In this episode:
02:00 – The path to an interesting field
06:25 – The impact on relationships
07:33 – Why keep going?
08:39 – Programming and self-worth
10:09 – A challenge for entrepreneurs
12:47 – Does sleep have anything to do with it?
15:18 – The way to the right path
18:45 – Why it’s hard to say no
19:44 – Creating white space
22:06 – On Kundalini Yoga
23:59 – From crisis to coping
25:43 – Changing from the inside out
30:26 – One case of healing
31:48 – Tears and fears
34:01 – The end result
36:14 – The science of stress
39:43 – You’ve got the signs – what to do?
42:49 – The three life transitions
James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is Episode 605 and we’re going to be talking about burnout and energy and self-worth and mindset and transitions and all that cool stuff with Corona Brady. Welcome to the call.
Corona: Thank you so much. What an honor to be on your show.
James: Well, I’ve been lining this up for a while. I think we’ve been chatting on and off for quite some time now. It’s weird, whenever I think of a travel destination, whether I was in Fiji or Queensland or wherever, I know we’ve had conversations. I think your topic is close to my heart, because I’ve put out an entire book on this idea of working a little bit less. Of course, it’s OK to still make money, I have no issue with that. I’m not saying go full bohemian and live on someone’s couch. But I do see people working too much. And I also see people hanging out on social media too much. I saw an article today actually, a billionaire is calling social media the modern day cancer. And I’ve been saying that for years.
Corona: Yeah, I am not surprised. Yeah, it’s dangerous.
James: I noticed in today’s update of the Apple software version 12, they’ve got a tool now to let people track how long they spend on their phones, and to also let them block themselves from the phone, which I think is a great feature.
Corona: Right. Absolutely.The path to an interesting field
James: But anyway, back on track. So your field is a really interesting one, and I’ve always enjoyed our discussions because you’ve come at this from a slightly different angle to the normal sort of people I’m speaking to who’ve got traffic agencies or information products.
You’ve been helping predominantly women at a very high level, where they’ve got to the point of massive, chronic stress and burnout. And I guess you’d be in that classification as a therapist/coach/yoga teacher. You founded Energy For Life Academy, and you’ve definitely done a lot of training around transformation and all this sort of things that I guess even 10 years ago might have seemed quite radical and unusual. But it seems to be becoming more mainstream, would you say?
Corona: Yeah, absolutely, which is really great to see. And yeah, I’m always in training. I’m signed up to do even a 12-month intensive this year. Like, I’m always just adding more knowledge, doing more training, finding more ways to support the women that I support every day.
James: What drew you to this kind of work?
Corona: With my own burnout, and you know I was, I suppose if you think back to when I was a little girl, I was very sensitive, and I really had an ability to really tune into people’s feelings and into the thoughts around me. And you know, rather than it’s kind of been a blessing, it ended up being a bit of a curse, because from a young age I really learned how to resist and tighten my body and push and constrict and suppress. And also from a very young age, I was always interested in healing. And I think I always knew deep down eventually that one day I’d end up in this area of work.
But for many years, 12 years, I did, you know, I spent a lot of time climbing the corporate ladder. And I think underneath all of that, what I was really trying to do was I was trying to prove to myself that I could be someone. You know, I had this thought in my head that once I get a management role, then I’m going to be happy; then I’ll make my parents proud (even though my parents were proud of me). And because I had never completed a university degree, I think that also really played on my selfworth. And so I didn’t really feel intelligent, I didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t feel good about myself.
And, you know, if I think back to that time in the corporate world, that 12 years I spent, I was miserable. I was like, really, really miserable. And I suppose you could say, in one way, I was really going into work every day and putting on this mask, where inside I felt like I was just dying. I felt like it was death, and I knew there just had to be more to life. I knew that I could do more. I knew that I had more to offer the world, and I really wanted to serve. I wanted to make a difference, and I wanted to give back in my own way as well.
And, you know, eventually I ended up getting that management role. And I very quickly realized that actually, this is not what I want. This is not the life that I wanted. I was stressed, I was depleted. I was worn out, I was anxious. I was depressed. And the work itself was just really wearing me out. I was an anxious mess.
