Woman Wednesday: Brenna R.


Q and A with Brenna R., Minneapolis, Minnesota

“…when you have a “why” that’s greater than yourself, you will do anything to see it succeed.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about helping pregnant women and new mamas journey confidently into motherhood. That’s why I started my blog, WhatAboutMamas.com. There, I share everything I dig up from women’s health and wellness experts on the end of pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period. I also am sharing my REAL journey as a new mom so other women don’t feel so alone. Especially when comparing themselves to the Instagram models who live in perfect, clean houses.


Along with my website, I am planning a series of motherhood self-care retreats in Minneapolis. The first one will be in October of 2021. Women are flying in from around the country to join the event. But it’s also going to be a great way to connect as a local community. Anyone who is a mom knows how isolating the experience can be and how hard it is to prioritize me-time and meeting your own needs at times. This event is giving current and future moms that excuse to get out of the house and meet other women who understand their experience. There will be plenty of pampering involved, too!

My last project is a self-paced online video course I’m developing for pregnant women and new mothers called Journey Confidently Into Motherhood. It will cover all the topics about the postpartum period I wish I knew about before I became a mom. As women, we spend so much time working on the baby registry and preparing for labor, we forget to prepare ourselves for the 4th trimester. And the ironic part is, that’s when women need the most support and resources of all. So this course aims to arm women with everything they need from mental health support to understanding their physical recovery, mom guilt, and so much more. 


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: It’s funny because I come from a family of entrepreneurs, yet I never wanted to be one myself. I saw both my parents working so hard and such long hours, I never wanted that for my life. But now that I found something I’m so passionate about, I understand why. I have worked in advertising as a professional writer for almost 10 years and I run the blog on nights and weekends, so it’s a lot. But when you have a “why” that’s greater than yourself, you will do anything to see it succeed.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I’ve learned a lot in the past year about how to prioritize my own needs as a mother. Even though you still have the same number of hours in the day and way more to do once you become a mom, you still have all the same wants and needs as you did before. So, something has to give. The sooner you accept the fact that your house isn’t going to be neat and clean all the time, or you aren’t always going to have the energy to prepare three home-cooked meals a day, the better off you’ll be.

I also want women to know your body will physically change during the process of pregnancy and childbirth and that is ok! Instead of posting “bounce back” pix on Instagram, we need to normalize this natural and beautiful evolution of our bodies, while celebrating their power and strength.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: True, real gender equality. I hate the phrase “girl/lady boss.” Let’s just say boss. I’d much rather just be a badass woman than have a parade about out the fact that I’m badass woman like that’s supposed to be unique or special. All women are badasses.

I do believe women are finally learning to support each other more versus competing and tearing each other down with judgement. And that makes me happy.


MORE FROM BRENNA: Feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook, to stay up to date with the latest developments for What About Mamas! 

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Woman Wednesday: Rachel


Q and A with Rachel, Atlanta, Georgia

“When you learn to manage your mind, you can do anything!”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I’m passionate about being authentic, showing up as myself, and sharing that with people. I love showing people how to use their own authenticity in business. It’s what I believe to be the secret to success. Overcoming all the limiting beliefs that are keeping people from showing up as their authentic self! I’m also passionate about meditation and learning. It’s how we keep a balanced life filled with purpose and excitement. I’m currently working on helping entrepreneurs build and scale their businesses so they can help their people in powerful ways!


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up in the DC-metro area. I was one of a handful of Jewish kids and struggled with feeling like I didn’t fit in. I went to Syracuse for my undergrad education and NYU for grad school. I studied social work and have always wanted to help others. I burnt out quickly in social work and broke into the fitness world. I started my first business at age 24, as a private 1:1 trainer. In 2010, I opened my first yoga studio, and opened my second in 2014. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today, helping others with their businesses.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: The most valuable thing I have learned is the power of your thoughts. How they create every result you have. That when you learn to manage your mind, you can do anything!


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism is standing for women’s rights and women leaders. Showing up as an example for other women.


MORE FROM RACHEL: I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia, with my two kids and three stepkids and my amazing husband.

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Woman Wednesday: Claira


Q and A with Claira from Helena, MT, living in Missoula, MT

“You deserve to thrive, simply because you are alive.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about pro-social living, ethical business, health, food, luxury, freedom, spiritual evolution, my long-term partner (Zac), our animal babies (bearded dragon, Shanti) and (axolotl, Cosmo), and Zac’s kids. I have two businesses founded on ethical principles.

My first business is called Holistic Contentment. It is a caregiving agency in which we offer a sliding fee scale, pay a living wage to everyone on the team, and give 20% of our profits back to the local community. I founded a care model called the Client Liberation Model. You can find out more about that here: https://www.holisticcontentment.com/client-liberation. When I started HoCo, it was on $125 and a dream. I was told that I was too progressive, offered too much for too little, that I looked like I came from a circus, and we would never succeed. The business has grown to 14 times its size in the last 10 months. I’d say that’s proof that those were false and limited beliefs on other people’s parts.

