My body has been an amazing teacher to me over these 43 years. Let’s just say, it rarely was aligned with my Vision! I have been in a serious Civil War with my body for much of my life and during the height of the war years, I overrode my body constantly. As an example, I was so used to chronic pain, that I tore the meniscus in both of my knees in yoga in my early 30’s without even realizing it. I have enough ludicrous stories about how I warred with my body (and therefore myself) to make your head spin. It took a serious diagnosis at age 36 of Rheumatoid Arthritis for me to finally put my sword down and surrender. All this talk about “Make Love, Not War” – well, it turns out it is true. Learning to love my body the way it is has been a rich and turbulent journey. And I accept my body more now, then when I was 15 and had a near perfect figure. The hardest part for me to embrace has been my change in energy. For those of you who know little about RA, it is an auto-immune disorder that effects inflammation in the body. And it empties your energetic gas tank very quickly. During a flare up, my energy is about 1/3 of what it was pre-disease. And energy is absolutely essential for the work I do and the work I know I was put on this planet to do. So, how do I manage that?
The truth is that your VIBRANCY and VITALITY are absolutely key to the success of your business. The more energy you have, the more you are able to handle in your business. Having a full gas tank allows you to overcome obstacles more easily. And being fully vibrant, makes you irresistible to your Divine Ideal Client in a beautifully authentic way.
More and more women that I know who are at the “top of their game” are burning out their adrenal system to sustain their “success”. Men are lucky to have testosterone to fuel their sprints, but building a business is like a marathon-length series of sprints, and if we aren’t mindful about our bodies (male or female) and how to fuel our energy and vitality, we will not make it to the finish line at the head of the pack. We need to manage our energy well to be successful in our business and to live a vibrant life full of family, wealth and happiness.
I always say that effective management of our business is not about time management but energy management. With my issue with RA, my body is like a barometer. Certain external factors can effect it, yes, but I have learned how to control my RA without western medicine through diet, exercise, my schedule, and sleep – when I am intentional about it. When I choose (and it is a choice) to not be intentional about it, my body gives me immediate feedback. When I have the tiniest amount of gluten (even by having soy sauce with my sushi), my inflammation goes off the chart. For example, after eating 100% within the guidelines of my anti-inflammatory diet for 3 weeks, I went to a Vietnamese restaurant and had a stir fry with filet mignon, shitake mushrooms, and broccoli with brown rice and two glasses of red wine. Sounds pretty healthy, yes? The next morning, I got on the scale and I had gained 7 pounds overnight; I couldn’t bend my left knee past 90 degrees; and I was exhausted. Crazy, right? Not really. I’m that sensitive to gluten and I knew that the sauce had soy sauce in it (which has wheat in it) and I took a gamble. And, I’m pretty sure that having two glasses of wine contributed, too. I made a choice, and I had to deal with the consequences. Luckily, that was a Saturday, and I went to restorative yoga and treated myself gently that day and got right back on track with my food choices. The next day, my weight was almost back to normal and my knee was slightly achy. By Wednesday, I was back to “normal”. But It also made me realize that these types of slip ups are not worth it.
Although I have the gift of having an usually sensitive barometer for a body, we all have similar challenges but may not be aware of them. Through my work with my experts like Michelle Greenman (whose running the upcoming telesummit), my naturopath, my dietician, and my pilates instructors, I have learned what foods are healthy for me and which ones are not, and what exercise makes my body stronger and more energetic. All my life, I thought thinner was better (and many of you may be thinking, isn’t it?!), and only recently discovered that things like biking were great for my body in shorter, less intense segments, but taking a spin class (which I had been using successfully for weight management) was actually depleting me. It was rough to cut these activities out, especially since I watched my pant size go up two sizes. However, my RA stats, my blood pressure, and my resting heartbeat levels are now much better, while maintaining a BMI in a healthy range. Moreover, my energy levels have increased and my adrenals are healthy again. (Now I just need to work on eating less to compensate for my less intense workouts and be consistent with my food choices to get back to a weight that feels better for me). I’ve also changed my work habits and take more frequent breaks to re-fill my energetic tank. Now, on most days I feel as energetic at 5 pm as I do at 9 am, which is a phenomenal change. For years, I drank a latte at 5pm to make sure I had enough energy to get through my spin class or zumba class. Now, I have more energy to do what is important for my business and my life.
