Thursday, July 27, 2017

Interview With Director Heather Balise

Heather Balise


Longmont, CO

I used to be on the other side of this, the one doing the interviews. Most of the time it was school stuff, blogs, online newspapers. I've always thought that people are more similar than different, and I've been really curious about what happens when people come together when (for example) they travel. You get all kinds of people who travel, and some people are really good at it and some are not. I was mainly curious about the secret...How do some people integrate and others never let their wall down?
What did you want to be as a child?
An actor.
How did you know?
I must have been about 3. I loved movies, I loved plays, I wanted to do what they did. I remember watching the movie Annie and wanting to be her. My mom explained to me that this was an actor, a little girl who plays the part. When I started school we did Christmas pageants, and that sealed my love for acting. 

My parents, while they loved and supported my passion for acting, were concerned that would be a poor career choice for me. So I went to school for English, but duel majored in performing arts. All other choices ended up being geared toward acting. I was always doing plays, always doing theatre. That crowd was my crowd. 

Looking back, I didn't need a degree in performing arts to do what I wanted to do in the theatre. 
If my son wanted to be an actor, this is what I would say to him.

"Go to college, because college is a good place to grow up. You don't have to be a theatre major to do everything you want to do. Get into the theatre department at your school. Get a degree in something else though. So you can have that to support you while you are out there auditioning, learning the ropes, and making the connections."
Do you have advice for someone who is curious about theatre and would like to give it a try?
Just do it! Go audition! You can take classes in acting, but you don't need a whole scholastic career behind it. I've learned more from just doing than I have from reading, writing, or attending classes in school.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you to do what you love?
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” - Thomas Edison
This reminds me that failure is part of the process, he didn't succeed right away. 
How long have you been involved with the theatre?
The first ever show I was part of, I was in 1st grade. So that would be 34 years. 

How has theatre affected the way you live your life?
Wow, that's a big question. It has shaped most aspects of my life! Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an actor. So, as an adult I moved to LA and I was there for 7 years. I heard many times that when you move to LA or NY, you will struggle for 10 years before you start having a career.
I never had the patience or the confidence for that. I went out to LA with a whole lot of enthusiasm and learned that I also didn't have the constitution for it. It wore me down. If I went out there now, I could do it. But in my 20s, I was too fragile and too sensitive. I took every rejection personally. I actually had some success, but I would compare myself to others who had more success than me. 
Ultimately, I left and moved back to Colorado, where I was born. 

All aspects of performing arts is something that I am very passionate about; acting, directing, writing, production. I will never stop being part of it. For me, when it wasn't a competition anymore (to make a living out of it) I could love it and be truly passionate about it again. 
Theatre lifts me up. 
It gives me a lot of joy. It is something I can do on my own terms. 
Being involved with community theatre has deeply impacted my life...I had a tiny part in Taming of the Shew a couple of years ago. Met so many good people, so many friends, and even met my husband! 
I had a blast!
Everyone gets nervous. 
Being nervous means you care. It matters to you. 
If it doesn't matter to you, then why do it?
 It takes a lot of courage to go out there and trying something that is out of your box. 
When you are in need of inspiration, where do you turn?
For acting inspiration, I turn to my tribe or go see a great movie. Biographies are also a huge source of inspiration for me. I seek out people who have the courage to go out and do what they want to be doing. It is proof that if you really want to do something, you can! 
What are some of your pet-peeves when directing?
Lateness: Do not be late! It interrupts the rest of the cast and is rude.
Drama: People who use theatre as a venue to dump their problems.
Bullying: Talking behind someone's back.
Wasted time: Actors who make it all about themselves and take time away from the other actors. 

If someone is courageous enough to go out for an audition, could you give some advice regarding things to avoid or things to strive for? 
Anything a director gives you ahead of time is a gift. Use it.

