Anne-Marie Gourgues wears many hats. Yoga instructor, entrepreneur, adventurer, nature lover, wellness and movement guru. She juggles many of these hats on a daily basis – it’s continuous work that takes patience. Lots and lots of patience.
When we asked her if it’s easy to stay true to herself and follow her own path, she had her answer ready to go.
“Absolutely not! Living in alignment with myself is a choice I make every minute of every day. Moving forward in harmony is a constant choice.”
For Anne-Marie, being true to herself means living a connected life. To her body, to the seasons, to nature, to the universe, and to the people who surround her. It means following her heart without silencing her mind. “Being my authentic self means following what my heart says. But there’s also the voice inside my head. Sometimes, it says the same thing as my heart. But not always. My mind is more rational. It reminds me about money, stability, social pressure, and security. My heart brings me back to my feelings, deeply held values, and dreams.”
Anne-Marie’s life was completely different in the past. As a triathlete, she was fueled by performance and always pushed her body to the limit – a lifestyle she was perfectly happy with, until it fell away. “I had a fall. A massive fall. In a racing peloton at high speed. I pushed my body past its limits and made a bad move. My recovery took several months. Overnight, I went from defining myself based on my performance to not even being able to move. It forced me to rebuild myself in a different direction.”
At that juncture, Anne-Marie sought out a more intuitive relationship with movement. “I was always in the red zone. I was playing sports, running my business, and studying. I put a ton of pressure on myself, and it ultimately made me sick. I felt the need to redefine my relationship with sports. With support from my family and professional help, I regained my mental health. Now, I see movement as a way to preserve my well-being. I move based on my energy levels and the seasons of my body.”
After losing her bearings and having her entire routine disrupted, Anne-Marie began to question her life’s trajectory. She finds it easier to reflect when she can take a little distance from a situation – but it doesn’t always have to be this radical. For instance, her first solo trip was one of the most transformative chapters of her life.
“At 18, I headed to India on a solo trip. Clearly, it was my heart that led me in that direction, not my head. It pulled me away from my little life in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. My cocoon. I was exposed to different ways of life and I became aware of my privilege. It revealed to me my inner strength – which sounds intense, but from that moment on, I realized I could believe in myself and accomplish great things.”
Not everyone needs to go on a solo adventure to find their own way in the world. Anne-Marie will be the first to tell you that! “I think you have to be bold. And be patient. It’s a balance you need to find for yourself.”
“This collaboration came at just the right time. It’s a good exercise to reflect on my true nature and think about how it manifests, especially since I’m currently restructuring my professional life. I’m questioning myself. I thought the answers would come quickly, but nope!”
“The expression of your true self is something that evolves over time. It’s constantly in motion. The older I get, the better I get to know myself. I’m more aware of my limits and I know what makes me feel well. But these things aren’t a given; they’re always changing. I’m still in the process of exploring my personality. You have to accept that it’s not a linear journey. Sometimes it feels like I’ve taken 15 steps backward. And that’s okay.”
People often say that if you want to live an authentic life, you need to dive in. Head-first. For Anne-Marie, that’s not necessarily the case:
“I think that fear often stops people from expressing their personality. The fear of judgment, but also the fear of looking inward and really getting to know yourself.”
“I regularly feel this type of fear. Whenever I want to take a step that aligns with my true self, there’s a little voice inside me that gets louder. After that, it’s about being able to see the fear. To listen to it, to understand where it comes from. Does it serve me or not? Because fear isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, it stops you from pushing too far past your limits.”
The most important thing we’ll be taking away from this inspiring chat with Anne-Marie Gourgues is this: be daring. Dare to listen to your fears. Dare to live in alignment with your heart and your mind. And above all, give yourself the time and space you need to find your way, one step at a time.
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