“Recently I was asked to contribute to an article for Merrithew™️, the global leader in mind-body education and equipment, based in Toronto. It seems my affliction wasn’t all that uncommon amongst health and fitness professionals who spend a considerable amount of time looking after the needs of other’s without taking time to attend to their own.
I have often been described as one who doesn’t ‘DO’ slow. When you find your career passion, it is difficult to not fill your time with opportunities to enhance your passion and business—since it is what you love to do, right?
I know as we head into the New Year there are a number of articles in this space espousing better life hacks. I concede I am still a learner when it comes to the right life balance and can’t pretend to have the right formula just yet. What I have come to appreciate is that it takes baby steps and there are no absolutes.
So, I hope you find something in the article that resonates and/or may simply reinforce what you are currently contending with. Enjoy!
Finding balance while juggling your passion
“Be Pilates has been created from a lot of ‘imbalance’. We are talking 24 years of late-night learning, elbow-deep experience, no-brakes growth, dignified falls, corporate career detox, high-five success stories and thankyou bouquets all gracefully now bundled together as the Merrithew Licensed Training Centre (LTC) in New Zealand and Be Pilates studio in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay.
I am grateful for the juggle of running with my passion (here’s the list): owning New Zealand’s LTC, as an Instructor Trainer – teaching Pilates Instructors from throughout the country in STOTT PILATESⓇ & Total Barre™️ education, running our fourth premium Be Pilates business located in the Hawkes Bay, managing a small Shashi socks business on the side and most importantly, keeping up with my busy husband, daughter, son and popdog. However as any juggler will concede, the more balls you have in the air, the greater the chance and anxiety you have of dropping a ball.
So I decided, (a little later than I should have to be honest), to make some small but meaningful changes to the lense in which I looked at my Pilates World and take some time to pause and just ‘Be’.
Enjoy and personalise YOUR ride
Running Be Pilates is a constant humble reminder about the importance of enjoying your individual life’s ride. Each day in the studio is an opportunity to work with wonderful clients who are experiencing their personal rollercoaster of events. This week some clients have been very sick and needed restorative fascial release, while others required athletic challenges on the Pilates equipment. I am always mindful that sometimes we need to acknowledge and honour our bodies with what we need for that day. This may be very different to what we may need next week.
We love the comfort of consistency; however this often isn’t a great catalyst for personal change and growth. Balance is personal and should be flexible enough to be context driven. Sometimes slowing down to recharge is what you need, and other times you will need an athletic workout. What’s important is that it’s YOUR ride.
Be grateful for the little things – like breathing
In this must do, agenda driven world we would all love a silver bullet for balance. That unequivocal solution. I have figured out that balance is not a box ticking exercise and neither as it happens is good Pilates. It’s about the little things. Like breathing deeply and mindfully! Even on busy days take the time to mindfully breathe freely and be grateful for those little things in life.
Sometimes I put an LP on and play a classic song… while I re-learn to just breathe deeply and freely, or sometimes it’s enjoying the sounds of nature right outside your studio door… while you re-learn to just breathe deeply and freely.
Be grateful for being able to make a little difference in your client’s lives by allowing them to breathe deeply and freely. I am particularly aware that as an Instructor Trainer I have the opportunity to mentor other Pilates Instructors from throughout the country and help them make wonderful differences in the communities around them by teaching them the fundamental principles of Pilates, the first which is to learn how to breathe efficiently.
Remember as an Instructor – you must be human to be humane
Imagine if you had the same conversations with yourself as you did with your clients about their well being. You need to give yourself the same permission to take care of you. Certainly lay solid foundations for your physical and mental health. Do the usual’s such as drink plenty of water, eat nutritionally balanced meals… but I have found that you need to indulge every so often. Enjoy that morning coffee or that Thursday at 3pm Martini. Life can’t just be about short linear bursts of perfectionism, can it?
I love to exercise daily, but when life gets too busy to fit in my regular workout, my go-to exercise is port-de-bra on the spine corrector while slurping a Hawthorne macchiato. I love the decompressing, uplifting quality whilst strengthening the abdominals, opening the hips and balancing the coffee.
Understanding balance is being humane enough to tune into your own wellbeing as well as your client’s wellbeing. Honoring your body by offering fitness and wellbeing for what you need each day. This is how ‘Be Pilates’ was born”.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article, which contributed to an article that was published throughout the global Merrithew community last week. I would love to hear your thoughts on the content and how you manage to keep the balance yourself. Thanks for reading & I look forward to keeping in touch with you all this wonderful 2019 year ahead!
Merrithew Instructor Trainer – STOTT PILATES (Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations)
Merrithew Instructor Trainer – Total Barre Education
New Zealand Merrithew Licensed Training Centre
Be Pilates Studio – Hawkes Bay, New Zealand