Why to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Recently, I was a guest on  See Chicago (airing Sunday nights on WGN TV) for the “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” episode. With my pal and show host Dawn Jackson Blatner, I took on the adventure of trying aerial yoga. If you haven’t heard of it, aerial yoga involves flying in silk fabric and performing yoga suspended up in the air. Sound challenging? It is! Especially trying it for the very first time if you’re not Spiderman or a trapeze artist.

The suggestion to “get out of your comfort zone,” is advice we hear often. But, do we really know why this is a good idea? This experience reminded me. And I wanted to share with you because it is so easy to forget! It’s easy to forget that this is a healthy practice because there are two major reasons why you typically don’t want to get out of your comfort zone. They are:

  1. It’s hard. By the very title: “get out of your comfort zone,” it’s obvious that you’ll experience discomfort. This means you can expect to feel the range of emotions falling on the less desirable side of the spectrum like: fear, embarrassment, disappointment, anger, and frustration. Not typically what we look forward to feeling.
  2. You’ll resist. Because your brain doesn’t like like discomfort, and especially if you’re an overachiever like me who hates being a beginner and bad at something, you’ll want to react to the discomfort like a whiny baby: crabby, critical, defeated, demanding, and maybe even snapping at people to dispel your negative emotions. This is not the best version of yourself and you especially don’t want others in the world to see it.

So with all this ick – there must be a profound reason to get out of your comfort zone, right? Well, here’s what I learned:

As much as I felt frustrated and whiny while I was terrible at aerial yoga in a room full of aerial yoga goddesses, the whole experience reminded me what it’s like to be at the very beginning of something. Anything new is messy. Always. And that is important to remember because we get so IN our comfort zones in life sometimes we get an aversion to messiness. And if this goes unchecked, out of fear, we’ll stop doing anything that seems chaotic or uncertain or adventurous. This is dangerous because chaos and uncertainty and adventure are necessary parts of the creative process. You can’t create anything new or interesting without these elements. Nope. You can’t. Not ever.

So, aversion to messiness puts you in a rut where you are at risk to: stay in the same old jobs even if its boring, to stay exactly the same in a relationship even if it is unhealthy, and to just stick with sameness in countless other ways. On the other hand, to get out of your comfort zone means staying fresh, innovative, creative, able to take risks, and committed to grow into who you are really meant to become. This is the absolute gold and why it’s worth doing. And, the more you do it, the more you build confidence to cultivate your creative, genius self.

Plus, here’s a bonus tip: Get out of your comfort zone with loved ones, especially those who are fun and have a lot of heart and personality.  Together is always better, and makes it much easier to remember to laugh and have a good time in the whole messy, chaotic process. Speaking of laughter, watch Dawn and I giggle our way through an aerial yoga class in the “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” episode on See Chicago.

WATCH THE SEGMENT HERE (3 minutes)!

WATCH THE SEGMENT HERE!

And if you’re a Chicago lover like us, be sure to tune in every Sunday night at 10:30 pm CT / 8:30 pm PT. Watching Dawn in her various adventures around the city is sure to give you more ideas to get out of your comfort zone.

 

Genius tool: Angel Card Readings

Last week I was interviewed for the new YouTube Series 7 in a 750 hosted by Oh Elisabeth. During the interview, I shared about one of my most fun & popular tools for working with clients to bring forth their genius: angel card readings. In the episode, I do a live reading for the audience. So guess what that means? Watch the episode with your personal question in mind, and you’ll receive guidance in this reading from your angels!

What is an angel card reading?
Oracle card decks are a tool to receive guidance about creating our best future. Reading of oracle cards was an ancient practice for tuning into divine wisdom coupled with our own inner wisdom. And in modern spirituality, oracle cards are making a big comeback! I use cards as a regular practice with my clients as a loving & supportive tool. One of my favorite oracle decks – and great for beginners to oracle cards – is Doreen Virtue’s angel card deck, which allows us to receive guidance from our angels.

What is 7 in a 750?
A personal driver for luxury experiences in a BMW 750i, Elisabeth Oh features 7 minute interviews with interesting Chicago figures as she takes them on a ride. Think Taxi Cab Confessions but in a high end vehicle and inspirational! The show is her genius emerging currently published on Youtube, so be sure to subscribe and follow her at:

YouTube: helloOhElisabeth
Instagram: @oh_elisabeth
Twitter: @oh_elisabeth
Deluxe Chicago Limo on Facebook: DeluxeChicago

A Meditation to Awaken Divine Purpose

Wanting to connect with your inner genius and be of service to the world? Enjoy this meditation to awaken your divine purpose! Here are 8 minutes of me guiding you to disconnect from the demands of our busy modern world and to tune into your inner Truth.

