I Had to Learn to Be Selfish

As moms, we understand the importance of self-care, and we are here to help busy moms like you find time to prioritize your wellness. Our hope is that you feel encouraged and equipped to value and prioritize nutrition, self-care, fitness and a healthy body image through these personal stories from experts in the fitness industry in our ongoing Health & Fitness Series.

I love people. 

I am your typical ENFJ personality type, with emphasis on the “E” – Extrovert.  And, I love parties.  My first word was balloon.  There’s a reason why the home I grew up in is nicknamed “Kamp Klohs.”  Most people think it’s because of the lake, rope swing, zip line (yes – zip Line! If Crunch can have one, why can’t the Klohs?), when the real reason we got nicknamed Kamp Klohs was because my parents believed that life is about bringing people together and making memories.  And I thrived in this environment.  Being the party planner, the entertainer, the fun coordinator.  Like I said, I love people.

This personality type has allowed me to succeed in my two professions: a publicist and a yoga instructor.  In these two professions, you are constantly surrounded by people, trying to communicate effectively, tell a compelling story, and pouring out energy physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Our only choice is to always be “ON,” positive, the go-to problem solver, the guru.  I not only love people, but I love helping people, and I love being their cheerleader.  That’s how my company got its name – Cheer PR.  I’m your biggest cheerleader!
 
I Had to Learn to Be Selfish | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 
I remember driving home from my 3rd grade conference in our Buick Park Avenue and I asked my parents how I did.  Their response was, “Great! But you need to stop talking in class.”  I was confused because I always followed the teachers directions and didn’t think I talked too much?  Then my parents clarified, “When you are done with your work, you need to stay quiet until everyone is done.  It’s very nice of you to ask, ‘How is your day going?’, ‘Want to borrow my markers?’, and ‘Can I help you with that problem – you almost got it!!’ But you need to let your fellow classmates do their own work.  And we are very proud of you for always wanting to share and help others.”
 
Intuitive people in my life have picked up on that I am constantly giving to others.  When we live in a very selfish world where people are constantly talking about themselves, needing to post selfies on Instagram, and thinking everything revolves around them, it is a trait that we see less and less of.  I was proud of myself for helping others, but was it too much?  Was me focusing on other people hindering my ability to be my best self?  Did I lose sight of who I was and what I wanted?
 
It wasn’t until I was in Yoga Teacher Training, and meditated for the first time, that I was not only able to focus on the present moment, but also truly focus on myself.  While helping others is great, I would take on their pain, their emotions, their thoughts, and I would allow it to consume me.  I struggled with boundaries.  I struggled with saying no.  I am your ultimate people pleaser.  My husband would tease me by saying, “Caroline, you aren’t Mother Theresa, you cannot fix everyone.”  In all reality, he wasn’t teasing.
 
I Had to Learn to Be Selfish | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 
Thank god for yoga.  It not only made me physically strong, but it gave me permission to focus on myself.  This is an act of self-love, self-care, and IT’S NOT SELFISH.  It’s absolutely necessary.  Meditation made me realize that it’s not healthy to wake up and only think about other people.  That’s what I was doing.  Every Morning!! “Who do I need to call today?”, “How can I help them?”, “What is going on in their life?”, “I’m so worried about them.”  When in realty, some people don’t want to be helped.  Some people are taking advantage of you.  And people can only meet you as deeply as they’ve met themselves.
 
I fell in love with yoga.  The movement.  The music.  The challenge.  The stillness.  The intensity.  The sweat.  Everything.  So much so, I became a certified Yoga Instructor.  The journey of yoga teacher training allowed for me to become more physically, spiritually, and mentally aware.  Yoga allowed for me to heal, to become more honest, to practice self-acceptance and love.
 
Fast forward 10 years… I’m now a home-owner, a dog-mom, married, and just gave birth to my first child.  I truly have everything I’ve ever wanted.  (Except the peeing my pants, but we’ll talk about that later.)  So, that part of me constantly wanting to give and help others was perfect in me becoming a mother.  I found joy in being pregnant. I was so present and calm while delivering my baby that our nurse complimented me, and I had absolutely no problem hibernating in our condo during the winter and enjoying my newborn while listening to Christmas carols.  This time was no longer about me, it was about my baby and providing her the best possible environment to thrive in.
 
