Fresh Leaf Forever

Redefining Success: Kindling Passion, Personal Growth & Sustainable living

October 24, 2023 Vai Kumar interviews Maria Angelova Season 3 Episode 11
Redefining Success: Kindling Passion, Personal Growth & Sustainable living
Fresh Leaf Forever
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Fresh Leaf Forever
Redefining Success: Kindling Passion, Personal Growth & Sustainable living
Oct 24, 2023 Season 3 Episode 11
Vai Kumar interviews Maria Angelova

Ever pondered over the true essence of success? 

What if personal fulfillment resided not in a six-figure job, but in pursuing your passion? 

Our fascinating guest, Maria Angelova, will make you rethink traditional notions of achievement. She transitioned from a high-ranking position as a Director of Finance to follow her heart and become a Pilates instructor. 

Unravel her inspiring journey, where she decided to prioritize happiness and self-care over a high-paying corporate job, leading to the creation of Rebellious International, still chalking out a path to a fulfilling lifestyle.

Conversation highlights:

- Shifting mindsets and finding fulfillment
- Overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities
- Significance of passion in overcoming turbulence
- Alleviating fear, getting comfortable doing the uncomfortable
- Self-care and mind-body connection
- Sustainable wellness and lifestyle

We also delve into the criticality of self-care and the mind-body connection for overall well-being. Maria  emphasizes the need to engage in activities that bring joy to maintain a healthy balance. So tune in for an enlightening conversation where conventional perspectives are turned upside down, leading to a fresh understanding of well-being, success, and fulfillment. Our journey to sustainable living is centered around so many different facets, and this episode certainly kindles passion, your road to personal growth and our contribution to help save our planet! SHARE, SUCCEED and SPREAD JOY !!

Send us a Text Message.

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever pondered over the true essence of success? 

What if personal fulfillment resided not in a six-figure job, but in pursuing your passion? 

Our fascinating guest, Maria Angelova, will make you rethink traditional notions of achievement. She transitioned from a high-ranking position as a Director of Finance to follow her heart and become a Pilates instructor. 

Unravel her inspiring journey, where she decided to prioritize happiness and self-care over a high-paying corporate job, leading to the creation of Rebellious International, still chalking out a path to a fulfilling lifestyle.

Conversation highlights:

- Shifting mindsets and finding fulfillment
- Overcoming challenges and embracing opportunities
- Significance of passion in overcoming turbulence
- Alleviating fear, getting comfortable doing the uncomfortable
- Self-care and mind-body connection
- Sustainable wellness and lifestyle

We also delve into the criticality of self-care and the mind-body connection for overall well-being. Maria  emphasizes the need to engage in activities that bring joy to maintain a healthy balance. So tune in for an enlightening conversation where conventional perspectives are turned upside down, leading to a fresh understanding of well-being, success, and fulfillment. Our journey to sustainable living is centered around so many different facets, and this episode certainly kindles passion, your road to personal growth and our contribution to help save our planet! SHARE, SUCCEED and SPREAD JOY !!

Send us a Text Message.

Buzzsprout Get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Instacart Grocery delivery
Free delivery on your first order over $35.

Enjoy PIOR Living products
Enjoy PIOR Living products at a 20% discount and free shipping on orders over $75 Code FLF20

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Videos available on YouTube channel.
Follow host Vai on socials - Instagram , YouTube, LinkedIn for thought leadership content.
Head to my website for enlightening blogs & service offerings.
This podcast comes to you from Listen Ponder Change LLC, founded by Vai Kumar.
Every support the show contribution is much appreciated !!
Subscribe https://www.buzzsprout.com/1436179/support and help us amplify our voice and reach!

Vai Kumar:

Hey folks, welcome to another episode on Podcast Fresh Leaf Forever. Today I have here with us the wonderful Maria Angelova. She is a podcast host, like me, and she is also a thought leader, disruptor, speaker, author, pilates teacher, mindset coach and founder CEO of Rebellious International. She is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the mindset around prioritizing self-care and redefining fitness. Prior to Rebellious International, Maria spent 17-plus years professionally, with experience in corporates and telecom, finance and insurance industries. So, maria, welcome to the show. How are you today?

Maria Angelova:

Thank you so much for having me here, Vai. I'm so grateful to you for the opportunity to be here. I'm great.

Vai Kumar:

Oh, wonderful. And so, with an MBA and a past experience as Director of Finance, from there to finding Rebellious International, take us through this transformation journey of yours.

