People often ask me why I started the Inner MAP Project. I could tell you that I am passionate about helping people feel their best, manage stress, and grow as a person. I could tell you that I believe that everyone deserves to live a meaningful and memory-filled life. I could tell you I was burnt out from taking care of teenagers every day, and not having enough mental energy to give to my own family. I could even tell you that I didn’t want to wake up at 5:30am every day to go to work. All of those things are true (especially the 5:30am thing, just ask my hubby about my attitude at that time of day) but that isn’t the whole story. That doesn’t explain why I left my salaried job as a school counselor to start my own business. It doesn’t explain the journey that took me from science teacher to school counselor to today. This isn’t what Simon Sinek was talking about in his incredible TED talk. So here’s my story…
I went into education because I wanted to help people, and let’s be honest, getting summers off was definitely a factor in my decision. But I did really like my work. I liked my colleagues and students, I liked the fast pace of teaching and counseling, I liked always having something to do and never knowing what crazy thing the students were going to tell me. I felt like maybe there were other jobs out there that I would LOVE but I was comfortable, had a constant income, and didn’t really have any complaints. I got married, started teaching yoga on the side, had a daughter, bought a house in an amazing neighborhood with the BEST neighbors, and was living a pretty awesome existence. Then one day we got some news we weren’t expecting and my perspective shifted.
In May of 2017, the day before summer break started, I announced to my colleagues that I was pregnant. We were 12 weeks along and had seen the heartbeat, so I felt pretty confident that things were fine. I was so excited to grow our family and watch B become a big sister. But the next day when I went to my doctor appointment, that all changed. I could tell something was wrong when the doctor couldn’t hear the heartbeat, but she tried to assure me it was normal in early stages of pregnancy for the baby to be “hiding” in an awkward spot. She got out the ultrasound machine and we quickly realized that the baby wasn’t moving, there was no heartbeat to hear, and we were not going to be adding to our family after all.
I won’t bore you with the medical details of what occurred over the next few weeks, and I probably don’t need to tell you there were more than a few tears shed, along with several glasses of wine and at least one Tom Hanks movie. (My friend Jennie says that Tom Hanks movies help so I figured what the hell) It was what happened next that I wasn’t expecting.
A couple months after the miscarriage, I was in a hotel room in Telluride on my hubby’s work trip that my daughter and I had tagged along for. B was napping and I was daydreaming about this idea I had to bring yoga, mental wellness, science, and personal growth together into one business. I started searching the internet and found an advanced yoga teacher training that sounded interesting. I don’t even remember if I asked my husband if he was on board, I think I just immediately signed up! I was really excited to learn more and become a better yoga teacher.
We decided to try again to get pregnant, with the attitude of “let’s see what happens.” And that fall, I had a positive pregnancy test. But before I could even get to my first appointment, I started bleeding. This time I hadn’t told anyone except my husband and my mom, and while it was easier than the one had been 5 months prior, I knew my heart couldn’t take it again. We decided that we were going to enjoy our healthy, thriving daughter and focus on the positives of an only-child… like being able to all sit together on an airplane.
In January 2018, I started the process to get my 500-hour yoga teaching certification with 2 incredible mentors who would push me to go deeper and work harder. I spent one weekend a month for the entire year connecting back with myself. I evaluated my core values, I shed MORE tears, I learned a ton about yoga, I grew as a teacher and more importantly as a person, I processed the trauma that my body, mind, and spirit had endured during the miscarriage. And through that journey I realized that time is a commodity that we cannot get more of, that life is incredibly precious, and that I wanted to be living my life without regrets. That little daydream of connecting yoga, mental wellness, and personal growth was starting to turn into something more like reality.
This is how the Inner MAP Project came to life. I believe it is my mission to guide people through the process of self-discovery, to help them identify and live in alignment with their core values, to teach them skills to decrease stress and anxiety, and to build a community of people who show up fully present for themselves and others every day. This is why I keep moving forward in this crazy entrepreneurial journey. This is “ MY WHY”.