“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” ~ Aristotle
How much would you pay to stay energized all day? According to one analyst, people are spending BILLIONS of dollars! “In 2017, the energy drink/shot market was $13.4 billion. The forecast through 2022, is that the market will reach about $16.9 billion.” Unbelievable! This quick fix isn’t sustainable. I recommend you learn to boost your energy naturally. You’ll go further faster.
Mental energy depends on how well you care for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, as a whole. If you want to boost your energy naturally, it’s important to address all aspects of your life. This somatic approach requires a greater awareness of self. I’d like to share some simple, but meaningful, ways to start assessing your progress towards boosting your energy naturally.
Boost Your Energy Naturally – Body
1. Get restorative sleep. You might be used to existing on five hours of sleep, but it’s going to catch up with you, because the body and brain needs seven to eight hours of all the sleep cycles to clean and restore themselves. Tune into your body and support it with the rest it needs.
2. Eat a healthful breakfast. Mindfully listen to YOUR body and see what energizes YOU. Some people love oatmeal; others feel energized after a fruit-filled, green smoothie. If you’re eating the wrong kind of food for YOUR body, it will set you up for major mental slump! Start the day with healthful food and you’ll more likely make healthy food choices throughout the day.
3. Keep moving. Being sedentary is a real problem today. It’s important to be mindful about how your body is reacting. Do you feel yourself slouching? Then it’s time to straighten up and stretch. Daily practicing Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques helps stretch your body and increase your awareness. Are muscles getting tense? Time for some breathing exercises and a short walk. Getting more oxygen boosts your energy. Doctors recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes of exercise daily, 5 days a week.
4. Stay hydrated. Feelings of hunger and tiredness are often symptoms of dehydration. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, take a long drink of water. Sugary, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks do more harm than good. You’ll gain some health benefits from a moderate consumption of tea or coffee. Just remember that drinking caffeine six hours before bedtime may compromise the quality of your sleep.
5. Keep power snacks handy. Fruit and a handful of nuts are great energy boosters when you feel the afternoon slump coming on.
Boost Your Energy Naturally – Mind and Spirit
6. Feed your passion. I am passionate about doing Cross Fit and also helping my clients in my life coaching practice, so daily I find ways to engage in activities that support me. For example — because I want to improve at Cross Fit, I eat healthy foods; junk food or alcohol just don’t tempt me anymore. And because I want to give the best to my clients, I go on retreats that refresh me. Staying engaged and excited about life is paramount to feeling energized and inspired.
7. Clear out mind clutter. Drama wears a person out! Being focused keeps you from overthinking or worrying unnecessarily. When you simplify your life and remove unnecessary events, you’ll naturally boost your energy.
Boost Your Energy Naturally – Emotions
8. Remove energy zappers. Manage your mental energy like managing a bank account. Know what drains your energy and mindfully avoid them — be it a self-doubting thought, an unsupportive action, an unhealthy relationship, or the clutter on your desk. Choose to spend time on things that boosts your energy, like gratitude and positivity.
9. Vitalize your relationships. We need to receive and give energy to each other. Remember that there’s a lot of power in laughter. Let’s borrow AT&T’s slogan and “reach out and touch someone” emotionally and physically as often as you can each day.
10. Connect with the earth. Almost everyone has room for a small garden pot. There’s something energizing about seeing life sprout from a tiny seed. Try growing your favorite veggie or herb and feel the energy it’s drawn from the soil, as you eat it.
11. Reconnect with the sun. Sunlight is very healing. Just take precautions for your skin type, then get outside and soak up some Vitamin D!
None of these suggestions are hard. In fact, they’re all enjoyable! Concentrate on changing one tiny habit at a time. What do you do to boost your energy naturally? I’d love to hear your suggestions on my Facebook page. And if you’d like an accountability partner, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“Why did you get out of bed this morning, and why should anyone care?” ~ Simon Sinek
Who were you born to be? What puts fire in your belly? If you’re not certain, it’s time to clarify your purpose in life. As a child, you might have dreamed of being a singer or an astronaut. Purpose driven leadership wasn’t even on your radar. Teachers or parents might have even urged you, “You need to figure out what you’re going to do with your life!”
But before you can “do” anything meaningful, it’s important to learn who you really are, at the core of your being. When you connect who you are with what you do, you’ll be happy, fulfilled, and ultra productive, because you’ll have discovered your purpose. At that point, it will be easier to model purpose driven leadership. As Leonardo da Vinci wisely advised, “Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose.”
