By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
You only need a few moments hanging out with Life on Purpose Coach Mindi Huebner to catch her enthusiastic vibe! Mindi lives and breathes the philosophy that energy is your currency, and this woman’s zest for life is contagious even on a Zoom call. This Southern California native pours her energy into coaching female entrepreneurs to prioritize themselves from a mind, body, and soul perspective without hesitation or guilt so they have the energy to grow their businesses. As Mindi teaches, you need to eat well, get your move on, and practice self-care to live your best life. We couldn’t agree more! Today’s SoulShine Life Connections Life Story features Mindi Huebner from Life on Purpose Coaching (www.mindihuebner.com), and you won’t want to miss her inspiring journey, insights on life, and tips!
In the Beginning - the Background on Mindi
Like many of us, Mindi wears many hats but her most cherished roles are those of wife and mother of 2 grown daughters. Mindi is originally from Southern California, where she met her husband while he was serving in the Marines. He was a native of the Milwaukee area, and they relocated to Southeastern Wisconsin about 25 years ago when he got out of the Marine Corps. She has one daughter who is married and living in Milwaukee while her other daughter, her mother, and her sister still reside in Southern California.
Mindi feels strongly that you can have more than 1 passion and purpose in life. Leading by example, Mindi feels her life purposes are to serve women, be an exceptional wife, and be the best role model for daughters. She feels that your role doesn’t change but your purpose within these roles changes over time. A great example is that the needs of her daughters as babies was drastically different than their needs as grown, adult women; she is still their mother but how she shows up for them is very different.
Journey from Where She Started to Where She is Now
Mindi has always been drawn to jobs and careers that involved mentoring, serving, teaching and coaching since she entered the workforce as a teenager. Entertaining and educating are when she feels in the zone. Her first jobs were waitressing and working in customer service. In her 20s, she began her now twenty plus year entrepreneurial career when she started a business in a direct sales company. She was very successful, reaching top levels in her company, including being a national speaker. She is very grateful for this experience as it shaped her as a leader and businesswoman by exposing her to top leaders in the industry.
Alongside these experiences, she spent time as a Sunday school teacher, helping with youth ministry, and participating in a worship band. At one point, Mindi thought she may become a pastor but her entrepreneurial spirit prevailed and a different path presented itself. She partnered with her best friend and started a women’s ministry company with the mission to empower Christian women through workshops and retreats. In 2015, her direct sales company closed the direct sales division; rather than feeling defeated, Mindi felt that this was the universe shutting one door for her so that she would take a different path. If she is being honest, she feels she may never have taken the opportunity to go all in on her own coaching business if her direct sales company hadn’t changed.
Mindi began working as a manager for a local company alongside her Christian ministry business. Eventually, she decided to leave that position and take a leap of faith on herself that the net, and path, would appear. And, it did! Mindi started learning about physical energy and health, starting with certifications as a health and life coach. As things tend to do, one thing, and one certification, led to another. Mindi holds several related and interconnected certifications including belief clearing practitioner, time techniques practitioner, success coaching, neuro linguistic programming practitioner, emotional freedom technique, and clinical hypnotherapy. She feels that each of her certifications adds a different tool to her toolbox that she brings to her Life on Purpose Coaching business where she guides and coaches female entrepreneurs.
The Coach’s Insight
During our interview, Mindi shared an awesome insight that came out of a recent coaching session with one of her clients. They were using a technique called future pacing to map out her goals; this uses prompts like I am, I see, I feel. Her client responded with, “I choose myself without hesitation.” This was one of those “ah-ha” moments for both coach and client! This revelation allowed her client to feel a release of worry, guilt, and feelings of being selfish when putting her needs first and allowed her to give her whole self to her passions. As Mindi said, this is too good not to share; and, we wholeheartedly agree this is an awesome mantra or affirmation to incorporate into your life.
Here are 3 awesome insights that Mindi would like to pass on to our DreamChaser community:
1. Put your oxygen on first
We as a society, but women in particular, have a tendency to try to neglect sleep, good nutrition, hydration, and exercise. We think we can just power through. Guess what? This is not how our bodies are designed! If you want to do all the things, and do them well, we have to take care of ourselves first. Think about what the flight attendants say on the airplane; in the event of a drop in cabin pressure, put your mask on first before you help others. Why? If you don’t have your basic needs fulfilled, you are useless to help or contribute to others. And, taking care of yourself is your oxygen.
2. Learn your superpowers
There are two superpowers to learn about yourself-the one that serves you and the one that gets in your way. Knowing your superpowers, both good and bad, will help you on your path to success. For Mindi, she has found her serving superpower is that she is ridiculously confident while her “getting in the way” superpower is being a people pleaser. She finds certain people bring out her people pleasing to a point of making it an unhealthy relationship; now that she knows this about herself, she can recognize when it is happening, course correct, and learns a new lesson each time.
3. Self-limiting beliefs
Quick reminder, self-limiting beliefs are false limitations we put on ourselves. They show up when you are not living your cause or purpose. This is when you are living in effect, meaning you are blaming everyone and not taking ownership, making you feel out of control. Instead, realize that you can choose your reaction and how you show up to a situation. This helps you abandon self-limiting beliefs as you move towards taking complete ownership and control. With practice, you can learn to recognize this quicker and move on faster.
