#BEYOUROWN MEETS SANDRA FAZIO
After consciously leaving the corporate world in 2012 when her daughter turned one, Sandra Fazio began letting go of all she thought she needed “to do” and gave permission to the Universe to “let be” what was meant for her life.
Two years later, after enduring more challenges and anxiety in her new-found motherhood journey than she ever expected, Sandra was greatly inspired by Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s interview with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday on her book The Conscious Parent and knew this was the Universe’s message for Sandra to serve her life’s calling and purpose. Sandra found her daughter was raising her in ways she never thought possible and was about to experience her own re-birthing and metamorphosis into motherhood to meet and embrace her daughter’s essence for all she came into this life to be, serve and teach her.
Sandra describes herself as an Ever-Evolving Human Being, Mom, Conscious Parent / Life Coach, Story-Teller Poet, Author, Speaker, Meme-Artist and one who is Real, Raw and Relatable through all her connections in life. She originally embarked upon the work of conscious parenting through being the founder of The Conscious Parent Blog and continues to offer an open, authentic and honest fresh perspective while deepening the conversations around consciousness as a whole. She resonates with parents and parent-type figures alike in helping to raise our collective self-awareness in making this world better for our children to live and lead and for generations to come.
Six years later, Sandra is continuing to evolve by the moment and every encounter within her parental and personal journey. As her daughter grows, so is she and together they are aligning to their truest self. Sandra’s passion for showing up and being vulnerable invites others to do and be the same. She holds nothing back in her social media posts, podcast interviews and wherever she gets the opportunity to be the vessel of self-growth.
Hey Sandra, can you introduce yourself to us?
Sure! So I often describe myself as an ever-evolving human being on the spiritual path of seeking her truest and highest self. I am finding that it is through the vessels of my experiences as mom, a conscious parent / life coach, story-teller poet, author and speaker (though I am not attached to anyone aforementioned “labels”) that I am willing and open to showing up in my most real, raw and relatable authentic being to all connections in life.
Though I formally stepped into my work of conscious parenting only four years ago, I know that my souls have been preparing me for this path my entire life. While I received my official coaching certificate through Coach U back in 2010, I have been coaching people since my twenties and was always the “therapist” if you will to family and friends.
I have a deep passion for the work I embody, and I come alive at my core when I get to share that zest for life with all other human beings. Of course, it is always a bit sweeter when I encounter like-minded souls as there is a feeling of “being home” when I do. One way I that embrace my essence, for example, could be while shopping in a grocery store. I will be the one to strike up a conversation with the cashier or someone in line and connect right to their heart, see them and see parts of myself through them.
Being a student of life, I am deeply humbled by the experiences in which The Universe brings my way that continues to feed my hunger for self-growth, inner expansion, deep evolution, and transformation. And it is precisely in moments like this (interview) where I get to be in my own space of sharing that I feel the dividends of my life coming full circle – serving my calling and life purpose.
My gratitude to BEYOUROWN for the invitation to be part of your amazing community of women leaders. I am humbled and honored to encompass this space with so many brilliant minds and hearts.
You left the corporate world back in 2012, so can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
At the prime age of 39, I became a first-time mother and found my daughter was “raising me” in ways I never thought possible. Prior to motherhood, I had parenting “all mapped out” – from how it would “look” and “go” – yet, much to my surprise, it was anything but what I expected. With my unconscious controlling ego, I figured since I had all my “ducks lined up,” and as long as I was “in charge,” stepping into my new-found parenting role was going to be pretty smooth.
Now, reflecting back – from pregnancy complications, having her four weeks premature to her very strong-willed and spirited personality – I can see that everything happens exactly it is meant to be. Not only to better prepare me for what was yet to come, but to experience my own re-birthing and metamorphosis into motherhood so I can meet and embrace my daughter’s essence for all she comes into this life to be, serve and teach myself.
Rewinding back to January 2012, when my daughter turned one, I consciously quit my six-figure, long-standing career to be home full-time and, although this was a blessing to have had the choice to make happen, it was a huge adjustment from being a “career” person – having a very structured routine to a non-structured routine and no longer in “control” of my day. It gave me new insight on how my own anxieties, preconceived beliefs, behaviours, and restrictive ways were limiting my ease and enjoyment of motherhood at times. Taking ownership of how I was contributing to burdening my daughter’s emotions – more through my own frustrations and with my (then) “A-type” personality style – I wanted to be as prepared as I could to ease all anxieties around my own expectations of motherhood. I tracked every ounce of food, sleep, bowel movements, anything to help keep me “in control” and ultimately conform my daughter to meet my comfort and transition. I naively assumed that as long as I created the plan, she would just follow effortlessly.
Well, that back-fired and created more frustration for my daughter, who sensed my anxious and controlling energy. When she did not fulfil the expectations that I had planned out in my head, my inner tensions deepened. Oh, how much wiser I am reflecting on this from a more wisdom mind. At the time, I could only see my journey from the limited peep-hole in which I was looking through.
Aside from the expected tantrums a child has otherwise referred to as “the terrible twos”, our daughter’s tantrums began at 17 months and even when we thought she would be growing out of them they persisted for much longer. My husband and I could see that our daughter was experiencing more atypical emotional behavioural responses in ways that just did not seem consistent with her cognitive growth. She would have many abrupt and long meltdowns over things that seemed trivial – for example, if a certain cup she liked was not available to drink from, she was set off emotionally and no matter how I tried to calm her, she melting down upwards of 45 minutes sometimes longer. Or if her toy fell on the floor while I was driving, and I was unable to pick it up, she had a complete tantrum – screaming at the top of her lungs. Or if her blanket wasn’t folded just “right” before going to bed and turning off the lights, she got all worked up and getting her to settle back down took a lot of energy out of everyone. These types of situations, amongst many others, occurred more often than not. Patience grew thin more for me than my husband since I was home full-time with our daughter and I was rendered helpless having my own emotional meltdowns feeling at a loss.
