Join us live for a guided meditation and Q&A on awareness, mindfulness, and meditation with this week’s featured Mother on a Quest, Kari Azuma! Click here to join the community and get the invite to this event.

Kari Azuma is committed to leaving a legacy of empowered mothers to lead the next 7 generations. She’s a certified coach in Linguistic and Somatic Distinctions and has studied under luminaries such as Scott Coady, Brian Whetten, Julio Olilla and others. Since 2010, has been blessed to coach board members of influential companies, poets, entrepreneurs, coaches, and leaders in the health and wellness sectors, and for that, she is forever grateful.

It wasn’t until 2015 that her true mission was illuminated when she gave birth to her first born, Sitka. After suffering a full year from Post-partum depression and anxiety, and experiencing a full-blown identity crisis for a year, it became clear to her that cultural expectations of motherhood were unrealistic. And, that there was no real leadership model for mothers to step into the next level of leading their own lives while suddenly being responsible for another.

Since then, she’s dedicated her life’s work to coaching mothers on leadership development and overcoming stress and overwhelm through social media, private sessions and her elite group coaching model, Empowered Mothers Alliance, and her Private Facebook Community, Conscious Mothers Coalition. She also coaches side-by-side with author, speaker, and coach Preston Smiles in his popular program, Stretch 22, and will be supporting the Bridge Experience with Preston and Alexi Panos this summer.

Join Kari’s mission for empowered mothers EVERYWHERE:
Insta: @kariazuma 
FB: Kari Azuma 
FB Group: Conscious Mothers Coalition (mothers only)

Tell us a little about your childhood and the impact your mother had on shaping you…

My childhood was generally full of love, incredibly supportive and I hold a lot of warm happiness in my heart around it. I was blessed with parents who were pretty conscious and wanted to up the ‘parenting game’ based on what they did not receive in their own childhood, and I am so grateful to them for changing cycles with how they raised me and my sister.

My mother and I have a pretty unique interplay with each other. We are INCREDIBLY similar and both very empathic, so I always had this propensity to ‘care’ for my mom. I feel like from a young age I could see her wounds and of course the empathic side of me always wanted to ‘save’ her from them. On the other hand she was also a POWERHOUSE business woman, but she was driven mostly by scarcity, which had a bit of a cost on our relationship because she wasn’t always able to be incredibly present for me and sister because work usually landed as her top priority.

I had some resentment around that growing up, and, now that I am a mother, I so get where she was coming from. Some of the things my mom accomplished by the age of 30 were pretty amazing when it came to being a business owner. She ran her own consulting operation and made 6-figures (which I didn’t even know until I was in my 20’s because she was always so worried about money, I assumed she made much less). At that time, 6 figures was a pretty big deal, as was being a female business consultant in the male-run insurance world. She was very strong and inspiring.

Her incredible devotion to spirit also taught me so much about surrender, and that there are forces bigger than us that are willing to step in and take the reigns when being human feel like ‘a little too much. Her mama bear spirit is also VERY strong. And the fierce love I have for my son is definitely a reflection of her commitment to us and being the best mom she possibly could be. She always did her best, I saw that. She also taught me so much about being of service to others, especially those who don’t have the tools to get out of a difficult place.

I really honor my mom and see so much of myself in her. It’s fun these days, because now I coach HER on business and get to model what living in abundance looks like and I see that my path now inspires her, it’s incredibly humbling.

What has been a “spark moment” or “moments” that set you on your path?

The biggest turning point in my life was when I did a Vision Quest in 2009. It’s a Native American Rites of Passage ritual where you fast for 3 days and 3 nights on a mountain, in solitude, and explore a vision for your life and how to bring that back to your people. That was the first time I had a fully ’embodied’ experience, something I wouldn’t know about until I entered the somatic coaching world. I entered into a deep conversation with myself without the everyday distractions of relationships, food, media, devices, time, and all the other things that get in the way of hearing myself. It was just me, nature and water. It was intense, and intensely beautiful and it forever changed, not only how I saw myself, but how I treated the most Epic mother of all – mother earth.

