Episode 14: Marcy Barbaro, More freedom to pursue your passions

Did you ever get so busy with life, I mean just the day to day routine, that you just can't seem to make time to do that one thing that is really you, your passion, your personal Bloom?

Marcy Barbaro is a life coach, author, long time yoga and meditation teacher and former journalist. She's been there and has some great observations and suggestions for all of us.

Marcy believes that we should all pursue personal joy as a way of making the world a happier place. I'm down with that and know that this podcast will resonate with you.

Her book: Beautiful Humans, There’s Nothing Wrong With You is part-memoir and part-self help and will be out in the early fall of 2021.

 

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You can contact Marcy at:
www.calmcentre.ca
Instagram and Facebook @marcybeyourself

Thanks for listening.
If you wish to receive more podcast interviews, updates and useful info,
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Transcript:

Sharman Nittoli: 

Welcome to Live Your Bloom Podcast, where I interview people stepping out of their comfort zones to fulfill old dream seeds or plant new ones regardless of age. And I also interview people who have specific interests or programs that could benefit us on our journey to Bloom. Like my guest today, Marcy Barbaro, from the Calm Centre. On her website she asks some compelling questions... "Do you remember who you were before you got stuck?" When I read that question, I actually had to take a breath. Before you took on all that responsibility for other people, both at home and at work, you love being the one that everyone comes to for help, but it's time for something more just for you. Welcome Marcy..

Marcy Barbaro: 

Oh, thank you. You know, Sharman, even though I wrote that I get scooped up when I hear you read it.

Sharman Nittoli: 

I did too, you know, as much as I feel like I've been working so hard to direct answers and live answers to those questions, as I'm reading it, I'm thinking, "Hm, I think I have more to explore." But that's what you're going to talk about today. Right?

Marcy Barbaro: 

You know, why is it that we get so scared to claim something for ourselves to say no to others. And in order so we can do something, so we can have something, there's so much guilt. We don't think we're good people, we think we're being selfish, which is kind of the worst label you could slap onto a human being. Am I right?

Sharman Nittoli: 

I think so. And that's just conditioning that comes probably from the baggage that our parents and our mothers carried around. And so we're so keyed into the word 'selfish' and 'being greedy'. And yet , we often see people who are living quality lives and lives in balance, and maybe they seem selfish, but they also seem happy.

Marcy Barbaro: 

You know, something that I always say, women were in caregiver- nurturer mode, and men are in protect- provider mode.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

And we're in those modes for like 20, 30 years. And then we come up for air and the guys say, 'well, what do I got to show for this? I got golf once a week. I got maybe a guitar or a sports car.' And women are like, 'What do I have? I have a house that's paid for. Maybe I have lovely gardens, nice friends. But remember I wanted to dance. Remember I wanted to paint. Remember I wanted to publish a book or climb a mountain' And so I guess that's why I kind of jumped into the coaching that I jumped into because I was experiencing that myself, but I was seeing it everywhere. People playing small, thinking this is all I'm entitled to and feeling guilty for not being happy with what they have.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Right. I wish there was another word for 'the upside of being selfish.' Loving yourself enough to do the things that are calling to you. But we equate that with being selfish, but I wish there was another word that indicated it's a different thing to pay attention to yourself.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. I always say to my coaching clients, "When you are happy, you are raising the vibrations of the earth."

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Everybody wants to be around the happy, joyful, lighthearted person. Nobody wants to hang out with a complainer, and the everything the same. Nobody wants to hang out with those people. Right? So I say, "Get happy and see what happens around you."

Sharman Nittoli: 

That's true.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Find that joy. Maybe we have a responsibility to find joy, so that we can give joy as a gift to everybody who comes in contact with us.

