Entrepreneur. Humanitarian. Mother. Adventurer.
making time for yourself, but it feels irresponsible?
there’s something more to life, but not sure what it is?
quitting your job, but it would make your life inconvenient?
or waiting for the right moment to go after it?
but my driving desire has always been to follow my curiosity, to trust my intuition, and to keep the spark inside of me blazing brightly.
I’ve learned that playfulness and adventure build the resilience we need to move through through pain, and I’ve experienced my share of it.
In these times of turbulence, we’re often forced into change. But when we get comfortable in our busy routines, we really need to pause and listen to the whispers tugging at our souls.
After working at NBC news, I longed to work with refugees but unsure of how to make the switch, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in policy from Princeton and try to figure it all out. I kissed the sky with gratitude after landing my dream job at UNICEF that merged my three greatest passions: children, sports, and international travel.
Then I gave birth to my twin girls, and my priorities shifted. During my maternity leave, like so many others, I felt tormented by a restlessness at the thought of going back to work. I was pulled in a new direction, realizing those two little love nuggets needed me more than I needed to continue on my career path. So I took a pause.
It was in that “pause” that I met my friend Allison in an elevator on the way to a kids’ music class. We were cramped together with our twin baby strollers, and stuck in the same chasm between wanting to work and wanting to dive into our new identities as mothers. We joined forces with our husbands Bobby and Craig, and talked about starting a business that would provide a play space with early childhood classes for families in NYC.
Together, the four of us created apple seeds, a play space around NYC and the world, and we franchised our music program, songs for seeds. This wasn’t planned. It was a giant leap of faith that often felt scary, but it allowed me to let go of expectations, and spend more time with my family. I felt as if I had struck the balance between work and life and found a kind of freedom.
When I turned 40, I was happy but became vaguely aware that something was missing, like a lost part of myself. The restlessness was like a soft rumbling of emotions under my skin, pulling me ever so slightly to something more.
Almost without thinking, I took on a week-long yoga class challenge that would mean full days without my kids and work. I took this “pause” despite how hard it was for me at the time. I tried to ignore the layers of guilt as a mom and the demands at my business. As I lay on my yoga mat at the end of each class, I finally allowed myself to sit in the fire of my feelings. I felt guilty and spread thin, but began to wonder why was I choosing to live up to everyone else’s expectations of me.
When I came home after the last yoga class, my girls ran up to me, squealing with delight, asking, “How was it? When are you going to do that again? You’ve been so happy this week!” In that unexpected moment, I realized that my kids weren’t suffering as I practiced yoga all week, but that they just wanted me to be happy. In choosing my own happiness, I was actually offering a gift to those around me.
I began to take on epic athletic challenges, climb mountains, travel more, and go on mystery trips. Giving myself permission to follow these feelings awakened all of the quiet pieces that were living inside of me—the adventurer, the athlete, the handstander, the friend… and the mother was not only still whole, but stronger.
but rather in sand on a beach, as if the waves of changes allowed them to be rewritten. But I couldn’t find them in my obligations to others and demands of life. When I sat quietly and listened, they slowly revealed themselves. And I was able to give myself permission to live my authentic life.
Become the mother I always wanted to be, connected and present for my children. Start a business that would blend my personal and professional identities. Find my inner athlete, travel, and be adventurous. Live a life driven by mission.
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