Be prepared: Know what you are auditioning for, read the play (or a synopses), know the characters you are auditioning for ans the characters you are auditioning with.
Monologue: If you are asked to do a monologue, practice it. Even consider filming yourself when practicing, you'll learn so much and be able to see exactly what the director sees. 
Follow Instructions: Most of the time you will be given written instructions before an audition, follow them.
Ask questions: Most directors would rather you ask than not. It shows that you care, you're paying attention, you're curious, you're interested in the director's vision, and you're intelligent. 
Learn to be direct-able: Be open to the director making suggestions in the audition and trying new ways of doing your monologue. 
Be unique: Don't choose a monologue that everyone else is choosing (I've heard a thousand Juliettes). 
In the details: Don't use props that aren't absolutely essential. Try to leave as much of your stuff out of the audition room as possible.
Be Confident: Treat it like a job interview. Treat it like you are qualified and ready to do that job. If you come in apologizing and with a defeated attitude, you'll convince your casting director you aren't the one for the job before you've even begun.

What I'm looking for in an audition:
30-40% is how well you act

What I want to see is someone who comes in prepared, with a positive attitude. 

Come out to see Heather's most recent project!

Free summer Shakespeare!
Spoiler Alert...I'm in the play!

Connect with Heather
Taste of Shakespeare 

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Do you know a courageous Colorado woman you could nominate to be interviewed for this project? 

Send me a message!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Interview and photo shoot with photographer Laura Woody

Laura Woody

Business Owner 

Longmont, CO

Can you tell me a little about your childhood? 
I grew up in a very small town in Kansas. I had a little sister born with I was 7, and she was a big part of my everything. I was home-schooled from fourth grade through high school. I remember lots of reading with my mother, and time for us to think and create. Quiet time. 
I'm one of four kids, and I'm more inclined to try different artistic elements. It just didn't have the same appeal to my siblings.
Since we lived in such a small town, we got to just go and explore and roam. The church bells would go off at 6pm and that's when we had to go home. It was that kind of childhood. There were lots of friends in town and we would ride our bikes, and run, and explore, and play. We spent a lot of time outside. 
How did you become interested in photography?
It has always appealed to me. I bought a camera when I first started working after college, but I didn't really learn how to use it. I mostly shot automatic or semi-automatic settings. I liked it and I was told that I took really nice pictures. I thought that was cool and told myself that one day I would learn how to really use my camera. Then after my oldest was born, that's when I got frustrated with using only the automatic settings. 
Here I had this tiny little baby that barely moved and I couldn't get her in focus. That's when I took my first class, she was about 3 months old. From there...I think obsessed is the right word. I just couldn't stop. I kept reading, and kept exploring, and kept taking classes. 
I got the point where my camera wouldn't work for what I wanted anymore, I had a little Cannon Rebel. Shortly after my first class is when I bought a full frame camera. I was pretty sure I was going to stick with this hobby and I didn't want to outgrow another camera quickly. From there I actually started doing shoots for other people fairly quickly, within another 6 months or so. 
I had not really intended to have a business.
Let's back up.
Before I had kids, I was an auditor for the Colorado Department of Labor for 5 years. So when someone wanted to pay me to take pictures for them, I just had to do it legally. I couldn't just say, "Sure!" and put $50 in my pocket. 
So I set up the accounts and I got the tax ID. It was one of my biggest pet peeves for years that people would act like they were surprised that after being successful in a business and they didn't know the rules applied to them too. 
Over and over with the audits, 2 years in is when someone would realize they have a problem because they hadn't thought about bookkeeping yet. 
So right from the very beginning I set it all up. I put myself out there, and it has grown from there.

