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How I went from teaching reading to teaching happiness

For starters, I had to work on my own health and happiness

Like many people in helping professions, I felt as if I was born to help others. I double majored in psychology and special education. I was fortunate to have many experiences working in all different types of schools with a variety of different children with varying needs. I absolutely loved children but I felt completely stuck and a pressure to fit into these rigid, already established systems.

When I graduated from college, I went on to get two master’s degrees in psychology and Social Work respectively. My first full time job was as an academic coordinator at an educational startup where I was able to create a program with very few guidelines or parameters. In this place, I felt most inspired and embodied. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t being pushed to fit into something that already exists, rather, given the space to create and honor my intuition and create as I wished. Unfortunately, after a few years, the company evolved and I found myself experiencing the same feelings of being stuck and it was no longer the right fit. I went on to try working at another school feeling even more disembodied in a rigid system. I finally decided enough was enough. If I wanted to feel fulfilled in my job the change had to start within me.

Here are 3 things I did to work on my own negative thought patterns.

  1. I began meditating specifically during my lunch breaks. At first, it was difficult and I counted down the seconds until it was over. However, after a few days, I started to look forward to it and felt more at peace in the second half of my day.
  2. I started to take mental notes of my negative thoughts. I wouldn’t judge myself or beat myself up for these thoughts but began to take note of just how many negative thoughts I had in a day which motivated me to choose more positive thoughts.
  3. I practiced daily mantras from the Louise Hay book “You Can Heal Your Life” which I highly recommend if you are interested in the mind-body connection.

When everything started to come together

After many months of job searching, I was finally offered an opportunity to transition to a job that cares strongly about their employees’ health and wellbeing and while at that job I was able to finally start my self care coaching business.

Self care has always been extremely important to me. Growing up, my parents always instilled the importance of taking care of myself. Yoga, therapy and mental health days were a regular part of my upbringing. At the time, I was embarrassed by these things but as an adult, I feel proud and grateful for my parents for teaching us that just like we have to take care of our physical body, our mind needs care too. I started yoga at age 15 to help with back issues but found that it really helped me manage my anxiety. I kept a consistent yoga practice in college and beyond and have learned so much through the yoga community. I even went on a yoga retreat by myself to Bali in 2015 and met wonderful, likeminded people. Finding self care coaching was not exactly a linear trajectory. I had known for a very long time that I wanted to help people feel better in some capacity, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what that looked like. While at an event at the Wing in SoHo, someone asked a question and told the speaker that she was a self care coach and a lightbulb went off in me. It was the perfect way to describe what I wanted to do and what I often found myself doing for my friends and family.

Great self care starts with a strong mindset that self care is not a luxury, rather a necessity for thriving. A big part of my own self care is ignoring the voice in my head that encourages me to care what others will think and listening to what I believe is best. There is no greater joy than watching the change that happens when things shift into alignment for someone and they feel authentically fulfilled. Anyone can give you a list of things to do to feel better but not everyone can work with you on helping you believe that you are worth it. A large part of my work has been helping clients identify barriers such as it’s too expensive, indulgent, luxurious, etc. and learn how to reframe and reprioritize. While teaching in a traditional sense will always hold a special place in my heart, I now get the opportunity to teach others something that can transfer to all aspects of life.

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