Expert Q&A: Learn Conscious Living & Lifestyle with Lifestyle Coach Simone Krame
This young lady honestly doesn't even need an introduction. Her presence simply speaks for herself. Since we cannot all physically see Lifestyle Coach, Simone Krame, we'll give you the rundown on what she is all about.
Simone is a few credits shy of receiving her Master of Arts in clinical psychology with a concentration in spirituality and mind-body medicine from Columbia University, but it doesn't stop there.
This certified personal trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine was always her family's go-to for advice on all things nutrition, fitness, and spirituality, and now, she can be yours, too.
She really knows her stuff because she's been on the other side. She knows what it's like to feel empty. She's spent countless years focusing on what was "wrong" with her. She thought that she had to be the best at everything otherwise, she was a failure. This approach did work for a little bit, but it was unsustainable to live that way permanently. While those around her applauded her appearance and discipline, she was left feeling inadequate, anxious, and depressed.
Externally, she had it all together. Internally, she lacked a meaningful connection to her authentic self and hungered for inner tranquility. She was trying to fill this unknown void through external objects, but the key to freedom can only be found within.
Now, she can say without a doubt, “I am enough.”
Q: Hi, Simone. We are pumped to have you on the line today. Before we get started, can you share with us a little bit about yourself? (i.e. brief introduction to your personality, fun facts, anything goes.)
A: Thank you so much reaching out and connecting with me. I’m really excited to be participating in this discussion with you. I’m originally from New Jersey, but I am now living in beautiful Tuscon, Arizona, with my boyfriend, Isaac, and dog Diesel. I absolutely love doing anything active whether it’s hiking, biking, or working out. I am a true lover of learning. I’m always picking up a new book or listening to a podcast.
Q: What type of training did you need to begin your career as a lifestyle coach?
A: I am currently a certified personal trainer and a practitioner of a Balanced Bites Nutrition program. I am also in the process of receiving my Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University with an emphasis on the mind-body, and spirit connection.
Q: What led you to become a lifestyle coach and begin conscious living?
A: Truthfully, becoming a lifestyle coach was kind of a calling for me. I’ve always been extremely passionate about spirituality, food, and fitness. And, I wanted to provide people with a way to integrate these elements into their lives using the synergistic relationship between all three.
Growing up I always knew I wanted to help people. I just didn’t know how that would exactly manifest. On the other hand, I also strived to make a lot of money and be what our society considers successful. I was really good at numbers, and so this led me to pursue an undergrad degree in finance.
At the end of junior year, the summer going into my senior year, I landed what I thought was my dream job – a summer analyst position at JP Morgan. If I performed well, I was on the fast track to a job offer for their private banking sector. I liked what I was doing, but I didn’t feel fulfilled personally or spiritually at all. Although on the outside this was considered an amazing and successful career path, I felt like there had to be more. I really struggled with this. So, I started taking spirituality classes. To be honest, I grew up in a spiritual household. My parents would always meditate and instill mindfulness with my sister and I, but it was more of a shared philosophy. I hadn’t really come to it on my own.
In college, I did take various spiritual and mindful courses, which was at a time when I really needed to find it. It changed my perspective on life, how I react to certain situations, and overall how I approached living. This was really transformative. I began to see the benefits cultivate. It was so profound that I wanted to share this with as many people as possible.
I turned down the job offer from JP Morgan and kind of had a quarter life crisis (she said with a chuckle). I didn’t know what I was going to do and, as esoteric as this may sound, it all came to me in a meditation. I was to reach out to Canyon Ranch — the most well-respected, premier health and wellness resort in the United States. With some detective skills, I was able to find the founder’s personal email address and so it began.
Q: What led you to this point in your life and career?
A: It was one of those things. Some people just come into our lives, which is what I view as divine intervention — the spirits align. It just seemed to be a really good fit. I picked up and moved out to Tucson, not knowing anyone. I had three-and-a-half wonderful years working for Canyon Ranch. I had several roles there and even a few promotions along the way. I did really well.
And last year, I felt this pulling that I needed to do something else. It was time to go out on my own. I wanted to be closer to the transformation of people because I was more on the operations end of Canyon Ranch. That’s kind of what sparked me to start my Conscious Living and Lifestyle brand. And, it changed the trajectory of my life completely.
Q: In your opinion, what is conscious health? How would someone begin their journey to conscious health who has chronic back pain?
A: To define, conscious health is the synergistic relationship behind our mind, body, and soul. To start the journey, you have to really to look at your relationship between these three entities.
How do you feel in your body? What is your spiritual and mental relationship with food? Are you taking care of yourself? Are you eating foods that reduce inflammation, and are nourishing your body? Are you making sure that the foods you eat allow you to feel good and energized?
