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What is Energy Rapport™?

What is Energy Rapport™?

I’d like to explain how I came up with the name of my company and my signature system, Energy Rapport™ Coaching – and what better way than in a short video (5 minutes).

You see, for a good portion of my life I either ignored or resisted my connection, or relationship, to energy. And by energy I mean the energy levels that we recognize in ourselves. Low energy when tired or scared, high energy when excited or creative or happy.

But it goes deeper than that, it’s the subtle energy that influences us as energetic beings. And this higher, lighter energy we can tap into to support us when we need it.

It could be from mother Earth or the Heavens above – think about how good you feel hiking in nature or after getting some sun and sea air. Or how you feel when witnessing an absolutely gorgeous sunset or sunrise where the whole sky looks like it’s on fire! 

There are so many tools, techniques and resources to connect to energy, to build a rapport with it. And it begins with awareness and ease….and going with the flow. Life doesn’t have to feel like a struggle all the time.

As an example, in my late teens and college years, I remember napping when my body needed it. But in my corporate years, I just pushed through the exhaustion which only made things worse.

So, please take a few minutes to learn more about connecting to energy, Energy Rapport™. Click here to watch now. 

Hopefully it’ll provide a better understanding of how I’m helping people by teaching them how to utilize their energy for the best and highest possibilities in their lives.

Don’t Let Pressure Become Stress

Don’t Let Pressure Become Stress

Do you ever feel pressure building up at work or at home? Pressure is great for growth; you need it to keep moving in the right direction toward your goals.

It helps you to expand and create in the way that only you can. You want to use pressure to benefit you, and don’t let pressure become stress.

The Pressure Cooker at Work

The thing about pressure, if it goes unchecked and just keeps building and building without any release (think of a pressure cooker), that’s when it can turn into the unhealthiest kind of stress called chronic stress. The stress that causes health and other issues.

You don’t want to let pressure become this type of stress. Learn about the 3 types of stress and what to do to if you’ve got chronic stress here.

As I look back at my previous career and work habits, I could sense the pressure building, feel it, and yet felt powerless against it. Over time without actively addressing it, the stress became chronic, taking its toll on my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

It’s common to feel this type of pressure regularly when in a high demand job or fast-paced work environment. The important part is to address the pressure before it turns to stress.

Pressure is a Sign of Growth and Change

Lately that familiar feeling of pressure has returned in my work life. I’ve begun some new coaching work. I typically work one on one with coaching clients, however, I started some coaching work for an external company where I must learn their systems and processes.

It’ll take some time to acclimate to all this newness, and I continue to remind myself that it’s part of the growth process and only temporary. This reminder helps in times when the pressure rises.

When you take on new assignments or when you’ve switched jobs to a new company, how was it for you? Those first 30-60-90 days can be rough.

You’re attempting to do the work you were hired to do, but getting up to speed with who’s who, how things are done, new systems and processes – it all takes extra time and extra effort.

When Pressure Becomes Stress

You may experience increased pressure due to other external forces too. Maybe someone was laid-off and now you have to take on the work they performed. Or maybe you’re experiencing more pressure from leadership, or a higher than normal work demand, or a lack of job security.

Even a lack of flexibility and autonomy in your work and your work schedule can leave you feeling stressed and as if you have no control. Over time or with too much pressure all at once, it can become overwhelming and stressful.

The effects of work-related pressure turning into stress is evident in your physical, mental and emotional health. Common ailments can include musculoskeletal problems like chronic back pain, joint pain and carpel tunnel syndrome. Gastrointestinal disorders, like acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers typically have a stress component.

Mentally and emotionally, issues like anxiety, burnout and inability to get good quality sleep (sleep disorders) are a result.

Pressure becoming stress also has adverse effects on a company’s performance and bottom line too. Increased healthcare costs and absenteeism are a result of chronic stress in the workplace.

Business leaders and owners should have an interest in managing the pressure and stress in their environments. But many times they get caught up in it as well.

Act with Intention: Don’t Let Pressure Become Stress

Here are some strategies to implement so you don’t let pressure become stress.

First off, stay present and conscious in the moment. In other words, realize that something is causing pressure. Pay attention to situations that you know will likely impact you.

Also, be realistic about what you can and can’t control. If the pressure is getting to you, take a few minutes to list out what the causes might be and circle the ones you can control.

Next, take action. For those items you can control, try a new strategy or approach to change the outcome. For instance, if you feel stuck in an unproductive weekly meeting and can feel the pressure beginning to rise as you think about the other work you need to be doing, have a direct conversation with the meeting leader. Give some suggestions for improvement like having a clear agenda with time allotments for each item. Or maybe suggest less frequent meetings with email updates weekly.

