Hooray, you made it! It’s time to celebrate yourself!!
Because you’ve been kicking a** in 2020!
“Sara, wtf you smokin’ over there?!!”
I promise, I’m currently sober (no promises on how long that’ll last 😉) But I truly believe that each and every one of us should take a moment to recognize our major accomplishment of thriving during all this craziness. Even if you feel like you haven’t, you have! You’re still here, you’re standing, they haven’t had you committed to a mental asylum, you’re good!
2020 has thrown so much at us, relentlessly, with not even the slightest hint of a warning. We’ve been isolated to our homes, still working full-time (or at least attempting to) while the kids are running wild. We’ve seen a huge advance in the human rights movements, govt. corruption, media censorship, child trafficking and so much more. I joke with my friends that we’re living out ‘The Hunger Games’ or ‘Survivor’ IRL (‘in real life’ for my non-millennials). It’s no wonder why we feel such a heavy and anxious energy at times (or even daily), it’s been one roller coaster of emotions.
So I totally get that you might feel helpless in it all. It can feel like there’s so much wrong in our world that we just wanna make it all go away!
Totally normal to feel this way. It’s okay to feel helpless, to not know how to help in the bigger scheme of it all. Bc that’s the first step, realizing that sh*t needs to change and something’s gotta be done. And you’re right! It’s time for action.
But bringing about the changes we desperately need can’t happen from an emotionally volatile state. When our emotions are high, we don’t make sound decisions. Real, sustainable, and beneficial change happens when we come from a calm state of mind, only then can we understand our purpose and what needs to happen next. We can’t win this fight operating out of anger and frustration.
So, how do we achieve this inner peace?
It starts by going within. When you start with focusing on yourself and your needs, you discover your personal trauma that needs healing, your own shadow side. You shed the BS and start your journey towards the real you, the version of you that hasn’t been tainted by your past or societal programming. And once you discover that, you’ll find an unwavering inner peace that will guide you with more clarity than ever before.
Only then can you help the collective, bc you’ll realign with your purpose and know what steps to take. Whatever comes up, what you’re dealing with in your personal life, handle those ‘problems’ first before you add the burden of helping the collective.
I know you may be thinking this sounds counter-intuitive, and that may be so, but when it comes to exerting energy (which is what it takes to help others), it’s soooooo important to ensure you have enough energy to follow-through. And that is why I am all about going within, checking-in with yourself and only then can you continue to what’s next. I wouldn’t say all this without giving some actionable steps to actually help you.
I’ve got some amazing energy management exercises coming at ya’.
If you’re feeling helpless, hopeless, anxious, overwhelmed (etc. bc this list could go for days) with all that’s going on in your life and in the world, I invite to try any of these techniques (or all of them) and practice them daily. Let’s dive into 4 energy-managing exercises that will help you process all the emotions and feels.
No, I’m not talking about some ancient torture method.
Research has shown us the magnitude of benefits we get from the sunlight, from mood enhancement, to lowering BP, activating Vitamin D, reducing inflammation and so much more. For my spiritual friends, Sun Gazing also helps with activating your pineal gland (3rd eye chakra). It’s no wonder why Sun gazing is a crowd favorite among grounding techniques, and one that I use often. For me, it helps me realign myself, get centered and activated. I physically feel the life force energy moving within me and all around me and I feel energized.
It’s also a great way to practice mindfulness. When you practice mindfulness you are becoming aware of your surroundings – the sounds, smells, and feels all around you. It’s best to practice this method in the AM or during sunset when the Sun isn’t at it’s peak, as it can be overwhelming during that time. And always practice caution, if it feels uncomfortable don’t look directly at the sun. This is supposed to feel good so don’t force anything.
As you get ready to cleanse your body with warm sunlight, focus on what you hear around you (birds chirping, cars driving by, wind blowing the blades of grass etc.), what you smell (is the fragrance of fall surrounding you or maybe it recently rained), and what do you feel (the ground beneath your feet, your heart beating, the sun on your skin, cool sand between your toes).
Now as you close your eyes, visualize the sun rays pouring down over your body – cleansing your body, washing away all the stress and worries. Allow the warm, yellow light from the sun penetrate your head and visualize it working its way downward, following your spinal cord (spiritual friends: through each chakra). Take in all the light you need. Feel the sunlight go all the way into the ground, let it root you into the ground where you’ll become one with nature.
Pro-Tip: Even if you live in an environment where you can’t get outside, you can do this by visualizing you are outside. Do the best you can with what you’re given, right?!
This method is the one I started with and that I recommend to all my entrepreneurs, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, or any high-achieving women.
