Posted on August 17 2015
We were so lucky to met up with our friend Mary and her adorable little girl, Malia, a little while back to snap some stunning babywearing pics of the pair with the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel as our backdrop.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mary for making our wraps look stunning and for taking the time out of her busy schedule as a mother, an artist, a yoga instructor and small business owner to share a bit of her story and knowledge with us. We hope you enjoy!
I am a blessed mother, a supported wife and a loved daughter living the sweet, salty life in paradise. Meeting my husband, a local boy, and marrying him a few years ago, I happily planted my roots in Kailua, Hawaii.
With a passion for teaching, a love for yoga and leading a healthy and down-to-earth life, I became a yoga instructor over 4 years ago. This balanced perfectly with my art career, commissioned paintings to earn a living. Teaching Vinyasa, SUP yoga, kids, family and prenatal yoga, I infuse each class with creativity, purpose and meaning. My passion for sharing yoga, mindfulness and creativity to the whole family led me to create my business baby this past year, Saltwater Studios."
How has becoming a mother changed your life?
Becoming a mother completely flipped my world upside down in the most amazing ways! All of a sudden, things before that seemed so important, no longer took a front seat on the priority bus; my baby, my role as a mother and as a wife took the front seat, and everything else filed in behind. And that is okay for me, in fact I love it... this little being is my greatest creation, my prized possession. I realized early on that this little baby of mine is going to grow up quicker than I want, and that motherhood (the fully involved up to my eyebrow role anyway) is only going to last for so many years, and I want to soak up every minute of every stage and savor it all.
Is there anything that surprised you in this new journey? Anything you weren’t expecting?
What surprised me along this new journey into motherhood was that I felt like I was more productive than before and somehow found more quality “me time”. Maybe a large part of this was due to what I have learned through my journey with yoga, and learning that maintaining a happy and healthy life, comes with finding balance.
I know that so many of us struggle with maintaining a balanced life; could you expand on how the lessons you have learned through your yoga training can be applied to achieving balance in everyday life?
In the practice of yoga, we work toward finding balance between strength and flexibility both physically and emotionally. Being a mother has been my greatest yoga practice; breathing through the rough patches, being flexible with my agenda, and being strong through the bumpy times. And through this daily practice of 'motherhood yoga', I realized that I needed to find a balance between accomplishing the tasks on my 'to-do' list, and being completely present as a mother and as a wife, while also finding time for myself, which is vital to finding joy in everything else.
We have to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually before we can fully care for those around us. Sometimes, especially as a mother, it can be difficult to ask for 'me-time' without feeling selfish, but in reality a little ‘me-time’ makes me much better at my role as a mother and wife. I’ve realized that loosing time for the things that I am truly passionate about is a disservice to all those I care for. If I am happy and at peace with myself I am a better mother and wife, and I can see that reflected in them. That's the happy balance.
For those of us who feel like there just isn't enough time in the day do you have any tips you’d like to share for how you find “me time”?
“Once she stopped rushing through life, she was amazed how much more life she had time for.”
I keep this quote close to me as a constant reminder that business is a choice. That the more I can say no to people and things (especially those that stress me out), the more I can genuinely say yes. And as I have learned to stop rushing, to stop taking on so much in one day, the more time I have for the people and things I really love, including taking care of myself. It took me becoming a mother to realize this. After many failed and frustrated days of trying to accomplish all that I used to do pre-motherhood, with a small baby, I realized my priorities-what really needs to be done, and the rest can wait for another day. The laundry can wait for another day and that phone call will be made when I have the time.
As women, I think we frequently feel like we have to do it all and be it all, and that is a daunting and exhausting amount of pressure that we put on ourselves! Setting priorities and only writing down a couple of imperative 'to-do's' for each day has been so helpful for me in finding daily balance, including ‘me time’. I also find it imperative to get a good night's sleep and to enjoy a lovely nap with my little snuggle bug when I feel the need. Quality sleep is necessary to have the energy to do what one needs.
When you feel overwhelmed or off balance how do you get back to your center?
Honestly, when I am feeling overwhelmed I sleep even more! This gives me the energy to tackle and overcome the obstacles life has thrown my way with energy and a clear mind. I also really try to find time to go to the beach and to let the ocean renew my soul. A yoga session at the beach or a paddle out in the ocean can put the worst of days back into perspective. Resting, along with getting the endorphins pumping (from some sort of workout) help me find my center. I also find journaling and getting out my paint brushes to be quite therapeutic; sometimes you just need to let out what is pulling you down, to be liberated from it’s chain.
Is there anyone in particular that you look to for guidance and inspiration? What is it about this person that inspires you?
It’s especially during the more difficult and trying times that I look towards others for guidance and inspiration. Often their advice or experience is key to finding my own balance. I don’t particularly have one individual that inspires me, but rather a team that I constantly surround myself with and keep close. I am lucky to have been born to very loving and supportive parents who are more than happy to lend a listening ear, support and wisdom. I have also been fortunate throughout the years to have found a few true gems for friends, that inspire me daily, from whom I can bounce off whimsical ideas, dreams and to hash out the rough stuff; women whom I feel were divinely put into my life at strategic times. I can say the same for my husband, he is my rock, my support and my anchor, without him I would probably flutter all around without clear direction. He keeps me grounded and focused with love and intention. Malia, my daughter, she is my greatest inspiration; she drives me to be my best, to live out my dreams, to show her that anything is possible. I have always been big into team sports, and I believe our journey through life can be seen through the same lens; each player on the team plays their own part in your life, each is vital to your overall success. I cannot imagine going through this life alone. I am a social person who gains strength, wisdom and success because of the team that surrounds, encourages and motivates me.
And one more for fun, living in Hawaii, what is your dream vacation?
I am so blessed to live in Hawaii, where frequently I catch myself saying, “Can you believe we live here in paradise?!”. I feel like every day at the beach watching my daughter splash around is vacation. The only drawback to living on an island, is every other destination is far away and thus travel is more expensive. So needless to say, we don’t get off the rock frequently. However, my husband and I daydream about our ‘delayed honeymoon’ that we will one day take to Europe. Being an art major and him a history major, traveling around Spain, Austria, Germany, and Italy; seeing and experiencing the culture, art, and history together would be a dream vacation, and far different from home. When the time is right, that trip will happen! For now, I continue to seek balance as a mother, wife and woman living out her dreams, hoping to leave a legacy. -Mary C.
(to see more of our photos from the shoot you can check out our gallery page!)