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What stories will you live by in 2017?

Happy New Year!  

Detoxing the mind is as important as detoxing the body. Our self-talk is how our mind communicates the stories we live by. What stories will you live by in 2017?

The first step in this self-talk detox process is to figure out your patterns. Begin by observing how your self-talk affects your mental state. Is your inner voice kind or angry? Is it accepting or judgmental? Does it speak respectfully or yell? Are there any attributes you use to describe yourself that, perhaps, you shouldn’t?

Let’s practice the language of love…

Speak the language of love,

Feel the tingle of warm, sweet bubbles dancing on the tip of your tongue.

Cleanse your palate for words that melt in your mouth like chocolate.

Savor the goodness and richness of the elixir of love.

By | 2017-01-01T20:16:19+00:00 January 1st, 2017|Communication, Conflict Management, Yoga|0 Comments

10 yoga-inspired reflections for joyful, stress-free holidays

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff – just sweat. Keep your body hot and your mind cool.thanksgiving
  2. Breathe in peace and calm, breathe out love and joy.
  3. Stir drinks, not emotions.
  4. Twist torsos, not words.
  5. Cartwheel around sensitive topics.
  6. Invert perspectives to get the right side up.
  7. Feel your roots and bend like a willow.
  8. Even if you can’t keep your balance, you can find it again.
  9. Be present for all that is here now, and be grateful for what it awakens in you.
  10. Would a leaf floating to the ground make a sound?
    Would a thought crossing your mind leave you kind?

Words as energy of 5 elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether.

five-elementsWords of all kinds traverse our meadows…
Words that bend minds,
Words that shoot arrows.
Words light up hearts,
And words hide in the shadows.

When we share words, we share facts, ideas, opinions, but those are not the only things we share. Words create a unique blend of energy around the message, just like spices add different flavors to the same ingredients in a dish. Some words work so well together that they transmit powerful energy. Others may neutralize or create confusion. The energy of words activates different emotions in ourselves, as well as our listeners. Words can make us happy, calm, motivated, sad, angry, confused or overwhelmed. With each choice of words, we can either disengage or connect, show up guarded or vulnerable, belittle or uplift, assume or explore.

The most creative forms of energy in communication lead to new patterns of understanding, appreciation, and emotion. Energy is not something inherent in words or emotions, but rather emergent from a variety of factors at play and thus can be transformed.

In our workshop “The Art of Speaking from the Heart,” we borrow from the 5 elements in yoga to talk about the energetic states of communication. These elements permeate all aspects of life, and many cultures use the concept of the 5 elements in one way or another. While this articles addresses their application to communication, these elements speak broadly to our physical and mental states.

1. Earth. The earth element brings a sense of safety and stability to conversations. You feel grounded and centered. The words are rooted in the core of your being, your values and beliefs. You strengthen the earth element in your communication when you build trust and rapport with the participants. All words and feelings are respected. People feel safe to express their concerns, discuss sensitive issues and show their vulnerability. The earth element invites the commitment to deliberation and thoughtful decisions. A well-designed process, structure and agenda support the earth element. In contrast, when the earth element is weak, participants may feel disrespected, manipulated, judged or ostracized.

2. Water. The water element suggests fluidity and flexibility. It awakens the creative flow in conversations and acknowledges the evolving nature of ideas, opinions and solutions. Participants are encouraged to connect with one another, keep an open mind and consider multiple perspectives. Self-expression comes easily as things “roll off your back.” The techniques of brainstorming, role-play and improv strengthen the water element. The energetic state of water invites fresh approaches and innovative solutions. When the water element is weak, conversations feel stale. Participants are entrenched in their positions and unwilling to budge or look at the situation from a different angle.

3. Fire. The fire element is about power and determination. It provides the energy and will to move forward despite difficulties and differences of viewpoints. Participants are willing to stand in their power and speak their truth. The fire element brings out the courage and will to explore the issues below the surface and reach deeper understanding and clarity. In yoga and Ayurveda, fire element is linked to digestion. In conversations, it invites the participants to “digest” the issues and emotions in healthy ways so that they can nourish their bodies and minds. Too much fire, however, can be overwhelming and cause anger, judgment or verbal attacks. The weak fire element results in apathy, withdrawal, and inability to digest new ideas.

4. Air. The air element harnesses the power of the wind to generate movement, enthusiasm, inspiration, and creativity. It brings lightness to conversations, making it possible to discuss difficult issues in a lighthearted and open manner. Humor, stories and anecdotes can strengthen the air element in communication. If it gets too “windy,” the participants can experience a “bumpy ride” – an unpredictable, abrupt or rough patch in their conversation. Regaining their balance and control by focusing on the agenda and addressing issues in a timely manner, can help avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety.

5. Ether, or space. The ether element invites us to observe the reality and hold space for everything that happens. It is about acceptance, conscious awareness, and capacity to connect with your higher self and speak your inner truth. When the mind is still, clarity emerges. We strengthen the ether element when we take time to reflect, mediate, journal, and integrate ideas. The ether element invites us to notice subtle things and welcomes silence as space to allow new ideas to percolate to the surface. Encompassing the fifth, or throat, chakra, the ether element is directly related to self-expression and communication. Sound vibration, emptiness, resonance and expansion are all qualities of ether. Unrestrained, ether can expand beyond boundaries and cause differences to emerge.

How do earth, water, fire, air, and ether manifest in your communications? Where do you find imbalances?

Want to find out your communicative strengths and weaknesses in each of the five elements? Subscribe to the newsletter in the header above and stay tuned to our upcoming assessment.

Love is an infinite energy of connection

Love is an infinite energy of connection
Among people, animals, Nature and the Universe.
Love transforms fear and loneliness
And gives us the courage to care.
May the question “What would Love do?”
Guide our minds to action
To expand the energy of Love
Over hatred and indifference.
May it open our hearts to the power of self-love in the face of judgment
And to the acceptance of others, regardless of our differences.
Love is the only thing that sustains our inner beauty
And shines its light into the world.
Breathe and live Love.

My daughter and I doing yoga and making heart shapes.
via Instagram @brainalchemist

My Interview at Earbud_U: Entrepreneurship, Conflict Management, Storytelling

EPISODE-9

I had the honor of being interviewed by Jesan Sorrells of Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT) for his Earbud_U podcast series.  We had a great time taking about the brain, entrepreneurship, conflict management and storytelling.

  • Why do our brains like stories?
  • How does learning happen in the brain?
  • How do you turn a start-up idea into reality?
  • How do you choose your business partners?
  • How do you manage a team of creatives from different parts of the globe?
  • How do you tell your story across multiple media platforms?

Click HERE to listen.