During the Bright Light series, I connected with incredible entrepreneurs to chat about how to show up during a global pandemic, both in business and in our own lives. You can read more about the Instagram live chats I had with Meg Craig, Rebecca Wilson, Andrew Fraser, and Amanda Rhyno to catch up on the business side of things.
The zoom calls (see recordings below) were more intimate and often included a specific activity, workbook, or exercise to help support you during these uncertain times...and also to support you all the time because, the reality is, we face levels of uncertainty regardless of the state of the world, right?
Somatic Experiencing & Trusting your Gut
I chatted with Sally Hutchinson about her experiences in trusting her gut and how she supports clients as a Somatic Experiencing practitioner. Sally is one of those people who can hold space for you when you need it most and also laugh with you until your cheeks hurt.
I have certainly tapped into what I learned from Sally on this call over the past few weeks and I would encourage you to have a listen...her incredibly calming voice will stay close to you and you’ll be able to hear it when you need it most.
Sally facilitated an exercise that can help us orient ourselves to our space so that we can let the brain know that we are in safety right now (in your home, where you are sitting). She nudged us to take in what you can see, with some curiosity. Looking around your room, notice the colors/shapes, what gets your attention, notice that you are safe, what are some of the sounds you hear.
Sit comfortably and make note of:
5 things that you see right now
4 things that you hear right now
3 things that you feel in your body right now
2 things that you can taste
1 thing that you can smell
Bring all of your senses to right now...notice your breath.
My friend Amanda Bostlund created this beautiful audio recording of the conversation, which I would highly recommend listening to. It is an entirely different experience to hear Sally’s words with the background sounds that Amanda has integrated. Thank you, Amanda!
Change & Letting Go
Jessie Harrold and I chatted about how we can let go, tuning into how we grieve, and she guided us to use earth-based metaphors for getting an orientation of what’s happening right now for you. We also talked a bit about the hustle culture and getting comfortable with where you’re at.
We talked about the difference between rituals and routines and Jessie said (gasp!) that we can change our rituals! I always had it in my mind that rituals were stated and never to be changed...be sure to tune in to hear her explain how we can use rituals and routines in our lives. We also chatted about tiny experiments (nudging at what’s true for you right now) and that it’s ok to take things slow and in little steps.
Jessie took us through an exercise where we wrote 5 sentences in 5 minutes. We talked about how the constraints around the number of sentences/time can be really helpful in getting us to dig into what’s happening right now for us.
Jessie prompted our writing with these great questions:
What is true for you right now?
What has changed?
What is happening?
Take some time to listen to the video below, set your timer for 5 minutes and try the writing exercise.
A Self-Care Check In
BriAnna Simons and I chatted about wellness, relationships, and self-care. She works mainly with children and families, but her practice also supports individuals and couples too. We talked about how we can show up and tend to ourselves so that we can continue to nurture our relationships, especially in times of high stress. BriAnna shared that one of the best ways to do this is through reflection and thinking about how we manage things, how things were before, and what they are looking like now for us.
We chatted about how social media can play into our daily lives and BriAnna suggested taking time off from social media/news/etc to give yourself a break from all the ‘noise’ your phone is making right now. Honing in on your boundaries in business and relationships is also a really important part of self-care.
BriAnna walks us through this workbook she created and uses with clients. If you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed, I’d highly recommend downloading this Wellness & Self-Reflection Inventory workbook here. There are some great questions and prompts for you and just the act of making time for yourself to reflect is such an important step in self-care.
Laurie Cook is passionate about building strong communities. Her background is rooted in community economic development and adult education. Laurie is a leader in innovation and takes a holistic approach to helping organizations and communities be the best they can be.
She has been working closely on a national level to support community economic development in these uncertain times and took us through a scenario planning exercise that urged us to start thinking about possibilities as things begin to change over time.
Laurie boils it down to writing down some details for a few different scenarios:
Best case scenario
Worst case scenario
Then take time to describe each scenario - what it looks like and what it feels like. What’s happening and how might it affect your business? Is there a positive and/or negative linked to that scenario? Now dig into what strategies can you use to still help work towards your goals, in spite of what’s going on.
This is a great exercise to do whenever you are faced with some uncertainty. There is something about making time to write down what’s floating around in your head that will help you to think more intentionally about what you need to do with that scenario.
Diaphragmatic Breathing & Relaxation
Natasha Smith is a wealth of knowledge with all things breathing and pelvic health. She brought us all up to speed on our anatomy and what is actually happening when we take a breath and all the muscles that are involved. The diaphragm muscle is beautifully rainbow shaped and is very important to our overall health and actually gives our internal organs a bit of a massage when we breathe.
Diaphragmatic breathing can also be referred to as belly breathing and means you are engaging your diaphragm. Apical breathing is ‘chest breathing’ and you are mainly using your neck/shoulder muscles - not a very efficient way of breathing and it can cause some tension.
Natasha takes us through an exercise to help us determine what type of breather we are and also shares a 3 step exercise to practice diaphragmatic breathing and retraining our breath. Natasha reminds us that depending on the time of day or how your body is feeling, you will breathe differently. It’s a practice and she suggests we start with simply bringing awareness to our breath each day.