Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interview: Victoria Brouhard

Each Wednesday is Wonderstruck Interview day. Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Today’s interviewee is life coach Victoria Brouhard.

VictoriaBrouhardWhat have you been wonderstruck by recently?

Wonder can be a bit of a challenging quality for me, since I tend to get a bit too serious at times. I could definitely do with more wonder, more frequently.

Lately what I’ve noticed is the way that being in nature can cut through my anxiety and help me feel connected to something larger than myself.

Connecting in that way helps keep the stressful things in my life in perspective, which is always a good thing.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

The days when my schedule allows me to ease into my work (rather than go straight from bed to fifth gear) are glorious. And when it’s not one of those days, I’m grateful for the fact that even a few seconds of pausing and connecting to my breath and to myself go a long way toward keeping me from losing it.

What part of your day is tough? How do you move through it?

Any time I feel stuck and like I’m just not moving forward is really difficult for me. If I’m not careful, I can quickly wind up mired in despair and convinced I’ll be stuck forever. In those times, I do my best to let go of my agenda and take some time to just breathe.

It’s incredibly tempting to give up and find a way to numb out (Netflix, anyone?) but I feel better if I can notice where I’m feeling my frustration in my body. By allowing myself to experience whatever emotion I’m feeling, it shifts faster than if I try to avoid or ignore it.

To be clear, though, numbing out wins quite often. I’m getting better at noticing when I’ve gone that route, but it’s not easy.

What do you wish you are more conscious of?

I’d love to be a lot more conscious of my true needs. I find it can be tricky to stay aware of what I really, truly need, because sometimes giving those things to myself takes more effort. For example, if I’m tired, I think, “My kingdom for a nap!” but if I can muster the energy to head out for a (slow and easy) hike, I wind up feeling way more replenished than I would have by lying around. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to cut myself slack and when to give myself a push.

How do you stay truly focused on what is important to you?

I seem to oscillate a bit. I’ll go through a season of doing a really good job of prioritizing my work and staying open to inspiration and making space for creativity. And then that productivity leads to a longer to-do list that takes over my mental space, which can leave me hyper-focused on Getting Stuff Done. And then I forego important things like exercise and meditation.

Once I’ve spent too much time hyper-focused on my work, I wind up drained and have to take time to recharge my batteries. Then, once I’ve recharged I set out with renewed vigor on keeping my work and life well balanced. And so the cycle begins again.

I don’t think there’s an easy fix. Putting routines in place definitely helps, but keeping up with the routine can be its own challenge at times.

Mostly I find that simply accepting that I’m still learning how to stay focused makes it easier to get back on the horse when I fall off.

About Victoria Brouhard:

Victoria Brouhard is a life coach who helps smart, creative women start and complete the projects close to their hearts by being kinder to themselves. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two cats, and loves to hike when it’s not blisteringly hot.

Find Victoria here:
Website: www.victoriabrouhard.com
Facebook: facebook.com/victoriabrouhard
Twitter: twitter.com/victoriashmoria

2 comments:

  1. Nice to meet you, Victoria. I relate to your oscillation. Must gains in one area of my life always mean loses in another? The battle for balance is one I rarely win. Here's to keeping up the fight.

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  2. Nice to meet you, too, Sherry! It really does feel like we have to gain something at the loss of something else. When I'm feeling extra hopeful and idealistic, I can *almost* convince myself it's possible to avoid the trade-off, but damned if I can figure out how. I wonder how much of it is cultural and caused by unreasonable expectations.

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