COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 EP30: BRIT GUERIN

September 06, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 30
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 EP30: BRIT GUERIN
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN. +
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Show Notes Transcript

Join Nicoa to meet the beautiful and powerful Brit Guerin  who shares her personal LIFE BY DESIGN story, her insights into health and well being and she even gently and professionally guides Nicoa in reflection of her own personal challenges with body image. She and her partner are the founders of CURRENT WELLNESS in Raleigh, NC where they have created a sacred space that welcomes ALL BODIES to step into a community of WHOLENESS and WELLNESS with love and support! She is just the kind of soul we need in our world.

MENTAL HEALTH emergency resources in the US: call 911 or call Hopeline: 24 hour crisis line at (919) 231-4525. Additional resources include: Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) | Holly Hill Respond (24-hour crisis intervention) 919-250-7000 | Hopeline NC Crisis Line: Call or Text 919-231-4525 | Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 | Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 | Lifeline Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat | Trans Lifeline: 877-564-8860 | Wake County Mobile Crisis Services: 1-877-626-1772, or go to your nearest emergency room.


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Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life. I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me, are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. I am so excited to have you as a guest on coffee with Nicoa. I did have my coffee, but it got really cold. So I now have like some sort of caffeinated drink. What did you bring your coffee with you?

BRIT GUERIN:

I got my coffee, I just put it in the microwave.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, good thought that was a good way to do. Well, this will be a really profound conversation, I'm assuming because everything you do is profound and powerful and purpose driven. And I want to just do a quick disclaimer for anybody that's listening. We may go down the path of body image dialogue, eating disorder dialogue, you know, just diet culture dialogue. So that disclaimer is out there in case someone's not up for that or doesn't have the capacity today to think about that in their world and they can go listen to another episode. But for those of you ready to really break through the stereotypes, the biases, the confusion and the shame around body image and mental health and the way we integrate our hearts with our bodies. This is the episode for you. Yeah, and I'm so happy to introduce Britt Garen, she is a friend. She's got a history of self awareness that helped her shift her own life into a space where she could create an environment for others to heal. She has a BA and an MA in Kinesiology. So she's all about body and movement. She also has a master's recently right 2018 2019 and teen Yep. She went to my alma mater, NC State go Wolfpack. And she got a mental health degree, a clinical mental health, master's degree. So you are now not only the owner with your husband, Nathan, at current wellness, but also you have a mental health practice. Is that right?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yes. It's it's a little confusing, because we're a lot of different hats. But yes, I do own a Wellness Center. And then within that I also run an own private practice.

Nicoa Coach:

I think it's the perfect combination of offerings. And we're going to talk all about that today. I mean, you're are you originally Well, first let me I always do this, like where do we even know each other from Yeah. And I was thinking back because I was living in Raleigh at the time. And I think I met you through flywheel for cycling. That's right. And you were doing some coaching work with my niece English.

BRIT GUERIN:

Oh, my goodness, I totally forgot that. She's your niece. How did I

Nicoa Coach:

miss that? I don't know. It was a quick overlap. And I just you know, she's the most amazing young woman in the world. And she I think I went up to you and said, I think you know, my niece and she mentioned your name. And then I just loved taking your flywheels cycling classes that was just around the corner from my home. So how long did you work at flywheel? They went out of business, didn't they? Yeah,

BRIT GUERIN:

unfortunately, they closed with the pandemic and 2020 I think I was there for six years like 2014 to 2020. And it was yeah, it was a very, you know, wild time for everyone. But I was already working on current wellness since 2019. So I was you know, obviously I couldn't stay at flywheel sports when current one is open so I was already kind of in transition and then it closed and I was like, Okay, here we go. All fall efforts point to the current so yeah, it was wild how it worked out.

Nicoa Coach:

It you know, I'm not surprised. Of course it did. Of course it worked out well. And everything is unfolded so beautifully. I've been watching you on Instagram. You and Nathan are like swimmin with otters the other day went ahead tell me what that was

BRIT GUERIN:

so fun in such a unique experience. So the quick story is we we had to delayed honeymoon in Thailand. Gosh, I guess it was last December. And we got to play and like pet and feed elephants and my partner Nathan. Had like I had fun. I enjoyed it. But he had so much fun. He was like a five year old little kid just living his best life. And I was like okay, you you had so much fun but your favorite and Animals otters. So I just did a quick Google search pet otters in the United States. I found this place in northern Georgia. And so we got to like, they sat on our laps, we got to pet them and got to swim with them. It was so much fun.

Nicoa Coach:

I can't look like it. And you were taking a break and having a vacation for your birthday, right? Or was that part of your birthday week or this was just last week was your birthday?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, last week was my birthday. So last week, we went to Southern Virginia area, I wanted to go to remote area where I could just relax and you know, kind of be intuitive with what I want how I wanted to spend each day and it was it was very nourishing for my soul.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, and nourishing for your soul is a phrase that you didn't always know about in your life. Is that right? And when you were younger, I heard a story. I think you were on a different podcast that I was also on it was Alison Clayton's podcast, coffee chats with inspiring women are so it's a great podcast, he's got about a dozen or maybe 20 different episodes out there now. But you talked about your youth and, and you and I have some similarities in that past. But I was wondering if you could start today's dialogue around that kind of origin story for you, you know, how did you get here? And why? What's the route?