Maria Angelova:

So I come from a family of academia. I'm Eastern European, as you can probably tell by my accent, and I grew up when it was all about making good grades, studying, getting a good job, and that's what I did. I was that OA student, the Honor student. I finished as a Salaritorium High School and then Highest Honorary for my undergraduate and graduate degrees. However, as a side geek, I always had fitness as a passion. I started going to the gym regularly at age 12. And at age 16, I started teaching group classes at the gym and I loved it. I always loved it, and even in my 20s. I'll tell my friends one day I'm going to have my own fitness studio. However, it was the salary and the benefits and all of those things that keep us comfortable were there.

Maria Angelova:

And then 2012,. Two years after I had my daughter, I discovered Pilates. I was originally very unimpressed because I was used to the high intensity type of workouts and it was slow and I didn't feel much. I'm so glad we stuck with it because it literally changed my life. It allowed me to really interconnect body, mind and spirit. And 2016, I resigned my corporate job and decided to start my own thing, and I called it rebellious because everybody told me that I am crazy, pretty much, to go from a finest director to a Pilates teacher.

Vai Kumar:

Uh-huh, uh-huh, why not? I mean whatever gives you fulfillment, right? So right there, delving into modern day aspects of lifestyle and carving out this path to fulfillment. Where do you think lies those impediments, maria, I don't think everyone aims at fulfillment. People define success as something else, right? So they see things differently. So right there. It's so nice that you started us off by pointing about fulfillment.

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, I don't think many of us are taught to think about success and defining success as being happy, being fulfilled, enjoying what we do. For many of us and for many societies, successes, whether your achievements, what is your title, what type of house do you live in, what kind of car do you drive and the beautiful part of it is, you can have both if you follow your heart and do what you want. I will share with you. I did an event at a middle school a couple of months ago and I asked kids middle school kids, so they're probably 14, 15 somewhere there. I said what are some of the most important aspects of when you find a job?

Maria Angelova:

And the majority of them answered by money.

Vai Kumar:

Oh my goodness, yeah, now kids are like, so they are also so in tune with. I don't know how adults think, or probably how adults perceive life to be, so they just think, ok, it's all in the money.

Maria Angelova:

And I asked them. I said there was only one kid who said liking what you do? And I asked them. So I said so if you have money, is that going to make you happy? And you should see their eyes. They were so confused. They were like whoa, isn't that right? Like now they're like.

Vai Kumar:

But what is this woman talking about?

Maria Angelova:

They were confused, but my point was wow, it's such an early age. They already have a preconception of what makes you successful at a job, and it's how much money you make. Not that there is anything wrong with making money. However, we forget about fulfillment. We forget about doing something that we love. Yes, my transition from finance to wellness was a very non-traditional one, but you know what? I live a life that I love the impact I have on people. It fires me up, it makes me so happy. To some people might be the most boring job ever, but for me, I get joy and I get happiness out of that, and for me, that's important.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, because how many people you and I connect with in our podcasting journey alone, right, I mean, it's all about what you learn every single day, what you derive from those experiences and the opportunities that arise out of those connections. So, yes, money is needed for each one to lead life comfortably, no doubt about that at all. But for children to have that preconceived notion, like you said, that it's all in the money and so right there, don't you think they're missing out on defining for themselves certain goals and finding their true self and making themselves come out with their true self?

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, absolutely. And I'll tell you, I have a daughter, I have a 13-year-old, and my parents were fantastic parents and they gave me, they empowered me, and they gave me such a strong foundation for life and I do believe they did what they thought was the best thing they can do for me in terms of wanting to be a great student and all that. I think what we forget is that our kids are an individual and that individual might have completely different desires, passions, wants than we do as a parent. And I'll tell you, as a parent, sometimes, when my daughter is like, well, that's not interesting, if I hadn't gone through my growth journey, I'd be like what do you mean? It's not. This is important. Grades are important, how do you do school is important, and I just still do think it is important. But I also think what it is important is that we encourage our kids to thrive and to be who they want to be and who they are, instead of conditioning them to fit into a box.

Vai Kumar:

Oh, yes, yeah, it's all check the box mentality and the achievement culture. So right there somewhere, don't you think we are also not letting them get out of their comfort zone and explore for themselves what it is like to kind of alleviate fear and get comfortable doing the uncomfortable? I think you have certainly treaded that path and you know what it is like to and for the need for everyone to feel comfortable about doing the uncomfortable right.

