A week ago, I was speaking at a conference for female trial lawyers called Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass.
One of the lawyers asked a question during Sunday morning’s Q & A. She asked, “Could you talk a little about self-care?”
My answer? “Sure. My tip for self-care is to design a life you don’t want to escape from.”
In other words, self-care shouldn’t be used as an escape from a life that is soul-sucking.
But it’s not always that easy.
It’s one thing to talk about designing a life that you love, and it’s quite another to actually do it.
For example, what about people who don’t feel they are able to “design their life?” Either due to circumstances beyond their control or because they’re in a period of their life that feels overwhelming at best? (Any parents of young kids out there?)
To that I’d say: You still have choice.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins by recognizing that we often aren’t allowed to choose our circumstances, but we can always, ALWAYS choose our response.
I’ve written about Viktor Frankl before. Viktor was a Jewish man held in a concentration camp during World War II. Viktor was, in the most extreme sense of the word, powerless. He couldn’t leave. He couldn’t change his circumstances. He couldn’t do much of anything.
He could control how he responded to the situation.
He had power over his response. He didn’t need to have control over his circumstances in order to own his personal power. He still had choice even when the Nazi’s took everything else away.
You always have choice too, even when it seems you don’t. When the pipe bursts or your kid is suspended or your spouse leaves or you have to declare bankruptcy, you can choose your response. You can decide, right then and there, how you want to be with whatever is happening. And how you want to be will inform what you do next. All doing flows from being.
So the next time you feel powerless, ask yourself, how do I want to respond to this? In that way you can reclaim your power and continue to design a life you love, even when things seem out of control.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins with owning what you can control and what you can’t. Start by controlling your response to your circumstances. That is where the power lies.
How well do you balance it all? Work, Family, Personal Time, Friends. It's hard to feel like you're giving 100% to your job without feeling like you're letting other things suffer. Before you know it though, your energy is completely zapped and you're back to feeling powerless.
This year, I've refocused my attention to the balance of it all. I've been reprioritizing my activities so that I can have a healthy balance, thrive in what I'm doing, be fully present to the moment I'm living, and walk in my power.
I'm pleased to share this week about a conference where they encourage and facilitate the balance I'm talking about, plus a podcast and organization that are all about empowering people towards their best life.
Today I’m in Marina Del Rey speaking to a group of female trial lawyers who have come together for our 2nd annual Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass Seminar.
These powerful women are learning how to conduct an effective voir dire, opening statement and cross exam from myself and other rock star presenters like Randi McGinn, Courtney Rowley, Theresa Hatch and Dorothy Clay-Sims.
But in addition to trial skills, these women are also:
You rarely see these things at a seminar that includes men. And I think men are worse off for it.
In my work, I help people become nonverbal pros. I believe everyone has presence and that your presence is your nonverbal persona. How you show up nonverbally is how people experience you.
But here’s the thing: presence takes energy. To show up at your best, takes energy. This is true whether you’re showing up in court, as these women do day in and day out, or whether you’re showing up with your clients, your boss or your colleagues.
Energy gets depleted. And until, and unless, you are making a concerted effort to refill your tank, you -won’t- be able to show up at your best and communicate on purpose. You’ll be too tired, too hungry, and too cranky.
I’m so glad the organizers of this event see the value in self-care. Learning is important, yes, but learning with a side dish of self-care is the winning combination.
If you are looking to lose weight (and even if you aren’t) I cannot recommend Corinne Crabtree’s podcast "Losing 100 Pounds with Phit N Phat" highly enough. (You don’t need to have that much to lose to listen. She herself lost 100 pounds, thus the name for her podcast.)
I found Corinne through my assistant, Kristi, and I’ve been binging her podcast for the past six months. (And losing weight to boot!)
Corinne has a no-nonsense style and such a unique approach to weight loss that I share her with nearly everyone I meet. Her work revolves around thought work; she advocates no diet or food or exercise plan, only that you change your thoughts and keep commitments to yourself.
Designed for women listeners, her podcast is ‘da bomb, but men, don’t let that stop you! Kevin listens to her podcast as well.