BRIT GUERIN:

Mm hmm. It's a great question. You know, I think teen years are hard for I think a lot of folks. And you know, I had a lot of anxiety and just really move through the worlds looking at the lens of like, what are people thinking of me, and I was, I was very, you know, moving through the world as an object, you know, how do I look? How do I sound? How was what I said, Did that sound dumb, right, like, just really preoccupied with the external image of myself rather than moving through the world with my subjective experience, right, and embodied way of of being and with that, I think just comes the pressure of perfectionism and being thin, and, you know, being smart and successful and all all those pressures. And I think, I don't quite know, like, what shifted in my 20s. But I started to understand that what these pressure these pressures were actually coming from systems, you know, these systems of oppression, that capitalism, patriarchy, diet, culture, all these things that say, if we're not complying with this way of being we're not enough. And in fact, it's like, it's never enough. So then we're just in this hamster wheel of exhausting ourselves. So absolutely. I was not thinking like what would be nourishing for my soul today, because that's countercultural.

Nicoa Coach:

Right, right. Well, I think that we, you know, that's a big important reminder that we tend to be so inwardly focused on am I getting it right? You know, am I okay? Is this okay? Am I too much? And I've shared my story about being loud as a kid and, and how that fostered into my way of being later and my insecurities around that. But, you know, the body piece is really weird, because I don't know if you saw actually, it just reminded me I had made a note here about an article that came out yesterday in Glamour Magazine, and it talks about millennials. Did you see it yet? You're gonna want to check it out. It supports your, your purpose. And it talks about how millennials are overly brainwashed, because of movies like Bridget Jones diary, where the first thing she writes down in her diary is oh my god, I'm 136 pounds, and that's like, quote, unquote, fat and Devil Wears Prada wear. And Hathaway is that her name? She's told she's too big if she's a size four, and Kate Winslet was called Glover in the Titanic. And it's a great article that talks about how No wonder, you know, no wonder we've been sold a story and as I told my mom about the dialogue with you today, I said, you know, Mom, we're going to talk about such as such and, and I said, you remember that Special K cereal commercial when I was young? And she's like, which one I said the one that said, if you can pinch an inch if you could pit and I, as a little girl stood in front of that TV and pinched an inch and thought we should, everybody can pinch an inch. Yeah, one more. So it's, or more and that's fine. And yet here we are. Obsessed, like did you have was there an aha moment because you went into the field of Kinesia ology you're all about the body or probably exercising. Were there some moments that said, Wait a minute, what the freak,

BRIT GUERIN:

huh? Yeah, I mean, I played sports. In high school, well, really all of my childhood. And when I stopped playing sports, my body changed. And I think it changed, it changed for multiple reasons, not just because my activity changes, because I was getting older, you know, our bodies changed for all sorts of reasons. My body is not going to look like I was when I was 16 years old. And

Nicoa Coach:

we need to repeat that to everybody. Your body is not going to look like it did when you were 1617 1819 years old. That's right. And that's okay. Yeah,

BRIT GUERIN:

yeah, our bodies change. And that's often a sign of like, healthy development. So I think, you know, unfortunately, my pursuit of Kinesiology really was born out of pursuing an ideal body. You know, that I thought, yes. I mean, it's complicated, right, because that was a part of that was a part of the motivation. I also really loved fitness. And I really loved moving my body, and I loved fitness education. And the diet culture piece kind of stole a lot of that joy for me. And it wasn't until I started learning about Health at Every Size and diet culture that I was like, Oh, wow, this piece is really getting in the way for me. And, you know, I think I don't know that there was like a turning point, or a pivotal moment, I think there were sprinkles of like, something isn't right. I can't like put my finger on it. But like, something in the fitness industry isn't quite it. Like, it's amazing in so many ways. But it's actually also toxic in many ways. And I couldn't quite sort that out. I didn't have the language for it. Until I learned about Health at Every Size. And I was like, Oh, this is a framework and a paradigm that I really, it just resonated with me. And it gave me language for what I was feeling and what I was experiencing.

Nicoa Coach:

What were you feeling and experiencing personally through that, that development? Because I know that ultimately, it comes down to you know, oftentimes we do the work and serve others based on our own experience. And were there did you have a struggle with the self dialog around your body shape?

BRIT GUERIN:

Oh, for sure. I think, yeah, as I said, like, my body changed. And I, I experienced, you know, just wanting, feeling like I should be at a certain size that, you know, if I skipped a workout, I was bad, or I was lazy. Definitely monitoring my food and what I now know, it was disordered, all sorts of behaviors that were rooted in thinking my body or believing my body needed to be smaller. And I do want to name like, I have thin privilege, like I'm on a straight size body. And so it's interesting to think about, like, my struggle. Yeah, most everyone, there's no need to compare people struggle and focus on her in larger bodies struggle in at a larger capacity due to, you know, weight bias and fat phobia. So I think my story is short for him to share. And it's important to name like, even my privilege, but I was still struggling.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I find that shocking to me, because I also can wear clothes off the rack easily. And yet, I have a similar mental dialogue about my body, that somebody any other shape, it's all we're all the same humans influenced by the same media influenced by some sort of belief system that said, You're not enough if you're not, quote, unquote, size for size to whatever small, you know, small. And that could also show up not only physically, but in your personality, right? Sometimes you are supposed to be small in order to be powerful and impactful. And that was the opposite of me. I'm big and loud, and you know, yeah, but I just curious, how did you begin to observe those thoughts and change them and, you know, what was your way of being then compared to now?