Purpose is the natural flow of your gifts as you serve others. You may at times, ignore or hinder your purpose, but it’s always there, waiting to be expressed. Fully formed purpose driven leadership reaches all aspects of life – marriage, family, friends, business, teams, communities, and your own health and fitness. It’s being committed to use your talents, skills and passions for the greatest benefit. It releases positive energy and frees you and others to explore a world of possibilities. One thing to be mindful of: if you or others feel drained or limited by your leadership, what you may be expressing is obsession, rather than purpose.
Here are seven ways you can model purpose-driven leadership in your life:
- Avoid distractions. As a multi-faceted human, you may be pulled in many different directions because of the diversity of your interests. It’s imperative to pause and reflect whether there is congruency with your core purpose. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with narrowing your focus and truly mastering one of your many talents. In fact, you’ll accomplish much more in the long run.
- Align actions with purpose. It’s easy to be swayed by the opinion of others or the current trend. Personal development programs are helpful guides, if they allow for your unique individuality. It is a disservice to yourself and others, if you force yourself to be like everyone else. Yes, there are cultural and family norms to consider; however do so with the goal of discovering how the real you can support something bigger.
- Be flexible. Be mindful that your core purpose emerges over time. At different stages of your life, your purpose will evolve and deepen. Being wedded to an outcome will hinder your ability to course correct when necessary. If you sense there’s a deeper meaning lurking, mindfully slow down and listen.
- Connect with others on your core level. We all need to work with others to accomplish more than we can alone. Seek out those who have a similar purpose. Work at formulating a group purpose that connects with your individual purpose. People will respond to you as they see that you genuinely care and want to make a difference. You will inspire trust and confidence, as you lead others mindfully and thoughtfully. A tremendous synergy will be unleashed.
- Focus on service. The degree to which you live with purpose is in direct proportion to how much you serve others. Concentrate on providing value for others and you’ll feel more fulfilled.
- Strive for congruency. Are you purposeful in business but not at home, or vice versa? Being incongruent like this will drastically reduce your effectiveness. Strive to align all of your life with your higher purpose.
- Experience. Learn. Learn. Learn. When something happens that you don’t expect or welcome, focus on what you can learn from it. When you are living life on purpose, every life experience becomes your teacher and helps you discover additional meaning.
After experiencing one of the most horrendous events in human history, Viktor Frankl said, “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” When we lack purpose, we become consumed with our immediate circumstances, which can overshadow our reason for living. Every time you make an excuse, place blame or get distracted, you make room for apathy and despair.
Purpose is an endless journey of exploration. We invite you to join us at our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. We’ll help you clearly define your purpose driven leadership path.
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Wouldn’t it be a dream come true to wake up one morning and … POOF! … you’re thinner, smarter, richer, stronger, more successful? It sounds so good to take the easy way out, without having to work for it, without discomfort or struggle.
The trouble is that, if that happened, you’d feel more discontent and less self-confidence. You’d have no self-esteem, because there would be no victories and no personal discoveries. There would be no need for creativity or determination. You’d be a very shallow version of yourself. As Ovid said, “Habits change into character.” Life would become meaningless, because it’s the journey, not the destination that’s important. It’s what you learn along the way that matters, not what you produce, when you’re done. Because we are never done, until we’re dead.
Transformation is a process. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Dramatic breakthroughs won’t change your life. Tiny habits will. To change your life, start now and start small!
Earlier I shared some microhabits that can make a huge difference. Let’s expand the list. Here are some more tiny habits to practice daily:
1. Tiny intentions. Each morning ask yourself, “How can I make today better?” It’s such a waste to just “get through” a day. Each day is an opportunity to find joy and fulfillment.
2. Tiny acts of friendship toward your future self. Acting on what you want in the moment has led you to where you are now. Who do you want your future self to be? Strong and vibrant at the age of 70? Then commit to making choices for the benefit of that future self.
3. Tiny blocks of time. Organize and do similar tasks together. Some examples – do all of your errands in one trip; chop up a week’s worth of vegetables and put them in baggies; have a set time for answering emails and returning phone calls. You build accountability and momentum that way.
4. Tiny pauses. Before you react to a strong emotion, enquire into your state, without judgment. What emotion are you feeling and where did it come from? Then determine what response will benefit you the most.
5. Tiny pit stops. Just as a racecar must stop during the race for gas and maintenance, you must make time to refuel with nutritious food and restorative sleep.