So just shy of our daughter’s 3rd birthday, we decided to speak to a local renowned child neuropsychologist and address our various concerns. She completed a five-week testing period (where I got to be in the room to observe) and at the final evaluation, we were informed that she has tested in the highly gifted sector. What does this mean? For our daughter, it means she is way ahead in her cognitive functions but her social-emotional functions are unevenly developed. This causes a huge disparity between her emotional and intellectual needs which then ultimately creates frequent bouts of high intensity, emotional meltdowns, high frustration, and low persistence level. This helped to explain her random and innocuous outbursts but I knew that in order to ensure my daughter’s positive (emotional) developments and growth, I needed to make some significant changes of my own. This was going to take a lot of inner work, vulnerability, and conscious enlightenment on my end so that I could fully “show up” for her emotional needs more calmly, peacefully, and abundantly.
No sooner (and no coincidence) did I send this vibration out to The Universe, Dr. Shefali Tsabary appeared for the first time on Oprah that May discussing her book, The Conscious Parent. It was through this vessel of hope, light and The Universe’s validation and answer that I began expanding upon my inner compass, starting The Conscious Parent Blog. I share more about the birthing of my blog in your other question.
Dr. Shefali shares in her book, “a certain child enters our life with its individual troubles, difficulties, stubbornness, and temperamental challenges in order to help us become aware of how much we have yet to grow.” This has become, and I quote Dr. Shefali, my “spiritual vibration for change”.
A couple weeks into my journaling, I began embarking upon a new paradigm shift/awakening for myself to “grow up” and would later come to understand that my daughter was always destined to be my daughter – so she could teach me how to be her mommy. Through her spirit of life and essence, I have been able to build my underdeveloped being into that one with more ease and calm and through the daily building of my conscious muscle, I learn to be more present, connected and less anxious by far on my parenting journey.
In the space between then and now and the onset of my daughter’s struggles and where we are today – it’s a world of difference for many reasons. First, because I have been “doing” the inner-work. Starting with myself gave me the foundation to navigate all the other findings to those struggles. We have since learned that so many of her emotional/developmental struggles were rooted in the biomedical (gut/brain) areas. That is a whole conversation in and of itself and a place we are still addressing to-date and for the past 18 months. Helping her to heal physically so she can live the most thriving life she deserves is an even deeper part of my journey where I discovered my inner strength in a way I didn’t know existed. My daughter is a warrior for all she’s endured and though we are still presently working to support her in this area, we are all breathing a lot better by the day.
As I continue to work on several matters of the heart every day, I “regress” and “progress” based on the moment before me, the season in which we are shedding skin and growing together, the wisdom I am gaining from all my experiences, the mistakes I am making, the hurdles I am jumping over, and the teachings that are coming my way. I am an effervescent student of life on this path to my highest self and with grace and self-compassion, I am slowly learning to drop the labels I had once placed upon myself (so self-judgmental I was) and now embracing the curiosity of my being.
I hold nothing short of deep gratitude for my daughter calling me into her life (as I called her into my own) because I know that no other soul other than hers would have broken me wide open in the ways she has. It is from this incarnation that I am serving my life’s purpose.
What is a day in the life of you like?
Well, in essence, that can change on a moment-to-moment basis and something I had not always been open-minded too before embarking on this path of conscious parenting/consciousness as a whole.
So each day, I am learning to stay more open to being in the flow than in the rigidity of my day. As someone who has a very organised and structured approach (and often in colour-code detailed fashion), I have come to discover – through being a mom (in particular) and also just through my own evolution and growth – that when I actually meet the moment as it is, I harmonise better with the day in itself and limit my anxiety in the doing. And though I may set great intentions and have a vision for what each day looks like, I have really become more attuned inwardly to the being of the moment – so that my day can flow with ease and calm, more than conflict and chaos.
In a more concrete way, however, I am all about simplifying my life where possible and planning ahead to mitigate anxiety where I can. So, each night, I get all of my daughter’s school items ready (lunch, clothes, etc) that way in the morning we are not rushed or hurried and can start in the best energy/flow as possible. On average, I wake up at 6:00 a.m. (same time as my daughter and even on the weekends, yikes), to get her ready for school and we are out the door by 7:20 a.m. What is so nice is that we live within walking distance to her school so that has been a really nice treat for both of us to engage in the experience of being outdoors without the hustle and bustle of city life traffic. I bring my headphones with me so that on the walk back I can begin to either hear a podcast, online course, meditation music – whatever feels right and helps me to best integrate into my day with calm. When I walk into the door, I spend on average 20-30 minutes of full meditation before getting into my groove.
Again, depending upon the day, I can average between two and three coaching call sessions and when I have open space, I am being/doing any or all of the following: creating, envisioning, writing, planning, interviewing, learning, and connecting in my work whether it is through social media, phone calls, coffee visits or just plain running errands. Some days I am merely “doing” household matters and running errands while on other days I am full-throttle in my work wherever it lands at that moment.
How did you launch The Conscious Parent Blog?
I started blogging in June 2014 right after seeing Dr. Shefali on Oprah! Her book, The Conscious Parent, was a huge catalyst for me. Blogging was a way for me to share my parenting journey (struggles and lessons learned) and to be a steward of the life-changing real life practices of conscious parenting that I have been applying through Dr. Shefali’s teachings. It gave me a healing space to honour my inner voice, thoughts, and emotions – basically to be my own self-therapist – so I could show up whole and abundant for myself and daughter/family.
Month after month, I noticed more like-minded individuals drawn to what I was writing and how many of my insights resonated with them. Whenever a specific experience, encounter, or episode occurred in the day, and mainly around my parental unfolding, I was compelled to release it through my blog with full presence and conviction. There was no particular formality – just pure vulnerability at the moment. It became a way for me to practice the art of letting go, feeling my feelings, embracing my fears, expressing my heart and trusting that The Universe is always there to support me along the way no matter what.
My blogs were and are an invitation to help readers find their own inspiration, own inner voice and own liberation – freeing themselves from self-judgement, guilt, and doubt. While my blogging and writing as a whole has been very cathartic for me, it serves as a reminder to any reader that they are not alone on their journey and that as a parent or care-giver we are all undertaking the greatest “role” of our life to be an agent of change – starting with ourselves first.
Can you tell us what is a conscious parent coach?
Of course, it will differ from coach-to-coach and is not a one-size-fits-all. Personally, I stay away from a “calculated” coaching formula and meet my clients right where they are. It’s a sacred soul-to-soul organic connection that allows one to be seen, heard and accepted as they are. Whatever shows up at that moment is where we first start.
