Our community is full of some amazing folks who's passion is to help others design a happier, healthier life. "hello luminary" is a series of interviews with each of these amazing individuals. Get ready to to learn about and connect with our local luminaries.
Let me introduce you to Michelle Ruiz. She's the beautiful Yogi that started the Goddess Brunch. This purpose of the brunch is to give every women a chance to connect and brainstorm with other like-minded positive women in the community. The event includes fun activities, meditation, delicious food and a gentle yoga class led by Michelle, who might I add is a 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher. I've known Michelle for a while now and I attended the very first Goddess Bruch that she and her fellow Yogi Stephanie Matos Hosted which was held at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel in Tampa Florida. If you want to get to know this beautiful goddess keep on reading.
1. Tell us about your career.
I am a full time yoga instructor & event planner residing in Tampa, Florida
2. How have you designed your life?
I am still designing my life every day but I do it by following my personal interests & listening to what those in my community are interested in and need most.
3. What was the last book you read or looking forward to reading?
I wish I carved out more time in my schedule for reading. The last book I read was " Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It " by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is a collective memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read her prior book "Eat, Pray, Love" at a very transitional stage in my life . Reading her journey sparked the flame inside me that has a love of travel and more importantly, a love for chasing my dreams. I love reading true stories of women who took a leap of courage, stepped out of their comfort zones and decided to focus on themselves - doing this always leads to amazing adventures and life changing experiences!
4. What’s a normal day like for you?
My typical day starts off one of two ways: I either wake up at 7:30 / 8am to lead a private yoga session or I head to a local yoga session to deepen my personal practice. I then come home, make lunch, walk my dog and head to my computer to contact clients, plan workshops, book events or make phone calls for upcoming events. The day flies by! By 4:30pm, I cook dinner for my family and then prepare for my evening studio classes. I usually get home by 8:30-9:00pm. I answer any emails that I may have come in during the evening, pour a glass of wine and write in my journal about what a blessing the day has been. ( I admit - the wine and journaling happens about twice a week . I often come home, shower and hit the sheets! )
5. Share with us how you fought to build the life you currently lead?
I am still "fighting" to live the lifestyle I'm in. I used to work for tips / cash in the night industry and learning a new way of saving money was a big lesson for me. I go to the grocery store now with printed out coupons, I save up to get my hair done on special occassions, my house isn't as "posh" as it used to be, I barter my yoga sessions for massages/ pedicures etc - it takes a lot more work but it sure beats the 9-5 lifestyle! reach the current schedule / lifestyle that I lead was no easy feat. I owe a lot to my husband who works a 60 hour works week to provide stability, insurace and all the necessary basics to run a household. When we first married and I began my yoga business, I still had to bartend in the evenings to compensate for the bills. The double lifestyle and long hours were no joke! In this past year I was able to develop enough projects to quit my night job but we still have a long way to go. My goal is to double the holistic work that I am doing now and to keep growing! I want to remind everyone that you do NOT need a partner to grow your dream job. I firmly believe that when things are meant to be, they happen. It takes sacrifice, determination and heart. If it is meant to be - it WILL unfold. Don't give up.
6. Why did you create the Goddess Brunch?
I created the Goddess Brunch one night while I was sipping wine on my patio. I was scrolling through FaceBook and became overwhelmed with appreciation for all of the beautiful women that I see in our community fighting to develop their own business, change the world and share their gifts. I felt there was a lot of "competion" and separation in the social media world. I envisioned how beautiful & powerful it would be if we all put our ideas together and supported each other. A friend & fellow yogi Stephanie Matos had a similar vision for the Goddess Network . We put our ideas together on paper booked our first venue and watched our ideas come to life. We threw it out there as ONE brunch to bring together whoever was interested. It all happened pretty quick. It's neat to see how things evolve when you have two people with different strengths but same vision come together. Connections have been made, new busineeses started, friendships found. It's just awesome. It has now grown into a beautiful community.
7. How do you measure growth?
How do I measure growth? The Goddess Brunch was definitely started as a labor of love. With nothing more than intent at the beginning ( though a business plan is coming onto effect now) I consider growth to be : witnessing the friendships & partnerships that have developed through our online community. If we connected just ONE set of women to meet eachother and reach their dreams, then I consider our work done, but it continues to grow every day and that's what is os exciting about this journey that we are on.
8. What are some of the things you do at the beginning of your day?
At the beginning of my day - Before even opening my eyes, I lay in bed and list 3 things in my mind that I am grateful for. This has been a simple yet POWERFUL practice in my daily life. It sets a positive tone for the rest of the day. I will then either A ) drink some lemon water and hit the gym or yoga studio / online for a class or B) Make a hearty breakfast and hit my emails. For the past year - I was teaching classes in the mornings & evenings and I found that i was losing my personal practice. My resolution for 2017 was to keep mornings reserved for my personal well being and while it may have been a financial sacrifice, it has been the best decision I have made this year so far. You can't bring love into the world without loving yourself first.
9. What are some of the things you do to wrap up your day?
I drink wine & do laundry to wrap up my day :) I wish I took more time for epsom salt baths! On a rare occassion, those are healing & heavenly!
10. Who or what inspires you?
I really admire those who have developed a source of income through a laptop lifestyle. Bringing in income completely from my laptop is an ultimate goal! Though I know I will always have that human connection through my teaching, retreats & events , I really admire those who have found a way to follow their passions while being all over the globe. I travel now but I want to travel more and more ! Life is short , the world is small & I want to continue to take full advantage of this magnificant technology that we didn't have ten years ago. I want to learn as much as possible.
11. What does gratitude mean to you?
I love that you asked this. Gratitude is a mind set and it has completely changed my life. When you start to train your mind to be grateful - all the things that are "going wrong" disappear - the world is a happier, brighter place. There are not enough words for the practice of gratitude! My yoga practice has helped me get there. It's pretty simple though, whenever your mind tries to take you somewhere negative - just start listing all the things that you can be grateful for. It may just be the breeze outside or the sun shining in the window. We are here on this amazing planet and that alone is a precious miracle!
12. When traveling, is there a "must have" item that's always in your bag?
Ooooh must have item when traveling? I bring a generic yoga mat from Ross or TJ Maxx. Something you don't mind losing or getting dirty.It works wonders for stretching & napping in between flights. It is also a great excuse for some airport yoga pics :) If flying international, the N.A.P. Blanket from Brookstone is a must . So cozy and shapes around your body for a cacoon like sleep on the plane.
13. What makes you smile?
What makes me smile :So many things! my husband making jokes, my step daughter being a typical teenager, my puppy cuddling, being in the sunshine, being on a plane, waking up in a new city, experiencing a new fruit or new meal in a country far away, mimosas on the porch with house music and dancing with my friends xx Ooooooh Seeing women accomplish their goals and of course, online shopping.
14. Here’s your moment to do a “self shout-out”. Share with us anything you want us to know.
Thank you for the shout out! Join me for an ultra - lux, life changing trip to San Juan, PR for the Summer Solstice this year! All details can be found on http://www.MichelleRuizYoga.com/RETREATS To join my exclusive group of women in the Goddess Network - follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheGoddessNetwork/
My personal website is www.MichelleRuizYoga.com
Thank you Michelle Ruiz for sharing a little bit of your life with us and we look forward to hearing more about your Goddess Network and other projects. You are an amazing luminary!