The pressure women carry for having to keep up with society standards around beauty, fitness, and careers. Throw motherhood into that mix and you can only imagine the anxiety that can manifest by the innocent act of simply "trying to do you boo." I became a mother at 21, just when I was starting my very first career as a hairstylist. I wasn't married at the time and both my husband and I were barely adults trying to figure out this thing called "adulting." We both didn't come from families with money so a household with two working parents was our only option. Thankfully our parents were close enough to watch Airis at the time, which saved us on childcare expenses, but it was HARD AF! Not only did I have the pressure of building a clientele, learning how to become better at my craft, and being a decent adult, but now I had the pressure of raising another human life.
Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, going somewhere with a gazillion things to pack for one tiny human, the responsibility of raising a capable adult, and everything in between are what make being a parent tiresome yet fun all at the same time. The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.
Children mimic everything you do. I wish someone had told me this 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter so that I could be more prepared for what’s to come. When it came to Olivia, our second I sure thought she would want to do everything her sister did, but come to find out she wants to be just like her mama from my love for fitness, what I like to eat, and even how I dress. It’s probably one of my biggest motivating factors for constantly working on bettering myself to make sure I’m not only a role model for the women in our society, but to my daughters too. From the time I was younger I was always a go-getter. I constantly go against the grain just to discover my superpowers, being a bad ass woman. This is something that I see so strongly with my daughters, especially within Olivia.
Athleta’s mission is to ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to realize their limitless potential. A mission that touches me to the core. Last summer Athleta released Athleta Girl, a high performing active apparel line encouraging young girls to live a more active life! We recently picked up a few pieces for Olivia before she went to yoga camp this summer and she’s been in love with them since.
She has a tendency to wear them where ever we go when it comes to something active, like hiking, bike rides, and even during her yogi playtime.
The moment I became a mother, I wanted everything to be perfect for my children including myself and even more so I imagined that I CAN make it perfect for them. And when things aren’t perfect, my own insecurity can get the best of me. It’s easy to be fooled by the beautiful posts you see on media where the archetype of a good mom is a woman who’s house is impeccably tidy, her kids have never seen a speck of dirt on their clothes, and dinner is always a 4 course meal. But then something clicked: my daughters have never had another mother in their life and everything that I am doing and everything that I am is PERFECT AND ENOUGH FOR THEM!
If there’s one lesson I hope that they will learn it’s that life is isn’t about perfection. It’s about chasing your dreams, believing yourself, and empowering others along the way.
This post was sponsored by Athleta and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own
photos by my talented 13 year old daughter, Airis Alexandra Encarnacion
For a good period of time you would hear about the negative impact that sitting for long periods of time can create. Even Apple and many other smart watch/fitness trackers will send you notifications to remind you to stand, get blood flow going, and to move around throughout your day to break up the long periods of sitting. Throughout time our jobs and lives have become a bit more sedentary, we work from desks most of the day, we've become accustomed to using services like Isntacart, Task rabbits, and even meal delivery services to fulfill some of the simple day to day duties like grocery shopping which helps us to increase our activity while buying the next meal. I'm not judging I'm guilty of it. I love using Instacart for grocery shopping. The time I spend grocery shopping is now spent spending time with the girls, going to the gym, or working on my blog. Not a bad trade off.
Throughout a majority of my working life I've had jobs that required my to stand. The 10 years I was a hairstylist, I rarely sat down while working on a client. Even during my corporate career at VSCO we had standing desks and areas in the office where we could stand. You can check out this beautiful office tour on Hypebeast. Along with an incredibly designed workspace, one of the things that I missed about that job was the standing desk that came with it. I spent a lot of my time at VSCO in meetings, walking outdoors with team mates to conduct our 1:1s, and mostly standing at my desk or at one of the laptop bar areas scattered throughout that beautiful space.
Unfortunately, when I left VSCO I couldn't take my standing desk with me. (I should've asked for one in the severance agreement, LOL JK!) When I started to create #mytinycorner and office space for studying and working at home I didn't have the start up budget VSCO had to set up a workspace like that. Instead I purchase an awesome desk that fit my needs and aesthetic until just about now.
9 months of sitting at without the ability to immediately adjust my work area has made my lower back tight. It feels as if the lower vertabrae are smashed up tightly against each other which is where stretching and yoga has really come in handy. A few weeks ago I began to ask all my followers on IG stories for desk recommendations and oh boy did my friends come through with some amazing recommendations. I had some requirements too. The standing desk could either be one I could put on top of my current desk or a completely new one. The desk needed to be white, aesthetic is important to my work environment. The dimensions had to be no bigger than 48" x 24" since the area I have for my desk is legitimately a tiny little corner.
A few that were recommended to me were: InMovement, Varidesk, and one from a brand called Movi Workspace, which is the one I've decided to get after spending days and nights bookmarking and researching different options. Since I just got my desk, I wasn't ready to part with it quite yet, but needed a standing desk option that was sleek, well designed, electric, could fit two screens (I work off my laptop and 27" monitor) and didn't require a big fat piece of equipment sitting on top of my delicate workspace area. Movi Workspace seemed to fit all those requirements. It's currently on Kickstarter and I'm proudly backing this particular project because of my own needs, of course. Just kidding, but honestly this is the first design I've seen that matches my desire to fulfill a more minimal lifestyle.
Here are other standing desk options online:
For more information on Movi Workspace check out their Kickstarter here.
When you take a step back to look at the big picture you’ll realize that everything in life is truly connected. The way that you approach your personal life, business, and even your fitness will have similar manners. And sometimes the greatest thing you’ll learn is to let go of expectations of what should be and learn to embrace what can be and what will be.
My advice to my 25 year old self: Our jobs is to search for our own voice and vision. Don’t worry about trying to please others because while you are in the messy middle of your figuring this all out, you will disappoint people. The sooner you come to terms with that, the sooner you can find your voice. You will always be working on discovering who you are meant to be and that is OK. Life will change and experiences will mold you, as they should.
There's no other exercise that fuels my soul the way SoulCycle does and its even better when you're doing it with a community of women who are committed to sweating together and bettering our lives together.
I've had the incredible honor to host two events over at SoulCycle in Walnut Creek and both have been filled with so much fun and buckets of sweat.
If you've never had the chance to hop on a bike at SoulCycle and are wanting to know the experience read my thoughts on my previous blog post.
This morning we spent 60 minutes getting down with John, who's incredible playlists can get you tapping back and putting a little spice to your moves on the bike any day. After SoulCycle, we walked on over to True Food Kitchen to enjoy some post SOUL refreshments and conversations that fueled the heart. (photos below are from the wonderful, Kat Chen)
This year I've been exploring the idea of hosting events and gathering community together. It's been so much fun to connect with the women in the Bay Area and to learn more about their stories. Each person has an incredible story to tell and those stories provide a sense of comfort, a the opportunity for personal growth, and simply the chance to laugh and bond with people you may have never get the chance to meet in your lifetime. Its been a great experience to see people bond over things they barely found out they had in common.
The notebooks are by this incredible brand called Denik that has an awesome mission. They believe that art can help change the world. Proceeds from each of their notebook sales goes directly to building schools and to support the artists. They are a small team of passionate individuals from Utah. And if you can spread their mission to those around you, that would be so incredible. If you know any artists who might want to submit their art, send them here.
I strongly believe that writing is such an incredible tool for your health. If you can spend a few moments in your day to slow down, write all the things you're grateful for and write about your hopes and dreams, it'll be incredible to see the type of change you manifest for yourself and for others around you.