You can find her podcast on itunes.
Today’s organization I’m highlighting is The Innocence Project.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, The Innocence Project was started by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. In 1992, they started the Innocence Project as a legal clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The idea was simple: If DNA technology could prove people guilty of crimes, it could also prove that people who had been wrongfully convicted were innocent.
From the website:
“The Innocence Project's mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.”
This organization is empowering those who have been wrongfully convicted. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click here.
Goals are great. Necessary even.
But when you use your goals as way to put off living your best life NOW, that’s when they become a problem.
I love goal planning. In fact, I love planning of any kind. But it wasn’t until I realized that I was waiting to enjoy my life until I hit my goals that I realized this was all kinds of screwed up.
I kept telling myself, “I just need to get through this week,” or, “I just need to get through this month,” and then I finally realized THIS IS IT! If my every day existence wasn’t what I loved and enjoyed, something needed to change NOW.
I’m not suggesting that you must love every moment of your life. There are times you have to do things you’d rather not (like clean the toilet) or deal with people you’d rather avoid (like my accountant.)
But what I am saying is that if you’re putting off your happiness for some imagined future you think is better, you’re wasting precious time.
Life happens NOW, not in the future. Goals are fine, but not if they promise some fantasy life that you think will make you happy while you put off being happy right now.
What feeling do you think your goal will bring you? That’s what you’re really after, not the goal itself.
If you’re trying to lose weight so you’ll feel better in your clothes, go buy clothes you feel good in right now.
If you want to write a book because you’ve got great ideas you want to share with the world, share those ideas right now.
If you want to make more money so you feel financially secure, cut back your expenses and start saving so you can be more secure now.
Buying new clothes at your current weight, sharing your ideas or cutting back your expenses won’t stop you from losing weight, writing a book or making more money. In fact, they’ll probably help. But what they’ll do for sure is put your power back where it belongs: right here, right now.
Screw your goals. Focus on what your goals tell you about what you want, and focus on getting that NOW.
Life’s too short. Live in your power today.
Take my FREE COURSE "Three Things You Can Do Right Now To TAP Into Your Power" to get started on your path to your best life.
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"I should be doing more writing." "I should work out more." "I should(fill in the blank)." All these "SHOULDS" just fuel the unnecessary and unproductive presence of guilt that hangs over our heads. I took back my power over "the shoulds" this last weekend. Read about it in the Self-Care Saturday section.
Then, dig deeper into your WANTS with an article by Mark Manson that is sure to challenge your thinking around those wants.
Top off your weekend with expanding your awareness of those that are less fortunate in your community and across the nation. Be inspired by the good work of our featured Power Organization.
Get powered up!
Last weekend was my husband’s birthday. The year before was his 40th, and I surprised him with a 4-day trip to New York City. We met friends for drinks and 2 hours later a car pulled up and took us straight to the airport. He had NO idea. (I know. I’m awesome.)
This year, however, he had a cold. And all we wanted to do was have a few days to lie in bed and do NOTHING. (Seriously. We considered leaving the front door unlocked so the food delivery guys could bring our dinner straight to our bed. We decided against it in the end.)
My parents agreed to watch our daughter (cause they too, are awesome) and Kevin and I had our blissful do-nothing weekend.
I had a friend go through a personal crisis this past week.
There were lots of tears, late nights talking about what to do, and many moments where my friend felt utterly powerless.
Then one night, something shifted. After days of confusion and hopelessness, my friend suddenly had a moment of clarity. He made a decision that would shift everything. As he paced my living room, he kept saying to me, “How do I keep this? How do I keep this feeling?” He was so worried he would slip back into powerlessness now that he had finally accessed his power.
That’s when I told him, “You don’t need to try and ‘keep’ this. You’ve accessed your power, and you can do it again. It’s always there, waiting. You just need to TAP into it.”
This is what most people think: sometimes you feel powerful and other times you don’t, and that’s because power comes and goes.
Your source of power is constant. It’s always there, ready for you to TAP into it. It doesn’t wax or wane, go up or down, it’s always ready, always present, always available for you.