From the viewpoint of how the sessions go, I ask thought-provoking questions and help my clients notice patterns and themes around the unfolding of their childhood and/or conditioned belief systems to that of their present-day “matters of the heart” within themselves and relationship/family dynamics. I hold a safe and non-judgmental space so they can share vulnerably and invite my clients to lean into the discomfort that has been suppressing their inner voice/truth so they can truly experience liberation and self-growth on the other end.
For me in particular, it’s an integration of the over-arching consciousness / conscious parenting teachings taught directly from Dr. Shefali, infused with my own flavour, wisdom and down-to-earth approach. I bring a very casual and conversational-style in each of my coaching sessions. I listen keenly to what I “hear” my clients say – which is often different from “the story” they are telling themselves – and help them to deconstruct the surface issues, getting them to the root issue so they can first nurture their own inner child. This process not only helps them build upon a deeper relationship with their own children but first within themselves.
Ultimately, I empower my clients to take ownership of how they are showing up in their own lives and invite them to redesign the parts of their life that lead to more abundance, acceptance, and awareness. I don’t hesitate to offer my own struggles, making myself very relatable to my clients, along with sharing practical solutions that I have found to be beneficial on my unfolding (personal and parental) path to consciousness.
Can you tell us how you are deepening the conversations around conscious parenting for all parents and parent-type figures?
So, I’m a deep believer that in order to be a vessel of any work you’re called to serve, you must “walk the talk.” And I also feel that you are obligated, if you will, to being in the practice of your practice. So, for myself, I’m deepening the conversations as a whole – around conscious parenting – for human beings, in general. Something to understand about conscious parenting is that it has less to do with the parenting of the child before you and everything to do with parenting the inner child within you.
What does that mean? That means that even if you are not a parent in the conventional sense that we have been conditioned to believe a parent to be, we all have that inner child (that little person inside of us) that needs nurturing, love and compassion. Because somewhere along the path into adulthood, that child’s needs were unmet. So, when we get clear with nurturing the wounded unhealed parts within us and learning how to comfort the places that have been long forgotten, we can all heal at a cellular level. And that in and of itself becomes a universal language that all people, no matter if you’re a parent or not, can relate too and connect at that deep spiritual level.
How I have “used” my own journey in deepening the conversations is first by showing up in my own vulnerability. I do not exempt myself just because I am a coach or an author or whatever label you want to put around. It has nothing to do with me having figured out all the answers and everything to do with seeking my truth. I’ve offered myself as a vessel by showing up in the real raw moments of my own life, in the depths of my own pain and despair, to give other people permission to show up in their own vulnerability. My writing, coaching and speaking elements are just the conduits in which I express my voice and deepen the conversation.
Can you elaborate on why you feel that this is an important factor in order to make this world better for our children to live and lead and for generations to come?
Absolutely! When we spend the time to go inward and connect to those places within us that are still wounded (based on the unconscious conditioning in which we’ve been raised), we can begin to clear the terrain within our own inner landscape, so we don’t unconsciously project that pain externally. Typically, through the hierarchy of parenting (and in the way we have been raised to believe parenting should look), it is our children first and foremost who receive the projection of that pain. We have an opportunity and an obligation to continue to go inward, get really clear about what it is within us that is fearing and being triggered and what is unhealed and as we do that we start to clear out the residue between the space of that connection of parent and child.
So what happens is that – that environment (in which our children are ingesting), the toxicity of that place, becomes their own interpretation for what love looks like, what compassion looks like, what pain looks like. It is up to us to ensure, at the deepest level, that we get really clear and heal the depths of our own root issues so that we are not “infecting” our children as a by-product of what it is we’re experiencing. Conscious parenting really is an invitation to turn the paradigm on its head, in which we’ve understood parenting to be, and instead look and honor the spirit of our child before us – seeing them as an equal if not greater than being. As opposed to, we, the parent, being the authority or greater and our child being the lesser.
When we shift our mindset from a place of wholeness and abundance, we allow our children their natural birthright in being who it is they have been called to be in this world. They gift us with being a reflection, a mirror so we can see within us where it is we have yet to grow and heal. And, in order to manifest from this space of essence-filled energy, we ultimately create a better world for our children to live and lead from their truth. We then came become their guide and usher, the wind underneath their wings, so they can fly to their highest self and soar to the potential in which they were called to be here.
It is important to realise that our children called us into their life equally as we called our children into ours really for the benefit of our own respective individual growth. We are always in co-creation with the world before us and the world, as we see it (even today), is a reflection of the unconscious cause and effect continuum that is happening over time. So if we desire change, we must first start with ourselves, be the change and once we vibrate at a higher frequency, our children will also attune to that frequency and vibrate to their highest self.
As a mother yourself can you tell us how you are juggling your own parental duties whilst running a business?
Ah, for me this becomes the beautiful balance of both worlds. The actual being and doing all while embracing the spiritual practice of this deep inner work so that I can be an instrument of the wisdom itself.
Yet, when I take a hawk’s eye view on this question, it really is a moment-to-moment experience and evolves year-over-year as my daughter grows up and my business gains momentum. How I juggled between these two even several years ago is far different than how I do it now. Because through each season of growth (personally, professionally and parentally), the responsibilities shift and the awareness deepens so it’s a continuum of learning how to juggle in that place and time.
What I have found, over the course of time, is that depending on how any moment shows up, I need to always stay attuned to the teaching before me. That everything that comes my way is an opportunity to learn and grow. And while I may have an expectation or an agenda in my mind (a fixated idea of what is this parent looks like with respect to my schedule and time as an entrepreneur), it is the present moment itself that asks me where to be most and how to most show up.
An example may be my daughter calling me from another room or having an upset or some phone call coming in or the dog needing my attention – while I am trying to get a business project completed. If I resist entering that moment where I’m being called to then I stay stuck in my illusion of how something is “supposed” to go. This doesn’t mean permissive or passive acceptance. If anything, it means I must pause and attune within and ask “what is the need, where am I feeling triggered and how will I cause my own suffering if I resist?” I have to discern what is before me and respond (not react accordingly) from a place of wisdom versus reacting from a place of fear or anxiety.