Mindi’s Top Tips for Functioning at Your Best
Mindi is passionate about this, friends; her eyes just lit up when I asked her for her top tips! First, remember that basic is good! Keep in mind that micro habits, or small habits, create macro habits, or big habits.
Mindi stresses that water is the perfect place to start developing a new, self-serving habit. Your body is largely composed of water and uses it in many physiologic functions from breathing to digestion. Your body doesn’t produce water so it can only use what we give it. Your level of hydration is directly related to your energy, mood, and brain function. Dehydration causes stress and makes your body have to work harder. Mindi has a fantastic analogy that hits home when it comes to water. Think of a kitchen sponge sitting at the side of the sink that’s all dried out; that’s your brain without enough water! How can you find and fuel your purpose if you aren’t taking care of yourself? The key to starting these micro habits is to make it fun; check out these tips to put the fun into drinking water:
Mindi’s next tip is about the nutrients that you fuel your body with. She encourages you not to think of food as good or bad. Laughing, Mindi reminds us that the only exception to this might be sugar; and, this comes from a place of having conquered her own addiction to sugar. Rather, consider food as a source that either gives energy or takes energy away. Mindi says to think of it like this: if you are looking for increased focus and productivity but are using low nutrient, energy stealing food, it's like putting crappy gas in your car and expecting it to perform well!
Mindi’s final tip is to remember that energy is our currency. While many things like hydration and nutrition play into our energy, the biggest contributor to our energy is our thoughts. Our thoughts produce or steal energy. Mindi encourages us to remember we are the thinker of our thoughts; you have the choice to believe the stories you are telling yourself. And, just because you think it, does not mean you have to become it. The practice of mental rehearsal or guided meditation is a great tool to set you up for success. This allows your body to see and feel a situation before it actually happens so you already know what to do. Olympic Gold medalist Michael Phelps is a huge proponent of this strategy and contributes his success in the Olympic games to this.
Mindi contributes much of her success to the amazing support system of her husband and daughters combined with her faith, both worship in the traditional sense as well as the spiritual sense of energy and intuition. She is very intentional about being with people that bring her up. She is an active learner, especially in the area where neuroscience intersects with balance and spirituality. Mindi feels that If you don’t have a support system, you can seek out others to bridge the gap through mentorship. She believes that we are all doing the best that we can with what we have, and you do get to hold two truths - you get to be content and want to evolve. If you feel the pull to be something that is greater, get really curious about this. Remember, stepping out in growth is always applauded and the only way to learn and grow!
By Jackie White
I am looking forward. I am making a choice to look forward in these days that are uncertain. I do have a choice as to how I am going to get through each day when it seems there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel.
We all are experiencing a time that none of us have ever experienced before. We wake each day hoping that it was just a bad dream, but with one pinch, we know that it is not. How do we put one foot in front of the other everyday without being sucked into a black hole of fear, loss and desperation?
Its looking forward. It’s hope for the future. That doesn’t mean we don’t live for today, but it does mean that we don’t live without hopes and dreams for tomorrow.
As we live each day, let’s choose to live it as positively as possible. Let’s choose the bright side and the gratitudes that lie within today. Let’s be thankful we are given another day to breathe and live life. How can we do that with intention and grace?
Live for today by not focusing on the troubles that can weigh you down. You have to be realistic, I understand, but you do not need to wallow negative news stories or extrapolate details into a supposed awfulized version of actuality. Don’t do that. When you find yourself getting sucked in or weighed down, notice how that feels and stop yourself. When you stop yourself, then choose to replace that built up fear and anxiety with hope for tomorrow.
I argue it is not pollyanna to choose happiness in the face of fear. I say it takes courage to do that. That’s what leaders do. It is up to you to lead yourself and your family to a spot of happiness during these tough times. Don’t accept this as a burden, instead accept this as an honor to provide a stable and positive place for you and your family to live during difficult times.
This is all about mindset and choice. You have a choice to be happy. You can take back your power by choosing to be hopeful today. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
10 Ways You Can Choose to Be Hopeful and Look Forward
One bonus tip for you and this one is important.
Choose to look forward! Make a list of those things you are looking forward to again. Maybe there needs to be a shift in how you were living life before Covid-19. Take a look at what that means and how you will resume life.
Today is about choosing to live mindfully in a positive manner. Today is about choosing to look forward in a positive and hopeful light. So, just for today and the todays to come, choose to look forward.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone feeling like they are riding a rollercoaster of emotions these days? Something like this: super positive “I’m rocking this homeschool thing”, to a mantra of reassurance “I got this, I got this”, plummeting to the “how am I going to make it through this?!?”...and, let’s be real, that’s just before breakfast is over. Kidding, not kidding.