 

Audio Class: Spiritual Career Planning 101

The Spring Equinox, as occurred this week, symbolizes the close of winter darkness and the return of more light on our planet and inside of us. The turning of a season is a powerful time energetically to clarify our career desires and declare what we’d like to manifest over the next several months. Simply put, it’s a great time for career planning!

Let us begin with the law-of-attraction formula for creating anything:

  1. Ask for what you want – This step is about deeply listening to yourself to decide what you most desire and then sending your request out to the universe, God, or whatever you call your co-creating higher power. Basically, you seal your desires in yourself, then either say them out loud or write them down.
  2. Believe you can have what you want and allow it to come – At first blush, it may appear passive to take a step to “believe” or “allow,” however, this step requires much individual focus and work toward removing blocks within ourselves to our desires. This step is important because we can’t receive what we say we want if we suppress or de-prioritize our desires or otherwise act like we don’t really want them.
  3. Take inspired action – This step involves listening to your intuition to discover what action is yours to take in co-creating with universal forces. Taking symbolic action or action that moves forward your desires helps establish your commitment and creates momentum.

Now that you’re refreshed on the 3 overarching steps, to support you in your career planning process, I’m providing you with the template I use for myself and my clients in seasonal career planning. And, I’ve also created a 12-minute audio class to guide you to make your most powerful plan.

Download your career plan template here: Career_Planning_Worksheet

Then, access the audio class by tuning in here:

 

And, a couple more tips you might consider…

If you’re not yet clear around your goals, consider listening to sacred mantras (like the one in the audio course) with Jennifer Alexander. Her music is magical for opening your heart, clearing your mind, and accessing inner wisdom. You can connect with Jennifer on her Facebook page or purchase her latest album Gracias Madre on iTunes.

Also, if you sense a career shift may be happening for you or if you are feeling blocked from moving toward your desires, consider my 3 session Genius Jumpstart program to receive one-on-one, customized spiritual and strategic career guidance. Learn more about that HERE.

Finally, we’ll close with a blessing …

Sending you this spiritual wisdom and these spiritual tools with a prayer … may the information transmitted to you here be of service to bringing out your genius and bringing into reality your most joyful and creative career expressions. Blessed be. Amen.

Feminine energy in business evokes genius

Our society labels certain behaviors in terms of gender. Driving motorcycles is manly, while taking ballet classes is womanly. But what really is the difference between masculine and feminine? We can distinguish the two as types of energy. And both are essential to the living out of our genius. However, we often miss the importance of feminine energy in business. This is because masculine energy has typically been more valued in our professional lives. So let’s explore these energies and why feminine energy is essential to business and expanding our genius.

Masculine energy is direct, linear, logical, and action-oriented. It is non-emotional and focuses on getting the job done. Our masculine energy ensures that once we set a goal, we move toward it and achieve it. Feminine energy is dreamy, intuitive, spiritual and playful. It is the opposite of linear and involves following the flow of the moment, wherever it may take us. Our feminine energy ensures that we are creative and take care of the needs of the moment and the people around us.

One energy without the other is imbalanced. Too masculine and we reach our goal yet do so blazing through without regard to consequences of people and places affected by our ambition. Too feminine and we have fun and make friends with everyone yet don’t reach our goals. Our modern society – in the context of business – has clearly favored masculine energy over the past century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and this has had many positive results. We’ve achieved so much in terms of progress. Yet we can see in many aspects of business, we’ve missed the mark on taking care of people and places because we haven’t given our feminine energy its due.

What does it look like to be in our feminine energy? We are purely in the moment. An idea comes to us, and we don’t move into action. Instead, we move into playfulness and nurturing. We allow the idea to show itself to us and then we engage in a flow of intuitive insights and the happenings of the world around us to nurture the idea and let it grow and shift and expand. Ideas are best when given time to reveal their best potential through our feminine energy.

So in our feminine energy, it looks something like this:

  • we get an idea in the shower (being creative)
  • then maybe we offer up a prayer about the idea (being spiritual)
  • then maybe we take a walk and commune with nature (more being spiritual) and
  • then meet with a friend and talk about the idea or go engage in some fun activity (being playful) and
  • then maybe we take a drive and listen to music and the lyrics prompt an idea (being intuitive) and
  • then maybe we consider how this idea supports and impacts all the people touched by it (being nurturing)
  • then we get out our markers and draw images and write our ideas in a flow chart (being creative).

And with all this our idea is being nurtured and watered like the seed that it is meant to grow into as a flourishing part of our world.