The point I am trying to make is that the more I surrender the reins of expectations and allow myself to stay on the breath, be in the moment and allow the moment to actually guide me, in the balance of both parenting and business, I find more inner peace and my child becomes the benefactor of that energy. I’m not holding onto an idea of what that “role” or “grind” is supposed to look like conditionally or culturally or even from my own limited belief system on being a mom and running a business.
Taking it a step further and to be more concrete in my sharing, I know that summer (and holiday breaks) are a season in my business where I can be more easily triggered – so I consciously have to become more clear of my inner and external boundaries to get my own needs met while ensuring my daughter’s needs are met too – as she is out of school.
Sidebar note regarding boundaries: When we get more clear first within ourselves and we are more connected to what it is that’s coming up for us inside (the triggers, the fears, the anxieties, expectations, the agenda) – whatever it is that create those bigger moments that we have to balance between – we are more able to articulate and guide our children (in particular) letting them know that our needs matter too. And when we attend to our own needs, we’re teaching them the power of what that looks like for them to attend to their needs.
Now, having learned from past observations and patterns of summer time and holidays, and working from home in my case, I know it can be extra challenging because my daughter doesn’t always realise where those boundaries are. All she sees is me being home and therefore believes I’m always “there.” Why shouldn’t she, right? So as parents, we must first realise (and teach through example) the difference between being physically and emotionally present because our children feel this difference on an energetic vibrational level. So what I do is create “undivided space” to enter my daughter’s world and be with her (truly present with her) to play a game, draw a picture, go to a local pottery place, ask her what she wants to do and to essentially make sure she feels my full presence. Then as needed, I also explain to her that “mommy has some work to do for the next hour and giving mommy that time is really helpful to both of us”. Over time, and through her own developmental growth, she has begun to understand this more. And in any relationship, keeping the lines of communication open is key to the success of and one I really feel we cultivate well in our family.
Also, specifically, as a mother of a daughter, I make it a conscious point to have her understand the power of self-care and self-love. Though I am far from reaching a pinnacle point of it and have let off the notion of “perfection”, it’s really in the everyday unfolding that I get to be reminded how to teach her to connect to herself while I connect to my own. It’s in creating that awareness that the bond between us deepens and I get to honour those boundaries – letting her know what space I need to best serve my own spirit, I can best serve hers in return.
In those times where I know I am being “more in demand” as a mom yet still growing my business, I spend time pre-planning where I may need extra support. That may look like hiring a care-sitter a few days a week, scheduling playdates or asking family or even a neighbour to help. Creating this structure in advance (though knowing plans can change and life happens) truly helps both my daughter and I. She’s an only child so she doesn’t have other siblings to share that time with – making both my husband and I her first “go to” playdate mates. And not to mention, my husband works from home both in his career and hobby as an entrepreneur too. So, our daughter has not really known her parents to be “working” parents in the traditional sense of going to an office or away from the home. Through practice and trial and error, we are conscious in her asking and also letting her know we need time for our work and that spending time in her own beautiful presence allows for her imagination to grow and flow. So many wonderful life teachings can happen in the open exchange/conversation with our children if we allow them to emerge.
A final practice I have found to keep me centered and present to both parenting and running a business is my breath and taking ownership the energy I bring in my space and interactions at all time. It is when I return to the center of my breath and allow myself to pause in between the external of what is happening and attune to the internal of my being, my body, my heart space that I find I am more at peace within and I am able to meet whatever comes my way. The breath is a neutraliser for me and is a place where I am able to self-regulate and align – bringing myself back to my essence.
Who does the team involve behind you at The Conscious Parent Blog?
So, about a year and a half ago, I re-branded myself from The Conscious Parent Blog to now Sandra Fazio – though I have incorporated my blog into the realm of my work. As for my extension of support, I have had the blessing and privilege of working arm-in-arm at various points of my business with my husband, Michael, who also is an entrepreneur in his own way and has been able to develop my website and help me on a branding level. So, at the end of the day, it really is me and with the great support of my husband.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Such a great question and one that is often asked in any interview. If you asked me this question seven years ago, I would have given you a very concrete answer however fast-forward to where I am now on my path it is far moe abstract. As I continue to evolve, learn and grow through each part of my journey, it’s interesting actually that I don’t find myself really even looking that far out as much anymore. There was a time that I lived so far out in the future that I forgot how to be here in the present moment, and I missed opportunities that could propel me in the future because of an attachment to some outcome of what that future was to look like.
What I do know is that I see myself continuing to propel my message of truth and vulnerability out in the world, in various platforms through my writing, publishing books, being a speaker on stage and channeling my work in service however I meant to in that space and time. I have often felt when I am most in the presence of the moment, I get to feel the work move through me as it’s meant in that space and however that shows up long-term has really less to do with my control, even though I’m taking inspired action, and more to do with divine timing. What I find very humbling is that as I continue to trust and allow The Universe to guide me within my own being, I remain open to all the possibilities that are meant for my life. And one of the visions I do have for myself, however, it’s meant to unfold and manifest, is sharing my message in the presence and company of Oprah. This is something I have declared out into The Universe and trust that if the work I’m being and doing in the present moment is meant to land in that space and time with her – whether it’s three to five years from now or a year from now or even 10 years from now, time is irrelevant – I know the timing will all work out divinely as it always does.
How are you planning to expand your personal branding being an author and coach already?
The more I detach from the ideals of what this business is to look like and the more I trust the space in which I’m attracting or what I’m putting out there (that is meant for me to expand upon), I continue to find divine intervention happening at all intersections of my life.
An example is precisely through our connection. A few weeks ago, I had an energy reading and clearing done – actually twice in a period of a week. The internal shifts and energetic pathways that opened up for me through that experience elevated my entire being (body, mind, soul) in a way I had never experienced before. It was akin to a new birth if you will. I stayed in that energy and flow, changed my mindset and energy around the fears and blocks that were getting in my path and I began attracting new connections. Samanah Duran being one of them. Now, could I know “for sure” if we were going to connect even if I didn’t do the energy clearing? I can’t say for sure but what I can say is that I find no coincidence in the divine timing of our interaction. This is just an example of how being open can really change the trajectory of your personal and professional path.
