Category Archives: Recommendations

Self-care for coaching & for life

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As work life picks up and since talk about starting a personal business began, (in addition to summer’s arrival?) self-care has been more important now, than ever.

We all know that we must take care of ourselves in order to take care of others/our business. I think to the flight attendant example, as they step kindly to the middle of the aisle  to remind us to put on our own oxygen mask before we help our children or neighbor.

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We don’t need to be in a plane crash to learn and live this simple idea. We can take care of ourselves now, and we don’t have to feel guilty about it. It’s part of our responsibility to ourselves, our communities, and the world.

I feel blessed because not only does my work improve when I take care of myself, it is a requirement and demand of my job. Recently I have come to embrace that fact and take it to heart, because I have to. If I want to excel at my job and support my clients, I need to take care of myself. Period.

Coaching is not a service profession, it is a modeling profession. – Jay Perry

As the above quote mentions- my work is not about a service it is about modeling. Self-care means to be a master of my well-being. My clients grow and feed off my energy when I am well-cared for, and they experience greater and more meaningful transformation, when I take care of myself. With my coaching and yoga clients, I know that it is not the mastery of my technique that matters, but it is my presence – a way of being with people – that makes the difference. The quality of our connection plays a bigger role in the transformation process, than does the handouts/tools/information sharing that occurs. 

This realization gives me a lot of freedom because it makes me realize that it is less about my certifications/degrees/articles that I accumulate, and it is more about me just being who I am and making a genuine connection with someone. Yet at the same time, it adds the challenge of practicing presence and self-care in real life. It’s easy to conceptualize the idea – in fact it’s almost so easy its boring. But to live it is awholenother adventure…

This all came up by the way, as I toy with the idea of teaching yoga at a studio. As I find myself considering the option more seriously I realize that in order to do that I will have to take my self-care game to the next level.

Am I ready for that?

You betcha 🙂

Self-care for life – Some exercises to try:

1. Take a little assessment. On a scale of 0-10 (0 being “not so hot” and 10 being “totally rad”), how would you rate the health of your finances? Environment? Work-life? Self-care practices? Relationships? Thoughts? Energy? How can you give more attention to the areas in need? Think about it, and then do something about it (or seek support in finding the answers you need to help you do something about it).

2. Make a list of activities/ways of being that bring you pleasure and serenity. How often are you engaging in said activities? If possible find 10 things on this list that you can do to practice “self-care”. Block off time in your calendar to actually do/be them for one week. Notice how you feel after a week of taking care of yourself.

3. When you are feeling out of balance, come back to your list of self-care items and ask yourself what you really need. If possible, give yourself what you are needing – it may be on the list, it may not be. That’s okay. If you listen, you will know what to do. Sometimes we think we need a candle light bubble bath to relax, but in reality we may really just need an extra hour of sleep. Be honest.

Have you planned for a healthy retirement?

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Today’s blog post comes from Jay Higgins. He is a financial adviser and an expert in the field. I asked him to write us an article about financial wellness. I’ll be honest I was a little worried it would be littered with industry jargon and boring financial talk. Boy was I wrong. Read on for fresh insight on how to view your retirement. I know you will gain some perspective on an important topic many of us fail to address.

I’d like to tell you a little secret. Now that you know who I am, it may surprise you. I don’t think you should retire. There, I said it.

That statement might come as a shock spoken from a person in the business of retirement planning. Please stay with me, however, and let me clarify what I mean.

What I am not advocating to you is working a grueling American schedule until you collapse on the job. I also am in no way trying to cheapen the importance of carefully planning for the post accumulation (industry term) or retirement phase of your life. So what do I really mean when I say you shouldn’t “retire”?

For many of you retirement is a long way off and probably nowhere near the front of your mind.  For a few of you, you may have given it some real thought, and good for you. But for most of you, let me guess the image in your head of your retirement.

RetirementOn your last day of work you plan to fill up your box, leave your job, and board a plane for Mexico, Arizona, or Florida so you can bask in the sun and enjoy time relaxing. Clearly there are many versions of this story but most of them have one thing in common. They fail to look past the first few weeks of your retirement.

What are you going to do after your vacation or your month relaxing in the sun ends? A normal retirement for our generation is 30 years. That means you have roughly 1,600 weeks of unplanned time on your hands. Not only is this a problem it’s probably not healthy.

