But first… let me introduce myself. I am Nicole Salinger, a Montreal expat living across the world in Melbourne, Australia! I am mother of four and a fitness professional, passionate about YOUR Health and Well being! I am a deep believer in the power of positivity, that we as women can achieve anything we want in life if we just had deep faith and self – confidence in ourselves!
You see, life starts internally in our minds. Our minds dictate our choices, our wants, our needs, our desires. Your mind is a very powerful instrument!
But how much do we exercise it in a positive way?
This answer came upon me in the last 3 years while instructing Group Fitness. Such a big part of the Fitness industry is focusing on your body. The way your body works, the way it looks. We focus on exercises for the body, diet for our body, and we work very hard so we can see results quickly. Its all external.
But what about also focusing on your internal “Spiritual Fitness”? Isn’t the very core of your being important too? The opinion you have about yourself? The way you think? The way you relate to other people in a healthy, productive way?
I term this internal power “Spiritual Fitness”. In other words, Fitness for your mind. Exercising and Engaging a positive mind and spirit to advance your state of being.
I believe that we are missing Spiritual Fitness in our lives, and that it is just as important to be equipped with a healthy, strong mind full of vitality, as it is a strong healthy body.
Because let me tell you, life is not without its challenges. People are challenging, circumstances are challenging, and as we get older, we are so busy taking care of our children, our significant others, our families, our pets, that we can sometimes end up losing a part of ourselves through good or bad circumstances, through right or wrong choices. This was particularly true for me.
In my forties I was forced to redefine myself. A set of unfortunate circumstances, prevented my spirit from growing. My inner voice that once sang with joy became mute. My worth became lost until my spirit was crushed into fragments of crushed dreams and disappointments.
What did I do next? I got real with myself.
I was taking care of 4 young children, tick, on my own, tick. and I felt overwhelmed.
I felt the three U’s – unhealthy, unloved and unhappy… tick,tick,tick.
I had always dreamed of feeling fit and attractive again… of getting back my spark… but I didn’t know how to psychologically get there, and stay there…because up to that moment, with 4 children under 10, my only definition of the word “fitness” was a hassle. A burden. A time waster. I was the ultimate excuse maker. I was prepared to give up on myself before I even started.
Well, a force bigger than me, did not give up on me.
I walked in one day to a small personal training studio in Melbourne, Australia. I was paired with an experienced fitness trainer who was able to sense my despair. Like clockwork, for four months he set about retraining my negative thoughts I had developed about myself, to my previous positive ones. He believed that only then with a new belief system, could I get my own ball rolling. And so I trained and trained…
It wasn’t too long before a shift starting to happen inside of me.
It was small, but it was there. It felt like a heavy dark cloud starting to move away from the top of my head, and I suddenly started to think a little bit more clearly – and it didn’t finish there!
This experienced trainer then encouraged me to joined his local fitness centre and within a month, I discovered myself participating in a dance cardio program called Sh’bam, which was a class that I connected with because it was fun, and I forgot that I was exercising. The instructor saw that I was really getting my groove back, and so I was constantly brought up onstage to demonstrate the dance moves. Then, within a few weeks, I was encouraged by the teacher to train as an instructor for the program. So, having nothing to lose, I trained over a weekend, passed the training program and within 10 months — through sheer hard work — I gained an international certification in that Shbam dance program.
I went on to teach it and even got asked to cover trainer’s classes all around Melbourne for 3 years.
In that time, I became aware of the transformation process that started happening with my participants. I inspired women to not only have fun dancing, but I taught them to come out of their shells and find their femininity and inner spark again. I brought confidence and courage back into these women’s lives, to find their empowerment, to feel alive again…
Like a magic mirror.. it was working… shifting these energies back and forth… Every time I gave from spirit, I got back twice as much from spirit. This exchange of energies flowed from me to them and then back again to me, and the flow of positive energies would fill the room until it was abundant…
Suddenly, one day during class, I realized that this feeling was akin to a “Spiritual Enlightenment” and it was the key to my personal healing process. I was experiencing the benefits of “Spiritual Fitness”, and it was healing my spirit.
My spirit was alive again, joyful again, and bursting out ready to face the world.. to reach new heights and shine my light that had previously twinkled so brightly to the vast universal energy, but which I had forgotten was there for so long…
And that’s when I found myself again….thats when I found my spirit.
Do I believe that our whole life can be transformed, can be redefined…just by doing a little “Spiritual Fitness” everyday? You bet!
The answer is within YOU. In order to create positive change around you, you have to positively change what is inside you first.
Achieve this through goal setting – or by taking time for yourself, feeding your curiosity with a new hobby, a new goal.. Just be present in your life. Start with small changes, and see how everyone around you reacts to your beautiful, empowered energy!
Who knows? By giving out positivity you might just honor yourself by unlocking the key to your OWN personal journey no matter what you choose to do!
From across the ocean,
Nicole Salinger is a Montreal Ex-pat now living in Melbourne, Australia. She is a happy single mother of four children and an enthusiastic Fitness professional. She is passionate about helping women redefine themselves and their worth through her Health and Wellness Blog called “Spiritual Fitness”.
Previously, for 12 years, Nicole was a professional illustrator and small business owner of “The Bub Club”, a designer gift packaging company, and before children, (BC!), spent 10 years singing and performing in the US, the UK, and Australia.
Nicole has a Bachelor Of Fine Arts Degree from The Boston Conservatory Of Music and has fond memories of being a regular cast member of The World Of Entertainment Group at the Saide Bronfman Centre in Montreal! She also went to Bialik High School.
She is so honored and thrilled to be a guest blogger at Wise Women Montreal!