About Pam ...
(drafted in 2008)
Do you ever feel that the grass is greener in everyone else's yard? Do you find that, no matter what you have, it doesn't measure up to at least some of your friends or family? Would you like to lose that feeling and be happy - not un-ambitious, just happy?
I once lived in Lausanne for a few months and spent my days worrying that I should have a job instead of enjoying what I knew to be a finite sejour right next to Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). When we moved to Ireland I spent a lot of time wishing for things we'd had in the city, rather than embracing the natural beauty here. It's not easy living in our own heads.
Adjusting my own perspective was not easy, and these simple experiences ground my understanding and motivation to guide others in overcoming their own obstacles, whether related to diet, exerciese, or a particular life situation. I help clients identify problem areas in their diet, not as a nutritional therapist but from the yogic perspective: be self aware, don't harm yourself, consider the broader life of the planet.
Media tells us to have more, be cooler, get busier, spend, hurry up and relax! "Me-time" is a fabrication of the media, so that we suffer angst that we're not loving ourselves enough. The suggested solution? More stuff - the spa getaway, the branded yoga clothes/mat/bag, the "greener" holiday (is any holiday really "green'?), the latest "natural" shampoo or "anti-ageing" cream (how come the big print and small print rarely actually say the same thing?). Product markettng moves with the time, but the essential message doesn't: You Need More. Do you? "Me-time" and "quality time with the kids" require only one thing: focus. Not a spa, or a special holiday, just brief, sincere and regular focus.
A Day in the Life:
I'm writing this in so that you can see what life with 4 children and self-employment is like. You may already know. Or your life might include a full-time job outside the home. Or perhaps you are financially very comfortable but feel something is missing. I'm familiar with those situations. This is a peek into what the details of my day are - a day that gives me more satisfaction and flexibility than I used to have.
Up around 6 am, practice yoga (with a view onto a green field ending in woodland) until around 7, by which time Tom's produced a cup of coffe to get me moving. I help get the children ready for school and either Tom or I drive them in. At home, the computer comes on (next to the kitchen wood stove most of the year!) and work begins - either for the international charity I helped set up in Ireland, or things related to Ballin Temple and Astraea. It could be course design, such as the teen yoga week; or class preparation for a yoga class; or some administration and correspondence related to anything from an upcoming event to accounts. Sometimes I'll have a meeting, or a private yoga class to teach in the morning.
The "work day" is over around lunch time - which is usually quick and easy, and based around what's in the garden or larder - because it's time to collect children. If Tom does the school run, it gives me a couple of extra hours - sometimes for a jog or phone calls, other times to continue on the computer.
Once the children are home, it's all about directing their energy and making sure supper happens on time - otherwise tempers flare quickly! Homework is sometimes finished in the car on the way home, but often there is still work to be done. "Directing" the children's energy may include anything from having them gather logs or mow the lawn to playing a bit of soccer in the garden with them, or going for a walk or bike ride to the river.
Evenings are busy too. Some nights I teach yoga in nearby Tullow. Children's activities happen other nights, and include gymnastics, running and ballet. On gymnastics night, I stay in the gym to train the youngest group of gymnasts and assist with the next level up.
Weekends are flexible, but most Saturdays we're either at soccer or riding lessons; and chores indoor and out must be done. The weekend is marked by the weekly children's movie on Saturday evening - a great event here, since TV is not high on the agenda (none during weekdays). Sunday lunch is a staple, not in the food (in winter it might be roasted vegetables and mushroom stew, but in summer it can be as informal as a tomato & cheese sandwich) but in gathering the family together and hanging around to chat. The kids enjoy creating a fancy table setting with candles and fresh flowers, and they like baking too - lots of cakes make their way to the Sunday table.
When I run special courses (summer yoga or yoga intensives, for example), I craft them around the existing family schedule. Thus the teaching will take place mornings or evenings only, rather than a full 9:30-5:00 day. Occasionally I must bend to someone else's time table - for example if there's a special yoga weekend I want to attend - so I rely on Tom to fill in the gaps at home, or call on a babysitter or friend to help mind the children.
Qualifications: BA in Liberal Arts from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia; DEC (Diplome D'etudes Collegiale) in Health Science from St. Lawrence College, Quebec City. Post-university I moved to Hong Kong and worked in the financial industry for 7 years. During that time a friend brought me to a yoga class, and I loved it. I became qualified to teach yoga through the Inernational Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre in 2000, and have been teaching ever since.
I gained a Diploma in Journalism by correspondence through the London School of Journalism (2003), and have published occasional articles. I am now editor of the newsletter for the children's educational charity PestalozziWorld. I am reading law (home study) to prepare for the Irish national law exams. This interest was sparked by my role setting up the charity in Ireland, and I am pursuing it out of interest and for pragmatic knowledge, rather than for a new career.
Recently I completed an introductory gymnastics training course through the Irish Gymnastics Association, the national governing body for the sport. I coach the highly motivated and bouncy beginner's group in Carlow, weekly.
I hold directorships with Astraea Ltd, Ballin Temple Ltd., and PestalozziWorld Ireland Ltd, and am also the Secretary of the latter. Employment history includes human resources and event management for a global investment bank (Morgan Stanley), marketing for a global fnancial information services company (Telerate), and volunteer associate editor for an Asian arts and culture magazine (Sawaddi).
Interests include yoga, seasonal running (not in winter!), and planting pips of apples, pears, plums, avocados and so on to see if anything will grow. Occasional successes! Skills acquired long ago which still come in handy include ice skating, basketball, piano playing and knitting. The TV junkie in me comes out seasonally. Current fixes: Ugly Betty, Scrubs, Desperate Housewives (why not?).