Today we’d like to introduce you to Estelle Bonaceto.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
For over 20 years, I have been a coach, counselor, educator and advocate in many varied positions. From my earliest collegiate academic pursuits, I had a passion for both social psychology and behavioral medicine. I immediately loved the idea of being able to have control over my own physiology. It felt empowering to know of behavioral tools for remedying feelings of anxiety. Over the years, I counseled, coached and advocated for hundreds of survivors of complex trauma while remaining safely disconnected. I functioned very well in my career life, but the truth was that I had my own complex trauma I had never fully dealt with. I kept it hidden and minimized my history, on so many levels, I knew that those sensations of generalized fear that always ran under the surface had become my baseline. I also knew I needed to release that energy from my cells. It wasn’t until I discovered boxing that I was able to experience myself in a different, less fearful way (maybe for the first time since childhood). It was at that point that I decided to set my intentions on bringing my version of boxing to others as a means to achieving greater self-awareness, healing, personal empowerment, self-acceptance and positive change. I offered my services for free to women seeking help through crisis organizations and at local drug & alcohol recovery center. For many years I balanced working professionally serving at risk populations, offered energy healing sessions, and worked odd jobs gardening, cleaning and caring for animals while I also provided boxing sessions at community centers, schools and at a mixed martial arts gym. Almost ten years later, I now lease the same gym as an empowerment & wellness center. At present, I am bringing in complementary providers who share a similar mission. Programming specific to empowering youth, healing & empowering women and men in transition, and fostering genuine self-acceptance for ALL people is our primary aim. It’s exciting and I feel very blessed that I stayed true to my vision of how I knew I could help others doing what I most love to do.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. At times, it was a very dark road and there were many times that despite my faith, I just wanted to give up… on everything. Financially, I struggled. I worked long days, often seven days a week and still had difficulty coming up with enough money to keep our house warm. I’d tell my daughter, ‘hang in there baby, soon we’ll be able to afford more’. It wasn’t that long ago that she said ‘Mom, you’ve been saying this for YEARS!’ We have both been transformed by surviving such long periods of ‘lack’. It really makes you appreciate what’s most important and helps you to realize how little you actually need. I’d say, the biggest challenge, even beyond the financial struggle, was feeling misunderstood. I felt very alone in my pursuits. This was likely the biggest block to building my business and to my abundance. It challenged me in ways I had never experienced. It pulled up every old wound around feeling different, not being believed in and feeling unworthy. When I finally decided that it didn’t matter what anyone thought of what I was doing, that I knew best and committed myself to doing things according to my own inner guidance, my self-belief soared and things started to happen. There are more hurdles, but I am stronger from the journey. I am thankful for having overcome difficult challenges and for how that has strengthened my inner resilience. Slow and patient like an ant now, I am committed to working on helping a larger community. I have learned many lessons and it has helped me to be better at what I do.
Box Your Way Fit – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our mission is to provide a holistic approach to coaching, so that participants attain a new empowered sense of self that overrides faulty conditioning. Fitness goals are secondary to gains made in increasing feelings of self-control, personal power and self-mastery. Focusing and specializing in movement therapy, individual coaching and classes promote mental health wellness for those who are coping with PTSD, or are disempowered as a result of trauma, domestic violence or addiction.
Presently, we offer Boxing classes for adults and teens, Yoga for ALL bodies, Martial Arts as Therapy, Healing through Writing, Mixed Martial Arts and Connecting to Guidance: Tools for Spiritual Growth & True Empowerment. More to come!
What’s different about the boxing classes offered here is that we focus on healing and empowerment. There is no hierarchy, only self-mastery. Every person has something to offer and participants respect and learn from each other. I like participants to view the studio as their healing space; however uniquely they are called to heal.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success is definitely different than most. I’d say if you can reflect on your day and know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life than you are successful. I have felt successful long before any of the usual measures of success could be detected. Meaningful exchanges between ordinary people have brought me tremendous joy and gratitude. Appreciating my health and my contribution to others, no matter how small, has helped me to know true wealth.
- Address: 158 Main Street, Suite 9
Greenfield, MA 01301
- Website: www.boxyourwayfit.com
- Phone: 413-552-9119
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoxYourWayFit/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/boxyourwayfit