What a wild experience we’re all going through right now. With a little bit of extra time and space on our hands, it’s more important than ever for us to drop into stillness and allow for our true feelings to bubble to the surface.
So how can you make the most out of this time of social distancing? And how can you use it to level up in areas you’ve been putting off? Keep reading.
If you’re like any of my clients, chances are your day-to-day life is packed and there’s very little time left to observe your thoughts and feelings. But right now, most of us are not on our regular schedule and spending more time in our homes, which is essentially forcing us to deal with the stuff we so expertly push away in our daily lives.
But what if instead of burying and avoiding these feelings you took the time to notice them? What if you got just a little more comfortable with those thoughts that are there in the background?
To start, simply observe, without any judgment, your behaviors, thought patterns and beliefs. Which ones are positive? Are there any you want to shift? This practice alone can be transformative.
Maybe you’re noticing feelings of loneliness, panic, or a belief that this situation will never end. Allow all of your feelings to come up, without fighting them. And instead of simply ruminating on these thoughts and driving yourself crazy, grab a pen and paper and write them down.
The following journal prompts might help:
1. What am I afraid of?
2. What’s the worst-case scenario?
3. What’s the best-case scenario?
Notice what answers come up. It’s likely that when it’s out of your mind, the answers won’t be so bad after all. And if you notice your thoughts are a little more pessimistic, know that you can always pick a new thought or look to the best-case scenario instead.
Continue to write down how you can use this time for growth. Is it taking on a new hobby? Launching your website? Trying a new course? Committing to your health and wellness goals? Pick one you’re most excited about and make it your focus.
And remember, be easy on yourself! These times are hard but I’m right here with you.
Uncertainty is a fact of life. But the last few weeks have been especially intense with all of the fear, anxiety, confusion, and frustration surrounding the global outbreak of the coronavirus - on top of the myriad of pressures you already face on a regular basis.
But what if this was all happening for you, not to you?
What if the virus was meant to bring us together?
To remind how great it is to be alive?
To emphasize (usually) how easily we can access the rest of the world?
The truth is most of the get used to these luxuries in our lives. We take them for granted, forget to appreciate them, or focus on what is not working rather than on what is.
While it’s important to stay informed and not take the situation lightly, it is also an opportunity for growth, presence, and gratitude.
So, where to start?
1. Power of presence
You get to choose your thoughts in every single moment. You can choose to be anxious, fearful or you can choose not to be. Assuming you want to choose the latter over the former, a great way to get out of fearful thoughts is focusing on what is actually happening for you in this moment. Where are you sitting or standing? What can you hear? What can you smell?
Grounding yourself into what is actually happening for you will help you relax.
Taking a few deep intentional breaths will help reset your nervous system, allowing you to feel more at ease. Notice where your breath feels most alive in your body and use that as an anchor point. If your mind is racing, fearful or frustrated, direct your attention to your breath.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely not at high risk for the virus. Can you think of other things (besides your health) that are a part of your life that you can be grateful for?
I invite you to notice something about your current situation that can make you feel safe. Whether it is a roof over your head, support from friends and family, pets -- let this be your reminder that at this moment you are okay.
Staying healthy is at the top of everyone’s priority list right now and we can all support our immune system by washing our hands frequently, sanitizing our work and home environments, avoiding shaking hands, and staying away from anyone who may be showing any symptoms.
Thinking healthy thoughts helps too!
Sending you so much love.
Have you ever wondered what trait makes someone successful at work?
Is it their high IQ? Their relentless hard work? Or networking their way to the top?
The truth is, it is none of the above.
I work with a lot of successful business leaders who have shown me that in the modern workplace, an individual’s ability to thrive during periods of stress and change is really what sets them apart from the rest. The other factors above may help, but not in the face of failure, stress, and emotional experiences.
Enter the concept of resilience. Resilience is defined as the ability to overcome obstacles on the way to a goal, without being distracted by the things that happen along the way. It means having a home base to return to, even when things get hard. It means knowing how to ride out the hard times without being too hard on yourself. It’s the ability to just keep going.
The best thing about resilience is that it’s a skill-- something you can practice and get better at over time.
It is something that I am constantly cultivating in my own business.
So, what are some ways you can flex your resilience muscle? Keep reading.
1. Access your inner calm
Applying various mindfulness tools can help us come back to our own foundation of resilience. Everything from meditation, to breathing exercises, journaling, and more are great tools for leaders to continually train their resilience.
2. Emotional reflection
Like all emotional experiences, success and failure manifest strongly in our bodies, so we must develop and strengthen our ability to reflect on emotional experiences.
