Today's episode is a panel conversation with other contributors to the Mindful Professionals Bundle.
We're talking about how to stay mindful in uncertain times. You'll get insight and suggestions on simple ways to keep grounded, even when you're not sure of the road ahead.
Interested in the Mindful Professionals Bundle? Check it out here -> themintambition.com/mindful
Get to know the panelists:
well, Hey there, I'm Liz St. Jean, and this is the RISE in Your Nine to Five podcast, where I help sensitive high performers who want to have meaningful and fulfilling careers, making an impact in the world. It's where strategy meets intuition to become a better leader with more joy, less stress and endless impact.
So let's break free from perfectionism, imposter thoughts, and that inner rule keeper that keeps you in a career comfort zone. It's time to become unapologetically you. And step into the life you were meant to live. We're going to talk presence, productivity, and having it all. Or as my four-year-old would say, we're going to take over the world.
So let's get to it.
Liz: Well, hello there. And welcome back to the show. This episode is a panel conversation with a number of contributors to a resource called the mindful professional bundle. This is something that I am so proud to be part of. It has my imposter syndrome cleanse as part of the bundle along with so many other wonderful resources on staying mindful and being mindful even as you are striving towards professional success and your ambition.
What we're doing tonight is I've gathered together a number of the participants to have a conversation around how to stay mindful, even in uncertain times, because I know that right now for a lot of people, it feels very uncertain and it is hard. It can feel very hard to stay mindful in a time like that. So several of my peers who are also in the bundle itself, as well as our bundle host, Dr. Morgan lovey have all come together to share tips, thoughts, advice, and insights around how to stay mindful in these uncertain times.
And if you're interested in checking out the bundle, you can head on over to my link themintambition.com/mindful.
And what the bundle is going to get you is access to a whole set of resources, courses, workbooks. All kinds of things that are all bundled together, which gives it a really, really good price. So head on over to themintambition.com/mindful and check it out. And for anyone who does buy it through my link. So it is an affiliate link. If you, when you get it, pick it up through my link. I'll also be giving out $50 in credit towards any of my programs. So without further ado, let's hear from the panelists. We're going to kick things off with Dr. Morgan lovey, the host of our mindful professional bundle.
Morgan: Hi, my name is Dr. Morgan Levy and I am the host of the Mindful Professional Bundle, and it is a carefully curated collection of resources to help you live a more meaningful and intentional life at work and at home.
I know that right now the world is very chaotic and it things feel very uncertain and hard for us, and that's why mindfulness is so important. When we're able to still practice mindfulness and being in the present moment, we're able to stay more grounded, calm, and focused in these ca chaotic times around us.
That's why I'm so excited for this bundle and this panel conversation. You're going to hear from several contributors from the Mindful Professional bundle, uh, about their thoughts and their perspectives about staying mindful and the importance of mindfulness and uncertain and chaotic times.
Kristen: Hi, I'm Kristen Jacobson, a therapist specializing in working with anxious perfectionists. And in the bundle I have a workbook that's a compilation of eight exercises for people struggling with high functioning anxiety and perfectionism.
Alice: I'm Alice Rizzi. I'm a licensed psychologist and mindfulness coach. My offer in the bundle is the Mindful Body Course, which has five specific strategies to experience more peace, more joy, more grounding in your day to day life, and my businesses together. mindful.com.
Angela: Hello, I am Angela Freebird. My offer is called You Do Not Suck. It's a video course helping you let go of beating yourself up when you don't do what you say you wanna do when it comes to your healthy habits.
Andrea: Hi, I am Andrea Shipley and I work with service-based entrepreneurs to design lifestyles that really feel authentic and fulfilling for them. And so within the bundle, my program is called Lifestyle Design for Helpers and Healers, and it's a short training and a six page worksheet.
Liz: Hi, I'm listen. Jean and I work with quietly ambitious professionals. My offer in the bundle is the imposter syndrome cleanse, and it's a four step process where you learn exactly how you can ditch imposter thoughts, and build leadership skills to radiate natural confidence.
