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9 Powerful Reasons Why Work Rituals Deserve a Place in Your Business

Work rituals are a strategy you can use to achieve excellence time after time. How? They carve out a special moment in time for a specific, desired outcome…“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” ~ Colin Powell

Are work rituals the same as work routines or work habits? Yes…and no.

We perform a ritual over and over again like a routine or habit, but we attach more importance and significance to a ritual. It elevates something mundane and transports it into something deeply motivating, because of the meaning we attach to it. It becomes something special, something that inspires us with wonder and power. Our rituals are symbolic actions performed at key moments to help us connect all our Parts into one deeply motivated being.

When you add work rituals to the workplace, you carve out a special moment in time for a specific outcome you desire. As food for thought, here are 9 reasons why work rituals matter…

  1. Work rituals foster a sense of shared purpose and experience.
  2. Work rituals help people feel more deeply involved in a project.
  3. People who have work rituals deal with anxiety and disappointment better.
  4. Work rituals engender a sense of control.
  5. Work rituals make celebrating successes memorable and more motivating.
  6. Work rituals welcome new employees in a special way.
  7. Work rituals create team spirit.
  8. Work rituals de-personalize mistakes and facilitate discussions about lessons learned.
  9. Work rituals reinforce positive self-talk that you’re disciplined and focused.

We all have routines that we can change into rituals by performing them more mindfully. In the workplace, it’s important to understanding your body’s natural ebb and flow of energy and craft work routines that tap into the time when you’re most focused and powerful.

It doesn’t really matter what you choose as your ritual — wearing your “lucky” shoes, stretching, breathing, exercising, taking a coffee break, stepping outside the building, looking out the window, mentally closing a file… What’s important is that it symbolizes that you’re doing one of two things: 1) You’re making the task in front of you special or 2) You’re using the ritual to close out one task to free you up to move on to the next.

As an example, imagine the executive who wears a favorite jacket to each of her speaking engagements. In and of itself, that jacket doesn’t have some magical power, but when she puts it on, she’s gearing herself for success, because her brain recognizes the pattern: wear this jacket, feel confident, and smash the presentation! And she does every time!

Don’t be afraid to create your own work ritual, no matter how unusual. You don’t have to even tell anyone you’re doing it.  Would you like to formulate some more personalized ways to achieve business excellence? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). We’ll brainstorm the perfect solution for you!

9 Everyday Rituals That Can Enrich Your Personal Life, Too!

One of the most effective ways to change your belief patterns is by practicing everyday rituals that support and empower you to achieve your full potential.“If you pick the right small behavior and sequence it right, then you won’t have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.”  ~ BJ Fogg

The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition that they have the power to shape their reality through the way they think, believe or expect. One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is by practicing everyday rituals. When I read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I loved his powerful observation about habits or rituals: “And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them.”

I truly believe it is our responsibility to change something in our lives that isn’t working for us or that isn’t challenging us to reach our full potential. Oftentimes, we get stuck because we don’t know where to start. So, I’m going to share some of my everyday rituals to help you explore possibilities for enriching your own life. My everyday rituals include:

Getting restorative sleep. Early to bed, early to rise is the motto I live by.

Working out. I move my body first thing each day.

Eating breakfast and dinner with my honey, because I want us to continue feeling connected and close.

Guarding my boundaries. For example, I hold to my ‘No work before 10’ policy fairly well.

Eating clean. For me that means, eating whole foods and not drinking alcohol. A couple of years ago, I started noticing that just the little bit of alcohol (my hubby makes some tasty homebrew!) would leave me feeling sluggish and fuzzy for a few days afterwards. I started to pay attention to that and experimented with no alcohol for a few weeks and then reintroduced it. It became clear that my body was telling me that consuming alcohol was not in alignment with how I wanted to feel and operate in the world. Do your own experiment. Notice what is no longer needed in your life and create new ways to support yourself throughout the day.

