Not because it makes me piles of money (it doesn’t) or because I walk around in a perpetual state of serenity and enlightenment (I don’t). Instead, it has been the most profound way for me to get to know myself. To embrace my darkness and nurture the light that shines within. Turns out my inner geek is thoroughly stimulated by learning about the brain and nervous system from a yogic perspective👍 Years of unresolved trauma from domestic violence and eating disorders have been brought to the surface and I have been able to finally make peace with my past. 

What I have learned is that I am not just a flight attendant or just a yoga teacher or just a wife, daughter, friend, coach, etc. I am just me and that is just fine by me. My heart is that of a karma yogi – I feel that my purpose in this life is one of service to others and loving kindness to myself as well. By watching my big corporate airline and following their altruistic and financially savvy lead, we have been able to grow a happy little business that offers support to many causes we hold dear and provides services to our customers that honor their needs and enhance their health. And we have also invested in ourselves with continuous education and constantly evolving fitness and yoga programming to give us the right tools to be better at our job and a better resource for our community. 

Shortly before the start of this year, I designated 2018 my “Year of Collaboration”. I am incredibly blessed to have a circle of mentors, teachers, colleagues and friends who improve my mind, inspire my spirit and fill my heart. As a lifelong learner, I am attracted to education of all kinds and always look forward to learning new things. After a continuous education training, I am filled with energy, creativity and passion. My heart and brain are happy. I am excited to be bringing some of my favorite people and ideas to our studio this year to share with you some of what has made such a positive impact in my life. It has been five wonderful years and I am looking forward to many more years of living fully, learning always and loving completely this truly beautiful life.

Finding Balance by Breaking Up with Dairy

If someone has compromised intestinal permeability, or “ leaky gut”,   it’s more likely that their immune system will respond to potentially allergenic components in milk. ~ Chris Kresser

by Michelle

I Had to Break Up with Dairy…

More and more research has revealed that dairy is not ideal to keep in our diet. Even organic, local, sustainably-sourced dairy can cause inflammation of the gut and prostate.

However, most of us have probably been consuming milk and cheese since we were infants. So it has simply become our norm. Honestly, I had no issue consuming cheese or anything containing dairy, really. 

When my second son was born, he would always get super gassy after nursing. It would make him cry from his stomach being so upset. When I started asking other mothers for advice I got the overwhelming response of “Go dairy free.”

Really? That pretty much eliminates all my favorite foods. After being stubborn for almost a week I figured I would try and see if I noticed a difference. Behold – my baby was so much calmer and had no more painful gas. I was hoping it would be some crazy Granola mom thing but, nope. It looked like I was going to switch to a dairy free lifestyle.


I wasn’t a big milk drinker, but I am a cafe con leche girl. There are tons of dairy free milks including almond, soy, coconut, hemp, rice, and my favorite cashew. All of these can be found in your grocery store. They often come in unsweetened, vanilla or even chocolate! Cashew has become my go-to “milk” as it is creamy and close to real milk. I highly recommend this as a milk substitute if you are baking. Feel free to try yourself and decide which you like best. 


Before I started to experiment with vegan cheeses, I just went with no cheese altogether. I didn’t even want to compare fake cheese to real cheese. A pizza isn’t the same without the melty cheese on top so eventually, I caved. There are actually plenty of options available at your local grocery store for dairy free cheese. Dayia has come to be my favorite. It seems to melt the best like cheese, while maintaining that creamy consistency. Also when you are going out to eat at some pizza places, including Blaze pizza, they are beginning to carry dairy free cheese as a topping. This is specific to the restaurant but if enough people ask, you may see a change at more restaurants. 


This was the most challenging part for me. I pretty much had to accept that I was going to turn into a baker. However, once I got less dramatic, I realized that at healthy grocery stores, there are definitely options to purchase dairy free desserts. Even down the ice cream aisle there are options. Hallelujah! Cashew and almond have been the most true tasting compared to ice cream. Did you know even Ben and Jerry’s are turning their popular flavors into dairy free options?

As you can see, although it gets us uncomfortable, a dairy free lifestyle is very attainable. The trend is gaining a following and the restaurant and food industries are taking notice and providing us with a lot more options when we dine out. Could you try going dairy free? Should you try? 

