Reflection.
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The other day I was talking with a dear friend about perspective and what time and experience offers us in the journey that is life... Talk about a broad and generalized statement... I know, and, isn't it everything?

Never could I have known what  I do now, about being a mother, until I became a mother.  Simple yet a profound reality.

For anyone that knows me you could attest to the fact that I have always set a very high bar for myself, and with that comes the nagging reality that it can be very difficult for me to not project those same standards onto others.  

I remember reading through content and making judgments about seeing other bloggers have a lapses in time between content, I get it now.  My perspective now is that I am in the new context of mother and business owner, is one of empathy.  

Empathy for myself, for others, and a true “pause and reflect” when I consider others reasoning for their behaviors.  

Looking at myself here, on my blog, and I have not blogged for months! Months! I can hardly stand it.. and, I am fully committed to taking one day at a time and doing what a can each day.  (Easier said than done?!)

With all that being said, I felt compelled to go back through the blogs I wrote this time last year, pre-birth of my son, to see how my perspective has changed, the narrative is below:  

Here is my response to my own ideas, one childbirth, one association birth, and, many many fewer hours of sleep, later. 

Then:

“My husband and I will be expecting our first born in mid July of this year.  What a journey it had been the past 5+ months! My experience of being pregnant has naturally brought up all kinds of feelings and thoughts, and what I really want to share here is the transformational minded thoughts and ideas I am experiencing while moving towards this life change.”

Now:

 I really appreciate my thoughtfulness and the intention I brought to my own personal preparation of having a child.  That thoughtfulness has definitely paid off in the realm of having ideas and intentions to create the most meaningful home experiences for Oliver, My husband and I.  With that being said, I wish it was as eloquent as I described it above.. it is not, lol.  Everyday is different, everyday brings new challenges and most nights I fall asleep while having a conversation with my husband, it isn't perfect and, I love every single minute of it. 

Then:

"The societal pressures and models out there leave something to be desired, at least for me, and I've found my current position on the topic to be "make it up", create a way, a new method and then see if it works! "

Now:

Absolutely true! And not easy! choosing to create a life that is not typical is not easy, and, I have come to realize that if you want to create something totally different for yourself, you totally can.  I don't subscribe to the idea that women have to choose between work and motherhood, and, I don't think it's about taking your kids to the office, there are other options that can be fulfilling... it is all about choices.  These choices have been THE hardest ones of my life, I give a shit, big time, about being wtih my son, impacting the business I have created and supporting WIFA... with that love for all of those people comes choices, I am doing my best day by day!  And, If anyone wants to ever chat about how they have naviagted these waters, I am all ears!

Then:

"Tony Robbins and others talk about ideas like "integration" instead of balance, for people like myself that are deeply passionate about their work and friendships, then it becomes less about choosing and more about integrating." 

Now:

I wish balance was a thing... ha! I personally think that's a racket... choices however, that is absolutely a thing that you can have control over... where does your time in a day go and how does it align with your circumstances. 

Then:

As I like to say, "who you are at the kitchen table is who you are at work"... my kitchen table is about to be set for 3, and I am anticipating the adventure of how that will propel me to be even better and have more to offer in every area of my life. 

Now:

It most certainly is set for 3, my 10 month old son eats more than me! Funny, and, he has a brilliant appetite.  I was telling a mentor the other day that my experience of myself as a mother is one of profound confidence that comes from a place of knowing and believing in myself and what I have to offer the world.  The fierce love that comes with becoming a mother is one that I have never felt before, it changed me over night, and I am forever grateful to Oliver for the transformational quality of "no more BS" that came with becoming his mother.  My ability to be discerning in my work, my relationship and all the communities I am a part of is so profound and impactful, what a gift motherhood truly is!

 

Have you had a life change that you have gone through that created the space for you to pause, reflect and adjust your sails? I would love to hear about it, it's through community that we can all grow near and use the blessing of empathy to show each other what's possible. 


