Alyssa Hall is a life coach for mom’s. She’s a single mom to her 4-year-old daughter. A couple of years ago her life was a complete mess - every part of her life felt hard; her job, her relationships, and taking care of her self. She didn’t know how much more she could take —so she took a risk. She signed up for the coach training program at iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching). She knew it wasn’t a good time, but that there would also never be a “perfect” time. She knew she couldn’t afford it. But also knew she was tired of being unhappy. So, she stepped into her fears of the unknown seeking a career change and left with a completely different life. Alyssa was able to see firsthand how changing herself can affect every single person in your life. When she completed the program, she had a mission. She needed to help mom’s overcome what I went through; all the overwhelm, guilt, frustration, communicating with her daughter's father, and more. She knew she wasn’t the only one who experienced life this way and was grateful to coaching tools early in her parenting journey.
Segment Time Stamps/ Episode Highlights:
“Children are a mirror, every action that I’m doing is being seen and reflected.”
“Finagle the bagel. Which means finesse everything so you can still get everything you want done.”
“It’s important to do what makes you happy not what people think you should be doing.”
“Remind yourself who you are at your core and fit that into your life… like a constant refresher.”
“It’s easier to work for someone else than it is to work for yourself and push yourself.”
Michelle Aspinwell had been operating at Wonder Woman speed, using determination and endurance, this is probably something you can relate to == especially since we are quarantined - I have been more aware of how much I have been rushing! She was starting to properly understand what a brilliant organism the body is, relying on powerful, internal interactions to function at its full potential. What started as a diet evolved into to discovering and embracing so many different kinds of foods—both on my plate and the food she fed her brain through her thoughts and lifestyle. She was able to move past the oughts and ought-nots of a restrictive diet to an enjoyable and worthwhile journey in itself — an awakening of strength, clarity, and calm. Now as she approaches 48, these practices and specific knowledge has made my peri-menopausal journey one of transformation in spite of my unique symptoms. I know how to listen to the language my body uses and work to support it. She blends her years of personal experience, applying Eastern principles of healing, studying over 100 dietary theories, medical chef work and my professional certifications through IIN and AADP to empower, educate and guide women to recognize their genetic predisposition doesn't have to be their fate. Women have the power to age timelessly, preventing chronic disease creating vital longevity with lifestyle medicine.
What was your awakening to Midlife?
Michelle experienced an unraveling around age 42 with the notion that it was a midlife crisis. She started to sense a “pang of time” and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a crisis after all. The feeling of unease gradually escalated as she became aware that her life was actually ok and the imbalance resided in how she felt as if she still wanted to run away. Over time as Michelle worked through her feelings and helped other women, she came up with the concept of aligning with time.
When you say unraveling, what do you mean by unraveled?
Michelle explained that it was a moment where everything was good and she had no reason to feel bad but, on the inside, she wanted to run and change things. Despite her normal tricks to feel better, nothing worked. She went inward to figure it out. During the process, she went to different doctors.
What were you experiencing, if it wasn’t depression?
It was a feeling of isolation and unsettledness in her life with no specific cause of it.
Did it then become apparent that this was hormonal and not midlife and you should just ride the wave?
She describes how it wasn’t so cut and dry. Michelle had to find people who used all different kinds of healing to normalize her feelings. Acupuncturists and Energy healers are examples of a few. Working with those people brought her to this current place. Harnessing and using the energy of her feelings instead of allowing them to be a storm was important.
What were you doing before this?
Michelle was a set and costume designer in Theatre. She was accustomed to talking to people in vulnerable states about their bodies. “How we perceive our body to look and how the world sees us are usually two different perspectives” That mindset really impacts her work as she takes women through this process of aligning with time. “It is really being present with the now.” What we as women do now impacts us years from now. You can’t be present in the past to create your future.
What do you personally do now to align with time in your life?
Michelle is particular with the quality of her food. When it's not available she will fast. She is gluten-free due to an autoimmune disorder which has its pros and cons. She washes her face every night and honors that ritual as being apart of connecting with herself and reflecting on what she is grateful for. Recently she’s become serious about who she surrounds herself with and set strong boundaries about what she tolerates. She doesn’t say yes to the “greater room at large” any longer too.
What are some positive things about Estrogen decline?
To be clear, she wanted to mention that there aren’t many positives but it helped her find herself. Michelle went from thinking food was everything to the great realization that consciousness, aligning with time and what we put on our body is just as important as what she put IN our body. She emphasizes how essential it is to clean up skincare and how getting chemicals out of your life is important because endocrine disrupters do a lot of harm to women. They wreak havoc on our bodies.
Michelle takes great care of her skin. Makeup is not clean but you can clean up skincare. Beauty is coming from good skin. It's an inside job, not an outside job despite popular belief. It's important to keep the chemicals at bay. Avoid fillers, preservatives, fragrances, colors… even deodorant. Lotion is a much bigger one. Use body butter and natural oils.
She created her skincare line, Askin because her son had a bad case of eczema. She started playing around with natural oils, butters, botanicals, and herbs. Through research, trial, and error She’s simplified her living.
She doesn’t drink plain water but Herbal teas really quench her thirst. She enjoys the task of being present as she makes her beverage. Sleep is crucial as well.
Michelle explains that we tend to live in Yang more and deplete the Yin. The more we deplete the Yin, we set ourselves up for a harder transition. Yang is the light side of the mountain, its awake and sunny, the Yin is quiet and dark. We need both to create balance. As we are younger we need to live more in the Yang and when we get older we tend to need more Yin but all in balance. As women get older, we really need more Yin.