What we're going to do next is ask all the panelists, including myself, a series of questions. We've got three questions for all the panelists to answer, and you're going to get a variety of responses that are gonna give you some really good nuggets of insight and advice, suggestions, as well as really tactical, practical tools for what you can do to increase mindfulness, even in the middle of uncertain, scary, or stressful times.
Panel Question: So for our first question, we're asking all panelists. How, or why does mindfulness help you when you feel uncertain about the world?
Andrea: I find that when I am feeling the most uncertain about the world or about my life, it's when my mind is really kind of fixated, either on pain from the past or potential pain in the future, and I get caught up in spirals of worry and fear. So mindfulness really helps me in those moments to just tune into.
My body and to presence and to the silence in between the chaos or as the backdrop of some of the chaos. Tuning into my breath obviously helps with all of that, getting connected to my body and to the, to the space in between all of the worry, I remember one of my. Most tactile, tangible, aha moments around mindfulness was years and years ago when I was feeling just really kind of hopeless and heartbroken and I was really overthinking things and feeling really lost inside of myself.
And I think honestly, I exhausted myself. Um, but I remember there being this moment where suddenly all of. Washed away. All of it was gone. All of the chaos got quiet and I was acutely aware for some reason of this little green l e d light on the smoke detector, on the ceiling. And it was like all of the worries just kind of fell away and.
All that mattered was the presence of that blinking light. And I, I know it sounds like a strange story, but in my experience it was just night and day between, you know, the moment when I was in, in the stress and the anxiety and the moment when I felt truly present in that moment. And so, All of my hopes for mindfulness practices and when I guide mindfulness practices for others is that they'll have some sort of moment like that that really feels like a big shift and really demonstrates this, the significance.
Of the present moment because it can feel so subtle. And, uh, you know, I think about when I was in graduate school, there was a lot of mindfulness training and for so long I was, uh, Kind of confused. Why are they telling me to feel the chair underneath of me? Like, why is this significant? You know? And it's really just the difference between having that, that physiological experience of it versus being told that it's a good idea.
So don't underestimate the power of practice when it comes to mindfulness.
Angela: How and why mindfulness is helpful? Because mindfulness brings me here and, I know when I'm feeling anxious that I'm in the future, which I, hello. Oh, I need to figure everything out. Or the, if I'm depressed, I know I'm in the past. And yes, I visit there also. So mindfulness brings me here and in the here and now I have everything that I.
So one quick, super easy technique that I use is called orientation. It's, I learned this from my practice of, um, I have a, I'm a somatic experiencing trauma therapy practitioner, and I've done seven years of weekly somatic experiencing trauma therapy sessions. And one of the things we do to soothe the subconscious and to bring us in the here and now is to just, and it's so easy.
You just go where, let your eyes go, where they wanna. And so particularly when I'm very, when I can get a little more agitated, cuz I haven't gotten out in front of it, then it's like, okay, I'm letting my eyes go and then I, I'll name, okay, I see my Virgo sign, I see my fairy lights, I see my candles, and I just name the things that I'm seeing as I allow my, my neck to swivel.
If you're anything like me, you're like, wait, what? Uh, so it takes a little bit of buy-in. Um, it's called orientation. I have more resources on that if that calls to you. Anyway, that's one thing that I use cuz you can do it anywhere and it's, it's easy.
Kristen: I think mindfulness can be so helpful in all facets of life, and especially with so much, um, uncertainty in the world, whether we're talking about that on sort of a global level where, um, we might be worried about the pandemic or school shootings or. Layoffs or what's going on overseas, things like that.
But also on a day-to-day level, so just the daily stressors of work or parenting or you know, whatever else it. Taking care of aging parents, whatever you have, you know, personally going on in your life at the moment. There's just, um, there is a lot of uncertainty that is a part of life and I think a lot of times we, you know, when we feel.