6. Tiny health choices. Take the stairs. Walk a little further. Drink one more glass of water. Eat one less unhealthy snack. These choices all add up to better health.
7. Tiny measurements. Track and measure your progress. You want better finances? Record every penny you spend. You want to lose weight? Record your exercise and food intake.
8. Tiny pushes. There will be times you don’t feel like doing something …do it anyway! Go a little bit beyond what’s expected. Dress a little nicer. Try a little harder.
9. Tiny connections. Reach out to one new positive influencer, in-person or online. Great relationships simply begin with “Hello”. Be open and see where it takes you.
10. Tiny deletes. Avoid people who drain you and don’t support you. Clear out the clutter in your home or office, one piece at a time.
11.Tiny check-ins. Make a practice of mindfully observing your patterns. Why are you procrastinating? What led to that unhealthy behavior? What inspires confidence?
12.Tiny self-assertions. If you have difficulty standing up for yourself, start mindfully saying “no” more often. Preserve your time and energy for the things that really matter.
13. Tiny communication adjustments. Notice when people misunderstand you. Are you speaking consistently and clearly? Are you being silent, when you need to speak up? Notice and make a correction.
14. Tiny doses of inspiration. Instead of mindless screen time, read uplifting books before bedtime. Read about people you admire and what they’ve overcome to get where they are today. You’ll wake up with renewed inspiration.
15. Tiny motivations. There is power in thinking about a motivational quote each day. I share inspiring quotes on Facebook and Instagram, because they put me in a better state of mind.
16. Tiny attitude shifts. Remind yourself, “I am responsible for me and my life. No one makes me feel this way; it’s how I’m choosing to react. Life isn’t fair, but I can make mine better. If I don’t like it, I can change it.”
17. Tiny praises. Be your own cheerleader. Waiting for praise from someone is a recipe for disaster. If they don’t notice, you’ll be crushed. Celebrate each win.
18. Tiny pivots. Sometimes your path isn’t getting you to where you want to be. Be willing to course correct so you stay aligned with your big “Why”. When you have a powerfully, motivating reason, you can do almost anything.
Are you feeling overwhelmed – not knowing what to do first or what will make the biggest impact? If you’d like our help to define your most meaningful plan of action, join our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. It is going to be transformational!
“The intuitive mind is where our genius resides.” ~ A. Artemis
Has anyone ever chided you for making decisions based on gut instinct? In today’s technological world, isn’t it an asset to be more logical, more analytical? Perhaps you feel stuck at times between following your head or your heart. Actually, I don’t think success is dependent on being one way or the other. As complex humans, we use both! They complement each other. Never would you want to silence one of your greatest strengths – your inner voice, your sixth sense, your gut, your intuition.
While many people think intuition is only the result of the brain drawing on past experiences and external cues to make a decision on an unconscious level, there’s more going on than that. There are neurotransmitters in your actual gut that send signals to your brain. They respond to real-time environmental stimuli and emotions. When those neurotransmitters fire you feel sensations of uneasiness. Scientists are calling the gut our second brain. You can know something, without knowing how you know it.
We often speak of woman’s intuition, but men can be powerfully intuitive too. Everyone can increase their intuition or gut instinct. Here are seven ways you can mindfully enhance your logical side with your intuition side.
- Mindfully increase your awareness. Before you make a decision, check in with your gut. It takes discipline to slow down and notice. Yet this is a critical, first step for becoming aware of, and being present with, any inner disturbance. You body will tell you if you’re comfortable with a place, person or decision and if it’s truly in align with your highest good. So what are you experiencing – tightness in your neck, queasiness in your stomach, goose bumps, a sour taste in your mouth, or a feeling of relief? Even if it seems to be a great opportunity, if your gut says, “no”, listen to it! As Rumi said, “There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.”
- Welcome your inner critic as a friend. It would be a mistake to confuse strong emotions, like fear, desire and panic, for intuition. Strong emotions often come from your inner critic, which sends you a message that kept you safe in the past, but may no longer be serving you today. When you externalize and personify the inner critic, you recognize it’s an important Part of you that deserves to be heard, but not necessarily taken as the last word, for there are many more Parts of you that need to be considered, like your intuition, before you make a decision.
- Thank your inner critic for trying to protect you. Lighten the mood by humorously joining with your inner critic and say, “We appreciate your vigilance, but aren’t you exaggerating a little bit?” The better you understand it, the quicker your inner critic will relax.