I have also recently started a second business called Claira Kruse Coaching. The premise is teaching bosses to level up their self-care, self-love, and their company culture. My theory is that bosses and workers have been taught to grind, to not take care of themselves, to take on responsibilities that are not their own, to place blame where blame is not due, etc. In that, leaders and teammates get burnt out. Turnover rates are higher. Health declines. This all leads to an overall leak in profits. As a boss, I can empathize with bosses, but as a progressive who came from poverty, I can empathize with workers. I help others in bridging the gap, to make business beneficial for everyone involved. I am here to change the world in serious ways.

I also love food and health. I had a binge eating disorder as a child and gained 130lbs between the ages of 7 and 8 (or 8 and 9, I don’t remember exactly). I went from 70lbs to 200lbs and started wearing my mom’s clothes because mine did not fit. Food was a means of control where I felt I had none. When I was 11, my only two friends decided we could not be friends anymore and I hit a hard spiral, completely losing my appetite and losing 30lbs in one month. After that, I dealt with the “yoyo weight swings” for a while, but I learned about vegetarian, gf, paleo etc. and have found better ways to enjoy food, while also taking care of my body. At this point, I expect to always be curvy, but between style, eating healthy, and daily movement practice, I feel great in my body. My partner and I primarily follow the Eat Right 4 Your Type food protocol.

Luxury and Freedom come after the above. If business isn’t flowing, and balance isn’t found, there is very little space for luxury and freedom. If you don’t have enough money to do what you want, and are not comfortable in your body, it is challenging to fully reach for either. I like the finer things in life. Vacation, travel, nature, fancy pants (literally, I love slacks in bright colors), jewelry, skin care, being able to do what I want, when I want. I love being my own boss and finding ways to implement healing techniques for what I mentioned above in my coaching profession. I am deeply spiritual. I was born and raised pagan and am completely non-denominational. I was sent to Sunday schools on and off as a kid, but it never stuck. My grandparents on my mom‘s side are pagan; my mom is now pagan, and my dad and stepmom are agnostic. I study spirituality, love spiritual podcasts, have a regular spiritual practice, and I am a spiritual channeler. At one point, I was studying to become a priestess, but I left that behind in part because I am not good at following other people’s instruction; I am a bit of a rebel. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, as they who are themselves say.

My direct family is Zac, who I have been with for over 4 years, and he is amazing. He’s so intelligent, funny, cute, and cozy. He also challenges me to be a better person and to always be true to myself and my principles. He’s really passionate about the game Dragon Dice and the community it comes with. It’s a great and diverse game. I love him a ton. We have a 5-year-old bearded dragon, a 1.5-year-old axolotl. Our bearded dragon Shanti loves to snuggle and gets sad if we do not snuggle him. He also loves TV, watching us do stuff, and the sunshine and garden. Cosmo loves to dance, eat, swim around, and be cute. Zac’s kids are 10 and 13, and they are both highly intelligent, creative, and hilarious. I am lucky that they love me.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: My younger years were a can of worms. My parents separated when I was 4. My mom was pregnant with my little brother, and I was conditioned to be a disciplinarian to him. This was not healthy for either of us. My mom had a hard time with healthy relationships, but she did her best. My mom has always been playful, free spirited, and wanting to help everyone. My dad was a bit of a rocker, long hair, rock shirts, played in bands etc. My dad is helpful, soulful, and all about personal accountability. My dad and stepmom met when I was 7, and they are together to this day. I have two half sisters: an older sister and a younger one. I have my one full brother. I grew up with my big sister Ana in Oregon, but would visit her typically once a year (because I’m in Montana), and I lived with my little brother full-time until I moved into my dad and stepmom’s house at 14, at which point, I was living with my little sister until I was 18. I started planning ethical businesses at 11, but I was failing school from the time I was 8. I had a serious struggle between “I will change the world” and “I am incapable and no one likes me. I am a freak.” I struggled with self harm, codependency, substance abuse, challenges with gender identity and sexuality, failing grades, and serious anger and depression issues. I got into a lot of abusive friendships and relationships very young. My anger and depression started letting up when I moved into my dads, and my grades went from F’s to A-Cs within six months, but I did not have a genuinely happy year until I was at least 18. I have a belief that every year gets better than the last because I learn more, open up more, and live more as my authentic self. I did love when my mom would take me to Washington and Oregon to meet with her friends. They showed me a lot about being yourself, loving yourself, and loving humanity.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I would like for others to know that no matter where you start, what conditioning you are given, or beliefs you have about yourself, you can be open to support to heal, you can work on being kind to yourself, and in time, things change. You are capable. You are here for a reason. Find what you are avoiding in yourself, what dream you fear because it is too large, or because you feel unworthy, and go for it. You deserve to thrive, simply because you are alive, and scarcity is a lie meant to keep us small.


