In this general health and wellness Wake Up Eager Interview Licensed Massage Therapist and Wholeness Lab Owner, Fonda Clayton, shares her insights around creating a wellness way of life.
I met Fonda at an Atlanta Bloggers meeting and I'm thrilled to share her expertise and insight with you here. Fonda makes the connection, in an inspired way, about how wellness and spirituality and waking up eager all tie to together.
This is one of my favorite interviews. Fonda shares great thoughts and you can just feel, in her expressions, how in alignment she is with her work. Here's the interview:
Suzie: Fonda, thank you for taking time to share your insights in this general health and wellness interview. First, please tell folks what you’re passionate about in your work, along with what you do and why you do it.
Fonda: Thank you so much Suzie for thinking of me. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT for short) for 10 years, I relocated from New York City and now reside in Georgia.
I love the opportunity to develop relationships/trust with my client's by providing a safe space for them to express/explore their concerns, a health advocate if you will.
By trade I am a deep tissue/myofascial therapist (myo=muscle, fascia=connective tissue), I believe in the mind/body connection. It is vital to me that a client understands their body and how best to live in it, no matter what it may have endured, i.e. accident or dis-ease.
In other words, I am a health advocate and a facilitator in a person's healing and understanding of themselves.
Suzie: So we can all know more about you personally, tell us about a hobby or interest that you have, outside of your work in the general health and wellness arena.
Fonda: I love to read psychology, self-help, spiritual books. It truly helps me to understand the human condition and allows me to approach the (massage) table with TLC.
A quirky thing that I enjoy is renting comedic tv series and movies, I believe that laughter is not only healing, it is necessary. Music is the salve of my soul.
Suzie: Why is general health and wellness, managing our bodies, important to waking up eager? And why do we as a culture struggle with taking better care of ourselves?
Fonda: The most important part of great self care that is often overlooked is self talk. It is very insidious, you can defeat yourself before your feet even touch the floor.
The self critic or whatever your name for it is, if left unchecked can cause a myriad of problems to the soul. It takes practice to listen, really listen...and if you wouldn't say those things to someone you love, then maybe you shouldn't say them to yourself.
As a culture, it is socially expected to take care of others. Selfish is deemed a dirty word and who wants to be dirty right? To be selfless and self loathing is the present addiction of this culture.
And it is all wrong: when on an airplane you are instructed to take care of yourself first before taking care of another, put on your face mask first, yet we don't translate this simple instruction in our own lives.
Suzie: What are the best tips you have for people who are struggling to eat well, exercise, sleep well and just keep their general health and wellness strong?
Fonda: In order to accomplish what seems like a daunting task of self care is planning. If you are not on your calendar, it just won't get done.
Set yourself up to win in your own life. For example: don't go grocery shopping without a list or go hungry, you will overspend and mostly likely, not have the best selection in your cart.
When you come home from the grocery store, divide/cut/package/season/clean/freeze your live proteins (this is for a meat eater), it will save you so much time during the week. Try planning your menu for the week, pack your lunch and snacks the night before.
Simply walking or taking the stairs instead of jumping in the car or elevator, get a pedometer. As we age, I truly believe that stretching is just as important as exercise. A dog waking from a nap, stretches without fail, why don't we?
The average American sleeps
5-6 hours, this is simply not enough time to restore cells in the body
and when this can't be accomplished over time there is no wonder why we
age prematurely. There is no quick fix, no magic pill... just presence.
Suzie: Why did you get into holistic nutrition, massage and the general health and wellness field? What prompted you to become an expert in this area?
Fonda: My passion to help people feel better about their bodies and in their lives is my fuel. To make gains in these important areas means that you have to visit often (check-in consistently) and to be present.
The idea of holistic nutrition and massage for me is a measure of awareness that everything has to do with everything else (As above so below).
Sure, I can tell you eat this, not that as if I were reprimanding a person, but that doesn't work for long. Personal responsibility and lifestyle changes are what will sustain a healthy life. How you choose food, where does it come from, how is it raised or grown, how you prepare it, why you consume it; these are the conversations that inspire me. These places are where the answers lie.
How the body moves through space is another part of the puzzle: does it have restrictions, where are they, acute or chronic inflammation, if inflammation, is it external/internal or both, what postures/pressures are present.
In long, being able to sit with the questions that arise as I am before a client are the things that keep me motivated and inspired. To me that is a making of an expert in any area.
Suzie: What do you think are the things that stop people from waking up eager more often and having a wellness way of life?
Fonda: Guilt. What will people think of me if I am selfish and make myself a priority, part/the center of my own reality. Will I be "allowed" to change the program?
Lack of balance. Work, family or home life, but limited fun factor. Lack of creative expression. Writing, movement, painting, spoken word, volunteering: there are avenues unique only to you, no one views the world just like you, therefore no one has your exact gifts. Give yourself the room to explore just what that is.
Without this gift of grace, you are imprisoned (within your own mind,
very dangerous). Of course, I am saying this is a
self-gift...forgiveness of self and of others.
Suzie:What things do you personally do to stay energized, focused and interested in your work?
Fonda: I personally stay energized by scheduling time for: vacation, laughter, receiving massage, prayer/meditation, sleep, food, exercise, dancing and relationships.
like to read about massage, any healing modality, nutrition, dis-ease
and exercise and to talk with my colleagues to exchange ideas.
Suzie:Let's let people know how they can contact you..
Fonda: I can be reached at:
120 Stress Management Strategies and
Daily Tips for Developing This Area.