And it really got me to a point of total and utter burnout. I reached burnout, where one day I was actually in the office and it was like I heard a voice and it really instructed me to quit my job, or that I’d manifest a disease within, and I could really feel that that was starting to happen. And because I was already so sick, I had completely burnt out, and my endocrine system had completely shut down. I had liver damage, I had fatigue, I had menstrual problems, my hormones were all over the place, I had blood sugar issues. And then on top of that, I had been diagnosed with insulin resistance, which is right on the verge of diabetes.
And that’s when I knew: right, I need to reassess my life. I need to change. Something needs to change.
The impact on relationships
James: How did that make it with the people around you? In terms of relationships? I can imagine you might have been quite difficult to be around.
Corona: Yeah, everything, really. And it was, you know, because if I even think back to that time, I had a lot of kind of coping and band aids. So I was drinking a lot of alcohol; I was going out a lot at the weekend, you know, that was my way of just kind of numbing how I was feeling. But my relationships at the time, especially with my husband, was, yeah, that was greatly challenged because of how I was feeling, because I was just so miserable. So it was really spiraling into every area of my life, especially my health.
James: I can relate to the part where you’re talking about your body tensing up and feeling like you have to carry. I know as I was raising a family and working in a high pressure job. Most listeners to this show would know that I used to be a general manager in my 20s and 30s.
And the thing that kept me in it wasn’t so much that I had to achieve for my parents. Definitely there was some driver there, because of the financial downturn that our family suffered. But I just didn’t really have a choice to stop working.
Why keep going?
I’m wondering, why would you keep doing it past the point of even an early resistance? Because I see most people quit fairly quickly these days. They say resilience is kind of the missing component from a lot of people’s success matrix, some kind of stoic ability resilience or stick-to-it-iveness. Which is a word that I learned from Ezra Firestone, we did a podcast on it.
“Resilience is the missing component from a lot of people’s success matrix.”
Is there something in your background that gave you some steely reserve? I can detect you obviously have quite a unique accent. Is growing up where you grew up a bit tougher?
Corona: Yeah, I think so. Absolutely. Yeah. I think I learned from maybe a young age, and there was maybe just like a subtle messaging of you know, just get on with it. Push through it, you know, just push through it. And so I think and probably for me, you know, spending all the time that I did in the bank was probably, you know, the thoughts that were running through my head, just get on with it. Just push through it. You can do this.
Programming and self-worth
James: Yeah, I remember hearing a speaker, Amanda Gore, talking at a conference about what we’re programmed with by the time we’re seven. And she said there’s a track for boys and a track for girls. I think she said the boys’ track is that they will never be good enough, and the girls’ track is that they’ll never be worth loving. Have you found this sort of programming surface in the stuff you’ve been doing?
Corona: Self worth is huge. Yeah. Low self worth – that’s a big theme I see running through all of the women really that I support. And feeling unworthy – just a deep-rooted feeling of unworthiness. Not feeling good enough, not feeling worthy.
James: Why do you think we – when I say “we”, I probably don’t put myself in this bucket, but I think society in general – they seem to follow celebrities on Instagram and social media and they’re kind of drawn to it, but it seems like the very thing that would cause someone to feel less worthwhile.
Corona: Well, that’s right, and it’s so easy to do that, and to, you know, look at these images of people that aren’t even real. They’ve been airbrushed and everything else and it creates those feelings and it makes them even larger from within.
James: Right, so it magnifies it.
A challenge for entrepreneurs
James: I know it’s a tricky world of being an entrepreneur. We have, certainly this journey that I went on was from running the dealership. I was kind of the boss, you know. I’d worked my way up to the top, and I was in charge and I felt confident in that role. And that was the day thing.
But at night, in my online business, I was doing every job. I was the janitor. In fact, I was probably the guy who brings the janitor his brush. I did every single task in my business when I started it about 12 or 13 years ago. And I remember feeling that confidence balance is difficult. To be so confident during the day and to be so intimidated and at ground zero at night in my online job, was incredibly frustrating. The mind game began, it was such a huge shift.