Anxious about that uncertainty. We do things that, um, that try to, it's an attempt to control, right? And so a lot of times worrying about things is our, our brain's way of sort of expelling that energy and making us feel like we're doing something about it. When in reality what we need to be doing is practicing mindfulness and kind of grounding ourselves and, and being in the present moment.
So that can be helpful again, not just if we're worried about things that are, are going on. On a larger scale, but just on the day-to-day things. So, you know, whether it's focusing on something, um, that you're working on at the moment, or a conversation you are involved in, or an experience that you're having, just really kind of paying attention to, um, what it is that's going on in the moment and kind of what, what you're experiencing in a really non-judgmental.
Way, a, a compassionate way and in a way that's more, um, more observing, right? We're, we're not judging our thoughts and feelings we're just kind of, um, Being observers. And, and if we practice mindfulness with consistency, then it can really rewire the pathways in our brains and, um, have this more long-term impact that helps us cope with stress and, you know, really builds resiliency And, um, Allows us to practice gratitude and, and really reflect on some of the more positive things in life because there's, there's so much negative, right?
We don't need to, um, to work to, to kind of find that in life. But, um, we, we can be mindful and more intentional about. Um, focusing on what we're experiencing right now. Um, so I think this bundle includes so many wonderful resources that, uh, pertain to mindfulness. So if you're not familiar with the concept or you don't really know how to practice it, um, I think the bundle will be a really great resource for you.
Liz: So when I'm feeling uncertain about the world and I'm feeling like everything is scary or I'm unsure, or I'm feeling anxiety creeping in, I really rely on mindfulness to help me out in those moments. And the reason that it works is because, For me, it feels like I'm being stretched and scattered in so many directions.
When I'm feeling anxious, it's hard to focus. It's very distracting, and with mindfulness, it gathers me back together. Really pulls me back together into myself, allows me to focus on the here and now. And I'm able to come back into my body and really find that mind body connection again.
And that helps center me. And then even if things haven't changed outside of me, I am feeling more powerful. That grounded feeling inside of myself, that quiet confidence that I can go forward into that same situation more powerful, more grounded, more solid.
And what this does is it means that even when the world is uncertain, even when things are scary, I can feel certainty in myself. I can feel certainty in how I show up, and I know that I will show up in the best way possible. With the information that I have, with the resources I have, with the capacity that I have, and I'm really able to find moments of self-compassion and that helps see me through those times where the world is uncertain, where things are scary, where I'm not sure where what's going to happen.
I can at least feel certain in myself.
Morgan: Mindfulness really gives me the ability to check in with myself, to really get in touch with what I'm truly thinking and feeling, especially when times are really rough. I don't use mindfulness to try to change what I'm feeling or to only be happy. I use it to be present, to really understand what I'm feeling, what situation I'm in, what I want to do with my life moving forward.
Even though things might feel chaotic around me, mindfulness is just such a. Place for me, like it's such a great practice for me to live more authentically, like, so that I know what I'm doing is in alignment with what I, I truly feel is right for me, rather than just, you know, living on autopilot and doing what maybe other people might think is the thing that I should be doing.
So mindfulness really helps me stay grounded even when things are feeling pretty uncertain.
Alice: I honestly believe that mindfulness is a superpower that we all have and that we all have the ability to strengthen. It can help enhance our quality of life when things are going well, when we're happy, when we're excited, and it can also help ease our pain, our suffering, when things are challenging, when we're experiencing stressors.
And the way that it does that is that when we practice being mindful, we are fully. We are in this moment, and essentially in this moment, there are no problems. Now, that doesn't mean that there aren't challenges or stressors all around us, but when we take a moment to be mindful, we ground ourselves in the present.
We are able to be here with our breath, with our body, with the facts of how things actually. And what that does is it gives us a moment of clarity. It gives us a pause between whatever is going on and how we want to respond to it. So if we're practicing mindfulness, we are less reactive, meaning we won't make choices that we might regret or that will feel ashamed of or embarrassed by.