The Amplify Project was born from the idea that you are the amplifier. One cord travels to the microphone to send your message out to the world. Another cord travels to your power source. That source is your values, your desires, your wants, and your life purpose. In other words, your true self.
It’s only when you get disconnected from your true self that you feel powerless. When you forget what you want, what you value, and who you are, that’s when you feel the most powerless and wonder where your power has gone.
It hasn’t gone anywhere. You just need to TAP back into it.
As I talked with my friend for many days, I kept reminding him to TAP back into what he wanted and remember who he was. As he walked out of my house yesterday morning, he thanked me for reminding him of his power. A tall guy already, I swear he looked two inches taller.
Have you lost your way? Do you feel powerless? Start by reminding yourself of what you want and who you are. You can do that by taking my FREE COURSE "Three Things You Can Do Right Now to TAP Into Your Power
If you read about some of the most important scientific breakthroughs in history what you’ll find is that they often occur not in a lab or during focused thought and study, but when the scientist or innovator was taking a break.
Research backs up the importance of mental breaks. Researchers found that a particular set of scattered brain regions consistently became less active when someone concentrated on a mental challenge but began to fire in synchrony when someone was simply lying in an fMRI scanner, letting their thoughts wander. More research documented the same kind of coordinated communication between different brain regions in people who were resting. Many researchers were at first doubtful, but further studies by other scientists confirmed that the findings were not a fluke.
In other words, the brain is anything but idle when resting. Mental breaks allow the brain to make sense of what it has learned.
No one likes making mistakes, especially me.
In fact, for years I did everything I could to avoid making a mistake. I stayed up late, meticulously reading web copy so I wouldn’t have a mistake on my new website.
I’d skip workouts and eat whatever food was easiest and fastest so I could work longer and harder, believing this would ensure I wouldn’t make a mistake.
I’d sacrifice time with family and friends telling myself it was all in the service of my business but what I was really doing was spending my time attempting to not make any mistakes.
I’d love to tell you that all of those late nights, hours and sacrifices worked and that I never made another mistake, but the truth is they didn’t.
I still made mistakes. Tons of them. Big ones.
And in return I not only had my mistakes to contend with, but I also jeopardized my health, and strained my relationships.
What I had to learn was that a) I was going to make mistakes, no matter how hard I tried not to, and more importantly, b) mistakes were the best way to learn.
Oh I know, I didn’t want to hear that either, but in the end, I’ve learned WAY more from my mistakes than I ever have from my successes.
The key is to actually learn from your mistakes. Most of us spend our time beating ourselves up when we make mistakes, missing the learning, and in doing so, compound the mistake.
I mean, if the mistake happened anyway, why not salvage something from the experience? Right?
I don't know about you, but this last week was a WHIRLWIND with project after project, prep for our attorney workshop, and...oh yeah...trying to stay on top of family and personal health. I'm glad the weekend is here and am ready for some self-care and some reading to relax, grow, invest in myself, and get powered up for the week to come. I hope you enjoy the tips, thoughts, and book I recommend, and find inspiration from our featured Power Organization.
What I’m going to ask you to consider is, what do you want to QUIT?
Even in my work with clients, we start by getting rid of things they’re doing that detract from their presentation vs. adding new things for them to do. The first step to cleaning up their communication is figuring out what to STOP doing before we talk about what to START doing.
Welcome to your first of my weekend newsletters! Each week, I'll share with you some inspirational thoughts for "Self-Care Saturday" along with life resources & tools in the feature, "Stuff I Love Sunday." Both sections are intended to power you up through the weekend, bolstering you for the week ahead.
We designed The Amplify Project to help you TAP into your power. We define power as the ability to live your best life on your terms. This, I firmly believe, includes building a life "you don't regularly need to escape from."
I know what that's like. I've been there. In the not so distant past, I was living a life that made me miserable.
It's not that my life was horrible, it wasn't. It was that it was shoved full of things I thought I should be doing instead of things I wanted to do.
Sari's passion is to help you TAP into your power from the inside, out. "Power Tools" provides real talk that gives you tools and reminders for tapping into your power instead of giving in to your excuses.