E2 Scott Alfonso – Hot Kitchens and Hot Yoga

Front of House, Back of Mind Podcast with Scott Alfonso

Back of House, Front of Mind

“Back of House, Front of Mind” is a podcast presented by Healthy Mind Menu, an industry-led initiative that aims to improve the lives and normalise conversations around mental health for those working in the hospitality industry.

Welcome, Scott Alfonso

Join us in this episode as we sit down with Scott Alfonso, a yoga teacher, student, and occasional chef. 
Scott has spent nearly 20 years working in the hospitality industry – bartending, waiting, and the majority of his time as a chef. He started work in New York before relocating to Australia. He has worked in bars, restaurants, yachts, private chef work, functions, and everything in between.
Scott has been teaching yoga for about 2.5 years now and is due to finish his master’s degree in counseling. His journey encompasses “a lot of hard work and understanding of self and prioritisation of mental health.”

What is your current Occupation? Tell us how you spend your days.

I’m a Yoga Teacher, student, and occasional chef.

Tell us more about your experience in hospitality.

Nearly 20 years of work in the industry. Bartending, waiting, and the majority of my time as a chef. Started work in New York before relocating to Australia. Worked in bars, restaurants, yachts, private chef work, functions, and everything in between.

Can you tell us about your career and how you got to where you are today?

After 20 years in the industry, I decided to pull away from hospitality to pursue a different path. I have been teaching yoga for about 2.5 years now and I am about to finish my master’s degree in counseling.

The journey is too long and winding to put into this blog, but I’m sure we’ll talk about it on the podcast. It encompasses a lot of hard work, understanding of self, and prioritization of mental health and social and emotional well-being.

Explain the reasons why mental well-being has become important to you.

My personal history of depression and anxiety, a family history of depression and substance abuse, personal struggle with substance abuse, desire to use my experience to help others.

How do you handle stress, negative thoughts and emotions?

Breathwork, meditation, journaling, exercise, mental and emotional exploration, connection with friends and family, and therapy.

How do you prioritise self-care and balance it with other responsibilities in your life? Work-life balance. (Sleep, nutrition, connectedness, physical activity, downtime)

Making sure that I put my health and well-being as the priority. Making time to indulge when I feel like it but listening to my physical, emotional, and mental needs when they speak out. I have learned to create a life structure that allows me to meet my financial and familial obligations while tending to my needs as well.

Can you tell us about a person who has had a significant impact on your life? 

Reading and listening to the works of Ram Dass has had a significant impact on my life. The same can be said of Jack Kornfield, Alan Watts, Pema Chödrön, and others. I find great comfort and stimulation in the writings of Buddhist philosophers and teachers.

What is something you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?

Looking to build and grow in a new career. Developing a business to help others find a deeper level of connection and meaning in their own lives.

If you could simplify your philosophy on life, how are you living? What do you tell yourself each morning when you wake up?

I try to remind myself that this too shall pass. Both the good and the bad, there is no permanence to what we experience, to what we are. That each moment is as precious as the last and the next regardless of whether it brings grief or joy.

How do you approach goal setting and achieving success?

I try to create goals that align with my personal beliefs and philosophies and then move towards them one simple step at a time. I remind myself that timelines are relative and try not to be married to the idea that each step must look an exact way or be completed by an exact time. Fluidity in the approach allows me to enjoy the process as much as the end result.

How do you inspire wellbeing in those around you?

By trying to be genuine in each in every moment. Speaking to my own experience when interacting with others while recognizing that each person’s journey is uniquely theirs. Showing empathy and acceptance whenever possible.

If you enjoyed the content in this podcast please subscribe, like and share with your local community. 

Let’s make sure mental health is always on the menu!

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