By Clare Morris Crowley, Boxer, Yogi, Mystic
What are values?
Years ago, I continued my yoga education in Lake Como, Italy under the talented and seasoned yoga teacher, Christian Piano. Each visit entailed an emotionally painful breakdown of my infrastructure and the way I showed up for myself and the world.
When I found Christian, I was in a lull physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. My body was in pain from boxing injuries and my endocrine system crashed from trying to “make weight” for fights.
I had spent a decade drifting from the worlds of extreme discipline to extreme partying as often as the weather changed in Chicago. To the outside world, I looked successful; owning a restaurant, 30+ films on my resume, a successful husband, famous friends, boxing titles, etc. It was as though I was operating to fit into every societal success story, and succeeding.
At night I could hear the pain in my soul, the disconnection between who I truly was and how I showed up for myself and the world around me. Looking back, I was living my life from a place of extreme disconnect; disconnected from body, mind, and spirit.
Lake Como, Italy
In one of my first visits, Christian asked us to list our top 3 values. As fellow students scribbled away in their notebooks, I sat there blindsided, slayed. “I don’t know what my values are, I don’t know if I have ever known.”
– I sobbed.
I got on back on the plane to Chicago with zero values scribbled into my notebook. This remains a defining moment for me. No wonder my body was broken and I felt no connection to anything. I had no clue who I was or what was important to me. I had no idea why I boxed, why I left the film industry, why I was a yoga teacher, and why I felt so terrible when I partied.
Thank God, Christian stayed on me. I worked on the question “what are your top three values in life”.
At first, the list consisted of values that I thought they “should be”. Be a good person, money, family, my marriage, etc. Fake it, till you make it.
Now as I write this, I’m grounded in my values, I am aligned and authentically Me. There is no separation between me and my work. No difference to the me who shows up in this blog, and the me who shows up for the Hollywood party. You meet the same me at my restaurants, boxing gyms, and yoga practice. No difference between the athlete me, and the family me. I am beautifully aligned with what I value in this life and this allows me to show up for You without any confusion or clutter.
What does living in alignment with my values look like? Let me break it down.
Today (values change), my top 3 values are:
- Health and balance within my body
- Spiritual practice/Time/space to be in meditation with nature and animals
- Clean and peaceful home
Health and balance within my body:
Health and balance within my body requires time and financial investments. My body requires acupuncture, physical therapy, supplements, Chinese herbs, rest, rest, and more rest in order to heal old injuries and maintain optimum health. I do not sacrifice the health and balance of my body for ANYTHING. Not for a party, new clothes, more clients, extra cash, or to make good impressions or career gains…. NOTHING. I am in bed by 9:00 pm, I have a 2 hour morning ritual solely for herbs, hydration, and spirituality. Will I die if this doesn’t happen? No of course not. But missing my weekly acupuncture, morning greens, or getting to bed after 9:00 pm are rare exceptions.
I value my health and inner balance above ALL.
This is a tricky value as I feel spiritually connected to everything I do. Even my finances. Especially my finances. Spiritual practices are all day every day for me. The well from which I draw upon all day is filled by two-hour hikes through the Michigan Dunes, keeping a pristine and thriving farm, Reiki, and moments of the day designated for complete silence and deep meditation. This value is THE value that has kept me from stepping back into the film and restaurant business full time – there are no pauses in those worlds. This is THE value that has propelled me into the work I do now and the businesses I create and show up for every day.
I feel spiritually connected to everything I do. Even my finances.
Clean and Peaceful Home
Yoga House on Moon Acres is nestled in the woods on 14 acres of woods and farmland. My home is my sanctuary, my temple, and the spiritual space from which all other life is created. I originally created this space as a yoga bed and breakfast. I have hosted 100’s of people here, teaching yoga, cooking from my garden, and leading guided meditations and hikes through the dunes.
The death of my mother and then COVID brought me home to this quiet heaven that I had created for others, and I healed here. I hiked the dunes in silence, drank healing herbs, and ate healing foods from my gardens. In a time of ruin, I healed and became whole. Yoga House now exists within me.
Now as I begin again with a new business venture, Boxing House International, a boxing gym in St Joseph, I stand grounded in the values that support the whole of me. My morning health routines will be scheduled in. Hiking with my 2 pitbulls and chihuahua will be scheduled in. When it’s time to reap and sow my gardens, client requests will have to adjust and I will work in such a way that allows me to sleep by 9 pm.
When you book my services you will be getting all of me. All of my spiritual wisdom, my fully rested and meditated mind, my agile and balanced strength, a world of trusted resources, allies, and connections that have been nurtured and nourished. Standing grounded and living from my values is to me my friends, real wealth, real success, and a life living as a truly original, fucking Ladyboss.
I love you, thanks for reading.