Taking a step back, the idea of retirement that society depicts for us is completely unnatural for humans and generally doesn’t promote good health or vibrancy in our golden years. The law of diminishing returns applies to leisure activities as well, meaning golf and vacations eventually lose their luster. Boredom or being idle at this stage in your life will ultimately lead to poor health and overall dissatisfaction.

One writer put it this way, “The quickest way to disease, is a life of ease”.

So, now that you know the potential pitfalls that you may face in retirement, how do you rectify the situation? Glad you asked. There are two main things that I believe you can do to create a “retirement” that is full of vitality for you.

Consider these two things and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy retirement.

  1. Incorporate work into your plan. Human beings need a reason to wake up every morning. What will be your reason to get out of bed? Work as defined here is a loose term and may not mean getting paid, but responsibilities and action towards a greater purpose are important to your well-being. Paid work can be even better because of the potential for strengthening retirement income. The last few years in any retirement account are where the majority of your growth will come (from compounding). Retiring cold turkey forces you to draw an income off your account, essentially slitting the throat of your account right when it’s about to do the largest amount of work for you. Does this sound like a good idea?
  2. Redefine your retirement. Every single person has the same amount of hours to spend each week in retirement, 168. Knowing how you will spend yours will greatly improve your chances of being happy with your life. No two people are the same and the allocation of your time is uniquely your own. Rather than defining your retirement hours, work on defining your ideal life. Does that mean working fewer hours, spending some of that extra time fishing, crafting, or reading? Maybe you like to travel or want spend more time with family. Once you know how you would like to live its only a matter of developing a plan to allow you to do it. Yes that will probably mean saving and planning but those are only means to and end. Saving enough money is not the end goal. Then end goal is living and protecting the lifestyle that is healthy and meaningful to you.

Overall this post is not meant to scare you or to make you ignore your retirement. By explaining how the picture we’ve been given regarding retirement is a dangerous myth, my hope is to liberate and empower you.  I would like for you to think outside the box when you address your retirement and be confident that you know what will make you happy.

Believe me, working towards a lifestyle that is specifically designed for you by you will make the planning process surrounding your retirement much easier to prioritize. Throwing money at a retirement account without a clear goal is like throwing a dart at a target you can’t see. You’ll probably miss the mark, and many of you wouldn’t even try. Having a clear vision brings the dartboard into view…and then proper planning will help you hit the bullseye.

Spotlight: Siri Garnaas,Thai yoga bodyworker & yoga teacher

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Mandala Reflections is pleased to introduce a new category called “Spotlight”. This category will feature local, holistic practitioners, in hopes to build community and support one another. In addition to connecting people, the Spotlight may also introduce new perspectives and approaches to life, health, and spirituality.

Siri Garnaas is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher and a Thai yoga bodyworker in the Twin Cities. She began her studies in 2011 with teacher Tanya Sowards at Devanadi Yoga and has not been able to get enough! Although she loves yoga and the healing qualities of this ancient practice, her current passion is Thai yoga bodywork (TYB).

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Siri first learned TYB as part of her 200 hour yoga teacher training. She was instantly hooked. TYB is unique and multi-faceted and it engages and excites Siri’s pitta nature. Thai yoga bodywork incorporates rhythmic massage, assisted hatha yoga poses, intentional breathing, and energy work which allow the recipient to heal not only the physical body, but the mental and spiritual as well. This modality of healing works with a person’s energy, or prana, through the opening of various energy lines, or “sen”. This process increases joint mobility and flexibility, improves circulation, tonifies organs, and relieves muscular and emotional tension.

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Siri is extremely grateful to the tradition for giving her the opportunity to expose others to it’s powerful, holistic healing approach and to contribute to her own path of self-healing. Through a one and a half hour session, Siri invites you to take some time for self-care and to experience, heal, and connect with your physical, energetic, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

To stay up to date, feel free to connect with and support Siri, by showing the love and liking her Facebook Page [www.facebook.com/ThaiBodyworkWithSiriGarnaas] 🙂

Want to learn more about Thai Bodywork? Siri recommends this article to get you started.

Already convinced? Book an appointment by calling 651-332-0274.