A Balanced Child

Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. ~ Astrid Alauda

by Jenn

Stress in our daily lives can be overwhelming. As adults, we have different coping mechanisms that we rely on to deal with life’s anxieties; but how do we teach our children healthy ways to deal with the growing pressures of their lives? Children, as young as first grade, can identify what stress is and speak about feelings of stress according to Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of The Mindful Child. There has also been stress-induced behavior problems observed in children as young as preschool. Helping to give our kids strategies to reduce and deal with stress is important to their overall health. If we educate our kids on ways to deal with stress starting at a young age they will carry these techniques into adulthood. We might even learn things that can benefit our own lives as we work with our children to become well-adjusted adults.

When identifying possible stressors in your child’s life, the American Psychological Association offers a few tips: Look for changes in their behavior. Are they more irritable? Have their eating and sleeping habits changed? Or maybe they’ve lost interest in something they used to love? It may be hard for children to express themselves about their feelings putting the burden on us, as adults, to figure it out. We have to recognize and make adjustments based on their actions to keep them healthy and happy. Remember, our children are like little sponges and they are taking in everything around them. Seeing news stories on television, overhearing adult conversations, or changes in family situations can feel (emotionally) heavy to children and can magnify current stresses. Any problems in your own life can have an emotional effect on them too. Children can misinterpret your problems and even a small problem can seem much more significant to them. Stress in our lives is unavoidable and some stress is normal, but when our children feel overwhelmed we have to help them figure out how to regain some control. Let’s discuss a few ways you can work with your child to reduce their anxiety.

The Breath
When people are stressed they tend to breathe more irregularly. Your breathing might be quickened or more shallow. Work with your child on taking a slow breath in through the nose, holding a moment and then a long exhale out of the mouth. You can ask smaller children to imagine smelling a flower. They can pretend to breathe in the wonderful aroma of whatever flower they choose, holding in the smell for a few seconds and then releasing it out. When children focus on their breath and breathe more consciously they can change their mind-set and manage their feelings a little easier. In kids yoga we focus on many different breathing styles that you can explore with your child. 

Encourage your child to get active. Exercise is a good way to release some feel-good endorphins and create positive energy. Physical activity can be something as small as hopping around like a bunny or for the older kids going for a walk or running in a circle around the outside of the house. My favorite stress relief exercise is yoga which combines both the breath and mindful poses to create a type of meditative activity. Planning a time where you and your family can exercise together can create a healthy release for the whole family. Exercise along with a healthy and regular mealtime can also promote an overall positive feeling in the household. 

Schedule Some Down Time
Our lives seem to be busier than ever. Kids have so many activities and if they are school age, let’s add homework to the mix. Going, going, going all the time leaves little time to decompress and even less time for open ended play. Kids are losing the ability to use their imagination and by scheduling some “do nothing” time you can help to relieve some of that pressure. Give them the opportunity to have a little control over something. You can even plan a day where you and your child spend some time together doing something fun. Using this time for bonding can also make your child feel more secure and increase their happiness.

Dance It Out
Music with dance is another way for your children to reduce their stress and anxiety. Music itself can be soothing and expressing oneself while moving to the sound of music can elevate your mood while decreasing stress. You can put on more peaceful music to calm your child down or play active music and make it a dance party. 

Happy Place Vacation
Have your child imagine a relaxing place. It can be any place that makes them happy and calm. Depending on your child’s age, they may need a little guidance. You can have them close their eyes and ask them what their happy place looks like. What can you hear or see or smell? Ask them about what makes this place so special and then reiterate that any time they are feeling stressed they can take a break and think about their happy place. Not all children like to close their eyes when they are feeling stressed so drawing a picture of their stress free zone works too. It is important to do what is right for your child since they are all very different in how they handle their stress and feelings. Get creative and try out different things to see what works for them.