Jackie and I are reading a book together called, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg. (Btw, you should read along with us and join us for our upcoming Facebook Live discussion...it’s going to be epic! Or, at least, memorable.) It seemed like the perfect book for what is going on right now; adversity is a definitely a positive way to look at Covid-19. While Sandberg’s book is about how she developed her own resilience following the unexpected death of her husband, it is very applicable to what we are all going through now. And, guess what? It’s easier to build resilience in difficult times; and this resilience will help you bounce back from future adverse times! If you were looking for the blessing in this stressing, DreamChasers, it is adding a resilience mindset to your toolbox!
If I am being completely honest, I have found myself daydreaming and fantasizing about life before Covid-19. Ahh...those were the days. And, then I read the prologue of “Option B”; that’s right, I didn’t even get into the actual book when Sandberg #nailedit. In regards to wishing life was as it was before her husband died, her close friend told her this hard truth, “Option A is not available. So, let’s just kick the shit out of Option B.”
This was like a smack to the face (I am sure that is not even close to the correct analogy...not my forte...but you get the drift, right?). It was what I didn’t want to acknowledge, and this might hit you hard, too (don’t worry, Jackie and I are here for you!). The Covid-19 pandemic and safer-at-home quarantine is one of those moments in our lives that changes everything, similar to other major historical life events that are felt around the country and world like the attack on Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, September 11th. Those days that you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened. Those days that are referred to as BEFORE (insert event) and AFTER (insert event).
That’s what the Covid-19 Pandemic is for all of us all around the world. The days BEFORE the pandemic, and, eventually, the days AFTER the pandemic. In a weird way, I think it’s kind of cool that literally everyone in the world is dealing with this at the exact same time. Talk about an opportunity to come together!
Option A, before, is not available and will never exist. Option B is what we have, and we all get to choose what we do with it. You can make this time a have to or a get to, a negative life experience or a positive one, a time of limitation or growth, feelings of being stressed or those of blessed. I am choosing to be like Cheryl Sandberg and kick the shit out of it; to come out of this a better me, mother, wife, and steward of humanity fueled by kindness and gratitude. Here are some of the things I have been up to to help ignite your own journey:
It all comes down to your mindset and your choice. Choose wisely, DreamChasers. Join us in kicking the shit out of Option B and choosing to emerge Covid strong!
P.S. Here are some past blog posts that might help you on your positive mindset journey!
The Time is NOW to Embrace All the Awesome a Positive Mindset Brings! (including 10 tips to get started)
Blessed Instead Of Stressed: How To Use Hope To Triumph Fear In The Mindset Game
Days of Uncertainty Can Be a Time for Getting Back to What's Important in Life
Get To, Not Have To: One Simple Word Makes a World of Difference
The Time is Now For Living a Life of Intention
Goals + Intention + Habits: How to Get the Trifecta of Awesome Cycle Going
By Jackie White
Lately, many of us have been spending a lot of time at home. That got me thinking about how our home affects our lives. We get to choose the environment in which we live, but are we making it really conducive to being a soft place to fall at the end of the day?
Environments have a lot to do with our mood and state of being. Color, texture, decor, personalization and the level of clutter in your space can all affect you either positively or negatively. As we work to live our best lives, considering your living space as a huge influence is one thing many of us tend to forget. Survey the walls that surround you and see if they make you feel comfortable and really at home.
Have you ever walked into someone’s house and felt that it was sterile and impersonal? The four white walls are screaming for something? There is not a picture or photo to be found only hollow empty space. Then, there are the homes that evoke a feeling that is instantly comfortable? Those houses are best described as homes that feel cozy, and you feel right at home. What’s the difference in these spaces? It is utilizing design principles to showcase your authentic self. That may sound daunting, but it really is not. The psychological effects are significant and ultimately beneficial to your quality of life.
The Design Principles that Can Change Your Space from Blah to Ahhhh
All aspects of your environment are important to assess to transform your space into a home. It’s everything from the colors to the textures to the decor to the clutter level that attribute to your level of comfort.
Certain colors and textures can evoke either feelings of comfort or discomfort. For example, many fast food restaurants use red, orange or yellow in their interiors for very specific reasons. Red stimulates appetite while orange and yellow encourage you to move on quickly because they are unsettling colors. Lately, McDonalds may have ditched these bright interior colors but now have replaced them with very hard uncomfortable seating, and the interiors are cold and unwelcoming. That is for a reason, to encourage fast customer turnaround and not staking out a spot for hours at a time. Think of places like Starbucks, where people do tend to sit for hours. The interiors are welcoming, albeit the seating is not overly comfortable, it still offers a place to hang out.
In homes, colors that are warm and inviting tend to be the most welcoming. A warm mustard or butterscotch, soothing greens or dark red can make a space feel warm. Grey and blue may not seem like obvious choices, but using the right tone can bring about a calmness to a space. Some choose lots of color because it brings them joy and that too is an excellent option. Decide on the mood you want to evoke and choose a color that stimulates that sense.
Adding texture with fibers, pillows, fabrics, rugs, greenery or window treatments bring a space to life with dimension and comfort. Greenery, whether it is real or not, lends life to a space. It can brighten up a dull corner or add a pop of color. Textures can be swapped out, and you can change the mood of your room very easily. Many forget that textures are a great finish to a room.