In that moment, we can pause to reflect on. What are my values? What kind of person do I want to be and how do I want to act in this situation? And it all starts with taking a mindful moment right here, right now.
Panel Question: our next question is what is the best way that you have found to stay mindful when times are uncertain?
Morgan: Sometimes people think that the only way to stay mindful is to practice meditation, but that's really not true. One of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness is to just stop, take a deep breath, and for even 30 seconds, focus on my senses. What do I see? What do I hear? What do I taste? What do I smell?
What do I physically feel? And just that act of grounding myself in my senses in the moment allows me to stay. And focused on what's happening around me rather than getting lost and thinking about what's next, or maybe mistakes I might have made in the past.
Alice: My best recommendation for staying mindful when times are uncertain is to be present with how things actually are right now. So that starts with checking in with yourself, noticing what am I thinking, what am I feeling? How does my body feel? What sensations am I experiencing? And then, Checking in with what the facts of the uncertain situation actually are.
A lot of times when we get caught up in overthinking, overanalyzing, trying to figure something out or solve a problem, we sort of make up a bunch of stuff that isn't actually based. In the facts, so make a lot of assumptions. We judge things, we go by how it feels in this moment. So if I'm feeling anxious in this moment, I'm gonna think the facts of the situation are much more dire.
I'm gonna catastrophize and think about the worst case scenario, and if you stay present. If you stay mindful, if you check in with yourself, you might even give yourself a moment before you respond, before you do anything that you might regret. If you check in with how you're thinking you're feeling, and your body is, and you know, oh, I'm feeling anxious, I'm feeling overwhelmed, maybe right now isn't the best time for me to make any big decisions.
You can actually give yourself some space to let your mind. And to come back to the situation at hand when you're able to think more clearly. So we know that when we're feeling anxious and overwhelmed and stressed, our decisions aren't gonna be necessarily as good as they can be as when we're feeling clear headed.
So mindfulness gives us the ability to actually assess more accurately how we're feeling and how we wanna act in any given situation. And if right now isn't the best time to. Then we can come back to the situation later and we will likely have a much better solution to deal with whatever the uncertain situation actually is.
Angela: The orientation that I mentioned before, letting your eyes go where they wanna go, that brings you in the moment and it's a practice. You can also do it through your other senses. So what do I smell? Oh my gosh, that smells so good. Being out in the, after that fresh rain, or what do I hear?
Oh, I hear my feet crunching along the driveway, or I hear the river, or I hear the dog snoring. So, It, it will bring you in the here and now. Um, tactical, like what do you feel? I, this, this is very soft. I feel the heater, I feel a breeze on my face. So, so using your senses to, to be in the moment is another, it's another type of orientation.
And again, um, Like, one of the tricks that I did to, to make this a habit was every time I went outside I would make a point of looking around, um, uh, go to a party hardly ever, but if I did just take a minute to look around or the supermarket or whatever. So just, um, anything that you do, every time I pick up the phone.
Take a moment or something like that, that triggers something you're already doing. So that's, that's one idea. And then the second very practical, tactical suggestion that works for me, that I need is, I need people helping me be accountable, reminding me, um, I can't do this by myself. So I have a weekly coaching appointment.
And because there's money invested, I do it and I love it. And then I get reminded to do the things and I get inspired and I get someone like, Hey, you're the, you got this. So anything that you can do to, to create accountability.
And connection. I just feel like any system that you can put into place to, to have that support automatically there, instead of, oh my gosh, now I'm starting to feel unsteady. Oh, now I'm on. So, oh, now I can't get off the couch. Getting out in front of it. Getting out in front of it. So those are things that work really well for me.
Liz: So personally, one of the best ways I've found to be mindful in times of uncertainty is I often go back to meditations and go back to apps that provide meditation and provide focus. And for me, it's the ones that don't just go straight into a deep meditation or expect that I'm able to go deeply into a mindful moment.