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry.  For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2o

Organizational Agility and Lasting Change
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Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Chantal Brodrick, the brilliant voice behind the Fitness Business Podcast.  Her and I chatted about a number of things including the work I am so grateful to get to do each day.  

In the transcript below you will see a portion of our interview and my thoughts on change, and why for so many people and organizations change can be painful.

The Fitness Business Podcast; click below to listen to the whole interview. 

Chantal :

Now, Lindsey, you actually, in your role within the industry, you help people and you help organizations enjoy transformational change. Can you explain to us what is the most common example of a major organizational change that a fitness facility might actually experience?

Lindsey :              

Mm-hmm (affirmative), absolutely. Well, so transformational change, to me, doesn’t mean you have to be okay with it per se, but really grappling with this idea that we’re all in constant motion. The idea that things will be the same for any period of time is a myth, and that the more rooted in reality we are with an ideal plan, the more successful we can be.

So when I think about a lot of the … whether it’s the fitness organizations that sell equipment, or education, you know the clients that I work with, and also the health clubs that they serve, I think that change is the theme that we see the most, that people have a hard time confronting, because it’s such … Our consumers, today’s consumer, the fitness consumer that’s coming into the club, or even the club operator that’s consulting with an equipment provider, because of the digital era, and how fast things are changing, it’s really less about knowing the right answers. It’s more about being agile enough to open your mind to not knowing everything, but knowing the right questions to ask.

So in a lot of the work that I do, it’s focusing on agility, and how can health clubs, how can the people supporting our industry think about today’s consumer, and how their life is radically changing on a regular basis, and how to support that. So whether it’s systems implementation, to organize people within the club, whether it’s the companies implementing strategy to support what’s coming next.

I think what’s a big part of our health clubs is if I can order up, on Amazon Prime, all my groceries, and have them delivered, and that’s the consumer experience I have through Amazon, if my health club doesn’t have similar features and functions in the way that I check into the club, then there’s going to be a miss, and the consumers are going to start to lose faith in our industry if we’re not up with it.

Those kinds of changes are a lot of the things that I help fitness facilities think about, and then help providers also consider.


Agility, change and ability to adapt the cornerstone's of change management and what it can take to create lasting change for both companies and people. 

What do you think, are you or your team undergoing a large change? What do you find the most difficult aspect of this process? 


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry.  For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2o

The Story of The Women in Fitness Association
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The Women in Fitness Association exists to create opportunity for Women, to give them a voice in the fitness industry and create opportunity for any woman interested in growing her career.
— Lindsey Rainwater

This past year something super exciting happened, and is very near and dear to my heart, a movement that is absolutely going to change the face of the fitness industry and welcome in a whole new wave of female leadership.  

The Story...

Last year, I attended the women in leadership summit at IHRSA, the experience created at the summit was like no other I’d had the chance to be a part of in our industry.  Being in a room full of brilliant women in support of our industry was like a deep exhale, a complete breath of fresh air and I didn’t want it to end.  Upon returning home after a fabulous week of  making new connections and seeing old friends, I came home with the desire to feel what I felt in that room at the summit.  I wanted a place where there was easy access to female mentors and a tight knit group of women to regularly collaborate with, I began my search to find a group that offered this kind of support, exclusively for women.  Once I realized it didn't exist, I knew what needed to happen next.

The rest is history... 

The Women in Fitness Association opened for membership May 31 of 2017 and by September we had formed a board of directors, bylaws, not for profit status, and over 60 women as associate members with global representation and corporate sponsorship. To date, we have over 80 members, three corporate sponsors, two meetings under our belts, serving over 200 women in total and an event planned to take place in San Diego the week of IHRSA. 

Not a day goes by that I am not daydreaming about what WIFA can and will become.  I think about all the women I know that want to run companies and be mothers and love travel, I am so excited that we’ve created a place to collaborate about how to accomplish that and so much more! 