BRIT GUERIN:

Mm hmm. You know, I think the I'm educating myself around these topics and like the research of the relationship between health and weight. You know, my background, one of my backgrounds being in kinesiology, it's very driven, it's very weight centric. So it's like, you know, weight loss as a means to be healthier. And I started to learn more about like weight actually isn't an accurate indicator of health, that we can be healthy or unhealthy at a wide range of sizes. And that, you know, weight is not a behavior, like we can't really change our weight, we don't have as much control about our weight as we think we do. So I was like, Wow, if I, if I doing these things to, quote unquote, be healthy, and it's kind of bullshit. And like, yeah, you know, wait a minute, what's going on here? I think part of my transformation and paradigm shift was being angry at the system. Being angry at these diet, the diet industry profiting off of us feeling unworthy. So like, anger, yes, it's really important for me to start to shift and divest from the system, so that I could care for myself in a new way.

Nicoa Coach:

Now, I love that anger, in energy leadership, which is one of the tools I use for self awareness, observation of thought, emotion and behavior, is when we're in that level to anger, that fighter that conflict. Oftentimes, people are there because they are ready for change, and they want to make change. But they can also get stuck there. And they stay there. And because they don't know what to do about it, at what point did you turn your anger into a rationalization of okay, I forgive the diet industry for making money. And this is capitalism at its best. And I understand why they do what they do. I forgive them for not knowing any better, and now I'm going to make a change, I'm gonna win, I'm gonna win in spite of them. When did you begin to do that?

BRIT GUERIN:

I don't know that I necessarily forgive the industry.

Nicoa Coach:

Where you're changing it. I know, I

BRIT GUERIN:

know. But because I think for not

Nicoa Coach:

you're forgiving them for not knowing any better because that and when we say, well, they do know better. Well, no, they don't. They're brainwashed to believe we must make money at all costs. So they literally are brainwashed, just like we're brainwashed by their messaging. Mm hmm. So they're stuck in a cycle of inappropriateness, just like we get stuck in a cycle. They're influenced just like we are. So I do forgive them. And the way to change it is for people like you, you're role modeling, and you're giving us a new way to think and be and embody. And I can't wait to talk about all the things you're offering. But yeah, what did you begin to do to say, you know, screw them? I'm going to change this.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, yeah. I think I'm seeing I think through my processing of anger, and also grief, you know, a lot of times what comes next is grief of like grieving. My pursuit of a different size body or my pursuit of perfectionism, letting that go was part of the process. And then again, like I mentioned earlier, knowing that if I'm in a straight size body, and I'm having these challenges, this is such a need, like, there, you know, I live in Raleigh, and we have a good amount, relatively speaking of Health at Every Size aligned professionals like therapists, dieticians, were really lucky in that way. But there was no movement place fitness yoga place that was speaking this language and I just was like, this says saves lives. You know, like, if people in larger bodies do not have a place where they feel safe to go. If they, you know, a lot of times go to a doctor, and there's unfortunately countless stories going to a doctor or they're in a larger body. They're experiencing shortness of breath, and the doctors like well, you just need to lose weight. They actually have blockage in their arteries, and they weren't treated for their symptoms because of fat bias. So that kills people. So right my like my anger like fuels, this my purpose and offering a safe place where people can care for themselves. Not They'll judge not feel shame, and offer Yeah, a compassionate way to care for themselves.

Nicoa Coach:

And you have you and Nathan did this together. Right, your partner, I remember I was thinking about your engagement photos, and it poured down rain and shower underneath the table and how fun and loving the two of us. Yeah, that was yeah, it

BRIT GUERIN:

was proposed.

Nicoa Coach:

Yes, that's right. Your proposal, it was so great. And, and then I've watched this evolution of the two of you collaborating as a couple and aligned to this purpose. So, you know, before we even jump into the outcome of all of that, who have been the support people around you? I mean, I know Nathan is one of your biggest champions, and you're your partner in life. But how did you get the support you needed? To turn your anger into action? Mm hmm.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, I think, absolutely. My partner is amazing. And he, I'm very fortunate that he gets it. You know, he just he believes in size, inclusion and, and our mission, and I don't have to, I didn't have to convince him of anything, it just kind of made sense to him, too. So having an ally in that was crucial. And I think there, as I started to, you know, this was like, flywheel days, and you might even remember some of my language. When I was teaching, I was speaking this lightly, you know, like, moving our bodies to have fun, like, feel the power and strength in your body. I wasn't saying go faster to burn calories. So right, I think like, I kind of built a brand around it and like momentum around it. And through that came people who had messaged me, and say, like, I love what you're saying. It makes so much sense to me. And, you know, we kind of sing the praises of what I was saying. And I think that really built the support system, because it was like, Oh, I'm, there is a need for this. And then there were fitness professionals that when I started announcing current wellness, they were like, I want to be a part of that. Like, this is so needed count me in. So I think every little

Nicoa Coach:

college changed the language.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, yeah. Every little comment,

Nicoa Coach:

