We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
In my first business straight out of Undergrad which I successfully managed for over a decade, I had zero work life balance. Work was my life. It was my identity. There was no separation. I was a workaholic and a product of my environment having been raised by my single parent entrepreneur. I was very much in my masculine energy – action oriented, structured, meticulous, always focused on doing and achieving. I was in constant hustle mode and experienced fatigue and burn out which took a toll on my mind, body and soul. Fast forward to today, I have cultivated a healthier and more balanced work life. I accomplished this through lots of deep inner work, establishing healthy boundaries, lots of work on my mindset, prioritizing self-care and having more self-compassion, acceptance and grace. I now realize that my worth does not lie in my productivity and that self-care is a daily practice, not just for times when we get stressed, overwhelmed, sick or tired. Daily self-care has been a game changer and comes in many forms such as yoga, dance, breath work, meditation, scheduling time to have fun, reading, baths, journaling, Reiki, listening to music, bodywork, taking time off and painting. I’ve also consciously made it a day-to-day practice to check in with my energy which allows me to stay accountable and cultivate the energy I want to live in. This has felt empowering as I am in control of my well-being and it helps me stay balanced. Of course, there are times when things get out of balance but learning to be gentle with ourselves, listening to your needs and engaging in self-care activities allows us to support our entire well-being. In addition, I have tapped more into my feminine energy. Being in my masculine was all about survival whereas in my feminine I fearlessly embody trust, live in the present moment, feel safe, and supported – as opposed to constantly being rigid and in hustle. In this state, I am more about what’s in alignment, feels exciting and lights me up versus just being focused on an outcome. It’s been a deliberate shift in my mindset and approach. So, for example, instead of saying I want to hit this goal and achieve it I now say it would intuitively feel great to experience joy, ease or more freedom. It’s a matter of reframing it so it is less masculine, more journey oriented and balanced. I believe work life balance is about a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It’s also about learning how to discern our ego from our soul/intuition and knowing that there will always be ebb and flow. Sometimes that means slowing down and turning inward and other times being more in doer energy. Mastering work life balance is a lifelong journey.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a Certified Dog Trainer and Certified Animal Reiki practitioner. I founded DogLove San Diego in 2014 and specialize in puppy training and work mostly with small dogs under 35 lbs. I have a special place in my heart for the little guys and believe that everyone can have a well-mannered dog. My clients, friends and family refer to me as the small dog whisperer (which always makes me blush). I have a calm presence that dogs gravitate towards. I am proud to have completed my Animal Reiki Teacher Training and am excited about teaching The Let Animals Lead method of Animal Reiki, which was founded by my teacher Kathleen Prasad in Northern California. My approach to working with animals is one that is holistic in nature. It is gentle, positive and the animals and I work in partnership whether it be through dog training or Animal Reiki. In addition to DogLove San Diego, I’m excited about the launch of Erica Christine Coaching. Since the age of five, I have wanted to be a therapist. My passion lies in helping clients to transform their lives through mindset and energy work, and healing trauma and other stress disorders by tapping into the inner wisdom of their bodies so they can cultivate a more peaceful state of mind and heart. My mother was an entrepreneur so naturally I followed in her footsteps. Nothing has been easy but through tons of inner work, challenges are no longer things I dread. I am now able to reframe challenges and see them as lessons and opportunities to step outside my comfort zone in order to grow, expand and/or pivot. A can-do attitude, the belief that anything I put my mind to is doable, the belief in myself and discovering how to quiet the inner critic have all been the best strategies in overcoming any and all challenges. Oh my goodness, there are so many! -Mindset is everything. -Practice gratitude which equals abundance. -Have the strength and courage to release anything that is out of alignment. -The more comfortable you get with the uncomfortable, the happier you will be. -Stop resisting. Surrender and trust that everything that is happening is for your highest self. -Reframe any negative thoughts. Instead of saying, “this is hard” say, “what if it didn’t have to be hard? -Embrace fear and trust in the unknown (the Universe, Spirit, your Guides, God). –It you want change it starts with believing it’s possible. It starts with believing in yourself. -Energy is everything. -Self-care is a non-negotiable. Prioritize and nourish your mind, body and soul daily. -Always trust your intuition. -Keep going, no matter what. -Trade perfection for presence. Keep showing up for yourself. Consistent, small actions lead to massive transformation. -Get support. Surround yourself with like-minded people who are on the same journey and can offer support and accountability. -You attract more by doing less. I want people to know that change is possible. Whether you have a naughty puppy or feel stuck and hate your corporate job, no matter what your circumstance, age or place in life if there’s a gap between your current reality and desired reality, change is possible and it starts with your beliefs. Your beliefs can be upgraded and completely change who you believe yourself or your dog to be and what you believe you are capable of achieving.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many great places in and around San Diego! A visit to Coronado is a must. The beach is gorgeous! The sand is white with golden flecks and for dog lovers Coronado has the best dog beach. The homes on the island are spectacular in their designs and architecture. Coronado is a lovely place to take a stroll, ride a bike or take in the views of the city. Little Italy is fabulous! There are endless places to eat, drink, shop and people watch. I love taking a drive up to North County for that quintessential California beach town vibe. Encinitas was recently named among the 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic. Their eclectic downtown is a unique blend of shops, coffeeshops and cafes. For the best views, I love Mount Soledad, Cabrillo Monument, Sunset Cliffs and La Jolla Cove. For culture, science and nature, Balboa Park is home to more than 16 museums, multiple performing arts venues, lovely gardens, trails and many other creative and recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. There’s really something for everyone here. For water enthusiasts, Mission Bay is always a fun place for water spots and outdoor activities and exercise as there are some great paths for walking, jogging or roller blading. Good food is essential and there are no shortages of restaurants and different types of cuisines. For Italian, I love Siamo Napoli in North Park and Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill. Trust Restaurant (Hillcrest), Juniper & Ivy (Little Italy), Campfire (Carlsbad) are all progressive cuisine and are some of the best restaurants in San Diego. For vegans, Kindred in South Park is heavenly. For meat eaters, you can’t go wrong with DJK Korean BBQ in Kearney Mesa, Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado in North Park and The Friendly Tavern for burgers in North Park. For sushi, Sushi Ota and Azuki Sushi was always top notch.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my husband, family, friends, clients, my two pugs, my therapist, the coaches in my life and my amazing Instagram/Facebook community on DogLove San Diego and Erica Christine Coaching.

Website: www.doglovesandiego.com

Instagram: @doglovesandiego, @ericachristinecoaching

Facebook: @doglovesandiego

Yelp: DogLove San Diego

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