Without this feminine energy, we get an idea – a spark – and immediately ask: “how do I make this happen?” And this is an error because in acting too soon – we don’t allow the idea to express its fullest potential. If we allow our feminine energy to flow and the idea to mature into a form that we intuitively feel is ready to be acted upon, then we engage our masculine energy effectively to get the job done!

So let us remember to give more love and attention to the power and importance of our feminine energy. This goes for both men and women, by the way. We each have both types of energy. For when we engage our feminine energy, we ensure that our best, most genius ideas are what we bring forth into our world.

Use the power of your emotions to create your best career

Our emotional state impacts our ability to create the careers we desire. This is because as humans we are made up of energy. And, our emotions generate energy that circulates in and around our bodies. When we experience positively charged emotions – like: love, joy, gratitude, and hopefulness – we draw to us that which we desire. And when we experience negatively charged emotions – like hatred, guilt, anger, and disappointment – we repel that which we desire.

Let’s back up a moment to prove what I just offered.

How negative emotions repel what we desire

Among our most negative emotional states is powerlessness and shame.  When we are in these lower feelings we are closed off and do not believe that what we desire for our careers is possible or that we deserve to realize those desires. In this emotional state, we cannot attract the promotion or new position we desire, nor can we bring in resources to help us achieve such desires. On the contrary, we attract to us more proof of the negative feelings we’re holding, like a big bill comes in the mail proving we have to stay stuck in the work we’re doing now. More things generally tend to go wrong when we’re in a powerless or shameful emotional state.

How positive emotions attract what we desire

Among our highest possible emotional states is gratitude or appreciation. Here, we feel good so we are open and receptive to notice and accept what we desire.  In this state, people come to us to support the new promotion or new job we seek. It seems effortless and easy.  We feel a high, connected to something beyond ourselves that is providing for us, and we feel worthy and deserving for what we are receiving. And in this high vibration state, more tends to go right.

We’ve all experienced both ends of the spectrum to know that what I’m offering is Truth. And, it is important to remember that there is more than these extreme two polarities. When it comes to our emotions, there is an entire scale of them.

One of my favorite, easy-to-follow tools to teach from about the art of creating our best, most desired careers is Abraham Hicks‘ Emotional Guidance Scale featured here:

This tool helps us see whether we are in an emotional state for creating what we desire, or if we are in an emotional state that is blocking our desire. This tool is also great because it helps us learn how to get unstuck – we simply “move up” the emotional scale. And so, we see that by using this tool, we have the power to create our best careers!

How to use the scale to attract what we desire

The scale guides us in creating our best careers by showing us the progression of feelings to get us closer to where we want to be. For example, if we find ourselves blazing with anger around a professional situation, we can move up to the less negative emotion of disappointment. And when we move to disappointment, we get closer to creating our desired outcome. Then we move up to pessimism, then to hopefulness, then to positive expectation, then to empowerment. And with each heightened state, we are allow our desires to connect with us.

Moving through these various emotional states is a healing process. And to move our emotional level upward, we engage whatever support we need, such as: a friend, a coach, a fav spiritual book, yoga, cardio exercise, tai chi, energy healing, or prayer. Sometimes we can shift quickly, and sometimes it is a slow process. Most important is to not judge ourselves harshly. We just keep putting our intentions and efforts toward moving onward and upward.

 

 

 

A tip to avoid bad career advice

A big mistake I often see is people accepting career advice from the wrong people. There is no shortage of people out there who will tell you their opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do with your career.  Too often these are people who – when you look deeper – are unhappy with their professional lives or are speaking to you from their own fears. Beware of these folks! They are projecting their own issues onto you.  They have likely given up their dreams somewhere along the way, and so they will provide you advice skewed from this perspective. They will drive you toward the least-risky routes, which are usually away from your dreams.

If you are exploring the possibility to take a career turn – like entering a new industry or starting your own company – you want to be mindful (and picky really) about where you receive your career advice. Your best sources for career advice will be people who you admire, those who have already been through what you are about to experience. Only other big dreamers, who have gone through the inside-out transformation of an unconventional path, can really understand what you need to get where you want to go. The reality is that your road ahead will have many ups and downs and twists and turns. And so you need proper advisors who will see this as exciting, and see that the challenges ahead are not threats to you but rather opportunities to step into your greatest potential.

A genius prerequisite: Self-Love

If you seek fulfillment in your work life, guess where focusing your love can most efficiently give you the results you desire? On YOU! Focusing your love on YOU. I’m sorry to have to break the news to you, but self-love is a requirement to knowing and expressing your inner genius.