Sharman Nittoli: 

I love that. That's beautiful. And then we have to think about 'What is it that brings us joy?' So some people will say, "Well, I have this money over here and I'm going to go buy a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes, cause I've always wanted a Louis Vuitton shoes." Or I want this or I want that. And that's all fine. Don't get me wrong. That is all fine. But I truly believe that if you have a choice of buying a thing or having an experience- have the experience, because it will change you. And especially in these times right now, where we need to take our joy, when we find it without feeling any guilt about it, how are we going to do that?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Exactly. Like I don't want to shame the shopper because, you know, funny... so I used to do a little bit of acting and people say, break a leg. But anyways, what I want to say was getting dressed, doing your hair, your makeup, or men putting on a nice suit, nicely shaven, might be their work of art. Like, there's that one guy in your neighborhood who puts on a suit every day. And you're like, 'What are you still dressed up for?' And yet this is his ritual, this is what makes him feel great, that he's contributing to the world. And there's nothing quite like seeing a man on a suit or a man in a uniform, it takes your breath away. Right? I always say every day, gaze upon beauty. So if you're the one who's buying the nice shoes and the beautiful dress or you're putting on the suit, I say, 'Thank you, thank you for allowing me to gaze upon you. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy your beauty.' At the same time, enjoy the beauty of a flower, the beauty of a sunset, the beauty of a piece of art.

Sharman Nittoli: 

The beauty of a poem, a beautiful book. Something that stirs your soul, you know.

Marcy Barbaro: 

And if we look at it as our lives are our work of art, then we do get to choose, what art installation, what art am I bringing into the world? Right? And so for the Louis Vuitton shoes lady, she's bringing this beautiful package and like shoes, some shoes are work of art. And so I get what you're saying, experiences are important, but because our worlds got so closed off this last year, then I say, 'You know what, do what makes you feel good. Do what lights you up, what stirs you a little bit.'

Sharman Nittoli: 

I'm in a group that is a called Amplify for musicians, for teaching us how to promote ourselves online, the Indie musicians, and we all broken into small groups from all over the world. And they got into talking about these shoes called Fluevogs. Fluevogs, you know what they are. I didn't know, and I love boots. Do you know that I did something last night that I haven't done in a long time, I went down the rabbit hole with Fluevogs shoes, and boy, they are works of art. They really are.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Did you buy any?

Sharman Nittoli: 

I was close to pushing that button, and then I just stopped myself. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but I just stopped myself for a second, and I just thought "But here you are talking about this thing or this material thing, but you would buy $500 Fluevogs shoes. And I said, look at this. But you know, to me they were a work of art. They were work of art. They look like wings, they look like the statue of David with the Nike wings. That's what they look like.

Marcy Barbaro: 

So cool. So cool. And somebody who made those shoes is so passionate about them that it actually is communicated online. Passion is communicated in a photograph, in a design. So I say, 'Hey, as long as you're living with passion and you're not breaking the bank, then go for it.'

Sharman Nittoli: 

Of course. Yeah. So if somebody comes to you, a client comes to you. Where do you start?

Marcy Barbaro: 

We always start with awareness, Sharman. Like, 'why are you here today Sharman?' 'Well, I feel low energy, I feel kind of sad or whatever.' 'So what's different? What's changed? What do you dream about, what do you daydream about?' What's amazing to me is so many people are not using their imaginations. We've forgotten. We've forgotten how to dream. And I'll be honest, I'm a little rusty, after being cooped up for the last year and a half, my imagination is a little rusty too. But we need to daydream, we need to expand on that. So I always start with an awareness piece. 'Where are you and where would you like to be?', 'How do you want to feel?' And then often time I'll get people to do some journaling. Just write me a list, like a stream of consciousness list, no editing, no censoring, everything you want. And you know, it can be everything from, I want a monthly pedicure to I want to go to Hawaii. It can be anything. We just want to get the juices flowing.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Do you do online counseling?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. As well as face-to-face? Well, yeah, mostly it's online coaching in either group format or one-on-one. And so I find sort of high achievers, people who want really fast results always ask for the one-on-one coaching. And then everybody else kind of falls into the group coaching cause it's really nice to meet twice a week, the same people. People gradually share stories with each other, they form relationships and we treat it like a mastermind meeting that I might be the leader, but I have respect that every single person in the group has something to contribute. So I want to kind of shut up and let other people talk sometimes too. We don't know what nuggets are going to come out of that.

