Q&A Inspiration and Advice for a Thriving Life

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We are all on a journey of learning about ourselves, our bodies, our purpose, the world, and how to experience success, passion, and peace in each of these areas.

If you are reading this, I know you are on an amazing journey seeking to inspire those around you, to wake up each day with passion and excitement, and you are willing to learn, pray, ask, and grow to make this a reality. We know that we are made to accomplish and have experiences that are beyond our wildest imaginations, and constantly learning from people around you is a sure fire way to speed up that process!

In honor of this, I interviewed five amazing woman that are making their dreams a reality, and inspiring others to do the same.

Learn a few of the daily practices and insights they have to living a life worth telling and thriving despite what may be going on around them!

Nicole Jardim: Founder of nicolejardim.com, Women’s Hormonal Health Coach, and creator of Fix Your Period

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety and worry come up?
Nicole Headshot_1Anxiety and worry are just emotional responses to something that feels out of alignment in our lives. I think they are a great barometer for determining whether we are living in alignment with our truth and purpose. When these emotions arise, I always try to keep that in mind so I can respond to them in a proactive way. The first thing I do is ask myself “What’s going on right now that is making me feel this way?” Usually, that simple question sheds some light on the underlying reason for my emotional state and allows me to move out of the alarm stage. Once I know why I am feeling this way, I can take action. Usually this involves simple, doable steps to get me back to feeling in sync with my mission in life.

2. What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?
I love this question because I’ve probably tried every self-help practice ever invented! I’ve found that really, truly establishing set times for work has been the most beneficial practice for me. I definitely have a tendency to work too much because I really love it but I know too much work kills creativity and happiness no matter how much you enjoy it! So for the most part, I have a very grounding morning routine that involves some combination of laying in bed chatting with my boyfriend about what our day will look like, an awesome breakfast and some kind of movement and/or meditation. I try to incorporate something fun and enjoyable at least once a day, even if it’s the smallest act like putting on a face mask or taking a walk in my neighborhood.

3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?
Ah, the million dollar question! Honestly, I believe we all have to write our own prescription for health and balance because there is just no one-size-fits-all solution (sorry girls, I wish there was!). For me it’s a combination of the things above and striving to live an imperfect life. I spent years trying to create perfection in all areas of my life – weight, food, health, work and marriage – a recipe for chronic discontent, not to mention epic failure! Nowadays, I aim for happiness over perfection. If something doesn’t get done, it’s okay, I’m not saving lives over here and it can be taken care of tomorrow. Family and friends come first always. I experienced tremendous loss early in life when my dad died suddenly and it reinforced just how precious life is and how little time we truly have on this planet.

Brianne Grogan: Founder of FemFusion® Fitness and Author of Lady Bits

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety, stress, and worry come up?
briannegroganIf possible, I drop everything and go for a walk. Although sitting in quiet meditation is wonderful, walking is the one activity that never fails to bring me peace and clarity. If I’m stressed, it’s gone by the time I’m home. If I’m “stuck” with a work project or a personal dilemma, it’s often solved after just a few minutes of rhythmic movement. I also use my walks as a time to talk to God. Unfortunately, I’m not good at having these “conversations” in my head, so usually I actually speak out loud. People probably think I’m crazy!
2. What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?
My mornings are precious to me. They are sacred, and I keep them that way by getting up early (before my son wakes up) and using that time for a gentle movement practice, a cup of coffee, 5-10 minutes of meditation, and catching up on emails. If I don’t have my quiet, calm morning I feel off-balance all day.
3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?
My friends and family know the importance of health and healthy living in my life, and they know that it’s a priority for me to maintain my habits. Thus, my husband and son are very supportive of me having my workout time (even on the weekends) and sufficient time to cook healthy meals for the family. I find it important to maintain an active social life, and I’m lucky to have friends in the FemFusion classes I teach and the yoga classes I take, so I never go too long without seeing my favorite girls. As far as social activities, my friends and I often get together for tennis or a walk, and rather than eating meals out (which tend to be less-than-healthy and difficult for my various food allergies/sensitivities) we usually settle for tea or possibly a glass of wine. Work-life balance is harder. I tend to be a workaholic and I’m working on finding balance for that area of my life. Just like everyone else, I’m a constant work in progress… I guess that’s what keeps life interesting!