I’ll be honest here. I used to think self-love was a bunch of crap. Ten years ago I met a woman who would later become one of my greatest spiritual mentors, Christine Arylo, who is known as The Queen of Self Love. When I met Christine I was a super busy rising star executive in the nonprofit world with an insanely full schedule. As much as I respected and liked her and was into personal growth and development, I thought: “who has time for self love?” Then several years later, as I began coaching people professionally around creating the lives and careers they most desired, I was like: “dammit, self love is EVERYTHING.” And, I’ve since come to hear this from other master teachers like Louise Hay.

Creating self love takes time and patience. It involves a whole lot of compassion for where we’ve been wounded, where we feel shame, and where we have found it best to protect ourselves and put up walls. And beyond all that, as we heal, it is then that we can discover our greatest talents and our genius.

One of the reasons I explain to clients that it takes several months for us to uncover their genius is because we need to work on self love as their foundation. It can be no other way. We cannot uncover and share our genius with the world without loving ourselves first.

And then – when we do love ourselves – look out! When we can see our true nature and who we really are and know that we are awesome in our light and dark qualities, we then become FREE to share our deepest, heart centered talents with the world. And THAT is e v e r y t h i n g!

Curious about meditation? Enjoy this intro video & starter kit!

Meditation is medicine to experience peace, calm, and happiness amidst the craziness of our modern world. Yet, our fast-paced lifestyle may make meditation seem impossible. So I’m here to teach you meditation basics to make this practice fun, easy, and worth your while.

The benefits of meditation

Let’s start with exploring why you would even meditate in the first place. It can seem counter-productive to sit in stillness and do nothing, especially if you are super busy! You can find all kinds of benefits of meditation around health and improving your ability to focus. Here are the 3 reasons I find most powerful:

  1. Connecting with your authentic self: Whether you are asking bigger questions like “who am I?” or faced with daily questions around work, home, and relationships, meditation helps you be more in tune with what matters most to you. This helps you be more clear to make better life decisions.
  2. Connecting with your higher power: Meditation is a time to connect with your higher power and guides. It is said: prayer is to ask for what you desire and meditation is to receive the answers. In the stillness, you can hear your truth, see visions, or feel into whatever you need. Or, because you made time for stillness, answers to your questions may come during the course of your day.
  3. Feeling more peace and less stress: In meditation, you bring attention to your breathing. This alone creates a sense of calm and relief. With more practice in meditation, you feel more and more calm and experience less random thoughts running through your mind. This practice of letting go of your thoughts allows you to be more present and aware in your life, which reduces stress and creates a greater sense of peace.

Techniques for meditation

My original training in meditation was at the Zen Buddhist Center in Chicago. There, I learned a basic technique that I teach you in the video below. It’s great for beginners in meditation! Here are a few highlights:

  1. Sit on a pillow or meditation cushion with your back straight.
  2. Place your hands in your lap facing up or in gyan mudra.
  3. Close your eyes completely, close them 80%, or gaze at a candle flame.
  4. Take deep breaths, and count down on each exhale from 5 to 0.
  5. Set a timer for the amount of time you want to meditate.
  6. Bonus: start with a positive vibe by thinking of something you are grateful for and feeling gratitude in your heart.

Making a regular practice of meditation

Are you totally psyched to do this all the time? Meditation is most beneficial when you do it regularly. So set yourself up to win by committing to mediate at the same time every day. Morning is ideal to start your day centered, feeling peaceful, and feeling connected to yourself.

Begin with a commitment you can stick to – for real! When I started, I committed to 5 minutes every morning before I left the house. And it worked to form my new habit. Even if it meant running late, I could surely create 5 minutes to meditate.

Setting up your space for meditation

As a regular meditator, it’s awesome to create a sacred meditation space for yourself.  It might be as simple as a designating a favorite chair to your meditation practice, or as fancy as creating a meditation area furnished with a meditation pillow and altar. If you live with family or roommates and private space is hard to come by, don’t fret!  That gives you a chance to be creative! When I first started, I sat in my closet in front of a single candle. For me, the dark removed all distractions. And that’s really key. Go somewhere that you can be free from interruptions.

Your meditation supplies & starter kit

You don’t need any supplies whatsoever to meditate. You can do it anywhere, anytime – even in a bathroom stall. And that is great news! However, for regulars, sacred supplies can enhance the experience. Here are a few you might consider.

Cushion: Meditation cushions raise your hips, which keeps your back straight and maximizes comfort overall. Before you invest in a cushion, you can start with basic pillows at home from your couch or bed.

