I would like to introduce the element of FIRE and explain how we can use this element to bring ourselves further into our center and use its energy to drive our business, and our lives, further forward.
Fire is a very powerful element. It is the element of both creation and destruction.
With fire we can: set boundaries for ourselves- using it to state our financial worth and what we are willing to accept financially, create a structure for business in regards to time management (how much we work and when we stop working on a daily basis), set emotional limits so that we don't feel drained or stressed out, gain clarity on how much we take on, move forward with focus and purpose, set goals and work on reaching them in a timely and focused manner, create new projects, put ideas into action, stay focused, define our self-worth, complete projects with a strong sense of achievement, know our own limits and work within them
I want to work today on the excessive qualities of fire, which we all have at one time or another. Most of us as entrepreneurs, tend to have excessive qualities of fire more often than not.
How these excessive qualities manifest in our lives: feeling of being pulled in many different directions, doing too much at once, working non-stop- leading to feeling drained and overwhelmed, too many ideas and not enough clarity to focus on one thing at a time, saying "yes" to everything, continuing to take on more projects even though we don't have the capacity for them (mainly based on fear of losing business), lack of focus, over committing ourselves in both business and social endeavors, feeling of having not enough time to complete our projects
Excessive fire energy can lead to a "burn out"- which is why we need to bring this element into balance.
I've made a video for you on Alternate Nostril Breathing, which is a yoga technique that helps to bring the fire into balance. This is a wonderful tool to help you when you feel scattered, overwhelmed, unfocused but still with a deep sense of drive and purpose.
I am a very fiery person by nature and find that my fire often leads me to being out of balance quite quickly. I have to be very mindful of myself when I am in this state so that I can come back into balance and move through life with more focus and clarity.
I hope this helps some of you to tame the fire- not put it out- but use it's magic power to further your ideas, drive and motivation!
Have you ever felt out of energy and have little desire to do much? My feeling is yes- we all go through these phases at one time or another in our lives and they can last for a short while or a long time. Sometimes it's necessary to lay low and not do much, especially if you are an active person. Other times, when we know that either we are avoiding doing something or want to make purposeful steps forward but just can't seem to, it's time to find that motivation from somewhere and begin.
Here are some ideas that have helped me to move from low to balanced, and I hope that they can help you, too.
We are a part of nature, not seperate from it (although humans tend to think that they have power over nature and are above it's cycles). Our bodies respond to the seasons and forces of nature just like every other living being does. We contain within us qualities of the four elements- earth, air, water and fire. The way they manifest themselves within our bodies and lives depends on both our inner world and our outer world.
For this article, I am focusing on the qualities of how Earth energy shows up in our lives.
Qualities of Excessive Earth energy: lack of motivation, procrastination, feeling drained, lack of desire to do much, belief that even if we do try we won't succeed, little to no commitment to our responsibilities, fear of failure, tired, worn out, not knowing where to begin- so not even starting, feeling of being stuck
We all experience these times of un-motivation, I think it's a natural part of running a business, especially when we have a life that continues outside of our business. Many of our personal issues- mainly our feelings and emotions- work themselves into our business, making it sometimes seemingly impossible to move ourselves forward.
However- there is ALWAYS a way forward.
The question is- how can we lift ourselves up when we're feeling down, defeated and with no clear way to get back up again? How can we feel motivated, energized and ready to go again?
How can we get back into balance?
Qualities of Balanced Earth energy: Stable, able to make well thought out and intuitive decisions, strong connection to intuition, clear, focused, easily follows through with ideas, deep trust in the unknown and the self, financial stability, takes time to complete tasks, aware of what is happening in and around you, confident, feeling of peace and calm, centered
My tip for this is: MOVEMENT AND NATURE- together. The first step starts with our willingness, which we all have or we wouldn't be running a business in the first place. We must tap into that place again- remember why you are doing this and what your passions surrounding your business are.
And then, put your shoes and warm jacket on. LEAVE THE PHONE AT HOME AND GO ALONE. Open your door and get outside, but not onto the city streets, get into nature.
Go for a walk through the trees, near the water, around a lake- go to where it's beautiful. Go with yourself and breathe. In and out. Slowly and deeply. Let yourself feel all that is there and don't push it away. Allow your mind to wander, allow your thoughts to just flow- once you begin to walk, they will, it's the beauty of movement.
Nature is powerful and will support you- it helps to loosen the tension and to bring things into perspective. The fresh air does wonders for your brain and a change of scenery can lead to a change of perspective. There is a magical change that happens to us when we get outdoors and into nature.