Sharman Nittoli: 

And you surely learn from each other. And then what I do with the people is I get down to the nuts and bolts of 'Let's take a look at your schedule. Let's take a look at your day. How do you start your day? What's your most productive time of the day?' Some people work best at night. I'm a morning person always have been, which did not suit my lifestyle being a musician at night, because I would still get up at five o'clock in the morning and take a nap in the middle of the day. But that's my productive time. So if I had to learn something, especially now with the computer programs, if I have to learn something, I know myself, it's not going to be at night, it's going to be in the morning. So I help people actually put that schedule together with at least the 20-minute block, if not more, working that thing, that thing, that thing, you know, that song, I would sing that thing that's naggin' at you to do. What is it?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. You know, what you're doing there is you're actually making people do a values audit versus a time audit.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Okay. So people may say 'It's really important to me to exercise' and then say, 'Well, how often do you exercise?', 'Three times a week', I say 'So for how long?', 'An hour.' So it's 24 hours a day at time seven and something you really love to do gets three hours. Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

It doesn't seem to me that your passion is aligned with your time, your values are aligned with your time. So again, let's look at our schedule again. 'Well, I really love to eat healthy food.', 'Okay, well, then how much time are you dedicating to healthy food?'. ' I love to spend time with my close friend.', 'Well, how often do you see your close friend? Once every two weeks, right?' 'An hour every 14 days? For something that's really important to you? So again, let's look at the schedule. 'Can we start shifting things around?', 'How are you spending your time?' 'While I watch TV, I'm on the computer.', I said, 'But you told me your value is this.'

Sharman Nittoli: 

But it's just a question of 'how much?' I mean, we can go down that rabbit hole. It is so easy to go down, but it's important not to beat ourselves up afterwards either, because we're human and it's tempting. I even find myself, I tried to change my eating habits as a result of many, many things, but the last workshop working with Amy Tsai and doing a five-day cleanse, I realized I stopped shopping for food, I just let my husband do the shopping. I'm not going to be able to eat the way I want to eat, unless I actually put it in my schedule that I have to go out and do the shopping for the kind of food that I want, and prepare it in the manner that I need. And so, here we're talking about more hours, so I have to factor all that in. Not that it's a big deal. It's not, but it's just a question of 'What is your day and how much of it is bringing you joy.'

Marcy Barbaro: 

Right. Exactly. And you know, you're talking about mindfulness, like just being mindful. So I'm on my phone, I'm, as you say, going down the rabbit hole and I'm being mindful. I'm like, 'Ooh, geez, I've been on Instagram for 30 minutes.' Ehh! Time to shut her off. That kind of thing. And so it's just being mindful and holding ourselves accountable. And then I always encourage people, find your tribe. If you want to eat healthy and then most of the people you hang out with are really eating terribly, I'm not saying ditch those friends, I'm saying just find a couple of healthy people. Even if you just message them back and forth and say, 'Oh, I made the most beautiful salad with grilled chicken and dah, dah, dah' Whatever it is. Take pictures on Instagram, there's so many food accounts. Follow those food accounts, you feel like you have a tribe. You have a support network that you don't feel like you're all alone when you're doing that thing that's important to you.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah. True. Very good. And I saw it on your site, an interesting phrase, "Restorative mobility." And I saw some of the pictures, and I'm going through some physical therapy right now. And he didn't use that term, but I have a feeling that's what he's doing, restorative mobility.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. So mobility is of course moving your joints. And when we move our joints, we get fluid into the joints. We get synovial fluid, which is the stuff that does a cushioning, but we also get increased blood flow, oxygenated blood. And of course, when we're mobile, we move better. We're reaching for something out of the cover, we're not, ahhh, cranking our neck. Or bending forward to pick something up, we're not stiff. We want that. And then when we add the 'restorative' to it, that is understanding that sometimes we need to rest. And so you could lay on your back, and you could do circles in the sky with your knee, like joining circles on the ceiling with your knee and that's for your hip. You can do ankle circles. And then you can also support yourself, put a rolled up blanket under your knees, stretch your legs out, put another blanket on your belly, close your eyes and breathe. Just simply getting into that belly breathing, this is a wonderful way to tell him the belly inside and out, but also to regulate the nervous system. Right? So one of my biggest things I'm always trying to teach people is just allowing yourself some rest. Because we're going to go, go, go, and we're going to set these goals, which I love.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

It was really like, 'What do I want my life to look like? Why do I want my life to feel like, and how am I going to bring that into being?' Well, we can't drive ourselves crazy with that.

