We had the good fortune of connecting with Bonnie Wallace and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bonnie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I used to be a workaholic- working 75+ hours a week. I know now that that was a trauma response and was tightly wound around my beliefs around my self worth. I had a belief that if I didn’t work myself (into sickness), then I was not worthy of being loved or recognized as a valuable person.
I have since healed my limiting beliefs about myself, and my identity is not so tightly wound up in how much I work, and I am now focused on quality or quantity. I have learned more about my own natural capacities as it pertains to work load, productivity, social interactions and relationships; and I honor those capacities because I understand that sustainability and longevity is the goal- instant gratification is a trap and can contribute to burnout.
Similar to the tortoise and the hair analogy, slow and steady wins the race. Why? Because slow and steady gives you space to be present to what is happening in your mind and body along the way- and be attentive to those signals so as to prevent disease and dysfunction down the road. American society really does not give us space to take care of ourselves- guilt and shame are prevalent in the work force. If you’re not working yourself into sickness- then you are lazy. It’s a ridiculous standard and as a society we need to closely examine the projected outcome of this type of approach to work/life balance, and determine if that outcome is still in line with all the dreams we have for ourselves and future generations.
Boundaries are such an important piece to work life balance. Setting and keeping boundaries with yourself, your boss, your employees, your colleagues, your partners, your parents, etc. Boundaries are an absolute necessity for sustainable health and longevity. When our health and longevity is prioritized, we see that ripple affect throughout every aspect of our lives, but also into our community and the world because if we are feeling well- thriving even- then we are that much more able to share our innate gifts with the world, contributing to collective growth and healing.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My focus as an Ayurvedic medicine counselor, yoga teacher and holistic chef is on the connection between our gut and mental health. I have battled with CPTSD, anxiety and depression most of my life, and have diligently sought out holistic therapies and education that addresses the interconnected web of our physiological, psychological and spiritual well-being. Through these holistic and root-cause sciences, I have reconnected with the inherent healing power within myself, and helped dozens of people on their own healing journey with chronic gut health and mental health issues.
The biggest lesson I have learned on my own healing journey and as a holistic health practitioner, is that the ability to heal is not outside of you. In fact, looking for healing outside of you could be perpetuating the cycle of suffering. This is not to say that therapists, guides, healers, teachers, doctors, etc should not be sought out- they absolutely should- because we can only heal to the extent that our reality and our experiences let us, and very often we need help seeing beyond our limited perceptions. But ultimately- your ability to heal is within you and cannot be taken away, or even given to you. You can be supported in remembering this truth- but ultimately, you have the power. It’s a matter of utilizing various practices and therapies to access that power that already exists and wants to flourish within you.
I want the world to know that if you have ever been dismissed by traditional medicine as it relates to your gut or mental health, or disappointed in how you are treated- that there is still hope. There are so many more options. My goal as a practitioner is to provide accessible solutions under one umbrella- either from myself, or from one of the many other functional medicine and holistic practitioners that I work with. I want your search for comprehensive mental, physical and spiritual health to be addressed under one roof- because they are not separate and the longer we treat them separately- the more we will continue to see a disconnect in the integration and embodiment of various therapies.
Most of us are aware of the mental health crisis, and that all disease and health starts in the gut. Healing your gut through the timeless wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine and Tantra, is the solution to unlocking the secrets of massive power inherent within you: The power of self-healing and transformation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Classic historical park- Wheeler Farm American-Spanish fusion cuisine-Copper Onion
Ramen- Toshs Ramen
Pho- Pho Saigon
Bubble tea- 7buddha
Indian Food- Great India
Science, tech and art museum- The Leonardo
Hiking-The Bonneville trail
Contemporary art- UMOCA
Coffee at Alpha Coffee or Sunset coffee
World imports- Dancing Cranes
Yoga- Lila studio
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My teacher, Mary Johnston-Coursey! This women is phenomenal and is one of the biggest gifts I have ever received in this life. I am incredibly lucky to have found her and to be have been able to work so closely with her for nearly a decade. I have a high level of discernment when it comes to teachers/mentors, and I have spent a lot of time and money over the years looking for good support systems- and most of them fall short. Mary JC surpasses any and all silly subconscious tests I have for my teachers, as she works clearly and genuinely from her heart- and is a master in her field. Her ability to transmit the esoteric and lofty spiritual teachings of yoga therapy and tantra in an articulate, safe, and accessible manner is a quality of immeasurable value.
Other: Tiktok: bonnie_gene_wallace
Ethan Killian, Alexia Turner