Currently, I am working on self-publishing my second book and expanding my coaching practice – accepting more clients now that I have more time again with my daughter being in school full-time. Also, a desire I have had for a year now is also starting a podcast and doing webinars – allowing these platforms to be a channel to getting out my message and being a steward of the work I’m called here to serve.
And while I don’t have this long-term concrete vision (though I do believe a vision is important and imperative to any business growth), I have passion and take inspired action based on my intuition and allow myself to stay in that space of openness and trust the unfolding of how my brand is meant to be a connection to serving my life’s mission. In a nutshell, staying open to the possibilities is really how I continue to see the evolution of my brand unfolding.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Of course. Well it goes without saying that anytime a person takes the leap of faith (steps outside of their own comfort zone and the parameters in which culture has conditioned around them), there’s always going to be some level of discomfort within. I’m no different and it’s been through these struggles that I have found inner success to my perseverance and potential.
For me, many of those struggles have really lied in trusting my own enoughness and trusting my own inner wisdom and going into that space without the absolute knowing. The “old” self, before my journey into consciousness, wanted exacts and resisted greatly when I didn’t know the next step. Over time, I can see more clearly how I created my own struggles and obstacles through this resistance and need for control. And as part of my evolution and self-growth, I am allowing the emergence of what is meant to be to intersect in that space of not knowing with curiosity and excitement.
Part of my struggles also came from the influx of limiting beliefs, stories and anxieties around “what if” … “what if this doesn’t happen”, “what if I don’t financially succeed”, “what if I waste my time and nobody’s really interested?” It’s usually been in those moments though that I have allowed myself to feel my deepest struggle, pain, internal conflict, and nurture and parent those spaces within, reminding myself of my wholeness, my divinity, my worthiness. That if I was called to be in this space it’s because there is a greater purpose beyond what I’m able to maybe see with my own eyes and that The Universe has my back always!
Undoubtedly every time I have let go, surrendered and invited The Universe to partner with me, (taking my hands off the wheel of control), it always brings me more connections – whether it’s somebody calling me to do a podcast, someone looking for a coach, or inviting me to be a speaker at their event. It has only allowed me to turn the struggle into a success and reminds me that it really is going to be in the depths of pain that I’m going to find my ultimate purpose and to keep trusting in that space.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
I cannot encourage enough to remind people of the power of a mentor and absolutely, unequivocally, yes!
My first mentor far and wide is my daughter. Every day she is my spiritual teacher, she is my mirror, she is my reflection of all the places I have yet to grow and all the places within that I need to keep digging deeper to uncover and to heal and to witness my own necessary evolution.
So, it’s a humbling feeling where we often overlook the gift of a child before us. Realising they hold such great power, conscious spiritual essence-filled power in their small but mighty being and their ability to transform us from the inside out is immeasurable.
Interestingly, prior to realising really truly how much a child has the ability to take you, break you and create this whole new part of you – from a place that you can’t ever go back to the way it ever was – I was very blessed to have chanced upon Dr. Shefali Tsabary, who is the author of the NY Best-Selling Book “The Conscious Parent” and appeared on Oprah back in May 2014. The divine timing that her message landed on my heart forever changed the trajectory of my life and is the reason I am where I am today doing and being this work in “real time”.
After I saw Dr. Shefali on Oprah (both on Super Soul Sunday and Life Class), I texted like 50 friends and said: “I am starting a group on conscious parenting, would you join me.” I knew in my deepest core that The Universe aligned me with Dr. Shefali precisely as I was meant to hear her message and evolve through her work. While I did not get a lot of responses, I decided I was not going to “wait” for anyone and that is how my blog “The Conscious Parent Blog” was born.
Within a week, I personally reached out to Dr. Shefali and shared with her the blog I created and how incredibly inspirational she was to me. One thing lead to another and within months, we began working together from doing a webinar to conscious parent products to one-on-one mentor coaching guidance with her and ultimately becoming soul-sister friends. She is hands-down one of the greatest earth angel messengers on this planet that I have been beyond blessed to know and she is really daring to disrupt and change all the paradigms and conditioning that we have been taught to believe is the way from generations past. She has the ability to deconstruct those teachings in a way that is practical and accessible for us to implement daily in this human life. Being a personal mentor to me, she truly catapulted my whole existence here as a human being and I have been ingesting that energy in a positive way to propel me even more into my truth and purpose. I’m so grateful that I have both my daughter and Dr. Shefali as the wings, if you will, to my own growth. They continue to raise me in a vibration where I can soar to my highest truth.
What outlets do use to market The Conscious Parent Blog?
Currently, I am on the main social media engine platforms – including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and my own website, now named SandraFazio.com. I also have a private group called “The Conscious Parent – Parenting Forum Group,” where I get an opportunity to connect more intimately with people in some of their struggles or questions around their conscious parenting journey. It’s a community of like-minded people – where they feel safe and not judged and can share experiences of their path and receive more one-on-one support as needed from their tribe.
Also, on my social media platforms, I often post a lot of my writings in real-time. So, if I’m sitting and spirit is moving through me, I may write a poem or post an ah-ha wisdom insight at that moment – allowing whatever needs to be shared to organically. I also love doing vlogs (video blogs) as well as offer people in private group forums any practical hands-on coaching advice based on their questions.
So essentially it varies at different times, depending upon the need or call and ultimately providing me an opportunity to be present at the moment, reflect, share and connect with people in whatever way I am meant and trusting that it will divinely land on another’s heart as it is meant.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
For me, it’s been a combination of my own social media platforms and marketing extensions and a beautiful union of many tribe like-minded groups that I have belonged to over the course of my journey. Where I have shown up most vulnerably, raw, authentic and open to sharing the truths of my own journey, pain, fears and being that safe place/person for my tribe to lean on, to get guidance and coaching from as well.
And so, what I have found is that being in that safe space – that networking of like-minded people – there’s a deep relatability and you go in without the labeling of being a coach or a writer or an author and you show up as a human being, as a spiritual being, in the human experience of it.