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, I think that once again, we are told that this is the box and this is how you fit in the box and it's a good thing to fit into the box. Just yesterday I was talking to somebody and he was telling me about his journey and it was related to financials, and he said I just want stability. And I said so, it's safety that's keeping you in the box. He goes, I know, I know. And then he tried to tell me that's not the case and I said you know, safety is a trap because we're so conditioned to think you have to be stable, you have to be safe, you have to get a good job and stay there. Listen, if that's your path and if that's what you want to do, there is nothing wrong with it. But even think about it. You might want to be incorporate totally cool.

Maria Angelova:

But maybe the job that you're in now, maybe you don't like your boss, maybe you don't like the position that you're in, but you're like I don't know, am I qualified for that position out there? What if I cannot manage? Well? Well, here I'm established. I don't want to push myself to do something different. So we end up staying in places or maybe even in a relationship that we're not happy in because what's on the other side? Well, what if what's on the other side is so much better than what you've got today?

Vai Kumar:

So right there you get stuck, when you can totally be unstuck and be more towards that path of fulfillment, like you and I talked about a few minutes ago.

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, 100%, and you have to be aware. Is the fear going to be there? Yes, fear is just part of being human, and now I look at fear as okay. There is an opportunity to grow when I'm uncomfortable. It's a good thing, because it's pushing me to the next step, to the next level.

Vai Kumar:

So if you were to tell people the one thing and I'll get to alleviate that fear, what would that be? So how do you overcome fear?

Maria Angelova:

I think you put that fear in the passenger seat, you buckoid them and say let's go together. Fear will be there and I personally don't think fear would ever disappear because you might get comfortable with something and then there will be the next thing that will be uncomfortable. It's kind of like a ladder that you go through, so the fear will always be there. Recognize that fear is nothing other than your mindset trying to keep you safe and, as we said, safety is a trap. So look at it as oh, I'm fearful. There's an opportunity. Look for the opportunity that comes along with fear.

Vai Kumar:

So embrace that opportunity instead of just getting trapped in that bucket of fear, right? Yes, yeah, yeah, well said, well said. Then realize this thing of passion. So how can we just trigger that passion in individuals and make that more significant in alleviating this fear or in getting out of this comfort zone like we talked about?

Maria Angelova:

So I think passion is super important and I think frequently we subdue our passion, like for me. I've been wanting to do what I started doing for 20 years, so it took me a long time to get there. And why? Because of the box. Well, you have a good salary. Well, you have a good education. Well, you should climb up the corporate ladder. Well, you have good benefits.

Maria Angelova:

All of those things that were conditioned to think are great, which they are, as long as they don't keep you trapped. And I had this internal fire, this passion, this attraction toward something that's, for many, is viewed as nonconventional way to be successful. Right, I think the important thing is to stay connected to who you are, to who you are authentically are, and listen to the desires of your heart. And frequently your desires will not be understood by others. Frequently you might be called crazy or rebellious.

Maria Angelova:

However, when you follow your own heartbeat, there is, I will tell you, I never expected my life will be where it is today when I took that one decision. In a way, I'm experiencing life today like I couldn't even imagine it before and the more I want to grow is I can be very comfortable where I'm today, but I want to grow because I'm fueled by passion and by fire of getting more and more people to feel great, and I think passion and sticking to your why is super important because there will be turbulence as part of the journey. It won't be like a rocket ship up to be more like a roller coaster journey and when you have a strong passion and a firm belief, it will take you far.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, so that is where emphasizing and redefining that why becomes important right.

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, it has to be your why and not somebody else's why.

Vai Kumar:

Oh, of course, of course. And your own journey, I mean, is proof enough, I guess, in terms of how unpleasant experiences can lead to incredible opportunity, right? So why don't you just share some of your life experiences, maria, in terms of just helping our listeners globally realize how one should see kind of light at the end of the tunnel and not get bogged down, even when there is like a rough patch? You said rightfully, you called it turbulence there.

Maria Angelova:

Yeah, so I would say when I quit my job I was so excited. I was like I get to do what I want to do and I thought I have all of this great experience and education like this is going to be a phenomenal journey. Well, it kind of started with a big dive downwards before it went upwards it's. I didn't find the support system because most people were like what are you doing? Like why are you living this career that you've been building for so long? It caused disruption in my family because my husband was he's also an entrepreneur and I pulled the safety rock of the paycheck and the benefits from underneath his feet. You know that shook up the family dynamics so it was uncomfortable.

