As leaders, we are often taught to act and think quickly because people expect us to be always on top of things. In the process of trying to be in constant control, we forget to breathe. If there is one thing this show has taught many, it is that breathwork is vital to living a balanced and healthy life. In this episode, Elizabeth Barry snaps us out of that hectic and stressful space by talking about the art of breath and leadership. She guides us deep into breathwork, learning how to respond instead of reacting. Recognize the opportunity to combine healthy breathing techniques with leadership and discover how it helps you build a legacy that you deserve. Join Elizabeth in today’s show and step into the best leader you can be while staying true to the expression of who you are.
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Leadership & Breathwork
Respond Instead Of React
I am happy and proud to be serving each and every one of you who reads about Going Beyond the Ego and who we think we ought to be. Stepping away from our insecurities and stepping into our courage and bravery, which is quite a task to do, especially in your 40s, 50s or 60s. It’s quite astonishing how we can look at our patterns and our flaws, start to own vulnerability and love ourselves in incredible new ways. This episode is a special edition. My platform, Beyond Ego, teaches adults the art of vulnerability and the meaning of letting go. That can be anything from releasing anxiety to diffusing fear, succumbing to the challenges that we’re facing or leaving any arguments and saying, “I’m going to breathe instead. I’m not going to react.” These are the ways to handle stress maturely.
I’m hoping that you are experiencing life-altering, life-changing ideas, tips and advice from this show so that you understand what Beyond Ego means. It can mean something different to all of us. As a coach, I work with a lot of busy business professionals and a lot of moms who are ready to learn the tools to breathe. Sometimes, this happens in your 40s or your 50s. We look back and we are in a marriage that is not working, in a business that is failing or in an office space where we can’t handle other people or ourselves. It takes a lot of gut and courage to raise your hand and say, “I need help.”
I know that well because, in my healing and coaching journey, I didn’t think I need coaching until I had that capabilities presentation. I realized that I was primed for it. After that experience, I have become a coach. I’m happy to work with multiple types of people in various age groups. I work with a lot of people in their second half of life but also, I work with a few young Millennial clients who are sharp. Even before the age of 30 or in their young 30s, they want to know about how can they be better and how can they stand up to their fears in the office environment. The beautiful thing is that they learn that this work trickles into their life, relationships and families.
Leaders who ask for the tools, receive them, apply them and take a few steps further maybe in front of those, who are not aware of their fallacies and not in the process of wanting to look at what’s not right. Leaders who want to react less and desire to respond healthily more often are those who are going to achieve grace and balance in their work and life. They value how self-development improves their ideas, creativity, thoughts and emotions.
If you are seeking this type of information, you want to be better and you want to be stepping into your future with a healthy mindset and not stuck in the past, not addicted to your patterns, the phrases that you say or the reactions in your body language that you give off. Many of you know what your body language is. You are just not ready to face it yet. Your monkey mind is powerful. The mind experiences over 60,000 thoughts per day and we are attracted to the most toxic and dramatic ones after all. We repeat them either silently, out loud or with other people and they continue.
I have people in my family that I don’t pay attention to. They don’t have the tools. I can’t get mad at them anymore. That is the breakthrough I want everyone to know. Pink has a song called Glitter in the Air. I always see myself as throwing glitter in the air in an imaginary sense, of course. There is this beautiful thing where people bother you less. You bother yourself less from the tools that I provide. This is a healthy way to learn how to handle the relationships that you have with compassion and empathy.
The Art Of Breath And Leadership
When you receive the emotional intelligence to comprehend how to feel and think in a room filled with social acquaintances, do not overthink anymore and overreact to something that someone says, not assume and be curious instead. These are the tools and the tips that I provide in my coaching and hopefully, I’m giving you some of the tips and advice in this Beyond Ego special edition, we are talking about the art of breath and leadership.
My question to all of you is, why do we forget to breathe in stressful situations? It’s because we are addicted to rushing and having to feel like we have the answers. We react, justify, point, blame and cycle these thoughts. The breath is not available for the insertion of the pause before kind words or compassionate behaviors happen. Why do we carry the burdens of drama and toxicity? Why do we feel that we need to control, demand or force our opinions onto others like eagle’s claws clasping and grasping on to their prey without a let go insight? Why do we do that?