What did you go to college for?
My degree is in Economics. I had a minor in Accounting and a minor in Business. I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it. I graduated in one of the worst economies, 2008. So I was pretty dang desperate, and I got a job as an auditor so that what I became. It's probably not what I would have gone out looking for, but I liked some things about it. Especially the educational component, with that I had satisfaction. Helping business owners learn the rules, and how to report, and what to do. 
There are so many components that go into starting a should I register it, do I have employees, do I have sales tax, what's my legal entity??
How does participating in 365 help or challenge your photography? 
(This is Laura's 3rd year participating in a 365 challenge...a picture a day!)
It's been a huge game changer for me. When I go back and look, the first stuff I did was in 2015. When you are shooting everyday, it is really easy to get bored with pictures of your kids smiling. So you look for different angles, you look for different light, you look for different. It pushes you to see more. 
Or you feel really bored with taking pictures only in your house, so you take your camera with you! You take pictures at the grocery store. It always feel really silly in the moment and I always feel really self conscious taking pictures with my kid in the cart. But then I go back and look at them...she was so little, and she was bouncing in the cart, and so so cute. Now they are some of my favorite pictures. 

The day to day moments are so beautiful, and it is so easy to just get parts of it. 
How did you get over feeling self conscious taking your camera with you in public?
Slowly. Now it has been a couple of years so I don't feel so weird about it. I'll just whip it out at Target and hope nobody walks around the corner! 
I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable with a photo shoot in the cereal aisle! So I usually take just a couple of frames of whatever it is that caught my eye. 
At the beginning I would go early in the day, when grocery stores are not as busy. So there would be less of a chance that someone would look at me funny. I have less issues with feeling self conscious when someone else is with me, with another adult participating or talking to me I don't feel as conspicuous. The more you do it the easier it'll be. You see people taking pictures all the time, it is just usually with their cell phone. So I know I'm not the only one who wants to take pictures of their kid in a cart...I'm just the only one at Target with a big DSLR camera! 
Its so easy to compare yourself to to other people.
That's it, the fear of failure for most people. That voice in your head that tells you you're no good.

What do you do with that voice?
It depends on the day. I think everyone has that voice to some degree.

Some days I feel like a fraud and wonder what I'm doing, when I see other people's beautiful work. Sometimes I just need to take some deep breaths and take a step back. I tend to kind of obsess about things, and run it and run it and run it and run it. Those times I have to take a very conscious step back and just play with the kids an let it go for a coupe of days. Knowing that these issues will come and will go, and that they are just a part of life. Putting yourself out there brings up the fear and comparing.

Sometimes, with photography, if I'm really worked up about client stuff, if I can just let that go for a day I remember why I love it. Instead of obsessing about an issue, I might just have fun and play with my camera, try a new lens, take the kids to a new location...all this helps me remember why I love it. 
Logistics question for your business, since you have 2 little kids...When do you edit? When do you do your bookkeeping work?
When I can. Mostly in the evening. Also, a lot of mornings now. When the younger one takes a nap and the older one gets an hour of TV. It is nice to know I have that solid hour to get work done. I can respond to all the emails, hopefully get some editing done, or focus on whatever needs to get done that day. On the weekends too, I'll get a couple of hours here and there.
There is not a fixed schedule, which I've been struggling with a little bit. Since I've gotten a bit busier, I've been telling myself that I should set that up so time for work is consistent so I don't feel overwhelmed. 
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you're faced with what is sitting there and you're not sure when you can work on it. 

Without childcare, I realized that I can't take more than 1 or 2 sessions a week. Creatively, that's a good number for me too. 
I don't know what the future looks like, or what I will do when the girls are in school. I've thought about hiring childcare one morning a week to just focus on my business, I haven't done that yet. 
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I'm doing my first video project! I'm loving videography!
This is another creative courage struggle. I wonder if I am really ready to offer this to someone else, I don't know. It is very different shooting video for someone else. I usually shoot videos of my kids. I know them and they know me, and if they don't like it, that's ok. 
Now I threw it in with one of my upcoming newborn sessions, I'm going to do a video newborn project. She is a friend too, so it was nice to ask if they would like to be guinea pigs. I'm excited about it!
So now this opens a whole new can of I want to offer video, would it be included with a session, separate from a session? If I offer one, am I ready to offer more? Should I build up a portfolio before offering? Should I just offer it? Would it add an extra hour of time?
There is a lot to puzzle out. I love the video and I'm excited to start figuring it out.