and that's a new story.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yes. Yes. So it was it was really in some ways, like slow building, but but not. Our, our construction took a year and a half. So through that, yeah. I think I just kept like having coffee with people and talking about this. And people, you know, some, you know, we're like, I don't get this, and that's fine. But a lot of people were really behind behind the mission, which was awesome.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I recall and your previous interview you talked about, some people might perceive this as radical. And I thought about that word a lot, too. And I was like, well, you're being radical. You're rebelling against a system that's no longer serving us and didn't serve us. It probably didn't serve us at all. You know, what, I know that you've combined your mental health practice with the body movement. Talk to me about the importance of the mental health piece, because, you know, I'm 54 years old, as I like to remind everybody frequently in these interviews, I don't know, I think I'm a little bit shocked all of a sudden that I'm 54. And, and I, I'll give you an example. You know, I cheered at NC State. And I had a weight limit. And I had to weigh in at the end of every week. And if you missed weight twice, you would get kicked off like you'd miss a game. Like you wouldn't be allowed to cheer. And this was before any kind of there were no dietician, so it's no, I just stopped eating. I'm five, six, and I my weight limit was 115 pounds. I weighed probably, I don't even know 154 pounds. I don't even know what I weigh now. And this morning, I was taking some toilet paper to my mother's bathroom and I'm here visiting with her this week. And I was restocking her toilet paper and I walked past her scale. And to this day, it was all I could do to not step on it. And I remember and I My chest hurts just telling you this, because it's still there. But you know, so I look at that scale. We haven't had a scale on my home since I was 25. We my first husband and I were like no scales. We knew I'd had disordered eating during my cheerleading year and Post, and so no scales on the house. And I walked past it. And I still to this day have to say, no, no, no, no, no, don't get on it. There's nothing about that number that you need to know. How important is it? I have never been. And I'm not asking for a counseling session. But if you can counsel me, that'd be great. But how important is it for me to understand why that's happening? Or is the coping mechanism enough? Going forward? Do I need to go dig up a icon and know the root, but I have never been helped from a eating disorder specialist, but I have an eating disorder. So I'll just put that out there. And let's play with it.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, you know, I think everyone is different. And it really comes down to what you're what you're wanting to change, if you want to change anything. I'm really like client centered, and the process of change has to start with, something's not working, right. And so for example, if someone is like, not liking and wanting to shift their behaviors around over exercise, under eating, binge eating, you know, whatever, then that might be a reason to dive deeper. But it kind of just depends how it's showing up, how it's manifesting how it's impacting day to day. I think the work is amazing, because it really is freeing. And I think the diet culture, and yeah, the anti fat bias, are thieves, you know, they still, they still food freedom, eating for pleasure, you know, moving just because even if it doesn't change your body, it steals things from us. So I guess all that to say is like, it depends, it depends on if you want to change something.

Nicoa Coach:

And I think that aligns exactly with the coaching work that I've done as well. So what do you want? And how is what you're doing getting you what you want? And if you're not, are you willing to try a different way. So I just changed the story. That's my coping mechanism. But I think I carry the grief you referenced earlier, that it did steal so much joy from my life. And when I'm 98, and you and I are doing this interview again. You I'm gonna tell you that it's my number one and only regret is that I was influenced by that. Now, having said that, I also think there's value at all. Sometimes we have to see what we don't want in order to create what we do want. Yeah, and I think that's the value of what you experienced and have observed. Maybe you could talk when we come back, let's take a quick little coffee break. Well, maybe you could then talk about how you then designed current wellness, and your approach to changing the dialogue around diet, culture and body image.

Unknown:

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Nicoa Coach:

So Brett was coming up for you after that dialogue and how would you transition us into sharing about what you've created?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. Let's see. Well, I guess we only share a little bit about current wellness.

Nicoa Coach:

Sure, do it. Yeah, we want to know how we can come in and embody, you know, let's let's talk about that what current Wellness offers and how we can talk about embodiment as a result of those activities.

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. So current wellness, has a movement studio, a teaching kitchen, and then five office spaces for different appointment based services. It is designed to be integrative in nature. So folks might come for one thing they might come for just massage. I would say a lot of our folks come for multiple things. They might be a fitness member and come to cooking classes, get Reiki for example, or see or physical therapist. So it is I like the fact one of the benefits of the integrative model is that we're saying, hey, fitness isn't the only thing. Or you know, yeah, yoga isn't the only thing and if you want support and other areas we have, you know we have that for you. So it's a place to explore different ways to access wellness. And one of our taglines for our movements studio is that we're an alternative to mainstream fitness. So it actually doesn't really feel like a gym or a fitness studio that was pretty intentionally designed. We've hosted baby showers in our movement studio, because we can just like, cover everything up, cover the mirrors with curtains, you know, and it's just it feels like a cool space. And that, again, that was intentional, because a lot of times, as I mentioned, the fitness industry has, is rooted in diet culture. And this motive to change our body to be better, be more worthy, be healthier, quote, unquote. And if you've ever spent time, if any, you know, listeners have spent time in a gym or a fitness studio, that narrative can carry over, you know, just like our sensory system notices, like, carries a story with a treadmill. Or, you know, you might feel something in your body when you see dumbbells or kettlebells. And we wanted to create an alternative where folks could let go of that story, and heal from past experiences that might have been traumatic. So yeah, our community is amazing. I love our community so much, the members are just so badass. And like, it's pretty often that like a member for the first time, like not even a member yet they are walking in the doors for the first time taking a tour. And they're like, I'm really looking for a different approach to to wellness and fitness. I am not looking for weight loss, I just want to get stronger. And I'm like, You came to the right place. So yes, it's, it's just so cool, and how supportive they are to one another. And yeah, I love it.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, the story that you tell them, you know, when somebody comes in, and they're insecure, how do you reassure them that this isn't a compare despair environment? This isn't. You know, I remember going home once and telling my husband, oh, my God, I'm worn out from that yoga class. It was, it was pretty intense. And everybody around me was doing all the things and he said, You know, I don't think yoga is competitive. That's it. It feels like it feels competitive.

