PHOENIX WELLNESS. That’s the name I chose for my business – a business that I hope will someday grow to help many people live healthy, happy and balanced lives. I’ve always loved the concept of the Phoenix – the idea that it bursts up in flames and then is reborn, new and young, from the ashes. That’s the way I feel about health, nutrition and life in general. We all struggle at times. We make bad decisions. We feel like we’re drowning. We’ve all been there. But the good thing is that we have the chance every single day to be reborn. We can make better decisions. We can consciously change our behaviors and our attitudes. We can become what we want to be and who we want to be. We can rise from the ashes. We are human. We aren’t perfect, but we are beautiful. And we have the power within ourselves to be better and happier.

I started my adult career as a teacher. Two years ago, I made the hardest decision of my life, and I gave up teaching Spanish in a wonderful district with amazing colleagues in order to stay home with my two boys and to pursue a career in health and wellness. I had gotten to the point where I felt like I was drowning. My son was only 2 and was waking up between 4 and 8 times per night, which left me exhausted. I felt like I couldn’t keep up with anything. I was short with my family, and I felt as though I wasn’t me. I was negative, and that’s definitely NOT me! So, I although it was scary to give up a career doing what I thought I would be doing for the rest of my life, it was such an empowering feeling to know that I was able to redefine myself. I had another chance to become what I wanted to be. I had been interested in nutrition and how foods can heal the body (and by interested, I mean a little obsessed and spent every free minute researching and reading about it), so I became a certified Health Coach, and I also hold a certification in Sports Nutrition. I started teaching a fitness class at a local karate dojo (and now take Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Kobudo), and through Health Coaching and teaching fitness, I’ve helped people become healthier and happier.

I believe that being happy is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves. It has so many benefits, both physically and mentally. But many people aren’t happy. They’re going through the motions. Life shouldn’t be about going through the motions. It should be about living, leaving a positive impact on the world, and doing what makes you happy. Our time on this planet is short. As we get older, we realize how precious each moment is. So, you have to decide how you want to live, and it starts with looking at yourself and asking some tough questions:

Are there things in your life that are causing you to be unhappy, or less satisfied than you’d like to be?

What is one small step that you can take today to change how you’re feeling? What are you doing that makes you happy? Or what do you think you could be doing to make yourself happy? What is one small step that you can take today to get you closer to being happy?

These aren’t always easy questions to answer, but in order to start making positive changes, you need to be clear with what you want to work toward.

We all have ups and downs. But like the Phoenix, we have the opportunity to reinvent and renew ourselves daily. So take this opportunity to think about the person you are and the person you want to become. And remember, tomorrow is another day for you to rise up from the ashes and to get one step closer to the person you envision yourself to be.