At this time last year I was fortunate enough to take a new year workshop lead by Roberta. It totally changed the way I view goal setting for the year. I felt like I had to share her wisdom with you!
So, meet Roberta Vommaro, the former-lawyer-now-wellness-specialist, executive coach, and founder of Salt & Spirit Collective. We recently had a conversation with her about what 2023 has in store for us, intentional goal setting, and her top tips on how to combat stress.
Read on to explore her answers to our questions.
Tell us about what you do, and why you do it?
My mission and expertise is helping busy, high achieving individuals find balance and have the energy to do what they love. I joke that I’m in the business of “energy”, because in a nutshell, this is what it is.
If I were to give an “official title”, I would say that I am an international wellness specialist, executive coach and entrepreneur, with over 15 years of experience, which includes teaching meditation, owning a wellness studio, running a mentorship for wellness entrepreneurs, and more recently, writing a book (in progress).
How did you get to where you are today?
Prior to being a wellness coach and entrepreneur I used to be a busy (and rather stressed) international tax lawyer. The work had its natural stressful demands, but in search of perfection I pushed my body to its absolute limits, eventually landing in a hospital bed with burnout. As I recovered, naturally and organically, friends started asking for tips.
This was back in 2008, and I gradually transitioned my career into wellness, consulting leaders, entrepreneurs and corporations on how to banish burnout and manage stress to not only increase performance and optimize gains, but also to achieve wellbeing and personal fulfillment.
I believe I’m in a unique position in that, well, I don’t know many lawyers turned meditation teachers. ;) But also, I feel thought-leaders and high-achieving, driven people feel connected to what I offer (and how I offer it) because even though we talk about wellness (and one might say “spiritual”) concepts, it is always in a grounded way. I’m a pragmatic mystic, so there is no woo-woo talk or pointless rituals. Much like myself, my clients are interested in results.
We are excited to get into 2023 planning with you, numerology & energy wise, what does 2023 have in store for the collective?
I follow the yogic numerology (which is a bit different from the Western one). In the yogic science, 2023 is a number 7 year (2+0+2+3 = 7), which in this system is connected to the Aura. The Aura is a magnetic field that surrounds our physical bodies, and it is essentially what people feel in our presence, even before they actually “see” us. Everything has an Aura, including the planet earth (the planet’s magnetic field).
When we are feeling down, energetically depleted, sick, the Aura shrinks. One can actually “feel” this, and I often give this example to clients: do you remember in the cartoons when a character walks around with a little cloud over their heads? This is how it feels when the Aura is negatively charged. People don’t want to be around us, or we don’t want to be around people. Conversely, when we are carrying a positive frequency, right mindset, being brave, helping others, our Aura expands. In the healing sciences, this is actually how healers are able to help others: their Auras are so strong that their presence is capable of changing the frequency of others, and healing occurs.
Having a year 7 means we have an opportunity to connect with and expand our Auras. This has an energy of upgrade, manifesting finer things, connecting with a higher, prosperous energy field, which in turn reflects into our material world. The number 7 is a very lucky number. I see lots of possibilities for expansion for people in 2023, whether this is at a business/ career level, or improving relationships. In fact, the number 7 is about relating to others. The questions this number inspires us to ask are: “How can I help? How can I improve this situation? How can I make things better, brighter, bigger?”
The polarity of the number 7 and the Aura is that in an effort of helping others, or trying to improve a situation, we might overextend ourselves. So I think there is a very good reminder this year for us to make a point of starting or enhancing a self-care practice, meditation, breathwork, etc.
The lesson of the year is to strengthen ourselves, our Auras, amplifying our capacity to handle more so that we don’t feel overly sensitive or overly affected by other people, by the state of the world or politics, etc. We can be stronger than external influences. And with our energy (with a strong Aura), we can actually change things for the better.
Tell us a bit about your approach to goal setting, and why it’s important to be intentional with this?
I used to offer a course called “The Power of Intention”. This is exactly how I feel: there is power in it. “In the beginning was the word”, as the saying goes, which means that with the intention setting, automatically, a blessing is born. The question is: are we ready to do what it takes to achieve the goal? And also, do we really want it?
Often when we go out to set up a goal or a new intention, a challenge comes up. This is one of the reasons why New Year’s Resolutions tend not to work for most people. Firstly, I feel sometimes people create resolutions that are so out there that in a sense they are already setting themselves up for failure. (Example: say you want to get fitter in the new year, so you create a resolution that you will wake up every single day at 5:30 am to go to the gym. I can guarantee this won’t happen. By day 10 - or 2! - you will see yourself sleeping in and deciding resolutions suck and you won’t create a resolution ever again.)