BRIT GUERIN:

It? Yes, yes, yes. And again, I mean, that's where I kind of get on my soapbox is like, I don't think these studios and yoga teachers are doing this intentionally. But it's like it's stills yoga. It's like, if yoga is becoming this thing to be competitive, have fancy poses, you know, sweat your ass off. It's like, that's, again, taking us away from our body. And we are losing that connection to our body. Because we're looking at the person next to us. We're not thinking about ourselves. So, so yeah, I mean, one of the practical ways is just showing people that they have choice. A lot of our the majority of our instructors and yoga teachers are trained in size, inclusiveness. I mean, they're all trained in it from me, but a lot of them have special T certifications in size, inclusive fitness, or curvy yoga. So we tell them that like we, we aren't just saying we're for every body, we have the education to train folks and larger bodies and offer them appropriate options, and choice. So they feel really successful. I think that yeah, like that makes a world of a difference. Because if a yoga studio, for example, is saying that they're for every body, but all of their teachers are thin, they don't have the lived experience to teach to people in larger bodies. And then that person in a larger body is left with, well, I can't do yoga. And that's not the case, they need to find a place where they're coached to their body. So yeah, it's telling them that they have choice and autonomy, we can cover the mirrors, if mirrors are triggering, we cover them for photos, we actually cover them for all of our yoga classes. And we usually cover like half of the mirror in fitness classes. So things like that, and just having conversations with people and seeing like, what would help you feel comfortable?

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, for sure. Oh, that's beautiful. And understanding the triggers that sounds like a key dialogue, you know, what would make you most comfortable? So if someone came in and they were going to have the full integrative experience, you know, and maybe you have an example of someone, but I could see maybe they come in they're having like, a counseling session, right? They might have a counseling session one day what what would like the ideal integrative experience look like if somebody fully committed to the current wellness?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, we do have folks who do that And, of course, I'm not going to pressure anyone to do all the things, if they want it. Yeah, like coming for mental health therapy. A lot of folks who it's common for folks who have trauma history that they might have pain in their body, because we carry a trauma in our body, so they might see a physical therapist, or they might get massage. And then typically, you know, it depends on the person. But our yoga program includes restorative yoga, which is really wonderful for the nervous system to kind of help regulate. And then yeah, they can do, I mean, I probably wouldn't recommend fitness classes if someone was in pain, but I would start them with like, restore, and then maybe recommend flow and to restore getting some more gentle movement. So it definitely depends on the person. But yeah, I love when people are like using a variety of services, because we, all of our practitioners and instructors are under the same mission. So they're, they're hearing, you know, this type of language from different contact points, which really reinforces the body liberation. And then we can coordinate care, you know, I can talk to the dietitian, dietitian, who's down the hall, or their physical therapist who's down the hall, and we can collaborate that way. So yeah, we've eautiful Great, yeah, stories.

Nicoa Coach:

You're on the forefront of us, going back centuries, to what used to happen in China. And still happens in China, but all in all other ancient societies, about integrative health and wellness. And you're going to be I'm sure, at some point, you'll be processed and insurance, or let's get rid of the insurance companies at some point. I mean, at the end of the day, this is where people are trying to go to, you know, holistic practitioners. And, you know, I coached some people in the mental health world, or excuse me, in the health care world, and they actually are trying to create community based, all inclusive offerings for like the doctor on the corner, who doesn't have to send you to four other locations. I mean, this is the change, this is the change, you are making the change. Thank you. You're welcome. How have you made that change? For you? So these interviews are about a life by design, right? So you had that anxiety as a child, you went through this process of becoming annoyed, right, pissed about the impact on your own education and your own business practice, to be able to say, What the hell, what is your life by design looks like in the context of that identity?

BRIT GUERIN:

Mm hmm. See? Well, I think I had to really redefine my relationship with movement. I, I you know, I take one or two classes a week at current wellness, intuitively, whenever I want, I try not to stick to a rigid schedule and just see where, you know, like, yesterday, if I was feeling tired, I might be like, Okay, I need to go to a yoga class and just like chill out, usually Fridays, I feel a little bit more energetic. So I'll take an intervals class. But you know, outside of labeling, you know, movement as like fitness or yoga. I'm really getting into just like recreation and play. I think at a young age, I was really taken by, I was really influenced by like I said, perfectionism and success, like being successful and still like being a kid and playing. So I'm really trying to come back to that like playing for the sake of playing without any productivity necessary. And that was what I did for my. I was like, on my birthday, I want to just go and see how I feel. And we ended up like playing a ton of board games and playing tennis and played basketball. I beat Nathan just for the record.

Nicoa Coach:

It's on record, we documented it.

BRIT GUERIN:

But that is I can get sucked back into overworking. I love my work. So it's very easy to just work all day. And I know that I need to kind of recalibrate and be like okay, like put it down, go outside and like play in your garden. We have a garden in our front yard, which I also like a lot of So yeah, just getting back to play and recreation, I think is a big part of my, my current. Yeah, what I'm getting life by design? Yes,

Nicoa Coach:

I think to that you really tapped into, intuitively how do I feel, and not having a rigid schedule, that's the same place I'm in. And I've been there for quite a while in my life by design, and a lot of people don't understand that because you're, you're, you're doing scrolling, right? And you're on Instagram, and I'm acting like I'm scrolling my phone right now. And you're reading your morning routine, you know, your rituals need to look like ABC. And honestly, I'm really tapping more into like, our circadian rhythms and trying to trust my body with the planets with the moon, you know, like, trying to notice Oh, I feel different right now or I feel like resting. And interestingly enough, I noticed the other day that I've been super busy with my kids and my mom and traveling and I, my peloton streak broke. And I thought what a big advancement for my life by design. Yeah. And that I was okay with that. In the past, I might have done a five minute yoga or stretch, just so my streak wouldn't break.

