“You have a goal. What do you have to say yes to in order to make it happen?”
A good workout can bring endorphins, exhaustion or energy (sometimes a mix of all three!) Fitness and wellness coach Elyse Sparkes believes that getting fit doesn’t have to mean measuring progress by pounds or percentages; it’s about tuning in to your body’s needs.
On Oct. 18, Elyse led a guided meditation mixed with yoga and conditioning moves. What came after was a bit of a twist: journaling. Elyse encouraged Six Degrees Society attendees to write down a goal they wanted to accomplish between October and the New Year, noting that feeling like you’re “starting fresh” doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with Jan. 1.
The event was hosted by Romio, a start-up aiming to make “best of” local services easily searchable. After the event, SDS spoke with Elyse about how to encourage creativity when it’s undervalued and what she’ll say yes (and no) to in order to accomplish her goals.
SDS: What do you do and how long have you been involved with Six Degrees Society?
ELYSE SPARKES: I’m a Fitness & Wellness Coach. I do one-on-one coaching and group online programs to help people drop the guilt / shame game around exercise and get moving in a way that’s filled with balance, ease, and body kindness. I also coach wellness entrepreneurs to help them get going in their businesses and their lives. Plus, I host in-person events like Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs (a supportive community for female business owners) and Sculpt Your Future (events to help people use movement as a vehicle for goal visioning, creativity + connection). I was introduced to Six Degrees Society a few months ago by a friend and absolutely fell in love with it!
SDS: Do you set a different intention every time you work out or do you have a consistent one you look to?
ES: Overall I aim to listen to my body and treat it with kindness no matter what comes up. That could mean that sometimes I set an intention to rest and rejuvenate, other times it could be to sweat out stress and work through frustration. One consistent thing I notice is that movement MOVES me. I always feel like something has shifted after I move my body – whether that be getting a ton of creative ideas, realizing a solution to a problem, feeling more confident, standing taller or feeling more relaxed.
SDS: Creativity is often something that’s undervalued as an adult. What encourages your creativity?
ES: Journaling. Drawing. Traveling. Yoga. Walking in nature. Down time and space in my schedule. Brainstorming with people, hearing what other people have created, or listening to other people’s life experiences. Dancing!
SDS: In the workshop you mentioned thinking about a goal we could accomplish by the start of 2018. Could you please share one of your goals? What do you have to say no to in order to make it happen? What do you have to say yes to in order to make it happen?
ES: Yes! During the workshop at SDS I shared that a theme of “space and light” was coming up for me in the vision writing we did together. My goal is to have more space and light in my home. Living in a small apartment in NYC, I have to be more firm with myself about saying NO to mess and clutter. To me that means that I’ll stop blaming my messiness on external circumstances and take more responsibility for keeping my space tidy. (Happy to report that only 3 days after the workshop I spent a day reorganizing my home and letting go of clutter!) The “light” aspect is thinking about what features I want my future home to have. For that I’d like to say YES to creating time for specific meditations and visualizations about what my next home will look, feel and be like.
SDS: Six Degrees Society recently had a panel event with female founders who talked about being collaborative rather than competitive. You’re the host of Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs, how do you encourage collaboration over competition?
ES: This is a topic that is extremely important to me. I firmly believe that we will all be stronger if we help each other out! Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs initially started as a way for female business owners to gather to talk about our businesses, promote our products and strengthen our community. It’s based entirely around supporting, empowering and inspiring each other to make more social change and goodness all around! I encourage collaboration by providing the space and non-competitive atmosphere for women to get to know each other. They also have opportunities to be highlighted at events and in our Facebook group. My favorite part is seeing all the collaborations, referrals and sincere high-fiving that goes on in our community.