“I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn’t caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us.” ~ Byron Katie
Many of you are doing a great job of maintaining a peaceful state in your lives through practicing mindfulness and other somatic skills I’ve shared with you. Yet in times of great stress, some clients tell me that they can’t help but revert back to a reactive state, which makes them feel out of control, defensive and on edge. Negative thoughts stream back into their minds. Let me reassure you, that’s quite natural. Don’t give up! The more you practice mindfulness the more it becomes your default method to calm your mind.
To make it easier to calm your mind during stressful times, I’ve come up with an acronym to help you remember the steps to take. It’s C.A.L.M.
Before I dive into how to CALM your mind, it’s helpful to understand the two systems or states your brain functions under –
- the reactive fight or flight response (sympathetic nervous system) or
- the responsive rest and digest state (parasympathetic nervous system).
To put it simply, these two systems transmit valuable information via your neurochemical systems that make the body/mind connection.
Ideally, you want to experience the responsive rest and digest state most of the time. It’s the “shock absorber” in your brain that stops feelings like fear, frustration or anger from taking total control over your actions. Because you have an underlying sense of security and fulfillment, you can observe your feelings without judgment, name them and rationally cope with them, without getting too stressed out.
The fight or flight response should only switch on occasionally, when you’re faced with real danger. After the threat passes, you should quickly return to the rest and digest state in which you feel safe and peaceful.
Are you ready to learn how to CALM your mind? It will allow you to pause and let your rational brain catch up with your emotional brain and give it some guidance.
C stands for Connect. Connect with what your body and emotions are telling you. Notice your body sensations or physical reactions. Identify the feelings attached to them. Name them. Remember, feelings are not right or wrong. They just are. Work on accepting and exploring your feelings.
For example, your husband says something that hurts you.
Your response: I feel hurt. I’m clenching my jaw and tensing my shoulders. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel threatened. I feel ridiculed. I feel belittled like when my dad said I was just a stupid girl.
A stands for Assure. Assure yourself that you’re safe. Observe your thoughts. What story or assumption are you telling yourself to make you react this way?
Your response: Oh, I was thinking he doesn’t respect me anymore, that he would leave me. That’s not true. We’re committed to each other. He’s just upset because of what I did. He doesn’t understand. (Breathe…Relax.) I’m safe.
L stands for Live YOUR Truth. It’s possible to cause unnecessary stress for yourself by trying to please someone. The sad fact is we often think we’re pleasing someone by pulling back from our dreams or putting ourselves down, which only makes us miserable. And it makes them miserable, too. That’s not what they want. They just want to understand. Each of us has to live our own truth – not somebody else’s.
Your response: This is important to me, because _____. I know he doesn’t understand. Collect my thoughts, so I can explain it to him patiently and reasonably. He probably feels threatened too. Reassure him that I’m not leaving. I’m committed to our relationship.
M stands for Mindfulness. Mindfully and purposefully choose the thoughts and actions that support the life you want to live.
Your response: I’m a powerful, intelligent woman who has a lot to offer my family, career, and community. I have a purpose and there are things I can do right now to move me closer to fulfilling that purpose. I know I need to include him more often, communicating my desires, plans and goals, so he doesn’t feel left behind. I feel calm, happy, and safe.
Would you like more training on how to calm your mind and live up to your full potential? Then plan on joining us at our Women: Bring Forth the Leader Within Retreat June 20 to 26th in Grand Canary Island. Yes! We’ve changed the name to reflect more accurately how we’re empowering women, like you, to live a vibrant life and make a difference in the world.
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson
Years ago, when I was brainstorming the name of my business, Neways Center, I wanted it to reflect how we master a new way of thinking before we can create real change in our lives. After all, if the old way of thinking was working, you wouldn’t be looking for a change, would you?
I’ve noticed that people often use the New Year as a “when” moment…“When the calendar starts over, I can start over” type of thinking. It’s not a bad thing to use the calendar to renew your sense of purpose, determination and hope. However, keep in mind that dates come and go; real hallmarks in our lives occur as events. And events are the culmination of a series of baby steps that get you to a certain place, when you’re ready for it.