BRIT GUERIN:

Right? Right. Yeah. Yes. And that's such a beautiful example. It's like for the sake of what, for the right or the sake of the street not breaking or like for the sake of like, why are we doing this? If we are if we are complying with the peloton app? And it actually is leading to stress and guilt that that that's probably not a path for us.

Nicoa Coach:

No, it's probably not. And I will say that, I like to ask those questions. And I'm I try to think that I'm much more tuned in to the why. And I'll give you the why. That then no longer served me. The Why was my father passed a year ago, and it took me so he passed on July 29. It took me until September, something before I got back up on the bike and started moving again. I stopped moving, I was grieving. I didn't want to work out. I didn't want to do any of those things. So I just allowed myself to grieve. And then when I got back up on the bike, it was so energizing, I loved it. But then I made that point of Well, that's when I started feeling better when I started moving my body. So I'm afraid to stop moving. I was afraid that I would fall back into the depths of that grief. And therefore, I was really holding on to the streak streak was this is keeping me going this is keeping me not grieving and alive. And yet about a month ago, I was like, I'm good. I don't I don't need that to keep going. And I guess that was all part of the grieving process. Yeah,

BRIT GUERIN:

that's, uh, I'm so glad you shared that. I think the Yeah, it's interesting. Even that narrative of like, when you started moving, that's when you started feeling better. But like what was happening before you had the capacity to start moving? Like something shifted inside of you to help you get back on the bike.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I had to ask myself, did I want to feel better? Because I wanted to feel bad. Yeah, I wanted to grieve, and I wanted to sit in that space. And not sitting in it did not feel right. i And that was part of the process. And I I embraced it and I it's funny. I think about craving, sadness, and the emotions that we often carry, but we don't allow ourselves to go there. And I think I've referenced this before in these interviews for Sex in the City when she gets left at the altar. And Sarah Jessica Parker goes on the honeymoon anyway, and lays in the bed for the week and her friends come and they take care of her as she's grieving that trauma. And I've, when I got divorced, I remember thinking, I want to do that I want all of my friends to come and sit with me while I grieve. And some did, but some, you know, most don't have the time or capacity to do that. But it's I think as a society, we don't allow ourselves to go into the depths of our emotions, and be in them. And we're too quick to get back up on the bike and too quick to say, Well, I'm fine. I'm fine. You know, right. That's I don't know. How do you tap into that with your clients?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. Grief work is so in weren't so, so, so important. And it takes time. And it's different for everyone and it might come and go. And, you know, grieve is one of the emotions that we have to process in relationship. So it's really interesting that you share you wanted to you wanted all your friends to be there, we might feel bad, I'm like we're grieving on our own, but for to actually process and metabolize grief, we have to be in relationship with someone. Yeah, and, you know, therapy work is one way to do that are with loved ones and friends and community. But you know, really moving through that, that cycle and letting the tears come out, or letting the movement come out or whatever, to move that through our body. Because if we're not doing that, guess what our body just hold on to it. And then we're kind of, we might feel stuck, we might feel depressed, lethargic, however it manifests, it's gonna manifest somehow. So we have to move it through our body. I actually a couple of weeks ago, led a movement for grief class. And oh, it was so powerful. I mean, you could just feel the energy in the room of togetherness, but of letting go and releasing and it was you could like feel the energy, I'm kind of rubbing my fingers together. You could feel Yeah, in the room. And people were like, someone said, like, I feel like I shed a layer of skin. Yes, and, and eautiful, we have to one of the beautiful things about grief is letting go allows us to take in new. So

Nicoa Coach:

yes, that is that I'm noticing that with my mom. Now, as I'm here visiting with her, she is opening herself up again. And she's had physical pain, post the death of my father that we've been dealing with. And I know it's a big piece of that grief. And we're getting close to the solution. It may be a medical, a big medical solution that we had hoped to avoid. But she's just the thought of the solution has shifted her energy so much. And yesterday, we moved her stationary bike out onto her screened in porch. And even with her pain, she rode the bike slowly. And I was like, yes. So look at that symbol, I just noticed that I got back on the bike she got back on the bike. And it's all in relationship, like you said, yeah, oh, that's so beautiful. We should not be afraid to be in the relationship. And if you don't have people close to you, like family or friends, that you feel comfortable enough to go and be that vulnerable with and please go and talk to somebody like Brett, oh my god, you and all of your colleagues in this space. People need counseling, they need therapy, and they need movement. So you're really doing beautiful things. Thank

BRIT GUERIN:

you. Appreciate it.

Nicoa Coach:

So what's tell us what's coming up next, and what you'd like to share with everybody to encourage them to take advantage of this type of offering, either in Raleigh, North Carolina or wherever they might be located. Yeah.

BRIT GUERIN:

Oh, let's see. Well, I guess one of the things that really drives our programming, we're mission driven. So our mission is to activate inclusive wellness for mind, body and community. And just to loop back to that culture briefly, diet, culture is isolating. It's like, it's so insidious, and everyone, most people experience it, but it kind of separates us from one another. And body liberation work really thrives in community, like we need community, and we need to feel the support from others around us. And so, you know, obviously, we have a lot of classes, but we have support groups for intuitive eating, we have a strength training class, a strength training group, it's called fat positive strength crew. That's for folks who identify in larger bodies. So they, you know, one of the barriers of for a person in a larger body is to feel like they're the only one or they look different. So we created affinity space where everyone you know, identifies as being a larger body and just that alone is so healing because it's like, I'm not, I'm not the only one like exhale. So, so yeah, lots of cool groups coming up. We're kind of in a like, summer is like slow and like strategy for fall. So I Oh, yeah, I'm excited about the fall. Yeah, I

Nicoa Coach:

saw, you are asking for input from your community online and you have a newsletter that people can sign up for. I love how you're very interactive and trying to adapt to the needs of your followers. Right? Yeah. You're engaged clients. Yes. So how can people sign up for the newsletter and give you feedback as to what they are craving?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. I mean, the probably the easiest way is Instagram, or emailing us and fill out current wellness rally.com. But Instagram, we've got what the Lincoln bio, there's all the links, there's a I think it's the very bottom is the newsletter. But yeah, one other thing I'm really excited about is a movement group for folks who have an eating disorder. That's another one. I did that a couple years ago. And that was really, again, just powerful, because people feel like they're not alone. It's that shared lived experience. But we're always looking for feedback. So yes, we'd love to hear any thoughts on what would be helpful for the community?

