It was a Friday night in San Fransisco and a cruisy Saturday morning in Alice Springs, Australia, yet these two women, from different corners of the globe, came together to share their knowledge and wisdom in an energetic and enlightening conversation.
Kristen and I were introduced to each other through a mutual contact who realized that we had great synergy and a great alignment to the things that we do. When Kristen and I started talking, it was a fantastic experience of learning and sharing.
Kristen’s got her own business called Heal Anywhere. She believes that we can use our mind, thoughts, sound, and the natural environment to help ourselves heal in a variety of ways. She teaches people to understand that working with sound involves the distribution and transmission of energy. When this energy in the form of vibration encounters our nervous system, our emotions get activated. With intention and focus, we can direct that energy to the emotions we want to activate.
Since both of us have come from highly stressful, energetic, corporate worlds, we have learned to adapt very simple and useful strategies to transform the stress to calmness, clarity, and alignment immediately. We both delight in understanding the science behind what was once considered flaky and esoteric.
Kristen practices the philosophy and lifestyle of Ayurveda and Yoga and I have been practising Tai Chi, so there are similarities in what we do. We both talk about the flow of energy and of harnessing it, of breath and breathing sounds. I’ve learned about the science of stress and Kristen is a business consultant for a Swedish based company as well as has a private practice of sound healing and holistic coaching. It gets busy but she follows her passion and intuition to become more aligned, heightened, and more aware of what’s going on in one’s body and in the world around. Both of us take holistic knowledge and ancient wisdom into the corporate world. Mine is the philosophy of mindfulness, hers is sound healing.
The Corporate world
Kristen believes that the silver lining of the pandemic was that it brought to light the corporate illusion of the ego, the old corporate system of pushing yourself hard and self-sacrifice is becoming redundant globally. People are still working hard and being efficient and productive and learning to work smarter and reinvent themselves, But they are also learning to be more human in these difficult times. Despite personal distractions, people are learning to work around their different roles.
How to bring the right energy into a corporate space?
Kristen advises that you:
- Start the morning with a few minutes of complete alone time and listen to some music that helps you calm down.
- Review your schedule for the day and the meetings planned.
- Don’t plan on how to control the meeting or try and get something out of it.
- Before the meeting, ponder on what emotions, feelings, and creativity you want to bring to it.
- Define your role and the feelings you wish to have. In this way, you are putting your vibrations out there and tapping into them.
- Right before the call, pull out a post-it, and remind yourself how you want to feel, step into that energy and then click the start button. Everyone will feel the energy that you have entered the space with.
I have also been teaching people in the corporate world about practical and administrative behaviour. When we discuss meetings, whether extremely formal ones or just meetings between two people, I teach them to have clarity about their intention, to know what they want to get out of a meeting, and to prepare for it before they enter the space
Why is it important to define our energy?
Kristen tells us that the most powerful practice we should develop is to ‘choose to respond not to react’. If you are not clear on the energy that you want to bring, you will be hijacked by the energy of others which will make you feel frustrated. If you want to be responsible and accountable for yourself she says, then you should walk into a room with recognition of what you are feeling and what you want to feel.
I too think that it is important to have awareness and a willingness to be guided. To be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the space and yet be grounded in your own space. An example of this was the show, ‘Who’s line is it anyway?’ where people were put into an abnormal situation, they needed to be aware of what was going on and then had to adapt.
How to prevent or deal with a person who is covering us in toxic energy?
Kristen suggests the following points as soon as you start to feel heavy like a person is dumping on you:
- Have an awareness and name it to yourself
- Realize that it is their stuff, not yours
- Go back to your centre, the reason for who you are and what you are showing up for
- Put a block/bubble around yourself to prevent yourself from taking on the bad energy
- Don’t take it personally
- Choose how you are going to respond
- Remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible
- If you are stuck in the situation be aware of what is happening
- If you want to help them, decide how you are going to do so
- Support by giving them space and allow them to do what they are doing because they are having a bad day
- Alternatively, bring them the truth which they may not be ready to hear
- If you don’t step into fear, there’s nothing to clean up
Having had almost identical training in process and approach, I too understand the awareness that Kristen mentions is what we commonly call emotional intelligence, the ability to be aware of our own and of other’s emotions. It is now an important soft skill in the corporate world. It is even being taught to children so that they can identify their emotions and incorporate it into their language.
