It’s no secret that I am passionate about helping people make health and wellness a daily priority. Everything I do is aimed at sharing techniques and ideas that support your self-care and give you the tools you need to thrive on a deep soul level.
As a business owner, I’m also super conscious that wellness and self-care need to be an integral part of my own life. There’s no way I could do everything I do if I didn’t have my daily wellness practices to support my mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Even as wellness professionals, it can be easy for us to push our own needs to one side. We’re so busy supporting others that we leave ourselves with less time to concentrate on our own wellness.
Something that I’ve found makes a huge difference is the ability to tune in and really listen to what is going on, so I can understand what my body and mind need. In other words, being mindful.
As a result, I was thrilled to catch up with Dr Stacie CC Graham recently. Stacie is a yoga and mindfulness teacher, a management consultant, and an executive coach. She joined me on the Face Yoga Podcast just before Christmas to talk about the importance of mindfulness for wellness entrepreneurs.
You can catch up with our full conversation here. It’s worth a listen – we went deep into the challenges facing female entrepreneurs right now and the role of mindfulness in our careers and businesses.
In the meantime, I want to share some of my key takeaways from Stacie’s advice around integrating mindfulness as a wellness entrepreneur.
1. Trust Your Body
There’s a lot of noise out there telling us what we should and shouldn’t do for our bodies, which can leave us feeling bewildered and unsure of which advice to follow. So, learning to trust our bodies and listen to what is going on is vital.
Stacie told me that learning this lesson was her entry point into mindfulness. When she was younger, she was an athlete but experienced an injury. Her male coaches dismissed her concerns. Fortunately, her mother listened and when they got it checked out, it turned out to be the kind of injury that reoccurs.
It made her realise how important it was to trust her body. Now, mindfulness is the practice she uses to connect with her body and its needs.
Stacie shared a great quote from Eckhart Tolle: “the body is always present.” While our minds are often off in the past or worrying about the future, the body is always grounded in the present moment. So, mindfulness is all about coming back to the body.
2. Not About Always Feeling Happy
If you work in the wellness sector, I’m sure you’ve already encountered the myth that being mindful and connected with yourself means you’ll always feel happy, chill, and well. Of course, we know this isn’t the case!
Mindfulness is about listening, observing, noticing, and being present. It allows us to accept our emotions as they come up without attaching to them. We learn to embrace the knowledge that those feelings (positive and negative) will pass.
Practising mindfulness also means we’re in constant dialogue with our body’s needs. We learn to recognise when we need to drink some water, get off the laptop, get moving, or get outdoors.
3. Goes Beyond Meditation
Another thing that is important to understand about mindfulness is that it goes beyond meditation. Although meditation is a hugely useful tool in bringing ourselves into the present, we also want to take our mindfulness practice into our daily lives.
Again, this is all about that practice of coming back to the body, focusing on the present moment, and noticing and observing without judgement.
When we’re busy with work, it can be hard to remember to make mindfulness a priority. But when we cultivate this connection with our bodies, it makes a noticeable difference to how we feel.
4. Start with Grounding
Part of Stacie’s work takes her into corporate spaces where people aren’t necessarily already familiar with the concept of mindfulness. No matter what she’s doing, she always starts people off with a grounding exercise – even if the workshop itself is focused on unconscious bias or navigating conflict.
Of course, the exact exercise might differ depending on the space you are in. It’s not always possible to get down on the floor or take your shoes off and go outside.
Sometimes it might be as simple as looking around to familiarise yourself with the space and bring yourself fully into the room. This is also a great opportunity to identify potential distractions or disruptions and remove them.
4. Check in with Yourself
Once you are fully present in the space, take the opportunity to check in with yourself. Focus on how your body feels. Perhaps you can do a body scan, starting at your toes and working up to the top of your head and then back down again.
Stacie finds that asking people to focus on their bodies is a surprisingly hard question, even for those of us who work in the wellness space. It’s often easier for us to identify our emotions than to connect to how those emotions show up as physical sensations.
If there’s something especially strong coming up, you might find it useful to get up and move your body for a few moments. Just move very intuitively, responding to how your body feels. Then, come back to stillness and check in again with how you feel.
5. Be Honest
Most of us have grown up learning to repress or hide our negative emotions – from ourselves as well as from other people.
So, an important part of being more mindful is learning to be honest with ourselves about our feelings. Allowing ourselves to acknowledge those negative emotions, without judgement, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable is a deep yogic practice.
When we’re doing this difficult internal work, of course we’re going to experience annoyance and irritation from time to time. It helps to get that out in the open instead of trying to resist or push it down.
It’s when things get uncomfortable that we have the most opportunity for growth.
6. It’s All About Cycles
There’s a lot of hype in the media right now about the possibility of a recession. As entrepreneurs, we might be feeling quite a bit of stress about this situation, and we might also find that clients are less willing to commit.
In these situations, remaining optimistic and coming up with creative solutions is a challenge, so it is an especially crucial time to keep up your wellness practices.
Stacie also brought up the importance of remembering that everything moves in cycles. Nowhere in nature do we expect to see endless growth, so why do we expect it of our economy?
Throughout 2022, I’ve become increasingly aware of the cycles and patterns that move through everything – in fact, “cycles” is the word I’m using to summarise last year. Not only does this affect us physically, through our menstrual cycles, but I’m also noticing how cycles show up in our relationships, our work, and even into our society and economy.
The key for us is to learn to accept those cycles and work within them, instead of fighting them. When we expect this pattern of expansion and contraction, we can meet each phase of the cycle with more resilience.
Mindfulness is a great practice for helping us understand and accept the cycles that affect our lives. It teaches us to see what is happening in the present moment and how it is affecting us, and also allows us to let go of our attachment to a particular situation or feeling.
Building Careers that Integrate Wellness
I hope you’ve found some inspiration here to help you make mindfulness part of your daily life. As wellness entrepreneurs, it is so important for us to have these practices to support our wellbeing as we build our businesses and help as many people as we can.
I’m passionate about helping women grow their careers in the wellness sector in a way that leaves space for self-care. I believe that all of us can build businesses that align with our deepest soul purposes and that include the flexibility to spend time with the people we love.
Soul Purpose Business is my offering to wellness entrepreneurs who want to feel empowered to grow their businesses successfully and mindfully. You can get a FREE resource e-book, 6 Ways To Manifest Your Most Abundant Soul Purpose Business here
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