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Meet Kalia Garrido of Healthy Women Leaders in Broomfield

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kalia Garrido.

Kalia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I fell into my role as a Self-Care Activist out of critical necessity. When I left the corporate world to start my first business (a software development shop), MAN did I have rose-colored glasses on. I was so eager and excited to take on the world. But as any entrepreneur will tell you, it wasn’t long until the pressures of bringing in the business, keeping clients happy, hiring, firing, and salary-setting began to take a toll on me. Add to that family responsibility (including a new baby) and I was toast. I was smacked down with an unprecedented level of anxiety and depression, something I had never felt before. My rose-colored glasses were shattered and in the gutter.

The gym – physical exercise – had consistently been the go-to for me when things got rough. I had always been able to mark how healthy I was by how many times I had been to the gym that week, or how I was feeling in my jeans. But this new level of stress meant that going to the gym was no longer enough to “fix” me. I would sit in my car after a heavy-duty workout and wonder why I wasn’t feeling any better. I wasn’t going to give my business up, so something else had to change. I went on a personal quest to find out how I could make myself feel better. I asked dozens of other women what worked for them. I researched articles, books, podcasts, videos. I looked deeper and deeper within myself and over time, things started to become clear.

What I uncovered was that I had to broaden my definition of health to include other things, like more time in nature, more intentionality, mindfulness, meditation, different types of exercise (like yoga), better nutrition, etc. I had to consciously stop allowing the business of daily life to impede my own well-being. As simple as this sounds now, I felt that I had unlocked something huge. By choosing to care for myself with the same level of effort and love and attention that I gave to my other responsibilities, I could feel better. And the better I felt, the better I did everything else. I was deeply inspired to share this message with other women like myself that I knew were struggling, and Healthy Women Leaders was born.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Anyone who tells you running a business – even one that focuses on self-care – is all smooth sailing is pulling your leg. HWL’s first year was a hectic run of 11 health-focused networking events which left me simultaneously feeling amazed and exhausted. I was totally enamored with the community of amazing women that we had developed, but I was starting to lag. I felt a lack of time, a lack of resources, and most uncomfortable for me, a lack of passion for what had originally been born purely out of my heart.

My digital business was still up and running and doing better than ever. I had a new business partner and we were travelling more often, getting more clients and bigger projects with tighter deadlines. My family’s needs remained consistent, and all of this reduced my time to focus on Healthy Women Leaders. I was forced to put this passion project of mine on hold while I took care of daily business, and quite frankly, made a plan for what the next phase of HWL might look like.

Healthy Women Leaders – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Healthy Women Leaders is a community (online + in-person) that shares education and inspiration on why women in leadership must unapologetically prioritize their health/wellbeing to develop their personal power so that they can kick ass in daily life. Our goal is to teach women to thrive.

In addition to running networking events in the Front Range, we also develop content around healthy living, wellness, and the critical importance of self-care. I have begun speaking publicly on the 5 Pillars of Whole Life Self-Care and how we can use these concepts to live in a happier, healthier, more “bad boss babe” kind of way.

One of the best parts about running HWL is the amazing women that it puts me in front of. I am completely enamored by the wonder women that have come before me. I keep my arms wide open and am always accepting stories of go-get-em girls from all walks of life. I love highlighting their expertise and drawing our audience’s attention to the cool businesses they run. Of this, I am 100% certain: Women need other women, and I am proud to create a forum that encourages new connections and new friendships, both personal and professional.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is as simple as doing better now, from an overall, top-down perspective than you were doing before. Balance is bullshit, so don’t waste time trying to crack that code. Instead, focus on truly knowing yourself, doing the deep work to gain that clarity, then listening to yourself. We all need to authentically honor who we are and love ourselves each and every day. This is the recipe for true success because it influences how you show up every day. You don’t need me to tell you that this world is a crazy place. We all must learn to brilliantly shine our light so we can inspire others to do the same. I’m proud to create a space that allows women to do exactly that.

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