When our kids are acting out and we recognize they have been under pressure, we can only lead them in the right direction. Taking care of their basic needs, showing them love and support and guiding them in stress management can help alleviate some of the stress. As parents, we can set a good example by taking care of our own stress and modeling those practices for our kids. We can’t take all of the stress out of our kids lives and even if we could, I wouldn’t want to because they need to learn coping skills to make them more well-adjusted adults. We can show them how to handle stress in a positive, healthy way and give them the tools to help them on the right path. My son, at 13, is still evolving and as he grows up I find him reminding me what I have taught him over the years. We are all a work in progress and we have to remember the only thing we can truly control is our own thoughts and how we react to things. Let go of what you can’t control. 

Finding Balance, Strength and Inspiration

Start embracing the life that is calling you. Find your calling. Know what sparks the light in you so you – in your own way – can illuminate the world. ~ Oprah Winfrey

by RunJodi
Part 5 in a 5 part series.

In recent years, I’ve met many admirable and inspiring individuals. “Lexi” (Alexis Krosky) met me at time in my life that I needed hope and happiness….and she was there to give me just that. I met Lexi at the funeral of a mutual friend. An exceptional needs young man who made us both love, laugh and appreciate every moment life has to offer. On that day we honored the life of our friend Andrew and without saying a word, we vowed to carry his message and his memory with us forever. Lexi is an amazing woman and today it gives me such happiness to share her story, written by her mother. 

Alexis Krosky was born weighing 2 pounds and immediately became a fighter. She fought for her life and she fights for her health daily.
Alexis has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. She is legally blind and has had many more surgeries than she has had birthdays.
Alexis is constantly taking on new challenges. She doesn’t care if she wins, winning isn’t important…finishing is. 

She has many health problems, but faces them with bravery and strength. Alexis is very happy and always smiling. She is a varsity cheerleader for her school and has cheered since she was 5 years old. Alexis is a student ambassador for her school and stands up against bullying. She is an ambassador for a run group called IR4, where she encourages and cheers on runners to be strong and brave. Alexis is in pep club, and many other organizations for her school. She loves to read and study and will be graduating with Honors from National Honors Society. 

Lexi participates in arts and theater and is right now involved in a theater workshop where she is shining. Her artwork became the yearbook cover for the entire program. This year, on her birthday, she received a proclamation from the city proclaiming it “Lexi Krosky Day”. Lexi’s future is bright. She would love to be a teacher one day…. but her future has been put on hold due to her health. Lexi still has her dreams and will one day achieve her goals because she always does. 

Finding Balance in Memories and Life Lessons

I will never regret you, or say I wish I’d never met you, because once upon a time, you were exactly what I needed. ~ Bob Marley

by Danah

People come in and out of our lives constantly. Some leave lasting impressions and some just leave. You may know the writing by the unknown author that “People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” My search for balance this week actually was prompted by looking through memories that Facebook reminded me of. This led me on a search farther back into the convenient scrap book of social media. 

I looked back through so many periods of my life and the different phases I have been through in just the past 10 years. And marveled in how much and how many things have changed. Some memories flooding back fondly and others a little harder to see. I noticed how each person helped shape me into who I am today. 

The friends that were there for a reason, were there to meet a need, open a door, or give a nudge towards a new direction, path or purpose. As I look back I can identify some of these people and what they shared which opened my life and my mind to things that I might not have otherwise come by. These people fade out or leave for sometimes no reason at all, and that’s what is meant to be. The relationship was there for a reason and that purpose had been served.

The people who came for a season are sometimes the harder ones to let go of. These people bring new awareness, love and life lessons. I am so grateful for the friends who came into my life for a season. These may have taught me the most about myself, sometimes not until after they were gone. But these are the ones we have to let go of without hanging on to anger or blame. The ones that, if we cling too tightly, can leave what feels like a hole in our hearts. It can feel so much different when they are simply appreciated for their life lessons. 

And finally the ones who come for a lifetime. Lifetime relationships last, well – a lifetime. I think it is natural to think that lifetime relationships will be family, but that’s not always true. Sometimes our family is simply there for a reason. Lifetime relationships might also look different as we grow and change, but they are a constant to take comfort in and appreciate for their stability. 

It’s important to look at our relationships and not cast them off, but be honest with ourselves as to what they are. Asking, “Am I forcing this beyond it’s true purpose? Am I trying to form this into something it isn’t?” Listen for the answer and search for the gratitude within to honor each one.

I am very fortunate to have experienced so many wonderful people in my life. All leading to who and where I am today. Some there for a reason, others a season, and those for a lifetime. 

