Updated: Mar 27, 2019
How would you describe your childhood?
My childhood was spent growing up in the Myers Park neighborhood, where I attended Charlotte Latin School, kindergarten through 12th grade - a “lifer.” I was super active in sports from early on; when I was younger, my dad was the coach for many teams which are some of the best memories of my life. My older brother was and still is one of my best friends ever in life; I also had two other boys in my life who were like my brothers, who still remain some of my best friends.
Since I was surrounded by older, bigger dudes, I learned to play tough and hang tough - so I could both survive and keep up and not be left out. We all want to belong at our core, right? Because I was a tomboy, I hung out with other girls who were like tomboys and we had a blast! All that being said, my little girl, intuitive, super feeling parts got stuffed down and I became really good at bucking up, moving on, and appearing like I had it all together all the time - which is so far from the truth and (I think) unhealthy. My mom and my dad loved me dearly and deeply and were my biggest cheerleaders in life. They were driven folks who both owned their own businesses, loved their social lives, and introduced me to my love of the outdoors; we went camping all the time, which was awesome!
How did Charlotte end up coming full circle?
I left Charlotte to go to UNC-Chapel Hill after graduating from high school. As much as I appreciated my time in Charlotte up to that point, this nomad at heart, free-spirited girl was SO ready to go explore and be around more diversity than I had so far experienced in my world. While at Chapel Hill, I traveled as much as possible, made getting out West every summer a must and every breakaway during the school year that I could manage.
Once I graduated from UNC, I drove my car out to Taos, NM, where I lived with a dear friend of mine in a trailer in the middle of the desert for about six months. I worked on the ski mountain, walked a lot in the woods and the rivers, and realized this was definitely a pit-stop for my soul. The energy in that area of the country, for me at that time in my life, was very ungrounding.
From Taos, I moved to Marin County in the redwoods (just north of San Francisco), managed a pilates studio, worked at Whole Foods, and got myself through massage school. It was a wild and crazy time in my life, one where I had tons of fun, and yet was probably the most disconnected to my Truth than I have ever been in my life. Parts of me were on the go-go-go at way too intense of a pace; I was partying a lot, seeing so much live music and just trying to keep up with the people I was around and doing anything to belong - because the truth was that deep down inside, I was feeling very afraid about a lot of things in my life and incredibly alone.
There were other parts of me that loved living in the redwoods: going on hikes almost everyday, connecting with people at my massage school, meditation centers, and at the pilates studio where I felt understood. This all felt very sweet.
After living in CA for a little over three years, 9/11 happened and I remember getting the call from one of my “brothers’” that I mentioned before, who happened to also be living in San Francisco at the time (he knew I didn’t own a television and would have no way of knowing the news before going to work), to “not drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to go to work today…..” It was on this day that my heart felt a clear pull to head back home to NC. And so I did. By Christmas that year, I was back in NC, thinking I was just tapping down until my next big adventure...and I am still here (It so happens that I reconnected with the love of my life from my freshman year at Chapel Hill, my amazing husband)!
My family lives in Dilworth - me, my husband, our son, and our dog.
Share with us your extensive training background:
Beyond high school, college and massage school, I got my RYT-500 Yoga Teacher certificate; I am also a Certified Mindfulness Practitioner; I have studied Core Vitality Healing with Lynda Boozer; have had Feminine Leadership & Spirituality Studies for over 20 years; and I am trained in deeply transformative breathwork techniques of a variety of sorts.
What is your soul driven to do?
I am a mentor for people who are ready to be Awakened Leaders and live, breathe and embody an Inspired Mindful Life, a life of presence and passion. My message to the world is “WAKE UP. SLOW DOWN. CONNECT.”
Since becoming a mom, I have also become hyper-aware of the ever faster paced world that is around me being something that I am not a fan of. The speed, over-scheduling, amount of time spent on screens of a variety of sorts, and the level of disconnect seems literally insane to me and not sustainable, at least not if we don’t figure out how to have some serious boundaries around it all.
My soul feels compelled to do this work - it feels imperative to me, now more than ever, that we become the best self-leaders we have ever been, that our businesses and lives wake up to a higher level of conscious guidance, both inwardly and outwardly, and that we call in joy, growth and inspiration into all that we do without an ounce of guilt or shame around it. Through my work, my hope is to realign each individual with that place within him/herself where presence and passion merge so that they may create a vibrant life.
How would you describe your work?
The work that I do is super deep, hard in lot of ways, and ultimately life-changing - an awesomeness kind of work; I am a fiercely loving woman and am known to be very direct and not hold back on my clients; AND at the same time, I am known to be a lot of fun and incorporate a lot of play and laughter and joy into my work and so most say they like it and feel all the love - well not everyone, but I’m ok with that (finally)!