Did you have a photography mentor? 
My parents really supported and encouraged creative thinking when we were growing up. My mom is a really creative person. It always excited her that I wanted to learn these creative things. I've learned so much from her too...the creative approach, how to look at a challenge, and how to know if what you are creating has potential. 
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you to do what you love?
"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” - Elliott Erwitt

What tool object or ritual could you not live without in your day?
I don't want to say the obvious one, but I really am going to say the obvious camera!

When you need inspiration where do you turn?
I'm in a lot of online photography groups. We challenge each other. For example, use an unconventional lens inside, shoot only 5 frames today and they need to be intentional, shoot from a weird angle. Challenges can be really fun to jump start some creativity. 

If you'd like to learn more about photography, Laura has shared some of her favorite resources!

Connect with Laura Woody

Connect with Sunshine Revival

PS: See more of Laura's photos in my About tab!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Interview & Studio Tour with Artist Julie Benoit

Julie Benoit

Masters in Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art
Native of Baltimore
Currently in Longmont, CO
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Oh goodness, I wanted to be a teacher. I always wanted to teach art. I went to college for my bachelors and I was an art education major and a year in I decided that I wanted to be an artist, so I switched it up. I think I'm going to go back to school this summer (if I can get someone to watch my kids for me) to teach Montessori. So, now 41 years later, I am going to do what I said I was going to do when I was tiny. Teach. 

I also entertained the idea of becoming a vet.
It sounds like you've been interested in art and teaching since you were a child. Did your parents encourage that?
They didn't exactly encourage it, but I was one of six kids. I used creating and art as a way to get away from the hustle of a busy family. If they were watching something I didn't want to watch, I'd go sit by myself and make something. 
When I was going away to college, my dad said that he wouldn't pay for me to go to art school because he thought I'd never get a job. After high school, I completed my AA degree then took two years off to start a dog walking business in Baltimore (which I still have). After the two year break from school, I was back in college working toward my bachelors. At that point he didn't really care what I was going to school for, just that I was back in school. So I earned a bachelors in fine arts, and I kept my dog walking business. When I went to get my masters, my dad didn't understand why I wanted to go back to school. He said, "You have a great dog walking business. Why would you want to get your masters?" The whole thing switched, which was kind of funny!
Even now, my dad is funny, he has these big ideas of paintings I should make. I tell him he should take an art class and HE can make his idea.
It sounds like you had an inner drive to create art. Making seemed like a sanctuary or refuge for you. 
Yes, totally. When I was in high school there was this guy named Angel who was the most amazing illustrator. He drew the most amazing people and characters, they were always really dark and I was so impressed by his skill. I was never that kid. Once I figured out where I was good, then it all made sense for me. It was fun being back in school for my bachelors after taking a few years off, because I was a print making major and I was the first print making major in 9 years at my liberal arts school. I felt like being a masters degree, since I was the only print making major I didn't have structured classes. I had a lot of direct instruction and independent studies from professors. So I spent a lot of time printing and figuring out my voice. 
What called you to the idea of being a teacher?
I always liked kids. I have even taught at a university in Baltimore. I just really like learning, and learning from other people. My favorite method of teaching is an active environment to learn, my students would teach me many things. I have a desire to learn and to suck it all in, and then share the things you learn. 

How has teaching art affected your own art?
I feel like I've learned so much from my students. When I was teaching art, I would always give projects based on things I was interested in learning more about. Then it became a large research project, it's always worked that way and has been so fun!
I see the sparkle in your eyes when you talk about teaching.
Totally, yes! It is so fun! 

In moments of self doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
So, grad school kind of ruined me as far as art goes. It jaded the heck out of me. I was making decorative work and I got stuck with a very conceptual mentor. Grad school made me think, and over think, and think even more about what I was doing and why I was doing it. It got to the point where it took the fun out of making art. But now I can look back on the work that I was producing during grad school and learn from it. 