Are you moving a lot or sitting all day? Are you doing things that are also nourishing your soul? Are digging within and taking an objective inventory and perspective on these areas of your life? Is one being more neglected than the other? Or, are you neglecting all of them?
Ask yourself these questions. There is no right or wrong answer. We often are so in our heads that we don’t really stop to think about how we are treating ourselves — both mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Some of us are always putting other first before ourselves or even our jobs. Are you putting your job first? Sometimes, our whole bodies, or our complete and utter health, takes a back seat.
I really believe that when these three areas are in alignment that’s when you are able to heal. Conscious living doesn’t mean taking a fragmented approach to recovery. You don’t just take one and work in a linear progression. It’s working on all of these things simultaneously in order to become the best version of yourselves.
Q: Once we become conscious and mindful, what is one of the first things we should use our conscious awareness to change or improve?
A: Hands down, our limiting beliefs and destructive thoughts. I am not of the belief that we cannot prevent negative thoughts. We are humans. We are conditioned that way. I do believe that we can change our relationship to those thoughts. Often times when we are in pain, whether it’s physical or mental, we begin to identify strongly with that pain. And, we almost cannot imagine our life without it. And as a result, it becomes a part of our identity. However, it’s really important to remember that nothing in life is permanent. There’s a reason for everything. Yes, things may stick around for a while. Yes, it’s excruciating. It may even be hard to imagine that we’ll ever make our way out of it, but we have to find a way to believe that things will change.
Once we do that, we can then start to take steps to elicit change that’s within our control. And, you can begin to embrace and accept the things that aren’t. So, maybe there are things that we know can help us manage the pain, and that is amazing. So that should be on the forefront of our focus.
On the flip side, learning to embrace the things that we can’t change. This is not giving up. One of the greatest things I’ve heard, something really profound, I actually read the book Self-Compassion by one of my favorite authors, Dr. Kristen Neff, (Simone highly recommends this book), which highlights the difference between pain and suffering because there is a difference.
We all experience pain on a daily basis whether it’s something minor or major. The pain is there, but we don’t have to suffer through it. Suffering happens when we resist that pain or when we identify too strongly with it.
“This sucks. This isn’t what I want. This isn’t what I planned.”
If we can learn to talk to ourselves rather than beating ourselves up because we are identifying with our pain, you can remove the suffering. Simply acknowledge that your pain real.
“I am in pain right now.”
Then, have compassion for yourself that you are feeling this way. Learn to let those emotions run through you rather than grabbing and having them stick around.
Q: Most of our readers have chronic back pain that prohibits them from maybe doing things they used to be able to do with ease, which can be frustrating to say the least. As they transition to find their new normal, what are some things our Backers can do at the start of each day?
A: This is a really good question. I think it’s really important to start each day intentionally and to also end each day on that same note. This can help bring us back to a place of stillness — to a place that’s good, true and, authentic.
Each day, I highly recommend that everyone start their morning off with some sort of ritual that resonates with you. Now, a ritual is different from a routine in that it has this intentional component. It’s something you do just for you — something that doesn’t feel like a chore, something that isn’t going through the motions or being rushed. Rituals help to set the tone for the rest of your day. You can come up with a new ritual or turn an existing activity that is mundane and typically already a part of your routine into something just for you.
For example, instead of waking up and jumping out of bed, take a few minutes and say a positive affirmation to yourself, or meditate on all of the amazing things you are going to do or be today. Let’s take the action of brushing your teeth. Try not to focus on the actual reason you are brushing or all of the things you need to do, instead, you want to really feel the brush in your mouth. And really just be present in that (and every) experience. Or instead of drinking your cup of coffee on the go, take 15 minutes and enjoy it in a quiet environment. Ask yourself, how can I turn this into a ritual that is positive?
Q: How about ending each night — what should our Backers do to conclude their evenings?
A: Now, in terms of ending the day intentionally, you want to close each night with gratitude. And be specific with your gratitude. Thinking, “I’m grateful for my mom,” is beautiful, but what happened that day that made you grateful for your mom? Then name the reasons why.
Maybe I’m grateful that my mom picked up the phone and called me. We had a really meaningful conversation, or we were able to laugh over X and Y. Be specific about it because it allows you to relive that special moment all over again.
Q: You most likely teach your lifestyle coaching clients various techniques for taking control of their thoughts and behaviors in order to make positive changes. Can you share some of those tips with us?
A: Some of the work that I do with my clients has been adapted from the work of inspirational speaker, Danielle LaPorte. Her philosophy is all about getting in touch with what she calls, these core desire feelings. Not being able to do things that you used to do to bring you joy can be incredibly frustrating, as I’m sure many of your readers’ experience and as you eluded to earlier.