Q: What does feminism mean to you

A: To me, feminism means true equality between all genders, female, non-binary and male. It means letting go of gender boxes and allowing people to be who they truly are. Not taking any gender away, but simply being you, and not being bullied or shamed for your true expression. It means Black Lives Matter, POC lives matter, and recognizing where women who are not white have less privilege than those who are historically, and to this day. It also means paying fairly for stereotypically feminine labor. It means supporting families and using pro-social means to allow everyone a fulfilling and supported life.


MORE FROM CLAIRA: I am in a monogamous relationship with my partner, but I continue to identify as a non-binary queer woman. I will always stand up for the rights of others, and I think that the planet is better when we and the planet thrive. Follow me at https://www.instagram.com/claira.kruse.coaching/ and DM to schedule an application call for Liberate to Elevate, my coaching program.

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Woman Wednesday: Elaine T.


Q and A with Elaine T., Nassau, Bahamas

“I have learned to never ignore your passion. When you are walking in your purpose, your passion will indeed bring value to those you are meant to serve.”


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am passionate about the art of writing. My father took the television away from my siblings and I when we were very young. We were only allowed to read books! Because of this, I am familiar with what a good book is comprised of! This love for reading sparked my imagination and also generated a love for writing. I like to think of my writing as a divine energy that travels from the spiritual realm and into the physical through the portal of my fingers. This is why I started Authors in Action. Through courses, coaching, and ghostwriting, we help our clients to achieve their author potential through the power of self-publishing. I absolutely love the look of pure excitement on my clients’ faces when they hold their book in their hands for the first time. Watching them experience that “I can’t believe I did this!” moment is special and beyond uplifting. I was motivated to start Authors in Action due to the many who wanted to become published authors. I’m currently working on separating my coaching and ghostwriting into two separate entities. I have decided to do this because my ghostwriting packages are the most popular. Lots of executives, pastors, founders, etc. have amazing skills and knowledge that need to be shared with the world; however, they don’t have time to write! It brings me joy to help them be able to add another stream of income to their dynasty, share their knowledge, and achieve their goal of becoming a published author.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up on books. I did not experience television until about four years ago. My school years consisted of my classmates laughing hysterically whenever I admitted that my family and I didn’t have a television. Yes, it was embarrassing, but now I am grateful. I didn’t experience being on the computer unsupervised until my senior high school days back in 2003. These were days when my mom allowed us to sneak in an hour or two whenever my dad was at work. Thanks Mummy! I loved shows like Desperate Housewives, Downton Abbey, and later on a series called Revenge. I still loved books. I will always embrace a good book. My favorite childhood authors were Enid Blyton, Ronald Dahl, Anne Martin, and Carolyn Keene. These authors took me on many memorable journeys through my imagination. This creativity translated across into my writing and gave me a new found love and a unique way to express myself. In addition to reading, I did professional ballet classes. My father says this was one of the hobbies I took extremely seriously. Many may not know that I have completed the American Academy of Ballet Examinations with mostly gold medals straight up to level twelve which is pointe work. I was trained through Virtue Dance Academy in The Bahamas and was judged once a year by The American Academy of Ballet. This was the perfect school for me as they did acting and Christian stage performance also. Dance and writing are similar for me as I consider them both to be a presentation of energy flowing from another world into reality.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: I have learned to never ignore your passion. My passion has always been writing; however, I was encouraged by a guidance counselor to pick a more “realistic” career. I was told that I would not be able to make a living if I chose the path of writing. My income so far for the month of March 2021 is 9k. May I add that the month isn’t over yet (as I’m writing this). I would like to encourage you to trust your passion. Money should never be the driving force behind what it is you choose to do; however, when you are walking in your purpose, your passion will indeed bring value to those you are meant to serve. As long as you bring about an outstanding result, wealth will follow. Why? Because people will indeed pay you for the results you are able to give them. You will absolutely give excellent results if you are passionate about what you do. No matter how small your dream seems, still pursue it. You may not see the full vision at first, but eventually, you will come to discover that your passion is connected to your purpose. Trust the passion God gave you. It is He who will use it to achieve His purpose for your life.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: I believe a woman can be independent; however, having a partner is valuable. I have always found the concept of teamwork beautiful—one team working towards one goal. I feel a husband and wife who are two whole people walking in their purpose and impacting the world together is a force to be reckoned with. Respect, love, empowerment and bravery of both parties is crucial. At the end of the day, we are all human beings—none better than the other. If a husband and wife are stuck on a deserted island, they both need to operate as a team to survive. His strength is needed to build a shelter. Her endurance is valuable when hunting food. Each has brought something unique to the table. Each has something different yet valuable to offer. Both are equally great because both have something exceptional to offer. Yes, some may say you can do it alone, but I am a huge fan of teamwork and so, this is where I stand on the subject. It is possible alone, but it is even better using teamwork. This is just my opinion and how I feel although many may disagree.