And the thing with entrepreneurial pursuits, which is what most people drawn to this kind of show are in, is you have to be confident to rise above it. But at the same time, you have to not be so confident that you become arrogant or ignorant or belligerent or completely deluded as some full-on entrepreneurs who overuse their social media and get a taste of power. They seem to just go a little bit too far down this direction. You have to find that sweet spot of confidence and humility which I think eludes most entrepreneurs. It’s a really tough one.
“You have to find that sweet spot of confidence and humility which eludes most entrepreneurs.”
I feel now after more than a decade of being in my field that I’m comfortable and established. So I feel like I have a great mindset and I’m in a good position to help other people. But I do see this a lot with people, even when they making four or $5 million a year, they still doubt themselves and they wonder… Firstly, often they’re striving to get to 10 million. That’s a very common goal, the most stated goal for people who I work with when I work with them in the beginning, and that’s fascinating to me. It’s like, OK, well, if you’re making four or five, how will your life be so much better at 10?
James: It seems to be what you were talking about before. You think, well, if I just get to that next level, then everything will be OK.
James: I remember when I was rising through the ranks, I even knew that that wasn’t the answer, but I still had to roll with it anyway at the time. And I guess we have this stubbornness built in. We have to be resilient and resistant enough to push through it, but also to not let that take us over and drag us into workaholism, self-doubt.
Does sleep have anything to do with it?
And by the way, I’m just curious if you’ve found this, but I’ve done so much research on sleep. I feel if people are not getting proper sleep, they start to become a little more manic and make really poor decisions and they get this black cloud of uncertainty and doubt. I often find, just prescribing proper sleep can fix people a little bit in the first instance.
Corona: Absolutely. And that’s actually something common that I see in all of the women, I support. They’re not getting enough sleep or they’re not winding down properly in the evening or they’re staying up really late. They’re on screens, they’re on technology, they’re not giving themselves a break at all, and then it’s affecting their sleep.
James: One of the sleep experts I had on the show, called Andre, showed how much alcohol ruins sleep.
James: And I imagine some of your customers would be grabbing a bottle of wine to unwind from the end of the day.
Corona: Yeah, that is so common. You would not believe it. It’s so common, and many women needing a glass of wine, two glasses of wine, half a bottle of wine, which often leads to a bottle every evening, because that’s their way of just downtime. That’s their way of de-stressing; that’s their way of unwinding.
So having these very unsupportive habits, and of course that then plays into their sleep. And then the brain fog of course, because you wake up the next morning, your’e brain foggy and then you’re making all these poor decisions, you know, starting with, well, you’re not even starting your day on a positive note. You’re starting in that kind of stress response and you’re making wrong choices for food and everything else.
James: Yeah, I’ve seen some people make some horrific choices. There was actually a lady recently, she joined my membership. And then after about four or five weeks, and I was coaching her and everything, she decided it’s not for her anymore. She just couldn’t commit the time because she had kids, etc. For some reason, she thought she needed to spend 25 hours a week on the membership, which I thought was very extreme. I’m not aware of anyone spending that long in there. And she basically just filed a chargeback, which is the first time that’s happened in about three years. And I thought, how upset with the world must you be to just take that response? It’s not healthy, it’s not sound. And I really want to help someone like that. Of course, I reached out and offered to help. My first reaction is to help and to see what’s going on, how can we sort this out? Because it’s just so bizarre.
The way to the right path
I wonder now, we’ve sort of given a pretty comprehensive overview of the kinds of things that we can feel and that can happen, and I’m sure we’ve all been in one or two or more of those situations at some point. I know I have, and you have as well. What can we do to put ourselves on the right path? We’ve mentioned one thing of course – we could get a little bit a bit of a downtime ramp before we go to sleep and to make sure we get enough sleep. What other things can we do to help out?
