Living gracefully sounds simple, and yet we all know what a real challenge it can be. Just think about any crazy day, juggling work, kids, and a hundred other little obstacles. Grace and wellness can go right out the window. The secret is to remind yourself that this is a daily practice, and that it’s more than okay not to be perfect. Here, four wellness entrepreneurs share the simple ways they incorporate balance, grace, and good health into their lives. Read on, and get ready to be inspired.
Be Perfectly Imperfect
“For me, balance is about a loving acceptance of who you are,” says Nicole Centeno, CEO and founder of Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery company focused on healthy soups, smoothies, and stews. “Being imperfect is a good thing, because it’s how we learn and grow.” Nikki Ostrower, nutritional expert and founder of NAO Nutrition, a holistic nutritional coaching program, agrees: “I have used all the stumbling blocks in my life to get me to a better place. I look at each moment, even the tough ones, as another growth opportunity. We tend to be our own worst critics, and it can be a daily challenge to treat yourself as your own best friend. When you do, everything else will fall into place.”
“Most people think of wellness as health-related, and that’s important, but it’s also spiritual,” says Taryn Rose, founder of Taryn Rose Footwear. “There’s a Buddhist saying: ‘You have to be, to become.’ It’s about being in the moment and in touch with all your senses. Says Ostrower: “With food, that means being fully conscious and aware of what you’re putting in your body, but not in a judgmental way.” Mindfulness is one the most essential and unique aspects to Centeno’s Splendid Spoon. “Just taking a few minutes to slow down, and to experience and really enjoy your food can be the reset button in the middle of a crazy day.” Rose finds that she gets her best creative and business ideas during the few minutes of meditation at the end of a yoga class. “It provides relaxed clarity,” she says.
“It’s easy to get negative, but you have to catch yourself and let go of those thoughts,” says Ostrower. “The key to being a successful entrepreneur can be simply getting unstuck and moving forward.” One tool she uses is a Gratitude Journal. “I literally write down what I’m grateful for in a day. It could something as simple as my daughter Emma’s smile or my husband’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. Keeping a daily journal is a great reminder that can focus you on what’s working in your life, as opposed to what’s not.”
You may not think of kindness as being essential to a successful career, but it definitely is. “Kindness and confidence are the two measures of a happy, successful life and business,” says Sadie Lincoln, founder of barre3, a family of exercise studios with classes that incorporate the barre method, Pilates, and yoga. “We work in a culture of kindness at barre3, and it’s part of our business model. It’s what we sell, and who we are.” Centeno incorporates kindness and communication into weekly meetings: “We do something called ‘Like, Wish, Wonder,’ where each person in the team communicates something they liked during the week, what they wish they could have changed, and something in the future that they’re thinking about. It’s a nice way to share honestly with each other.”
Remember, It’s All About the Journey
“The idea of wellness isn’t about rigid dietary rules, getting into a pair of skinny jeans, or external goals as motivation,” says Lincoln. “It’s about self-discovery, learning, and having an open conversation with yourself. For example, what can you do today to move your energy toward what’s really important to you, whether it’s being healthy and happy, feeling good in your body, or being confident?” For Rose, that exploration has been a motivating force. “The underlying thread of my entire business starts with kindness to yourself, being comfortable in your own body so that you can walk further and take your own journey.” Like all of these four entrepreneurs, that journey can lead to wonderful, surprising places and is all about living gracefully.
Gina Way is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City who specializes in beauty, health, and lifestyle content. Her work appears regularly in national magazines such as Marie Claire, Redbook, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Real Simple, and Cosmopolitan.