Maria Angelova:

At home. I voluntarily gave away my six-figure income, so that was uncomfortable. And you know what else was uncomfortable? I had no idea what to do to get my business going and I was like how is this possible? I have all of this education, all of this corporate experience, like why am I so stuck? And that's what I started diving into mindset and my limiting beliefs. And you know, I come from Eastern Europe. There is no, and the time when I grew up there there was no entrepreneurship. My family is academia, so, once again, not entrepreneurship. I had a lot of limiting beliefs around money, around sales, so there was a lot of growth that took place for me to start climbing up.

Maria Angelova:

And it was a journey, and it is not a journey for the faint of heart, because and that is why your passion and your why is so important and you believe into what you want. And I had a decision go back to corporate or figure this thing out, how to make it work, and I chose saying you know what? I will figure this out. I've figured things before. I will make it work and and I'll also tell people, which is very important, when things don't work our way, the way we want them to, they are working for us because there is a lesson in there that we need to get to grow as human beings. And my business is at the state where it is today because things didn't go my way.

Vai Kumar:

So always then you're forced to just do that self-introspection and and then you know like again and again, emphasize on the why and then trigger your passion even more to be able to decipher what's actually going wrong. Right, and I think it's like you know, your luggage didn't make it in Brazil and to one other place that you visited.

Maria Angelova:

And you know you were like how, yeah, how many.

Vai Kumar:

How many years old were you then? You were probably a college student or high school student.

Maria Angelova:

I was like 19, something like that, 18, 19, something like that, and I arrived, for I was. It was a two-month trip and I arrived in Colombia and my luggage for the two months did not get there and I just had the clothes I was wearing. That was it for a two-month trip and I had to figure it out. I was a college student so I didn't have like a big bank account to like go shopping and you know what I figured it out. It's fine when life presents you such nuggets, their opportunity. Look at them as opportunities. And I tell my clients sometimes opportunities are missed, guys, that's misfortune.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, so true, so true.

Vai Kumar:

I mean you just have to, you know, always not get bogged down.

Vai Kumar:

I think you know, I've just experienced that myself in my life in a different form, in several different forms, and I always, you know, just I and I and I have emphasized and enunciated this so many times on this show I just look at myself in the mirror and I smile and that just gives me so much energy and then I'm able to figure things out from that point.

Vai Kumar:

So I think that's where, you know, I can just completely relate to what you're saying out there, maria, and I guess, for us to have like a better future and for us to even be able to do that self-interest faction, the mind-body connection becomes important, right, and the need for all of us to embrace it. And we all are living in a day and age where sustainability, our ability to save and protect this planet Earth and for us to have a future which is much more significant, dominant, vibrant, however you choose to put it right. I think there are several facets to this piece of the puzzle sustainability. So where do you think Maria Angelova comes in terms of the mind-body connection that she can just help people with, and what is the role of mind-body connection on a serious note, in terms of how we can just propel ourselves forward?

Maria Angelova:

So mind-body is all that I put it. So that's like my. You know my passion Because, to the question we just talked about, in order to know you're on the right track, what I follow is, like, my guide is my intuition, and a lot of times when our intuition tells us, just quit your job, start teaching Pilates, common sense and logic are like are you crazy? Right? You have that internal conversation. When you do self-care, when you are body and mind aware, when you have that body-mind connection, when you have a sense of does this feel good into my body or does it not? When I have this thought of, I will quit corporate and start my own business, how does that make my body feel? Does it create like a lot of tension or is it like, yeah, feels good, right?

Maria Angelova:

So being in alignment with who we are and using self-care to stay in alignment, choose silence. What the world has to tell you about what you should do, how it views you and so forth is of paramount importance as we grow and for our well-being, and then how that ties to sustainability. When you self-respect yourself, when you have a self-care routine, a big part of your self-care routine becomes how do I nourish myself body, mind and spirit. What kind of food do I eat? Do I want to eat GMO foods or do I want to eat real foods? Do I want to eat organic foods? Right?

Maria Angelova:

How do I want to take care of my environment? Do I want to spread toxic chemicals on my lawn? Do I want to spread toxic chemicals into the air to kill bugs and bees, which are great for our environment? Those are things you start thinking about and you realize that you are a part of an ecosystem that works beautifully together. And when we're driven by ego, when we're driven by profits, when we forget about serving others from the best that we can, we start impacting our environment, which is what we are seeing now, sadly, in negative ways. So I think you being the best that you can, each one of us being the best that we can, I think, goes very much hand in hand with how we care for the environment, how we care for each other, and wanting to make the foods that are out there, that we consume and put into our bodies better, to keep the water that we drink not contaminated, to keep environmental toxins out of our skin, and so forth.

