Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week, Georgia Rachal.

Georgia is a pilates instructor, a personal trainer, life coach and generally pretty amazing person who has just opened Mind over Matter studios (337.435.4518). Georgia is one of those people who just oozes passion and motivation and makes you feel all warm and positive like you can do anything with your life – and she does it by simply being herself. If you have met her then you know exactly what I mean, if you haven’t then you really should. And yes, I’m signing up for some pilates.

What was your first job?
Babysitting age-11. My neighborhood girlfriends and I formed a babysitters club and went door-to-door passing out flyers. Little did I know, the job I would pick up that day would majorly affect whom I grew up to become. Those girls (now women) are two of my most prized blessings in life.

Describe a typical day in your life.
My days are completely different than before the studio opened. Before, I spent my days training with clients and teaching somewhere between ten to fourteen hours a day, and on my off hours, spending time with my son, working with Junior League and then catching up on the rest of life when I can…It seems chaotic most days but to be honest, it’s what I have come to know and love.
The moment Mind Over Matter Studios became a reality, life warped into this exciting and terrifying unknown world.  Since then, my days are spent praying, obsessively organizing my dreams, making multiple lists, and taking everything one day, one thought, and one client at a time. Most people don’t believe it, but I haven’t had a good workout since the first week of October! Yikes!

So, basically, I…Pray. Train. Repeat.

What advice would you give the younger you?

Hang onto your childhood innocence. Your spontaneity and sense of self are your strengths, not your flaws. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to fall. The waves of life will do far more than intimidate you. They will drown you; spin you in fast circles and push you farther than you think you can go. You will feel alone and empty, as if nothing is left. But you will also learn how to swim. You will learn to fight. You will learn the value of seeing your own smile and the power behind filling up your own cup. You will find the person you were born to be but most importantly, you will learn forgiveness in the truest form. You will come to know God deeper than ever before.
You will discover your purpose by surviving the darkness and you will realize your experiences, your awareness and your openness to share are healing gifts from God. Listen closely to your intuition and always answer it without hesitation. And always remember, Jackson is paying closer attention than you think 🙂

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
To pick just one feels impossible. I’d have to say my parent’s marriage. It sounds like I’m joking but actually I’m not! My parents married when I was 3 and my dad adopted my brother and I when I was 5. Though they are very different people they compliment each other beautifully. Their commitment to each other year after year through so many life events have taught me about follow through, compromise and family value (which sound pretty boring to a non-adult but turns out, they are pretty important). Together my parents carry a multitude of hard earned life lessons and experience paired with a layer of grace in withholding wisdom when they realize I want to learn it on my own (against their better judgment at times, I’m sure; although I wouldn’t know it). Somehow, they know just the right time to say the right thing. Not to mention, their calm stability in a world of constant, uncertain chaos. They stand still. They stand together. Thank God.

What values do you live by?
In one word: influence. I have always felt I was put on this Earth to influence someone, somehow by doing something. I always thought that I was supposed to do it through dance (or movement as I like to call it). Now I realize much more clearly, my purpose is to change the world through Pilates and Positive Psychology. Through various forms of movement, I get to help people transform their lives, as well as their bodies. I get to help them discover self-awareness and am able to guide them along the path to life long transformation. One client at a time builds a better population and a stronger world. It’s my gift and my responsibility and I am super excited about it!

What do you most appreciate?
Quiet moments
Deep conversation
Paying my own bill
Feeling understood
A good cup of coffee
A run in a new city
The moment you connect with a stranger
Light bulb moments
Authentic, forever best friends


What is your favorite journey?
Oh, I’d have to say the journey I am on right now. It’s exhilarating and unfamiliar at all times. I am constantly uncomfortable, completely at risk of falling on my face, vulnerable and secretly a bit scared… all that and I am still voluntarily releasing all control to God (hear that, Lord? All of this is Yours!). For any non-believers reading this, I can promise you, I could never have imagined my life where it is today. Not only could I not imagine it, it would have been entirely impossible to think up and execute on my own. I’m just not that cool, turns out! I am loved by a miracle daily (eh hem, Jonathan Kastner) and now we own our own business that may actually end up being very successful! Whoa! God never ceases to surprise me each and every day with what He does in my life. So, the great journey to self-acceptance, forgiveness and a deeper spirituality has been my favorite so far. Now, who knows what’s coming up next…How exciting is that?

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
A stage, an ocean, in tennis shoes on the open road, in the rain, exploring an unfamiliar city, or sitting outside with a journal.

What living figure most inspires you?
Someone who defies the odds.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
Life is like a slingshot. Sometimes you have to be pulled backwards in order to propel forwards. (Best metaphor ever!)

What book would you tell everyone to read?
1) The Bible.
2) “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

What is the best thing about where you live?
Our people, hands down!
Not to mention, our running community, Run Louisiana is dynamite! Everyday we grow stronger. I’m LOVING it!

How do you “let the good times roll”?
Dance, dance, and more dance! Give me good live music and the next thing you know, the red hair starts flying, hands start waving, toes start tapping and that’s a rap, my friend! I will see you tomorrow, because I’m not leaving!