By the way, that doesn’t leave a positive impression when you do that. If you are ready to diffuse your habits, message me at TheKindCommunicator.com because that type of persona is the person that doesn’t breathe. We all know that person. In fact, if you are that person, you can take a bow now. You can raise your hand. You can take your right hand or your left hand and put it over your opposite arms and elbows and give yourself a little bit of a hug.
Research and studies have proved that if I, as an executive coach, went into your office and I put a blind survey and asked everyone who the jerk in the office is, most likely they will point to the same person. This is where it gets good. That person who is assumably the jerk doesn’t have to be the way they are anymore. That is what I’m here for and that is why I am producing this show and I do what I do with my clients. The insecurities and fears that we have of asking for help hinder us from receiving the tools so that we can become better.
Each and every time someone does a survey, if you are that person in the survey that is located as the jerk, if you overreact or you send nasty emails or you act passive-aggressively rather than hiding in your vulnerability, let me ask you, do you want to get better? Do you want to learn how to comfortably own your vulnerability? I say comfortably here because discomfort is what most of us carry when we have to admit to our flaws and when we have to admit that we need help. That’s one of the hardest things of all.
We were taught in school we had to get A’s, graduate college, get a job and get married at a certain point. We have to do all of these things and they didn’t teach us how to handle ourselves when we didn’t receive them or we didn’t live up to the potential of other people or the expectations that we have for ourselves. Owning vulnerability is difficult and I fully understand that. I’m going to help you through this show and beyond it even with the simple art of learning how to breathe.
In this episode, we are going to breathe and I’m going to ask you to breathe with me because far too often, we forget the art of the inhale and the exhale. As a result, our relationships fall apart, happiness fades, stress increases, blood pressure increases, sleeplessness, acne, bags under the eyes, aggressive behaviors and nervous tendencies. With a few breathing habits, you can learn how to overcome what is holding you back and courageously step forward into who you wish to be.
The global wellness market is a $5 trillion industry. Meditation and the art of breath are being more widely recognized and the opportunity to combine healthy breathing techniques with leadership can help you build a legacy that you deserve. I’m in full support of conscious leadership taking place around the world to transform human beings from challenging situations, stress and anxiety into a blissful state of breathing healthy, happy, joyous, fearless, peaceful and tranquil.
I want you to start to think, “I’m going to insert a breath before I react so that the challenge that I’m facing doesn’t put me in a corner anymore. I don’t have to be the person I used to be.” Those habits that you used to have of reacting or throwing your hands up, raising your arms, raising your voice and sending nasty emails can be released. These previous habits of being a victim, needing to justify and blame turn into a heroic effort on your part to be accountable, responsible and reliable as these new habits of heroism.
Lift people up around you instead of bringing them down, including lifting you up. Breathing helps you focus. It helps you provide this new discipline to be silent when silence is so much needed. There are top talents that are leaving many offices. It’s fading talent. They open doors because there is a lack of leadership and management. People can do their jobs well but they don’t know how to handle people or themselves well. I can teach you. I can help you if you don’t have the tools.
Your jobs aren’t giving you the tools. They are putting people in an office or a virtual environment together, which may be even worse for us. Culture, engagements and employee happiness may be declining but they can be revived. It can be helped. Behaviors can be strong and strongly supported rather than petty. This work that we can do for an office environment translates into your home life. It translates into your relationships and behind the bedroom doors even with your intimacy and your compassion for your loved one and yourself.
When you look in the mirror at your naked body, you can start to love yourself in the present moment a bit more. This work of breathwork and leadership is a win-win for everyone who believes in being responsible, curious and authentic. If you are ready to go beyond the norm and beyond your ego to say, “How can I be better?” this is for you. “How can I lead with panache? How can I speak and write with class and integrity rather than force or demand? How can I lower the vibes that are calling me to be who I need to be? How can I heighten the positivity of the aura that I wish to portray? How can I lessen the insecurities in my life and turn up the volume on my courage?”
This is a chance for you to wake up and to own your greatness in this show to receive more energy and become deeply rooted in your earthly connection. You are certainly going to increase the creativity, confidence and awareness to be fully engaged in living the best life that you have, even if you have flaws. This is what vulnerability means. You are holding your strengths and weaknesses in both of your hands fearlessly and with ownership. If you have to transform a little from who you used to be and feel a little embarrassed, frightened about the habits, the patterns that you used to carry or put forth, that’s okay. You are in good hands here.
