Since our first photoshoot, we’ve made a conscious effort to have real women volunteer as our models. We celebrate the diversity of each woman’s heritage and background and can’t wait to introduce them to you! Here on Cultural Exchange, we’ll be sharing the stories of these wonderful women and why they are our role models.
Today, we’re introducing Ana Sanson, a holistic wellness specialist. Read below to learn more about how she is using her passion to empower others.
What are you passionate about?
I am so passionate about women and especially moms, creating the time and space for themselves for true self-care, inner and outer wellness, and to pursue the things that would create real joy for themselves. There is a disconnect that often happens when women become moms. We give ourselves to this amazing service of caring for our families, and often forget about our own needs, or goals and dreams, or we just don’t know how to make it all fit within the busy lives we lead, so we don’t. I believe we can only bring our best to our kids, our partners, our work, and our lives, when we are taking care of ourselves on a deeper level. This means having clarity on what we truly want and desire, and empowering ourselves to ask for it and/or give it to ourselves. I love helping moms do just that.
How did you find your passion?
I found my passion after I became a mom and experienced that disconnect of trying to do and be everything for my family, yet wasn’t taking care of myself and being true to what I really wanted and needed deep down. I was doing everything I knew to do externally, but internally, something was still missing. Between all the play dates, the classes, the lessons, the laundry, the cleaning, the shuttling back and forth, and all the other things we do day in and day out for our families, I felt like I was losing my sense of sense. It started to affect the way I was showing up every day, so I knew I needed to reassess and make some changes.
I dove deeper into personal development and spirituality and I started to share what I was learning, and the changes I was experiencing, and it was only then that more and more moms began to admit that they felt the exact same way I had. I knew if I could do it for myself, I could help others find their way too. I started coaching and helping other moms reconnect with themselves and feel that joy again and I absolutely fell in love with it. It just felt really fulfilling for me to be able help other women through this challenging period in their lives in the way that I needed when I was in their shoes.
What is an upcoming project you are really looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to an upcoming mini-retreat I am co-hosting with another mama. I took a huge leap and went on my first women’s surf retreat last year and it sparked a dream of mine to host these soulful, wellness getaways for women and moms. There’s so much magic and inspiration that occurs not only as a group, but on the individual level when women gather and gift themselves the self-care, the nurturing, the support, and the adventure and fun that they deserve!
How do you start your day?
I love to start my day with a morning ritual that generally includes a gratitude, meditation, and journaling practice, and then going for workout or a walk outside. It centers and grounds me, and gives me clarity on what I need, and where to put my focus each day.
Where is your happy place?
My happy place is at the beach with family, in the ocean surfing or swimming with my husband, or in the mountains snowboarding or hiking. A good winery with friends is pretty up there too.
What was your favorite trip?
My most recent favorite trip was a surf retreat I went to in Costa Rica with my best friend. We surfed every day, did yoga every afternoon, and I really challenged myself on so many levels. I’d dreamed about doing a trip like this for a long time but to go on an adventure all for myself, on a surf trip just for me, had always felt too indulgent or selfish, and was just never the “right time.” So to finally book this trip with two little ones at home, and do it last minute and get everything lined up, was a huge leap for me — mentally and logistically. Gratefully, my husband was so supportive all the way through. I also challenged myself every day with my surfing and faced a lot of fears out in the water. I improved so much, which is exactly what I set out to do, and I’m just so thankful for the experience and that I finally did it. I promised myself I wouldn’t wait so long next time. If there was something calling to me that deep down I truly desired to do, I was going to do it. That spurred me to take action within just a few months of returning on two more dreams I’ve had: taking a 200-hour yoga teacher training, and starting my own business around my passion of helping women and moms.
Where to next?
With baby number three on the way, I can’t help but think of somewhere tropical and relaxing, but the adventurous side of me always likes to be exploring and on the go. A mix of both would be perfect. It would be fun to take the kids on a longer adventure to Japan or New Zealand. I love encouraging their sense of adventure, so wherever we can be outside exploring and appreciating nature is always a win.
How has becoming a mother changed you?
I have learned and grown so much as a person since having kids. They say children are our best teachers and I believe it 100 percent. I’m finding out more about myself and what life is really about during these few years with my kids than in all my years before them. I have become so much more aware of my actions, my thoughts, my words, and my energy that I bring to my family every day because who I show up as on a daily basis, affects more than just me. It affects my favorite little human beings, my husband, and my world. So I want to bring my best. I’m learning and improving upon that every day. It’s been an amazing and highly rewarding journey that I am so grateful for.
What do you think is the most important thing to teach your children?
I think the most important thing is for your children to feel loved, heard, and understood. I do strive to teach them that they are capable of anything they want to truly achieve, and show them the value of kindness and compassion not only for other people and for all living things on this planet, but for themselves as well. To be able to live what I preach is the ultimate goal, as they learn so much more from what we do, than from what we say. They’re always watching and soaking everything in. I’m glad — it helps push me to be better mom, and a better human being, for it.
Why do you support The Little Market?
I love The Little Market because of the way it empowers women through dignified work to help support their families and helps provide them with a means to rise above poverty. It also helps support these beautiful, creative, artistic traditions and works of art and allows us as consumers to vote with our dollars. I get to have a say and have a vote on how my products are made and procured, by way of choosing where I spend my money and that makes me feel good and more empowered as well.
Favorite TLM product in your home?
Thanks for being our role model, Ana! You can shop Ana’s favorites items at The Little Market.