This month, I’m happy to share my first interview with one of several of my teachers (gurus). There are so many teachers out there that help us understand ourselves, grow our spiritual practices and cultivate our lives. This series is to share with you a few of my own personal teachers that whether they are aware of it or not, have made a huge imprint on my life, love and world.
teach·er : a person or thing that teaches something.
gu·ru : teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern.
A little about how the amazing Amanda Converse, owner of Shift, an eco-conscious clothing store, came into my journey. I was on a new venture in my nutrition practice, opening a brand new office on Cape Cod. I had no idea why I was here or what my big goals were at the time. I just had an intuition, I had to “go for it.” Go for what? A very important question for an entrepreneur in her twenties. My nutrition counseling company was the tool that rooted me into a very unique and inspiring community on Cape Cod that I soon found would change (grow) my life forever. One of the first inspiring individuals that crossed my path, was Amanda, a clothing eco-educator. Right off the bat, I caught myself thinking about where my clothes came from, who made them, what where all these materials, and the questions continued and are still continuing. I am proud to say, I now know how to be mindful of my food choices AND my clothing choices.
-What has been your journey into what you do?
“It’s interesting to look back and contemplate this. As a kid growing up on the Cape, I was very attached to the natural environment and was concerned about how humans were impacting it. I also loved fashion and writing. And today I own Shift, an eco boutique and publish a local fashion magazine, The Current Quarterly, as well as co-produce LoveLiveLocal‘s written content and events. The journey wasn’t seamless or direct. I went to school for environmental policy, and fully expected to work for the government in some capacity. But I have found that I can have more of an impact on my local community as an advocate for the environment and local business.”
-What have you cultivated along the way?
“I’d like to think I cultivated self awareness, trust in myself, patience, and genuine connections. I’d also like to think I have helped cultivate other people’s love and appreciation for Cape Cod and its natural environment.”
-What inspires you?
“Nature. Strong women. Hard workers. People on their own journey to self discovery.”
-What are the biggest things you’ve learned?
“I have learned (the somewhat hard way) that self care is essential to being successful, grounded, and loving. I have also learned how to identify and trust my instincts and intuition.”
-What are your intentions?
“My biggest intention right now is to find balance in my work and leisure time. It is difficult as an accidental entrepreneur to do this, but that’s where the instincts and intuition come in. I want to feel good every day. So, I am cultivating a yoga, meditation, fitness and eating practice that helps me do this.”
-How do you feel about your energy?
“I get frustrated that I need so much sleep! I always think that if I only needed 4 hours of sleep I could get so much more done. But I am who I am and my body needs what it needs, so I honor that, so I can have energy to show up to every day ready for whatever it brings.”
-What is your relationship with food?
“My relationship with food has always been complicated. Because of various influences in my life, I have always struggled with judgement around food – good and bad – and (with your help) I am working on letting go of that. Instead focusing on how food makes my body feel, not feeding my emotions. It is a work in progress, and I am trying to cultivate compassion for myself as I go through this difficult journey.”
-What’s your favorite meal to create for yourself or others or both? Tell the background story please and share your recipe if there is one.
“I have always loved breakfast for dinner. I love making my special scrambled eggs (it’s a family recipe), roasted sweet potatoes, with a side of stir fried kale. I could eat it every day!”
-Who are your favorite teachers? why?
“I have had so many in various times of my life. Right now I am surrounded by such amazing women and each of them offer me so much insight into the world and myself. I think the important thing is to remain open to learning, and there will always be someone there to teach you – including yourself.”
-What is your vision board for 2016?
“I don’t really connect with the vision board concept. But I’d like to continue to grow my businesses and myself, and take some time off!”
-What’s your favorite book and why?
“Oh gosh! Just one?? Over the past year, I have read a ton of Pema Chodron’s work. I have also always treasured my copy of Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke. My favorite quote is from that work: “I beg you to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves…do not now seek the answers , which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live with them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now.”
-How do you balance your life?
“I haven’t quite mastered that, but I am really good at making sure I get to yoga and exercise, because I love how both practices make me feel. I would like to work less, but right now I am taking that one day at a time.”
-How do you practice mindfulness?
“Yoga has taught me how to breathe – I “take my yoga off the mat” as much as I can. I also try to get outside as much as possible, and I have also started to incorporate meditation into my wellness practice. I think mindfulness can be as simple as taking a beat every once in a while to become aware of and appreciate of your present moment.”
Thank you for letting us Spread the Love with this month’s inspirational interview. Look forward to next month’s interview with love from, Kate Scott, a hair stylist + health educator helping others look and feel their best. Let’s learn to love and be ourselves with the help of each other!