To answer your question, keep doing whatever it is that you want to be doing. Even if you're making crap, or total crap, and even if you think it doesn't make sense. Whatever that thing is, keep doing it. Because it might not make sense now, but when you look back 1 year, 5 years, 10 years from now you might find the answer. Just keep making, you're making for a reason. Even if you never show it to people, you're doing it for the process.

Looking back at all the work I did from youth, through bachelors, through masters, to now, I feel like I've come full circle with my art.
It feels good. The work that I'm making now, I'm making it just to see where it takes me and leads me. Not a set purpose. That feels good after the contrast of being jaded after grad school and feeling like I was done with art being so elite and brainy. Now I'm making quilts to be hung on the wall, and it feels really good. I actually emailed my old professor picture of quilts I made for my girls, thinking that he would hate them because they are not conceptual, but he really liked them. I'm really excited about them too, I want to make them and I look forward to it. It feels good to be making something and being productive. 

When you get ideas for new art pieces, what form do they take? 
I feel like there is a little mason jar in my brain with ideas. When I get an idea I throw it into the jar. Sometimes I'll sketch things out or draw on a napkin when an idea comes, especially when I'm with my kids I sketch on whatever is handy. I'll tack them up or throw them in a drawer. Recently, I've been using index cards to jot things down because they're quick and easy to keep around. 
Making these quilts is a lot of math, which has been really fun. I'm constantly working with numbers and fractions, it is so exciting to me! I refuse to use any kind of pre-made pattern in my quilts, so I go through a lot of trial and error. For example: I try to figure out how to make as many triangles as I can, with as few cuts, that are all the same size, or how to make these 45 degree angles. It has been really fun.
When you are in need of inspiration, where do you turn?
I look at fabric often.
Mostly I find inspiration by taking a break, going outside, going to stores, playing with my kids. I love fabric, and patterns, and colors. Inspiration could even be found going to a store and seeing a pattern on clothing that might give me an idea. I also love the simple patterns that exist in nature. 
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you to do what you love?
"Walk so slowly the bottom of your feet become ears." Pauline Oliveros

What tool, object or ritual could you not live without in your day?
My eye sight and a pencil. My awareness is important; looking and listening vs seeing and hearing. 
Presently, what is your artistic intention? Your current calling?
I want to create this body of little wall hangings. This mathematical problem solving is the intent. I'm following what feels good and what is fun. 
It feels fresh to be making work that I don't have to over conceptualize and be overly theoretical about. 
After grad school I decided that I was only going to make work if it was fun. I went on to teach my art students that lesson as well. 

If it is not fun, don't do it. 
Life is too short to spend time on something that isn't fun or interesting. 

Connect with Julie

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Please share this interview!
Read more about my project here and send me a message to nominate a woman you know who is living their true intention.

I love seeing what is on an artist's desk...enjoy some more images from Julie's home studio!

Keywords: studio tour, artist studio, art space, home studio, art interview, following passion, art teacher, fiber artist, quilting art, interview, female artist, pursuing passion, living with intention, girl boss, female business owner, art school

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Interview and yoga studio tour with Shauna Hylenski

Shauna Hylenski

Professional dancer
Certification in elementary education
Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours
Massage Therapist

Longmont, CO

Opening her own yoga studio on April 10, 2017!
Join her for an entire day of FREE classes on Saturday April 15, 2017!

Shri Studios

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a dancer.
Dancing was a huge part of my life, I started when I was 5. I knew right away that it was the thing I wanted to do all the time, I didn't want to do anything else. By the time I was in high school I didn't have time to be in clubs or get into much trouble, because of dance, which was a good thing. I was dancing every single day, and was teaching at that point. I love working with kids and started teaching kids at the dance studio I was connected with. 
Being able to express myself with movement connected me to who I was. I was also very shy, speaking in front of people was challenging for me. I would blush, which was one of my "big tells" and I didn't hide my feelings very well (I still don't). Blushing would cause me to shut down and not want to put myself out there because everyone could read exactly how I was feeling. But when I danced, I never felt that way. I never felt shy, I never blushed, I never felt embarrassed. I just moved and I just was. 
It was always my dream to dance and teach.