Notice what it does to you.
Walk until you feel better. This can be 10 minutes or 1 hour. But you will feel better.
If your motivation has still not found its way back into your game- do it again the next day, and the next, until it does. This is a practice that we can always come back to do, day in and day out for the rest of our lives.
When I'm feeling lost, demotivated and uncertain, I do this. I take a journal with me and sit down somewhere that calls me and I write- this is also a powerful tool to help remove the blocks and get your creativity flowing again.
8 week Series: Finding Balance and Alignment in Your Business and Within
Over the course of the next 8 weeks, I will publish a weekly blog focused on finding the balance within ourselves in order to align our business with who we are and what we have to offer.
I will be using the four elements (earth, fire, air and water) as the framework for these posts.
Each element has excessive and deficient qualities that reflect in our lives and in the way we approach our business. At one time or another, each of us enters these unbalanced phases, and I will give you tools to bring yourself back to balance. Sometimes these phases last many months and other times, they can be short in duration (like even just a morning).
I am sure when you read through these, you will recognize yourself in some of the qualities. My wish is that by shifting your mindset, taking a step back and moving in a new way- you can start to release yourself from old habits and old patterns and bring yourself back to balance.
Today's focus is on the element of Earth, specifically the deficient characteristics. When running a business, we must have first built our foundation or we will have nothing to stand on. The foundation- which are your values, ideas, focus, dedication, commitment, motivation and drive- belong here.
In order to have a strong, clear and focused business we must first be GROUNDED within our own selves. What often happens when we run a business is that we take on a lot, overwork ourselves, stress ourselves out about it, worry about money and if our business will succeed, etc.- which leads us to working even more and the cycle repeats. Eventually we are tapped out, our energy and passion is gone and we are no longer happy and light.
Qualities of deficient (aka "not grounded") Earth energy: unable to focus on one task and finish it to completion, trouble making decisions- often bouncing back and forth, worried about things, many ideas but lack focus to put them into a clear structure, not trusting yourself, anxiety, short of breath, feeling pulled in many directions, financial fears, not believing you are good enough or worth it, doubting yourself, feeling small, doing things quickly without awareness, excessive multitasking, scattered in your mind
Qualities of balanced Earth energy: Stable, able to make well thought out and intuitive decisions, strong connection to intuition, clear, focused, easily follows through with ideas, deep trust in the unknown and the self, financial stability, takes time to complete tasks, aware of what is happening in and around you, confident, feeling of peace and calm, centered
So how do we get from deficient to balanced? By grounding.
Here is my task for you, and one that really helps me with centering, grounding and coming into a clear space before I begin work. I am often running from one thing to the next and before I start any kind of work- I do this exercise to put me into a focused mindset.
Stand up. Take off your shoes and socks. Place your feet on the earth (it's best to do this outside- if you are resisting thisand thinking you don't have time OR it's strange- then you need to do it even more :)). Spread your toes and connect to the ground with the outer edges of your feet, rolling up towards your toes and gently rolling your toes from the pinky toe towards the big toe inward so that you can feel all of your toes and both feet, in their entirety, on the ground. Bend your knees slightly and close your eyes.
Take a very deep breath in through your nose and as you exhale through the nose, imagine the breath (and your energy- if that's not too far of a stretch for you), going downwards towards your feet. Take an inhale and draw the breath and energy up from the earth into your lungs. Repeat with the exhale. Bend your knees slightly with each exhale and lift your pelvis, chest and back up with each inhale. You can also turn the palms of hands up with each inhale and lift your arms up and turn them down and bring your arms down with each exhale. Find your own rhythm with your breath and the slow pulsations of your body. Relax your jaw, mouth, eyes and shoulders.
I'm not going to give you a time limit to do this as I want to you to feel when the switch within you is happening. The "switch" is when you start to feel calmer, more relaxed, more present, more connected to your body and yourself and less scattered.
Depending on where you are in your day/life- you may need to do this for a longer or shorter time.
When you are ready to stop, open your eyes and stay there for a few more deep breaths in and out through the nose. Staying in and with your center.
In yoga, these energies (upward and downward flow- have a name)- Udana-Vayu is the upward flow in our bodies and Apana-Vayu is the downward flow. These are important energies to lift us up and ground us down so that we can find balance.
I hope that this exercise, and taking the time to do it, helps you to center yourself and begin work from a calm and collected space.