MORE ABOUT ELAINE:

I was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. I absolutely love island hopping and visiting our local resorts. I have two sons—ages seven and four. They both adore cars, Amazon, and taking long drives. The eldest hates reading while the youngest began reading at the age of two and loves it. Like all kids, they are both different but equally special.

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Woman Wednesday: Rumaisa


Q and A with Rumaisa, Quad Cities, IA

“We can truly change the circumstances in our life by shifting the way we think and feel about ourselves.


Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: My energy ignites when I am able to learn from my own hurts and setbacks, and share my own learnings and growth to empower others to do the same. The best feeling for me is when I am able to hold space for someone and see their own lightbulb moment click for them. Witnessing a client go from wanting to doing—by using their fears to propel them to do the scary thing they were once wishing to do—it’s so beautiful to see one’s confidence build right before your eyes. It took me 36 years to learn that my outcomes in life would not change unless I created the change that I wanted to see in my life. This is when I took my very first personal development course. This course was supposed to last a weekend. That weekend led me to moving out of my home in LA and moving to Chicago to live closer to my parents. I was doing all of this growth work on myself; I decided to step into my uncomfortable and go to school for social emotional intelligence in leadership and coaching. This work lead me to meeting my husband, having a baby, and moving to Iowa all in the same year! I am a transformational life coach and speaker who empowers women to “Go from Self Doubt to Self Love,” and I have been coach for over 5 years now. I am currently coaching 1:1 clients, teaching my 5 week course: Reboot Your Relationship with Yourself, and hosting my podcast titled “Real Talk with Ru: Going from Someday to Day One.” Available on all of the platforms.


Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I grew up with a mother with schizophrenia, so unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to have a traditional mother/daughter relationship. As a child, I did not realize how traumatic this experience was. I pushed through life and looked for happiness through others. I was an East Indian American girl growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, trying to figure out her place in the world. Where she fit in. I “followed the yellow brick road” to see where it would take me. It took me to become a social butterfly. Being a queen of networking. Being active in softball, basketball, track, and tennis. My competitive spirit led me to becoming ranked third for tennis in the State of Nebraska landing me a tennis scholarship at an NAIA School. My “fearless” attitude took me to moving from Nebraska to NYC to land an internship with Donna Karan. From working in the fashion industry, I fell into working as a background extra in TV and films, which took me to LA and working at Universal Pictures. I was in NYC during 9/11, I traveled to Pakistan to film a documentary to show the beauty of the country. I was always searching for meaning in my life. Growing up with a mother with mental illness, it wasn’t until my late 30’s that I came to the realization that I was running away from a lot of childhood sadness. I was a “people-pleaser” who was afraid to really say what was on her mind out of fear that people wouldn’t like the real me. I thought that if I picked the most glamorous jobs, lived in the biggest cities, that I would find happiness. The busier I was, the more that I would do for others, I would not have to focus on the deep-rooted stuff. I would not have to focus on my sadness. What I found out was that no matter where I lived, if I did not tend to myself, this sadness would follow me wherever I would go. The way that I felt about myself. The way I felt about my work, money, my relationships. It would never feel like enough. I would never feel satisfied. The real work was getting to know myself. What I wanted and needed to live a meaningful and purposeful life.


Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?

A: What I have learned and continue to learn is that I am constantly learning about myself everyday. That my life is endlessly evolving. All of that sadness, the pain, those lonely moments, those “no’s”, have empowered me to become the woman that I am today. There were so many moments that I didn’t understand why these “ouches” were happening to me.What I am learning is that these have all been detours to guide me to this very moment to serve others and share my learnings with others in the hopes that they, too, can overcome their blocks. Our past does not have to define who we are today. Our past story does not have to be our current story. We can truly change the circumstances in our life by shifting the way we think and feel about ourselves. The moment that I chose to get into the driver’s seat of my life, create boundaries, and learn that it is not my job to make everyone happy, my life continues to become richer and richer everyday. I shifted from being a victim of the circumstances in my life to continuing to step into my power each day; no matter how scary it may feel on some days. Showing up for yourself is the ultimate gift one can give themselves. Continuing to learn and grow, to be better than you were yesterday.


Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means celebrating ALL of who you are. Owning your fears, your joys, your sadness, hurt, and anger. Celebrating ALL OF YOU! Showing up, speaking up, and continuing to share your gifts with the world. This is how change happens.


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