I’ve also found in connecting with like-minded people that my support group has organically unfolded and, if anything, people resonate with the work I do, the teachings I offer and the vulnerability I put out there. And I often get a lot of people that will just email me and share their words of gratitude saying “thank you for sharing this very open part of your life, I’m not alone”. And, so, when another can see themselves in you and you can help mirror back parts of themselves that maybe they’ve had a hard time accessing, you create this beautiful, symbiotic but very individualistic support. You’re in the same but you’re different in your own way and so in its own efforts, it seems to cycle, as it’s meant to, bringing together the people in your tribe as your message is calling them to be part of.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being a momtrepreneur?
First of all, I believe that every mom is an entrepreneur and CEO by the mere fact that she is typically (and this does not discount dads or other caretakers) the foundational bedrock to “running” the home. Yet society and cultural conditionings do not view this as a noble position in life. Why? Perhaps because it is not attached to a pay-check or title? Or it’s just “expected” that she should just do and be all the things a “mom” does because it’s in her nature and this is the way it’s been done for eons. See society doesn’t take the equanimous lens of valuing the importance of being a “stay at home mom role” as a business owner because we’ve been conditioned to believe it’s just “her job” to do and be all the things she’s expected to raising children, running a household and somewhere in between find herself and her own passion and purpose.
In my opinion, the latter is a dogmatic mindset that needs disruption given the times we are now living in and the way our children are coming to us so much more evolved and connected to higher consciousness than we ever were. So, if we continue to stay in this static mindset we are doing a huge disservice to our young girls and women as a whole (namely) on holding them back from being empowered as they divinely are.
Building a safe and thriving home is one of the most important jobs around. It requires a constant steady eye, hands-on and at times hands-off approach yet still within good distance to observe and know what is going on at all times. Again, all consistent with building a business. Our home is where our belief systems, emotional intelligence, communication, capacity to integrate with others, understanding of relationships, love, happiness, hardships, growth, patience, perseverance, self-respect and respect for others, fiscal responsibility, organisation, time management, teamwork, decision-making, empowerment, accountability and ownership, boundaries, flexibility, family meetings, courage, plans and preparation, compassion and empathy, security, and acceptance (and more), all get modelled to us. Are these elements not all synonymous with running a business? Of course, they are.
What would you like to see changed for moms in business?
The very first thing I would like to see changed is for moms to cut themselves a break, to truly honour their being, ability, and capacity and to create far-and-wide outside of the limited “role” that we have placed around being a mom.
I would love to also see moms having a lot more compassion for one another and regard for all the work that we are being and doing collectively as a whole in this world. It is through that energy that consciousness that we will raise the vibration as a union of our souls and empower each other, wherever we all are in respect to business.
Whether we are just starting off or we have been on this journey for 20 years, I would love to see more moms in business coming together as a sacred ground of birthing for all creativity. Whether it’s somebody who is seeking guidance and reassurance on one level or somebody who’s been doing the work for decades and could use a recharge and learn more around today’s technical advances, I empower us to ask for help.
Lastly, I would love to see moms in business take better care of ourselves. We are super good and wired to take care of others in the innate way we’ve been wired at that we’ve often forgotten how to use that amazing power and gift to channel back into and reignite our own selves. We must learn the power of “no” and ask for a time to rest and not over commit ourselves to the point that we feel we have to come across a certain way or else people won’t find value in our existence.
Essentially be reminded that we are inherently enough from the very essence of our being a part of this greater source energy world and to start plugging into each other on that universal level more. Let’s co-create from that magnitude and power as opposed to the form-based power in which we’ve been conditioned to believe has more worth.
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
Honestly, I don’t know that I can narrow it down to just one. I feel I have been showered with such great sprinkles of wisdom over the course of my journey so to pick just one feels constraining. But here it goes, ha!
One piece of advice I recently received just a few weeks ago that I have felt at the core of my being when I heard it, has truly shifted me from the inside out is…“ to always choose love over fear”.
Sounds so simple right? Doesn’t everyone know this? Of course, we do, but to know it intellectually and to feel it energetically and vibrationally are two different things. The latter is where it got me. And at that moment I received these words, my willingness to consciously shift my belief is a testimony that when “the student appears, the teacher is ready.”
We always have the ability and the choice in how we allow the power of words to impact us. From the story that we’re telling, from the lens in which we’re seeing things, from the agendas in which we’re attached to, choosing love over fear truly does win every time. While we do not have control over how others show up in their space, we do have the power in how we nurture, support and own our energy in the space of others.
The energy of love is one that’s unmatched. Fear will always win if we by our minds let it win. It’s when we tap into the deepest part of our heart and our truth and our essence, that love will magnify within us and it will project like a hologram out in the world. It will illuminate other beings and raise them in a way – because that’s the power of love.
What is the number one critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
So, if I were to think back along the spectrum in which I’ve traversed to be in this exact moment now, the one advice, the one critical lesson that I have learned is “don’t attach to the outcome”.
I used to be somebody who would set the vision and not be very flexible. So, I had constructed a way in which I was going to get from point A to point B and if it didn’t go that exact way, I created a story in my mind that I wasn’t doing something right or I failed or it wasn’t good enough. But each time I have moved along the spectrum of my own journey, I am reminded graciously through my growth, pain, and challenges that when I least have an expectation or an attachment to the way something is to be, what is meant to be for my life appears. This doesn’t imply it comes all wrapped in a bow without challenges – if anything it’s contrary and it shows me the depths of my capacity to get farther and grow stronger because of those struggles.
When I let go of the outcome and experience the moment before me, I begin to see that there’s so much more joy waiting to be embraced. Also, the amount of unforeseen opportunities that intersect because of that surrendering, has catapulted me in different directions unknowingly.
Detaching from the outcome and trusting the moment where I’m at – knowing that if I continue to show up authentically, wholly and in my own divine power – there is no other way but the higher vibration that I will continue to grow in my career.
For me, to even really deconstruct the false perceptions around what it means to have even a career, has nothing to do with the social status or the amount of money I’m making or the title, and instead has everything more to do with how am I most honouring and serving the work in which I was called to be here to do and be.
So essentially getting out of my own, my own head and more into my heart space open me to hear whispers of “you got this, “you can make it happen,” “believe in yourself,” and “you don’t need the external world to give you that validation”.
At the end of the day, I’m ever so grateful for all the hurdles in which I’ve gone through and many more that are to come, undoubtedly. The difference is at each stage of my path I get to see the unfolding of those experiences from—from a higher wisdom mind then perhaps years prior when I was in a different mindset.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
One moment at a time. One breath at a time. When I am connected to my heart’s center, the nucleus of my physical being, then I can align the doing with the being, the external with the internal and come back to that place of truth.
