So how does one become a Wellness Engineer? In my experience, by obtaining an engineering degree and corporate career, then taking a leap of faith to passionately share the healing benefits of self-care practices. In short, I quit my formal engineer job to instead design yoga classes and and promote all things wellness.
Now your question may be, why the heck would anyone walk away from an engineer's salary to "just" teach yoga?!
Well, because money can't buy health or happiness, my friend.
My short life in the corporate world exposed me to many challenges and pleasures. I learned how to navigate the ropes of manufacturing, lead new material developments, speak and network professionally, and climb the corporate ladder. I was treated like a queen by my employer, paid graciously with regular raises, and given opportunities to travel internationally and participate in world-class seminars and events. I was told I was 'the future' of my company, with the world at my finger tips just 4 years into my engineering career.
So... are you still wondering... why the hell did I walk away from this?
I realized the price I was paying for my prestigious social and economic status was growing much higher than I bargained for.
As a single mother, my life has been ruled by the open hours of child care. I raced against the clock daily to accomplish as much as I could with my available time. This meant tortuously long days for my daughter. Her day had to be just as long as mine, but it was worth the great money I was making, wasn't it?
As my work experience grew, so did my workload, but I couldn't make the hours in my day grow with them. So I raced faster, packing in as much as I could within my limitations of child care coverage.
And after the work and school day was done? I'd race faster. Through the check list of dinner, homework, baths, chores, and bedtime, I dragged my daughter along the race, praying she'd get enough sleep to be rested for the next early morning's race.
I grew more drained and exhausted by the day, but every new raise or exciting work trip was enough to convince me I was doing the right thing to advance my career and provide for my daughter. I had it all, didn't I?
Plus, I wasn't the only one racing tirelessly. The dis-ease of stress and overworking plagued my workplace, along with the rest of corporate America. The more I traveled, the more I recognized the normalcy and praise of the overachieving multi-taskers. I felt surrounded by living zombies running through the motions of the "American dream," many operating on fumes of caffeine and nicotine.
I quickly grew tired of participating in business dinners, where boasting over corporate status, workloads, degrees, and awards was the status quo of conversation. Do you ever see your children? I wondered, as I realized how much less I was seeing my own. Probably not, but bragging about our distant children's over-achievements was also a hot topic on the elaborate dinner tables.
I finally began asking myself, What the hell are we in such a hurry for? Why do we need to compete against and be better than everyone else? Are we all that afraid of lack, of not having "it all"? Since when do we need to have so much and be so busy around the clock? And train our kids to become just as overworked as we are? Does this really bring anyone genuine, lasting happiness?
At the rate that corporate America is building our stress-levels while tearing each other down, the only thing I see us racing to is our graves. Now I don't know about you, but I'm in no hurry to get there. And I thank God for my yoga practice to remind me so.
Yoga training was an opportunity I stumbled upon with no idea that I'd become serious about teaching it. But as I started guiding classes for my fellow colleagues, I discovered a sense of fulfillment within me that was much stronger than any of my academic or corporate achievements. That fulfillment came from cultivating a sense of inner peace with my class. My heart overflows in even the most brief moments of relief and calm within my fellow yogis.
That's when I realized what I was put on this earth to do: to spread this peace and calm with others. Because the world doesn't need another money-hungry engineer to burn themselves out in the rat race to "win" the game of life. The world needs more people to show and remind us how accessible inner peace and fulfillment actually is for us all, and that it's always waiting for us to access it. Not after we reach that next goal, but right here, right now.
That inner peace lies within our own breath. It lies in the simple, yet vital, function that sustains our life without requiring our attention. But because it doesn't demand our focus, we let it cruise on auto pilot while we chase all the other things we think we need.
Since we're constantly distracted, we let our breath fall short and shallow, locking us into "fight or flight" mode and down the spiral of chronic stress and fatigue. We've learned to exchange our inner peace for outer distractions.
So what does a Wellness Engineer do? She engineers mindful practices for others to reunite with their breath, relieve stress, and access inner peace. And the price she pays to do so is in the currency of compassion, with rewards far more valuable than a dollar amount could define.
Are you interested in enhancing your personal self-care practice or introducing one to your workplace or community? Whether you'd like to explore yoga, meditation, wellness coaching, or workshops, we can engineer together the most peaceful solution for your needs. Contact me anytime for more information!