But what if we could find another way to still elicit the feelings state you are hoping to achieve? In our society, we have it backwards. We set goals, but we don’t necessarily think about how we want to feel. And ultimately, anything we do in life, we do it to feel a certain way.
So, what if we thought about how we want to feel first? We are then able to realize the possibilities that we didn’t realize existed from manifesting those feelings. When we are faced with a new challenge, it’s easy to be close-minded and to say I can’t do X anymore so I should give up. What if we took a step back and viewed the situation more broadly and creatively. When we are able to do this, you will see that there are other ways you never imagined that you can do to achieve that desired feeling or outcome. That is one the main things I teach my clients to take control of their negative thoughts.
Q: What is your 1-on-1 program like? Can you give us a brief run through of a typical session? (i.e. how would it begin, what would it entail, what you have your clients do, etc.)
A: First, I offer a 45-minute complimentary discovery session that allows people the opportunity to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Then I share how I might be able to help — that’s our opportunity to gauge if it would be a good fit.
I do offer three different programs. My programs range from three months, four months or six months in length. Each session is very dependent on the individual. There is nothing that I do that is pre-planned. That’s not to say, I don’t have a tool bag of tricks that I refer back to, but somebody can come to me on any particular day with something that they want to focus on. I work with people really on an intuitive level using this co-creation on how our sessions are going to unfold.
Whether it’s something that needs to be more structural or informative when discussing nutritional habits, or maybe it requires more meditations and reflections. It’s hard to say how the flow of my sessions go because I meet people where they are and really just dive right into what they need on that particular day, always keeping their goals in mind, whatever that is.
I work with the whole person. Some people might want to focus on one specific area more than others at a certain point in time and then they realize they are ready to transition into something else. The one thing I will say is that all my sessions always start with an intention to make it very clear on what the client wants to accomplish.
Q: What is the “core” of your lifestyle coaching “approach?”
A: The core of my approach is that spirituality is the foundation for change. We must explore our inner landscape and connect with our authentic selves before we can change the outer landscape. And these things can be done in conjunction with one another, but we have to make peace with the things about ourselves that we don’t like or the things that we can’t change.
When we are connected spiritually, we have the clarity to properly identify what changes we actually want to make and what’s actually right for us as opposed to the things that we think we should be doing — things that we only think are right, the things that come from an inauthentic place.
When we think about what’s really right for us, we can then begin to manifest that change because it’s coming from a true place.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is contemplating working with a life or lifestyle coach but is unsure of the benefits they’ll receive?
A: Some people may (or at least I think) have a misconception about what coaching is. They may think that coaches have all of the answers, but as we talked about earlier, we have the answers and we know what’s best for ourselves.
Coaching to me is about working with someone who hears you and who asks the right questions to help you find the meaning, purpose, and passion in life. With all of my clients, I’m on the journey with them. I am on the same path. I am still learning. I’m there as a resource to help guide them, listen to them, share and co-create together. My job essentially is tap into their innate wisdom and inner genius.
Q: What final piece of insight can you provide our readers?
Acknowledge and accept the fact that sometimes things don’t go as planned. But, there’s always a greater purpose. Have faith. Believe that you have the strength to overcome it even if it’s something out of your control. Take small steps each day. Do things to better yourself on a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual level.
When the going gets tough, don’t give up. Have compassion for yourself even if it has to be on a moment to moment basis.
Thank you, Simone, for this expert advice.
Simone taught us that there's no magic wand or cure to reach conscious health, however, by maintaining healthy relationships with our bodies and others around us, eating right, staying active, and nourishing our whole person, we're already halfway there.
By no means is Simone suggesting that she doesn't experience the everyday pitfalls and travails of the human experience, but through practice, focus, and intent, she's learned how to better cope with adversity and perceived imperfections in herself and others. Now, you can too.
BackerNation knows for a fact that she would be delighted to help guide you on your unique path to self-discovery and optimal health while she continues to travel down her own. So, what are you waiting for?
Conscious Living & Lifestyle can help get you started on your journey to conscious health by helping you create a synergistic relationship between mind, body, and soul. Simone provides 1-on-1 coaching tailored to your specific conscious health needs. Based on your requirements, there are 3 packages to choose from:
1.) Living Enlightened Package: 6 Month Program with 18 Sessions
2.) Living Empowered Package: 4 Month Program with 8 Sessions
3.) Living Engaged Package: 3 Month Program with 6 Sessions
To learn even more about which package is best for you, please visit: http://consciouslivingandlifestyle.com/