Fostering personal growth. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, take online classes on a regular basis, use Tea Time and self-editing to be current with my emotional and mental state. I see my coach regularly to always have better perspective on situations and make better decisions. I know that I’m stronger when I support myself in a consistent and deliberate way.

Fully being present when I take time off. Whether it’s a retreat, a vacation with my family (I look forward to my yearly trips to visit my mom, brother and niece – they are nourishing and exciting!) I take time to unplug and get away so that I can return feeling refreshed and recharged.

Making changes. I need to change something in my life on a yearly basis. It might be changing the furniture around or updating my website, experiment with no meat for a month or taking a new route to work. I need to try Neways often (my business name is Neways after all!)

Expressing Gratitude. I like sending handwritten notes to people I love. I like surprising people with a thoughtful gift or just saying “you are important to me”. It’s a way I also acknowledge how blessed I am.

Has my list of everyday rituals given you some ideas of what new rituals you’d like to implement in your own life? Why not make this a family topic and come up with some rituals that help you reconnect with yourselves and each other? And I’d love it if we could stay connected too! Please sign up for my newsletter to stay current with the changes I’m making — in my own life and in those of my clients — including my Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP training coming up September 26 to 29, 2019.

Harness the Power of Rituals So Your Life Goes Where You Want It to Go

Harnessing the power of rituals will help you feel more centered and grounded, less overwhelmed, and make you more intentional about day-to-day activities.“A daily ritual is a way of saying, I’m voting for myself. I’m taking care of myself.” ~ Mariel Hemingway

When you feel overwhelmed, because your life is out of control, how do you regain your balance, centeredness, and harmony? Do you have a particular ritual you rely on? Of all the things that empower us, the one that I think is most sustainable is harnessing the power of rituals.

The power of rituals that I’m referring to are the daily actions, habits, routines or patterns that keep you grounded and centered throughout your day. No doubt, you’ve experienced how one event can send you spiraling down until your whole day has been ruined. On the other hand, I hope you’ve also experienced how starting each day with a quiet, mindful practice can give you focus and strength that you can continually draw on throughout any crisis during the day.

Just as we harness a powerful horse to take us in the direction we want it to go, we can engage the power of rituals intentionally with a definite destination in mind. Whether it’s feeling better physically, connecting more fully with loved ones, achieving satisfaction from your work…

Tapping into the power of rituals involves creating an intention, then making repetitive, beneficial choices and actions until they become an ingrained habit. It becomes part of who you are. You wouldn’t consider going a day without engaging in it. Repetition makes your new ritual easier and, once it’s established, it takes much less effort on your part.

We naturally develop rituals around daily activities. Think for a moment how you get ready for work, travel to the office, and how you proceed through your work load. What rituals have you already formed?

I love what Stephen Covey said — “Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.”

Therefore, harnessing the power of rituals helps you:

  • reconnect with what’s important to your inner self.
  • become the creator of your reality.
  • make order out of life’s chaos.
  • enter the zone more easily.  
  • perform at a predictably high level, without over-thinking.

There are many ways of checking in and reconnecting with yourself. Here are just a few examples of how you can use the power of rituals in your own life:

  • Sit outside with a cup of coffee as the sun arises to set intentions for the day.
  • Read your collection of inspirational, motivational messages, when stressed, to regain your composure.
  • Stop, stretch, breathe to reconnect with what your body is telling you.
  • Light a candle or smell essential oils to calm, focus and prepare yourself for a challenge.
  • Go to your sacred place, to reflect and meditate on what’s truly important to you.
  • Before a challenging event, check in with a trusted friend or coach.
  • At the end of each day, grab a drink, go to the back patio, and talk with and listen to your significant other.

The most helpful rituals engage all of your senses, as this anchors the experience and allows you to revisit it in your mind when you need to be centered during the day. Simple and intentional rituals are the best. They set you up for the best possibility of success.

A ritual is usually comprised of a certain series of actions you do over and over again. You can harness the power of rituals by breaking down the individual steps and tweaking each one individually.

