Thrive Thursday: Dr. Tonia Winchester on honoring her femaleness thru rhythms
Welcome to Thrive Thursday. Each week I feature a conscious & creative woman who has made self care a non-negotiable part of her life, love and business. Self-care is not a perfect practice but it is necessary for a thriving life. This series spotlights women who are dedicated to #fullnessfirst because they know exhaustion & depletion are not the way forward.
I believe there is Genius in every living room across the nation. I believe there are scores of women looking for “another way” to bring their dreams to life. Women who want to live, breathe & create at a natural, elegant pace. A harmonious balance between life and work allows us to live fully, while also freeing up the time and energy so we can come together and co-create a thriving new world for all Beings.
This series illuminates the power of exquisite self care as holistic fuel for elegant & effective productivity. As we return to lifestyle practices that support the unstoppable power behind a well nourished woman, we simultaneously create a more loving & harmonious world.
Meet Dr. Tonia Winchester
I help busy super-women to make time for what is important, by teaching them how to look after themselves. I’m an energized listener, root cause detective, problem solver, and healer. Officially I’m a Naturopathic Doctor. I’m also an online stress, lifestyle, and food coach. I also do this wacky and incredible mind-body balancing work called BodyTalk. But really, I’m just a goofy and effervescent human being who thrives on inspiring other humans. I’m incredibly passionate about getting people healthy, happy, and doing what they love, because I believe healthy happy people doing what they love contributes to world peace.
Are you a Budding or Established entrepreneur?
I’m a bit of both. I’ve been in Naturopathic medical practice for almost 7 years, and have been growing a platform for my online business since 2013.
Are you a Mother? If so, what ages are your children?
I’m consciously not a mom of human babies, but have some creatures: A short-haired cat of unknown age named Missy, a 5-year tabby cat named Maurice, and a 2 year old German shepherd / Giant Schnauzer cross named Achilles. We also have 10 hens and some fire belly toads. I often feel maternal towards my patients and clients.
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritually conscious/awakening woman?
Oh yes. And since I was quite young. I remember in my dance rehearsals as a pre-teen learning to meditate and visualize. I know I’m on this planet to learn, connect and share. I like the wisdom, “Evolve or die.” The more I step into my intuitive healing gifts the more connected I feel to source. The more connected I feel to source the more I radiate joy and contribute to a healthier, happier planet. I believe we all are one, universally connected through love. I not only adore embodying that myself, but am crazy about helping others do the same.
As an entrepreneur, when did you realize self-care must be written into your business plan and why?
Self care is what I teach. And they say that you teach what you need to learn. It was about my 2nd year of naturopathic medical college where I really clued into the importance of self-care. We were in class 40 hours per week, plus homework, plus daily tasks such as feeding ourselves and matching our socks. What we were learning (essentially how to teach people about self-care) was so incongruent with how the program demanded us to be. I remember I failed not one but THREE midterms. I called my dad to tell him and instead of expressing any kind of disappointment, he said, “Are you getting enough exercise honey? It’s all about balance.” His unconditional love for me was like a frying pan to the face (but in a really caring way.)
That was my major aha moment. To truly care for others, I needed to care for myself first. That interaction inspired an article I wrote for the student newspaper called Doctor Love Thyself. It has since evolved into this post: http://drtoniawinchester.com/possibly-the-most-important-thing-we-can-ever-learn/
I’m not saying I’m flawless at self love and self care. It is something I work on every day, which will hopefully prime me to share my wisdom and change the lives of others.
A woman who creates from fullness honors rhythm & ritual in her life. Can you share how you manage your business with the changing tides of your inner being – with who you are as a woman?
I’m a big proponent of paying attention to nature, its cycles, and rhythms. I pay attention to day and night, light and dark, and summer and winter. That means sometimes I’m more active and more extroverted. Conversely that means there are times when I enjoy more rest and decide to be more introverted. I do my best to not book any commitments on the first day of my period, as that is a time for quiet introspection.
What are your non-negotiable self-care practices that put your well-being first in life & business?
My newest and most cherished self care practice is my morning routine. I wake up, take the dog out so she can do her business. I pour myself some water with lemon and cayenne in it. I sip it (okay, I really chug it) while I journal about any thoughts whizzing around in my head, any aha’s or dreams I had in my sleep, and anything I’m excited about or grateful for.
After that I do a variety of quiet exercises for 20-30 minutes. I mix up mantra meditations, visualizations, emotional freedom technique sessions, or just simple breath awareness.
From the stillness comes movement. Next I shake my tail feather. Again, I follow the rhythms of my female cycle so sometimes that means doing push-ups, lunges, and jumping jacks. And sometimes it means gentle nature walks with the pup or chillax-ville yin yoga exercises.
This all takes about an hour in the mornings, and I do this even on weekends. After my Tonia time is done, I’m ready to attend to other people’s requests and needs. That is IF it fits the following criteria.
I’m in the process of eliminating what is not a perfect fit in my life. So I’m getting increasingly competent at saying, “No!” to what isn’t a 100% hell yeah, which frees me up to say, “YES!” to what is.
Other practices in my self care tool kit include: drinking 2-3 L of filtered water daily, avoiding sugar, wheat, and dairy (those last two give me nightmares – who wants those?), eating a boat-tonne of veggies, getting to bed by 10:00, dancing, and doing something fun every day. These are things I teach to my patients every day.
Let’s go deeper – we live in transitional times where many women are building a business & parenting while also in a spiritual awakening journey. There are times when self-care is not enough to alleviate the transitional symptoms of a woman’s soul unfolding so that it’s business “as usual.”
What have you learned about yourself and building a business during transitional times, as a conscious heart centered entrepreneur?
This is a good question, and I’m glad you asked it. I’ve learned that I need more down time than I ever realized before. I’m coming to accept and love a quieter part of myself that needs a lot of alone time. I’m a social creature by habit, but I’ve realized that often my interest in other’s activities and lives, is a distraction from really tuning in and healing parts of myself that feel lonely and scary. When I really respect her, and listen in, I see that my femaleness needs gentle, kind, and quiet attention. It is from that stillness that my achieving and action-driven maleness can really succeed.
Riding the waves of a dynamic and creative life, our point of balance is constantly adjusting. What aspects of your nature tend to challenge you the most around maintaining balance in life & business, if you are not mindful?
This is an extension of the answer above. I over commit as a general tendency. I pathologically create unnecessary hectic-ness. I say yes just because someone asked, and I’m afraid I’m going to miss something if I say no. But often what I’m really missing is my connection to myself, source, and love. My inner super-she sometimes speaks in mere whispers, and I can miss her quiet nudging if I’m not careful. I’m learning to vet all my responses to others through her first.
What has been the biggest benefit in your life & business as a result of making self-care the non-negotiable foundation?
Clarity. By far, this is the biggest benefit. The more I practice self-care and relax into self-love the more I see how I fit into the bigger picture of leaving this world better than how I entered it. I’m more focused, and have more faith. More happens in less time. I draw people to me that are perfectly suited to receiving the ultimate benefit from my creative contributions and healing wisdom. My ideas and offers are crisper. My patient and client benefits are more profound. My financial rewards jump in a quantum way. My joy and daily satisfaction grows exponentially.
Join Tonya's self care movement at: http://drtoniawinchester.com/