Secondly, challenges are how we learn - and also how the universe tests us. When you decide on a big goal (one that could potentially change your life), sometimes the universe will throw a few challenges your way. This is just a way of asking us: “do you really want this? Are you ready for this? Are you willing to sacrifice/ let go of your old self for this?”
With all that being said, I have a method for intention setting which I teach at Magnetic Blueprint, my coaching program for driven, high-achieving people. I’ve been working with this method for over 10 years now, using it for opening my studio, expanding my business internationally, manifesting a big move, and even marrying my husband. The method consolidates all aspects of effective goal-setting to get to a vision that is 1) inspiring; 2) achievable; 3) accountable.
For the person that has never intentionally set goals before, how would you best direct them to begin?
Start with “feeling it”. Sometimes it is hard to visualize the goal, so ask yourself: “how would it feel to have this? how would I feel if I had $100,000 in my bank account? how would I feel if I was happily married to the person of my dreams?”, etc. Start there. Allow yourself to feel the feelings and write about it.
Practice this daily and notice, after a few days, how the vision will start to form. You will start to believe it is possible. When things get a bit clearer, write down the specific aspects of the goal/ intention.
Since we can’t literally press a “reset” button, what advice do you have for someone that wants to reposition their headspace to expand and enhance their everyday routine in 2023?
Start now. No fuss about it. I am a huge proponent of something my late teacher used to call “beditation”. You literally sit on bed for 3, 5, 10 mins (whatever you have) after waking up (or before going to bed), and take deep breaths - the deepest breaths possible. This is super effective, even if only for 3 minutes a day.
This will already massively change your mindset and place you in the right headspace to inspire you to connect with a deeper routine. What I always say to people: it is best to make it a simple practice you do daily, than a long, complicated practice you only do once a month/ once a year.
High-stress, hustle environment – something most of us have become familiar with/are experiencing currently. What are your top 3 tips to combat stress and burnout?
My top 3 tried and tested tips:
Meditate. It doesn’t have to be the classic, quiet, sitting down meditation everyone imagines when they hear the word “meditation”. This can be active meditation (meditating on movement, on daily tasks, on walking) or a kriya (set of physical yoga postures designed to change mindsets and deliver energy).
Breathe deeply. Do at least 11 mins of deep breathing a day. This can be spread out throughout your day. Example: 3 mins of deep breathing when waking up, 3 minutes of deep breathing when answering emails, 3 minutes of deep breathing when sitting on the couch watching Netflix, etc. People get irritated sometimes simply because there is not enough breath in their system.
Once a day make sure to do something you love. Not just like, but love. Be creative. This can be a hobby, a mild indulgence (naturally, stay away from the self-destructive ones), even a side job you love. Make sure you are nourishing your soul as much as you nourish your body.
What is your personal, preferred practice to lead a life free of stress & hustle?
Sky gazing. My personal instagram account is filled with pictures of the skies. I love it so much and it reminds me of the vastness of this universe. Of how in the great scheme of things our problems are truly small, and we are so very fortunate to be here.
Kundalini & Meditation. This is the single most helpful thing for me. I feel balanced, recharged, confident, authentic when I practice. It’s been a daily staple in my life, particularly since I made a decision to grow and expand my business.
My little indulgence that makes me so happy is that my mornings are mine. I’ve been doing this since I was a young adult going to law school. Even though my days would start really early, I would make a point to go to bed early so that I could wake up at least 2 hours before I had to leave the house to fully enjoy my morning, basically doing nothing while I would sit in bed sipping some coffee or staring out the window. It’s a simple thing but it makes me feel so happy and prosperous.
To end this little interview, please let us know what is next for you and Salt & Spirit and how we can stay connected with you
I am super excited about this next iteration of Salt & Spirit. The past couple of years were all about expansion - putting Salt & Spirit out there, offering online courses, group coaching classes, and expanding the reach of our community.
Lately I’ve been feeling called to go deeper with the work. After quite a few requests, I have decided to make space for 1:1 coaching again, and I am thrilled to announce “Magnetic Blueprint”, a complete consultation grounded in the science of Human Design and Humanology (the Kundalini science of human behavior). This is for driven, high-achieving people who are ready to tap into their unique gifts (their genius) to find true fulfillment, free up abundance and cut through insecurities and low energy states.
To close out this feature, here is the advice I received from Roberta that changed how I look at my yearly goals.
While the common way of looking at a New Year resolution is to say : 'I am giving up sugar in 2023' and completely quit on January 1st (usually to find yourself giving up a few days in because it's too hard). Instead, Roberta suggests that the goal should be to have quit sugar by the end of 2023. To then divide this big goal in smaller steps that are achievable & that you can be accountable for throughout the months.