The Importance of Pausing: Feed Your Soul with Allison Chawla

Meet Allison Chawla: prenatal and postpartum life coach in the New York Metropolitan area. Whether you’re a new mother or a mom-to-be, this woman is dedicated to being your guide to navigating this beautiful life change. Not only is she a certified career and life coach specializing in maternal mental health, she is also a writer, public speaker and certified Reiki practitioner. Allison weekly shares her thoughts on a number of different topics on parent.co – a modernized site dedicated to better parenting. She has beautiful and powerful insights on topics such as Teaching Young Kids Kindness and Safety and discussing the controversial topic of paid post partum. As a mother of two herself, Allison knows what it is like to go through the joys and hardships of pregnancy and parenthood. She is an inspiration and a lifeline to all mothers learning to balance feeding their own souls as well as their children’s! Check out our Q&A about how Allison Chawla feeds her soul.   

Are there any consistent activities or rituals you do to maintain a sense of inner peace?  “It is very difficult to maintain consistency with small children. At some point every day, I take a pause. Think about where I am, the things I am grateful for. Every day I take a moment, take a break, close my eyes. Even if it’s on the subway. I also try to exercise once a week, sometimes I do yoga.”

When you are in an emotional rut, what are your go to ways to bring yourself out of that feeling?  “Music. Music has always been and will always be something that helps me get through difficult times. I allow music to heal me. Enya is my go to, for almost 20 years. I started listening to her in middle school.”

Before beginning a creative process, what type of preparation do you normally undertake? “I am very big on trusting my instincts or intuition in these type of situations. Most of my writing or any other creative endeavors came by visualization and meditating on it. Let it organically grow like a child. And like childbirth, go through the labor process and then allow it come out.”

Describe a time you underwent a particularly stressful situation and what measures you took to move through that process.  “I have dealt with loss of and with people close to me in my lifetime. So I turn inward; that’s when I listen to the music.  I allow myself to feel the pain and to grieve. Grief can be so scary and so difficult. I turn to friends and my husband, who are my lifesavers. Getting it out, saying it out loud is extremely important for me…to open up and allow the universe to help.”

Do you have any favorite movies that always revive your spirit?  “I have two; one is the Princess Bride. I can watch it a hundred times over. Amelie is a French movie. I find myself relating to the journey of the French woman in the film; it’s so beautiful and inspiring.”

What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?  Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield . I grew up in a suburb of Jersey and felt out of place. It was the first time I read something and I felt my uniqueness in my surroundings. I felt a trigger within me to trust my instincts.“

Are there any particular exercise routines or practices that you use for grounding? If so, describe how you discovered them.  “Stretching is so important!  In the morning, if you can, put your butt on the ground and really connect. It’s a great way to reconnect with your body.” 

Do you meditate?  If so, how did you learn and what methods do you use often?  “Meditation is an alignment between the spiritual, emotional, subconscious. It’s about getting myself to that vibration that causes stillness. I can experience calmness and clarity and find confidence, things I need to maintain a balanced life. My practice depends on what I need each time. Sometimes chanting helps me; sometimes-silent meditation helps. I tend to gravitate to silence.  Making that ‘ohm’ sound repeatedly. I teach my girls mediation! Since my oldest was one years old I would teach her to do the ‘ohm’ sound when she got upset.”

What’s your favorite motivational YouTube or Netflix video?  “I’m obsessed with Ted Talks. In Alexander Tsieras’ Construction of Visual, he talks about how divinity is created in utero.”

Who is the most inspirational person you have ever met, and what did they reveal to you that never left you?  "I am inspired by people all of the time.  I feel very grateful for all the people around me. But I would say my grandmom before she passed away.  She taught me that worries would only get in my way. Don’t worry yourself in this lifetime. Worry is just waste a time.”

When a new mom comes to you filled with new mom anxieties, what are your go to self-care tips for them?  “I try to guide them to what is unique to each individual.  I tell them it’s going to be really hard and that’s okay. To be forgiving to yourself if you get to the point where don’t feel bliss. Be okay, be honest with yourself.  Be forgiving of yourself.  Some women feel ashamed when they do not feel strong. But no one human being can handle too much of anything. That’s why we sleep, we take breaks, and we ask for help. If you felt like you had to vomit, would you hold it in? It’s the same with words. Ask for help.”

Check out some of her writing over at Huff Post or Parent Co.  Also you can follow her on Twitter.

Written by Katie Girouard.