I Had to Learn to Be Selfish | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 
I practiced yoga until the day before I gave birth.  Post birth I did mini meditation sessions while the baby was napping.  Then came time to step back onto my mat again in an actual yoga class.  I was SO excited for this day to come!  I had a husband on paternity leave, a baby who took a bottle, and a mom who knew she had to get back on her yoga mat to be her best self.  I had mentally prepared myself that my practice would be different, that I had to give myself grace to heal, and that a post-baby body wouldn’t be all fit in that mirror.  Forget about me sweating everywhere, having no balance, and not able to do my inversions; my mind was EVERYWHERE.  I could not stop thinking about my baby, my husband, my body.  I’ve never had to work so hard for something that had brought me such joy for over 10 years.  I cried in savasana.  I cried in the shower.  I cried when I got home.
 
Had I taken yoga for granted?  Had I taken my strong, flexible body for granted?  Had I completely lost my mental strength to only focus on my breath and be present?  I got down on myself, and then I was scared.  I knew how much work it was going to take to get me back to where I had been in my yoga practice.  Forget about the physical part of this practice, I had to get back to basics.  People don’t realize the mental strength it takes to practice yoga. I had to learn how to breathe again.  I had to learn how to be fully present again.  I had to learn how to communicate with my body again.  I had to learn how to be selfish again.  Because without me being selfish, I cannot ground myself to establish my breath and focus.  Without me being selfish, I can’t be the best mother to my child. Without me being selfish, I can’t be the best wife to my husband.  Without me being selfish, I can’t be my best self.
 
I Had to Learn to Be Selfish | Twin Cities Moms Blog
 
I went to bed that night feeling very defeated.  After more tears and reflection, I woke up the next morning a little lighter, a little more at peace.  And that is the magical part of yoga.  You are never 100% healed after a yoga class.  There is always something to learn, somewhere to grow, something to feel.  That’s why they call it a practice.  Yoga is a daily conversation you have with yourself, your mind, your breath.  And that is when I felt a little bright light at the end of this tunnel.  I needed to surrender to the practice and be ok being a student again.  I needed to not compare my practice to before I was pregnant and be in the present.  I knew this process of daily practice wasn’t going to be easy, but it was going to be worth it.  After all, if it were easy everyone would do it.
 
So here I am.  Seven months post delivery.  I still love people.  I still love parties.  Still peeing my pants.  And my yoga practice is still a major work in progress.  But, I can tell you this much – I don’t wake up everyday thinking I can fix everything and everyone.  And man, is that refreshing.  I don’t have the time.  Between Mommin’, working, wifing, and staying zen, I got enough on my plate.  The only thing I can control is my health and happiness.  I’m not afraid of saying no.  I’m not afraid to put myself first.  I’m not afraid to be selfish.
 

I Had to Learn to Be Selfish | Twin Cities Moms BlogCaroline found the practice of yoga when she moved to New York City 10 years ago.  Trying to balance a career in Finance, and maintain a healthy lifestyle in the city that never sleeps, she knew that a shift had to occur physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Being a long time competitive athlete and Equestrian, she has always valued fitness and the positive aspects it has to maintain a happy, healthy life.  The day she walked into her first yoga class she was not only challenged physically, but mentally and emotionally.  Through the challenging poses, the empowering words of the instructor, and the beautiful music; a shift occurred.  This shift lead to an amazing journey that forever changed how she looks at the world and her life.

Caroline teaches a powerful, dynamic flow, filled with consciousness of breath and embracing the emotions each posture reveals to you.  She believes in having a positive attitude in life and this is articulated in her teaching through her music, use of words, and ability to connect with students on, and off, the mat.  She wishes to inspire her students both physically and spiritually and allow them to experience the shift that affected her on so many levels.

Caroline was born and raised in Wayzata, MN.  She currently lives on St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis, MN with her husband, William, daughter Gwenyth, and miniature schnauzer, Riley.

Credentials – Caroline received her 200 Hour Yoga Alliance RYT Certification from Pure Yoga NYC, taught by the world renowned, Kay Kay Clivio and Yogi Charu.  She received her 100 Hour Yoga Alliance RYT Mentorship Certification with Loren Bassett, the creator of Bassett’s Bootcamp and PXT Conditioning.

“My goal as a yoga instructor is to instill gratitude, confidence, and love in my students.  Yoga is a never-ending conversation with your body, mind, and soul.  Exploring these 3 elements of one’s life can lead to limitless opportunities and breakthroughs on, and off, the mat.  I hope that every student leaves my class feeling a little bit lighter, more at peace, and know that they are loved.”

 

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