Corona: Well, I think what’s really important is actually spending time in nature. This is really important. Like, taking time out, getting outside, walking barefoot in the grass and getting close to water. This is what’s really going to ground you, it’s going to rebalance you, and it’s going to bring a sense of harmony back into your body and mind. And really including that, you’re really setting aside time each day to just switch off from technology, you know? Choosing a cutoff time in the evening where you say, right – phones go off, you put them into a box, they go in airplane mode, and you don’t see them again until the morning. Or if you have your own business, maybe you choose different times during the day where you’re going to switch off technology and put the phone on airplane mode at certain points throughout the day.
And then creating boundaries is very important, especially for women, because it’s hard for us to say no. And it’s really important that you’re setting boundaries, you’re creating boundaries, and you’re learning how to say no so that you avoid this kind of overextending of yourself. And reaching out for support, like, you know, the same way we get support in business. We, you know, invest in ourselves. We work with business mentors and coaches. It’s the same in life. It’s so important, and in fact I actually think that this is what we need to be focusing on first. And we need to be looking at our life and getting the support in life first, because that ripple effects then into your business.
James: Yeah, wow. You know, I’m a plus one for barefoot and water. You’ve got me there. It’s such a great ritual to walk, for me, just to walk down the beach every day. And I do go bare feet and I cross the sand into the water. No matter where I’ve flown or what I’ve been up to, or even if I’m tired, however I am, when I get into the ocean, I come out cleaner and refreshed. It’s one of the few things you can do where you come out cleaner than you start. Most sports, you get dirtier as you do it.
And the challenge, of course, and the lessons you get from Mother Nature, the way the waves wrap and the different conditions. I was just saying to my wife earlier today as we drove past the pool – here in the Philippines at the moment, and our place has this beautiful pool, there’s never anyone in it because I don’t think many people swim here. And it’s hot, it’s 31 degrees every day – but I said, “I need to go and hop in the pool soon. I think my gills are going to close over.” Because I girth myself in the water every day and I think that has such an amazing effect.
James: Yeah, yeah. And so we could take off our shoes, we can enjoy nature, we can put our phone in a box, we can set boundaries and say no more often.
Why do you think it’s so hard for women to say no?
Why it’s hard to say no
Corona: It’s just a common theme I see in pretty much every woman I’ve supported and worked with. It’s just the messaging I think we got, many of us got growing up. And, you know, put your needs last – you need to look out for others. So there was just kind of maybe this subtle messaging that many of us got growing up that we need to say yes. That it’s not OK for us to say no, and we have to be putting others before ourselves.
James: Yeah, that is interesting. So it’s a lot of reprogramming. And I guess some of us are trying to get that approval of our parents and to step up and be everything they hoped. And I do see, even culturally, I see some cultures put an enormous amount of pressure on their kids for academia and sporting success, and they’re pushing them through a lot of school days and after-school activities. I wonder when the kid gets to be a kid.
And I feel very lucky to have grown up without a mobile phone as a kid – that really only came for me as an adult. And I remember what it’s like to switch off.
And today, I was actually having a reflection. I was just lying down there, just thinking. No device, just lying there, thinking, with my eyes open. And I was just thinking how time actually is quite abundant, and it can really slow down when you’re not rushing to fill every second of it with an activity. And I guess this might be somewhere you go with your yoga teaching. Is this the sort of thing that you cover with that?
Corona: Inside the program? Absolutely. Inside the Energy For Life Academy program? Absolutely. Because so many women have filled their days. There’s no white space. Like, every single hour is already accounted for. Like, they’re full to the brim. There’s no white space, there’s no clear space. They’ve over committed, they’ve overextended themselves nearly in every way. And part of the process that I take them through is really actually taking back control of their own life and actually really looking honestly at what they have committed to and seeing what they can take out.
James: Yeah, I love that. I love removing things from people’s lists of things.
James: It’s such the way. I actually did a post recently about that, about doing less stuff. And you know, a lot of the things we think are important at the time tend not to be. And it’s amazing, if you let things go and you go back to your old to-do lists and see what’s left there that actually needs doing, a lot of them will actually melt themselves away.