Where did you grow up? 
I grew up in upstate New York, and I went to college for dance in Virginia. My husband and I met in college, he is from the East Coast too.

How did you find your way to Colorado?
My parents were both teachers and would take us on summer trips. The summer when I was 9, my parents took us to Colorado Springs to visit with family friends. I loved it! I told them that when I grew up I was going to live in Colorado and have two dogs, just like you. 
I had forgotten saying that. 
When my husband and I graduated college, we decided to move to Colorado because we thought it would be great. We literally drove out here with a JUST MARRIED sign on the back of our car and all of our belongings packed in the back of an Isuzu Trooper!
When we got married and moved out here and bought this house and got two dogs, she called me and said, "Are you kidding?!" She reminded me of my childhood dreams. 

I read that you lived overseas for many years. Can you tell me more about that time?
We first went to Japan in 2003. Before we moved to Japan, we were living in this house with our two dogs. I had a massage business and my husband was doing programming work. At one point we looked at each other and said that this was an awesome life for us...10 years from now. Let's go do all the things that we've always wanted to do! If we don't go now, it will be harder. I was 28 when we moved to Japan.
We ended up getting connected with an organization called Peppy Kids Club. They are based out of Japan and that's how we decided to move there. We sold a bunch of stuff, packed up the rest, rented out the house, got the dogs to a good friend, and left. 
It was a HUGE culture shock! Thankfully, the organization was great and had an orientation where they taught us how to shop and use the public transportation.
We worked in little one room schools. We'd go to one school for one week, then another school for another week. We would move around quite a bit. We had a blast!

You and your husband took such a big step and moved to another country! Where did that courage come from?
When I was growing up, I knew someone who went and worked overseas as a teacher. It made an imprint on me. I never knew anyone who did that.
I don't like to go and visit a place, I'm not the type of tourist to skim the surface. If I go, I want to know a place and know the culture.
Looking back on that time, it was pretty awesome. Something we had always wanted to do.

After living in Japan for a year, we traveled to South Korea. We love it and decided to move. It was very real, not all all pretty and beautiful everywhere like in Japan. After South Korea, we traveled all through southeast Asia. I went to India by myself, and this was the first time I had traveled alone. I went to study yoga.
I started teaching yoga in Japan, just from my own practice and with the experience of taking classes in the US at yoga workshops. When we were in Japan, there was no-one to teach yoga. I found a community center and they invited me in to teach yoga classes. After doing that, I knew that this is what I wanted to dedicate myself to. 
I went to Thailand for quite some time to study yoga traditions there, I also went to Lao and Malaysia to study, and then I traveled to India. When I was in India I was able to absorb and learn. I was doing a lot of searching, and felt I needed someone to show me who I was. No-one told me who I was, I just kept getting mirrors. They were telling me, "You know who you are." 
You don't need to go to India to discover who you are. Don't get me wrong, it was a great trip and I'm glad I went! But the revelation of answers that I thought I was going to find there was really just with me. I packed it with me.

Everything that I have read about you seems to have a similar message...empowering students to help them find their own true nature.
Yes, it is one of my main missions.
So often people will dim their own light and look to others to validate or show them who they are. Or look for a teacher to teach them all they need to know. The role of a teacher is not to orchestrate the unlocking, it is to slide the key. You give the tools and the student will know that they will be there when they are ready to use them. I feel really driven to share that with people.
I love to hold up the mirror that so many of my teachers held for me, "See you, you are here, know how amazing you are."

