Meet Hope Mcgrath, a deeply creative, spiritual and curious Beyond Mom! Previously, Hope had a long career in fashion and holds a deep love and respect for fashion as an art form. After becoming a mother and through much soul searching, she discovered life coaching as her strong calling. Her holistic approach to transformation incorporates practices for mindful living, which in turn spices up spiritual, social and professional lives. Her goals are to help her clients develop eye-opening shifts in perception, motivation to dream big and take some serious action to live and love their best life. Check out her website here and read more about Hope below!
1. What makes you a Beyond Mom?
I had a good laugh when this song popped into my head when I read this question…”I’m every woman, it’s all in me. Anything you want done baby, it comes naturally.” – Chaka Khan. As a Beyond Mom, I do it all. The only difference is that there is a lot that doesn’t come naturally, but I sure strive to make it look seamless. I view myself as a mother first and foremost and thereafter everything falls into place. I have always been independent, with an entrepreneurial spirit and despite juggling all my mama activities including shuttling my daughter to numerous extracurriculars, playdates, volunteering at school etc., I have launched my new coaching business, help my mother run our family’s non-profit h2 Empower and try my best to stay connected to family and friends. My favorite quote sums up everything about me…”Do I contradict myself, very well, then I contradict myself. I am large. I am multitudes.” – Walt Whitman
2. What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I have tried to practice patience with my child. Releasing judgement. No matter how difficult it may be, I am very conscious of making an effort not to judge others, especially Moms. Us mothers are very sensitive regarding our parenting styles, and boy is it hard, but releasing judgement results in joyful relationships. I have a serious mama network. I am proud of myself for making the effort since my daughter was an infant, to go out and meet mothers to connect with. This has enriched the lives of my little family beyond comprehension. I became a Mom after moving to a brand new neighborhood, when I knew not one soul. Becoming a mother made meeting people so much easier for me. I remember being single and never even talking to my neighbors. Somehow having a baby and now a 9-year old is a easy way for me to connect with other parents and strong friendships have developed with those like-minded mamas.
3. Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
I formed a “Mom’s Empowerment Circle” with a friend of mine after a brief conversation we had over Sheryl Sandberg’s book “ Lean In.” She works outside the home and I was a stay-at-home mama, so we had completely different views about that TED Talk by Sheryl Sandberg. She suggested we get some mom’s together to discuss and I was thinking it would end up being in a mama cat fight, working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, but what evolved was the exact opposite. I facilitate these gatherings and without fail, the Mom’s don’t want to go home (since we take turns hosting at someone’s home), a few moms even suggested planning a sleep over since the last gathering ended in the wee morning hours. There is so much to talk about and each time we meet there is a different topic whether it’s self-care, childrearing issues, beauty & sexuality, relationships, overall life happiness and so much more. About two years later our “Mom’s Empowerment Circle” has morphed into a powerful experience for all parties. There have been serious, jaw-dropping bombs dropped in our circle and the group will rearrange everything to care for the other if necessary. This collaboration of feminine power is successful because all of us are present, honest and open for transformation. When we need to release, some of us go hit the dance floor.
4. What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
My spiritual practice, my supportive hubby, plus he holds it downs when I need me time or girl-time, my mother and close friends, all are the type that tell it like it is and they always keep me in check and offer a reflection of myself that is vital. My daughter is my teacher. I have learned so much about myself by becoming a parent, the good and the bad.
5. Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…
As a Transformational Life Coach and fashion consultant, I am enjoying the launch of my coaching business and fusing mindful living and coaching with my expertise in the fashion world. I love supporting creatives and change makers with personal transformation through my coaching. I always feel good knowing I am helping others shift perspectives, rediscover their authentic selves and achieving goals. My new “Style Rejuvenation” program supports busy moms who lost their fashion sensibilities post baby and want to get their fly back. We have fun creating a fresh dream wardrobe with closet cleansing, personal styling and beauty services too. I am a die-hard, old school party girl, so I have some wild ideas for upcoming special events and always love creating community….just like “Beyond Mom.” My dream is to fine tune my brand and expand on the seeds I am planting.
6. What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
Shopping organic and being conscious about healthy eating. It’s difficult to always eat healthy, but the intention is always present. I also can’t live without yoga, though to be honest, it’s not because I love it, rather because I need it. Yoga is the remedy for my lower back pain and I need to do it regularly otherwise I’m a hot mess. Daily sitting meditation and walking meditation balances me.
7. How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
Personal style is everything to me. After all, I have had a 20 year career in fashion. My mantra has always been “If you look good, you feel good.” Now my new mantra is “Personal style = joy.” My mood always reflects my fashion choices for the day. When I like my outfit, I feel great. If I don’t like what I’m wearing, my day is shot.
Favorite NYC Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Pier 2, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo. It’s such a fun place, my daughter & I go rollerskating overlooking the water & NYC skyline, while the hubby plays handball on the courts followed by great restaurants in Dumbo.
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
Love rum punch, authentic Mohitos, and red wine for brain health. (Studies show a glass of red wine a day can help limit memory loss!) Miss Lily’s in the East Village, great caribbean food and fun vibes. Takahachi, for Japanese food has been a favorite for over 20 years!!! (East Village & Tribeca). Saraghina’s – authentic Italian eatery in my neighborhood of BedStuy, Brooklyn- a go-to spot for everything…fantastic food and environment with or without kiddies.
Congolese Dance Class with Funmilayo of Fusha Dance, Swimming – love doing laps, Yoga at Bed Stuy Yoga. I’ve narrowed my focus to these three forms of exercise because they bring me much joy.
I love All Saints and shopping vintage. There is this little vintage shop in Park Slope called Pony that always has great stuff. I enjoy boutique hopping on Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and in Nolita in NYC. So many great young designers and eye candy for the design senses. I love Shopstyle.com because it’s a fantastic resource for fashion online.