That the key to this new way of thinking: change doesn’t happen until you are prepared and ready for it!
How do you create a new way of thinking that results in real change? Here are three ways you can cultivate this new way of thinking in terms of hallmark events in your life that create sustainable shifts.
1. Schedule retreats not vacations. When you spend time and money booking a hotel room and traveling to a new location, you open up your mind to creatively think in a new way. It breaks you out of your routine, so you can try out being a new way, to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Rather than spending that time overeating, overdrinking and mindlessly “vegging out”, make them into self-renewal retreats. Go somewhere with minimal distractions, so your mind clears and you have time to reconnect with your mind, body and spirit. (You can read about our 2018 “Women, Wisdom & Presence” retreat to see if the 2019 retreat in the Grand Canary Island is a good fit for you. Contact me for details if you’re interested.)
Wherever you choose to go, take a journal and write down all the things you love about yourself and your life. Then reflect on what you can do to bring yourself more in harmony with your mission or purpose in life.
2. Build a supportive community. In life, we often get thrown together with people we wouldn’t choose as close companions. Adopt a new way of thinking about those you associate with…in person, online, or even through the entertainment you choose. Commit to seeking out and spending more time with only those that lift you up, challenge you, and support you in becoming your best you.
Plan a monthly event with a friend that supports your new way of thinking, one that prepares you to be in the right emotional, mental and spiritual space for enhancing your potential.
- Schedule a set day and time for weekly phone calls to celebrate your wins.
- Go all out and dress up for a self-renewal dinner, only ordering items that make you feel good.
- Attend a live event together.
- Exercise together.
- Regularly share themed photos on Instagram that keep you inspired.
- Explore new locations, new skills, or new experiences together.
3. Mindfully learn instead of judging. Resist turning situations into a way of labeling yourself as right or wrong, good or bad, smart or stupid. Start a new way of thinking: attract more positivity into your life by mindfully processing situations as learning experiences, without passing judgment.
You are the sum of years of experiences. Respect them as a part of your journey and use them as stepping stones to the future you want. Change your way of thinking so they don’t hang as weights around your neck. Be grateful for the person you are today. You are strong! You are enough! You don’t have to be like anyone else. You don’t need to “change” who you are.
Like a diamond, we are all simply in the process of smoothing out the rough spots so we can let our unique brilliance shine through. For diamonds to sparkle, they need light. You can shine light on yourself by creating a sacred space for reflection. Here are seven suggestions to get you started:
- Make a daily practice of walking in nature.
- Incorporate breathing breaks throughout the day.
- Light a candle, sit in a comfy position, and set one intention you want to model right now in your life. Examine that intention from all angles (how you see yourself, how others will see you, how it affects your business presence, etc) and fully visualize how it empowers you.
- Invite a trusted friend on one of your retreats, so you can process out loud.
- Specifically ask that friend what they admire about you.
- Think back over the past year. Visualize where you started and how far you’ve come.
- Keep a running list of all of the things you’re proud of – compliments you receive, accomplishments you have, connections you make, etc.
Lasting change starts from a place of peaceful acceptance. It’s a natural, not forced, progression. Do you want to get the New Year off to a great start? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Together we can create a plan that fully opens up this new way of thinking for you.
“You draw to you the people and events which resonate with the energy that you are radiating. You attract what you are, so be your best.” ~ Lynda Field
Are there days where you feel like a dark cloud is following you all day long? Like you never should have gotten out of bed? First one thing goes wrong, then another…until all you see is disaster, problems, frustrations and failure. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. However, did you notice I said, “…all you see…” The truth is you’re seeing the bad, so you’re attracting bad; if you can see the good, you’ll attract positive energy instead.
Just as a magnifying glass intensifies the sun’s energy as it passes through it, to the point of catching paper of fire, your focus intensifies the energy you project – positive or negative. You can choose to focus on the bad and make your day worse, or you can focus on the positive.