Sharman Nittoli: 

With no guilt, you know, my brother knew me so well. He lived in California, that whenever I went out there, we would be planning what we're going to do. And he said, well, "What time is your nap?" I would always tell him "2 to 4." I may not be napping, but. I'm away from the world "2 to 4." I get up very early and he'd say, "Okay, we'll work around it." I knew he was one of the few people that just totally accepted that, that's who you are, always been like that, not going to change, and don't feel bad for it. When I was teaching, we said, the teachers, we needed a yoga room. Just a nice, simple room with a nice thick rug or a mat and some nice bolster pillows. Give me a half hour just to chill and go in, and stretch out, and destress, and recharge, and come back for the afternoon, you know?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Well, that is what we need as humans. And the good news is some corporations have actually created what they call a Wellness room.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Oh nice.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Music and low light. I know Canadian tire corporate head offices here in Canada. Google has these wellness rooms. Because we cannot be stimulated the entire day and be expected to perform well.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Right? We're not robots. Yeah. And think about the central nervous system, once we get that thing all fired up in fight or flight or freeze, and we're going, going, going, we're dumping adrenaline, we're jumping cortisol, it doesn't shut off automatically. We have to shut it off. And if you don't shut it off, well, then we end up with conditions like what they call Adrenal Fatigue. And then you wonder why you're tired and you're low energy. And so, no, no, no, no. We have to love ourselves.

Sharman Nittoli: 

So your title, Calms Centre, is that in your body, that's what you need to try to achieve, just a calm center, that you can tap into at any time.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Wow. That's where we find the answers.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah. So how long have you been doing this kind of work?

Marcy Barbaro: 

So really it originated, I used to be a journalist years and years ago.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Oh okay.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. I always wrote some articles for magazines and small trade publications in the wellness field. And then I have three children, but my twin boys were both ill very young, and have a chronic health condition. So I think it was a stay home mom with three kids, two boys who had in and out of sick kids in Toronto. And I said, you know what? I thought all the time in the world, I'm going to find it as much as I can about wellness, how, what I can do to make everybody feel better. And then it became a yoga and meditation teacher. And I did that. I practiced yoga for over 20 years, and taught yoga for over 10. And then, it was also a teacher trainer of other yoga teachers. But what I found was, what I got most excited about is when people were like, 'Okay, now what? Now what in my life?' And people are always out of transition, always at a crossroads. And they're kind of a little bit stuck there. And I used to get really excited about that as a yoga teacher and kind of talk it through, and then I decided when COVID hit and I wasn't really going to do much more teaching. I said, let's jump into this life coaching business full on. And I found that I had so many tools already that I needed for it. Between the yoga and the meditation, writing articles as a journalist, the research I'd done for my own son health. I had this whole array of tools. And so then I did more training and jumped in as a life coach. So I've really only been at it for about a year and a half, but it's going really well.

Sharman Nittoli: 

I can imagine. Yeah. And so just for our listeners, your contact information will be on this page. So Marcy can say it, but I'm going to tell you, you don't have to write it down right now because it's going to be on the page. But I'm happy to say that Marcy also has a new book out.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yes, I do. Thank you for mentioning it. My book is called "Beautiful humans, there's nothing wrong with you." And I kind of described it as my love letter to the world. When I was working as a yoga teacher, people would come and see me and they would give me this laundry list of everything that was wrong with them. That their doctor, their husbands, you know, that someone told them what's wrong with their bodies. And it broke my heart, it broke my heart. That all these people would come to me and present themselves as broken. So I became a very gentle yoga teacher. I thought this whole hour is going to be about building their confidence in their bodies. And so that's what I really became known for was being very gentle. And what happened was people kept coming back. And then , they kept healing themselves. It gets stronger. So I observed this and I wanted to put this into a book. So the book is part memoir about some of my experiences and parts sort of self-help, there's some meditations in there, some journaling that you can do.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Oh good. And so people will be able to get it from your website or from a book store?

Marcy Barbaro: 

That's right, it'll be on Barnes and Noble, and Indigo, and Amazon. And then also, you can get it through me too.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Cool. I can't wait. So it's close to being out, right?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. I think we're about three months out now. Now we're on the layout and cover design. All the fun stuff.

Sharman Nittoli: 

You know, I just love when someone is just living their Bloom. They had a vision to do something, they put their time into the project, and now it's happening. The joy that someone feels when they're actually doing that thing, it's almost incomparable to anything else. I know some people are gonna say sex. That's good, it's good. Don't get me wrong, but I'm saying...