I personally really appreciate the ones that explain the mindfulness, they explain the meditation. I find that especially if I'm feeling anxious or things are uncertain, that really helps my brain to have that logic piece. So I can listen. I can focus on the mindfulness itself, instead of putting an extra expectation on myself to become mindful.
Kristen: One thing I do personally to stay mindful, um, when times are uncertain is to. Regulate my nervous system through breathing techniques. So I really like the, um, sometimes it's referred to as square breathing or box breathing, but basically breathing in for a count of four. Holding it for four, breathing out for four, holding it for four, and then repeating this.
And what that does is it calms sort of the emotional part of your brain so that you can then access the more logical part of your brain. And in doing so, I just really reflect on the fact that, you know, I've, I've been through some really trying times in life and it's all led me to, um, a positive outcome, even if I couldn't see it at the moment.
So I really tried to, Um, kind of tune into what is going on in the moment and not get too caught up. Sort of forecasting what might happen in the future and just have it kind of grounding myself in that sense of trust that like, okay, even if it feels challenging right now, I know everything. You know, I, I trust my ability to get through that.
And I know that everything will sort of fall into place, um, in the way. That I trust that it's meant to. Um, and sometimes that might not make sense to me right now, but that it will, at some point, I'll, I'll find the meaning in that.
Andrea: I really find that the best way to stay mindful when times are uncertain is to cultivate some sort of regular practice. You know, like if you, if you suddenly are in a bind and you need to, there's a hot a bicycle nearby and you need to escape from something. The best way to ensure that you know how to ride a bike is to have ridden a bike before.
And that's really the case with mindfulness too, right? So, If we're gradually practicing on a consistent basis, then we're gonna find that that habit is more available to us in difficult times. And. So that might also look like taking breaks, like little mindfulness breaks where say for instance in the middle of your workday, you might start to check in, tune in, scan your body with your attention, take a few full deep breaths, uh, feel into some sensations in your body that feel relatively comfortable.
Um, And then gradually I think we can, we can also learn how to be mindful while we're also working, be mindful while we're even planning for the future, which is kind of a bit of a, seems like paradoxical. Um, but I do find that that can be really useful to stay tuned into ourselves and tuned into how we're feeling and do it with that witnessing perspective so that.
It feels like we can kind of, uh, have a bit of an outsider's perspective, take into account things like, you know, feelings or thoughts that maybe once would've overwhelmed us and felt like all that there was. So it just gives us a different perspective. And again, the best ways that I've found are just tuning into my breath.
To my body sensations and to the silence. That is the backdrop of everything else.
Panel Question: And now we're going to hear from the panelists about which of the offers inside the bundle that they are excited and looking forward to picking up for themselves.
Alice: I am really excited to try Alicia Murray's, finding Motivation and Fulfillment within Your Core Values. I talk about mindful living and values-based choice making all the time because I believe that if you know what matters most to you, if you know your core values, every choice you make can be in alignment with the kind of person that you really want to be.
So therefore, choices that you make will be in a sense, regret. Because they're based on your values.
Kristen: Vicky Demopolis has a training on, uh, calming your inner critic. And I think this is really important, um, in times of uncertainty because we can often kind of get stuck in this pattern of negative self-talk and really, um, getting down on ourselves if things aren't really working out for us professionally or if we get laid off, things like that.
So, um, I would definitely recommend checking out her course.
Andrea: I'm really looking forward to Tamara Howell's presentation about Zoom fatigue. I think that that will benefit me a lot as an online therapist, uh, especially cuz I'm just really honed in on the screen for a lo for long periods of the day, uh, paying close attention and being really present. And I sometimes find that I don't wanna show up for certain other online trainings because it just feels like a lot.
So I think I'll learn a lot from that program.