You absolutely have the power to turn a bad day around by mindfully practicing these 10 ways to attract positive energy:
- Walk to attract positive energy. Physically remove yourself from an environment that is bringing you down and go for a walk outside. Tune in to, and feel, the positive energy in your new surroundings.
- Practice positive meditation. Once you arrive at a place private, be still for a few minutes, and imagine the most beautiful and serene place possible. Stay with this image, as you feel your body relaxing.
- Do something you enjoy. If you can’t leave the building, play some music and dance. Do anything that is proactive and gives you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task is. This allows you to mindfully engage your senses so you feel powerful and more productive. As Joe Rogan says,
“There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results.”
- Notice your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your inner self-talk. Oftentimes, a disruption occurs when you feel conflicted because one of your Parts is not fully integrated. If that’s the case, use my NLP Tea Time Exercise to become centered, congruent and empowered.
- Reestablish control. Worry and stress lowers your energy and damages your health. No matter what you fear might happen, know that you will get through it. Work on mastering your emotions and controlling you thoughts, so you can show those fears who’s boss.
- Let go. If you’re holding resentment, stress or anger in your body, do mindful breathing exercises to release that negativity, so you make room for positive energy to flow back in. One of the most empowering ways to attract positive energy is to forgive and quit blaming either yourself or someone else. Release the negative energy or power that your past has over you.
- Reaffirm your power. Believe that you can influence your life for the better. You show strength when you don’t retaliate, and are able to turn in a new, positive direction. Concentrate on doing your best at work and taking care of yourself and others, without comparing yourself to anyone else. You attract positive energy when you pick yourself back up and keep going.
- Re-set your intentions. How do you want to change your energy for the better? When you set powerful intentions, you create within yourself a new and specific state that serves your purpose in life.
- Eliminate negative energy sources. This could be a draining relationship, unproductive activities, unwholesome food, or inadequate sleep. Draw healthy boundaries that empower you.
- Be determined to begin tomorrow with positive energy.What you might need most is a good night’s sleep. But before you doze off, affirm to yourself, “I am in control. When I wake up, good things will come my way.” New beginnings attract positive energy.
I realize this is an abbreviated list of some not-so-simple ways to attract positive energy. I’d love to share more details with you. Why not pick 1 of these 10 tips that you’d like to work on, and then contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Remember: huge changes begin with the first step.
“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” ~ Ray Kroc
Whether you call it leadership presence, executive presence, professional presence or boardroom presence, what you’re talking about is how others perceive and accept you. But the process of developing a leadership presence starts long before you actually take a leadership position. In order for others to see you as a leader, you must first see yourself as a leader.
Keep in mind that a leadership presence focuses on connecting and engaging with others authentically. Of course, you may feel unsure at times and doubt yourself. Everyone does. The authenticity comes from your motivation to bring something positive, inspiring, and valuable to your organization, team, or clients. When you take the focus off of yourself solely, you’ll be more at ease, which in turn puts others at ease and makes them more receptive to your leadership.
What are the most important steps for developing your leadership presence? As you go through the following list, you’ll see that each skill will add to your self-confidence initially, which translates into a greater leadership presence for all to see.
Physical presentation. The quality of your voice, your vocabulary, and the athletic fitness of your body are important aspects of developing your leadership presence. The more you train in each of these areas, the more control you’ll gain in all aspects of life.
Dress and grooming. Even if you work from home, dress the part. First impressions do matter. Hire a stylist, so you’re not wasting money on clothes that don’t fit the image you want to portray. You’re worth it!
Being well-read. When you’re interested in a lot of different topics, within your area of expertise and beyond, you’ll be able to engage with anyone you meet. Stay up with current events and watch the trends. That will give you a cutting-edge advantage.
Charismatic personality. With the right training, you can change any inherent trait or quality, so don’t settle by saying, “This is how I was born. I can’t help it.” You can master emotional competencies that leaders need, i.e., composure, courage, tenacity, or optimism.
