Moonlit's In Bed With... Series is a collection of intimate interviews with tastemakers, core-shakers, and the people we love. We explore what keeps them up at night, in addition to their sleep secrets.
This week we’re learning about wellness with Gwen Dittmar. She is an inspiring Business and Personal Coach, Seeress and Breathwork Healer cultivating space for women who have it all and are still unhappy, unfulfilled or living on auto-pilot to wake up and rise. 🌸Gwen combines professional, practical and spiritual worlds in a way that feels seamless, providing profound transformation that our culture has been craving.
Hi Gwen! It is so inspiring to see how you are empowering executives and entrepreneurs to heal and live authentic lives of purpose. Can you tell us a bit about your personal journey in beginning to coach and mentor?
Gwen: I know exactly how my clients feel when they come to me because I was that woman. I was always a deep, introspective, empathic, attuned individual. I’d experienced a lot of life; disease and near death experience as a teen, high functioning addiction in college and young adulthood. For years I tried to suppress that deep part of me.
I was an athlete. I got excellent grades. I continued the pattern when I graduated college. I climbed the corporate ladder. I moved to my dream life in California. I lived by the ocean. I drove a convertible. I wore beautiful clothes. I had great health. But I felt unhappy, unfulfilled, and disconnected with my purpose and emotions. I was operating on overdrive, autopilot and disconnect.
While working full time in pharmaceutical, device and biotech research, I serendipitously discovered, started and completed a masters in spiritual psychology program at The University of Santa Monica. ❤️It was in that program that In 2007 I started coaching the physicians, nurses and colleagues in my field. I started to tap into my purpose. I started to bridge the gap between the self I showed the world and who I truly was. I started to integrate my practical and spiritual worlds. I had two businesses - research consulting and coaching.
I did this for approximately ten years and in that time I became a single mom, then met my husband, became a mom again, got married. It was during that time that I discovered Breathwork and entered an awakening and repurposing of my life. It was a big risk to leave a lucrative, flexible and comfortable business in research, as the breadwinner of my family, to pursue healing full time. Nonetheless I knew I had to do it. As a result, having taken myself through the process, I’ve been able to cultivate space and hold that light for the women I coach to rise. 🙌🏼
Q: What has been the most rewarding part of coaching, and what are some lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Gwen: The most rewarding part of coaching is when someone lets go of all the limiting beliefs, self judgments, irrational stories that keep them stuck and blocked and learn to truly embody self love, unconditional joy, and inner peace in practical and spiritual ways. Watching the ripple effect of this inner work expressed in the woman’s external experience is inspiring. 😍
The most rewarding part of Breathwork is seeing someone wake up, meet themselves for the first time in their life, tap into a resource of love that leaves them speechless is beyond this dimension.
Being able to bridge a client from that experience of waking up, and supporting them in integrating that into their daily life through coaching is so much fun. After years of feeling like I worked really hard, I can honestly say that I rarely feel like I am working. Life feels like a river that is flowing, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but always moving and with crystal clarity.
Q: So many of your clients have spoken to the freedom they feel from the meditation methods you teach. Do you have any advice for newbies to meditation as they take their first steps?
Gwen: Meditation is not about having a silent mind. Meditation is not always easy, especially at first. Conversely, meditation makes us acutely aware of how noisy our mind actually is. This can be very disturbing to people and then they give up on meditation.
If you want to meditate, go into the practice with a realistic understanding and supportive intention. Also, try different forms of meditation to see what works best for you, and know that sometimes it is easier to start with guided meditation, chanting a mantra, listening to 528 Hertz music, or counting breaths, before you shift into silent meditation. Last, start with a shorter period of time and build the muscle over time. 💪🏼✨
This is one of the reasons why I love Breathwork. The active breathing bypasses the mind and takes you straight to your heart. If someone has an active mind, that is running the show of their life, then if you want peace from that, you have to meet it with the same level of intensity. Breathwork meets the busy mind with that same intensity. It is why people feel such relief, such peace, and so light afterward.
You can see what Gwen is up to on Instagram via @gwencoach! 💕
Q: What's your nighttime ritual?
Gwen: I like to clear my energy at the end of the work day with sage or palo santo, remove my shoes before I come into my home, and wash my hands to create a separation between work and home. Before bed I love to take a bath, use essential oils, read books and meditate with my children. If I didn’t practice Breathwork in the morning I will do breathe in the evening.
I also set bedtime intentions for dream state. We can accomplish so many things, without having to do anything, in the collective consciousness while we sleep.
Q: Best place you've woken up in?
Gwen: Honestly, with a washed face, in my own bed. I spent years drinking too much alcohol and waking up with mascara caked on my eyes and feeling awful upon awakening. Feeling clear and ready for the day is still my greatest gift, 13 years later of not drinking alcohol.
I am definitely someone who does not require as much sleep as other people. Once I discovered my dosha in Ayurvedic medicine it made sense as to why I only needed five or six hours of sleep. I’ve been a morning person and I cherish that dark and silent space in the morning, on my meditation rug, before the rest of the house wakes. 🙏🏼
Q: What keeps you up at night?
Gwen: Excitement within projects and creative opportunities in my work, making sure I am being the best mother I can be, when something is out of my control like my mother who is currently journeying through cancer.
Q: What keeps you energized during the day?
Gwen: Intermittent breaks to breathe, connect with the earth, trees and flowers outside, and the honor I feel in the work that I do with my clients. Next to my own spiritual ah-ha moments, the home births of my babies, serving clients is my life force.
Q: Most important sleep advice you can give?
Gwen: Take an Ayurvedic quiz online to see what dosha type you are and see if there is a way that you can harmonize your life with the type of sleep that is best for you. I definitely encourage to give your body a significant amount of time between your last meal and going to sleep.
Stay away from electronics for at least an hour before sleep. Create a ritual before bed that helps slow down your nervous system, such as a hot bath, dim the lights in your home, no electronics or tv in bed.
Make your bedroom a sacred space for sleep or sex, that’s it. Be intentional as you are falling asleep, tell the Universe and your body exactly how you want to experience the sleep. Crystals, especially selenite are wonderful under the pillow and next to your bed to support optimal restoration.
Q: Nighttime beauty greatest hits?
Gwen: No sugar, no dairy, no gluten, no nightshades. It is so hard to do but has freed up so much energy in my life.
Q: Fun fact?
Gwen: I was training for an Ironman triathlon when I got pregnant with my first child.
My ideal # of hours of sleep is: 7
But in reality, I actually get: 6
Sleep season for me is: Winter
How many pillows: 2
AM or PM?: AM 🌞
Nightcap?: Ayurvedic herbs in hot water; boring I know
Bad sleep habit: I check social media before bed; it often happens when I feel inspired to write and share. Then I get sucked into the vortex.
Good sleep habit: No social media before bed 📱
Can't sleep with: Someone snuggling me, luckily my husband and I both need our own space.
Side/back/stomach sleeper: Side
Mantra: Thank you God