Holistic mind-body coach Lea Bayles on how women can leverage the adversity and awakening of 2017 to seize the day in 2018 – without burning ourselves out.
Adversity can spark empowerment or despair, and holistic mind-body coach Lea Bayles shares how women can build on the awakening of 2017 to seize the opportunity to change the game in 2018. We talk about leveraging your “inner power” and stepping up to the challenges of entrepreneurship and social change without wearing ourselves out.
Melinda Wittstock: Lea, welcome to Wings.
Lea Bayles: Thank you so much, Melinda. It's fabulous to be here.
Melinda Wittstock: It's great to have you, and, as 2017 comes to a close and we're starting to look at a new year, what has inspired you about 2017, and what's inspiring you going forward into the New Year?
Lea Bayles: Well, 2017 has been a very challenging year for me and for many people, in terms of what's happening politically and what's happening, and, yet, I see it as being a time of amazing opportunity. Just in the last few weeks the whole Me Too movement has come, and so what I feel, myself, and sometimes other people sometimes dropping into despair, and noticing that that's a choice, and that, instead of that, we can move into, “What can I do? What is my personal truth to tell right now?” And not necessarily the truth that everybody is telling. So I really feel like, even what as I see as a very, very challenging time around us and inside for many people, is an incredible opportunity to find what really wants to be spoken, what really wants to be said and done, and to find the love and the support people are giving each other within that right now.
Melinda Wittstock: I love what you said, because it's really a choice of how we think about it, and, of course, entrepreneurs always find opportunity in the challenges, in the adversity, because we're all about solving problems. So, if there are no problems to go solve, I don't how we make money exactly. I mean, it's kind of a silly thing to say, but it's true though. And in terms of our own personal growth as well, I don't know how many times I've ever had a really successful moment and felt that I'd learnt something from that. It's always the challenging moments where, personally, I learn.
Lea Bayles: Yeah, and they call us to more of ourselves. We become more courageous. We become more compassionate. It allows more of ourselves to grow and to come into the world, and that happens individually and it also happens collectively, and I think we're in a big time of that right now.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Well, you mentioned before that there have been some things that are frustrating about the year. When you look at where female entrepreneurs and women in business actually are, like at this particular time in history, what are some of the things that frustrate you? What are some of the blocks that you think that we still need to overcome?
Lea Bayles: What I see so often with my clients, and my clients tend to be creative, and smart, and amazing entrepreneurs, and professionals, and change makers, I see that we tend to be very harsh with ourselves, and very critical, and downplaying what we've done well, and really looking at the things we haven't done well, or that we haven't accomplished yet, and, sometimes, it can even feel like that's what motivates us, like, “Oh, I want to become more,” and I totally get that, but I think there's a place in which we can rewire ourselves. Many of us are wired to believe that the way we succeed is by being hard on ourselves, and I think that takes a big toll. It's hard on our physical system. It creates hormones inside that are hard on our immune system. It's hard to ever feel satisfied with what we've done. So I think we can literally rewire ourselves to be moving towards success from a place of feeling great about ourselves, from a sense of honoring our accomplishments, and celebrating those, and knowing that you are great already. You are great right now, and there's so much more that wants to emerge and grow and come into the world.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh so beautifully said. And what a lovely segue into our advice segment. What are your top three go to pieces of advice for female entrepreneurs, or women thinking of becoming entrepreneurs, or women in corporate with, maybe, a little bit of a side hustle, or want to remake themselves?
Lea Bayles: Well, again, because I come from that inside place, where we're like, “What we do inside makes our difference into the world,” I love to encourage myself and other women to practice healthy selfishness. So many women tell me, “Oh, that would be selfish to take time for myself. That would be selfish to do that,” but I know from myself, I had a serious immune system collapse in my early 30s, because I thought I could do everything for everybody, and I pushed, and I pushed, and I pushed. If we don't take care of ourselves, then we don't have very much to give, and so that just really noticing hmm, what would healthy selfishness be? And one really simple way to do that is just to commit, every day, to doing something that really nourishes and replenishes you. Unplug from screens and unplug from external advice, and just tune into yourself in whatever way that is for you. Might be taking a bath and just having music and just listening inside. Might mean going for a walk in nature.
One of my clients, recently, realized she had such a hard time doing that, and we were like, “Well, what's the access place?” And in one of our early sessions, we were drinking warm tea when we were together, and she said, “Oh, I love the way this tea feels when it goes down into my body,” and she said, “I hardly ever let myself do that. I hardly ever let myself feel that simple pleasure of noticing and being and receiving.” And so it can be as simple as like, “Well, every time I take a sip of my tea, or my coffee, or my water, I'm going to take a moment to just feel it, and feel good in my body, and feel replenished by that.”
Melinda Wittstock: What's beautiful about that is that it makes you be in the moment, where your power actually is. Not in the past, not in the future, but right now, in the here and now, and, when you're really enjoying the here and now, it's almost like you attract more enjoyment. Like, whatever you're feeling, you attract more of.”
Lea Bayles: I absolutely love that. That's so well said, Melinda, yeah. And that inner power is what we need to be cultivating, and I think women often tell me they're afraid of that, worried even, of inner power, but, because, I think, power had been so misused in the outer world, power over people, but for us to create our businesses and our lives in the impact we want, we must come in and find that inner power. And you're absolutely right, it's right here, right now, and it is connected to pleasure and to feeling.