None of this could have happened if I did not have an army of women supporting me in this endeavor! Our board of directors and founding members have carried our success through word of mouth and trust and belief in what we are doing.  Their brilliance and desire to lift women up to reach their fullest potential is humbling and truly exciting to be a part of. 

If you have not checked out the Women in Fitness Association, go to the website to see our upcoming events and ways to join.  I look forward to this being the beginning of something absolutely wonderful,

I am incredibly grateful for my mentors that said "why not, just do it", their ability to see what I was capable of before I could is what aided in my taking this leap of faith.  Thank you. 


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry.  For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O
 

You Don't Know What You Don't Know.

Hello Blog, I've missed you.

Twelve weeks ago my husband and I welcomed to the world our first born son, Oliver Brysen.  I have paused my writing to turn my whole attention towards Mr Oliver and the best way I can think of starting my blog up again is to share with you my experience of transitioning into motherhood. 

 Image is a screen shot of my screen

Image is a screen shot of my screen

You can learn a lot about a person by looking at their most frequently used emojis. Face palm, baby, heart and poop are all highly relevant ways to describe my life via images.

Reflecting on the past 12 weeks and my experience of labor and delivery, the underscored theme for me is this: I simply didn't know what I didn’t know. I have come to realize that no level of preparation, reading, even babysitting can prepare one for the transformation that occurs when having a child.

Looking back on my last few weeks pregnant I felt prepared, I thought I had a plan, I thought through every last detail around organizing my life to prepare for Oliver's arrival.  What actually happened?  Nothing can prepare even the most prepared person for what having a child does to change you.

 Lindsey and Oliver One day old, July 22, 2017

Lindsey and Oliver One day old, July 22, 2017

I was having a conversation with one of my dear friends a few weeks ago and he said to me "yeah, you give a shit which makes it that much harder", how simple and complex is that statement and yet it  summarizes my entire world view.

I care, a lot, and am very thoughtful and purposeful about how I do everything and is therefore making my adjustment to motherhood a grand adventure. I knew going into this transition that what I was looking forward to the most besides the incredible fact of having a baby was the transformational playground it would be: I had no idea how deep that would go. 

My experience was of an intense journey in rediscovering myself in a new way.  I have always loved my work, my relationships and generally how I show up in the world and have done a tremendous amount of work around self discovery to really know myself intimately.  I’ve always known myself to have my to do list buttoned up at the end of each day, all emails read and responded to, notifications cleared, exercise done, house clean... this is no longer my life :) I’ve never had more days in a row where “getting to it later” is the theme.

Priority’s shift, right fellow Mums? Do the dishes or feed my newborn? Oliver wins every time!

 Lindsey and Oliver, Over 5 weeks old,  Photo Cred. From the Hip, Nina

Lindsey and Oliver, Over 5 weeks old, Photo Cred. From the Hip, Nina

For the structured control freak that I’ve always been, what a shake up! Not to mention the physical changes, little sleep, hormone roller coasters, postpartum depression and a deep love that becomes the new compass for everything. Woah. 

One of my favorite mentors uses the phrase "insight follows experience" Thank you Kathlyn Hendricks for this simple yet all knowing phrase.

I chose to share with you these humble facts as a way of tipping my hat to all the mothers that do this dance everyday.  The dance of doing their work, loving their spouse, loving their children and managing to put on mascara and smile while at it all!

The best thing is that time is truly magical, it really does heal and teach us.  Over the last 12 weeks time has taught me how to begin working again, getting more done in a day, caring for my needs to be a better business owner, wife and mother.  It has not been an overnight switch flip like I thought I could prepare for, but it has been my life’s greatest teaching so far.  

Thank you Oliver, my sweet Son for co-facilitating the most transformational experience of my life.  I am the luckiest mother alive to get to be your mama, thank you for choosing me! 