Liz: I'm really looking forward to Erin McCarthy's mindful micro moments. Find your calm and keep your cool because I don't know about you, but I notice that sometimes it's hard to go deep into a mindful moment when I'm feeling stressed or anxious. Or just losing my cool. So I'm really excited to pick up this one and see what kind of tips and offers, suggestions that she has on keeping my calm.
Panel Question: for our last question, we are going to hear it from the panelists about any final thoughts they have, that they want to add to this conversation to close it out.
Angela: Okay, here's my final thought. Um, I am really doing everything I can to embrace paradox. So one of the things that I work with in my own system and that I work with, with my clients and my friends, and is this idea of, um, This and that. So I've done everything I can to let go of the word, but, and it is, this is hard and this is working really well.
This is really challenging for me, and I have these gifts and these. Um, assets and these blessings in my life. And I feel like that creates space to honor what's hard and to acknowledge what's going well and what is working and what I do have access to. So letting go of, but embracing and.
Kristen: One final thought I want to leave you with is just to take inventory of what fills your cup, so to speak. And by that I mean what feels restorative and replenishing to. Your mental or emotional or spiritual or physical energy, what sort of fills you up and makes you feel energized and, and whole versus, on the other hand, what is depleting of that?
What really kind of drains your energy, um, drains you emotionally and just feels really depleting. And I think, um, if you take some time to reflect on that, it can give you. Clarity in terms of kind of what you need to add into your life, um, and what you, you need to try to eliminate.
Andrea: I wanna offer some encouragement to anyone who has a hard time investing in themselves and investing in their personal growth. I know that if we want to build something for ourselves or create something for ourselves, we really have to get behind it and, and take consistent action to do that. We can't count on anybody else.
Prioritize us if we're not also prioritizing our own wellbeing. So I think that this bundle is a great opportunity to make a relatively small financial investment and get a lot of benefit that will ultimately serve, uh, serve us, serve our lives, serve our work, serve our families in the long. So that's my last suggestion is just find a way.
Invest in yourself consistently.
Liz: So the final thought I wanna leave you with is that I cannot emphasize enough the absolutely critical value that self-compassion plays in all of this. I mentioned this a bit earlier, but we really wanna develop our, our skill and strengthen that muscle of self-compassion, especially in times of uncertainty.
Because we are trying to be mindful and, and it's, and that's difficult when things are uncertain, when we're feeling anxious. If we're feeling worried. And so the last thing we want is to start feeling a tightness or expectations that we should be a certain level of mindfulness. So even in our own mindfulness journey, we wanna have that self-compassion and then we want to have it more broadly in our life as well.
Right. With whatever's happening in your. When things are scary, if things are uncertain, if we don't know what's happening, really exercise that self-compassion and give ourselves grace for what we're experiencing.
Alice: The final thought I wanna leave you with is that anybody can be more mindful, whether you're a professional, whether you have your own business, whether you're a stay-at-home caretaker. All mindfulness means is being present. Right here, right now, noticing your senses, noticing what you can see, what you can hear, how you're feeling on the inside, and really seeing more clearly the world around you.
Seeing yourself. As you actually are seeing others as they actually are. Um, and it's such a beautiful thing because we spend so much time in our heads thinking, thinking, thinking, what's gonna happen then? What already happened? How did I feel about that? What thoughts did I have about that? And we don't spend enough time right here, and right here is where life happens.
So if you wanna be more mindful, check in with yourself. What is.
Morgan: Thank you for watching and thank you to our amazing panelists and contributors for such thoughtful and meaningful answers and perspectives. If you are looking to learn how to be more mindful and intentional in your life, in your relationships, in your work, in your self-care, in your create, cre, creativity, and your productivity, be sure to grab the mindful professional bundle, which is sale only from April 12th to April 18th for $97. Alright, take care.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode. Now, before you go, make sure you click to follow the show this way you don't have to go looking for the latest episode. I'll come to you. Just click the plus button or the follow, and you'll get the latest episode fresh off the press. Thanks again. And remember that you are amazing. Now, get out there and RISE.