Finding Balance in Transition

Every season of the heart has its own perfect time and an important purpose. Even those that shake you, like the harsh winds of fall shake the trees, for they help you drop unnecessary things. Even those that challenge your footing, like the rains of spring loosen the ground beneath a flower’s roots, because they give you the chance to dig even deeper. And even those that feel like they chill you almost to death, like the winter cold does to the once vibrant flower, for they cleanse and ready you for the beauty of your coming spring. ~ Cristen Rodgers

by Jodi

So many of the people in my life are either on the brink or in the messy middle of milestone life transformations. My niece is preparing to graduate from high school while a few of my friends have just brought beautiful new lives into the world. Another friend is launching her own business after years of training and preparation while my Mother comes to terms with the idea of retirement as yet another friend counts down the days to selling the home she shared with her ex-husband. Transitions in life can be exhilaratingly terrifying to experience. Even when we are anxious to be on the other side, we still need to move through the process of letting go of the old to make space for the new. 

The fear of failure can be daunting and will at times paralyze us to keep from moving forward. As we swing on life’s trapeze from all that  we know so well into the great unknown, we have to suppress all the ‘what if’ questions and trust that we have the power to manifest great things in the next chapter of our lives. Although we put lots of effort into imaging what life will look post-transition, the reality is that NO situation is perfect. We may not be the perfect parent (but who truly is?) and our new business may take a few months or years to be successful. College might be tougher than we thought and retirement may be busier than we could have predicted (most people wonder how they had time to work). But if we constantly try to stave off change and stay with what we know, we never give ourselves the opportunity to grow. The one thing that is certain is the impermanence of life and even if we cannot predict when and how life will change, we can prepare ourselves to absorb the impacts of change. When we challenge ourselves to do something difficult or simply try something new, we are flexing our ‘change muscles’ and getting our brains accustomed to adapting to different circumstances. We can also learn to observe the waves of our fluctuating mind through meditation. In meditation, we train ourselves to witness the changing thoughts and emotions without judgement of them or attachment to them. This prepares us to accept and acclimate to new circumstances without being held back by our fears. 

The seasons will continue to change whether we prepare for it or not. Just how that change affects us is up to us. If we cultivate gratitude for what we have each day, recognize the temporary nature of life and practice acceptance then we are in the best position to be prepared for whatever transitions life has in store.

Finding Balance with Grocery Shopping Tips from a Mom

If you keep good food in your fridge, you will eat good food. ~ Errick McAdams

by Michelle

Fast food, dining out; we all do it out of convienence. Someone else cooks for us, we still eat, no dirty dishes. Are we really winning though? Let’s get real: sadly our modern American diet is full of processed food that is, statistically speaking, making us the sickest nation on earth. Artificial ingredients, colors, preservatives, genetically modified organisms… I mean there are yoga mats in our food!?!? That’s not the balance I’m hoping to achieve for my family.

So we all know we can start eating healthy simply by grocery shopping and cooking for ourselves. Then you know exactly what’s going into your food. Who really wants to do that though? The battles of shopping and spending a ton of money can be so overwhelming at times that you end up going out to eat anyway. 

As a Mom, you learn to suck it up buttercup, and do the thing even when you don’t want to! You also learn tips and tricks, to share with others. Here are some of mine:

1. Make a List

This is a MUST! Otherwise we get overwhelmed, guess as we go, and end up getting random items in our cart that we have no idea what to do with. Or worse, forget what we actually needed. Make a list of meals you plan on making, and write your list based off what you need to make it. Also before you leave with your list, double check your pantry, fridge and freezer, to make sure you actually need the ingredients at the store. 

2. Stick to the perimeter

Did you know most grocery stores are setup very similar? Flowers at the entrance, fresh produce just behind, milk, egg, and cheese are always at the back wall. Shop most of your list at the outside perimeter where all the whole food items are. Anything down the center aisles are usually sugary and processed. Obviously make the exception to head towards the center to grab the coconut oil, spices and toilet paper.

3. Ask for help

Did you know most meat departments have a butcher ready to help you? They will trim off the fat, cut your meat into individual portions, and even bag separately for freezing. It will save you a bunch of hassle in your kitchen. All you have to do is ask! 