Leadership Breathwork: Leaders who want to react less and desire to respond healthily more often are those who are going to achieve grace and balance in their work and life.
Create Your Reality
The truth is you have a choice to create your reality. Suffering is an option. Being a human being is messy but it’s powerful when you clean up the mess. Get coached by reading blogs like this. When you live and share your truth rather than run from your fallacies, you are finding the best parts of yourself even in the worst parts. Through a fall or 2 or 10, your leadership in life is awakened. Breathing transforms leaders from victim to hero. If you want to live in your bigness, you have to diffuse your smallness because when you release your wounds, they may not be wounding other people anymore.
I’m going to give you a few breathing techniques to consider and in doing so, it’s requested that you also participate in affirmations, intentions or even mantras to continue this practice of pausing and breathing even if it’s one time during the day. Celebrating the small wins with yourself is what’s going to keep the fear from getting in. You are celebrating the small wins of choice, accountability and responsibility. Affirmations are these little silent non-religious prayers. Sometimes, they are written one phrase saying that you can be infused with positivity throughout your days. You can repeat an affirmation over and over again. “I am free. I am not my challenge.” An intention is a dream, goal or wish. It’s usually met with action. In other words, if you have an intention to breathe instead of pause, you are going to be called upon to act upon that intention.
If your wish is to breathe, great. You can have the intention. The intention is nothing but a wish but when it’s married with action, that’s when it becomes a part of your life and your lifestyle. A mantra is like an affirmation. Mantra is Sanskrit for free the mind. A mantra can be short such as joy. You can repeat the mantra when you are sitting silently before you get up. You can say, “Joy, joy, joy.” What you are doing is you are training your subconscious mind to deliver you with what we are calling the Law of Attraction and the magnetism of those thoughts.
Quantum theory states that the thoughts that you put out are magnified back to you. It’s helpful even though it might sound silly or feel silly in the beginning to start to practice these ways. I call it spiritual counseling. It’s an understanding of dimensions of humanity, spirituality, divine and things that we can’t see but happen. Change is hard. It’s messy in the middle but it’s beautiful in the end. The most difficult time in your life is when you feel awful in your soul due to the transformation that you are trying to replace a bad habit with a new habit. I understand that. This is not surface-level work. It’s deep.
Once you start to transform one habit, you reveal another habit that you need to release and another one. Sometimes, it doesn’t end but this mixing of everything is that change is hard at first. I promise you will find bliss. I promise that the path in the middle, the messy part, is where you can start to activate your breath. Let’s practice a few breathing techniques. If you can bring your feet to the floor and maybe rub the floor with your feet a little bit. Your heels, toes and the edges of your feet are grinding on the floor.
Feel the energy of the floor and let them nestle into a soft, comfortable spot. Engage your sitz bones on your seats and relax. Start to bring the shoulders down the back. Open the collarbone like two wings. Soften the space in the neck, the back and the throat area. Let the energy run out the top of the crown of your head. With each inhales that you do, I want you to inhale as though the belly, the diaphragm and the air go through the throat chakra all the way through the root chakra, which is below us and then cycling back through the crown chakra.
We are going to inhale and exhale from our lowest point to our highest point, from our highest point to our lowest point, creating this prana and this energy in the body that allows us to be who we are. The first breathing technique we will do is to breathe out of the mouth. I’m going to ask you to take a regular cycle of breath and we will take three breaths in the nose and out the mouth. Inhale in through the nose and release it out the mouth. On each exhale, I’d like you to try to elongate the exhale a little bit.
Let’s go again. Inhale through the nose and exhale a little bit longer each and every time. Keep the exhale going. The belly comes to the spine. One more time. Inhale through the nose. Bringing the breath all the way up into the chest, filling the lungs and exhale out the mouth. Keep it going as long as you can. Let’s practice a little bit of ujjayi breathing here. This is what we do in our yoga practice, which is inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the nose with the mouth close where the breath almost sounds as if it’s like a wave gliding down the back of the neck.
We will practice together to take a breath cycle here. We will begin. Inhale through the nose, mouth closed. Bringing up the diaphragm, filling the lungs and exhale through the nose, mouth closed. Inhale deeply, filling the belly with beautiful oxygen up. Open the chest, lift the heart and exhale, mouth closed and out to the nose. One more time. Inhale through the nose, mouth closed, bringing it all the way in lengthening the spine, energy out to the crown of the head and release, exhale through the nose.
