Rachael Schauer used to be all about the go-go-go of life. The owner of True Earth Yoga talks with Ladyboss about breath work, failing fast, and burnout.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a fiancé , a dog and cat mom, a nature enthusiast, a yoga teacher, a mindset coach, and a wilderness empowerment guide. More often than not, I can be found outside doing the things I love most. My fiancé and I moved from Fargo to Cook County, MN in early 2020 after having lived in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area for years. We moved up north for our love of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and have stayed because of how much fun we’ve had during winter and the great community of folks we’ve met. I love having endless outdoor opportunities right out my front door! We live in a cozy log cabin in the Superior National Forest (Anishinaabe Land) and are a quick drive away from the North Shore of Lake Superior (Gitchi Gami), the Superior Hiking Trail, tons of Minnesota State Parks, a couple National Parks, and (my favorite), the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
How did you get involved in your work?
For those who know me, it’s no secret that I’ve always been an achiever and advocate for the causes I care about. Yet no matter what great work I did or impacts I made, I felt restless. My life was the epitome of go-go-go. Amongst all these involvements and causes I felt so passionate about, I noticed I was losing my sense of self. Even though I cared deeply about the things I was doing, I felt stuck in what I now call surface-level-living.
There are two very distinct life events that opened my eyes to this: 1. Meeting my now fiancé (cue the resounding “awwww”), and 2. My yoga teacher training through Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness
. As I learned to be present, comfortable, and content, I learned a lot about myself. The more I learned about myself and committed to self study, the more and more I was drawn to spend time in nature. Now, at the core of all I practice and offer, I know we can support our greatest resilience and connection with self when we practice self care and spend time in nature. When we spend time in wilderness areas, we get unique access to time with our truest nature within (svarupe, see Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1.3).
You talk a lot about self-care. what does self-care mean to you and how can our Ladybosses practice better self-care in their day to day lives?
Self care is as unique as each and every one of us. In mindset coaching sessions, I guide others to make the MOST of their everyday lives by practicing small, simple shifts in their self care. Even 20 seconds can have a resounding impact on the course of your entire day.
I sincerely believe the following affirmation, “When I control my breath, I control my life.” Everything I teach and guide begins with connecting to our breath, whether that is a yoga class or a wilderness experience. Practicing breath awareness and breath control will give you an amazing sense of resilience and reassurance. With negative emotions, our breath is often the first thing to get out of our control. By taking 20 seconds, two minutes, or 15 minutes out of your day for pranayama (breathing) practices, you increase your overall control over how you react to things you can’t control.
Take a moment RIGHT NOW to connect with your breath. Start by listening to your breath. Then notice where you feel your breath. Allow your inhales to fill and expand your chest, and your exhales to release any tension you may be holding. Continue this for at least four full breaths, or as long as you’d like.
Your breath has immense power and you hold control over your breath. Make. It. Happen. Build breath breaks into your everyday routine, especially when you feel you don’t have time for it.
We’re hearing from a lot of women about experiencing burnout after this last year. How have you avoided burning out this year, or how have you addressed your own feelings of burnout?
Burnout is very real. There isn’t anything wrong with you and it’s not your fault if you’re experiencing burnout or compassion fatigue. With my mindset coaching program, MeaningFULL Moments, I guide folks to dig deeper into those messages our bodies and minds send us. “I’m tired.” and “I’m so stressed out.” can also mean, “I need something. What could I need?” When I feel this way, I remind myself to step back from that situation and ask myself three very important questions:
- How is my breath? I’m going to take four mindful breaths right now before doing anything else.
- What “shoulds” am I holding on to? There are facts and there are thoughts. Which thoughts am I experiencing that feel unhelpful? How can I reframe those to be helpful for me in this situation? **For example, I might change, “I’m so stressed but this needs to get done TODAY.” to “I’m feeling stressed and planned to get this done today. How can I take care of myself AND accomplish this goal I set? I can sit outside for five minutes and then have uplifting music playing in the background while I work on this task.”
- What if? When I’m feeling stressed, afraid, or anxious, I ask myself, “What if____?” What if that deadline isn’t met? Then I answer with real-life possibilities until the unknown is mapped out. Ultimately, I bet it won’t result in the world ending. It hasn’t yet, anyway!
Who inspires you?
My business coach, Rachel Rodgers of Hello Seven Co, inspires the heck out of me! Go check out her book, We Should All Be Millionaires, and empower your mindset and your money! I’m also inspired by my trainer and friend, Carmen Skildum of Lynx Fit in Grand Marais. She constantly pushes me to work harder and believe in my own strength. This absolutely accompanies me from the gym into anything and everything else I grow through.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently?
FAIL FAST. When we’re so attached to perfection and appearing as though we have it all together, we miss out on a heck of a lot of learning, experiences, and opportunities for growth. So what if I offer something in my business and no one signs up. That is no longer a failure to me. I’ve been striving to reframe those unhelpful messages into ones that support me along my journey and I’ve learned that perceived “failure” only pushes me forward.
What do you think women need right now?
Women need to challenge themselves to do hard things outdoors. Ultimately I’d love to say “wilderness areas, with no phone service or amenities” rather than “outdoors” but I don’t want to scare you away 🙂 My time in the backcountry has empowered me to believe in myself and overcome limiting mindset hurdles. There’s nowhere else where you can be completely and totally removed from the distractions of everyday life. You can set your outdoor goal for whatever feels *just beyond* your comfort zone. That might be hiking at a state park, doing a one night camping trip in a tent, or maybe joining me on a True Nature Discovery retreat! Whatever the adventure, you will learn about and connect with your truest, best self and have a memory that will last a lifetime.
To learn more about me or sign up for your next adventure, visit trueearthyoga.com
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