Melinda Wittstock: I've heard a lot of people talk about women being able to … Just as women, where do we step into the light? And when I say step into the light, I don't mean like fame, or power over, as you were saying, or literally being in the glare of a spotlight, I mean more like how do we become the lighthouse?
Lea Bayles: Yeah, and the lighthouse shines from the inside, so, again, it's that what are we doing daily to nourish and replenish that inner light, that inner connection with ourselves?
Melinda Wittstock: That's beautiful. So what other tips do you have for women?
Lea Bayles: Well, similar to that is befriending your body as a wise, healing ally. I think when I had my immune system collapse in my early 30s, I was writing a paper on mind, body healing, but I was ignoring the first principle of mind, body healing, which is listen to your body, and I think it's like we as a culture have such body craziness, that we are trying to be perfect in our bodies, or look like something else, but that really, again, coming inside, listening to the body, feeling it, rather than pushing through, and just very simply sometimes when people feel tired, instead of taking a few moments to rest or to listen, oh, another cup of coffee, pushing a little more.
People will say to me, “I don't know what's wrong with me, I'm so tired.” I'm like, “Well, I can see why you're tired. You just told me all this stuff you've done today and how much you're pushing,” and we think, if we listen to our body, we're going to have to stop, but, actually, when we can learn to listen to the body, to learn to listen to its signals and its particular language to us and befriend it, take it as an ally, we get a lot more done with less effort and less strain.
Melinda Wittstock: Do you find that sometimes women get so focused on the tasks, like the lists, like ticking things off the list? I read somewhere that every time that we tick something off the list, it's like a dopamine rush, right? So we feel good for having ticked it off the list, but we can get on a task treadmill, and not really get where we're going, because we're so focused on this near term get it done, get it done, get it done, that we … Oh, sorry, I'm just going to ask that question again, because it was a little bit of a run on sentence. Sorry, hold on a minute.
It's interesting, don't you think, that sometimes, as women, we can fall into the track, I think, of getting on, what I call, the task treadmill, where we're literally just ticking things off a list, but we're losing ourselves, and we're not really even going to where we ultimately want to go. I mean, you've got to look up to know where you're going. How can women practically get off that? Because I find, if I get into those kind of ruts, I lose the ability to see opportunity, or I lost the ability to actually hear inspiration.
Lea Bayles: Yeah. And, again, I think that you commit to taking some time to unplug from that and notice. And I think, too, the third piece of advice I have, I think kind of goes with that. I would like everyone to just stop saying, “I have to,” because we use that word all the time. “Oh, I have to get this done. I have to go here. I have to pick up my kids. I have to do this.” You actually don't have to do any of that, you're choosing to. And there's a really different energy. Now, there might be great reasons that you're choosing to, but you don't have to, and when we're under that pressure of, “I have to do this, I have to do this,” people tell me around the holidays, “Oh, I used to like the holidays. I don't like them anymore, because I have to do so much,” and it's really noticing, you said earlier, choice.
We choose what we do and we choose how we do it, and just making that little shift in our way of speaking can make a big difference. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @LeaBaylesClick to tweet
Where is our choice? We are making choice all the time, and when we claim our power of choice, and we realize, “I am choosing to go do these things, and when I'm choosing to, I'm going to choose to do it in a way that comes from a deeper place in myself and a place of more joy, and I'm going to let myself have pleasure.” We choose what we do and we choose how we do it, and just making that little shift in our way of speaking can make a big difference. For me, the energy it felt like, “Oh, I have to go to the grocery store. I have to get these things out. I have to get my newsletter out.” I don't really like it very much, but when I can remember, “Oh, I want to, I'm choosing to,” then there's a very different energy with it. Does that have a different resonance for you?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, absolutely. I think that's really good advice, because we lose our power when we … Yeah, when we say things like I should, or I have to, it's like we're powerless in that situation, so being able to step into our own power is to know that we do have a choice. It's so beautifully said. So, Lea, how can people find you and work with you?
Lea Bayles: Fabulous. Well, I do workshops, I do retreats, I do private coaching, and I would love to connect with people who are interested, and I have a special free gift for you today, the Unshakeable Self Care gift package. And this is designed for people when you've got so much going and things get busy, and you realize, “Oh, my gosh, I haven't done anything to take care of myself.” So these are ways that you can take care of yourself no matter what's going on. If you've got a sick family member, you've got a big deadline coming up, you've got things going, so that you can thrive and shine even in your toughest time. This package includes something to go up on your refrigerator or somewhere as a reminder with 39 self care secrets for radiant wellbeing. It often has R & R replenish and rejuvenate your inner well springs, and it has a report of unshakeable self care that gives you four inner powers and five daily magic habits.
You have all these things all the time, they're always with you, but it's learning to activate them in your daily life that can let you have that feeling of just being replenished in yourself, and thriving and shining, even in your very toughest times.
Melinda Wittstock: Well, what a wonderful and generous gift as we end this year and plan how we're going to show up as our best selves in 2018. Lea, thank-
Lea Bayles: And you know what, Melinda? I realized I forgot to give the URL for that. Can I jump in and do that?
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, of course. Yes please.
Lea Bayles: Thank you. So it's leabayles.com/gifts. And that is spelled L-E-A-B-A-Y-L-E-S.com/gifts, G-I-F-T-S.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful, and we'll have that in the show notes for everybody, too, Lea. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Lea Bayles: Mm thank you, Melinda. Great to talk with you.