Candle: Lighting a candle is great to signify to your brain that this is sacred time for you. A candle is also great for your practice if you would like to use the technique of gazing into the flame as a point of focus during your meditation.

Incense & holder: Incense creates sacredness in your practice and smells wonderful. Among many scents, a standard favorite is called Nag Champa. When you light your incense, you might wave the smoke over your body as an energy clearing technique before you begin your meditation.

Altar: An altar is a table upon which you set your sacred objects and sit in front of to meditate. You can fill up your altar with goodies like: candles, inspirational quotes, photos, statues of spiritual deities, sacred symbols, written goals, and healing crystals.

To help you commit to your practice, I’ve created a meditation starter kit for you! Purchasing a few meditation goodies and setting up your very own meditation space gives you an extra boost to create dedicated time every day! To navigate the starter kit, simply click the links on any of the items you’re interested in to learn more about them, and add to your cart any you wish to purchase. Happy shopping!

Using meditation to connect more with your authentic self to forward your career dreams? Check out these other great ways I can help you…

Career Dreams Class: Nov 1, Dec 6 & Jan 3.

The 3 Session Genius Jumpstart – anytime, you schedule 3 sessions with me over 3 weeks.

How having fun helps discover genius

A KC & The Sunshine Band concert at the House of Blues: this is where I first experienced how having fun helps discover genius.  A successful, rising star lawyer, I was out for an evening with friends. What most people didn’t know was that I felt like I was losing in the game of life. I didn’t know who I was. And while I was very good at my job, I felt fear and doubt all the time about whether I was moving in the right career direction. Working in the criminal justice system, I was surrounded by people who woke up every day with purpose. Yet, I didn’t feel connected to my inner passion.

Until …

That night at the concert, I locked eyes with this incredible back-up dancer. I couldn’t stop watching her. She was JLo-level awesomeness set to old school disco tunes. She was having fun!

It hit me: fun! THAT’s what I needed. I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I knew in that moment, I’d sure love to dance!

I always loved dance. As a little girl I twirled around my living room lost in creating my own FlashDance free-style dance moves to the 80ies hits of the day. I tried a dance class once, but dropped out feeling intimidated because I couldn’t pick up the choreography quick like the other girls.  In 6th grade, taking matters into my own hands, I choreographed a skit for the school talent show and brought in two other girls to perform with me to Janet Jackson’s then mega hit, Control. In 8th grade, I had a blast as co-captain for the cheerleading and dance squad.

Thereafter, my passion for dance faded into the background due to two tragedies. My mom passed away right before my 8th grade cheerleading competition, so I dropped out. And then when I tried out for cheerleading in high school, I didn’t make the cut. Again, probably because I had trouble picking up on other people’s choreography, the judges didn’t see my talent.

So that night at the KC concert – something awoke inside of me.  I wondered “How could I create some of this magical fun in my life now?”

Luckily, at the time, I had a creative and unabashed friend in my life known as “Big Gay Jim.”  (The universe always sends us exactly what and who we need.) Jim was following his artistic talents running a small theater company. He put on variety shows and musicals that were performed at the Elbo Room in Chicago. I asked if I could choreograph and perform in a skit in his upcoming show, and forever changing my life, he said “yes.”

I had a major role in his next two productions and had So. Much. Fun!!!

how having fun helps discover genius

Me at the Elbo Room with my pal Jasiel after a show!

What I know now is that the fun of those several months of performing was essential to my larger transformation that was occurring. By reconnecting to fun, I was reconnecting to myself. I could hear the whispers of my heart and where it was guiding me.  Soon after, I left my legal career to pursue what I discovered was my greatest passion: empowering women and girls to be their truest selves through creating awesome careers.

And now, I teach my clients – as The Genius Guru – how having fun helps discover genius. When you don’t know where to go in your career, fun is the place to start. Why? Because we are energy beings. And feeling joy is the highest vibration available.  There are lower, less fun vibrations of course like: powerlessness, fear, frustration, and apathy.  And while you’re in those lower vibrations, you attract more into your life of that energy.

When you bring yourself up to the level of joy – through pure fun – you begin clarifying what feels good to you and then attract more of that into your life. And you literally create magic!  Today, you may feel stuck and unsure of where your life is going. But when you bring regular doses of fun into your life – you begin to notice people and opportunities show up that had previously seemed crazy or out of reach.  Magic is real – and fun is your entry point! If you’re inspired to learn more about how creating happiness helps attract your life desires, check out Pam Grout’s latest book: Thank & Grow Rich.

So, my friends, go out there and have ridiculous fun! You’ll find yourself and your genius along the way! I promise.