Does your home contain photos and decor that help tell your story? Does it feel personalized, or does it feel void of personality? If your rooms look empty or sparse, add some personal touches to define your space as yours. our space may be perfectly decorated as if you bought up everything from Hobby Lobby and placed it around your house. Again, you might want to add a few personal touches. Adding your personal favorites to your spaces makes you feel like it’s your home. Maybe there is a quote that describes the life you want to live; that would be a great addition to your space. It could be a picture your child drew for you that makes you smile every time you see it. Then, frame that special piece of happiness and enjoy it! When you add touches like this, your home becomes a reflection of you and your personality. You will feel most authentic in a space that fits who you are.
Clutter is a huge downer when it comes to how it affects your mood. Think of clutter as a blockage to your comfort. It creates more work for you and can even stifle your creativity! Clutter may be an indication that your life may be falling off the track a bit. Nothing will ever be balanced completely, but if you don’t have time to attend to your clutter, that mights hould indicate to you that something has to shift. You need to change up your time so you can handle the clutter or, perhaps, you can delegate or hire out help to manage it.
Clutter can also be a sign that you are withdrawing and walling yourself in, quite literally. If that scenario makes sense to you, you may want to seek professional help in managing your state of being. Ultimately, clearing clutter will make you feel more relaxed and in control. One final note about clutter, if you are obsessive about cleaning and clutter, that too can be detrimental. Finding a level of acceptability is important for yourself. Having children usually means clutter and messes. You cannot constantly clean and declutter with children. There are seasons of life and being in the trenches caring for kids is a time when you have to cut yourself some slack and live in an acceptable level of clutter.
Have the Courage to Make Your Space Yours
When you apply certain design basics to a home you can totally change your environment from one where you survive, to one where you thrive. For some of you, the only ingredient now that stands between you and living in a space that feels at home could be the courage to the make the change.
Many people do not attend to creating a space they love because they are afraid to commit to a color or style. They are afraid their choices might not be the best. For help in that area, check out Pinterest for zillions of ideas. Also, realize that paint can always be changed, and you can always buy a sample or two to try before totally committing.
A Word About Cost
Cost may deter you as well, but take it from me, thrift shops are filled with great treasures that can instantly lend a homey feel to your space. There is no need to buy high-end expensive items. In fact, many thrift shop finds are the absolute best touch to making a space feel lived in and not sterile.
Your Space - Your Home
Make it a priority to define your space as a place where you do feel comfortable and safe. As you make choices to live your best life, consider living in a home that is defined as authentically as you.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Hey, DreamChasers! SoulShine Life Connections is all about inspiring and guiding you to live your best life, to reconnect with the person you were before you got caught up in life. You know, the one who had dreams, goals, aspirations. We have covered many topics on how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Today, we are taking it one step further. Because, here’s a little secret.
Just like everything else in life, these topics we talk about...goals, mindset, self-kindness, self-discovery, habits, wellness...they aren’t individual, stand alone topics. It’s often easier to understand them when you look at them by themselves, but there is so much overlap. And, certain combinations create powerful results. That’s where we are today...what I am calling the Trifecta of Awesome Cycle.
The three components of the Trifecta of Awesome Cycle are goals, living intentionally, and habits. Each of these topics are powerful in their own right but, when combined, bam! Supercharged, superpowers that have the potential to create momentum to get all those dreams you have ever dreamed. Let’s dive in with a quick recap!
Goals are the foundation of getting what you want. It really is that simple. Goals are your compass; they point you where you want to go. They direct the first steps you need to take and are your checkpoints along your journey.
For more information on goals, check out this past blog: What is the Magic in You? An Unconventional Guide to Getting After Your Goals
2. Living Intentionally
If goals are your compass, intentional living is your roadmap. Put simply, being intentional means being purposeful in your actions. Aligning your goals with a purposeful, intentional action plan will not only allow your roadmap to unfold but will also cut to the chase, so to speak, by eliminating unnecessary paths and steps.
To get the full scoop on intentional living, read this recent blog: The Time is Now for Living a Life of Intention
Habits are automatic behaviors that your brain creates to allow you to act without thinking, then your brain to deal with other things. Habits can move you in a positive or negative direction. It is a good idea to check in on your habits to see how they are serving you; it might be time to upgrade them.
Check out this past blog to learn more about habit: What’s the Deal with Habit: How Habits Work and How to Apply this Knowledge for Lasting Change in Your Life
You might be wondering how habits fit in here? That’s the magic ingredient! Habits that are the result of goals driven by intentional living are the driving force of the Trifecta of Awesome Cycle! Goals lead to intention → Intention is used to unravel the map to accomplishing goals → Goals driven by intentional living create habits that serve goal accomplishment → leads to new goals being set and the cycle repeats.
Jackie and I have chosen to make this forced slowdown a positive life experience, to see the blessings instead of just the stressings, to come out better after this time. And, you can, too! Here’s how to get your own Trifecta of Awesome Cycle started:
1. Dust off those New Year’s Resolutions.
April is the first month of the second quarter of the year. Did you catch that? 25% of the year is over. Remember those New Year’s resolutions? That plan to make 2020 YOUR year? No shame; most people abandoned them before January was even over. Let’s dust them off! Is that list still what you want to accomplish? Or has this time of pandemic showed you a different path?