In practical terms, what does that look like?
It looks like: starting my day with some form of meditation, being organised in an inspired-action fashion to the extent I physically and humanly need to be so that I clear the mental space, creating a vision for the day ahead, organising and prioritising my calendar, looking ahead and confirming phone calls or even placing a “tickler” note on something I need to follow-up, saying “no” to the things that don’t align with my knowing, saying “yes” to what lights my fire, creating pockets of solitude to divest any energy that isn’t serving me, reflecting on my blessings, seeing my burdens as The Universe calling me to pause and b still, being unabashed about asking for help, setting boundaries, simplifying my life wherever I can, grabbing an iced tea when I just need a break and taking ownership for every and all of those places in which I am co-creating with life – “good, bad or indifferent.”
This doesn’t mean I am always in balance because it’s pretty much a 50-50 shot on any given day. Life happens in between so I must remain flexible if I wish to stay in flow and freedom.
At the end of the day, I just do my best. I give myself grace and permission to know I am staying as conscious to all aspects of my life as I can and some days I am just going to fall short. The beauty is that there will always be another opportunity to rise higher and start again.
The highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career so far has been sharing the stage with my spiritual mentor, Dr. Shefali at her last two conferences.
But before then, I was given an opportunity to first share a front-seat, so to speak, with Dr. Shefali as her social media and marketing coordinator, where I had the honour to “shadow” her (like an apprentice), learn first hand her incredible teachings and elevate myself to new heights on the path of conscious parenting. She even coached me privately and helped me build momentum into what is my parent/life coaching practice today.
Back to sharing the stage with Dr. Shefali, so in 2015, she and I put together her first conference called “Evolve – The Conscious Way Summit. “ I was asked to share a song on stage as singing has always been a way I connect deeply to my heart. Then in 2016, I supported Dr. Shefali further in her conferences and during those past two years, she asked me to introduce her to the hundreds of attendees then sing “Rise Up” by Andra Day.
The following year, I was invited by her to be a featured speaker in the conference and shared an intimate and vulnerable space with Dr. Shefali talking around the trials, tribulations, successes, and growth of my journey into conscious parenting.
It was an extremely raw moment for me and after I shared so openly there was a lot of people afterward that came up to me saying how much my truth opened their hearts, giving them permission to access those same vulnerable spaces within themselves.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
‘Satisfaction’ is continuing to show up in a space that I know is aligning with my truth and honouring whatever is coming through me in that space of my career.
It could be blogging, writing poetry, speaking on stage, a heart-to-heart connection with a client, sharing sacred space with a colleague, doing a podcast interview – it all feels very rewarding and satisfying. I am a very simplistic person and so it’s often the small things that light me up and warm my heart.
I also love when I have offered a piece of my heart and it’s divinely landed onto another’s. I see this a lot with my posts where people will comment saying “I so needed to hear this today,” or “so beautifully written, thank you.”
However, I can offer my insight or wisdom and seeing it shift the energy of a client or reader from lack to abundance – that brings a deep gratitude in my own self. I am constantly reminded that who I am, as I am and where I am is where I, in return, will meet the people that need to be in that interaction with me and me with them. Wherever I am in that given moment, touching lives, sharing and serving but also deeply receiving – every interaction that brings me equal growth is a good feeling.
What barriers have you faced whilst building The Conscious Parent Blog?
I believe the barriers, in the beginning, were around the belief systems and the judgments of what other people would think of what I had to say. The barriers to believing that what I had to offer was valuable, worthy and enough. These barriers resided in my own mind as I was seeking that validation and approval from the external to speak my truth.
Putting myself out there in that vast space of people I didn’t know and really opening and exposing myself (not knowing what other people are going think or feel) was scary but necessary. It was my path to self-therapy and healing.
The way I reconciled these barriers within me was through knowing my intention and being vessel and voice of vulnerability. I was willing to take that risk and so glad I did. My world has ever since expanded in more ways than imaginable.
To now think that if I would have stayed in those limited beliefs and barriers, I would not be here sharing in this interview and close to where I am on my path of evolution. Taking that first step to just do it and write and be authentic has been one of my greatest liberations.
Which other leading momtrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Oh my goodness! Well, Dr. Shefali tops the list as far as a momtrepreneur. She has been the catalyst to so much of my own zest and passion for paving my path around consciousness and conscious parenting. She has been a beacon of light for me and she has helped me to disrupt many of the barriers that have long limited me from being in that space of knowing that I have the power within me to rise equally to the same level as anyone out there who is where they are in their own path.
I lovingly admire many of the moms that I coach and those that are awakening to their higher purpose – looking to find the everyday balance between the doing and the being. I learn through their own journey and experiences how wonderful it is they are daring their path to self-grow and it humbles me that I get to share that sacred space with them.
And undoubtedly one I regard deeply is Oprah. Though she is not considered a mom in the traditional sense, she is a mother to so many through her great service and works around the world. She has just been a torch for so many women in general but really all beings, if you will. Her capacity to show us that no matter where we come from, no matter how many struggles we’ve endured, we know the possibility is endless and we have equal potential to be on the same platform of life. That we’re destined to serve our calling irrespective of what the platform looks like.
I find myself staying constantly open and curious to engaging in conversations with women in particular moms and being a student of other people – sharing indirectly my own encounters and really being kind of a bridge to both the student and the teacher no matter where I’m at. I see us all as ONE and equals and I am often moved by the perseverance of so many beings here on earth. Their fight, grit, and determination to embrace the struggle and keep on keeping on.
It could be somebody I meet at a grocery store who is powering through a great challenge and it’s something in their energy that inspires me to keep growing and going even given some of my own struggles. So, I don’t feel that there’s an endpoint in which I look to. I’m constantly open to seeing people as they are and admiring their tenacity and ability to evolve.
How would you say you are intending to use your voice to educate others in the world of the coaching industry?
I’m doing it through many of the platforms that I have, including my writing, speaking, and videos. I’m doing it through everyday interactions and encounters even at say Starbucks. I may feel the energy of somebody and channel a connection by smiling or making small chit-chat. I use my voice exactly as I’m divinely guided in that space.
