Healthy Healing

I don’t know about you, but the theme of health has woven in and out of my life in different ways for a very long time. My relationship with health has changed just as life changes. There have been ups and downs and honestly a lot of struggles in terms of finding my sweet spot. Most recently I have made some significant career changes with my health being a part of the decision. As I step into a new chapter, I’ve been reflecting on my journey of health so that I can move forward with lessons learned and a new empowered perspective of creating the holistic life that we coach through Moderna Muse. This time, I’m going to do entrepreneurship differently.

The experience of being an entrepreneur has been rewarding beyond my wildest dreams. Simultaneously there have been some hard pills to swallow. The most challenging for me was figuring out how to stay healthy. I assumed that a really high level of health and wellness would be easy to accomplish while owning Pure Barre. Three studios pretty much equates to 24/7 access to a workout for free. But the realities of entrepreneurship hit me hard and fast. I simply was not prepared and I struggled to find the proper adjustments.

Stress is the perfect term to sum up the realities that hit me - not stress in the classic sense of being mentally stressed though. I tend to have an “I can do all” attitude, so that mentality alone has allowed me to overcome a lot of things that would typically be perceived as stressful. My stress came from stretching my endurance too far and not recognizing what was happening. My body gave out.

A few years ago, I was in a place where I was working out regularly and eating really well. I lost about 15lbs. It felt good to be lean, but something was off. I was having strange sensations from the waist down. For example, I would get out of my car, take a couple steps and then I’d have to stop walking because I was on the verge of collapsing. I would go numb in my legs and hips. I knew something was wrong, but I assumed it was exhaustion. After committing to a little more rest, the issues still continued. I went in so many directions with research, doctors and questions. It was frustrating. Eventually, I spoke with a friend about a holistic practitioner. I was willing to try anything at that point to find an answer. It was affecting my ability to work the hours necessary to run the business. I ended up seeing the practitioner and she ordered a full blood panel as well as a saliva test. To my surprise, B12, Vitamin D, Estrogen and my Thyroid were all issues. We started with what was most severe, which was my B12 deficiency. I started with methylated injections and within no time, my numbness was gone. I could not believe the difference in how I felt. She told me that she didn’t know how I was holding on given the severity of the deficiency. The second most severe was Vitamin D. I used to always feel injured and sore. My body ached all the time, and of course I thought it was from being active. Once I started the Vitamin D supplementation, those symptoms went away as well.

This was a HUGE lesson for me. Coming from a sports, health and wellness background, we were taught that it’s all about calories in and and calories out. We were not given the tools to go beyond our consumption and look at factors like deficiencies and hormones. I realized that so many of us can follow the formula to a T, but still feel like crap. And when you don’t feel well, you cannot sustain the work.

I think we as a society are waking up to the need for a holistic approach, but we have a very long way to go. The food and medical industries breed illness in a lot of ways. With all the documentaries on netflix about sugar, fat, and Monsanto, the information is out there. But so many people are missing the access to proper food, education and application. From a medical standpoint, our insurance is designed to address preventative maintenance. But “preventative” is about 5 steps behind true prevention. The fact that breast cancer is readily found in women in their 30s, but insurance won’t cover a mammogram before the age of 40 is a perfect example. The system is broken. The only chance we have of getting way ahead of the curve is taking our personal responsibility to another level, becoming immensely conscious of our bodies and likely spending some out of pocket money to get the help that we need.

The last few months I felt myself going back down a path that seemed too familiar. My body was off and responding to stress again. But the symptoms were different this time. I did not originally address my estrogen or thyroid issue a few years ago, because I like to make gradual changes. I’m also aware that tweaking one thing can cause a shift in another. I wanted to allow my body the time to adjust to the changes. Now that I have observed some different symptoms, I’m back to testing so that I can get my body dialed in. It’s a little frustrating because I know I threw something out of whack due to stress. But now that I have addressed the stress, it is super important to readdress my hormones, especially because I’m close to 40 and considered higher risk for having a future child.

I think we all have our stories, and can attribute issues to countless factors when considering our health and wellness. I think we can agree that calories in and out is a great start, but what we eat, our hormonal makeup and life influences are usually the factors that have to be addressed before we can succeed with a plan. Being truly aligned with your desires in life plays a huge role as well in stress reduction. I’m currently challenged with that task and I’m finding my way daily. I hope that all of you find your way as well and commit to finding the answers that will deliver a breakthrough.

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse

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Connection

Before this summer, I never had much interest in strangers on the Internet.

Before you let your mind go swimming in the gutter, let me clarify. Despite the fact that I grew up with social media and have worked in it deeply for my whole career, I have never been interested in becoming friends with people online. Instagram idolization drives me crazy. I used to wonder why on earth a total stranger would leave a comment on someone else’s page. “Don’t you have real-life friends?” I look at my old judgments and compare them to where I am now, and that old me looks like a petty teenager.

Where I am now, is survival mode. Making it one day to the next doing everything I can to remember that I’m not crazy. That I’m not alone. That people are surviving this tragedy with me, every single day. I experienced my own personal nightmare when I lost my baby girl at full term, and strangers on the internet are saving my life. We’re hanging out in private messages and support groups, validating each other’s feelings, commiserating over how awful this experience is, and lifting each other up in our moments of weakness. Women I’ve never met in person are showing me the deepest level of compassion and understanding I have ever known.

People harp on social media all the time. It’s fake. It’s “me” culture. It’s trashy. And sure, that might be true in many pockets of the web. But social media is also saving lives. It’s carving out micro communities for every experience you could possibly imagine. Baby loss. Terminal illness. Autoimmune disease. Divorce. You name it, there’s a hashtag for it. And I have met some of my very best friends through one of those hashtags: #stillbornstillloved.