2. WRITE down your new goal list.
Yes, you need to write them down. A goal not written down is just a wish; writing then down increases your chances to actually accomplish them. Align your goals with your priorities. Guess what? The coronavirus pandemic has simplified our life to our priorities. For me, quality family time, health, and continuing to plan for financial security for the unexpected times in life came glaringly to the top. My goals have been restructured around these areas.
For a cool strategy to align your goals, priorities, and life roles, check out this past blog: How to Use the 5 Roles Life Hack to Align Your Time and Priorities
3. Use intention to guide the steps to accomplishing your goals.
The core of intention is purposeful action; this will help you with aligning your goals with your priorities. Intentional living also allows the path to be more streamlined. Want a good check point? If you seem to be veering off the path, you have forgotten this step of intention.
4. Habits are your secret sauce!
Assess your current habits. Remember this key on habits, a habit can not be deleted as it is a permanent neural pathway in your brain. Use this to your advantage! You can alter or upgrade an existing habit or add-on to an existing habit to work in your advantage. This is how habits work in your favor. For example, if your goal is to get healthier, one step may be to drink more water. Instead of quitting coffee cold turkey, drink a glass of water with your coffee and slowly exchange more water for less coffee over several days.
5. Know what? Goals should never actually be reached!
Say what? Think about it. If your goal is to be healthy, you may decide that means to lose a certain amount of weight. Using goals + intentional living + habits, you reach that goal. Do you just stop being healthy because you got there? The answer is no. Now, a whole new set of “being healthy” goals will appear like drinking more water, eating less fried foods, and exercising more. This is how this Trifecta of Awesome Cycle works in it’s finest; one goal leads into the next and the cycle continues!
With every successful cycle, more momentum and confidence are created, and the cycle almost takes on a life of its own! The next thing you know, people are asking YOU what YOUR secret is! Isn’t that amazing?!? It’s really that simple; don’t overthink it. Set your goals. Be intentional in how you execute. Create new habits (or upgrade old, outdated, unserving habits) to fuel the journey. Repeat.
You got this, DreamChaser! Shine on!
By Jackie White
Many of us are currently under quarantine to some extent with the coronavirus sweeping our country. This tragedy can be a blessing in disguise because it has given us the time to slow down and assess what is really important in life. Living a life of intention is looking at what should be your priorities and making room for them first before anything else.
It means taking a step back and looking at living the life we want to live. That means thinking, prioritizing and choosing to make some shifts in our current life situations. There might be some hard choices to be made or difficult conversations to be had, but ultimately you will feel more aligned with the life you have always wanted to live.
Where to Start?
To begin, you must assess your current life situation. To do that we have to look across the different balance areas of life and consider how we are doing in each of the areas. Vishen Lahkiani in his book, "The Code of the Extraordinary Mind", has identified 12 of these areas of balance we should consider.
After some consideration of these Balance Areas do the following:
For further ideas on how to begin living life more intentionally, try the following:
Live life in gratitude: Being grateful for what you have makes what you have enough. Do this daily by identifying 3 things you are grateful for and why.
Define your ideal day...and live it: What would it look like? Who does it include? Dream it and then do it more often than not!
Quiet your mind: This is time for you to rest your mind and hear what your heart is saying. Do this daily for 3-5 minutes or more!
Take small actions daily to form positive habits: Identify a few small actions you take, like walking for 10 minutes daily and watch how those tiny habits add up into super, life-changing habits!
Enjoy today: Don’t pass up today for what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow. Take time to be mindful everyday and breathe in the life you are living right now.
Take the time now. You have the time now to choose to live life with intention, and you will find that life doesn’t have to be so crazy and chaotic. Choosing to live intentionally will never be something you will regret; in fact, it may be the most important decision you have ever made.
Before You are Released Back Into the Wild: Here are the Top 10 Life Lessons from the Coronavirus to Take With You
Erika Fehrenbach Prell
You might be saying, “girl, you are crazy. How can there be lessons from this ordeal?”. Here’s the thing, DreamChaser, our best lessons come from the hard stuff...the failed attempts, the struggles, the dark times. Like many others, the coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most trying times in my life on multiple levels. I am sure I am not alone in that it has been, ahem, challenging to see the positives and possibilities. There have been a few times that I have fallen to the feelings of panic, uncertainty, darkness. I am here to tell you that it’s okay to go there; you need to feel these feels, but only for a moment. Then, you need to flip the script and find the positives. Choose faith over fear, DreamChasers! This will not only build your resiliency, gratitude, and positivity muscles, it will also make you better when you come out of this. When, as I like to put it, we are all released back into the wild.