4. Don’t Take the Express

Don’t try to skimp on items because you are trying to beat everyone to the express lane. Statistically the wait is about the same. Better to get everything you need in one haul weekly, or bi-weekly than making multiple trips theoughout the week.

5. Organize as you Unload

As you’re unloading your new groceries, dedicate a bin or a section for items that need to be eaten soon. This will help you reduce waste by putting a sense of urgency on your almost expired items. Also to help with freezer storage, use binder clips to hang your frozen bags. This will also prevent freezer burn. 

These don’t make grocery shopping seem as difficult right? If only cooking were this easy. That’s a blog for another day though.

4 Things Staying Outdoors Will Do To Your Mind and Body

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~ John Muir

by Guest Blogger Paul

We’re all familiar with nature’s sweet release and the moments it grants us – whether it’s a deep breath of fresh forested air, the stillness of a cold winter morning or the sun warming you through, you can’t refute that nature has an extraordinary ability to make us feel amazing.

The thing is, nature doesn’t just yield enjoyment but stacks of positive benefits for both mind and body too. There are deep-seated explanations for why we’re so inspired by the outdoors and our growing familiarity with the science of Ecotherapy has indicated a hard link between mental and physical wellness and nature. There is no excuse and every reason to get outdoors! 

Nature Makes You Feel Alive

Modern life can swallow us up and at times, it might make us feel like a small component in a huge mechanism that monotonously rotates without care or regard. We might feel depersonalized, less individualistic and distanced.

Evidence suggests that contact with nature can reestablish our intrinsic link to the world around us, reinvigorating our passion for life.

At our origin, we were beings of the wild and our vitality depended on harmony and understanding of our environment.

Today, we can tap into this source of vitality by simply spending more time outside. Not only does this sense of vitality provide energy, but also increases our resilience to physical illness.

One of the key pathways to greater vitality is immersion in nature, it tickles our primordial senses and makes us feel alive. 

Nature Reduces Stress

There may be no doubt in your mind that being outside lowers your stress levels. There is certainly no doubt in my mind, I can’t count the number of times that a stint outdoors has seen my anxieties dissipate.

Whether it’s a vast mountainous landscape, a wooded forest or an expansive plain, a landscape’s beauty helps put things back into perspective.

Those niggling worries drift away, that weight lifts from your mind and you might make peace with an issue that has been bothering you.

Now, we understand how nature allows us to unwind and decompress. Even shorter stints outdoors result in profound reductions in blood pressure, cortisol levels, pulse rate and other indicators of stress


All around the world, human culture and tradition has embraced nature’s relaxing effects. The Japanese refer to Shinrin-yoku, which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’ or ‘forest bathing’ and their continued research into this much loved cultural tradition has revealed its profound stress lowering effects.

No matter where you are or what environment lies near you, you can access this enormous resource of stress reduction and the longer you spend outdoors, the greater the effects. 

Nature Resets Your Body Clock

Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter how well you sleep, you’re just always tired. Both you and I will have come to accept this at some point.

Sometimes, I just can’t balance day and night – an early night results in tossing and turning and a late one results in morning lethargy. It’s partly the fast pace of life, partly the screens which we spend our time buried in and partly other bad habits, whether that’s a poor diet or lack of exercise.

We are usually not having enough rest.

Weekends may be spent catching up with sleep instead of activity and enjoyment, or, it might be the other way round – you’re up all night in protest and end up burning the candle at both ends! Whichever way you roll, your body clock isn’t thanking you for this lifestyle.

Getting back outdoors under the guise of the sun and the moon is simply the best way to get your body back in time. There isn’t a more compelling rhythm than day and night but within our homes in tall and sheltered cities, we can’t truly experience this. 

So, go out there and camp!

When camping, your mornings will be serenaded by a sunrise along with an accompanying chorus of waking birds and at night, you’ll be nursed to your bed early by the light of the moon and falling temperatures.

Each and every part of your day is spent in contact with nature and your biological clock will be well aware. Evidence suggests that after a week or so, you’ll start to yield the benefits.