Elle Griffin: Editor-in-Chief of Over The Moon Mag & Host of Over The Moon Radio

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety and worry come up?

IMG_0959I haven’t experienced anxiety in a long time, but when I did it was all about reading Psalm 23. I would read that Psalm over and over again while breathing deep breaths in and out. And as far as worry goes: to me the only way to combat it is to prove it wrong. My most recent worry was that I wasn’t making enough money. This comes from a place of lack, and not feeling like what I already had was enough. So I shifted my thinking, realized that I DO make enough money, and then came up with one thing I could do that would bring in even more revenue. Coming at this problem from both sides, my thoughts, and my reality, ultimately made my worry “not true.”

2. What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?

Every morning I start my day by drinking a matcha lattee, reading my magnificat, and then writing 400 words of my novel. Before I started writing my book, I had no idea how therapeutic it would be. But when I realized that all of the characters were actually pieces of my own journey, writing it basically became journaling with God. When I would struggle with worry or doubt (as per the question above), I would write my experience of that worry through the eyes of my villain, who essentially plays the role of my “fear based mind.” On the days when I feel strong enough to combat those fears or worries, it comes out through the eyes of my protagonist. By writing these small moments I actually have a chance to connect with how I’m feeling that day, and writing it becomes my morning prayer.

3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?

Honestly, it’s much easier to do when you make your own hours. And when you slack off at work from time to time. But really it’s all about integration. Today I woke up, wrote my novel, worked for two hours (work), then my husband and I made and had lunch together (family + health), then I walked downtown to buy a new outfit (health + social), then I walked back home and worked for another two hours (work), then my husband and I made dinner together. Three times a week I go to ballet somewhere in that mix (maybe in place of shopping or before dinner) and my husband usually goes mountain biking while I do. And whenever something comes up with friends, we’ll add them into our dinner plans (health + friends) or invite them on a hike or picnic with us (health + friends!).

In other words, rather than thinking of these things as separate entities that have to all be packed into one day, thinking of them as an integrated part of your life that flows in and out throughout the month. You won’t hang out with friends everyday the same way you won’t workout everyday or even work everyday. So it’s more natural to just have pieces of each here and there sprinkled throughout the month.

Laura Schoenfeld: Registered Dietitian, Masters in Public Health Nutrition, Founder of AncestralizeMe:

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety and worry come up?

edited-profileI usually try to identify whether the worry/anxiety is mental or physical. I am personally prone to physical anxiety if I make not-great choices like drinking too much caffeine, accidentally skipping meals or under-eating (low blood sugar alert!), or not eating a macronutrient-balanced meal or snack. So first I check in with myself to identify any reason why I might be having physical anxiety, and determine if something like a snack/meal or a supplement like L-theanine will help reduce the anxiety caused by any of those issues I just mentioned.

If I realize that it’s a mental/emotional anxiety that has nothing to do with my food or beverage choices, I’ll either pray or use some type of mind-body practice like meditation or deep breathing to calm my nerves.

I also like to remind myself of Matthew 6:25-34: ““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
2. What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?

I’ve been working on implementing a daily meditation practice using an awesome phone app called Headspace. I am terrible at meditating so having a quick guided meditation really helps me stay on track. I also practice yoga at least once a week, which is another form of guided meditation.

I need to stay active to feel keep my passion levels high during the week, so I’ve recently invested in a strength coach to work with me on physical training, which has greatly increased my overall daily motivation. It’s important to stay motivated and passionate when you’re running your own business!

I also have a dog who keeps me grounded and gives me a lot of joy on a daily basis. He reminds me to not take life too seriously, and he also forces me to get outside on a daily basis! Being outdoors is so rejuvenating to me, so having a reason to be outside on a daily basis has been a huge help to keeping me mentally healthy.
3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?

The upside of owning my own business is that I can create my own schedule, and I generally have plenty of time to see my friends during the week. I make it a point to schedule time to see people on a weekly basis, which is necessary as we all have busy lives with family, work, children, etc. I spend time with a group of Christian friends on a weekly basis, and I try to make sure I incorporate some amount of movement into my day. Being a nutritionist, eating healthy has almost become completely ingrained in my daily life, so luckily it’s usually an easy habit to stick to.

