Wake up with a thankful spirit. If you practice this on a regular basis it changes you. It’s just that simple. You’ll find eventually whatever your dealing with, whatever circumstance your going through, life will be a little easier to manage the trials you face. Just saying out loud what you are thankful for even the little things like every breath you take, the sun that shines, having a good friend or friends in your life. Gratitude is special. It’s been said many times how important gratitude is to our wellbeing because it enhances our mood and makes us feel good.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cassandra Pavolic, Founder at Fear Has No Grip.
Cassandra pursued her dream to perform and travel the world as a Professional Aerialist despite her fear of heights! After her circus days were over, she gave a TEDx Talk titled “Courage To Let Go: Life Lessons Of A Circus Aerialist” and has been interviewed on several radio and Podcast shows, as well as featured in an article on the website Up Journey. Her passion is to inspire, motivate, and encourage people of all ages to live the life they were meant to live. Her idea for Fear Has No Grip was born soon after her TEDx and inspires many from stuck to un-stuck, hopeless to hopeful and a leap from dreaming to doing it!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Absolutely but first and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to be here and share my story.
I grew up in a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and had a vision as a young girl to perform and travel the world. Although an introvert, I found some sort of comfort with being onstage and expressing myself through movement came natural for me. After getting an Associates Degree in Music/Theatre/Dance from Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts I knew immediately It was now or never. I would then commute from Philly to NYC by train just to get use to auditioning.
Along came the circus! I found myself in this giant arena auditioning for Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus. After breezing through the dance part of the audition came the aerial audition, which was a requirement for dancers. This was the moment. The moment of truth. I was suddenly facing my fear head on. I knew I was physically fit and capable of the aerial portion of the audition. However, my fear of heights was either going to rob me of this opportunity to be apart of the incredible iconic form of entertainment or I face my fear with courage. I went for it! My will and desire were stronger than my fear itself. Thankfully, I made it through, and they invited me to perform with Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus. It was Gunther Gables last tour and I was living life to the fullest! After a year with Ringling Bros. I went on to perform with other circus shows and toured for a few years before I landed in Las Vegas where I resided and performed as a dancer and aerialist for 21 years.
Time passes by so quickly before you knew it my career had ended. A series of injuries and wear, and tear of the body, the inevitable was bound to happen. I needed to search for another career. At age 45 I was retired with no idea what to do next. Fear had reared its ugly head once again. This was painful. I was devastated I could no longer do what I had loved doing for 25 years. My thoughts were “Well, I’m retired not dead, now what?”
So, from there I reflected on what I learned in the circus and applied those lessons to my new life and career. I faced another fear as a speaker and found that I enjoyed it very much that I became a Motivational and Inspirational Speaker. After my TEDx talk, Fear Has No Grip Coaching was born.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Yes! Since I started Fear Has No Grip Coaching, I have had the pleasure to work with so many amazing people. In helping others reach their goals, work through fears, and transform their lives, I am challenging myself on a regular basis. For example, During the covid-19 many people have been living life behind closed doors that it also gave us plenty of time to reflect. I called this the “cocoon” phase. While we were all living life very differently, I decided to pack my car full of clothes, shoes and toiletries and drive twelve hours to TN. The down time gave me an opportunity to live somewhere I always wanted to live. Mostly, my coaching was done online via zoom calls, so it really does not matter where I live. I was aware of the obstacles I had to face but did it anyway because why not? I faced the challenge of finding a safe place to live, how do I meet people in a new State and town during the pandemic? I thought all this through before I went on the road. I rented for a few months and to connect with people and to make a little extra cash I went to work in a grocery store. It was the only place hiring during the pandemic. A humbling experience and I am so glad I did it. I met some wonderful people during my stay. TN is where I went to reflect. It was my time to renew, refresh, and grow. Indeed, I was transformed. I learned that I need to constantly challenge myself in some way, I need to make connections wherever I go, and that my “wants” are NOT a necessity to feel fulfilled but I “need” a healthy mind body and spirit to create, inspire and to better serve he who lives in me. My faith is stronger than ever before.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh my goodness yes, To be brutely honest, one of the biggest mistakes I made as I first started coaching is I thought it was going to be easy peezy. In other words, I believed I would not need another source of income while launching my business. I was so wrong! Hello reality check! I needed to get myself out there and establish trust. This takes time. I had this crazy idea that my phone was going to ring off the hook with people wanted my help. A lesson in business I learned right off the bat. I needed to make myself known and start speaking more as well as use my social media to launch my Fear Has No Grip Coaching.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, it is true we all can use a little help from time to time. I am thankful for everyone I have met along the way that have truly inspired me on so many different playing fields.
