Meet Christine Saladino: yogini, accounting manager, photographer, wife, and fashionista. Hailing from the Midwest but embracing her inner Southern Belle in Louisville Kentucky, Christine is a woman who defies easy categorization and is fueled by a wide variety of passions.
I met Christine during her brief stint in Washington DC and was drawn to her enthusiasm and sincerity. The winding road she traveled to leave - and return to - a career she loves reminds us that it is the journey, not the destination, that matters most.
To learn more about this lovely lady and how she learned to redefine success and find balance, read on...
How did you know it was time to make a change?
Looking back over the short 30 something years I’ve lived, I can remember a few very distinct universe shifts, those moments where doors open and opportunities arise; sometimes of your own desire and hard work and other times without our direct influence. In the last 4 years alone I:
In my 20’s my focus was “success”: push through school, CPA, and MBA; make progress in my career; and move up the corporate ladder. I was burning the candle at both ends (as my mom would say) to keep up with my job and the demands I was putting on myself. I knew it was time to make a change at some point in Savasana as I felt the stress I had imposed on myself for so long begin to break down. I started to fall in love with the yoga practice, continuously seeking that sense of relaxation and inner reflection.
When my husband and I moved from D.C to Louisville, I jumped on the opportunity to start teaching yoga full-time, but I quickly realized the challenge of breaking into a new community and building trust with strangers. For many reasons, after months of working hard to break into the full-time business of teaching yoga (my Yoga-Ternity period), I decided to go back to work full-time as an accounting manager.
I realized through quite a bit of reflection that my initial goal was to find balance in my life, but all I really did was swing from one end of the pendulum to the other end literally overnight. I found I missed leading, being creative within an organization, coaching others in a professional capacity…dare I say, I missed some of the excitement and YES, ‘stress’ of the corporate, fast paced world. At the same time, in no way did I want to give up practicing or teaching yoga. Today I make choices to continuously refine work/home balance and what it means to be successful in a day, week, month, and year, and how to integrate my two worlds.
Ultimately, practicing Yoga led me to Yoga Teacher Training, which led me to a desire to bring more balance into my life, which helped me to form and re-form my definition of success.
What gave you the confidence you needed to move forward?
A little bit of German stubbornness, extreme will, and a dedication to teaching, professionally growing, and meeting my own personal expectations.
Support and love of friends and family as well as the incremental growth – when you can look back one day or week ago and see you’ve made a difference – those small wins start to aggregate into big boosts of confidence.
Who/what inspires you today?
Yoga students 100%! I am always amazed at yogi’s efforts, their stamina, dedication, and desire to continuously learn, share, and participate in the community.
Outside of my yoga universe, I’m inspired daily by my surroundings, the birds chirping, the shifting and morphing clouds, glistening water, blooming trees and flowers, falling leaves, admiring sun beams on a Saturday morning while sipping my coffee on the front porch…… the moments between the moments when time stands still and you see raw, natural Beauty!
What are you dreaming about now?
Long bike rides, afternoons in the garden, enjoying my front porch with a book and a glass of wine, yummy yoga classes, sharing and learning from the community, teaching yoga, and participating in inspirational book clubs.
I’m dreaming about putting together a yoga retreat, leading a significant project at work to streamline our accounting processes, volunteering on a regular basis at Gilda’s, playing with ideas to bring my two worlds (professional and yoga) together, mindfully letting them weave in and out of each other.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
Actually, I wouldn’t change the sequence of knowledge at all. The path to where I am now has been an interesting journey, each day bringing new insights with the universe unfolding sometimes slowly and other times more rapidly in front of me.
What encouragement can you offer someone who wants to make a change but is apprehensive?
I feel full of clichés ~ but Just Do It, after all what is the worst that can happen? Also, approach the change with a few tools:
It’s OK to change course as needed, life and goals are not set in stone – they are always shifting with the circumstances. Life is dynamic.
Surprise yourself with your own capabilities!