One of the most therapeutic outlets I’ve found in my grieving process is writing and sharing about my daughter and the experience of parenting a child who is not here on earth. In putting my heart out into the world, I have received so much love in return. From moms going through the same thing, acquaintances who have related in their own way, and friends from my past who feel reconnected to me through the lessons my daughter is teaching me. So here is the lesson I want to share with you: you don’t need a tragedy to happen to you to let down the walls you’ve put up around your heart. Your people are waiting for you, maybe in the cubicle next to you, maybe in another country behind an iPhone, and maybe in a friend you already know. Life is happening to all of us, every day, in all of its beauty and ugliness and triumphs and challenges. And someone out there needs you just as much as you need them. I held back so much of myself before I experienced my tragedy, and I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

Ask yourself: am I leading with my heart? Am I showing up in the world as the person I need to be? Am I opening up when I want or need support? Am I giving the best of me to the people I know I can help? All of this can manifest in different forms - sharing online, reaching out privately when you sense a connection, being a shoulder for a friend to cry on, allowing your truth to flow in a conversation instead of sticking to the script of pleasantries and social graces. Your most important and impactful connection might just be with one single person. It might be with hundreds or thousands of people. Whatever that connection is, go find it and embrace it. Workshop it, test the waters, and figure out your niche. Seek inspiration from within, and open your eyes to find it around you as well. We have the perfect place for you to start...

We feel so ready to dive into our first supported, group lifestyle challenge through Moderna Muse. For 30 days, we are going to foster connection and inspiration between women seeking more out of life, all through the private, safe space of our Tune In Facebook group. Sense of self, identity, health, nutrition, personal development - we’re going to touch on all of it. We’re going to connect with each other. We’re going to help you see that you are never alone, in any struggle, big or small. We’re all going to help each other turn those struggles into triumphs! 30 days to ride your flow and elevate your life, all for $1 per day. The challenge runs from September 5th to October 4th. Get signed up here, and get ready to find your flow - and maybe your new favorite stranger on the Internet.

Shannon Pike
Executive Brand Curator | Moderna Muse

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Challenged Towards Change

In order to truly change, we have to be aware of where we have been and where we want to go.  The need for change can present itself in many forms; sometimes it’s self-inflicted and other times it is not.  No matter the course, change is not easy. It requires us to think differently and, usually, to utilize skills that we have never tapped into before.  With that said, change almost always results in growth, despite the growing pains. But we often cannot appreciate the value in being stretched until we have reaped the rewards of growth.  

Today my change comes out of transition.  A couple of weeks ago, I sold two thirds of the Pure Barre Studios that I owned.  In many ways those studios have been my external identity in terms of how people know me, especially in Austin, TX.  Most introductions would start with, “This is Rashanna Moss. She owns Pure Barre.” Those introductions have always been flattering because I felt like the person introducing me was proud.  It does feel good to have established a new brand in a competitive fitness city. It also feels good to have defined a new sector of fitness locally, as barre was not on the map in Austin prior.  In contrast, I was equally uncomfortable with those introductions because I don’t like being defined by external brands. Prior to my pursuits with Pure Barre, I was with Nike, which is an amazing company.  My transition from Nike to Pure Barre taught me so much, that I cannot go back to brand identification in the same way. A perfect example was being on flights for business travel and starting conversations with people on the plane.  I always remembered most people assuming I was in college and green. Then as the conversation continued, “Nike” would come out. I always tried to hold that card as long as I could. As soon as “Nike” was revealed, the entire conversation would change.  I was treated differently, and I particularly remember being treated as more of an equal among businessmen at that point. I hated that feeling in a way. I didn’t like the feeling of presenting my resume in order to be accepted as an equal.

That feeling translated again into my Pure Barre world.  Yes, I owned studios, but the tone again would change as soon as the dots were connected.  I opened Pure Barre because I believed in the technique (still do!) and the value of what we created locally among a community of amazing women.  I’m not into Pure Barre because it’s the largest national barre brand, and the same goes for Nike being the largest international sports brand. I love Nike because I understand some of the details behind the scenes.  I respect the science behind Nike’s product and their commitment to innovate and create some of the best products in the world. I have no need to lead with either as my identity. I’m immensely grateful that I understood my identity prior to opening Pure Barre because it allowed me to mostly stay true to myself.  

I say “mostly” because I did fail to take care of myself in the manner that was truly needed.  I definitely sacrificed too much financially and from a health perspective for others. It is ironic because being in health and fitness should mean reaching new heights of wellness, but in a lot of ways entrepreneurship is the ultimate contradiction.  With that said, lesson learned.

All in all, staying true to self and taking lessons learned, as well as being aware of where I came from and where I want to go, is leading me to change.  I have been on an amazing ride and my identity is really strong internally. My passions are my compass and although I love business, I have never been interested in much of the world of capitalism.  I love business because of the stories behind the brands, and the opportunities that they provide for others. I despise the sectors of capitalism that squeeze all opportunity out of the little guys.  I hate greed, lies and bullying. Too many of us have seen too much of that lately and the level at which it’s accepted is disgusting.

I’m ready to take my lessons learned and change the conversation in business towards support, growth, success and positivity.  I’m ready to be a leader who has the space and permission to have truly authentic conversations with a community who is inspired to rise into their potential and passions.  I’m also looking forward to being supported at a soulful level, rather than sacrificing too much of myself. This is a needed pivot and I have never felt more fired up, inspired and excited overall. Cheers to change!  

Rashanna Moss

Rashanna is the Founder and CEO of Moderna Muse and an advocate for leveling up your life. Join the Moderna Muse team for a 30-day guided lifestyle challenge starting September 5th. This online challenge will help you strengthen your body, mindset, and voice. Click the button below for more information.

Rashanna Moss - Moderna Muse