Robyn Youkilis (She/Her) is an AADP Certified Health Coach, author, speaker, sought-after TV personality, and…
Alexi Panos (She/Her) is a best-selling author, leadership and embodiment trainer, humanitarian, and the host of the Unleashed podcast.
She is insanely committed to empowering others to activate and own their greatness and live a life they are completely OBSESSED with. Her mission is to reinvent “personal development” into what she and her husband call the EMERGENT WISDOM MOVEMENT–creating a container of transformational work that elicits a remembrance of what we’ve always known…and who we’ve always known we are.
She is the co-founder of The Bridge Method workshops (which she developed with her husband Preston Smiles) and the founder of two non-profit organizations — E.P.I.C. and The Sisters Society). And has authored the books 50 WAYS TO YAY! and NOW OR NEVER both by Simon & Schuster.
How postpartum are you?
How have you transformed since becoming a parent?
I’ve transformed in so many ways it’s hard to put words to it. But one of the biggest ways is having a clear focus on what truly matters. A deeper sense of intention with how I use my energy, my presence, and my time. All of these have become precious resources for me, and that level of urgency behind them has brought so much more magic to my life.
With the little solo time you do get, what’s your favorite thing to do?
Sounds so simple- but a nice shower. I call it “the ultimate shower.” If I actually have the space and time for it- I take the most indulgent shower I can think of! I shave all the things, exfoliate, do masks on my hair and face, sit down and let the hot water soothe my back— all the things! It’s a total reset for my mind and body and helps make me feel a little human at the end of a full day of spit-up, food stains, and diaper changes.
If you could describe your postpartum experience in one word, what would it be and why?
Presence. I use this word because it fully encapsulates ALL of what postpartum can be. The “good” and glorious moments of baby coo’s and smiles, and the not-so-awesome moments of sleepless nights, nonstop crying, and sibling fighting around the newborn.
I keep reminding myself: how can I be more present in THIS moment- and it helps bring me to the impermanence of each moment which illuminates the magic of it (and also helps to make me laugh through the harder times).
What’s something that caught you off guard during the first 3 months of parenthood?
During this time after my FIRST birth, it was truly how much my whole identity shifted- and in some ways- unwillingly. I had to essentially surrender and let go of the idea of “freedom” as I knew it. While watching my hubby go back to some version of his pre-baby life (running out to do ANYTHING: meet up with friends, grab coffee, surf, take meetings, etc) I felt a deep sense of resentment for his ability to just get up and go without having to plan anything: ‘Who’s gonna watch the baby? I need to pump now, and then bring the pump for later. Are there enough supplies for me to leave?”
In order to not resent him, I had to surrender into this new iteration of my day-to-day life. I had to give up the idea of the person who used to be able to do all the things- open up a whole new space of slowing down, drop the need to hustle (and simultaneously needing to prove myself as “somebody” in the world) I got to explore what it meant to be there for myself FIRST so that I can actually be fully present to being everything my child needs. That whole process, that death to my old identity, was a rebirth of ME in a truer sense. And while it was hard as hell at moments, it has been the most beautiful gift. Because the neediness for ‘more’ (success, money, respect, etc) gently fell away in the process.
On a scale of 1-10, how supported did you feel as you navigated healing and learning how to take care of your baby? Why?
6- because I have amazing support around me, AND the gap still exists because I have a hard time letting go and letting others support me. 😝 but I believe in the village mentality and am not shy about having people around to support me. Though I know there is always room to grow and let support in more.
If you could dream up the ideal postpartum journey, what would it look like and feel like?
I don’t know if there is one ideal journey, but for me, if I had to dream, what I would add to my current situation, which is already pretty awesome, is more massages, more healing- like acupuncture, Chiro, physical healing, pelvic floor support, and more movement. Also a personal chef for the whole family.
What’s the #1 piece of advice you’d give a brand new parent?
Be gentle with yourself. There is no one way to do this, your journey is yours. The minute you stop resisting what is showing up, you can start embracing the journey that is for you. In that journey are a bunch of lessons, expansions, transformation, and a new identity that awaits for you to claim it.