How does the knowledge of neuroscience prevent a stress response?
The primal part of the brain has a stress gland, the amygdala, which is like a smoke alarm in the house that goes off even if you have just burnt the toast. The prefrontal or thinking part of our brain can speak to the amygdala to placate it and remind it that there is no threat or emergency. My mentor used to teach police personnel to put up an emotional guard to prevent them from feeling post-traumatic stress from incidents of heavy energy.
There are three things to prevent this response according to Kristen
- Your brain does not know the difference between a thought and an experience. We define everything from our perspective and what we’ve been taught and we create a thought accordingly. You are one thought away from suffering or joy
- It is important to have a foundation that is reinforced by morning and evening rituals. Your foundation builds a momentum that assures you that you are safe and in control. You train it to always come back to you.
- Learn what specifically triggers you, so that you have an awareness when it is happening. Use the tools that you have to recenter yourself. These tools could be sound healing music, disconnecting, and being alone for a while or connecting with nature.
- Doing the above can mitigate stress, it can prevent the amygdala from getting fired. It prevents us from reacting in fear.
I find the Ted talk of Kelly McGonigal very interesting where she talks about making stress your friend. When you change the way you think about a situation, your body can change its physical response. If you train your brain to feel power rather than a threat, it will respond positively. Exercise and nature are known to release dopamine and other stress supporting hormones.
Kristen confirms that our brain functions to keep us alive with the least amount of energy. It constantly syncs with external situations. It will feel stressed in a busy airport and calm in a place of nature or worship. When stressed we automatically crave to connect to nature. That’s why it’s important to practice a foundation of meditation or any other ritual in the morning and evening and reinforce throughout the day with little things like connecting to nature.
It only takes five to ten minutes to ground yourself and centre yourself, do breathing exercises that release all those positive hormones.
Kristen says that a few simple tools that are consistently used daily like a new belief system meditation or a positive statement that will reinforce your brain and make a tremendous difference. There is a big difference between pushing yourself and stretching yourself, Kristen emphasizes that alignment should not be stressful. Doing something new, pushing boundaries is very different from pain and anxiety.
I agree with her. Laughter therapy is a great example of tapping into a simple activity to get a natural high and flooding our bodies with amazing stress-busting hormones.
How is sound significant for tapping into your resources?
Kristen demonstrated how sound creates a vibration. Since vibrations move through water faster than any other matter and our bodies are made of over 70% water, we respond to sound quickly. She went into sound healing because she had a profound personal experience with the grounding and calming of her central nervous system through sound therapy and the syncing of her brain waves to the frequency of sound. She researched and studied it for several years and uses it now as a consultant to help people physically or emotionally heal from stress, diseases, and trauma.
When I was pregnant, I learned to do ohms at prenatal classes. I never thought that I would need them but with practice, they helped me mitigate stress. Even when I studied performance, I learned that sound can massage your body from inside out.
Our bodies have different energy zones according to Kristen and we can reharmonize them by playing specifically to them and cause a change to happen in our bodies. Water, she says, changes its vibration when the moon is full, so we too who are 70% water are so powerful when it comes to getting in tune with ourselves.
She reiterates that it is important for us to choose the energy, behaviour, and actions of our environments, it is important for us to step into the vibrations that we want and things will begin to shift in our lives. We need to work to release the blockages that we have. Start to build your own foundation and create your own environment. That is the path to enlightenment and freedom when you are no longer dependent on any external circumstances.
I firmly agree that changing your perception to a more positive one can make all the difference.
- Have an awareness and name it to yourself.
- Realize that it is their stuff, not yours.
- Go back to your centre, the reason for who you are and what you are showing up for.
- Put a block/ bubble around yourself to prevent yourself from taking on the bad energy.
- Take it personally.
- Stay in the situation.
- Let other people be in control of your emotions.
- Give in to your triggers.
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