Geneva and I met about four years ago as part of the running group Black Girls Run. We both added to our families since our initial foray into running but I was happy to hit up Geneva and find that she has been working towards finding her happy place. She is making self care a priority in the midst of running a business and houseful of testosterone.
Age: 36, this week Thursday
Profession: Licensed Real Estate Agent, Sales Trainer, Motivational Speaker, President of Dream Chasers Launch and Founder of A Young Mothers DREAM.
What does self-care look like to a mother of 3 boys? I wake up at 5:30am to have alone time. During that time I meditate, pray, run and plan my day.
How long have you been practicing? I’ve had 2 babies in the last 3 years so my life has changed drastically. My oldest son was 13 before I had my 2nd son. Finding time for myself with 1 child looks drastically different than finding time me with 3 children. I’ve finally forced myself to make time for self -care 4 months ago.
What has been the biggest challenge in negotiating time for yourself? and how have you found a way to steal away to do something for you? The biggest challenge for me is when my youngest son Caleb wakes up early. He is so attached to me after nursing for a year that he can hear my eye open. When this happens I have to reschedule my self care time for later in the day. I have flexibility with my schedule as an entrepreneur so it’s truly up to me to make the time.
Noire Care practice: Daily prayer and meditation and running.
Who or what introduced you to it? I’ve been in the church my whole life so prayer and meditation have been in my world forever. I started running in 2011 while training for the NYC marathon I joined Black Girls Run and cemented my love for running. I feel close to God during my runs and my thoughts are clear.
What is the best way for a beginner to get started? Are there low/no cost ways to getting started? I’ve wasted thousands of dollars on gym memberships that I never used or did not remain consistent with my attendance. Running is free. If you need to start with walking, start there. Grab an accountability partner or run/walk alone. Just be safe whichever you decide.
What kind of personality do you think benefits from this type of practice? I think everyone can benefit from running. It gives me a sense of accomplishment that is all for me. Not the same accomplishment that I feel after cleaning the house or cooking dinner, but an accomplished moment for me.
How often do you indulge in your care practice? 5-7 days per week.
Is this something you can enjoy with others or do you prefer the solitude? I pray and meditate alone I also like running alone. However, I enjoy running with a group or partner for long runs when I need a little more encouragement.
How has making time to run, pray and meditate made you a better mother? lover? person? I’m not asdistracted when I’m with the family. I’m more appreciative of the moments I have with my children and loved ones. Even when the kids are having tantrums I’m more even keeled and able to handle their emotional ups and downs. I’m also more in control of my thoughts.
Did you grow up witnessing your mother, aunties or any women in your life consistently taking time to do something just for them? No. My grandmother raised me and I never saw her taking any time for herself. She was always cooking cleaning shopping for everyone else. It has truly taken a toll on her. Even today at 76 she has a difficult time doing anything to take care of her.
What do you hope your sons will learn from you in regards to making time to recharge and making sure their future girlfriends and/ or spouses do the same? I want them to realize that it’s not selfish to take a moment for yourself. When you don’t take the time for yourself you expose yourself to many mental, emotional and health issues. Your mind body and spirit become overwhelmed and stressed. It’s not healthy. It is vital to care for yourself daily and intentionally.
Where can our readers learn more about you? IG @dreamchaserslaunch Twitter – @drgenevamarie
Anything you might like to add? Self care is not selfish. Loving yourself is not selfish. These are vital practices for your mental, physical and emotional well being.