This brings me to today’s topic, the lessons to learn from the coronavirus pandemic. This list is where I turn to when I find myself spiraling into the darkness, to find the blessings in the stressings and choose faith over fear. We can’t control that this is happening but we can control how it affects us from this point forward. My hope for you is to give you a list to keep perspective and allow you to see this as an amazing gift. Without further ado, here is the Top 10 Life Lessons from the Coronavirus to Take with You:
10. The human spirit is hard to break
All of us are stronger and more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. You are capable of doing hard things when called upon. This pandemic has challenged your limits but you can come out better on the other side because of it. You just have to choose to do so
9. Realizing how cool it is to connect creatively
My brother and his family, including my 2 nephews, live in San Diego, and many of our friends are several hours away. Pre-coronavirus pandemic, I used Zoom often for business meetings but it never crossed my mind to use it socially! This has been an amazing avenue to play games, have a talent show, enjoy online music performances, virtual book club, and happy hours during the quarantine. And, once released into the wild, I will definitely be using this to “hang out” with those farther away more often.
8. A savings account isn’t just for a rainy day
I know I have heard it before; save for an emergency fund. Emergency fund meaning that vacation I want to go on, right? Eh. Wrong. Emergency fund as in if you suddenly find yourself off of work unexpectedly. Start saving a certain amount from each paycheck for your emergency fund; many bank accounts can allow you to take a certain amount or percentage out as soon as you get paid and have it go to a savings account. When you automatically “pay yourself”, you don’t have to rely on willpower later. And, in the event that you find yourself needing it, that emergency fund gives you much needed breathing room.
7. Life doesn’t need to go at a frantic pace
The pace of life doesn’t have to be frantic and go, go, go all the time. I am guilty of packing way too much and not prioritizing chill time (or, when we have chill time, actually relaxing). Guess what? To-do lists can wait, making memories can’t. I am using this time to evaluate my priorities and align my priorities with where I spend my time. Instead of jumping right back into doing all the things, I am redesigning my post-coronavirus schedule leading with my priorities, including chill, quality family time and the often forgotten self-kindness time.
6. Kindness is easy to give.
The outpouring of kindness to others has been astounding during this time. Chalk designs, inspirational sayings, hearts in the windows, shout outs to health care and emergency workers, donations to those in need, making masks...the creativity and list goes on. These messages are so powerful in times of crisis; they might be what keeps someone from going to that dark place. Know what? This is what the world needs more of all the time.
5. Health is taken for granted until it’s threatened.
Many of us set health goals. Eat better. Sleep more. Drink more water. Lose weight. The list is full of great intentions but no action. Been there! Then, I push it off until tomorrow, or next week, or next month…when I have the best plan to be successful. Putting your health off is how you end up on the vulnerable population list of not only the coronavirus pandemic but also those at most risk for the annual surge of influenza. The time is now to take steps to be your healthiest self.
4. Practicing self-kindness is a priority.
Self-kindness is more than self-care. It’s speaking kindly to yourself. It’s doing things that make you feel passionate, joyful, happy, that feeds your soul. It’s pursuing what gives you purpose (and this can be more than one thing). And, it is learning how to bring your internal feelings of chaos and stress down. These are the things that are often put on the backburner to everything else. This time of crisis and pandemic has shown that the more you take care of yourself, the better you are able to take care of others, bounce back, stay positive, and live your best life, not your stressed life.
3. Invest in relationships that matter
Not all relationships are the same, and our time and energy should be devoted to those that matter most. This pandemic showed us our inner circle, those that we were quarantined with; these are our most important relationships. Those that you made an effort to creatively spend time with or stay in touch with, that is your next circle of importance. Those that didn’t cross your mind or were okay with letting go of until “this is over”? These are the relationships that deserve the least of your energy and time or, perhaps, are okay to let go altogether.
2. Be present.
Remember that time when all you wanted to do was see real people? Hug them? Hang out? Have a conversation that isn’t yelling across the yard or via computer conference call? This is not judgment because I am guilty; before coronavirus, how often did your phone or the TV or some other electronic pull your attention away from the people you were spending time with? When I am released back to the wild, I will remember how precious real, live human interaction is; the cell phone will be put down during these times. Someone can leave a message, just like in the old days when we had answering machines.
1. Sometimes you have to do what is right over what is easy.
This is a big one. The safer at home order was to benefit the greater good. It is not easy or convenient or fun or a way that most of us would choose to live. It’s a huge lesson, however, that sometimes you just have to do what is right, even if it’s hard, over what is easy. This is an awesome lesson to teach our children on standing up to bullies or saying no to peer pressure, choosing what is right even when it isn’t popular.
Here’s the thing, DreamChasers, I am 100% an extrovert. I love people, I love socializing, I love being on the go. I joked early on that you need to check on your extrovert friends as we are not okay. The first few days were the hardest for me. While I would not say it has gotten easier, I feel lighter. I have chosen to see the positive, to flip the script any time I go to the darkness and negative. I have chosen to come out a stronger family unit and a stronger individual after this. These are just my current top 10 lessons from coronavirus, lessons that are blessings, not stressings; there are more on my list, and I know there will be more added. My hope for you is to find your own during this time!
P.S. Oh yeah...I almost forgot an important lesson...Wash your hands!
