This Rising Woman is just so inspiring to me! I have never met Lisa in person, but together we used to be part of the Sweaty Betties with Danny-J. Seems so long ago! Lisa, I have absolutely loved watching you blossom over the past few years. You are such a bright light and I am honored to share your story here… xoxo
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am Lisa Simchison – I’m a 30-something mom, wife (married to my high school sweetheart!), a yoga teacher, a hypnotist, a nature lover, a seeker, a writer and so many other things! I spend my time helping women re-learn how to love themselves – exactly as they are. I use yoga, meditation, journalling and hypnosis to guide my clients back to themselves and to a place where they can finally stop living in the shadows, watching life from the sidelines and start living and LOVING their lives again!!
Tell me about your family, if applicable.
I have the most amazing little family! I married my highschool sweetheart almost 15 years ago and we have spent that time learning and growing together. He is the most supportive partner and manages to make me laugh every single day! We have two incredible daughters – Emma is almost 13 and Maddy is almost 11 – they are the best thing that has ever happened to both myself and my husband! Emma is strong and determined and questions everything – she is the kind of badass that I hope to be one day! Maddy is kind and sweet with a compassionate heart – she is someone you just want to be around!
What is your story?
I have battled self hatred and disordered body image for all of my adult life – I lived on the yo-yo diet roller-coaster – trying every single diet known to man. About 5 years ago I found myself over exercised, under-fed and miserable and exhausted…I couldn’t do it anymore. I heard my daughter, Emma tell my husband “Mom doesn’t eat ice cream” when he asked to see if I wanted to join them for an outing to the ice cream store…that was it for me. I was devastated. I knew that I was hurting myself with my disordered eating and exercising but I thought I was hiding it from my family…I wasn’t. That is when I made the commitment to love and accept myself! It wasn’t easy though, I struggled for years with those old habits and thought patterns. I had to remind myself daily that I was worthy of my own love – exactly as I was. During that time I found out that I had given myself adrenal fatigue from over exercising and under eating. That caused me to gain weight – the very thing I had worked so hard to avoid – and I gained a lot of weight about 45lbs in two years. That was the biggest lesson I had in self acceptance and self love – there was nothing I could to stop the weight gain – and essentially, I had caused it myself. I spent the next two years flip floping from self hate to self love – but I kept doing the work (yoga, meditation, hypnosis and journalling) and the days of self hate became fewer and farther between until more days than not, I truly loved myself. After two years of doing the work and learning and trying and growing, I started to implement these lessons in my yoga teaching and in the last two years my focus has shifted to coaching other women to self love.
What have you overcome to get where you are today?
I have overcome a lifetime of negative beliefs that were planted in me. I have overcome negative body image and self hatred. I have overcome a deeply rooted belief that I was unlovable – and that no matter what I do I am not good enough. Overcoming those things and being where I am now – where I seriously love every single inch of my body and every aspect of myself – even the imperfect things and shadows – has been the biggest struggle and the biggest success of my entire life.
What has been your greatest struggle in life?
My greatest struggle in my life has been self love and acceptance – it was so ingrained in me to hate myself and to want to change (how could anyone love me if I wasn’t thin?). I spent two decades at war with my body and I have spent hundreds and hundreds dollars trying to “fix” my body. It has been my hero’s journey for me to overcome this struggle and get to the place where I can wear a bikini on the beach and jump in the water with my kids and to help other women get to that place too!
Did you ever feel like giving up? When you felt like giving up, what did you do?
I felt like giving up every day – it is so hard to go against everything you know. All I “knew” was that I was supposed to be thin – and it didn’t matter what it took – I believed that I would never love myself unless I was thin. On the days when I felt like giving up and going back to my old ways of restrictive dieting, I would look at my girls – they were the motivation I needed to keep going. I didn’t want them to see me living a half life and always worried about my weight – I knew that if they saw me doing that then they would most likely fall into that trap too. Ont he hard days when I wanted to quit and loving myself was too much work I would get on my yoga mat or go outside – those things helped me get back into my body – to really FEEL it – instead of thinking with my brain, I could feel with my heart and with my body. That always helped me stop the negative thought trains, in fact, it still does.
What are some of the tools and resources you have used to work through and overcome those struggles? (books, counselors, workshops, programs, coaches, etc.)
I have used many tools over the course of the last few years but the ones that stand out are the following: Hypnosis, The Desire Map book by Danielle Laporte, The Handel Method, Blocked 2 Blissed with Bexlife, The Art of Attention by Elena Brower, The White Hot Truth by Danielle Laporte, Awaken your Abundance with Tani Morgan, and a huge variety of meditations and yoga classes.
What are your gifts and how did you discover them?
I am a teacher. I have always known this, but it wasn’t until I found yoga that I truly discovered my voice. As soon as I started teaching yoga I found a part of myself that I didn’t know existed – I was confident, calm, and at ease in front of the class. I have spent the last 10 years teaching yoga and learning as much as I can about yoga and wellness and now I use my skills as a yoga teacher to coach women 1:1 and in small groups. I am also wildly creative – I love to sing, paint, write, take photos and crochet – I was this way as a child but somewhere along the way I lost the nerve to be creative. In the last two years I have rediscovered the love I have for all things creative and in the process I have found that I am actually pretty good at most things creative!
Who in life do you rely on when you’re struggling? Who keeps you uplifted and on your path?
I rely on my husband – he is my anchor. I am a wonderer and I spend a lot of time with my head in the clouds – and he helps keep me grounded. I also rely on a very small handful of incredible friends – the ones who will pick up the phone in the middle of the night when I call. I also rely on my faith that the universe is supporting me in every moment of my life – I believe that everything happens for a reason and that there is a bigger plan for me.
Tell us about your tribe and the importance of having one.
I have an incredible tribe of women in my life. Some of them I have never even actually met in real life but they are so important to me! I surround myself with women who I aspire to be like – women who are strong, loving and luminous – they shine their light no matter what! Women who say how they feel and live life like they give a damn! Having these women in my life helps me be the best version of myself – I know that I can count on them to call me out on my BS but also lift me up when I am down – they offer support, guidance, love and friendship and I can’t imagine my life without them!
What do you want other women to know who are feeling lost, and/or experiencing their own tragedy and/or struggles?
I would tell them – YOU ARE LOVED. You are unconditionally and completely loved exactly as you are.
What is some advice you would give to women who are healing or rising in some way?
Keep going and tell your story – share it with others, write it down, get it out of you and into the world where it can be released and healed and also where it can inspire other women. The more we open and share our stories the more we give other people permission to do the same.
~ You can find Lisa at: www.lisasimchison.com
~ Lisa is the creator of The Rebellious Love Project, which you can find here: http://bit.ly/2DUKhOS
Lisa, keep doing your thing, beauty! And thank you for being part of The Rising Woman Project!