Most people who are able to transform a personal passion into an incredibly successful business are content to stay on the same path. But Pleasance Silicki knew there was something more in store for her. In this Trailblazers interview, she shares how she followed her heart, where it led, and what exciting adventures are on the horizon...
How did you know it was time to make a change?
Well, this is such a long answer I actually wrote a book about it! I mean, I wrote a book about the PROCESS of transformation and change. I wrote from my heart about the pain and truth that it takes to make changes. It was not quick or easy or simple.. but it was beautiful. I have learned that life can be both. It can be all the feelings.
On a practical level, I had to make a change because of increased rents and new landlords and the demands of running a biz in a city. On a spiritual level, I made a change because my heart wanted to simplify my life. My soul wanted less tasks and to-dos and more in depth personal work with students. I am a very capable leader and running a biz was not challenging for me, in fact I love leading teams, strategy, creating courses and planning and doing “all the things.” HOWEVER, I also love to be still, to reflect, and go deeper, and running a studio did not allow ME to do both. I felt my health or my relationships would suffer. So, in the end I chose me.
What gave you the confidence you needed to move forward?
PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. morning rituals, grounding in my soul, daily - walking barefoot (i know, I’m such a hippie), spinning class at Zengo Cycle! meditation and journaling and quiet and pulling back and healthy food. I also needed to clear my head to listen to my heart, and that meant leaving a spiritual community that had been very important to me. And it meant learning to trust myself and reflecting on the past and the other changes I have made and just a deep sense of knowing it’s going to be okay. Oh and LOTS of chats with my friends and my hubby and lots of tears about how painful it was to close my studio. Remembering that it is okay to have ALL THE FEELS. AND that I can do hard things.
Who/what inspires you today?
Lately, it is the little things. Like all these gentle reminders from mother nature that she is here and she is beautiful and to trust her which in turn, is really trusting me - since we are all connected and we are all one… Sunsets and sunrises, the CLOUDS this winter have been INSANE, the wind outside my office right now! My essential oils while I take a bath and read. My inspirations come from the changing of the seasons. I have to be somewhere that has all 4 seasons. I feel them all REALLY deeply and I lean into them, which is REALLY fun and powerful. I change how I move, eat, live, and schedule my life based on the season. I’m inspired by my kids OF COURSE! My daughter is like a little intuitive sprite- she is so thoughtful and caring and magical and my son is hilarious and curious and SNUGGLY and delicious.
I love creating art and writing and walking in the woods with them AND mostly my inspiration comes from the WORLD! I ‘m obsessed with books and podcasts and living an awesome life- so that means I find inspiration in others, all the time. From the amazing women in my life who do good work in the world, to the teachers at my kiddos' school, to pretty much everyone I meet. I love finding a connection with someone, I love stories and I love learning. I’m always amazed by how many strong, courageous, intelligent, brave people are in my life- I am really, really lucky.
What are you dreaming about now?
I’m dreaming about my next book (and the one after, and the one after…) AND I’m dreaming about bringing people together in a different way than I did at the yoga studio around holistic health for women and families. I’m super passionate about integrating mind body practices into health care AND I want more breathing and meditation in all our care visits and clinical practices. So, I’m dreaming about what this could look like and who I could work with. I’m dreaming about my Ayurvedic Certification. I’m dreaming about advancing in my Shambhala Meditation studies... I love that they are set up as courses, in order and that you follow a very thoughtful path. I’m dreaming about my next Mother Daughter retreat and I’m dreaming about teaching mind body practices to University students. I taught at George Mason a few years ago and I LOVE working with college kids on things like vision boards, goal setting, Ayurveda, Mindfulness and the 4 Desires. And knowing me , I’ll do a little of all of this over the next few years… I’m just a “go do it” kinda gal.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
My yoga teacher, Erich Schiffmann taught me to ask “ What is the truth here really?” and put my palms up and breathe and listen. I do this all the time, now it’s habit. I’m always asking myself this question and it has brought a lot of compassion, understanding, and peace in my heart.
What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
Nothing! I don’t believe I could have known anything more than I did. I believe that EVERYTHING is learning and we have to try scary things and maybe they work for a little while and maybe they don’t! And I know that I’m someone who will keep trying new things and sometimes I’ll keep going with them, and sometimes I will end them. This is how I create, this is actually how I WANT to live my life, in flow- so the only thing I would want to have known when I started is to trust the crazy upside down, inside out process that is called LIFE!
What encouragement can you offer someone who wants to make a change but is apprehensive?
Fear is always going to be there, it’s just part of LIFE! So.. get comfy with the discomfort and map out one ACTION you can do around what you are dreaming of, and from there, the next and then the next- small actions over time, THAT IS WHERE TRANSFORMATION THRIVES!
What book(s) or other resources have provided guidance or inspiration for your New Beginning? Oh jeez- I literally could give you like 100 ideas! But.. let’s start with this- Essentialism by Greg McKewon, Sacred Success by Babara Stanny, Untame Yourself podcast with Liz Dialto, ANYTHING Pema Chodron, The 4 Desires Rod Stryker, A Life Worth Breathing Max Strom, Daring Greatly, Brene Brown, Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert… okay seriously, email me and I’ll give you more if you like:)