Don’t put me in a box.

Don’t put me in a box.

Over the past month or so I’ve been in inquiry around what my next move here is in Austin or beyond through traveling.  Just a few days ago, I thought the answer had revealed itself.

I found an online posting for a Detox Consultant role with a yoga and detox center on an island in Thailand – um, yes please!

So of course I apply and send them all my qualifications of being a Holistic Health Coach, 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher, Traveler, Essential Oil Lover, Real Food blogger, etc. and they promptly reply with a time to chat on Skype.

The conversation went perfectly and I was day dreaming about sipping coconuts on the beach until they said they needed someone immediately, as in today.  Well, I have rent, a dog, yoga jobs, and life in Austin that is hard to just walk away from in a few days time but I thought “OK, if you can just give me about a month I can wrap everything up here and make my way to Thailand.”

I sent them that reply and was waiting for their answer.

This morning I wake up at 5:30am (to teach a 6:30am yoga class) and eagerly roll over to check my email to see when I am heading to Thailand.  

Their reply:

Hi Carly,

it was so nice to speak to you. Your energy is incredible. Although we decided to continue our search to fill the position for detox consultant. I have read your blog and i do not think that our ideas about nutrition are compatible. We promote a non-violent way of living to our guests, and a paleo diet does not meet our standards. 

Thank you for your time and i wish you the best of luck in your future projects. 

Right after reading it I thought, “Ok no big deal, it wasn’t meant to be.”

But here’s the thing – I am 100% qualified and the PERFECT fit for that job. Not hiring me because I choose to eat meat and you don’t seems well, a little closed-minded, to say the least.

My reply:

Thanks for getting back to me and wow, that’s so unfortunate to hear.  What I mainly and most importantly teach with every single one of my clients and cleanse participants is that there is no one right way to eat.  The key is to listen to your body and of course, eat food that Mother Nature provided.  My goal is to first and foremost teach how to shop locally at farmer’s markets, choose whole foods, eat slowly and with intention, and  for each person to learn how to actually NOURISH themselves – body, mind, spirit nourishment.
 
As a yoga teacher, I teach Ahimsa, or non-violence, day in and day out as a foundation to living the eight limbs of yoga.  And you know what I tell people? Do no harm to Self first and foremost – and then take that full tank of self love and bring it out into the world.  If that means they become vegan, well great.  We beat ourselves up, we are vicious about who we think we should be and how we need to show up in the world.  My intention is to provide space for each person I work with to step back and think about who they want to be and how they want to contribute — with healthy food as the foundation for this inquiry and insight.
 
I spent years as a raw foodist, a vegan, vegetarian, high carb, low carb, Paleo, and the list goes on.  And you know what, all of those are DIETS.  I’m not into diets.  I’m into specific lifestyles that serve and nourish – always. It varies for every single person.
 
So for all intents and purposes of cleansing and the clientele who would arrive at a detox center – Yes, to raw and vegan.  Yes to bentonite clay drinks, yes to colemas, yes to saunas and yoga to cleanse the body, as for how that person should live and eat every day after their body is reset, well that is a delicate dance where I would need to get to know them better. There is no one size fits all.
 
I am so sorry to hear that the label of a specific diet stopped this collaboration from happening because I truly and whole heartedly believe I would have been able to support that many more people with my work there.
 
Best of luck and thanks for your time.
 
With love & light,
Carly
So I sent the email and walked out the door to teach a yoga class.  Of course I shared some of this story in class and we themed the class around “non-attachment.”
 
But something still wasn’t settling with me.  And it was this feeling of not belonging.  So maybe I’m not a vegan or raw foodist and perhaps I don’t subscribe to every rule Paleo enforces but where does that leave me but in some weird grey area around what kind of healthy person I am? Who am I if I don’t have a dietary label after my name?

 

In comes Mom:

 
real food thailand
 
And while I’m being funny and joking around, there was some seriousness to it all.
 
And then it hit me — while I was working with a branding coach last year she asked me how are you different and what do you want your work to be known for? And I explained it to her like this…
 
I want Peace, Love, and Kale to serve as a permission slip.  That it’s ok to be exactly who you are, right now, right here and not have to pick one way of living and eating.  That through our work together we dive into everything that makes you, you, and find a diet and lifestyle that serves, nourishes, fuels, and inspires your life.
 
Not one single client of mine eats the same way — it varies based off where they live, how old they are, what they do, & what their goals are.
 
And this experience was my opportunity to LIVE what I TEACH.
 
I am not raw or vegan.
 
I am not Paleo.
 
I am not a diet, a label, or a theory.
 
I am whole.
 
I am complete.
 
I am a seeker.

 

I am passionately inspired to live the most vibrant, radiant, energized life possible.

So please, do not put me in a box.

If this resonates with you and you think there is someone who could benefit from hearing this message, please share and spread the love!

Peace, Love & Kale,
Carly

P.S. I made this pin for you! : )

Don't put me in a box

 

Comments

10 Comments

  1. you go, girl! the right opportunity will present itself! sending love and light and positive vibrations!

  2. Girl! This is totally their loss! Peace, love and kale!!

  3. The reason I started following you was because of your ‘out if the box’ message which resonated with me! Nearly every ‘strategy’ for wellness I’ve seen in my 57 years is rigid and restrictive. Keep doing what you do. You offer not only a reasonable answer, but probably a timeless one as well.

    • Carly Shankman

      I will, Kim! I will continue to spread the message of real food and mindful living everywhere I go 🙂 Thank you for being a part of this community!

  4. I see you sitting on Marie Forleo’s couch soon girl 😉 B-school bow to you and lots of love. Very graceful and powerful reply. I bet they didn’t expect that. And their reply was so superficial, not much realness to them, you certainly didn’t belong there.

  5. Carly you meet people where they are and you’ll reach more people with your respect for bio-individuality. It feels like you were just tested and came through with flying colors. Everyone in my family eats differently. We are all in different stages with unique nutritional needs. The way I eat today fuels me, but when it stops working for me I’ll make a change. Thank you for building your community around love and acceptance for all.

  6. I loved this when I had first read it and it STILL resonates for me now! I couldn’t agree more! The world has such a need to put labels on everyone and it can be challenging to walk the path of being “out of the box” whether it is about nutrition or any other identification about who someone is. We are all beautifully and uniquely individual and each person’s wellness is just as unique!

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