Vai Kumar:

So, in other words, that whole mind-body connection, building that ecosystem, it's all a matter of investing in oneself, right? So, kind of you know, you just focus on yourself. But in other words, when you just focus on the right things for yourself, your self care routine it almost is like it takes care of everybody around you as well. So you are nurturing the complete ecosystem around you, isn't that right?

Maria Angelova:

That's exactly right. And that's your family, that's your colleague, that's your friends, that's your. You know, like your community, like whatever you're a part of environment right it's. We're all together in this, and when we're, when one of us is not whole, you overspill. If you have, if you get a negative energy, guess what? You're going to spill that energy on everybody around you. If you're overflow with good vibes, guess what? That's what you're going to spread around. It's a choice, which one you want to spread.

Vai Kumar:

Okay, how then, can we make those right choices? I mean, how do we offset any say, for lack of a better word, or to be, you know, just blunt and abrupt? How do you offset failure? If you will, so again, the mind-body expert in you, how do we maintain equanimity of mind you?

Maria Angelova:

know there is no such thing as failure and I think it's very important to remember that. There are only lessons when something doesn't go our way. It's not the reflection of who you are. We frequently tie failure, perceived failure, to our identity. Oh, I'm a failure, oh, I said I'm going to do that and it didn't work out. And then what does that do? That just spirals downwards and takes us down to a rabbit hole.

Maria Angelova:

When you have a perceived failure, I would say pause, take a breath and say okay, what did I learn from this experience and how can I get the results that I was going after in a different way, based on what I learned? Once you change your mindset around failure and you realize there is no such thing as failure in life, your experience in life will be very different. And going back to the mind-body connection is simple things, something self-care, things such as breathing, going for a walk outside, meditation, journaling, reading quality literature that empowers your body, mind and spirit. Self-care is inevitable to keep on your journey of ups and downs, and the more you grow, instead of being a roller coaster that's like high ups and downs, it's more like a more subdued roller coaster.

Vai Kumar:

I guess that just we are now once again, you know, like it's not wantonly, but even like practically speaking, we are just kind of kind of tying it all together in terms of emphasizing on self-care and by saying, hey, don't get trapped in this achievement culture, right, don't feel that you are judged by somebody and don't feel that you are answerable to somebody. So that's what probably makes us, even in the first place, think, oh, okay, even when a child comes back home with a bad grade, probably, you know, they just think, oh, mom and dad are not going to accept this. I'm like, you know, I just fail to meet their expectations or whatever, right, but there has to be a way out. There is a way out.

Maria Angelova:

Well, you know, I'll tell you when my daughter gets stressed out about a grade, I my priority is for is her health. I do not wish for her to be upset about a grade and I tell her okay, so you didn't do well, so what could you have done differently so that the next time you have a test or a quiz or whatever it is, you can do better? I also need her to understand that the way she performs is not about me, it's about her. So if you choose to study and make a better grade, if you want to go to college, your chances when you have better grades and better knowledge, will be better to get into college than if you don't. You're not going to college for me, you're going to college for yourself. Do you want to go to college? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But I think this way we empower our kids to one realize okay, getting a whatever grade is not a failure. That is a lesson. So it becomes a practical example of what we just talked about.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, and then again, somewhere we all get also bogged down by this idea of being a perfectionist, right, even as parents, you know like sometimes, you know unknowingly, we become like a control freak, if you will. And how does this play into our well-being? And again, as a parent, you cited an example already. That's beautiful. How better can we just send this message across to this pool of global listeners, maria? As to the need for moderation right In everything, so I'll tell you why.

Maria Angelova:

As I call myself a recovering control freak and perfectionist, I realized how much damage those things were doing to my health by having really high expectations set. I took that and I wrote a story in my head that unless I make an A plus, my parents are not going to love me, which is not a true story. That is what I got out of it and therefore I drove myself crazy to do everything perfect. Well, that just is not a good place to be, and I suffered very high stress. I suffered very high levels of anxiety and anxiety attacks, and that was just not good for my health.

Maria Angelova:

It's very important for us to remember that our health is precious and sadly for many of us, that becomes a realization once it's too late or we have some kind of a health scare. So remembering okay, how is this serving me? How is perfectionism serving me? Is it serving me? What if I tone it down? Could I still be doing a great job and enjoying life more and savoring life more, rather than working on the midi greedy? That probably for most people do not even matter, because a lot of times the perfectionism is self imposed. And then, from a controls control standpoint, we have to realize that we only have control over ourselves.

Vai Kumar:

We have to be aware of.