What does your dream career look like?
My dream career is to keep doing what I’m doing - I want to share my message and help anyone who wants to wake up and remember the already awesome self-leader they are and live a vibrant and thriving life. I want to get up in front of big groups and share and play and work to remember our connection, our full potential, and help people to stop just talking the talk but to also LIVE IT STARTING RIGHT NOW. And most importantly, I want to do all of this in a way where it inspires me to keep showing up as an awakened leader in my personal life, in my own home with my most intimate tribe. Oh, and I want to publish a book of poetry I have been working on soon. And I have some other book ideas in mind too.
What challenges do you face?
Lots of things - claiming 100% that my unique voice matters just as much as anyone else’s, totally owning and sharing all of my healing/intuitive gifts without concern of what others might think of me, feeling that if I really shine my light it will be too much, too offensive, too this, too that, and then the opposite, that it won’t be good enough, finding a self-employed, part-time balance while also being super committed time-wise to my family, and my inner-critic can be tough on myself, as the P’s (please, perform & perfect) steered my ship for a lot of my life (they worked as my way of feeling seen, heard and loved: the three biggest human needs).
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about my connection to spirit, my family, playing, laughing, doing my ‘work,’ being in nature with gratitude for Her beauty, eye contact, knowing it is ok to ask for what you want, loving myself and others right where we are, being a beacon of hope on the planet, being real and honest with my feelings, writing, praying, breathing, my relationships with my tribe.
What and who inspires you?
Sunrises, sunsets, animals (especially hawks, herons and wolves), people who I feel really listen to each other, moving my body, dancing, and music. My husband inspires me to be present, to show up with unconditional love, and to love people through anything while first loving myself through it. My soul-tribe inspires me to play big, be real, not be hard on myself, share my voice, and have fun while moving mountains. My son inspires me everyday to always be curious, to play, to be in wonder about life, to start something new when I have never done it before and just go for it, and to love myself especially when I mess up. And my brother is the embodiment of loyalty, steadfast love, and unconditional love - yep, I scored!
What causes are you involved with?
Oh my gosh - I am in love with The Red Boot Coalition so much right now - it really lines up with my work of slowing down, creating pauses to connect at a soul level, and remembering our sameness, our oneness, our connection across what can feel like great divides. Red Boot is ultimately about active listening and honest sharing; it’s about us remembering our shared humanity and finding space, compassion, and love. My title is the Red Boot Navigator. My main job is to be of support to our trained guides as they move out into the world with the Red Boot material, holding meetings all over the country, soon to be the world. The Red Boot Central team, Molly Barker, Ann Crehore, and Julia Dorn, who are backed up by another line of angels, are incredible people to be creating with.
I am also on a mission with my son, my brother, my husband, and several more comrades to encourage people to have healthier boundaries around their screen time in life, for sure while driving and also while at a restaurant, on a walk, at a music or sports event….again, all goes along with my passion behind my ‘work’ - be present and therein the passion lies. So, my son and I are currently creating a fundraising campaign to print our first round of stickers with hopes of T-shirts and hats to follow that will say “HANDS FREE NC” with a symbol of our state and a screen device to raise awareness of this movement.
What do you love about the Carolinas?
I love that we can drive to the beach or the mountains in a few hours, I love Southern hospitality, our birds and flowers, and I love our four seasons.
What are you most proud of?
Birthing my son, telling the truth, waking up every morning and intentionally choosing to be an open vessel of love, light and healing in anyway I am called to be so everyday (or at least aiming towards that), showing up for difficult conversations when I know I must, and I must admit I am a hope junkie - which can be incredibly painful and I won’t give up.
What struggles have you faced in your life?
Oh so many and haven’t we all?! Betrayal, self-love, addiction, miscarriage, depression, death of many young friends along my way (many to suicide), death of my ‘second mom’ right before my son was born, feeling deeply isolated as a new mom
Where do you see yourself retiring?
Somewhere with lots of nature around me, a tiny home, perhaps even on wheels, most likely near a beach where my husband, my son and I can surf together as it is one of our favorite things to do - and someplace quiet so I can write uninterrupted for great widths of time.
Any life-changing events?
Yes! Many. One that stands out is before finally landing back in NC after living in CA for three and a half years, I backpacked around New Zealand for two months by myself; after coming out of a few rough relationships on the West Coast, I needed to go do some soul-searching and remember who I was, what mattered to me, and realign with my Truth. Another was having our son Tilden - I fell in love with my husband through the journey that in a way goes beyond words and I discovered a power and grace within myself that still serves me to this day - to know that I can handle any challenge that comes my way.
Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
People would probably be surprised to learn that I actually really love to be by myself in quiet introspection and I am not as extroverted as most people think.
Stay connected with Brooks at BrooksHaislip.com