Would you like to learn more about the power of rituals in your life? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to brainstorm some ideas with you so it can relieve your feelings of being overwhelmed by your workload or personal responsibilities.

When You Make Your Own Luck You Make Wonderful Things Happen

When You Make Your Own Luck You Can Make Wonderful Things Happen

“I’ve found that what most people call luck is often little more than raw talent combined with the ability to make the most of opportunities.” ~ Timothy Zahn

“Some people just have all the luck!” Have you ever felt that way? Perhaps someone has even said that about you. Or maybe you’re still waiting for your “lucky break”?  For many people, it’s easiest to drift through life, taking whatever comes. Waiting for your lucky break makes it easier to shift the blame to others for any failures that happen. After all, some people are just cursed with bad luck, right? Not at all! If you look at their life choices and their attitudes that prompted those choices, you’ll see why they’ve been having bad luck. You make your own luck by intentionally developing the empowering skills I’m going to share with you today.

The foremost requirement is taking responsibility for your actions. This is the springboard from which your luck-attracting mood, attitude and outlook will grow. Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychology chair at England’s University of Hertfordshire, conducted scientific research with a group of 400 exceptionally “lucky” and “unlucky” people from all walks of life. He discovered that “lucky” people possess four basic psychological traits:

  1. They know how to maximize opportunities.
  2. They listen to their intuition.
  3. They expect good fortune.
  4. They see the bright side of “bad luck”.

His conclusion makes perfect sense to me. It’s what I’ve observed in my own life, as well as, in the lives of my clients. Let’s examine how you can enhance each of these qualities in your own life…

1. Make your own luck by maximizing your opportunities.

Prepare now, so you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. What do I mean? If your life is not in shape to support you as you step into something greater, you’ll tend to shrink back in fear.

Also when you build a strong network of positive influencers and supporters, you increase the likelihood that you’ll have greater opportunities opened to you. As you remain open to new experiences and enhance your curiosity you’ll see opportunities where others do not. This open outlook is a more positive and relaxed approach to life. You’ll see a difference in your choice of words, thoughts and body language, which, in turn, will attract people who can bring you your “lucky break”.

2. Make your own luck by listening to your intuition.

It takes quiet times and a practice of mindfulness to cultivate your intuitive powers. You have to be still to listen to what all your Parts are telling you. Once you do acquire a stronger intuition, it’s important that you don’t sabotage yourself by dismissing what it’s telling you.

3.Make your own luck by actively looking for the good.

What you look for is what you will see. Your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. Therefore, why not always expect and look for the good, since that’s what you want to attract into your life. It heightens your expectations and broadens your focus and you’ll tend to act in a way that helps you achieve what you want. You won’t give up so easily either!

4. Make your own luck by cultivating resilience and transforming each negative into a positive.

Rather than being sucked into a vortex of bad luck, proactively turn your luck by examining each circumstance for how and why it makes you feel a certain way. Armed with this knowledge, consider how the situation was made worse by your actions or inaction and how you could have made it better. This in-depth contemplation will help you learn from each experience. It will keep you from passing a non-helpful judgment upon yourself. In this way, you shift your mood and prepare yourself to handle a similar future occurrence more effectively.

You don’t have to be manipulative to make your own luck. However, you can influence others to send opportunities your way by putting your A-game in place. Identify the goal you want to achieve and start living it! Dress like, talk like, think like, and act like it’s your reality already. Attract the right people by being of service to them. Then start specifically asking for what you want. The right people will notice you and send you “your lucky break”! No, it doesn’t happen by chance; luck happens by design.

Are you ready to make your own luck and watch extraordinary things happen in your life? I’d love to partner with you through this process. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to stay up-to-date on some of the training opportunities I offer…including, Foundations of Life Coaching and NLP — September 26 to 29, 2019.

The Best Self-Care Practices Take Self-Discipline AND Self-Compassion

Here are 30 of my best self care practices, based on discipline and compassion, to help you care for your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellness“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” ~ John Steinbeck

It goes against popular thought, but I have to be honest with you — being self-indulgent is not a good basis for self-care practices. In the long run, this course leads to self loathing. Your body gets out of shape, your emotions become unruly and your spirit is stunted. The best self care practices take self-discipline, because you choose what’s good for you, rather than what feels good in the moment.

