In an effort to encourage people to share about their meaningful occupations, I will be highlighting guest bloggers (about once a week). My guests have been provided with a questionnaire to dive deep and explore their meaningful occupations. These occupations increase their productivity, joy, and motivation to achieve their goals. If you would like to be a guest blogger, feel free to send me an email and we can learn more about your occupations that affect your daily life.
Our guest blogger this week is Erika Mathews, Tahoe local and business owner of MOXY FITNESS. She has so many meaningful activities in her life that positively impact everyone around her. Read on to learn more about Erika!
How do you know Rachel Yakar?
I met Rachel when she joined my fitness program, Moxy Fitness. We became quick friends as she is warm and easy to be with. She also worked with one of my children, helping her cope with some sensory feedback issues.
Tell us about a meaningful activity (occupation) that makes you unique?
I guess there could be several activities that make me unique - I have five children (that's fairly unique these days, isn't it?!?! ;) - one boy and four girls, and those girls include a set of fiery, identical twins. I have homeschooled all of them since Kindergarten, and my son only recently went to public school as a freshman, but he is back home now, for obvious reasons. And I think my job is unique in that I own and operate a women-only outdoor fitness boot camp, Moxy Fitness. Workouts are held at 6am in the morning, and in normal circumstances (Pre-Covid) I spend my mornings working out with 20+ women, on the beach, watching the sunrise. It's basically my dream job!!
WAIT, WHAT?!?!?! Let's stop you for a moment at HOMESCHOOLING....Can you give us any advice that could positively impact the transition so many families are making towards digital learning?
Probably the most important lesson that I’ve learned over the years is that even though it is called ‘homeschool’, we don’t do ‘school’ at home, but instead my children ‘learn’ at home. And what I mean by this, is that we don’t try to replicate a school environment in our home.
Obviously you will want some sort of structure and routine, but don’t get so caught up in creating a school-type environment and a bell-ringer schedule that you don’t make time for the things that are actually going to enrich your child’s education. Make time for reading a book together on the couch, make a pot of hot chocolate to drink while you’re doing math, or play some music that your kids like while they are working on a science project. Make it fun, make it a little special, add some spark here and there. It’s not school, it’s home, and the learning still happens (sometimes exponentially!). This all happens while you are strengthening family bonds and relationships and taking advantage of this time together that you will NEVER get back.
Enjoy your kids while they are home and magically, ironically, they will learn and grow and THRIVE in a rich environment where they feel special and safe and loved.
What skills/abilities do you have that facilitate your engagement in the meaningful activity that you described above?
Well, the skills and abilities that I have to help me raise and homeschool FIVE kids is that I used to be a rodeo clown and I am good at herding cats. Ha. Kidding (sort of). I think the one skill I have that helps me in all aspects of my life is that I am good at relationships and have good people skills. I love meaningful conversations and connecting with people on a deeper level. My main focus both with my children and with my clients is to develop and maintain strong, healthy relationships that are a long lasting source of comfort, support and encouragement.
What makes this meaningful activity (described above) challenging or changing during COVID-19?
The actual physical barrier is the most difficult thing for me. Literally, not being with my Moxy Girls has been such an empty feeling for me these past few months. Humans crave and need touch, And being and very physical person myself, I find myself longing for the day when I can give high fives and hugs, or be physically active with someone and not have to worry about getting in their 6ft bubble. There is a bond that forms with someone when you physically push out of your comfort zones together and come out exhausted, yet better, on the other side. I miss those days and long for their return.
When do you feel most productive?
5am, for sure. On the days when I don't get up before the sun comes up, I feel like I am chasing the hours I lost all day long. 5am is magical because the world has yet to grab you in her clutches. I don't pick up my phone, I journal, read, meditate, stretch, workout....there are no interruptions in the early morning hours and I am ready to go by 7am when the kids wake up.
What meaningful activities increase your quality of life and life satisfaction?
Easy. Outdoor adventures. Anything outside. Anything adventurous. I will go by myself, but if I'm doing these activities with either my girlfriends or my kids, then it is icing on the cake. I love being outside, pushing comfort zones, embracing the unknown, but best of all creating stories to tell. I come home from these adventures (and they can be big adventures or small ones, doesn't matter) with a full cup and a happy heart.
How does your environment/location/space impact your meaningful activities?
Environment is everything. I am a huge proponent of both protecting and creating your environment, whether this be your mental environment or your physical environment. I am constantly telling my kids to be careful of the way they talk to themselves, be conscious of what they read, watch, and listen to (mental environment), and also to choose their friends wisely and to spend as much time as possible outdoors (physical environment). But these words of wisdom I preach to my kids aren't just for them, they are reminders for myself too. You become what you think about and you are the average of five of your closest friends. Choose your environment wisely.
If you could “channel” a superhero or super power who or what would it be?
Hmmmm.....so many to choose from.....not to need sleep, to be bulletproof, to be able to wash, fold and put away laundry in less than 5 minutes.....??? Ultimately I think I'd like the super power to always be present. I'd love the power to never get distracted by the outside world and to ALWAYS be where my feet are.
Thank you so much to Erika Mathews for providing such special insight into her areas of occupation. If you would like to join in on her adventures, find her on Facebook by searching for: Tahoemoxyfit and raisingmoxy.