What did u want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut, a singer and a school teacher
I’m not an astronaut but I do have a traveling soul!
I’m not a singer (publicly) but I am an expressionist, artist, dancer, and a believer of magic.
I’m not a school teacher but I live a life of influence and education.
Funny how the things we crave as little children, we often find ourselves yearning for as adults. Makes me think of Jackson and all the possibilities he has (grateful).

What is your motto?
Seriously? Just one? I have soooo many. Not a nice question 
-Everything is psychological. The secret lies inside the onion. Even though it is uncomfortable and may cause tears, the amount of vitamins, energy and flavor you will gain from taking it one layer at a time will exceed all hardship along the way. This goes for both emotional and physical situations. I am constantly telling my clients to purposely bring their emotional struggles into their physical workouts. On the flip side, I find myself coaching them to focus on developing the mental effort it takes to keep pushing forward. They really help each other out.

-Don’t take it personally. It’s probably not about you anyway.
-Intuition is there for a reason. Do not do anything even if it’s a little fuzzy. Pray for discernment. Sit. Stay. Listen. You will know when its time. It’s bold, its powerful, its genius. It comes with a rare feeling of peace. That’s your time to fly.

How would you like to be remembered?
As the girl who fearlessly keeps dreaming and doesn’t accept no for an answer.
The purpose driven wanderer who creates art by bringing make belief to life. The born dreamer who transformed herself into a great leader of influence, development, and change. An eye opener of self worth, curiosity and exploration.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Step outside yourself. This isn’t about you. Focus. Release expectation. Show up. Pray.
“Lord, be the very center of this. Remove any doubt that is not a deeper message from You. You know my heart, Lord. Let me see You in this. Come Jesus. Fear go.”

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Movement. Change. Expression.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Pilates is the fundamentals for life!
Opposition is the key to finding balance (both in life and in the physical sense)
Inhale to prepare. Exhale….
You are STRONG! Make this count!

What is your favorite word?
Ohana- means family. Family means no one gets left behind.

What do you collect?
Goals and as of recently, dimes.

What food could you live on for a month?
To sustain my lifestyle…
A homemade Veggie Egg white omelet
(EAT Food Coaching organic eggs and veggies, of course)

Fun food….
Jonathan’s spaghetti squash vegan yummy dinner dish, Fish Tacos or Whole Foods vegan chocolate chip cookies

What would you change about yourself?
My hunger for such a big life (who defines “big life” anyway?). It’s one of those situations where my strength is my weakness… Sometimes, I get tired of myself and I give myself a headache…. Oh, and my nagging narcissistic tendencies. I try to fight them, fix them or at least hide them but they always seem to arise. Damn ego.

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Oh, this is going to be embarrassing…
Eat, Pray, Love (the book), It came out right when I was going through my divorce so I clung to it. Literally, I think I slept with it most nights. During that time, I was inspired to write. Dance was not an option any longer and at the time, I was a terrible runner (Note. This was the beginning of my running career though). I had no other form of artistic expression (other than the typical tantrums and late night outs) so I wrote- mostly, on an unconscious level but I didn’t care. I just spit broken thoughts onto paper and without ever rereading them. I still have no idea what I wrote all those months (and years following) and the closed journal is sitting in my office and I see it everyday. Don’t care in the least bit what those words say. Isn’t that incredible? Anyway, It was then; I realized the clarity and freedom writing gave me. It’s become a driving force in my life, though most people don’t know that about me. Of course, on another level, I don’t know any person going through a divorce who wouldn’t want to take off traveling for a year ALONE and get paid lucratively for it. SIGN ME UP! They do Pilates in India, right?

I’m also pretty sure the main character in Brave was designed entirely around me but who knows.

Describe yourself in five words.
What’s next? Let’s do it!

What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness is peace of mind. It’s weightless movement, balance and fluidity with spouts of controlled interruption. Happiness is sustainability. Happiness is the world bathed in colorful inspiration. Happiness means being in a deeper relationship with the Earth rather than with human beings. Being surrounded by colorful trees and holidays feeling like holidays. Happiness, to me, is giving Jackson the opportunity, curiosity and yearning to explore the globe and all cultures inside. It means providing him a strong education from experts who live what they teach. Happiness means being challenged every single day by every single conversation. Everyday, waking up to go to sleep utterly exhausted, tested and fulfilled. Happiness is service. Happiness is exploration. Happiness is adventure. Lastly, happiness is waking up every single day with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and passionately living out every wild desire that can be dreamt up.

What is your favorite movie?
One Last Dance, Under the Tuscan Sun

What music defines who you are?
For work, live percussion makes me giddy.
Amos Lee and other singer/song writers, otherwise.

What do you most regret?
I’m not sure I regret anything at all. If I took anything away from my past, I would be weaker for it. I am stronger because of the moments I would be tempted to give back. Plus, they’re over now. What’s the point of regretting them now?

However, in my next life, I’ll go to Physical Therapy school, get my masters in Dance Movement Therapy and Positive Psychology before I have my super cool kiddo and move back to Lafayette. 🙂

What question do you wish I’d asked?
Do you want to be my friend?

What would the answer be?
I sure do! Thought you’d never ask!:)