And for the things you can’t control, let them go. If you have a tendency to take on things that aren’t yours or that you have no way of influencing, it’s best to recognize that early on and let it go.

For instance, being late to a meeting due to a traffic accident causing traffic backup on the road, or technical problems on a webmeeting due to bandwidth overuse – let it go. Getting frustrated or upset doesn’t help. These things are beyond your control, and you when you recognize that and let it go, it takes the pressure off and allows you to move forward in a calm healthy way.  

 

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Focus on Growth in Uncertain Times

Focus on Growth in Uncertain Times

A helpful strategy for uncertain and uncomfortable times is to focus on growth. Just like how it’s best to focus on the solution to a problem rather than the problem itself, I’m suggesting you focus on how you’re growing and developing instead of how uncertain things are. Growth brings a sense of confidence, stability and security.

The next time you’re beginning to stress over a particular situation or challenge, ask yourself these questions, “How is this challenging time or situation causing me to grow?” and “What am I learning from this?”

Uncertainty is all around us

It’s a fact of life. Uncertainty always exists. We’re always dealing with the unknown, in positive or negative ways.

For instance, you’re about to start a new assignment at work. You have certain expectations but it’s with colleagues you’ve never worked directly with before. It could be the best work experience ever, or the most challenging that tests your ability and forces you to learn and grow.

Or even something as simple as a trip to the grocery store could be full of uncertainty. There could be traffic, road closures, or a traffic accident that prolongs the whole trip, or the store could be out of stock of the staples you need.

Finding and losing balance is necessary for growth

When we’re in the middle of uncertainty, we feel out of balance. Something feels off.

Some people feel excited, like the uncertainty of a vacation to a place you’ve never been. Other people may feel anxious or stressed in that same scenario.

Our journey here in life is about finding and losing balance, and that is necessary for you to grow and develop. This fact alone helps put things into perspective and provides a more productive way of dealing with life’s challenges.

Think about when you were a child unable to walk yet. You had no balance or coordination.

One day, you gained enough balance to stand. Next, you threw yourself off balance to take that first step. You got balance again, then with your next step, threw yourself off balance again. Eventually you mastered walking and moved on to the next thing you could learn.

Growth nurtures confidence, and propels us toward the next opportunity for continued development.

How the Covid-19 pandemic is causing growth

I tend to look for the positivity in things. I’m not making light of the illness, deaths, physical and financial loss, and breakdown of systems (healthcare, political, social, financial) that we’ve been experiencing for most of 2020. I acknowledge this Covid-19 global pandemic has been one of the most trying times in recent history.

In a recent conversation I could hear my friend’s jaw drop when I stated how this Covid-19 pandemic has brought about a lot of positive things.

In disbelief, she said, “Oh really? Like what?”

I see families spending more time together going on hikes and bike rides; non tech-savvy people “going” to church or other meetings via webmeeting and some even holding their own Zoom meetings who never even heard of Zoom 6 months earlier; people are reevaluating their careers and current roles and organizations given the response to this pandemic and what their own core values are.

I see a slower pace that allows for more reflection and meditation/prayer; more enjoyment of reflective hobbies like gardening, reading, walks, music, dance, yoga; less traffic and stress over hectic schedules and routines (like commuting business professionals who now have 1 to 3 extra hours in their day as they work from home). There’s also less pollution, less driving, less air traffic, less noise and less unnecessary shopping.

There’s an intentional slowing down to enjoy sunsets, full moons, comets, beautiful clouds, beautiful trees and gardens.

Most importantly is this sense of global community – we’re all in this together no matter where on this earth you reside.

This pandemic is certainly allowing us all to expand and grow. And an intentional focus on growth is helpful during this time.

The loss, death, illness, and breakdown of systems is putting you off balance. And the focus on growth can be that step toward creating balance again.

Act with Intention: focus on growth

If you struggle in tough times, when things seem to not go your way, here are some things to do.

1. Determine what you’re focused on. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself “what has my attention right now?” This helps you become more present with what it is so you can begin to address it.

2. Pay attention to your thoughts and language. I’ve heard people say things like “Things never work out for me” or “Why do I have so many problems”. These are limiting and unhelpful thoughts and language that once you’re aware of, you can change them in the moment. Read more about harnessing the power of your thoughts here.

3. Change limiting and unhelpful thoughts and language to statements of intention. Some people call them affirmations or incantations, but they are basically statements of intention to get your egoic and monkey mind to focus and learn a new way. It’s a way to set a new intention of how you want things to be.

