In my leadership and mentoring work with organizations I use the metaphor of relationship being the container within which work gets done. It’s with and through relationships that teams and organizations learn, develop and achieve their goals. Individual accomplishment is a result of the relationship you have with yourself. In order to create a robust container for your relationship with yourself to flourish, pay attention to your daily practices because what you practice prevails. Daily practices to shift your mood, move your body and expand your mind are your Core Strengtheners. These practices have a huge influence on your ability to access your unlimited potential.
In athletics or any physical activity, every movement emanates from your core — the area of the body to which your head, arms, and legs are attached. You need a strong core for fluid, easy movement whether reaching for a jar on the top shelf or climbing up a hill by foot or by bike. Like physical movement, every wise choice or daring action you make emanates from your core — your heart centre.
Imagine looking at a cross section of your body with your heart in the centre. The Core Strengthener daily practices do just what they imply - strengthen your core — inside and out. Like shrink wrap, they create a snug support to nurture your heart centre and ultimately source your unlimited potential - that resides in your core. Your ‘More-In-Me.’
The three core strengthening elements — mood, movement and mindset — are interdependent each influencing the other and creating an upward spiral of well being. My daily practices include a glass of water first thing in the morning to hydrate my brain, yoga with meditation, an outdoor activity such as running, cycling or swimming in summer, hiking or snow shoeing in the winter. An added bonus with friends! Some days it’s walk around the block - as long as I get outside. I like to cook and enjoy discovering healthy recipes that taste good! I read and write most days as well. Becoming intentional with my daily practices has had a profound impact on what I accomplish in every aspect of my life. From re-creating my business to climbing 3600m over 55km in Nepal to my current book writing project.
Daily practices can be integrated into your day as needed in specific instances to calm, align and energize. For example, if you’re stuck coming up with a solution for a problem, going for a walk or run - especially outside - allows your thoughts to settle and at some point along the way you’ll have a moment of insight because you gave your subconscious mind a chance reflect and let new ideas rise to the surface. Studies show that moving your body can improve creativity and your mood. I often go for a run or walk after writing as a way to let my ideas settle. I let my mind wander and suddenly a new perspective appears ‘from nowhere’. My energy picks up as my new ideas fuel the rest of my run.
Or, perhaps you’re feeling tired after after a challenging day that included some sad news about a family member. You promised yourself you’d get some chores done but your energy is low and you don’t feel up to doing anything. Take a few minutes to journal about your day, meditate or move gently on your yoga mat, or call a friend. Making time to reflect on how you’re feeling about the situation can shift your thoughts and your mood, allowing your energy to flow. Whether you do the chores or not, you’ll feel more peaceful about your decision because your choice is aligned with what matters inside in that moment.
Mindfully shifting your mood, moving your body and expanding your mind will strengthen your core, and ultimately your relationship with yourself. You’ll feel compelled to engage in whatever is before you knowing you can lean into your core - your heart centre - to access your unlimited potential.
The result: More energy. More accomplished. More joy.