So how do you determine these things for yourself?
- There is an increase in food sensitivities and allergies in this country. I recommend going on an elimination diet to determine if you have food sensitivities/allergies that may be effecting your body and energy in adverse ways. I am a fan of two books/approaches to this. One is “The Ultra Simple Diet” by Mark Hyman and the other is “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas. The first was recommended to me by my nutritionist. The second was recommended to me by a friend who struggled with her weight for most of her life and started to lose weight effortlessly by finding what foods worked for her and which ones did not. Both of these books emphasize that your body is unique. Something that is healthy for others may be unhealthy for you. (Example: tomatoes, as yummy as they are, cause inflammation for me. So does Salmon and those fish oil capsules that all those doctors told me I should take! Although Tomatoes are a common inflammatory for people with RA, the issue with Salmon and fish oil was a total shock. I wouldn’t have discovered that if I hadn’t done the elimination diet)
- Create a schedule for your business, including booking time in your calendar for self-care, breaks, and exercise. Note when your “high energy times” are, and make sure you schedule client calls and strategic business activities for times you have the most energy. Save activities like email and research for your lower energy times. On the days that you simply have to show up – like when you are doing an all day workshop – make sure you have frequent breaks and have staff on hand to handle questions from participants during breaks. Try to schedule a lunch separate from attendees so you can re-charge.
- Listen to your body and check in. If you need to drink a latte in order to do that spin class, then it might not be the best choice for you. Make sure you are making this choice from your heart/body, as sometimes our saboteur voices in our heads tell us “we aren’t in the mood” to go to the gym (or insert your common saboteur message here!). Our bodies have so much wisdom and our bodies will tell us when we are pushing ourselves too far, if we listen.
- Don’t cheat your sleep. Most people in our country get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. For most people, this isn’t really enough. A way to know this, is to go to bed at your regular time and notice when your body naturally wakes up and how much time has passed. (On Saturdays, you may choose to spend more time in bed, but your body initially wakes up consciously when you’ve had enough). And note, you cannot make up sleep. Sleeping 10 hours on a Saturday will not restore you from 5 nights of sleeping less than you need. You may feel like you are making up sleep, but unfortunately, our bodies don’t operate that way. If you are a parent, you may have to adjust the time you go to bed so that you wake up when your kids do.
- If you are getting sick frequently, this is your body’s way of saying you are not strong enough to ward off illness. Despite my physical challenges, I rarely get sick and only after I’ve pushed my body too far (usually after a business trip). I now schedule half days after business trips to make sure I have time to recover.
- Stress is the number one cause of disease (dis-ease) in our bodies. If you feel stressed consistently, look at mind-body exercises that can reduce stress – such as guided meditations and yoga. Accupuncture and coaching are also great tools to help reduce stress and dis-ease. I know a really good business coach who has helped lots of her clients with stress and energy management 😉 (Yes, that would be me!)
I share all of these from my own experience. I am not a health expert. I am a business expert that has learned certain tools that work well for me. The key is to find tools that work for you. I highly recommend doing the 3 Week Health Challenge (I signed up as a participant, myself) to hear directly from health experts what they recommend to increase your vitality and vibrancy so you can have a full energetic gas tank for your business and your life! Get Access now by clicking here
In the meantime, I hope sharing my experience has helped inspire you to think about how your health and wellness effects your business and your life. Let’s face it, being healthy is a whole lot more fun!
PS – If this inspired you to get serious about your Health, then join me for the 3 week Health Challenge with Michelle Greenman. Get Access now by clicking here