You can state them aloud when one of your limiting unhelpful thoughts or statements come up. And you can build them into a daily practice where you review them each morning or 3 times a day. Keep a list in your phone for easy reference.

Some examples are: “I release everything that’s not serving my highest good”, “I know that this struggle is a normal part of life’s ups and downs, and it’s only temporary” and “This challenge is allowing me to grow and expand.” One of my favorites is “All I need is within me now.”

4. Lastly, ask helpful questions to focus on growth. The next time you’re beginning to stress over a particular situation or challenge, ask yourself these questions, “How is this challenging time or situation causing me to grow?” or “What am I learning from this?”

 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Don’t Take It Personally

Don’t Take It Personally

When I was younger, and in my previous career in Human Resources, I thought the way someone treated me was all about me. I would take things personally and even think I was at fault. As if I had any control in the way others behaved or what they said.

My work back then involved partnering with and providing guidance to people managers. Managers came to me frustrated about a situation with one of their employees or with a particular business objective like the need to reduce labor costs.

I was typically the first to hear their frustration. And in some cases, these managers would take that frustration out on me, in a way that felt like I was being attacked – just for bringing up the subject or holding them responsible for actions they needed to take.

By taking it personally and making it about me, the self-doubt and negativity would begin to spin.

Did I handle the situation correctly?

Should I have waited for a better time to discuss it?

How could I have reacted better?

I must have caused their reaction.

It must have been something I did or said.

It must be my fault.

See how easily it spirals? I think we all may have experienced this at some point.

This is critical self-talk, brought on by trying to take responsibility for someone else’s behavior.

It’s not productive, and it doesn’t make you feel very good either.

Here’s a more recent example from one of my coaching clients. One of her colleagues at work saw her as the bottleneck to a problem he was trying to solve in his department. She pushed back at the salary he wanted to offer to a potential new hire, it was above the maximum for the scope of the role and not in budget.

She was following best practices, and suggested other options like additional vacation time and a sign on bonus as a compromise, but the hiring manager exploded at her when he didn’t get his way.

He was rude, dismissive, talked over her and wouldn’t listen to her reasoning. Not what you’d expect from a professional at any level in the organization. Not what she expected from him.

His overreaction made it clear that this was a bigger ordeal for him and much larger in his mind. Stress and pressure can express itself in very inflated ways. His explosion over not getting approval to offer the high salary was not in line or what you’d expect for this situation. 

My client said it felt like a personal attack at the time, raised voices and attacking language makes most people upset and feeling knocked off balance.

He even accused her of not being supportive; a low blow because she was known for and very proud of how she supported and collaborated with her colleagues.

She didn’t know how to respond to his unexpected outburst, except to stay composed, tell him they would discuss it later after he had some time to think about her proposal, and then she promptly left the room.

Upon reflection she realized it wasn’t personal. Her colleague had big plans for his new team and department, and this was the latest rejection of the plans that he had. It didn’t excuse his outburst and poor behavior, but she now understood more fully what it meant to him.  

With practice it gets easier to not take things personally. When someone decides to lose their temper and treat you in an unprofessional or rude way, very rarely is it ever about you.

Simply becoming aware is half the solution. The other half is deciding how you are going to think and act about it, before it ever gets to the point of affecting your emotions.

So when you feel someone intentionally hurt you with their words or actions, you may feel thrown off balance, but try the following:  

As you start to feel some emotions coming up, sit with them for a minute and put some understanding around the situation too. Excuse yourself if needed, especially if it’s a very tense situation.

Step back and put context around what was occurring to really see what was going on. Is there more to this situation? What else could be causing such a surprising reaction? The context could lead to you realizing it really had nothing to do with you.

You never know what someone else is going through. Maybe the person unleashing on you is having a very bad day, week or month…maybe she has a loved one that’s dying, or maybe he is dealing with an illness that’s causing a lot of stress.

It doesn’t excuse their bad behavior, but it allows you to think about the situation differently and act in a healthier way, for you and for them.

Don’t take it personally. If you do, that’s when it can spiral into feeding insecurities and self-doubt. Or worse, letting it repeat in your mind, negatively affecting your productivity and mood for the rest of the day.

So remember: you can’t control others, you can only control how you think, feel and act about a situation.

And if someone has treated you poorly, don’t take it personally.

You’ll be amazed at how this simple shift in perspective increases the productivity and happiness in your life.

– Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

8 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season

8 Tips for a Stress Free Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again – the holidays! If you’re like most people, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year.

Are you missing a loved one this year? The holidays seem to amplify that feeling of loss and sadness.

We may think of the quirky things they did, like my Mom always burning the Thanksgiving dinner rolls – every year! We even joked about that at her funeral.