 Lindsey, Jeremy and Oliver, Oliver 5 weeks old , Photo Cred. From the Hip

Lindsey, Jeremy and Oliver, Oliver 5 weeks old, Photo Cred. From the Hip


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

The Trap of Perfectionism and Doing it Right
 Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Photo Credit, From the Hip Photo, March 2017

Last month I shared my thoughts via audio about how much can you, or I can accomplish in a day, and the importance of asking for help and allowing others to support us. 

What is on my mind today has a similar flavor, and that is the notion of "doing it right".  As soon as I typed that phrase my internal dialog said "whatever that means", my rational mind wants to argue that there is no right way of doing anything, and yet the pressure that can ensue surrounding this myth can take over and paralyze my efforts.

A lot of the "do it right" thinking comes from the desire for perfection, an unattainable yet tempting place that women (at least myself) can tend to strive to be even while knowing it's not possible. 

"Pressure comes from all sides and settles uncomfortably in the laps of women trying to do everything the right way." -Karen Kleiman

A mind field of this type of thinking can pop up in areas where we are navigating something new, a path not walked down before. There is nothing like being 8.5 months pregnant that brings out the opinions of others the floodgates of advice comes rolling in causing lots of thoughts comparing to others and judging myself for what I do or don't know, "I have not thought of that, crap I should read more on that topic".  Because we live in a world where anything can be googled and Pinterest will be there to reliably show us all the possible "hacks" to get it right, it can be difficult to put the opinions aside and find a way that works for you. 

"Too many [women] are becoming anxious and depressed because they are overwhelmed and disappointed. Too many are letting their lives be poisoned by guilt because their expectations can't be met, and because there is an enormous cognitive dissonance between what they know to be right for themselves and what they're told is right for their children." .-Judith Warner

Regardless of the topic, there is an overwhelming amount of information available to us from others, our own research and imagined idea of how we are "supposed to" get something right. 

So how am I handling the feeling of "get it right" perfectionism as I round the corner into motherhood? Not overly gracefully but I am certainly putting effort into a few actions that have provided some reprieve that I will share with you. 

The first thing I have done is to do my best to have perspective and empathy about where the information is coming from.  I remember when my Father died three years ago, many people would say things to me like "when my grandma died", and at first I was offended that anyone would compare a grandparent to a parent, "do they have any clue what this is like".  When I chose to hear that person through the filter of empathy and love, I could see that more than likely they were just uncomfortable and wanted to relate to me in a way that they could, not really knowing what to say.  With unsolicited parenting advice, I am applying the same school of thought, this person is wanting to relate to me, be closer, and possibly share something that meant a lot to them, they might feel like they are handing me the keys to the parenting kingdom, maybe they are! The point is to rely on empathy and perspective to see people as my ally and with the filter of love. 

The other strategy I am employing to combat perfectionism and the "Do it right" mentality is to try to cut myself some slack.  This, is by far the hardest action for me to take and yet the simplest. The best way to actually do this are these two simple things; let myself off the hook for not knowing how to do something I have never done, duh, and, to not compare myself to others.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about how my workouts have not only changed but in the past week felt nearly impossible, I never thought I'd see the day that walking up hill was hard.  The best thing I can do for myself during this time is NOT get on Instagram and look for "moms to be that crossfit" to compare my efforts to others.  We all have our own experiences and for me sticking to my own without muddying the waters with what others do can be the best way to stay away from feeling like a failure. 

The beautiful underbelly of all of this is that if I peel off the layer of wanting to get it right and achieve perfection and see the innocence in my thoughts, my true intention is that I really want to be my best for those in my life I care about and the work I do in the world.  If I can remember to have empathy for myself and others I have a real chance at enjoying my experiences instead of making them right or wrong. 

How about you, does this resonate? Do you have a difficult time navigating new territory without comparing yourself to others or striving for out of reach perfectionism? 

Send me a note or comment here, I would love to hear from you! My intention is to blog as frequently as ideas come to me and I appreciate you reading along!  I look forward to posting about my experiences as I continue integrating motherhood into my work and relationships. 


Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business advisor, Founder, writer & keynote speaker to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O