Nature Makes You Feel More Sociable

Experience social life like our ancestors! No processed foods in supermarkets, no easy means of entertaining yourself with technology and no other distractions exist other than the landscape and those that accompany you, even if that is just yourself. 

It’s time to put away your phone.

When we’re immersed in the great outdoors, we have time to share stories, emotional accounts, funny anecdotes and any other random bits and bobs – anything goes really!

We can work as a team to build fires, cook food and form meaningful interactions, all upon nature’s backdrop.

A series of studies conducted by the Human-Environment Research Lab indicate those who lived in close-knit communities surrounded by green space, similar to campsites, felt a greater connection to those around them and this greatly benefits our mental wellbeing.

Later on, at night, you might find yourself doing the silly things that put you back in touch with your inner child (minus the beers!). Singing songs, having a dance – anything goes so live it up and have fun – just remember to clear up!

It’s good for your brain too!

The supporting evidence for nature’s amazing effect on our empathy and even love has been investigated in neuroscience, too, and studies involving sequential images of natural and urban views have revealed that on the whole, natural scenes had a greater tendency to stimulate areas of the brain associated towards positive emotions.

There is clear explanations for why nature inspires and fosters positive human relationships and emotions and this has a tremendous positive impact on our mental health. 

Conclusion? It’s time to go out!

The positive impacts of nature on mind and body are clearly massive and our understanding of Ecotherapy is ever-expanding. Scientists do believe that the net benefits of being surrounded by nature are major and may accumulate to a longer, happier life.

If that isn’t motivation to book time off for a great escape then nothing is! The best way to tap into this raw form of therapy? Camping.

It really is like a super-concentrated dose of nature, you’ll reap the mentioned health benefits, exercise, fresh air, vitamin D, fun and happiness.

For the truly adventurous, wild camping can be a real thrill in challenging mountainous or jungle environments. After all, a bit of minor peril just adds fuel to the fire of life!

A more casual and relaxing experience might come in the form of a gentle trek to a placid lakeside for a spot of fishing or a trip to a deep, lush and tranquil forest for some Shinrin-yoku.


Paul Turner, is the man behind, which provides insights of camping and gear guides for the outdoor enthusiasts. Trying out camping? He’s got a comprehensive guide to get you started.
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Finding Balance in a Working Moms World

The phrase “working mother” is redundant. ~ Jane Sellman

by Jenn

It’s a big choice for a new mom to decide whether to return to work or to stay at home with their baby. For some, returning to work is financial and for others it’s because they feel like they will lose their status at work if they leave. I was lucky to have the opportunity to stay at home with my son. I remember how hard it was to leave work and lose that connection with the adult world. Living in a kid-centric world is hard but it can be so rewarding too. I made so many friends because of my need to find other women who could share advice and maybe even share adult conversation. Our kids grew up together and we all leaned on each other. One by one, my group of stay-at-home friends started going back into the work force. As I saw my friends less it made me feel like maybe I should think about getting a job too. I found that yoga was a perfect fit for my “mommy lifestyle” and I adored my job. It was just enough for me to get my feet wet and still have lots of time to be at home with my son. It was doing something I loved and making a little money too. 

Being a SAHM for 12 years doesn’t really pay the bills and as much as I love yoga, I can’t say that it is a very lucrative job so I decided I needed to branch out. I was a casual job seeker knowing that I wanted to earn more money but feeling like I didn’t want to give up on my yoga career. I wanted to contribute to our household income but felt like I didn’t know where to search. That is when I saw it – a job posting on our school district’s website. Not only was this a job I knew I could do but it was a job at my son’s school. ‘Winner, winner, chicken dinner’.  I had found it! I felt like it was a sign and I had to at least apply for it. I remember thinking that I would just submit an application and if it were meant to be then I would get the job. Guess what? I got the job. That is when the panic set in. At that moment, I realized everything would change. Even though the job I chose gave me an easier transition into working again, I never anticipated how much my life would be altered. 