Nicoa Coach:

Well, as I had, and I'll put all the content in the references in those Show Notes forever. So please read that there's always something I add in there. If you haven't checked out the show notes on past episodes go back, we put references to any books and any kind of resources. So I would love for you to share with us maybe, first maybe the definition of embodiment, because this head heart integration, loving ourselves loving our bodies, I think you referenced in your newsletter, that that's part of the necessity to embody, maybe define embodiment. And then is there a little exercise we could do for our listeners today to help them practice that?

BRIT GUERIN:

Sure, sure. Yeah. embodiment is essentially where our consciousness meets our body. So the intersection of what we're aware of, and what's happening inside. And there's a lot of reasons well, first of all, like we're all embodied,

Nicoa Coach:

yeah. But our souls are in a body.

BRIT GUERIN:

But how embodied we are based on our lived experience or our past, it changes because a lot of times we leave our body because it's more protective, it actually feels safer for us. So if you

Nicoa Coach:

detach like to separate yourself so that you're not having a physical experience, so you're emotionally detached, right?

BRIT GUERIN:

That's right. Okay, so no, you know, I encourage people not to feel self judgment or shame if they do feel if they don't feel embodied, because there's a really good reason and wisdom behind detaching. But yeah, I mean, embodiment is kind of cool. There's so many different ways to practice embodiment, I actually teach a class here and that they're called embodiment practices. And yeah, I'm trying to think of which one we should do.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I think you, you reference the kind of a cool one. And I joke with my clients, when we talk about the power of creating our reality. I will say, you know, you are always conscious and capable of choosing what happens next. Right? And I'll have them hold their hands in front. Like right now, I'm just kind of holding my hands in front of me for those listening. And I'll joke with my clients, I'll say, You know what, I wonder which hand I'm going to move next. I mean, this power of creating a reality. And as I say this, even right now, my hands, I feel tingling. Throughout both hands, I'm very aware of both hands. And then, um, it's almost like an anticipated excitement as to which hand will Nicoa move next, right? Like, I can move either Hey, and I know that sounds silly, but like, Do you wonder like, Will I move the right hand or the left hand and that is embodiment and mindfulness? Yeah, not the same thing. But then it's conscious choice. And I moved the left hand, so I just shoot my left hand up and wow, I created a future reality by that observation of self and awareness. So I think you reference some sort of exercise where you just become aware, does that spark any kind of ideas for something we could walk people through?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah, sure. So yeah, let's go ahead and find a comfortable seated position and you can also do this if you're standing or, or walking. But just starting to

Nicoa Coach:

Don't close your eyes if you're driving. Yes.

BRIT GUERIN:

Be open or close. Um, but just start to maybe notice what where your feet are connected. So sense into the points of contact between your feet and a surface, or your feet and air, if your feet are not connected to something, you might wiggle the toes and yeah, find a little movement to really know like, is something there and maybe even add a little bit of pressure, it doesn't have to be a lot, maybe like a two or three on a scale of one to 10 Just start to push your feet into that surface or non surface. And as you find that pressure, and that push through the feet, sensing to what happens through the legs, or maybe even the core. It's like, Oh, something has to shift in order to press energy outward. And the nice thing about embodiment is it's just noticing what's happening. There's no good, bad, right? Wrong. It's just kind of like, Oh Ha, they're my feet. And something even if I'm not looking at my feet, something inside of me knows, oh, there are my feet. And maybe you're like, oh, it's hard to like sense into like, I don't have enough sensitivity to my feet. That's good information too. And then I always like to come back to the breath. So as you're doing this embodiment, practice what happens inside? Yeah, and maybe the hands want to connect to the chest or the belly to really feel the breath move in and out. As we breathe in, the body expands. As we breathe out, the body condenses. And there's this always natural in and out flow. And you don't even have to tell your body to do it just knows. Yeah. That's beautiful. Yeah. I think the cool thing about embodiment is like, coming back to the wisdom of your body, which you mentioned, like practicing trust, your body knows what it needs. We just have to practice listening to it. Yes, we

Nicoa Coach:

do. And the more we practice, just wiggling the toes just coming back to center. It gets that head heart connection. I love it because I feel calm. I'm sure those listening feel even more calm as a result of that. Very short, but simple practice that they could do multiple times a day. You know, you don't, or leverage your Apple Watch to do the reminder, whatever it is do, finding ways to flow and put it in throughout your day, integrate it, I think will bring us back to calm. I posted about we should stop wearing busy as a badge and start wearing calm as a crown. I was like, Oh, I'm gonna put my calm crown on. I'm gonna talk less. I know y'all don't believe that part. But I could have deep calm. I also did one other thing that you reminded me of about trusting my body and needing to kind of love me again, again, because I think we're born loving ourselves. And we forget and then we remember, right? I have my massage therapist, I get a massage every other week. It's a great way for me to get lots of love and attention and relaxation and touch. And I don't think our society gets enough touch. And I've asked my massage therapist to begin to massage my belly. And I asked her to do that. And she does it frequently for others, but she said yeah, most people don't want it. And I said, Well, my belly needs lots of love. Yeah, I have been so mean to it over the years and judged it. And I really want to come back and embody my soul inside this beautiful body. I just feel like I don't know about you, but I feel restrained in this society. Yeah, what comes up for you and I say that like I just want to go I just want to touch my whole body and like make everybody see everything and feel in touch. And I don't know, how do you feel like these days in your new life by design,