Also, if women have trouble sleeping, they should nap during the day.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Women heal women.
Relevant Links: https://www.michelleaspinwall.com/
Donna Ognibene is a gymnast, marathon runner, middle school teacher, and actress. She has been professionally active in the health and fitness industry for over 25 years. Donna has been described as a world-class master trainer, passionate teacher, trusted advisor, empowering coach, curious learner, creative innovator, industry leader, and community advocate. While she is all that, her natural talent is in bringing out the best in people. Aside from her professional roles, Donna enjoys time with family, friends, good food, community events, the Boston arts/sports/entertainment scene, acting, writing, and international travel.
Donna knows too well the pain of being down in every aspect, which has led her into believing in the power of rising again. She shares her story of being exposed to risks so early in life and learning to deal with fear and challenges that came with it.
Listen in to this self-help podcast to learn how to look for the next big thing after your plans have been knocked down by unprecedented circumstances.
How has physical strength impacted her work and who she is?
She grew up in a family that encouraged both academics and athletics. Learning to use her body as well as her mind has shaped who she is and influenced her every choice. It compels her to keep at it whether its to get to a healthier place, to do something challenging, or to embrace fear.
Did she have a lot of exposure?
She was involved in gymnastics to senior year in college. She was injured when training and turned to bars even though it was something she did not like before. The lesson was no matter what sets you down, you have to look for the next best thing. She could have been a supporter of her fellow teammates or continue doing something else along the same lines.
Does she think being exposed to so much risk through gymnastics helped in her life?
She had a coach who was also a mentor that she wanted to perform for. The type of coach that doesn’t give up on you for a second and is always challenging you. She began interfacing with the world through gymnastics which is all about provoking potential and is probably why she respects how much it influences her work and how her work influences other people.
What is her story?
She moved to a different route after the injury and started in physical therapy school but wasn’t fulfilled due to her prior accident. She later decided to go into education which she combines to do all the things that she finds beautiful. She started running heavily and connecting with her body but got into an accident that has limited her from running as much as she used to.
What advice does she have for Anna who’s going to climb an equivalent of Mt. Everest?
The rule of threes says: always work with the foot, the hips, and the thoracic spine meaning you want to get mobilization around your ankle joints because that’s where all motions start when you move. Always find an extra resource you can draw from. Donna describes an exercise that gets you back into natural principles and how she’s using it with the swimmers she works with.
When did yoga come into her life?
She says she was the jack of all trades teaching so many different classes and started doing yoga instead of the Pilates because she couldn’t enjoy them. She felt comfortable with yoga and became a fan and is a huge believer in adding motion to it.
How life has forced her to see things differently even through injuries?
She has recently been telling her story which has made her realize that you can’t fight the flow. She has always had an option to keep moving and turn it into something. It is natural for people to want to retreat towards familiar. She is trying to talk more about the importance of keeping what we already have, keeping that foundation and continuing to learn, not necessarily looking for new answers but better fits instead. Just play around with the workout and find out what might be a better warm-up for you.
What’s the best advice she’s ever been given?
Never give up! It takes on a whole different meaning when you’re almost done and there’s almost no resource left inside of you.
Helena Escalante is a copywriter, content strategist, and creator of entrepreneurial thought leaders who love to learn by reading books. She was born in Mexico City but later came to the US to attend college in Austin Texas.
Helena believes her superpower is connecting people with resources they need to achieve their goals. She is fascinated by the human mind and tries to convey her copywriting messages compellingly and effectively.
Listen in to this entrepreneurial podcast to learn how you can become a copywriter who creates compelling and converting copies.
What was her inspiration to come from Mexico to the US?
She was born into a family of translators which made the US close to her heart and when the opportunity came to attend college in the US she took it. She studied history and Latin American studies and minored in marketing. She later got a job in PR with marketing knowledge even before graduation. Helena says her brain works in marketing and languages.
What does she love about PR and how she puts the message across?
She loves getting a message that resonates- seeing someone’s eyes light up because the message struck a chord is what he lives for. She has a passion for the human mind- the urge to understand why we do the things that we do. She can convey a message that highlights what the call to action is as a copywriter. She came with an acronym W-R-I-T-E that acts as a map to put out an effective copy message.
What is her favorite book?
The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Xander. The book gives you examples of how to manage either feelings or situations masterfully. She explains one example of how one can fulfill your goals and grow yourself by working towards it.
How does she handle writing marketing and PR copies?
When it comes to copywriting, the strategy should be to write a ‘vomit draft’ which is just throwing ideas out there. This gives you many ideas to work with rather than limiting yourself with what you think it should be or look like.
How do you distinguish between the right ideas from others?
Always keep in mind what your client wants or call to action.
How to master the art of the right call to action?
Many entrepreneurs think that the message is clear even though it may not be. Always give instructions on how to find that call to action button. It’s always the little things that could change everything. You can even get help from someone who isn’t as immersed in the process and is more likely to notice the missing call to action.
What is her favorite call to action words?
A call to action should always start with powerful action verbs. This snaps your prospect’s brain from the law of reading and into action mode. The clearer and the more imperative you make it the better.
What words does she use repeatedly?
Using the word ‘imagine’ takes on your prospects into the journey with you. It is a powerful word that sends our minds to wherever we want them to go. Other words include ‘discover’ which is like imagine and the ‘how to’. Picking people’s curiosity also works best because we are naturally curious.
What is the best advice that she’s ever been given?
Love yourself as you love your neighbor. As a perfectionist with invisible judges she always used harsh words that she would never use on anyone else.