Say I’m at a certain place and I can feel and sense that somebody is needing some extra love, I will make a point to connect and ask questions and help elevate their consciousness on some level. I will share what it is I’m learning and bringing greater awareness to a topic of conversation, whether it’s amongst tribe like-minded people or a neighbour next door, who may be going through something of their own.
Using my voice is more about being in my truth and speaking my truth. However that becomes a gateway to educating and supporting and empowering others, I know that I’m being an extension within this industry of coaching or writing or whatever you want to call it that I’m honouring that gift.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Well, the book that tops them all for me and that has set me on this trajectory of consciousness and conscious parenting is “The Conscious Parent” by Dr. Shefali, followed by her third book “The Awakened Family”.
I am not your typical avid reader and prefer audible downloads and watching online videos (summits) or even TEDx Talks.
I prefer to listen to books on my headphones than sit and read – my eyes tire easily when I do so. Audio and visual are most where I comprehend and connect the vibration of the words energetically deeper than reading it directly from a book.
A few others I have enjoyed reading are “The Power of Now” from Eckhart Tolle, Jen Sincero’s “You’re A Badass At Making Money,” Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic” and Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly.” So that’s kind of two extreme opposites and everywhere in between depending on the juncture in which I’m learning and growing. I may even pick up books on children and their brains or anxiety or anything relevant to my own growth in that space and time.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
At the present moment, I don’t have a podcast playlist per se but what I’ve found to be beneficial (without adding an expectation or another to do) is to go into a search – based on something I’ve heard about or read or skimmed over social media – and if something attracts me into that I will do a Google search or find out more on YouTube. Then, however that organically leads me to the next thing that I’m supposed to be connected to, I leave myself open. Sometimes it leads me to another podcast – ha!
Actually, the other day is a great example. I was doing some recent reading online and I landed upon a podcast called “Manifest This!” and “The Balanced Blonde” – these where podcasts I had not heard of prior but were particularly resonating to me given where I’m at right now in the manifestation stage of my journey.
Another podcast that I found great support around is the “The School of Greatness” by Lewis Howes. I love hearing the male perspective of things and find it a great balance to the feminine/masculine within us all.
How do you measure your own terms of success?
This is always one of my most favourite questions and I’ll tell you why specifically. For me, success has nothing to do with how culture defines success which is typically based on status, income, form-based possessions (house, your car, clothes, etc) and everything to do with one’s essence, heart and light.
It has everything to do with the inward experience and expansion of my self-growth and willingness to feel my own energetic shifts in my life’s journey.
Success may look like “Wow! I conquered that limiting belief.” or “How awesome, yesterday I was in this mood and today I have shifted my mindset to a more abundant way of thinking”.
It’s a vibrational frequency that I attune to and get giddy about. It’s witnessing my vulnerability and courage in the depths of my pain and being a warrior through it all.
It’s watching my daughter grow up right before my eyes and sharing a reflection of her wisdom that mirrors my own. It’s braving the storm that I thought I never could and I did. It’s having a very honest conversation that honours my truth and knowing. Success is self-love and self-compassion. Success is staying aligned to my authenticity and not caring what others think, and instead of caring how “I’m feeling” most aligned with my truth.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
First of all, I love the name BEYOUROWN. I feel it’s an amazingly powerful message that has such a high frequency of light. BEYOUROWN envelops for me much of what I’ve shared here in this interview which is being in your own truth and your own power, in your own authenticity, in your own knowing and truly owning the way in which you choose to show up and engage with life in every situation.
And it’s not waiting for somebody to give you permission, rather it’s you giving yourself permission to grab the wheel, to be the captain of your own ship and to steer towards the far and wide seas and explore, discover and find the treasures deep within yourself and the gifts that only you specifically have and we’re called to do and bring to the world in this life form.
So #BEYOUROWNWN is an all-encompassing of oneness with yourself, with Source Energy and with your innate inner power.
Lastly, what is next for you and The Conscious Parent Blog?
So, as I have shared previously, my business is now just under my name Sandra Fazio which continues to include the elements of The Conscious Parent Blog.
As for what is specifically next for me, I am working on publishing my second book – which is a collection of my poetry and a composition of my healing process and transformative journey into consciousness, while raising and embracing acceptance of my gifted child who has struggled with emotional and developmental special needs. My poetry is and continues to be a dialogue and integration of both my spiritual essence (inner-knowing and wisdom) and human being experiences (pain and joy) that brings me greater clarity and ease through my ever-unfolding journey in this life form.
As a matter of fact (and no coincidences), while I was responding to this interview, I received a call from a self-publishing company and found this to be the divine message from The Universe that is moving me forward to manifesting my poetry book “once and for all.” With no further ado, I am taking that big leap of faith and trusting the manifestation of my next book through this divine intervention. Excited to share it with all of you once it is published!
Another passion of mine is speaking, so I see myself doing a TEDx Talk. And sharing my work/journey with as many lives as I can from the standpoint of spirituality and humanity and truth and vulnerability and being an expression to others on what this looks like on an integrated level – when experiencing the body mind and spirit in every way. Allowing people to feel the sense of freedom inside of themselves as they continue to unfold and become one higher with their consciousness.
Most importantly, though, I am leaving myself open to whatever The Universe brings my way and whoever it brings to me through – let’s say this interview or just anyone on the street that I may be meant to connect with – and serve from that place so that I’m not attached to what I feel I need to be doing and trust that what I am being is exactly where I meant to be.
At the end of the day, I am excited, open, ready and willing to receive all the blessings yet to come, understanding and knowing that there will be continued pain in the process, and that it is really in the power of that process that is going to propel my next steps even higher into aligning with my purpose and calling.
As a “thank you” for taking the time to share space with my #BEYOUROWN Interview, I am gifting an electronic copy (PDF version) of my first book:
“The Diaries Of A Conscious Parent: One Mother’s Journey To Raising Herself Through Her Daughter’s Essence.”
Just go to the below link and receive immediate download access: https://sandrafazio.com/subscribe/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/theconsciousparentjourney/
Get the Book on Itunes:https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1185385068
Get the Book via print copy here, or the E-book version on Amazon here