Sandra Nicholson created Woman Activated to guide women towards a joyful mothering and overall whole woman experience. She is passionate about helping mums reach their full potential, allowing them to provide their children with the healthiest, most present, and most intentional version of themselves – and this all begins with what they eat and how they manage their day-to-day environments. When a mum is mentally and physically well, she will have the capacity to provide mental and physical wellness to her children. Woman Activated is an accepting and positive environment where women are offered support, knowledge and encouragement, with strategies to help calm and nurture them through nutritional therapy, self-care practices, lifestyle changes and open conversations – kickstarting the journey to feel your best in womanhood: in mind, body and soul.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Actually, it started with my passion and interest for sustainability. Investing in children is the fastest and most effective way to create a future of creative and responsible people to care for the planet. And mums are at the center of this. There is a significant piece missing in modern mothering guidance and child development recommendations, and that is the importance of intentionally developing the heart of the child (the imagination, intuition, emotions, and creativity…developed via the autonomic nervous system). We know that physical health is important, and that education is important, but we neglect to develop the emotions and heart, which are just as critical. Understanding how each of these is developed in the child and which phase of childhood is most optimal for development begins with the mother and her understanding and connection to her own whole womanhood, her self-care and her overall health and wellbeing. When we care deeply for mum as a whole woman (body, mind, heart) who then cares for and develops a whole child (body, mind, heart) — we create a future generation with a capacity to access their full cognition for the imagination it will take to face the immense challenges of the world.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
We raised our family very holistically, including an education where the pedagogy was created around the understanding that the child’s imagination/intuition/creativity needs to be developed in order for full cognitive development. I often wondered why more people don’t approach children this way. This question led me to look within myself, as a mother, and ask myself, “how can I help more mums to work out of this understanding? How could I have helped MYSELF sooner, what would I have needed?“, and the answer I discovered was whole woman wellness for the purpose of whole woman/child mothering. If mum can find calm patience (and therefore full cognitive capacity), she can then imbue this to her child. All of this stems from the health and wellness of the whole human and an understanding of the importance of heart development.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I began Woman Activated as an “Intentional Mothering” consultation business, however throughout my Nutritional Therapy coursework, I dove into the physiological impacts of things like stress and sleep as well as the impacts that digestion, immunity, blood sugar regulation, etc. can have on mental health. I realised that there is SO MUCH physiological that may be affecting the heart and the mind of a mother, which can then have cascading effects on her capacities to be able to parent her child with intentionality. This is when I expanded my services to approach the wellness of mum as a primary component, which is fitting with the mission and values of Woman Activated.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
My life partner owns a local pub. I make sure that my work schedule is the same as his, which can make for some unconventional days and hours. Getting the teenagers to be home on these days, now that is a whole other feat. We have family dinner mid-week on one of our days off and we extend the invitation to the kids’ friends. My partner and all of our kids love to ski and I love to hike, so we spend our free time in winter on the local ski mountain where I snowshoe and the rest of the family ski. We meet at the end of the day and have a bite to eat at a restaurant and share the day’s adventure stories. I often bring my work with me to the mountain or lake and can work while the family plays and still find some time to play a little myself, too. Anything we can do to encourage screens down and get outside. Working hard and playing hard is definitely an example we set well in our family!