- Isolate the current situation from past experiences. Of course you want to carefully weigh the consequences of any decision. But take a mindful look at the present situation, without past events clouding your emotions and thoughts. After you observe your body sensations and trace them back to the thoughts creating them, challenge those thoughts to see if they are valid in the current situation. I like how Roy T. Bennett puts it: “You will never follow your own inner voice until you clear up the doubts in your mind.”
- Observe your energy level. Pay attention to whether an activity or person is an energy zapper. If it’s bringing you down, your gut is telling you to assess why and change what you can.
- Capture your flashes. Intuition usually comes in a flash of insight, an Aha moment. When those moments hit, don’t let them escape. Follow through on them.
- Exercise your gut instinct. Thinking alone won’t balance your analytic self and intuitive self. It takes action. Literally. Some of my most intuitive inspirations come from getting away from my office and working out at the gym. Other times, I get intuitive solutions in the shower or when I take a long walk. Times of exercise allow your analytical brain to disengage so your gut instinct can be heard.
Sometimes you need a full detox from your busy life and get back to nature in order to kick start intuition. Why not join us at our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. We’re empowering women, like you, to live a vibrant life, elevate their presence, and make a difference in the world.
“A relaxed aware body-mind is the conductor of creativity” – Mark Walsh
Did you know that scientists are trying to teach Embodied Intelligence to robots, Artificial Intelligence [AI] of the future? One project “aims to build a theoretical framework for embodied artificial intelligence that treats the brain, body, and environment as inseparable cognitive elements. This theory will guide the creation of artificial agents that adjust their neural networks (brains) to feedback from their bodies and surroundings.”
These scientists know that embodied intelligence is essential for being a positive force in today’s society; yet, it’s ironic that today’s educators are neglecting to train HUMANS in these very important life skills! But I see this as an opportunity for you to rise to the top of your profession, by honing your embodied intelligence. This will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the pack, so to speak.
How can embodied intelligence help you to succeed in life and business?
How often do you experience the disconnection between knowing what your best behavior is and not being able to make yourself act in harmony with it? It can be frustrating and demoralizing! You want to go exercise, but you roll over and go back to sleep. You want to eat more healthfully, but you reach for the bag of chips. You want to speak with confidence, but you slump and start mumbling. The key to removing this inner conflict and gaining greater harmony between your thoughts, emotions and actions is to develop a greater understanding of your shape somatically.
What do I mean by “your shape”?
Your shape is the totality of your experience: it’s the story you’ve collected over the years about yourself, about other people, and about the world. Making sense of your story, understanding where you come from, understanding what you believe, and how your emotions are showing up in your body, are all impacting whether or not you can step into the next phase of your life. Without this understanding, this embodied intelligence, you’ll go through life like a character from one of James Joyce’s stories – “Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.”
What we learned in our first five to seven years of life makes certain behaviors more habitual than others. That’s when you formed your unique stress response. Maybe you learned that drawing inwardly kept you safe. Or you learned to get angry and scream to be heard. Or you learned to please others, so you didn’t face confrontation. These responses to triggers follow you throughout your life, unless you mindfully retrain your mind and body to handle them differently. Knowing isn’t enough. Real change comes when you reprogram your body/mind connection with new behaviors and become the best version of yourself.
Your new shape – your positive mindset, the stories you’re telling yourself, your demeanor, the way you hold yourself – will help you make more compassionate and wiser choices.
When you tap into your body’s wisdom, you “turn on” your emotional intelligence and find your true self. You can, therefore, create faster and more sustainable shifts in your behavior. Understanding how to heal the mind/body connection – the embodied – somatic – whole person is powerful! The first step toward greater emotional intelligence is to daily practice mindfulness, so you’re fully present in the moment and recognize how your emotions and thoughts are affecting your body – your posture – your energy.
After studying embodied leadership at the Strozzi Institute and practicing the Feldenkrais Method®, I understand better how to teach you to connect with and learn from your body to grow and enhance your leadership presence and skills.
When you change your body shape, you can change a deep-seated behavior, which significantly improves your leadership outcomes. Act like a winner, and you’ll be a winner. Act like a leader, and you’ll be a leader.
Since most of us have been taught to spend time in our heads, accessing the vast embodied intelligence in the entire nervous system has become a dormant skill. But you can revive it! If you’d like to learn more about shifting away from a reactionary response to a more intentional state, plan on joining us at our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. We’re empowering women, like you, to live a vibrant life, elevate their presence, and make a difference in the world.