We had the good fortune of connecting with Veronica Cisneros and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Veronica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I used to be under the impression that I had to have it all together. You know, clean home, well dressed kids, and hubby with a full belly. Well at least that’s what I was taught. It wasn’t until I realized I just couldn’t keep up. Every day I would miss something. The house was clean but I forgot to put away the laundry, or the kids were groomed and well-dressed, but Mommy looked like she had been beat up by the world – with the mom bun intact of course. I remember being in grad school and literally crying while washing dishes. Not only was my house a mess, but I still had a 15 page paper to write, kids to bathe and books to read. I literally felt like a failure. This perfect life that I was so desperately after was falling apart and I was failing. I felt as if I was a bad mother and horrible wife. After all, these were the roles that defined me. It was in that moment I realized, Girl, it doesn’t have to be this way. Something has got to change. You’re constantly frustrated and easily irritated. So, I started to work on myself, sharing tasks with my kids and husband. I started to use words like “No” or “it doesn’t fit my schedule.” I started to set boundaries and assert myself. All the things I knew I needed to do, just afraid to practice. I’m not going to lie, when I hired help I was so afraid of judgment and criticism that it took me a while to admit this. I would even clean my house before the housekeepers would come over. To be honest, I guess I allowed fear of what other people thought, prevent me from pursuing the life I wanted to live. Which in turn kept me from experiencing work life balance. It took me trying new things and letting go of self-sabotaging behavior. I know most of us women struggle with feeling stressed and disconnected. I know we carry a lot of mom guilt. One thing I discovered is that in order to live an empowered and unapologetic life, I had to make a decision. Although balance can be difficult it’s not impossible, it’s all about perspective. Balance to me is living a life unapologetically, being able to take in every moment on purpose, not being imprisoned by the to do list. As an entrepreneur, that would happen a lot. Now I realize, the importance of letting go of the check list, and embracing my passion for my family and both of my businesses. In the past, I had found validation by completing a task. You see a problem, fix it. Life doesn’t work this way. My family didn’t want to be fixed they wanted to connect. We can be successful as long as we are able to identify what’s really important. Connection!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, women have walked into my office imprisoned by perfectionism and lost in their own skin. I noticed a pattern, most women pour themselves into becoming the perfect wife and mother and feel more stressed and isolated than ever.

They were just like me, I had gone through something similar. With court papers in hand, I was one month away from divorce. On the outside, everything looked perfect but my husband and I were miserable. With nowhere else to turn, I focused on creating the best version of myself. It was just the thing we needed to save our marriage! As these women shared their stories, my heart broke for them, I wanted to do everything I could to help. I remember thinking, if only I would have met them 6 months ago, maybe they wouldn’t be struggling with depression and anxiety. I could have helped them attack some of these issues before it got so bad. If only there was a group, a community where women could share some of their struggles without shame or judgment. I believe you should never have to suffer silently, losing yourself while striving for the perfect life for your family. That’s why I’ve developed a community for women who need a safe space to find themselves again. Today, I’ve helped hundreds of women gain confidence, improve their family and their relationships. What sets me apart from any other coach is this, I have the ability to provide them with tools and step by step strategies to become empowered and unapologetic. As a Therapist I have seen firsthand how women get stuck and fall into unhealthy patterns. I have witnessed severe depression, anxiety and failed marriages. Most life coaches do not have the educational background and although a certificate is recommended very few get one. Not only do I have the education, I also have the training and personal experience to help women get out of their own way, connect and truly heal. So they never have to see a Therapist. I have helped women identify and challenge unhealthy habits with direct feedback and motivating support, so they don’t have to continue to struggle. I don’t do band-aids, I only teach life changing healing methods. As an entrepreneur I learned the importance of asking questions. Leaning into my own fears and challenging my insecurities. I know, we will never have all of the answers, so why not ask, why not try? Yes of course, you’re probably going to fail. Do it anyway. I have learned a lot from my peers and have hired professionals to assist me through this process. You asked, was this easy? Hell to the No it wasn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I remembered thinking, there is no possible way I know what I am doing. There is no possible way this will work. I wanted to quit so many times, but then I would get a message or hear a client’s testimony. It was those testimonies that kept me pushing forward. Because if I am helping one person then this is all worth it, all the blood sweat and tears. Ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, you get what I mean. I am so proud to say, I have helped hundreds of women, set and achieve their goals. I like to think that I’m a cool version of Nanny McPhee, if you have kids, you know who I’m talking about. I want the world to know that I am on a mission to create a community where Moms can be themselves, zero guilt, zero comparison. I think we all were surprised to be inducted into the world of comparison the minute we became a Mom. It’s time for Mom’s to give themselves permission to be the best version of themselves, to live an empowered and unapologetic life.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If my best friend is visiting and I wanted to show her the best time ever. Well… I would tell her to bring stretchy pants because I love food and she might over indulge. The first place we would visit is Santa Monica Pier; this place is a mixture of fun and relaxation. The people are friendly and there are so many cool things to see and do. Like renting a scooter or bike and enjoying the sights, laying out on the beach or being a kid again and hopping on a roller coaster ride. We would have lunch at Grand Central Market and enjoy the wide variety of food and city life. I absolutely love to dance and while working with women, I have learned that most haven’t been dancing in a long time, nor dressed up for that matter. But before we dance, we would have a nice dinner at Olivetta in Hollywood. Saturday would be a day of shopping, wake up and go to The Original Farmers Market, at The Grove, and enjoy their wide variety of food. There is this place that sells the best empanadas it’s called, “Nonna’s Empandas.” After a bit of walking and shopping we would enjoy a macaroon from “Ladurée” at The Grove. We’d then return to our hotel, take a small nap and get dressed for a night out. The comedy store is not only entertaining, but full of fun and it’s in downtown LA. After we would enjoy a nice dinner at Mastro’s, it offers world class food and service. They are known for their steaks and energetic atmosphere. Sunday would be an early morning hike to the Hollywood sign followed by a picnic at the Griffith observatory. A cruise around Hollywood Boulevard and end the night with an Italian dinner at Il Cielo.

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?
I would have to say the first person that popped in my head was of course my Mom. It’s funny, when I was young I remember wishing she would just sit down and relax. She was always doing something, I knew she was tired, I knew she had a lot on her plate. Why didn’t she stop? It’s not until I became a Mother that I knew the answer to that question. As a Mom we will do anything for our children and family. Even if it means compromising our own life. That’s exactly what my Mom did, she gave up her life so that we could thrive. It pains me to say that, how can someone love you that much? I realize now this is unhealthy and it’s important to live your own life. My Mom has grown so much and we’ve had discussions about putting your own needs first, or how I like to phrase it, “Put your bra on 1st.” That’s what makes her so amazing, she admits to still growing as a person, which in turn models perseverance. I remember her constantly telling me, “Veronica, know your worth!” I believe it was lessons like this that led me to be the women I am today. It is my Mom’s constant fight to get things done, push forward, no excuses. It is those lessons, that voice which has pushed me to go above and beyond my own limits. She wanted so much for us and had little resources. She made anything possible.

Website: www.empoweredandunapologetic.com
Instagram: empoweredandunapologetic
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/empoweredandunapologetic/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/empoweredandunapologetic/
Podcast: Empowered and Unapologetic https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/empowered-and-unapologetic/id1506600294

Image Credits
Olia Photgraphy Sarah- Unplug Marketing

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