BRIT GUERIN:

I love that so much because the system tells us to pull it in, shrink it, hide it, don't touch it, you know. It's an object to be look at, but don't interact with it. Pinch it, you know, all these things. And yeah, and that takes takes us away from the beauty and the connection of our body. And my goodness, so many amazing things happen inside our belly. Right? That's where like all or like, a lot of our organs are like, holy cows, so many cool things happen inside there.

Nicoa Coach:

Right? I created three human beings inside there. Thank you.

BRIT GUERIN:

Incredible. Your body is incredible. And yeah, if you want touch that it should be touched. So yeah, so beautiful. There's there's this mom who is is probably on Instagram, who had alert has a larger belly. And her daughter who was maybe a toddler, or maybe I don't know, around that age, was just like, finds her belly, like so regulating and just like loves to touch it and like rub her head on it. And the little girl doesn't know that society thinks her her, you know, judges her belly, the little girl's like, loves her mom's belly and like all the roll rolls and everything. I'm like that like it brings me to tears because it's like, yeah, so beautiful.

Nicoa Coach:

So that just reminds you, yes, you learned these thoughts on my daughter Campbell at that height, put her head against my belly once and said I love your belly. It's like a soft pillow. Yeah. And I thought in that moment, how in the world can I be unhappy? Right? That makes no sense. Look at the beauty of this interaction. So oh, we could just talk all day long could annoy

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. Reclaim your belly. That's

Nicoa Coach:

so so this is an exercise that I do too. So I'll do it with you so that I do a stop, observe, understand and live. So we're going to just stop and I do the same thing you said. So we're going to find our feet and wiggle our toes, put our hands on our belly and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. And then usually people don't really do that very deeply. So I say Okay, one more time, in through the nose. And as you breathe out, I want you to say I love my belly. I love my belly and everybody laughs and then we observe Who are we loving that belly? What hat are we wearing? And we understand what matters most to us. And then we live the legacy that we want to leave behind? How do we want to be and that's what you said? No rigid schedules. I just want to learn how to be and when on how to play more. And embody that freedom of living. What did you say freedom and freedom and movement. All of these beautiful things. Let's give people permission to go off and be their beautiful bodied selves. And what other words of wisdom or advice would you like to share? As we wrap this up today, Britt?

BRIT GUERIN:

Yeah. Well, I think almost like a disclaimer, in some ways is like, if you're listening and you're like, I don't love my belly or like this is really hard. That's totally normal. And the work takes a lot of time it takes unlearning divesting, relearning reconnecting, so it's not. You know, I wish it was a light switch that we could just switch on or off. And it's not. And so yeah, be kind to yourself, be gentle with yourself. If this feels really far away or inaccessible, just know that you know, it does take time and to try to find connection with people who are doing similar work and have similar values, because that really deepens like the really good resource is reclaiming body trust by Hilary Canady and Dana cert event. They have the it's called the Center for Body Trust is their handle in their company name, but they came out with a book, reclaiming Body Trust, and they talk about a tree and the you know, the tops of the tree is like page Cherokee capitalism, diet culture, all these perfectionism, these expectations, and the roots, the roots are the freedom and the body liberation and all that. And we, in the work, we need to really deepen our roots. Because otherwise, if our roots are really shallow, it's really hard. You're just gonna sway you know, there's a, there's a new diet, and we're like, oh, there we go, this is gonna give me what I'm looking for. And it actually doesn't. So yeah, I could talk all day, but be gentle with yourself the kind, get resources and find community.

Nicoa Coach:

I love it. And I hope that this conversation helps people trust that those roots that they have, they're deep into the earth, they if they can access them, they didn't go away, they're not shallowly rooted, you can deepen into what's already there for you, you already know inside of you. And if you forget, you just call Britt or me and we will remind you I love you, my friend. What do you want to celebrate about yourself before we hang up? Oh, that's a hard question. You know, I asked that to every client at the end of all my coaching calls, and I'd like to remember to ask it, but why is it hard? You have so much to be proud?

BRIT GUERIN:

Why is it hard? Um, I guess I'll just say we are going on three years of being open at current wellness, and we're a small business and it like, I feel really proud that we have created this thing from nothing. And I am so so I'm

Nicoa Coach:

gonna interrupt you. And I want you to say, I am really proud of what I helped create, do it.

BRIT GUERIN:

I am really proud of what I helped create things for that my friend.

Nicoa Coach:

And I am really proud of you too. And you know, hello to Nathan and your whole staff. I can't wait to come up to Raleigh and come take a visit. I'll come take a class. I miss being up there. But if you're ever in Wilmington, and it may be Nathan wants to go see the Otters down at the aquarium you can come visit with me and we'll have coffee with Nicoa on the porch if you're ever interested. Okay, dear, I

BRIT GUERIN:

love that. Thank you so much.

Nicoa Coach:

Thank you. I love you. I'll talk to you later.

Unknown:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicola for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow coffee with Nicola and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N I CoA. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then.