After my grandparents died, we’d always remember them in a prayer before our holiday meal, and I witnessed how upset all the adults at the table would get, many crying for a few minutes. It’s a very emotional part of the year.

And for our loved ones that we’ll be spending time with, family dynamics and challenges in certain family relationships could cause some stress.

And then we have the gift giving of the holiday season. It’s a main stressor that can bring up a lot of issues for people, like a perceived lack of money to buy gifts, not getting the right gift or worrying if someone gives you something and you have no gift in return, and don’t forget about shopping for gifts with crowded stores and long lines. Ah, the holidays.  

Here are my 8 tips for a stress free holiday season:

1. Minimize your to-do list. Make your list and then go through each item and ask, “Is this really necessary? If I don’t do this, what will happen?”

Remove, simplify or delegate at least half of the items from your original list to avoid overstretching yourself. Set yourself up for success this season.

2. Shop early, and wrap gifts as you go. As a young adult for some reason I’d wait to go shopping on Christmas Eve, and remember feeling my blood pressure rising from trying to find gifts when most of the inventory was gone, and then staying up to all hours that night wrapping those gifts – so stressful, and so unnecessary.

If only I took this advice back then, to shop early and wrap as you go.

Bonus tip: put sticky notes on the wrapped gifts to remind you what’s inside, just be sure to take the notes off before you deliver the gift!

3. Buy food, don’t cook or bake. Shopping for ingredients, preparing the food, cooking every night for weeks after working all day – this is a recipe for exhaustion (pun intended).  

Grocery stores, bakeries and the freezer department at the big discount retailers have delicious, pre-baked holiday appetizers, meals and desserts.

Or, you can even buy your whole meal already prepared at the grocery store to heat and serve, or make reservations at a restaurant and not have any cleanup involved.

The time and effort saved allows you to spend the holidays on more important and satisfying things, like visiting with family and friends and having meaningful conversations with those you love, instead of working in the kitchen and missing all the fun.

4. Or, if it’s not the holidays for you without home-made food, then plan to have finger food and appetizers, not a huge feast

For me, there’s one dish we always had growing up and it’s just not Christmas without them: Polish pierogi. I found a European deli nearby that sells pierogi similar to the ones my grandmother made from scratch, and they’re so easy to prepare.

It’s easier on the cook and your guests will thank you when they don’t feel like they’ve overindulged.

You can even share the work by making it a pot-luck holiday event – I did that one Thanksgiving and it really took the pressure off me as the host.

5. Remember what the holidays are really about: a celebration of gratitude and love. 

Gratitude for all the blessings we have and taking time to spend with your loved ones. Everything else comes in a distant third.

Consciously take time to appreciate all the abundance in your life: all the love, your health, your family, and your friends. Meditating, praying or journaling about this leading up to the holidays and during them is a daily practice.

Be an example to others throughout the season: hold the door for someone, smile at strangers, laugh and enjoy!

6. Ask for help. For many of us, including me, asking for help doesn’t come easy.

But don’t ignore the power in asking for help – there is no reason why you have to do everything on your own.

My mother never asked for help, until the night before and by that time she was in full-on panic mode, stressed out, lashing out, yelling, rushing around, and generally miserable.

Plan ahead, delegate as much as possible and don’t feel guilty about receiving help from others; instead remember that people want to help and don’t want to come over empty handed, so just ask them to bring a salad, or a dessert, or a particular side dish of theirs that you love, so you don’t have to shop for and make it all yourself.

The same goes for cleaning up. I hosted Thanksgiving a few years ago, and all my guests insisted I sit and relax while they cleared the table, put all the leftovers away, and washed and dried all the dishes! When everyone helps out, it’s easier and gets done much more quickly.

7. Take action to stay healthy. Listen to your body and keep a careful watch for any of these signs, and make immediate changes before they worsen:

  • Not sleeping well, unable to fall asleep easily or not feeling rested when you wake up.
  • Feeling irritable, moody and unhappy – snapping at people when they don’t deserve it.
  • Exhaustion and fatigue – not just tired, but extremely tired to the point where you feel you can’t function or you need a nap in the middle of the day.
  • Physical issues like headaches, stomachaches, joint pain, overall body achiness, and catching frequent colds and illnesses (a sign your immune system is low).

If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s a sign to slow down, figure out what could be the cause, and take steps to alleviate these symptoms. Some ideas are in #8….  

8. Plan time to take care of yourself.

Don’t worry about having your house, your decorations, your food, everything – be perfect for everyone else’s benefit, at the expense of your physical and mental health.