As you can see each and every time you inhale and exhale, the more that you practice this, the longer the exhales get. Let’s take a few elongated exhales. Your choice, breathing out of the mouth or you can have the mouth close and you can breathe through the nose on the exhale. I would like you to practice an inhale on four counts and an exhale on eight counts. There is a purpose behind this so we will practice it together. Inhale for four and exhale for eight. The purpose of that elongated exhale is to teach you that most of the time when we start breathwork, we feel like we can hold our breath.
I don’t want you to ever feel like you are holding your breath but I want you to at least try because what you can find is that the more that you exhale and release on a longer, deeper breath, there is so much more air you can release than you previously imagined. When we opened this show about holding the breath, we are stressing ourselves out because we are not paying attention to our breathwork. The more that you can practice inhaling and exhaling deeply, the more that you will insert that breath as a pause in stressful situations.
The last breath is something that I put into my book. It’s called pursed–lip breathing or pursed lip exhales. You inhale through the nose and when you exhale, you purse your lips as if you are going to whistle. On the exhale, you let everything out with your lips. Picture one of those old Christmas carol characters with their mouths is pursed as they were caroling through the woods. They have their lips pursed as they were singing. This is important because many times when we are in arguments with someone or we are facing a challenge, we don’t often respond healthily. The pursed–lip exhale will truly help you put that into place so you exhale instead of reacting.
These are a few of many breathing techniques and I would be happy to guide you through them anytime if you message me. You can fill out any of the forms on TheKindCommunicator.com. I have a public speaking program that includes breathwork. I have a yoga program that I can give you guided meditations or I can have a coaching program as well. The most important lesson here is that you tried it. I love for you to take on your journey before you leave this show, the idea that breathing is an expression of who you are and who you wish to be.
Leadership Breathwork: With a few breathing habits, you can learn how to overcome what is holding you back and courageously step forward into who you wish to be.
Breathwork And Mindset
With the fundamental involvement of activities like breathing and breathwork, you unite your body, mind and spirit. What that can become is it can be happiness and joy. It can be this involvement with the divine which is the unseen, this spiritual realm even if you are not religious or not spiritual, this belief in the unknown. Breathwork has the capacity to change your mindset and mindset often dictates how we act and show up in this world. Even if there is a belief that you can do this work, it will help you become a better leader.
Breathwork also has the capacity to change the brain. Certain research studies have been done where researchers put focus groups of people together. In one group, they told them to consciously breathe and in the other, they didn’t tell them to breathe at all and they did these random activities. In the focus group with the people who were told to consciously breathe, there were parts of their brain that lit up that brought them to this calm and tranquil place. There are some science-backed into all of this spiritual work and it can change even your physical posture from slouched, stressed and irritated to a comfortable, confident, secure and successful presence of even how your shoulders run down the back and you are not hunching.
Mind-body awareness has everything to do with the future of your positive behaviors. If you have an obscure thought process or you feel like your mind is clogged, I would love for you to increase your breathwork so that you can inhale and exhale from a free-flowing state. Expanding your lung volume and breathing into your best self so that you respond instead of reacting. You reduce your blood pressure and you increase your wellness and vitality. The former sympathetic versus the parasympathetic nervous system fight that your inner body may have had.
Your sympathetic nervous system is the fight or flight reactions. It’s like Rocky comes out with his boxing gloves to say, “Who’s next? I’m going to be in a fight because I’m triggered by everything.” The parasympathetic nervous system is asking you to be tranquil, clear and free in the mind, heart and soul. It’s like bringing Buddha into your mindset to say, “Be unattached to everything and be open to everything. Breathe.” Meditation and breathwork can certainly challenge you but they can also change the brain and the heart so that you show up as a better person, the person that you wish to be.
The question is, “How are you going to show up? How do you want to take these tools from this episode a step further because you can?” I look forward to sharing more insight, advice, tips and awareness with you. You can message me anytime by visiting TheKindCommunicator.com. I am dedicated to your health, wellness, happiness and joy as you live, breathe, walk and dance on this Earth, communicating as the person that I know that you wish to be and you are. Even if it doesn’t feel right now, the one thing that you can do is to invest in your self-care and your self-development. From there, magic arrives. See you next time.
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