It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I am an explorer, community builder, outdoor adventurer, writer, yogi, kiteboarder, and event coordinator. After yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Institute, I moved to the Dominican Republic where I completed the International Kiteboarding Organization course. I taught yoga and kiting there for five months before finding my way to outdoor retail. After experience at other outdoor stores, I decided to work for my family’s adventure outfitter, Townsend Bertram & Company. My parents founded Townsend Bertram & Company in 1988, in Carrboro, North Carolina, and it has remained in the heart of the community for thirty years. The store and my family brought me back to my roots in North Carolina five years ago where I still live and work today.
Q. What is your work?
A. I started at Townsend Bertram & Company as a part-time sales associate five years ago. Today I am the marketing, events and community outreach director. In my role, I use marketing as a vehicle to bring the community together though meaningful experiences and unique partnerships with local non profits dedicated to environmental awareness, education and protection. I am the editor and head staff writer for The Glass Top Counter Blog on the TB&C website, a collection of musings from passionate outdoor enthusiasts. At TB&C we strive to embody a sustainable, give-back minded business model that focuses on keeping the wild places we love wild and the community united on the common ground of the great outdoors. I also aspire to empower women through outdoor adventure, The Glass Top Counter Blog, and meet-up events to increase the number of women in the outdoor industry.
In addition to my work at TB&C, I write memoir and teach yoga.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. Writing for the Glass Top Counter blog weekly always excites me. The blog began as a way to build an online platform to grow the Townsend Bertram & Company community through authentic writing about everything under the sun. Diversifying the type of articles we have challenges and inspires me. I love meeting interesting people to feature. Interviewing staff about their adventures always fills me with wonder. Their incredible stories enrich the online collective community, expending the TB&C experience to the world wide web. I look forward to growing our outreach and connecting with other writers who share a love for the outdoors.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Three months ago I spent the last few weeks of my father’s life by his side. He died at sixty five of terminal cancer. Though watching his decline scared me, being present with him was the most powerful, life affirming experience I’ve had. Caring for my father in his final days was both terrifying and rewarding for it made me aware of humanity’s fragility. The intimate, honest conversations about how to live and how to die will forever reverberate in my heart and mind. His death reminded me that I want to live every day as if it is my last so that when I too come to my end, I will surrender without regret as my father did.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I am incredibly lucky to have a job that satisfies the diversity of my passions. Writing, event coordinating, creating unique connections, and using marketing as a tool for broadening our community outreach culminate in the perfect combination of work for me. Work in the near future I am looking forward to is offering even more experiences through overnight trips with TB&C. Our first overnight trip, a Family Camping Event in March, is a goal many years in the making. I want to devote more and more of my time to getting people outdoors to empower them to live their own adventures and to become mindful, stewards of the earth.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Breathe. Relax. Enjoy. Be in each chapter as it unfolds. Know you are enough.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. One of my favorite mantras is appreciation over accomplishment mindset. When I find myself evaluating my being based on my productivity, I try to consciously shift to noticing what I appreciated during the day. Did I pause long enough to look up at the clouds and wonder? Was I present for the people in my life? What did I offer in service of others? I find the mantra reminds me the power of presence, nature and gratitude.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I have a daily practice of drawing a mandala. Sometimes the circle is small and other times, it fills the page. One day the design within the circle is intricate and complex; other days the drawing is simple. Doing this one creative thing each day helps me break out of my critical mindset to access my creative energy. When I feel totally burnt out, I immerse myself in nature. The outdoors reminds me the creative process is always at play in the constant evolving tapestry of the sky and the changing light.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Janu sirsasana is a fav but always tied with a supine twist.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I practice gratitude on a daily basis. Each morning I begin the day writing down three things I am grateful for, a practice that always reminds me of how abundant my life already is.
Check out The Company Betsy Works for as well as their blog here...