Marcy Barbaro: 

That's chocolate and joy. But you know what, there's nothing really that special about me, you know, I just kind of like, what makes me happy, I'm going to keep doing that. And it was a day to day process where I had to carve out a little bit more time, and a little bit more time, until finally I was like, "damn, I have a really great life."

Sharman Nittoli: 

So how old are your children now?

Marcy Barbaro: 

Daughter's 19 and my sons are 17.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Okay. So for my listeners who have families that don't always allow them to carve out their time. What can you say to them? To a mom who says, "Ah, kids, mommy needs to take an hour upstairs with her yoga mat. Please don't disturb me and keep the sound down." And many, many kids and families are not, I hate to use the word train, but are not used to respecting and giving, being generous enough to give that kind of time to someone who they feel is supposed to be there for them.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yeah. You know what? I really feel like we're our own worst enemy, we give up too easily. How many times have you heard a woman say, "I want to, but so-and-so, won't let me", but when they come knocking at the door, you ignore it. When they come and interrupt you, you're in the middle of something you say, "Actually I'm in the middle of something that's important to me. I will get back to you soon." I don't say no to my children very often. I say "not yet. Not now."

Sharman Nittoli: 

Right.

Marcy Barbaro: 

"A little later." It took a while to train them, they really hopped on it. And my boys in particular love how happy I am. They say, "You can do it all mom, you can do anything you set your mind to." They're proud of me.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Yeah.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Right. But it was bit by bit, but don't back down. In the beginning, it's going to be hard. Yes, they're going to interrupt you, but you just say, "No, no, I'm sorry. I told you I'm doing my yoga" or "I told you I'm painting", or "I told you I'm working out, I'll see you in 45 minutes."

Sharman Nittoli: 

Right. And I do believe you're doing them the favor of teaching them to value, not just you, but to value themselves enough to claim their own time. In future relationships that they may have, they have a right to claim their time. They're watching the people that they love, they're not suffering because of it. So I think you're actually doing them a big favor.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Yep. Well, that's how we thrive and everybody. It doesn't matter how great your relationship is. You know, everybody needs their separate lives.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Sure.

Marcy Barbaro: 

So I would say to my kids, "Unless someone is bleeding, you do not interrupt me."

Sharman Nittoli: 

I say the same thing. I have to say when my grandkids would come over, "Unless you have blood coming out of your ears, and if you see me at the piano and I'm practicing and I look like I'm into it, but I probably am into it, and I have my headphones on. Don't tap me on the shoulder and say, you have a dollar. I want to run to the store." "Don't do it. Don't do it because you're going to see another side."

Marcy Barbaro: 

Respect for you, but it's also teaching autonomy for the kid.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Right. And I know a woman , she did go back to her painting. She roped off a corner trying, you know, she worked in the corner and she put a rope and she basically said, "Don't cross that rope unless there's something urgent happening."

Marcy Barbaro: 

I love it. I love it. This is how we get in life, we have to claim it. No, one's going to say, "You know what, mom, I haven't seen you take any time for yourself today. Why don't you go and do something for yourself for two hours?" When does that happen? Can you name it? And if you need to start small with 20 or 30 minutes and build up to an hour and two, then do that.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Sure. Yeah. Well, this has been a joy truly, and I just want to remind everybody about the book that's also going to be on the page. So all the information on how and when and where they can get the book will be there. And I look forward to hearing from you and working with you again, perhaps one of your groups.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Oh, well, you were lovely, lovely, lovely. And the work you're doing is so essential. Just encouraging everybody to be themselves and line up their own worlds. I love it. Whereas you say "Live your Bloom."

Sharman Nittoli: 

I mean, we say 24 hours in a day. Okay, good. But when you really start to break it down, Those hours start to chip away, especially if you want to give yourself a good night sleep, and then you got this over here and you're doing this over here. And before you know it, what gets pushed off the curb, that thing, you know, that's the thing that gets pushed off the curb. So you got to move it to the top. Something else has got to go, or find another creative way of scheduling. There's so many ways to schedule. And the joy that it brings you will be become contagious. And don't we need a world of happier people.

Marcy Barbaro: 

We really do. So that's your responsibility is to bring joy to others and we do that by lighting ourselves up.

Sharman Nittoli: 

That's right. Thank you so much, Marcy. This has been wonderful.

Marcy Barbaro: 

Thank you for having me.

Sharman Nittoli: 

Happy blooming everybody. Thanks again!

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