3. Cultivate cognitive resilience
Failure is a part of doing business. What sets successful people apart is how they experience and explain their own failure to themselves. People who are pessimistic tend to internalize their failures, take them personally, and think they are pervasive in all areas of life. On the other hand, people who are optimistic see their setback as outcomes of certain conditions and temporary in nature.
By practicing positivity at work, leaders are better equipped to adapt to challenges that may arise.
Feeling fresh after returning from Reset Week in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to lead some incredible people on a journey back to their hearts.
In Pavones, we go completely off the grid, are immersed in nature, eat healthy delicious food, do daily yoga and meditation and gain clarity on some of life’s issues.
A conversation I had with a few of the participants started with; “I am looking for my other half.”
Stop right there, I said. “If you are looking for someone to complete you, you must stop right there. There is absolutely no one that can complete you except yourself. The work is to complete yourself first and then find someone else who is whole too. That is what makes a healthy relationship.”
Neuroscience agrees; research shows that intense romantic love and sexual attraction activates the portion of the brain that releases dopamine and creates pleasure, but only longer-term love causes the release of oxytocin which creates emotional bonding and holds inherent value in the brain.
If long-lasting love is what you are looking for, I promise it is out there for you.
You just have to learn how to complete yourself first.
If you are ready for love, want to attract in a conscious partner, own your singleness and love yourself join my Love and Relationship program starting March 4th. Earlybird ends Feb 26th and spots are limited!
As I sit here this morning in Costa Rica, writing this to you, I hear the birds chirping, the waves crashing and have the view of a beautiful lush jungle.
Every year I come back to this magical place and it gets me into a quiet little lull. It is a time to give to all the wonderful people who are attending this retreat and it is also a time to receive from Mother Nature’s bounty.
It’s uncanny what happens when you slow down and listen. When you quiet the noise in your head and start to listen to your heart. When you are unencumbered by to-do lists or comparisons or all the ‘shoulds’ life has you thinking are important. There is a sense of being alive that only stillness can encompass and it is absolutely wonderful.
Depending on where you are at on your personal growth journey - stillness can leave you feeling uncomfortable, anxious or even burdensome. That’s okay too. It just means that you are in a season of processing and you have some work to do.
Wherever you are at in your heart, know that if the results you are seeking are not the results you are getting, you can always choose again. If it is love you are seeking, be as lovable as you can to everyone you meet. If it is abundance you are seeking, help those around you find abundance. The more you embody what you want, the more it will flow to you naturally.
Oh and the hardest part? TRUST THE PROCESS. Years ago when I started on my wellness journey, I dreamed of hosting retreats for people wanting to make an impact on the world, better themselves and those around them and for it to feel fun and easy. Today, after many years of trying and I can say I have achieved this.
So, with that, I am sending you love from my porch with encouragement to keep trying, keep trusting and never give up.
I know you are like me and plan to do 1 million things every single day. And then when you only get half of those things done, you feel like somehow you failed. Am I right?
I get it. You have a busy life and a lot of to-dos but it often feel like you are spinning in circles. Questions pop up like, am I doing the right thing? Is this what I should be focusing on? Will I get a lot out of this?
When you are going really fast and consistently multi-tasking it is hard to find clarity.
But, by honing your focus to one thing at a time, this will allow you to be more productive and get more done throughout your day. Having 10 tabs open in your mind is similar to having 10 tabs open on your computer - too many at a time can get confusing, overwhelming and slow down the processing.
By practicing mindfulness at work, you will have an easier time executing your tasks and enjoy the process.
A mindfulness tool that can be very helpful before an important meeting and can be done in your head or out loud with your team/kids/coworkers.
Find a comfortable seat:
Repeat anytime throughout the day you feel as though you need to get focused.
So we are well into the month of January - and your intentions for the new year may seem like a distant memory.
Or you may be doing Dry January and feeling GREAT - wondering how long you can go without alcohol in your system.
Or like me, you maybe taking the whole month to reflect on what you want to create for the year, listening and pausing and acting from a place of stillness as opposed to being rushed to have it all figured out.
As I think about the new year and the direction I want to take, I am not only reflecting on moving forward but also looking at how far I have come. This is a practice I coach my clients on regularly; call it reflection, gratitude or something else, it is the ability to celebrate your wins, recognize your strengths and move forward from a place of power.
In 2020, my business is slightly changing it’s focus as I start to incorporate more leadership development work and working directly with companies, offering leadership training, exec coaching and corporate offsites.
Don’t worry, I will still be offering the same personal insights, mindfulness tips and life coaching but I will also be touching on how powerful these tools can be when applied to business.