For anyone who feels they are “too busy” to have a healthy social life, I recommend scheduling social activities into your calendar. I usually have at least 1-2 social events every week that I plan in advance, and I try to build my schedule to allow for some amount of spontaneity. I believe that social connection is extremely important to good health, and I try to make sure I’m not neglecting it for my business or even my health pursuits.

And I’ve found that I actually am far less effective in my business if I’m not paying attention to my social, spiritual, and physical health. So balancing them all is not only good for me, but it’s good for my bottom line!

Simi Botic: Founder of The Microharvest and Creator of Finally Free

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety and worry come up?

View More: http://allisonlehman.pass.us/simiBreath! I have always been an anxious person and have had bouts of more severe anxiety at times depending on life stress. One thing I regularly practice and have found to be life changing is what I call “baby breathing.” When you watch a baby breath you can see her belly rise and fall (not her chest). When I am anxious, my natural response is to breath into my chest (really shallow breathing). But, by concentrating on “baby breathing” I can slow down my heart and get reconnected to my body! I try to breath in for a count of 8, hold for a moment, and exhale for 8. I love that it is available to be in any scenario, too!

2. What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?

I am a total creature of habit, so I get really into a specific routine for a while. I am also easily bored, so that routine changes about every month 😉 Right now I am loving early morning runs outside, listening to Parisian Cafe music while I eat, working on some fun new things for Finally Free Program with my business partner and great friend Paige, lots of vision work (picturing my ideal outcome and experience in certain situations and connecting with that feeling), and lots of prayer! These things definitely help me feel joyful, peaceful, and passionate on a daily basis.

3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?

Someone once told me that if you want to know what someone prioritizes, look at where she spends her time and money. I just try to remember to invest in my priorities!

As for family & friends, I schedule time for the things and people who are important to me. If I want to connect with someone, I make sure to get a date on the calendar (including my husband! We totally schedule date nights and even “lay on the couch and watch movie nights”)! Life is so busy for everyone these days that I think it is almost essential. My friends and family sometimes tease me for being so schedule oriented, but it is my way of ensuring that my time goes to those things I love the most 🙂 When I am with the people I love, I try to leave the phone in my bag so they get my full attention (you know, unless we are eating something that just must be photographed for Instagram!!).

Because I own my own business and work from home, I am constantly discovering how to best use my time. I have learned that there are certain hours of the day when I am productive at my house and others where I absolutely need to get out to a cute coffee shop to be productive. By maximizing my time, I can keep my weekends and a few evenings work free!

Lastly, for health, I think it’s about making healthy choices part of a lifestyle. I always grocery shop on the weekend & prep food on Sundays so I have healthy options ready during the week. I also write my workouts for the week into my calendar on Sundays so I know that I am making time to move my body each day! I don’t have a car so I walk or bike most everywhere and try to stand while working as often as possible. Because I think healthy living is all about balance, I also LOVE to plan fun ways to indulge during the week – like a morning spent in bed with coffee or a date at my favorite bakery with a girlfriend.

I really try not to obsess about whether I am “balancing it all,” because change is constant, right? Instead, I try and check in on a daily basis and ask myself, “am I feeling the way I desire to feel in my life? Am I showing up as the person I want to be? If not, how can I move closer to that experience?” This helps me make gradual shifts toward a life that feels authentic to me each day!

Bridgit Danner: Founder of Joyful Mammas, Bridgit Danner, LAc and Author of Making Super Sperm

BlueSky-191c

1. What is one thing you do when you feel anxiety and worry come up?

Write it down. Making a to-do list, or even just writing down what you are worried about gets it out of your head and into a form you can work with.

What are a few of your daily practices that keep you feeling joy, peace, and passion throughout the week?

I walk my dog almost daily in the morning. It’s a nice quiet time before I start working. And I end every day snuggling and telling my son a story in bed. I get so relaxed from that.

3. How do you maintain balance between work, family, friends, and health?

3. I’m an introvert so I guard my personal time at home to recharge. I try not to work after dinner unless something is really urgent. And I try not to check email on the weekend!

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