Hello Bizmums, I am Esther Nagle, and I run Balance and Breathe, where I help women beat stress in the workplace, and in recovery from addiction. You might think this an odd pairing, but really it isn’t that odd. Stress in the workplace is a massive trigger for addictive, numbing behaviours, and addiction leads to tremendous stress and difficulties at work, so the two do work hand in hand.
There is, as you might expect, a story behind this business model! In 2013, after years of stress and less than healthy ways of dealing with that stress (wine, cigarettes, drugs and ‘interesting’ relationships) I experienced a tonne of stress in my personal life and realised that my previous coping strategies weren’t working. A ‘moment of clarity’ thanks to the words of a song I loved triggered a long overdue breakdown, and I quit my full time job and proceeded to fall apart. From the chaos I realised I needed to make some changes in my life and I trained to be a yoga teacher, thinking this would give me a nice, gentle way to earn a living!
This training was to prove to be transformational, but not in the way I was expecting. Through the course, I came face to face with the truth that I was an alcoholic, and that I had to save myself. Thankfully yoga gave me the tools I needed to do this, and in October 2014, I decided I needed to stop killing myself with booze. I stopped smoking that day as well, and have stayed clean ever since.
It soon became clear to me that I had a powerful message to share about Yoga that went far beyond teaching community yoga classes, and I decided to specialise in addiction recovery and stress management. The two go hand in hand for me, and I know that what I offer is essentially resilience strategies for those in recovery from addiction and stress. And who isn’t battling with stress, and seeking ways to process the painful emotions we feel as a result of that stress?
One of the biggest gifts my recovery and business has given me is the gift of writing. I have always loved writing, but never felt confident to share my work, but I now blog a lot on my own website and in other places, and have published my first book, Bent Back into Shape, Beating Addiction Through Yoga, which I am hugely proud of. One of my 2018 goals is to work on ‘that difficult second book’, I already have the plan, I just need to apply myself to write it!
I am a single mum of 3 boys; two of them are grown up, and the youngest is 7. I love to walk, to dance, to go to gigs, and to meet new people. It was a desire to meet new people that drew me to Bizmums, and while I haven’t attended as many meetings yet as I would like, I do enjoy being part of such a vibrant and inspirational community of amazing women. I intend to take a far more active role in Bizmums in 2018, and look forward to getting to know you all far more, both in person and online.