We had the good fortune of connecting with Cari Schaefer, DACM and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cari, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance how has it changed over time how do you think about it?
I started on a health path due to my own health challenges. In looking for solutions to my health challenges I was brought to the practice of holistic medicine. I was in Chinese medical school when I experienced my “health crash.” I was unable to walk more than a few blocks without resting, crying at night in my car because I couldn’t figure out how I was going to find the energy to walk into the house, I had no choice but to cultivate work life balance.
The balance, for me, is between the hours I put in working, relaxing and moving my body in some way. It’s also the balance between relationships, personal time and giving back to the planet, whether that’s through work or other ways.
It’s been a journey, and, I find the more I can create balance for myself, the more my life adjusts around me. I think it’s about boundaries. I set the hours in the week I will work and stick to those hours. I focus not to let my work seep into my personal life as much as possible and visa versa. I am careful to eat right and exercise regularly and notice if my body is trying to tell me I need to adjust something.
Our work culture in America is one of the most imbalanced of the industrialized nations. We’re expected to work all day, sometimes into the night. Our vacation is half or less of places like Europe. People feel guilty or unable economically to take time off, so they revolve their lives and family around work. From a balance perspective this is not sustainable. And ultimately it’s self defeating because we end up depressed, sick or both.
And the pandemic has complicated things. From a health perspective spending hours sitting at a desk, hours looking at screens, with our nervous system in a sympathetic stress mode does not allow our bodies the time it needs to regenerate.
The pandemic has also given us a glimpse into other alternatives. Many of us are spending more time with our families and outdoors, which is good. And, we’ve also all increased our screen time by many levels. We need to take that into account when seeking balance.
I think it’s important to try putting yourself on an electronics break for a day and see how well you succeed. Electronics cause our brain to process huge amount of data. They keep us in a stress state whether we are aware of it or not.
Finding work life balance needs to include finding a healthy balance with our phones and other electronics just as much as it needs to include proper diet or exercise. It is essential for health.
I know for some this can all seem daunting, it certainly is for me at times. That’s why they call it balance. You’ve got to work at it to get the mix just right. And, trust me, it’s worth the effort. I’ve seen some amazing transformations in my patients and in myself when the balance is there.
What should our readers know about your business?
My practice of medicine is different than most. Through my years of my own healing and guiding thousands of others on their healing path, I have seen time and again you can not separate the physical body from the mind and spirit of an individual. It is not possible to create vibrant sustaining health in an individual whom is living out of alignment with their true self.
The amount of life force that courses through a person is directly related to the amount of vibrancy and healing they are able to do. If a person is holding old programs from their childhood that state that they are unloveable in some way, that their is something wrong with them, or if there is anyway they feel less than the truth of who they are this will manifest in their vitality and their heath.
They will make choices in support of those limiting unconscious thoughts and their reality and health will reflect that,
Obviously, this is not the standard orientation for most healthcare providers. Most healthcare providers are looking for the problem to solve, as I did for year. However, if you focus on the problem you get a greater awareness about the problem, not necessarily as deeper understanding of how to create a different experience.
My practices uses labs test, and other standard assessment tools, but the conclusions we come to are different. We are looking for how the person can reclaim their health and vitality, rather than how we can solve the problem.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love nature and so my journey with my friend would be to share with them my favorite nature spots. I love the Santa Ynez trail in Pacific Palisades. It is a gentle hike and yet it offers so much. Beautiful foliage, water at the right time of year, caves to explore and then my favorite spot to sit in LA a giant rock you can basque in the sun on. Another favorite spot I would be sure to take them to would be Red rock canyon in Topanga. It is such a magical place. You feel like you have entered a portal and been transported to Sedona Arizona. And of course we’d be walking along the beach bright and early in the morning.
I love the food in this area. I have yet to be in a place were I could so easily access food that meets my preference. I wrote a book about food called The Food Solution, which I wrote to help people get the chemicals out of the food they are eating. Erewhon market does a beautiful job of offering food that is packaged in glass, organic and fresh. I feel so lucky to have it so close by, so we would definitely be stopping by there, I am also a regular at Kreation cafe for my morning treat of their chocolate lovers smoothie. We’d be certain to not miss that.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Husband Jonathon Barbato, CEO of Best Ever Channels. His never ending ending support makes me able to do all that I do.
Elle Newlands outdoor photos