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Jyoti Shines A Light: Marie Chindamo

As you already know if you’ve been hanging out with us for a while, community is wildly important at Jyoti. We believe that real magic happens when we engage with other people, when we offer them support and allow ourselves to be supported in return, when we help keep each other accountable and build happy memories along the way. Creating this kind of community is a key component of igniting your inner light and living your most vital life.

The team behind Jyoti is a vibrant, beautiful community unto itself, and we are excited to begin to introduce you to its members, starting with none other than founder Marie Chindamo. We’re here to shine a light on Marie and her personal philosophies on self-care, wellness, and inspiration. Keep reading to learn more! We’re confident that her wisdom will spark something in you.

What made you fall in love with taking care of your body?

Having experienced a traumatic childhood and equally harrowing entry into adulthood, I’ve always understood the importance of self-care. The one thing I could control during those unspeakably tragic years was how I cared for my health. Fast forward to a few years ago, and my awareness of the significant influence that our decisions and behaviors have on our longevity and vitality become even stronger thanks to a book called How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. The premise of that book is that people die from disease — not old age. Yes, we may all be subtly aware of this idea, but learning more about it changed everything for me and made my health and wellness decisions that much more important.

What does self-care mean to you?

It takes on many forms! Here at Jyoti, we characterize the many opportunities for self-care into three categories: mindfulness, movement, and nutrition. Even when I coach executives (as part of the services I offer through Jyoti’s sister company ProTilly), I stress the importance of linking all three of these ideas. Regardless of your specific goals, you have to start with self-care — and mindfulness is a great place to begin, because it’s the foundation for movement and nutrition. We have to find space in our lives to evaluate our thoughts and actions, and self-care begins with turning on our “light” (the inspiration for the name Jyoti, which means “light of consciousness”). It’s also about learning what’s truly in your best interest, and not making decisions based on the media, commercialism, or even what our neighbors think is the right choice. What actions are going to support your mindfulness, movement, and beneficial nutrition?

What inspires you most?

What inspires me most is myself — and that’s not narcissistic, because we all should be inspired by ourselves. We are setting ourselves up for the best success when we stop measuring ourselves against others. What is right for others, what has worked for them, and what they have accomplished is not necessarily applicable for you! I look back at all of the challenges I’ve had in my life and I focus on the strength I had to muster to move forward. I’m here today as a stronger and more successful contributor to my environment because I found that strength. When you stop judging and re-convicting yourself for every last mistake and begin instead to focus on lessons learned and the power you had to move forward, you can use your energy and potential to make the best life for yourself. Create your own yardstick and strive to be better than you were last week… not equal to or better than anyone else!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“It’s not about you.” When we think someone is acting a certain way toward us or we don’t like the outcome of a situation, we tend to to take it very personally — but the behaviors we see in others or that we feel we are the target of are not about us at all! Those behaviors are the projections of the personas within the person they are coming from. They come from their perceptions, which are the product of their experience, their cultures, their lessons, their growth. We all have a choice as to whether we want to change our behaviors to alter someone else’s perceptions. Just know that it is your choice to do so. If you do so for the purpose of adapting and connecting more effectively — fantastic! If you do it for any other reason, do yourself a favor and explore that reason more deeply.

How do you ignite your inner light?

I’m always setting goals for myself. Some goals are small, and some are more robust. I embrace the fact that what doesn’t grow dies. I also stay highly aware of the fact that making mistakes is human and  I will miss valuable opportunities if I allow my fears to shade my light. Success breeds success. I would rather visualize my light burning bright and make 100 decisions knowing there is a risk of ten being wrong than to keep my light only bright enough to make ten decisions in that same period, even knowing that they’ll all be correct. It’s better to take 90 steps forward — each one fuels my success — and learn 100 lessons than to only take ten steps forward!

Say hi to Marie on Facebook or Instagram!

Featured image: Unsplash