By Jackie White
Do you feel on the edge? Each day melting into the next. The four walls feel like they are closing in. The news is screaming at you, and you can’t take it anymore. Let me tell you something.
Everything is going to be alright.
Hang in there, Friends, and this too will pass. It always does. When will we be back to normal? I don’t know. I wish a crystal ball existed to know when we can let our guard down again. Since we can’t have that, we have to settle. Settle into feeling alright.
Worry will not benefit you. I am not saying skip around and pretend the world isn’t a little off kilter, but what I am saying is that...
Everything is going to be alright.
You have to believe in the righting of the world. Living in doom and gloom and hanging on bad news will only spiral you down into a cloud of anxiety. Let it go. Breathe into the here and now. Find the faith and hope that soon, very soon…
Everything is going to be alright.
Why have hope in the face of fear? Because it’s better than being overcome with fear. Living during tough times isn’t easy, for sure, but you were built for this. We all have strength to get us through. You might have to dig deep and when you do, you might even start to feel that…
Everything is going to be alright.
Here is a fact, you have survived 100% of the challenges in your life. This is another one for you to push through. Even though we are physically separated from others, we may be even more connected than ever. If you reach out and connect with those who mean the most to you, I bet that they will reassure you that...
Everything is going to be alright.
I believe we will come out on the other side of this with a renewed value of life. I believe we will not take things for granted as we had in the past. I believe we will come together as individuals, families, neighbors, Americans and global partners. I do believe in all that and I believe that…
Everything is going to be alright.
I hope you believe it too. Peace and Shine On.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
The mindset you choose is the #gamechanger in how you live your life. Numerous studies continue to show the list of benefits that a positive mindset full of expressing joy, practicing gratitude and being happy brings to your life continues to grow. But, it’s not always easy, especially in unexpected times of stress, uncertainty and crisis. The more you practice, the easier it becomes to go to a positive mindset, even in the hardest times. So, keep practicing!
Negativity will challenge your mindset in many ways. But, one of the sneakiest is the “have to” mindset. I have to go to work. I have to exercise. I have to lose weight. I have to...I have to...I have to. These comments might not seem negative on the surface. I mean, you DO have to work or get the kids to school or whatever commitment needs to happen, right?
Having to do something makes it seem you are not in control, that you have no choice in the task. This brings you to a mindset of limitations. This is a perfect time to try the SoulShine Flip the Script strategy. Remember that simple and versatile strategy? Quick recap! Flipping the Script is simply taking a negative comment and rephrasing to a positive one (seriously, it’s that simple but it’s so effective). To Flip the Script on have to is as simple as a one word exchange, substituting GET instead of HAVE. That’s it; get to instead of have to. I get to work. I get to exercise. I get to lose weight. I get to...I get to...I get to. Can you already feel the difference?
I know times are particularly challenging right now. (I know, I know. Understatement of the year.) We are all experiencing uncharted territory with the coronavirus pandemic. You think all this talk about positivity and flipping the script and getting to instead of having to is out of place. I am here to challenge you to find an amazing blessing in all this stressing with the ultimate in getting to instead of having to.
Many of us have suddenly found our often crazy-busy-bordering-on-chaotic schedules suddenly...clear. Empty. Nothing on them. Perhaps, you have dreamed of working from home, and, poof, you are. Maybe you hoped for life to slow down a bit, wish granted. Or, you wished for more time to do all the things you keep putting off, you got it. You asked for it; and, the universe answered. Probably not how any of us really imagined but here we are.
Here’s the ultimate getting-to-instead-of-having-to blessing. You can choose to see this for what it is; the ultimate make-over opportunity of your life! Every one of us has the same amount of time. And, I am sure you have heard that phrase, “if it’s a priority, you will make time for it”. (SoulShine has even talked about it!) And, while that’s true, the reality is slightly different. Yes, we have the same amount of time. Yes, we can choose what we do with it. Yes, we can say no and let it go.
Here’s the truth. That’s hard. It’s hard to let go of things, even when they are past their expiration points. All of us have kept doing something that we should have let go because it was comfortable, because we were used to it, because we committed to it, because we are the only ones that can do it that well, because we are afraid of changing a habit. All of these things are too important to stop doing so your precious time gets taken, minute by minute, day by day. Leaving you with the scraps that fill up way too fast with your real priorities-family time, visiting friends, sporting events, special events, the list goes on. I almost forgot! There’s also cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, running errands, and other tasks to fit in! And, maybe, just maybe, there will be a few minutes for you to squeak in the much needed self-kindness time to make yourself the best you can be. Maybe.
DreamChasers, you GET to have a life makeover. You GET to take a breath and have the time to explore what YOU want your life to look like, to consist of, to be. This is a huge opportunity, and I don’t want you to waste it! Isn’t that amazing?
And, I am going to go out on a sturdy, short limb here that a little guidance might be welcome. (A short limb because I am not good at climbing trees. I have no time for a broken bone or an Emergency Room visit...kidding, not kidding.) Cue the superhero music, da-ta-da-daaa! SoulShine Life Connections’ Triple D Strategy:
Since time is non-renewable, it is our most precious commodity. Where you spend your time is what you are prioritizing. The SoulShine Triple D Strategy will reveal what your priorities are (Do), help you lighten up your load (Delegate), and simplify your commitments (Delete). Use this strategy as a guide for your life makeover. Schedule (yes, schedule) each of these priorities into your NEW calendar to guide and structure your post-coronavirus life.