Everything came alive and that included me – I came alive and saw myself through everything that happened in those three days. The two biggest things I danced with were my inner wisdom and my spiritual life, and my vision was to live in my authentic truth and bring that same gift to others. From there my purpose and life path continued to unfold.

The next moment was the birth of my son. It was a HUGE lesson that I called in around what can happen when I attach to a certain outcome and how much I judge myself when I can’t ‘perform’ in the way I want to. When I got pregnant and had my baby, I had already been coaching for about 5 years in somatic and linguistic leadership development, but it wasn’t until I went through a traumatic birth, postpartum depression and anxiety and a total identity breakdown that I had the call to who I am actually supposed to serve. I realized that there is sparse leadership training for moms outside the context of parenting. During that dark time, I made a promise that no mother would ever have to go through something like this without the resources she needs to be a leader of her life, while holding the role of motherhood in a beautiful way. That changed the entire course of my life, work, and purpose and for that I will always be grateful for that crazy year.

What is your passion and purpose (the “P” in EPIC)?

Empowering mothers to be expressed in their gifts and be the leaders they were born to be, while letting the role of motherhood be a reflection of their power (vs. something that holds them back.). My vision is leaving a legacy of empowered mothers to lead the next 7 generations. I truly believe that by coaching mothers to fulfill their missions, I am supporting the shift of bringing a more feminine/ village/ collaborative environment into the workforce, and the world at large. This is not a ‘job’ for me, I am on a MISSION.

What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration?

I have been reading the book “Bringing up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman. It is incredibly inspiring to read because it’s a reflection of how hard we are on ourselves as American Women to respond to our child’s every whim, and compares it to French society who tend to raise children in accordance to the parent’s keeping a balanced life. I recommend it to ANYONE who is expecting a child.

What is one message or affirmation you tell yourself to ground you on your quest?

“I am grateful for the wealth and abundance in my life.” This is the one I use a lot right now because being totally aligned with my path has been bringing in a lot of incredible opportunities, and I have stories around needing to ‘deflect’ the abundance because of the belief that somehow it will make me ‘greedy’ or ‘bad.’ I am so not committed to that story anymore. I teach mothers that to give, you have to have your cups FULL and overflowing, and so I am walking my talk there a LOT more now. Gratitude helps me receive, while also appreciating what is here now.

In one word, what are you seeking most right now on your Quest?

Pace (slowing down to speed up and provide the most of myself)

What challenge or offering would you like to share with the Mother’s Quest Community?

I would say the number one lesson I have learned in my motherhood journey is that I’m usually the main person holding myself back- not motherhood, and it usually shows up in self-judgement. Judgement in my choices, my pace, my capacity, my success. The best way that I choose to be with that (because I believe it never will ‘go away’), is to surrender to being a learner and to name my pace, and to truly honor myself for doing my best. Through postpartum depression, one of the biggest gifts that came to me in that time was to slow down and make a HUGE celebration out of the small wins.

I am on this journey to learn. It’s why I originally became a coach, because It challenges me to stay in the beginner seat over and over again and to sit and be with the miraculous person is in front of me. To hold that space, I must always surrender to slowing down, celebrating the small miracles, and through that- create an EPIC life. And it always starts with me. <3

How did you learn about Mother’s Quest?

Knowing the fabulous Julie Neale and supporting her vision

What have you appreciated the most about Mother’s Quest?

The podcast with Jenjii was so beautiful. I really appreciated her deep wisdom, particularly about who SHE is in the scope of her roles. I also really appreciate the MQ Facebook community, I can feel the heart and the sweetness of who shows up and, of course, the commitment Julie has to the EPIC lives of the mothers.

Join us live for a guided meditation and Q&A on awareness, mindfulness, and meditation with this week’s featured Mother on a Quest, Kari Azuma! Click here to join the community and get the invite to this event.

Do you want to share how you are living your truly E.P.I.C. life? Click here to send us your story and be featured on the weekly Mother on a Quest series.