One, or I will say two people worked together to mentor me are Geoffrey Berwind and Laura Harrison. They provided fantastic mentorship and guidance that I am forever grateful for the both of them. I hope they know how much their words of encouragement meant to me. I was just a new speaker and they encouraged me and inspired me to do a TEDx talk. That was my very first BIG talk.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
Part of Health & Wellness in my opinion is about the Mind, Body, Spirit connection. It has always been a way of life for me. If there is a disconnection with one of the three, then there is an unbalance somewhere within the system. I realize that I am learning constantly, and I love to learn, especially when I am discovering something new about myself.
Knowing how your mind, body, spirit works is a matter of self-discovery and I help my clients with this but also important I continue this practice daily. Life can get so busy and we get tied up in our own needs, wants and desires that we forget what is important. Our health and wellbeing, our emotional and mental stability, our physical health, our spirit, our very soul. These all play a major roll to a happy healthy peaceful, joyful, fulfilling life. I love helping people discover and rediscover what their truth is and how to move passed, over, under, through and or with their fears! I always say, “Stick to the basics.” If you’re lost or confused on your journey, get back to the basics and go from there.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
#1 Wake up with a thankful spirit. If you practice this on a regular basis it changes you. It’s just that simple. You’ll find eventually whatever your dealing with, whatever circumstance your going through, life will be a little easier to manage the trials you face. Just saying out loud what you are thankful for even the little things like every breath you take, the sun that shines, having a good friend or friends in your life. Gratitude is special. It’s been said many times how important gratitude is to our wellbeing because it enhances our mood and makes us feel good.
#2. Exercise. Go for a walk outside, get into nature. This can and will change your mood. I love nature walks because it’s my time with God. Walking outside helps calm the mind and gives me peace. If you can’t get outside due to the weather the treadmill will work, although not the same. However, whatever you do get moving! Run, walk, and strength training are all great ways to calm the mind, destress and get some exercise in.
#3. Listen to music. Music is healing, motivating and inspirational. I love love love music of all genres. I used music to comfort cancer patience during the time I was a Hospice Volunteer in Las Vegas, NV. I put headphones over their ears and mostly they would fall asleep to healing angelic music. It was priceless.
#4. Pray, Meditate. Prayer is having conversation with God. I find prayer a necessity as it is important for me to have a relationship with God and listen with my heart. My faith moves me, gives me peace. I understand that we all have different beliefs and that’s ok as it is every soul’s prerogative to choose. I never ever push my beliefs on my clients, but I do suggest prayer and meditation. It can be whatever you want it to be. I always suggest to my clients to simply try it on a regular basis. It will transform you; I promise. Meditation to me, is just being still and listen. Quiet the mind. Simple? Not really because must people struggle to be still and quiet the mind. Therefore, it’s even more important because your mind and body are craving silence, stillness and peace. The body does not lie. Listen!
#5. Do something you love! Is there something you use to enjoy doing but don’t have time to do anymore? Make time. Afraid? Do it anyway. Maybe just finding time for a cup of coffee with a friend is something you love and its been awhile. Simply make time for you! I practice this daily. I enjoy a good cup of coffee at one of my favorite café’s alone or even better with a friend. I call it, my daily “cup of joy.”
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Everyone who is working all day must include a two-hour break in the middle of there workday. This allows time for a workout that perhaps was missed prior to work, or a time to close your eyes for meditation, a nap, take a walk, or simply a moment to dream. Whatever you do make it happen away from work allowing the mind to recharge. I believe including Siestas in the five-day work schedule would increase the immune systems and employers would have happier, mentally, and emotionally healthier employees. Who wouldn’t want that?!
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
Like anything worth doing you need patience. I have learned that patience is utterly important when I started my Coaching business.
You would think I would know this due to my background. Staying motivated is not a problem but patience with myself regarding learning the business and all its legalities, is a learning curve for sure. I now understand the phrase “Patience is a virtue” more so today than ever before.
Learn to get comfortable with saying NO.
I genuinely want to help people but let’s face it, I can’t save the world. Sometimes I must turn people away because there struggling with something, I truly can’t help them with, or it is simply beyond my scope of practice. Saying no is turning away income but my integrity and the wellbeing of that client means more to me than the potential income.
Women are hard on other women.
This was and still is a hard one for me to comprehend. I run into many women who are clicky, judgey, plane ole mean to other women in business. It boils down to jealousy and not wanting the other women to level up pass her. I come to accept that this is life and apparently it happens in every business.
Understanding your target market is especially important. Research and research some more. The more you know the better you are. I feel like I can’t research enough because things change so much that I’m constantly finding valuable information related to my field. Research is now something I do more often on a regular basis.
Team of mentors.
Finding a team of mentors in skills that I lack is a lifesaver. I’m not computer savvy so I absolutely find it a blessing to have a team who does. I know my weaknesses and look for those who can help me in those areas.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental Health without a doubt. Just take a minute to listen to the news. It does not matter what station you listen to or what political side you’re on, people are suffering greatly around the world. This is exactly why I emphasize the mind, body spirit connection. The human spirit craves peace in their soul. Connecting with our creator is a major missing ingredient to many.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!