Mindy Gulas & Liz Clifton Interview Transcription:
Liz Clifton: Hi, and welcome to the wonderful, amazing Mindy. It's my absolute honor to have you here today and yes, you're welcome.
Mindy Gulas: Thank you, Liz. Thank you for inviting me.
Liz Clifton: Oh, you're so welcome. Okay, so first question. What does self-care mean to you?
Mindy Gulas: That's a good question. Self-care is to me looking after not just physically, but my whole self. So I really liked to have more of a holistic approach. So mind, body, the spiritual self as well. And just having some time for me, but then also making sure to looking at kinda my whole, my whole life picture. That I'm also look have that I guess, care in my relationships with, you know, keeping connection with close friends. And of course my family that's, always near.
Liz Clifton: I love it. And you mentioned like you know different areas of yourself that you are taking into account, so your sort of body, your mind, your spirit. Are you doing that on like a regular every day or does that vary?
Mindy Gulas: Well I try to do something every day. So I'm as a kinesiologist, I'm pretty active most days. And so bringing in the, the self care. In terms of expanding beyond just the physical body and movements, linking posture too. Which you know, is more physical, but understanding and linking the posture to mindset. And, for me knowing how all of that connects helps me to kind of look after myself through the day. But I do like to start my days with a little journal. Of, you know, some gratitude and then just helps take a few minutes kind of focus on my day. What, what do I need to accomplish today. And, I find it helps me to improve my intentions for the day and, and be more focused as well. And then, and part of that is, physical self. And so, you know, work, relationships, physical self, physical health, and how it all links together.
Liz Clifton: Ooooh. I love it. So, thinking about the general, how is your experience with generally kind of gone for money very first began, to now?
Mindy Gulas: Yeah, well, I'm, it's a work in progress for me, that's for sure. I remember as a kid I love to write and, I would journal a lot and then my diary got read by a family member. Which kind of, I shut it down for many, many years. So now as an, as an adult and a parent, I know, I'm relearning how important that is as an outlet to, you know, just get into, get to my deeper self. So I do, my intention is to do it daily. It's getting there. and there's been over the years. I think I would, I, I'm going to guess it's probably been about eight years that I've kind of refocused on this. And I will go in periods where I'm very consistent and then I will, you know, life happens and other things kind of fill that, spot. So, but I'm, I'm pretty comfortable. I, in where I'm at within now, when I would estimate that about 70% of the days that I do, complete. And even if it's just a three minute, sometimes I'll just set a timer. And just like in the middle of the day I need to clear my head and just write everything, whatever, if I need to dump out of my, my mind.
Liz CLifton: So Liz Clifton: I love that. And yeah, it's so cathartic, isn't that sometimes just to empty what's in our heads. Mindy Gulas: Yeah. Liz Clifton: Just get it out.
Mindy Gulas: Exactly.
Liz Clifton: So thinking about your daily routines, you have your journaling, what else do you do on a sort of a daily basis?
Mindy Gulas: Yeah, so for movement, definitely. so either for myself alone, I like to go for walks and I have a woodlot nearby. Or, sometimes I'll jog and my dog loves to come along too. But definitely getting out in nature is for me really ground being and just a time to reflect. And, you know, see, allow whatever's going, gonna come into my mind to, to be there. So that's, that's, I think the most impactful self-care for me.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. That's beautiful. And yeah, like you said, just getting back into nature just allows us to be open and connect, you know. It's naturally where we all came from isn't it.
Mindy Gulas: Yeah.
Liz Clifton: So, yeah, it makes sense. See then thinking about like your self-care right now, what's your favorite activity at the moment?
Mindy Gulas: At the moment I think, my, my journal. It's, I mean, I, it's kind of a journal it's kind of a future plan and just revisiting, where am I at in the different areas of my life. And how to revisit, you know, do I need to make any edits Am I on track with the choices that I'm making. To continue to move along in the direction that I that I'm intending to.
Liz Clifton: So excellent. And so you said about being out in nature, what's your favorite place to really get like rebalanced and, and grounded again?
Mindy Gulas: Yeah, So there's a pond close by in the, in the woodlot where I go. Near where I live and I, I really liked that place where there's some water plus all the nature and trees and birds and whatever else might. Occasionally I'll see deer, but so I think that's a favorite place. And then I it's for me the fresh air and breathing. And I really find that, you know, I can take that breathing back with me anywhere I go. So that I can, kind of recreate that, that emotional state of calmness. And, you know, when I need to pull other, other emotional resources, then I can. It's, it's a quick, easy place my mind I can go to, to bring that back.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. Ooooh I love that. And thinking back to your very, very first memory of self care. What's the earliest memory that you could share with us?
Mindy Gulas: probably a bath just being by myself in the bath and relaxing. And I remember when I was a teenager, I would like read a book in there. It was great when nobody else was around and no one else needed to get into the bath.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. And that's again, that's with water, so yes.
Mindy Gulas: Yeah.
Liz Clifton: Yeah, yeah. It can be really connective, I think, you know, and really kind of relaxing and just really saying just the water.
Mindy Gulas: Yes.
Liz Clifton: So if you were to support someone who was coming at self-care for the very first time, how would you suggest they begin.
Mindy Gulas: I, as I mentioned with the kind of the breathing for me is a way to just kind of reset calm. It does help us to, calm our nervous system. And a lot of times where our sympathetic nervous system is on overload and causing a lot more stress and anxiety for people. So we need to activate our parasympathetic, our rest, relax system. And breathing is definitely one way that we can, we can do that. And, you know, it's kind of your lungs are the center of you, right in your diaphragm connecting to your core and your abdomens. So really using understanding how to do different there's. I mean, there's lots of different breathing exercises you can do. But just full breathing and just focusing on your breath is, is the first or one of the easiest ways to just, kinda center and get grounded and let everything else go. And when you're focusing on your breathing, your, your minds is not, you know, as distracted with everything else that might be the seemingly more important problem at the moment. So it's just finding that, you know, remembering that I have a tool that's here any time, anywhere, and just using that to take a moment.