First, it was the schedule. I had to figure out my hours; which I decided would have to be flexible. Thank goodness I have a great boss who lets me move things around if I need to and even that is not always easy. I still have to fit in appointments and meetings and keep my schedule visible for my co-workers to see. Then, what the heck was I going to wear? I had been wearing yoga clothes and jeans for the last 4 years and I really wasn’t prepared to have to dress so professionally. I won’t lie; it was difficult to find something to wear the first week and my husband felt like I should go shopping for a few things. I am normally not much of a shopper but this was actually a nice little bonus moment. New clothes! Third, was the fact that I had been using child speak for years and having to use my “big girl” words was harder than I thought it would be. It really doesn’t sound very professional when you ask where the potty is or when your analogies are in reference to mommy problems. Using words and making sentences that actually sound intelligent can be hard when you are ‘out of practice’ because you have been talking to a child (and yourself) for a decade. Even worse is that my son has an incredible vocabulary yet I somehow got stuck in a black hole of his elementary school years.

Going back to a work environment wasn’t my only challenge. I had to figure out when I was going to get all of my ‘home’ work done. When was I going to go to the grocery store, do the laundry, clean the house? Honestly, I don’t know how working moms do it. I am still trying to figure out that schedule because right now it is a struggle. My husband tries to help me as much as he can and my son has finally gotten used to the fact that mom can’t do everything for him anymore. It is probably good for him to have to fend for himself now and then because I just can’t do it all. This is also a great lesson for me:  I am learning that I have to let things go and not stress about the small stuff. I have to let go of being the perfect mom and just live in a world where I appreciate my free time and skip some of the chores. I am still wondering how the weekends go so quickly and weekdays seem so long. 

If you’re a mom and you have already gone back to work then I applaud you. You are a rock star and you should know it! When you leave work for an extended time it’s scary to go back. Your career may no longer be a viable option and you may have to look at other choices. You may become insecure about getting a new job but also feel guilty for not being there for the kids. For moms who are thinking about going back to work I want to tell you that you can do it! It isn’t easy but if you choose a job that works in your schedule, makes sense financially and isn’t a difficult commute then you will have an easier transition. You don’t want just any job out there so look for a position where you feel appreciated, do a job you’re happy with and still have energy left at the end of the day for your family. It might be emotionally taxing at first but after you receive that first paycheck you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. If going back full-time seems intimidating then you might want to try a part-time job so you can see how it works for your family. I’m sure the kids will be fine, the house will be fine and you will get it all figured out. You are a mom, so you are already a natural at multitasking. Change isn’t easy and starting a new job can be tough but believe in yourself and it will get easier. You’ve got this! 

Finding Balance … and Inspiration

Children with disabilities are like butterflies with a broken wing. They are just as beautiful as all the others, but they need help to spread their wings. ~ Sue Allen

by RunJodi

Part 4 in a 5 part series ~

Today it gives me great happiness to share a story – his story:  River Allen.

River is a little boy that is doing everything he can to be just that; a little boy. He has the same dreams and ideas as all other little boys, but with exceptional needs children, they sometimes have to find a different path to get there.

I’ve had the honor of meeting him and spending time with this special and exceptional human soul. River’s story today is told in his voice, written by his Mommy.
Be inspired.
Be blessed. 

My name is River. My parents always say I am one of God’s special angels. I have a form of Spina Bifida called Myelomeningocele. I was born with my spinal cord protruding from my back. They performed surgery to put it back in, but it left some of my nerves not working properly. At that time, the doctors didn’t think I would ever walk. I have to see many specialists throughout the year. I have a VP shunt in my brain to move fluids to my stomach. To stay healthy, my parents must perform special procedures to my body everyday. I wear AFO leg braces. They give me super powers to help me balance, walk longer distances and run. I receive occupational and physical therapies every week to help me develop adequately. I go into the first grade this year. Our public school system has a strong inclusion program. I never feel scared at school. Someone there always has my back. 

My parents believe one strong muscle will create more strong muscles in my body. They make sure I stay active all day long. My development is slower than other children my age, but with determination I reach many of my goals, even if some of them are done in different ways. I take swimming lessons every summer and I take tumbling during the school season. I can roller skate with special equipment and I love to go bowling.  I ride a special bicycle from Ambucs. I feel like a bolt of lightning when I ride it. I exercise my brain with reading and music. I have lots of books and musical instruments. My favorite instrument is my set of electric drums. I am all about the beat! I love my family, friends and becoming the person God created me to become. 

River Allen