It’s a funny process to build your vision and I am certainly not immune to the rollercoaster ride that plagues many entrepreneurs. Practically to prepare for this addition, I completed a 9 month training program through SIYLI - the leadership development program that started at Google, and have started reaching out to my network to see who can benefit from these services. Emotionally, the shift was not linear, as it never is. It has been through my own personal work of believing that I could do it that is making this vision come to life.
I had to look inward to ignore the deeply ingrained story I tell myself that I am not enough. I know you can relate.
But the truth is, I AM ENOUGH. I am smart enough, good enough, innovative enough, powerful enough and have a TON to offer.
So as Bill Campbell, dubbed the Trillion Dollar Coach says, “The top priority of any manager is the well-being and success of her people”, I know what he means. Because I am in the people business, whether that is working one on one with person, leading a team or dealing with my own inner critic, and there is always work to be done.
Manifesting takes time.
I have had a lot of you ask me about manifesting lately. Maybe because it is January of the new year and you want to create a SHIFT. Attract new things into your life and take bold action.
The online definition of manifesting is: display or show (a quality or feeling) by one's acts or appearance; demonstrate.
Broken down, to me, this means you have to get clear on what you want to attract and then embody the feeling, the knowing that it is possible.
What do I mean by this? Well I can share a story through my lens about the power of manifesting.
My whole life I wanted to live in LA. I used to come visit as a little girl, because both of my dad’s brothers lived here. I started by coming out with my parents and as soon as I was old enough, I would come out by myself or with friends. I remember on my first trip to LA alone at 16 years, I bought a candle on Venice beach and thought to myself, one day I am going to live here.
Cut to 15 years later, I am living in Toronto, rooted in my work and community, newly purchased a condo, building a business and content with my life. The whispers of California were still there but I didn’t really know how I could act on them. All the doubt came up; am I too old, how will I make friends, how will I get a proper visa to work and on and on and on. For the full story check out here.
Spoiler alert; I ended up taking the plunge even though rationally it did not make sense. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen in the timeline that I originally thought but the vision I held of myself since I was a little girl came true. I have never been happier and I am so grateful for the life that I intentionally created for myself.
Morale of the story. Get clear on what you want. Don’t be afraid to fail. Let go of your timelines. Take bold action.
So, what’s something you are currently manifesting?
As we embark on this new year (and new decade), it feels like anything is possible, am I right?
But why is that? Why do we need a media push in order to believe that we are capable of reaching our highest potential? Why do we need the world, society or other people outside of ourselves to remind us of our power?
Complacency is real and I do understand the value of segmenting time into 365 days however the idea that we have to do better, feel better and act better on January 1st is something that I believe sets you up for failure.
What if you took an alternate approach?
What if you looked at goal setting not as a destination but rather as a vehicle for something greater, like happiness, fulfillment and inner peace.
Something I advise my clients on regularly as the #1 productivity hack is breaking things down. This means removing obstacles in order to see clearly rather than adding to your already full plate.
Instead of trying to losing 10 lbs, change jobs, start your side hustle, move AND learn a new language I suggest breaking your year down into quarters and asking yourself what you can realistically achieve by the end of Q1. It could be small progress in each category or a big move in one, breaking it down will make it feel less overwhelming and more actionable.
Studies show that when we commit to less we actually end up doing more because we come from the perspective that we are enough rather than not good enough.
So, where can you do less to achieve more this year?
I am committed to doing the same - although you have been used to seeing weekly content from me for a while, we are thinking about slowing things down in order to provide you more quality content less frequently. We are still working out the details so stay tuned!
Energy is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I think that our ENERGY is a language that we all understand we just can not put into words.
You know that feeling when you walk into a room with someone and just get a bad vibe?
Or when you meet someone for the first time but feel like you have known them forever?
Even places have energy; a spa can be calm and soothing while a nightclub can be exciting and energetic.
Energy can change as well; an experience, person or place can give us energy or can drain our energy.
I recently had a reading with Vanessa, an amazing intuitive and energy worker and she told me that my personal energy feels most aligned when I am in the flow, don't force things and allow things to come to me. Those of you who know (both personally and through my social platforms) know this is ABSOLUTELY true.
So - I have committed to being in this energy more. When I start to worry about timing, force things or go down a negative spiral, I remind myself of one of my favorite mantras 'What if it were easy"... Not always the easiest thing to do but a practice I am continually honing.
So, when do you feel most aligned? What is your personal energy saying?
As we go into this holiday season, start listening.
Here are some journaling prompts to ask yourself:
- What type of energy do you emit when you are feeling your best?
- What does it look like, smell like, feel like?
- If it had a name, what would it be called?
Samara Zelniker is a yogi, wine drinker, pet lover and travel junkie.