We were lucky to catch up with Cazoshay Marie recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Cazoshay thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What did your parents do right and how has that impacted you in your life and career?
One thing my parents really did right in the way that they raised my younger brother and I was that they always kept the positive aspects of our history and heritage at the forefront of our minds. One way they did this that has had a significant impact on my journey to becoming a wellness professional, garden coach and future farmer was by having us spend a great deal of time with our grandparents. I’m originally from Alaska, but my mother’s family is from North Carolina and my father’s hails from Alabama. I basically grew up outside with my mom and Granny learning how to grow our own food, while also learning about the impact and contributions that my ancestors had both in their communities and in helping to make America the great country that it is today. She taught me about having a strong connection to both God and the Earth, which is a concept that has carried over into my career journey. I remember being a kid and walking through the rows of her giant collard greens in the backyard, and then the long conversations we’d have in the kitchen as I helped her and my mom prepare them for Sunday dinners with my extended family.
My Grandaddy (dad’s side) would talk about being a kid in Birmingham and how they raised chickens and how he was in charge of preparing them. His stories of growing up in the segregated South not only spoke to the resiliency of my family, but also the importance of families and communities supporting and helping each other. It taught me that no matter what race you are, there is strength in diversity as every person has something to offer, and we are much stronger together, than we would ever be apart. Not only did spending time with my grandparents give me much of the practical knowledge that I have used in my career, it has also informed my philosophy which has continued to draw people to my particular way of sharing my skills and knowledge.
Cazoshay, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
For many years I’ve been an holistic wellness professional specializing in unique and outside-the-box yoga and meditation instruction, wellness education and healthy cooking classes. In 2017 I was struck by a car traveling 48mph while crossing the street in downtown Phoenix which unfortunately resulted in several long-term health issues giving rise to disability and causing me to be unable to work in my previous capacity at this time. While I no longer actively teach yoga or cooking classes, I have experienced a pivot that has brought me even more joy and purpose while continuing to be adjacent to the industry I have extensive knowledge and expertise in.
Coming from a comprehensive background of experience with plants and growing food in a sustainable and easy-to-implement manner, I am taking my skills and knowledge and applying them to becoming a Garden Coach. I currently blog and share tips and tricks on both my website and social media outlets (you can also find some of my awesome recipes there), and am in the process of receiving formal training to take my garden coaching to the next level in order to empower clients to be able to grow their own food on whatever scale works for them. My fun and accessible approach to teaching (and life!) are what sets me apart from others. Having a well-structured plan is great, but if it’s not sustainable or doable for the client, it’s not going to work. I have an impeccable ability to listen as well as the belief that anyone can grow their own food when empowered with the knowledge and assistance to do so. I am able to provide that for clients and that is what I am proud to say has always set me apart in my craft.
I have maintained garden spaces everywhere from Alaska to Portland to Arizona in spaces ranging from my backyard to my tiny apartment kitchen. My long term goal is to own a small-scale farm that serves the community, provides education and supports abused and neglected children. In the meantime, I will continue to share how to make growing your own food accessible through the functions I currently engage in and look forward to empowering as many people and communities as I can.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
I had only been in Arizona for about six months when I experienced the night that would change my life forever. I was a single mom and self-employed holistic wellness professional having freshly moved from Portland with my son and brother. I was so excited that my business was really beginning to take off here in AZ! On May 19th, 2017 as I was leaving an event at the Phoenix Science Center, I was struck by a car traveling 48mph while crossing the street. I was thrown 15′ up and 100′ forward from where the car struck me. I sustained numerous injuries (traumatic brain injury, concussion, bones and ligaments in my jaw were dislocated, broken fibula and more).
Needless to say I was suddenly unable to maintain my business, and even simple, every day activities were impossible for me to do unassisted. While I count myself extremely blessed to be alive and have made great progress from the initial time of sustaining the injuries, I still have long term health issues and disabilities that have caused me to be unable to work in my former capacity. But, just like I had to relearn how to walk because of vestibular issues caused by the head trauma, and just like I had days where I was in so much pain that I couldn’t even speak, here I am today, still trying to persevere despite my disabilities and limitations. They still restrict my activity extensively, but I continue to try to push myself towards progress and achieving whatever I can during the course of the day, with many modifications and help from my family. I’ve used this traumatic experience to help advocate for and support those who have also experienced traumatic brain injuries through speaking engagements with the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona and other organizations. I had to learn that this traumatic experience and the disabilities it caused don’t define me, but are tools to show my resilience and hopefully inspire and encourage others to persevere despite their own personal obstacles.
Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?
“To Hell with the Hustle” by Jefferson Bethke- This is a great book that may seem a little counterintuitive to the mainstream philosophy of being busy all the time, but it has been a wonderful resource for me to learn about achieving balance in your career so that staying “booked and busy” doesn’t rule your life to the point of being something negative.
“You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero-“You Are A Badass” is a wonderful example of an outside-the box so-called “self help” book. It can help you realize how amazing you are and how to get out of your own way in order to do that.
The Bible-I know many are not religious and may have apprehensions about reading the Bible in any capacity, but I have found that philosophically there is so much wisdom and encouragement in there and it has really helped me as an entrepreneur.
“The Call to Courage” Netflix special by Brene Brown-Can we do anything without courage? I would go out on a limb and say no. Certainly being an entrepreneur takes courage and vulnerability, and this special lays out a lot of great info on how we can be courageous, which is a very important trait to have in your career and in your life. She also does it in an entertaining way, which always helps in my opinion.
- Website: https://www.didwithcazoshay.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cazoshay_marie/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DIDwithCazoshay/
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/divineinterventiondesign/
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