Amy Hawthorne, Life Management Director at Canyon Ranch Tucson, believes the only true path to long-lasting, meaningful change is through the cultivation of self-compassion and gaining personal insight and awareness. With experience in addressing issues ranging from trauma to many forms of addictions, Amy helps guests develop new strategies and practices to bring greater health, vitality and happiness into their lives.
WHAT MAKES YOU A CANYON RANCH “WELLNESS ARCHITECT”? HOW DOES CANYON RANCH FRAME YOUR LIFE?
When I think of an architect, I think of someone who is piecing the puzzle together, and that’s precisely how I view my role as a therapist here at Canyon Ranch. I’m honored to serve as the co-architect, even if for only 50 minutes, of people’s lives. I help people identify deeply meaningful, often forgotten or minimized life experiences that make them who they are today. I work with people who are caught in the middle of their own personal construction projects and I get to help them figure out what is keeping them stuck and why. The greatest reward is watching someone walk away from my office, or Canyon Ranch in general, with insight and awareness they didn’t have before, returning to their life with a new blueprint from which they can create something different.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A FOUNDATION OF WELLNESS IN A HIGH-STRESS CAREER AND HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS IN YOUR OWN LIFE?
It is important to have a foundation of wellness period, regardless of what your career is because no matter what line of work you are in, at some point things will get difficult. It is imperative that we are capable of confronting discomfort and stress and moving through it instead of becoming stuck. I handle stress in a number of ways including regular daily exercise, talking to people I trust and showing up for myself with a compassionate inner dialogue. There is no one we spend more time with than ourselves, and I strive to make myself a decent person to be with.
HOW DO YOU TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AND UNPLUG FROM WORK?
For me, there is nothing more important than my connection with my family. It might sound cliché or trite, but my connection to people I love is paramount and being with them helps me recharge and remember the true purpose of life. I know when I’m stressed because my thinking becomes narrow and I feel backed into a corner; this along with fear-based thinking and disruptive sleep, are my clear signs that I need to attend to something deeper. I unplug by purposely broadening the context through which I see life and intentionally focusing on things that I know to be important to and for me. I respect my own boundaries, say no when I need to, speak to myself realistically and compassionately, actively disconnect from my day when I leave work and use my PTO for long weekends throughout the year.