Maria Angelova:

What are the things you have control over and situations that you do, and what are the things that you don't have control over? You don't have control over the road notes. You might think you do and you may want to change them, but they have choices and sometimes we are fighting an uphill battle which will never be won. In creating tension and conflict and sometimes accepting and knowing where your power lies and not wasting our energy is such a huge win.

Vai Kumar:

Oh, beautifully said, and we all, again, you know it's so disturbing to even know that we all live in a day and age of chronic inflammatory conditions, right? So where, then again, this need for self care, this need to be very moderate in terms of, okay, feeling answerable to others and feeling, you know, the sense of perfectionism and being trapped in this achievement culture and all of that. So, again, going back to the mind body connection and putting things in perspective in terms of chronic inflammatory conditions and all of that, because all those are very important. Wellness is a huge aspect of us being able to have a sustainable lifestyle in the future, right, because we just cannot imagine a planet where there are, like, say, if there is, you know, a million people.

Vai Kumar:

Of course, we are much more than, way more than a million people, but even if you were to take a small town and there's like a million people, you just cannot imagine 80% of the population being like down with one condition or the other. Right? How about a minor or whatever extent it may be? So what then, are the aspects you think, maria, are crucial? I mean, having seen and worked with so many clientele, like, with the mind body connection, are eating practices. So is it just the mind or is it taking care of the body in terms of a self care routine with exercise and things like that?

Maria Angelova:

I think a lot of the diseases not, I think. I know research shows that a lot of the diseases nowadays are related to chronic stress and lifestyle choices, which is which is good news and bad news. The good news is that we have the power to change those. The bad news is that we have fallen off the wagon in terms of those and we are really failing ourselves Because, once again, health is if you want to thrive, you cannot thrive.

Maria Angelova:

I always tell people you cannot be successful with the broken body or a broken mind, and you know you can use success, even in the modern definition of success. So the lifestyle choices you mentioned foot key exercise yes, it's a pillar of health. You're sleep, how you manage your stress. We talked about sustainability, environmental toxins how much are you exposed to those? All of those basics have to be there. If you don't sleep well, if you don't eat well, if you don't exercise, you're not going to long term. And it's interesting I have a client who is very highly stressed and we've been talking about managing stress for years and I'm like it will catch up with you. It will catch up with you. And we had a conversation yesterday and she's like my blood work is off and I'm like, once again, I can only tell you as an adult have a choice of what you're going to do with the information that I give you, but chronic stress will catch up with you, not today, not tomorrow, but over time. And guess what? Chronic stress will kill you.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, I mean it just has become so, so significant that people realize that, right, we all can feel healthy and then, up until the point we just fall down. We can abuse our body, we can abuse our mind to the extent that we can tolerate. But I always tell people, you know, that I get to. You know, talk to heart to heart conversations that I can have with. There's not very many that you can have that with, but you know, you just have your circle of good friends and acquaintances with whom you can just freely talk. Right, with those people I always try to give my two cents worth. You know I've had an inflammatory condition for years. You know I've wrestled with, wrestled with Crohn's disease, but all I can say is I've learned to manage it because I just need to give myself, empower myself, advocate for myself, give myself the right tools in my toolbox to be able to manage it. So that doesn't get the better of me, right?

Vai Kumar:

So I always find it sad that people think, oh, somebody fell prey to something unfortunate, but then I can still continue to abuse my body. I can just continue to abuse whatever you know like habits I cultivate. In terms of right from habits, as in you know, most people tend to define habits as okay. Are you like a smoker? Are you like a drinker? Are you like this, are you like that? No, it's all about your self-care routine. Also, right, how will you sleep? Your technology use? Because, yes, during your high school days, or your middle school days, and my middle school and high school days, we probably had no cell phones and you couldn't. I know, I mean, I've listened to your show so I could tell from that. That's when I found out about that lost luggage in Columbia and Brazil. And same goes for, yeah, you go land for study abroad. You have no phones. You had to figure your way and, like Milan, italy or wherever, that was right. So I, from technology, use the impact on mobility posture. I think you can take it from there. I think I've.

Maria Angelova:

So I want to mention something very important that you mentioned by, and that's chronic condition. So once you have a chronic condition, realize that there is a lot you can do with lifestyle and mind, body to positively manage your chronic condition. And that's another do you choose to take ownership and empower yourself or do you choose to be the victim of your condition? So I think that's a very, very important point that you make there is a lot you can do to manage chronic condition with self-care.

