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12 Dec 2017

Featured Member – Esther Nagle

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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.

You can connect with me at http://balanceandbreathe.co.uk, or via email at esther@balanceandbreathe.co.uk, please do get in touch, I would love to hear from you!