But getting tough with yourself is only part of the equation. When it’s your sole focus, it’s too easy to go to the extreme of getting down on yourself. That’s not helpful or healthful! We’ve had a lifetime to get where we are today. No doubt you’ve picked up some “baggage” along the way, like I have. It takes time to change your previous patterns, to create new ones that are in harmony with your higher purpose.

If nothing else, please take this away with you: The best self-care practices depend on self-compassion. Encourage yourself, not guilt yourself! Try to see each small step as progress and quit expecting perfection. It’s that negative, harsh self-talk that makes you want to quit, and you don’t deserve that. You wouldn’t talk that way to your best friend, would you?

The best self-care practices are also intentional. They don’t just happen. In your mind, consciously label an activity as self care — that it’s part of your “prescription” for wellness. After all, when a doctor prescribes a medication or course of action, you take it seriously, right? Well then, put your self care practices on that same level of importance and urgency, because your well-being depends on it!

When you truly care for yourself, you’ll have the energy to give of yourself and to live joyfully. As Steve Maraboli puts it so well, “Allow yourself to enjoy each happy moment in your life.” Perhaps the following list will give you some new ideas:

  1. Listen to your body. When you need down time, take it without feeling guilty.
  2. You don’t have to put up with stress triggers and Debbie Downers.
  3. Move, stretch, and breathe deeply often.
  4. Check in with your emotions. Sit quietly and name what you’re feeling, without judgment.
  5. Enjoy at least one hour of intentional silence every day; split it into 15-minute increments if that works best for you.
  6. Completely disconnect from your phone by a set time each day — no surfing the Net, no YouTube, no social media, just peaceful reflection on how this day has made your life richer.
  7. Learn to say no kindly, but firmly.
  8. Quit “making do” with that worn out shirt, broken can opener, or whatever it is you’re putting up with. You deserve something new.
  9. Do a mini-declutter and get rid of what doesn’t “spark joy” as Marie Kondo says.
  10. Dress up and admire yourself more often.
  11. Make a monthly “play date” with yourself and just enjoy your own company at the coffee shop, library, boutique, museum or whatever you fancy.
  12. Reconnect with something that gave you pleasure and filled your soul in the past – hiking and camping, listening to tunes, lighting candles, dancing around the room, a hobby.
  13. Take a blanket outside and do some cloud watching or star gazing.
  14. Create a new personal or family tradition.
  15. Make a new friend.
  16. Expand your mindfulness practice to eventually encompass all aspects of your life, by intentionally adding one new category per month, like driving, brushing your teeth, shopping, eating, breathing, walking, listening, etc.
  17. Read at least one book per month.
  18. Walk 15 more minutes than you usually do.
  19. Sign up for a course you’ve always wanted to take.
  20. Join an exercise class designed for your fitness level, so you don’t injure yourself or become discouraged.
  21. Hire a coach to keep you motivated toward a personal or professional goal. 
  22. Join a community to get you out of your rut and meeting new people.
  23. Intentionally mix things up — lunch in the park, drive a different route to work, buy fresh veggies at a Farmer’s Market, etc.
  24. Reconnect with people who matter.
  25. Feed your inspiration.
  26. Look for five beautiful things each day and fully feel gratitude for them.
  27. Start a Kudos File, collecting and appreciating every compliment you receive.
  28. Do something special to enhance important relationships; within healthy relationships you’ll find that the more you give the more joy you receive.
  29. Do acts of kindness; what goes around comes around.
  30. Play and laugh — keep your inner child alive.

The best self-care practices are whatever you do deliberately to take care of your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Do you have any self-care practices you’d add to this list? Please visit my Facebook page and share them. And remember to sign up for my Newsletter. I may be biased, but I think that reading it is one of the best self-care practices you can have.

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