Vai Kumar:

And then, yeah, right, there is epigenetics. Right, because earlier everyone attributed everything to genetics. But then epigenetics is all lies in your diet and lifestyle, your habits, in terms of what routine you practice, for you to be able to redefine your genetic predisposition, or whatever that may be.

Maria Angelova:

The environment is impacting you. So that's super, super key. And then from I'll tell you, from technology standpoint, people like me will have a lot of work to do, because nowadays technology is just causing havoc in the bodies because of the slouch posture, because of the seating. Like you said, when we grew up we didn't grow up on the phones. We grew up playing outside, socializing with friends, running, and I don't know about you, but my parents had a hard time getting me home to watch TV. That was like the bribery and I had no interest in watching TV. I wanted to be outside with my friend.

Maria Angelova:

Oh you're the same Right, which is very flipped right now. But I'll tell you one thing is I'm starting to get more and more younger. I was clients before. It was like 45 pluses when the X and pains come Now, if I look, I mean I did a scoliosis screening at the local school and I was like whoa, like the posture of kids.

Maria Angelova:

Nowadays it's going to become an epidemic because you know what? It's not just about look and appearance, it's about functionality and when you're like this at age 13, 14, that is not a good place to be. They are now discovering that kids are actually growing horns onto their cervical spine by the time they're teenagers. I mean, that puts compression on the spine. You know, on the nerves If your slouch, it compresses your digestive system, your lungs, your cardiovascular system. The implications of poor posture are severe and I think we're going to see more and more of that coming up. People sit way too long when they sit. You know it's hard to sit up nice and tall for 10 hours, so people slouch the constant. You know, when my daughter is on the phone I'm going to feel like you know hands full.

Vai Kumar:

Oh yeah, I'm always. I'm always telling my folks at home hey, please keep it at eyesight level, Do not just bend down. You know, these are all conscious things. I mean, nobody taught me this. I kind of somehow gave myself the resources, I learned it all, and then I realized the implications of not doing it. So then I just try to follow it, not that I'm like 100% spot on following or doing all the right things.

Vai Kumar:

I'm not trying to project myself here to be like a super human or a yeah, but I just try, I try to do the right things and, in spite of it, my health is still a journey.

Vai Kumar:

I'm just crossing the bridge, I'm just gradually there, but I've learned so much along the process and that's what, even via this podcast and via my blogs and so much more or in person conversations with friends and acquaintances, my goal is always, when I'm out and about in the community I try to do offer my two cents for the betterment of folks. So I guess, yeah, when it comes to exercise again, does it matter being consistent versus, say, overdoing, in terms of, say, some people think, oh, I have to do strength training, I have to lift weights, I have to be out and about running, when, probably, if you can manage 15 minutes of being on that bike every single day, or 15 minutes of a yoga or Pilates routine put together, combined together, that's what I try to do. I do. I learned Pilates a couple of years ago and so I just try to do like a yoga and Pilates routine every morning and, whenever possible, I just go out and take walks. If it is not a cold day, I try to get at least like 15, 20 minutes of walking, and then every hour, or at least every hour and a half. I just make sure that I'm not doing prolonged sitting. So where is the consistency in terms of consistency being important versus the volume?

Maria Angelova:

Consistency is key, and what I always tell people is consistent, consistent, consistent volume. Grow it over time and whenever you can. Once you establish the habit of, let's say, I have to move every day, your body will start seeking movement. Right, it's not going to be okay sitting down for eight hours slouching over and not moving. So consistency is very key. Consistency and you mentioned different varieties of movements.

Maria Angelova:

You know, do we know that strength training is great for females? Because for everybody, but especially for females? Because, suppose, toporosis, should you lift weights? Yes, okay, you're that person who despises lifting weights and you're either going to lift weights or rather not do it, or you're going to go for a walk, and if you're to lift weights, you're not going to do it, but if you're going to walk, you're going to walk every day. So what should you do? You should do that one thing that you're actually going to do, because if you're just sitting here and thinking, well, I don't like to do weights, I don't like to do weights, I'm not going to do it, guess what, you're not doing anything, right.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, whereas while going walking, you're again kindling your passion, you're fueling your passion, you're deriving happiness.

Maria Angelova:

So always tell people you have to find something that you like. So I love pilates, I love to run. You might be like I don't like pilates, I don't like to run, I love to walk, I love to dance oh, do you know what? Then you go walk, then you go dance. You love to lift weights lift weights. Of course.