Liz Clifton: That's peaceful. And like we said, before, the breathing, you can do it at any moment.
Mindy Gulas: Yeah. Yes. I mean, I know of course we do it all the time. I knowingly automatically. but, that that's control. It also gives us that sense of control. Right. Of this is something now that you're taking over for yourself.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. I hadn't thought of that either in that way, but yeah, it does. You can just begin taking control of yourself with your breath.
Mindy Gulas: Yeah.
Liz Clifton: So again with the breath. When did you first experience, how did you start doing the breath work?
Mindy Gulas: Yeah. Well I guess, I mean, I guess a lot, obviously always been breathing. But, I would say I early on in as I was like studying as a kinesiologist and I've always been interested in movement and, and exercises really, as long as I can remember. And at sports as a kid and just feeling good after, you know, doing something invigorating, but began, I started learning, Pilate's in, oh my goodness. Probably 18 years ago now it's been quite awhile. But, and so bringing the, using the breath to control the core of the body is one of the basic philosophies of Pilates exercise, similar to, I mean, it's similar, it's it's has similarities, to yoga. I, I'm not an expert in yoga and I'm sure there are Yogi's who may disagree with me. But, for me, it's a great way to, again, connect the mind, the body, the whole spirit, because when, you know, we, it is all one, our brain, our nerve neurological system, everything has to work together.
Mindy Gulas: And so that's, yeah, so the breath work with the, with the core. And then, you know, in my professional coaching, other clients in movement and like rehabilitation and exercise, just for fitness. Or for recovery or weight loss, controlling the breath really helps to focus on the outcome of your, you know, what's the intention of why are you doing this now. And then when you can do that with your own physical body, then you can take that to other areas too, of your life, right. It doesn't have to be about movement. So, but when you understand that, I feel like when you understand that connection with movement. Then you can, you know, even without the movement, you, without the breathing use movements is where and often where I link posture into it to kind of change your mental state and help to reframe your yourself in different situations. So it's very, that was a roundabout answer.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. And really interesting, you know, to see how you sort of came about it. And just for people that aren't aware, you know, what your kind of your title means. Could you like explain a bit about it to us?
Mindy Gulas: Sure. So kinesiology is the study of movement of the body, essentially. So, I help people with, you know, movement, posture, breathing. I've done a lot of work studying, coaching and NLP. So I do really, I am very interested in mindset and helping people with that mindset piece. And so, yeah, I've been able to help individuals with goals, groups, and also in corporations with, ergonomics. So like fitting jobs to the workers and injury prevention kind of programs as well. So it's been a very interesting and diverse career for me. So yeah.
Liz Clifton: Ooooh. It sounds really fun. I love how you saying about as we shift our mood when we shift the emotion. Because it's all energy isn't it, so, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Say breathing and movement are twos are really easy things that we can use to shift how you're feeling. You know, at any time. So do, have like a short sort of movement that you use to shift your own emotions?
Mindy Gulas: I would, for me more of it, just a posture check, you know, kind of roll the shoulders back, made sure my heads aligns. If, you know, sitting is, is a problem for a lot of people, if, when you're working on your computer for hours and hours. So even just standing and, you know, stretching. Or doing like a power pose with arms over ahead really helps to shift the energy even. And I mean, you reaching overhead is a great exercise just to, it kind of extends the spine Slightly gets us out of that forward slumped position. That's there's, there's lots of research on that. There's a wonderful Ted talk on the power pose. And I can't remember the lady's name right now, but, her research actually proved it, that it, you know, helps to shift the energy and reframe your mind. So it's definitely fascinating. So yeah, just the, the posture upright posture, definitely for a movement to, to help.
Liz Clifton: And so kind of wrapping up towards the end, is that anything else that you'd like to share with the audience?
Mindy Gulas: Yeah, so I have a short program that, I mean, I have a lot of different, videos that I've shared with my groups. And, so I've put a bunch of them together into a that will be accessible to your listeners. And so really explaining the connections between mindset, the body, breathing the brain. And how, you know, kind of brain training or movement through the brain works. I have a couple of different, videos on lymphatic breathing to really get the lymph flowing, which is, help, limp. Doesn't actually circulate on its own. So if we're not moving, it's not going to move. So there's an exercise in there. I'm connecting the breathing to the, to the body, to the core and the pelvic floor, which as, as a woman and, you know, moving up, through the years, that's definitely an area that a lot of women, may, may ignore. And it's, it's very important. and then just a few more videos on posture overview. So combined there's there, I haven't been add it all up, but there's probably close to an hour of shorts, you know, three to five minutes segments, if anybody's interested, really in learning more movement techniques or breathing techniques. And understanding a little bit more about how do you, how to use your body and your breath to connect your, your mind, and everything together. So.
Liz Clifton: Yeah, that's really generous of you. Thank you.
Mindy Gulas: Oh, no worries. I think it's super important for everybody to really, you know, take as as many moments of self care as they can. And to, take as much responsibility for their own wellbeing as they can when they can. So, yeah.
Liz Clifton: Yeah. I love that. Thank you so so much. Thank you.
Mindy Gulas: Really great to be able to connect with you and thanks for including me in this.
Liz Clifton: Absolutely. My pleasure. Yeah. They're wonderful expertise. So really, really grateful for you for sharing them with us today.
Mindy Gulas: All right. Thank you. Take care.