Humility and vulnerability. These are must-have qualities, because people want to work with someone they can relate to. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength and is the quickest pathway to trust. As a caveat – leaders acquire a great amount of power, and it can be tempting to misuse it. If your focus is on helping others to shine, and you’re willing to show your humanity, then people will willingly follow you.
Relationship-building communication. Learn to speak in a way that makes people want to listen. The ability to deliver a clear, convincing and appealing message has extreme value. You can take voice lessons and presentation training to improve your voice quality. Not to be overlooked – active listening is a critical element to communication. Ask questions and listen attentively to understand and learn. Lean forward. Let people sense your interest in them as a person.
Deliver outcomes. As a leader, you are in charge and you have to make sure the right things happen at the right time. It takes strong decision-making skills, plus flexibility and energy to get others to deliver. You’ll need to give helpful and detailed feedback so your team knows what is expected of them.
What challenges you the most in your quest for a leadership presence? Please come over to my Facebook page and share your thoughts. Also, in September, my colleague Louise Santiago and I are hosting “Women, Wisdom & Presence – Evolving our presence in the world” in Mindo, Ecuador. Together, we’ll explore how to recognize, name, and support the leader within. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
“Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position.” –Brian Tracy
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a leader? Perhaps other people think so, but how can you know for sure? And if you’re not a natural born leader, does that mean you shouldn’t pursue leadership skills? Absolutely not! Leadership is all about people and relationships, which is the fabric of life.
That’s why I firmly believe everyone’s life is enhanced by developing the four following skills that every natural born leader displays…
1 . Natural born leaders want to help other people excel. When someone has mastered a skill, their self-confidence and productivity skyrockets. They become enthusiastic and more invested.
The challenge: But what happens to you when you see someone excel at something that you don’t? Do you panic because it feels like you’re losing control? Does a competitive personality make it hard for you to see someone excel above you? Do your own insecurities make you want to sabotage or cut others down, so they can’t become better than you?
The solution: Leadership greatness takes “you” out of the equation and concentrates on seeing the value of helping others to progress to mastery.
2. Natural born leaders make trust-building a priority. Trust is built on integrity. People need to know where they stand with you.
The challenge: But what if you can’t stand up for what you believe in? One day you let things slide, whereas the next day you make a huge issue over it. And if things don’t turn out as you expect, you run away either physically or mentally? Maybe you even have a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude toward some things.
The solution: Leaders with integrity are seen as consistent, dependable and accountable for their actions, which makes people feel safe. Trust ensures that teams collaborate at a very high level.
3. Natural born leaders fine-tune their instincts and intuition. Before anyone else sees it, they can sniff out signals and trends in their environment.
The challenge: But what if your focus is just getting through today, without much thought of tomorrow? You also struggle because you can’t read people very well.
The solution: Inspirational leaders use empathy and NLP skills to notice how people react and respond, which helps them interpret the verbal and nonverbal communication correctly. They can detect shifts in the “climate” of the room. This gives them the advantage of intuitively knowing the best timing for an appropriate course of action.
4. Natural born leaders want to make a real difference. When you’re on a mission to make the lives of others better, your enthusiasm is contagious.
The challenge: But what if you have great ideas, but can’t communicate them well enough to bring others on board? You don’t know how to translate those ideas into systems, processes and procedures that others can sustainably follow.
The solution: Extraordinary leaders know how to share their vision in a way that fully engages and energizes others. They structure the business in way that helps the team align with that mission. They specifically design jobs to inject purpose and meaning into the work.
Are you facing specific challenges that make it hard for you to develop or improve your leadership skills? My colleague Louise Santiago and I are hosting “Women, Wisdom & Presence – Evolving our presence in the world” in Mindo, Ecuador. Together, we’ll explore how to recognize, name, and support the leader within, and identify ways to live differently, love fully, and be, wholly, who we are meant to be. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. (We’ll be arriving on September 5th and leaving September 11th.)