Maria Angelova:

You want to keep a balanced body, so you want to have a balance of strength, flexibility, mobility, right? Because if you're really bulky and there is no flexibility in your body, that's going to cause problems. If you're hypermobile and you don't have control into your body, that's going to cause problems. You do want to maintain as much as you can balancing the body. Do what you like, right. And also, I think we live in a culture of fats, right. I've been in the fitness industry for 30 years and there is all this. There is a new type of gadget or movement. You know that they come up with every day. The basics of fitness have not changed since back in the day. Move and do it with intention and enjoy it, like, if you want to do a new routine, do it, but also think if you're a couch potato, don't go do CrossFit. Crossfit is for very elite athletes right. So you know yourself. Respect your body, meet it where it is and start building step by step, consistently, to where you build a routine that works for you.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, right there you've given us kind of the do's and don'ts for sustainable wellness and lifestyle, and earlier you talked about authenticity as well. So just be true to yourself. So so well highlighted there, maria, and with sustainability at the forefront, how can we make it better for us and the planet? Say, mental health, I think, has taken a beating these days.

Maria Angelova:

It's like a big time beating these days. Yes, you know what? If you do not take care of yourself, if you spend all day in front of technology, isolated from people, if you're highly stressed out, if you don't eat, try, don't sleep right, you don't move Inevitably your mental health will be impacted. It's not a question if it will be impacted, it's a matter of when it will be impacted. And what I always tell my clients is listen. It is a lot easier to address an issue before it becomes a serious issue. Right, it's a lot easier to address mental well when you have days when you're feeling off than when you're dealing with anxiety and depression. It's a lot easier to address your lack of mobility before you have a stroke or before you have a heart attack. And just realize that I mean yes, inevitably some of those have genetic predispositions. There is the family history, no question about that. But realize that you also have a lot of empowerment into the choices that you make to be a better person and when you take care of yourself.

Maria Angelova:

I always tell people start small, start consistent. You will start feeling the difference and you'll be amazed of what a 10-minute walk can do for your mental health when you start thinking that, thinking that, guess what. It's not going to be something that you have to do. It's going to be something that you want to do right, absolutely. You're going to go to your friend and go guess what. I walk for 10 minutes and guess what. I feel so much better, let's go work together tomorrow. Guess what? Now you're empowering your friend right. Guess what? Now your friend is a better friend, a better mom, a better colleague, a better community member. It spills over.

Vai Kumar:

Yeah, right there, there's inclusivity in what you do as well, right? Inclusivity can be in several different forms. You just propagate wellness, you propagate good stuff. That's inclusivity. And then inclusivity, of course, when it comes to diversity, equity inclusivity right there, that's also being inclusive. And don't you think we all need to be a little bit more empathetic, and just don't you think that this will help.

Maria Angelova:

I also think that the more interconnected and conscious we are with who we are, the more that opens us up to empathy. When we are too much into our ego, too much into the material, too much into the power, too much we see a lot of that today to the separation, separating ourselves by ethnicities, by color, by political views and so forth, that does not serve us well.

Vai Kumar:

Well, so beautifully highlighted. Maria, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. I think my key takeaways from this conversation has been self-care, work towards fulfillment, not just getting immersed in achievement culture and then do not get trapped in a safety net, but just get out of your comfort zone, explore the uncomfortable. That way you really go towards that path of fulfillment and fulfillment of your goals. So right there, the mind body connection, everything it all just is like intertwined and everything just blossoms and we in turn can contribute to a more sustainable future for us and for the planet. So wonderful conversation and thoroughly enjoyed having you here on the show with us, and if you would like to put out your contact information and any of your work books, whatever it may be, feel free to do so. So sure.

Maria Angelova:

My book is called Mind and Body Living with Positivity, passion and Purpose. You can find it on Amazon in digital and print, and my website you are welcome to check. My speaking website is, the website is mindbodyexpert. com and my mind body website is rebellious-studio. com. I would love to connect with you. I believe in the power of community and tribe and Vai. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here with you and your listeners today. Thank you.

Vai Kumar:

Absolutely. We just totally enjoyed having you here, and listeners, as always, follow the podcast, rate the podcast, leave a review from your podcast app of choice. Follow me on Instagram and YouTube. That's a new channel there with all these wonderful videos @vaipkumar. That's V-A-I-P, K-U-M-A-R. And for all things digital media and lifestyle, until next time with yet another interesting guest and yet another interesting topic. It's me, vy and wonderful Maria saying bye-bye for now, bye.

Shifting Mindsets and Finding Fulfillment
Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Opportunity
Self-Care and Mind-Body Connection Importance
Consistent Exercise and Sustainable Wellness