Plan some time for yourself: it could be a walk outside, a yoga or exercise class, quiet time alone to meditate, a warm Epsom salt bath, or book an Energy healing or massage session.

It’s all about balance and this self-care is important for your wellbeing.

Sometimes, you must put yourself first so that you can be your best you for your family and friends this holiday season.

Use one or more of these tips and make it a wonderful holiday season to remember for years to come.

Photo by Freestocks on Unsplash

Variety Really is the Spice of Life – How Spicy is Your Life?

Variety Really is the Spice of Life – How Spicy is Your Life?

Do you feel like you’re in a rut lately? That your life has become unexciting and dull?

You can find success and happiness by meeting certain needs that are fundamental to all human beings. Renowned coach and speaker Tony Robbins teaches the 6 human needs, and they are certainty, variety, significance, love and connection, growth, and contribution. Our ability to recognize and manage our needs is the key to rapid change and positive results in our lives.

Let’s focus on certainty and variety. Certainty and variety work with each other; if there is too much certainty, you may begin to crave some change and variety.

How much variety – or spice – do you have in your life? Is your routine becoming too monotonous?

Many of us working professionals have routines, we need routines to get things done and to stay productive. But sometimes that stability and predictability of a routine becomes too comfortable, and lasts too long – it becomes boring and you just aren’t having any fun. Or, if really out of balance, you may be meeting that need for certainty in an unhealthy way or bad habit.

This past weekend I had family visiting from out of town. We only see each other once or twice a year, and visits are usually jam-packed with activities. This weekend was no different: US National Whitewater Center for zip-lining, hiking, and enjoying live music at their Fall Festival; Carolina Panthers football game against the New York Giants; golfing range; meals out at new restaurants.

Lots of variety and not the typical relaxing, low-key weekend I’m used to. I welcomed the change and had a blast – it was exactly what I needed.

The football game was especially exciting, not just because of the high emotions during this very close game that either team could have won in the last seconds, or because of the energy of the crowd, and the pumping music, but the entire experience was new for all of us. It was entertaining, exciting and different.

I can’t remember the last time I jumped up with my arms in the air, high-fiving strangers sitting next to me, and cheering like it was my job. Dancing around in my seat to the music, laughing at the antics of fans caught on camera and projected onto the high-definition video boards, and the feeling of pride and welling of tears and emotion while listening to the singing of the national anthem as fireworks shot overhead – what an experience to share with thousands of others! The energy in that stadium was palpable, for lasted for more than 3 hours.

We talked to so many different people walking to the stadium, in the stadium, even after the game at a restaurant – the fact that we wore different team shirts and hats, me supporting Carolina and my family wearing New York Giants, really brought out the good-natured comments from others and we happily joined right in.

In my Corporate days I remember going weeks and months doing the same old things. Working too many hours during the week, and sometimes over the weekend, feeling exhausted and spending any free time doing the necessary things like laundry, cleaning, cooking, and shopping. Nothing fun, no variety. No wonder I was miserable.

Now, I intentionally look for new things to try and in addition to local weekend events and activities, I highly recommend travel. Traveling is a great way to put some variety into your life, especially if you’ll be going to a new locale, meeting new people, and experiencing a different culture with different activities, foods, and customs.

Over the past five years I’ve been to Guatemala, England, Hawaii, Arizona and California – all for the first time. Each place was unique in its offerings and the experiences I had. My comfort zone was stretched to its limit, and it was extremely challenging at times, but I grew exponentially with each trip, bringing back knowledge and new awareness and insights that benefit me personally and to share with and help my business clients.

If you’re a little low in the spice department right now, how will you put more variety into your life? Leave a comment below and tell us.

Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk on Unsplash

Apologizing Too Much? Try This Gratitude Experiment

Apologizing Too Much? Try This Gratitude Experiment

I recently shared a post on facebook of something I heard about years ago. It was a good reminder – and something I want you to try – I call it a Gratitude Experiment.

Lately I’ve been noticing myself and others saying “I’m sorry” a lot, almost out of habit, or from trying to be nice or to please others.

Let’s try an experiment: replace the words “I’m Sorry” with “Thank You” – for example, if you arrive late, instead of saying “Sorry, I’m late,” say “Thank you for your patience.”

I was at a new grocery store with very tight aisles last weekend, and you couldn’t move 5 feet without getting in someone’s way. I must have said “sorry” at least a dozen times. Instead I could have said “thank you”.

This is a very subtle and easy way to change how you think about yourself and others, and it sends a positive message rather than a negative one: a message of gratitude.  

I’m going to try this experiment this month and see how things change. So far I’ve felt better about myself, and more positive. If you hear yourself saying “sorry” a lot too, give this a try.