Hold on! It doesn’t stop there; there are two crucial steps after scheduling. First, you need to make a commitment to these scheduled priorities, especially if the commitment is to yourself in the form of needed self-kindness like exercise or reading or following one of your passions. These are often the first things we give up to accommodate other commitments being presented to us; if this time has demonstrated anything, it’s the importance of managing stress to continue functioning! The second is practicing to say no and let it go. If a commitment presents itself that compromises or is not in alignment with your priorities, I am giving you permission to say no. After you say no, let it go; do not let it weigh you down that you “should have” done that.
Finally, keep the SoulShine Triple D Strategy in your wheelhouse for the future, DreamChasers. Life happens and over-commitment may inevitably creep back in, probably in the good-old slippery slope fashion (you know, a yes here and there that spirals into your priorities being put on the back burner). Check back in from time to time to see where you are at. If you notice this happening or are getting that crazy-busy-bordering-on-chaotic feeling, stop and go through the steps of the Triple D Strategy - Do, Delegate, Delete.
By Jackie White
We never thought we would be here. Social distancing wasn’t a word we had even heard of and the concept can be painful for all of us. There have been days where we wished the world would just leave us alone for a minute and now that that day has come, we never expected it to be like this.
Many of us are feeling stressed, distressed and disconnected. How can we relieve ourselves from those emotions and use this time in a positive way? Here are some ways we can choose to use this time productively and ground ourselves to what is really important in our lives.
Begin with Heart:
If you peel back all the layers of the everyday grind, underneath it all is a foundation of heart. When you look at what is important in your heart, you may see family and friends as the foundation. This could be a great time to call up an old friend and catch up. What about sending a note in the mail? According to WHO, mail has a very small chance of carrying the coronavirus, so this could be an option as well.
Connect with Those Under Your Roof:
This is a great time to connect with those under your roof. It may sound strange, but we can get so busy living the life of busy, that we really don’t take the time to connect with our closest family members. Talking, telling stories, playing games (especially those that don’t need a board or cards) is an excellent way to connect. Remember to play this safe and if someone isn’t feeling well or is of a compromised population, take extra care to keep them distanced even if under the same roof.
This is an excellent time to quiet your mind. If you take only a few minutes a day to purposefully calm and quiet your mind, you can find significant relief from all that is going on. If you believe in a higher power, prayer and faith can help build your inner strength.
Spend time focusing on those goals you have been meaning to get to. Write out your plan and start by making small, focused daily habits to get the momentum going!
Journaling is a great way to sort through feelings. Take the time to get your emotions and thoughts out on paper. The exercise of doing this can bring relief. After meditating is a great time to journal. Things seem to be in a better place once your mind is focused and this can help you to positively process all that is going on.
An add-on to the journaling idea is to start a gratitude journal. Each day identify 3-5 things you are grateful for and why. When you begin to feel the gratitude of all that is in and around your life, you will feel better. Gratitude is the secret weapon we can use to battle any negative feeling or emotion.
Exercise and/or Getting Outside:
Moving your body everyday will release your endorphins and you will find your mood lightening. If you can get outside to walk, this will have an extra healing effect for you. Fresh air and sunshine are always a great remedy.
This might not be a favorite choice, but you may have projects you have been meaning to get to and now you have the time. Cleaning out the closet, decluttering, spring cleaning, change the batteries in your fire detector, read that book you have been meaning to read or do yard work projects can be knocked out right now. Being productive during this time can focus your mind elsewhere and you can be productive at the same time!
To all of you artsy-fartsy friends, pull out those projects you have been meaning to get to. For those of you needing inspiration, comb pinterest for ideas to see if there is a creative project you can engage in. Creativity doesn’t have to mean doing an art project, it can be writing, playing music or developing a computer game. Find something to dive into and get your creative juices flowing.
A favorite creative project that we suggest is to work on a vision board. Focus on the future in a hopeful and positive way by creating your plan in a vision board.
There are so many online courses, videos and audio books that are available for free! Tap into this wealth of education and use this time to learn about a topic you have been interested in. Check out: You Tube, Khan Academy, Ted Talks and several universities offer free courses.
Get off Negative Social Media:
If your feed is filled with negativity or apocalyptic rhetoric, get off it. You do not need any further distressing information to amp your own uncertainties up. Instead find uplifting and positive stories to follow. Choose to be informed by reliable sources like the CDC or WHO, not by your brother’s neighbors aunt who is doom and gloom.
Choose to Lift Yourself Up:
We know it is not easy to navigate the waters of today, but choosing to accept the situation, being aware of the cautions and directives and keeping a positive outlook will help things move forward more smoothly. The choice to lift yourself up will not only help yourself, but will help others around you. Look to the positive, use your time wisely and spread love (not germs) to those you love.
Stay strong and stay positive and Shine On!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.