We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Bowser and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think balance can have a unique meaning for everyone. When I was working in the start-up world, I had no balance with my time, my energy, or my emotions. I was giving 100% of me to my job which ultimately led to burn-out. With my company, Liberate, balance is achieved through energy and focus. I spend most of my time working, but the time that I’m not working is given fully to whatever hobby or social activity I’m a part of in that moment. Working as a meditation and mindfulness expert has helped me realize that I can achieve balance through my mindset. Every morning is dedicated to myself through physical exercise and meditation. I don’t think about work until my 3 hour morning ritual is up! Then, no matter how work-heavy my day is, I feel grounded and balanced because I prioritized my well-being first. If there is a day where by 4pm I am mentally tapped out, I give myself the grace of closing the computer and going for a walk, too. I train my mind daily to stay as present and focused as possible which allows every moment to be what it is, just a moment. This way, overwhelming thoughts and stressors stay in balance too, never overpowering my resilience. For me, balance is being in-tune with myself and being able to give myself what I need while simultaneously getting things done.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Liberate is the first mental fitness studio. Our method, which we developed with a Mental Performance Coach, blends mindful movement, journaling, conversation, and meditation to create a dynamic workout for your mind. Our virtual classes and courses empower individuals and teams to build skills like courage, gratitude, and resilience to strengthen collective well-being.
I experienced a lot of anxiety, stress, and loneliness through the inevitable transitions that we go through in life like new jobs, new apartments, loss of loved ones, and so on. I felt really lost with these emotions and I was craving a supportive community where I could openly work on myself and build skills like courage, self-love, and resilience. I recognized all of the opportunities and resources that were available for my physical well-being, and wanted to create space to strengthen mental well-being.
So, we took inspiration from what we love about boutique physical fitness studios, at home on demand workout platforms, and meditation apps, to create an interactive shared experience that focuses on strengthening mental well-being. Our multi-modality curriculum is accessible and approachable, and designed for continued practice outside of class. We personalize our programs and measure performance through intake forms that are completed by program participants before and after the program. It’s important to us that both the class leaders and our community members are able to witness their personal growth and empower them to continue their practice.
Our company and community have experienced great growth in our first year, but not every moment is easy and celebratory. There are many days where the vision feels blurred and the direction is unclear. I have learned the importance of enthusiasm, patience, and passion, able to lean on these strengths to make it through every rough patch. We intend to create a multi-dimensional conversation around fitness, and we are on our way.
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?
My favorite activity (second to working on Liberate) is acting as an LA tour guide. As a Westsider, I start with a trip to Philz in Santa Monica for an Iced Mint Mojito coffee to start the day, plus a walk through Palisades Park to see the ocean and a lot of good dogs. Nothing beats Forma for a nice Italian dinner – you can choose the Venice location to walk along Main Street or stick to Santa Monica for a Montana Ave stroll (my favorite street!). There are lots of great hikes in LA too. Will Rogers is a favorite to bring friends from out of town for the ocean views and easy incline. For more of a scene and workout, Runyon is top of the list. No trip is complete without a drive up the PCH to Malibu, windows down, music blasting. You can grab a drink and a snack on the Malibu Pier, watch surfers, and admire how beautiful earth is, right before sitting in hours of traffic to get back home (it’s worth it).
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?
Shoutout to my fellow entrepreneurs! One of the brightest spots of my entrepreneurial journey with Liberate has been meeting incredibly strong and talented men and women who are all in different stages of building a company that gives them purpose. To my fellow Founders, Julia, of BroglieBox and Katie of Aila, and so many more, who empower me to try new things and never give up.
Photo credit to Lila Seeley