Why? Bc most of us control freaks, yea I said it (let’s be honest), we’re usually not down for consistent meditation bc we’re on the go and doing amazing, big things that stopping our hustle to meditate, is like a huge shock to our system and an abrupt stop. This is one of the reasons why I see many women start meditating and feel good doing it, but they’re unable to integrate it into every day practice.
In comes the cure for this dilemma: Shower meditations! Even the busiest of business women have to take some time to shower daily. So this is the perfect time (sans electronics) to practice meditation.
Every time you shower, allow the water to directly pour over your head and down your body. Visualize the stress, negative thoughts, anxieties, pain, anger, worries washing off of your body and down the drain. Relax your shoulders, un-clench your jaw and relieve all other tension in your body. Repeat your daily mantra: “I release all stress, worries and doubts that no longer serve me.”
Did you know there’s a 90% chance you’re breathing incorrectly? No, you didn’t read that wrong, I’m serious!!
There have been several studies done where they’ve consistently found that 90% of adults are breathing shallow, short breaths from the chest which only allows us to use 50% of our breathing capabilities. I know this sounds shocking, but considering that most of us have never been taught deep breathing in school or ever, it’s no surprise that we’re going about it all wrong!
One of easiest ways I manage my energy is by deep, belly breathing. Most days, I start my day with a proper breath-work session. However, when I feel overwhelmed or out of alignment throughout my day, I can quickly ground myself in the present moment with a 4-7-8 deep breathing exercise.
How? I’ll tell you with a few simple steps:
- Stop what you’re doing and focus on your breath (while seated or lying down)
- Gently place a hand on your belly at the navel, now breathe from your belly (as long as your hand is going up and down, you’re golden)
- Deep breath in for 4 seconds (in through your nose; for an added benefit, visualize breathing in light, love & all the ‘good’ feels)
- Hold it for 7 seconds
- Deep breath out for 8 seconds (out through your mouth, like you’re blowing bubbles, and for added benefit imagine you’re letting out all the heavy energy, stress, worries, anxiety, fear, pain, all the ‘bad’ feels)
- Repeat this cycle about 3-4 times or until you feel a physical shift in your body (if you feel light-headed then it’s probably time to stop, until you train yourself to handle this)
**Fun Fact for my fellow science nerd friends: shallow breaths activate your fight-or-flight response system in your body or sympathetic nervous system. This releases adrenaline which increases heart rate, BP, breathing etc. Being in this state constantly is a huge stressor on your body and mind. Slow, deep breathing has the opposite response; it activates your parasympathetic nervous system and lets your body know that there isn’t imminent danger, there is no need to panic, therefore reducing stress.
DAILY ENERGY CHECK-INS
Awareness is the first step towards any type of change, so it’s no different with shifting energy. We need to identify what we are feeling and then we can process the emotion.
I recommend to all the women I work with in my workshops, speaking events and online classes to set a few daily reminders in their schedule to do a quick check-in to determine and recognize how they are feeling, and you can do the same:
Ask yourself ‘how am I feeling?’ & ‘am I okay with this feeling or is there a different way I’d rather feel?’
Ex. During a check-in time, you realize you’re holding on to stress.
Evaluate those feelings by diving deep into the ‘why’ – why do you feel this way? did something happen to make you feel this way? is this feeling due to a story or belief you are telling yourself? or are you picking up some feelings that maybe aren’t yours? do you need to identify with this feeling or can you simply observe it and allow it to pass?
Ex. When you evaluate why you feel stressed, you discover that you feel this way bc a co-worker is slacking and you have chosen to believe that this means more work for you. You don’t want to feel stressed because being stressed lowers your productivity.
Set intentions once you’ve identified and evaluated the feelings, then you have the choice of whether you want to sit with the emotion and allow yourself time to process or whether the emotion was part of a narrative you created and therefore you can allow it to pass. Set the intention to move forward with the option you chose, be gracious with yourself and commit to your intention.
Ex. Perform a dialogue with yourself and affirm that your co-workers workload is not your responsibility. Remind yourself that you don’t need to control others, you only need to manage yourself. Establish boundaries with your co-worker and boss, if needed, to commit to your intentions.
Check in with yourself daily, every few hours as needed and repeat the steps above. I know this may sounds tedious at first, but with time, this becomes a seamless process that helps you manage your energy and become more intentional with your emotions.
Pro-Tip: Write your feelings and thoughts from this exercise in a journal, this way you can look back and see which emotions have been contributing to your growth and well-being and which ones need to be worked on, processed and released.
Managing your energy doesn’t have to be this huge daunting task. Instead, if you can incorporate some simple tactics into your day, you’ll find it much easier to manage all the feels and emotions that come with everyday life, especially in 2020.
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