You have built this beautiful studio on your property, and are inviting the community in to your space which is part of your home. How does that feel and what does home mean to you?
We've lived so many different places and I have never been very attached to a place that I must return to as a home. I have always been more connected to the people that are with me. My husband and I create home wherever we are because we weren't anywhere for a long time. 
I had a home based massage practice in 2005, and I loved it. I loved sharing my home with my clients and to be able to connect with people felt so special.
So having my yoga studio at our home feels perfect. I'm really so glad I decided to go this route, rather than rent a commercial space. This studio is for other people to enjoy this space of connection, to awaken this light inside of themselves, understand this truth of who they really are, and ultimately allow this transformation to effect not just themselves but then send it out there. 

Can you talk about the meaning behind the name Shri Studios?
For a long time I was connected to the name Yoga Tribe, it is what I used when I was teaching in South Korea. I had the corner market on the English speaking yoga teacher thing, I taught to a lot of ex-pats. I ended up working out of my own apartment because working out of a studio there was too complicated. Yoga Tribe was a name that I carried with me.
As I grew my own practice, I realized that the name Yoga Tribe felt too limiting because I want to incorporate other movement and meditation. So I tried to cut the tethers to that name, which had been with me for a long time, and be open to other ideas. 
The word shri is connected to the goddess Saraswati. She embodies an intention of grace and light, she also represents an abundance of wealth that she can unlock within us. She brings with her a clarity of focus, when you invite an abundance into your life then there needs to be a clarity of what it is that you are inviting. 
The name of my studio was a total shower moment. My email for many years was shrishauna. One day I was playing with words when thinking about a studio name and said to myself, "Shri. What about shri?!" My husband is my sounding board and so I called him right away. He loved it! He thought we needed something else besides just shri, "How about Shri Studios?" I loved it! He was on it and registered the domain right away! 
There is flexibility with the name that I love. Many of my yoga teachers are shortening the name and saying, "I'm teaching at Shri. Come see me at Shri." I love that!

In moments of self doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
I first connect in my body and breath. 
The last few months have been really challenging, getting ready to open a new business. Challenge, navigate. Challenge, navigate. 
When I'm at my best, I feel the thing that connects me and allows me to widen is connecting into my body and breath. I'll move my body in a way that reminds me there is physical connection, and reminds me that I'm not all in my head. At the very least, I'll take a few deep breaths. Expanding my perspectives.
I'm 41 and my perspective is wider than it used to be. As I've gotten older, the things that used to really freak me out don't bother me as much. I don't get freaked out as much anymore. Through my life experiences I can see that it is temporary. Challenges don't completely pull the rug out from under me anymore.
My husband is so great for that too, he is super pragmatic and not so emotional. He can help me break it down into logical steps, and take things out of a heightened emotional state (if that is what is going on). My sister is so helpful too, she and I are really close. She lives in New Jersey, we talk on the phone and she is really helpful in sorting out what is happening. My daughter is an amazing spirit, she is probably the most grounded person in this family. She is really beautiful and fantastic and loving. She will just be there for you if you need it.
I'm feeling so lucky and blessed to have all of those resources. My first line of defense are those resources. 

I've noticed that whenever you talk about your husband you get this special sparkle in your eye.
He is amazing. He made this! [points to studio] When I think about it I get teary. He has spent every weekend working here. He is the kind of guy who doesn't get emotional about stuff and doesn't spend his time on things he doesn't think is worthwhile. 
There have times when I really doubt what I'm doing here, starting this business. Then I think that he wouldn't be spending this much time if he didn't believe in me. He has been promoting me to do this since we lived in Korea. I tried to start at a community center there, but it didn't work out and the idea got shelved. When we came back to Colorado, I was working at 7 different studios. He kept encouraging me to do this, open my own studio. I had doubt about running the business and finances and PNL sheets. He said we can hire people to help, but I need to follow this.
Yeah, that guy. We've been together since I was 18 years old. We've gone through so much life together. Sometimes we make each other nuts, but we just know each other so well. 

Do you have a favorite quote or saying that 
inspires you to do what you love?

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi 
"Wherever you go, there you are." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

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