James: I’ve got to the point now, I don’t even keep a to-do list. It’s not that important. And I think on the blocking time for yourself, certainly top-level CEOs are spending half their time thinking. And we don’t have to be in a rush. I know the guys from basecamp are adamant about having a good work life; they’re not pushing people to push too hard. I’m taking my own team surfing tomorrow, actually.
James: Because I want to encourage them to have a fantastic life and for the things that we do to fit around that, in the same way that I do.
And one way that I’ve done it is just partition my week in terms of which days I’m prepared to do external calls. So I only do three days a week now. So it’s three days on, four days off is a sustainable balance.
On Kundalini Yoga
Can you tell me more about Kundalini Yoga?
Corona: Yeah, absolutely. Kundalini Yoga, it’s the yoga of awareness. And it’s really a science, it’s a technology, and Yogi Bhajan brought the teachings to the West. And it’s really, there’s no practice like it. It’s very unique in that you do the practice with your eyes closed, and it really gives you an experience and a depth of your spirit. And you’re not looking outside of you, it’s an inner job. But the practice itself is very strengthening for the nervous system. It’s very balancing for the glandular system, it’s really moving energy. So anything that’s stagnant in the body will really move.
And it’s just a wonderful practice, especially for the times that we’re living in. And because, you know, we’re just living in increased stress, increased busyness, and you know, this is impacting our nervous systems and we need something that’s going to bring us back to balance. And I feel that Kundalini Yoga is just a wonderful technology for that.
James: Very nice.
I think it would be really interesting to reflect upon perhaps a student that you’ve had, of course, completely anonymous, but it would be good if you could think about someone who came to you in a distressed state, and maybe you could just step us through where they were at when they got to you, and what sorts of things happened when you worked together and where they ended up. If you could think of a scenario that you’ve actually had, I think that would be tremendously instructive, and maybe we could see what the prescription is to work on ourselves a bit.
From crisis to coping
Corona: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, I guess probably many women that come to me, and to give you just an example, they’re in major transition. They’re in major crisis. And so, you know, something has occurred in their life which has them in crisis. And especially, probably in the last maybe two years, the majority of the women that I have been supporting have been going through separation, going through divorce.
And so by the time they get to me, they are just exhausted, they’re completely and utterly burnt out, they have no energy, they’re in total overwhelm, and their mind is just full of negativity, and they’re highly emotional and they’re just not coping. They’re not coping with life. And you know, the majority of the women I support, they’re really successful women. So they either have their own business or they’re working full-time in corporate, you know, in high corporate roles.
And I suppose to give you an example of one woman who I worked with for an extensive period of time, came to me, the first conversation that we had, she was just a mess. You know, her life was just in turmoil. And she wasn’t aware. And, you know, because many of the women that come to me, they’ve spent a period of time looking outside of themselves and fixing from the outside. So when their life is not working, you know, we’re really good at doing this, as humans – we’ll start blaming from the outside, and we’ll start fixing from the outside. And many of us can kind of get caught up in this for years, sometimes even decades.
Changing from the inside out
So, often when our life isn’t working, we’ll often blame the outside. We might say, I’m just going to end this relationship or I’m going to leave this job or I’m going to book a holiday, I need to get away, or I’m going to buy that lovely house, or the car, or the new shoes, or the dress, or the bottle of wine. And these are all like temporary fixes. They’re all band aids. So, it may fix things very temporarily. But if you’re not addressing the root cause, which is us, you know, if we’re not looking at our own part in that situation, those problems will follow us. They’ll follow us everywhere we go, and we’ll never truly be satisfied, we’ll never ever live a life of true meaning.
So, if you want the change, the change has to begin from the inside. And this is really what I share with the women. I suppose what happens on that initial call with each woman is an awakening occurs, because for the very first time in her life, she can see, ‘Wow, it’s me.’ My life is a mess, it’s in chaos. And everything that’s happening on the outside is just a reflection of that. And from there, that’s when the quest begins. The journey begins for that woman.
And the way that I work, it’s very holistic. So I don’t just focus on the physical body – we look at physical, yes; we look at the mental and the thoughts, emotions. And we look at the spirit, and cultivating a spiritual practice. And we also look at energetic.
So the very first thing that I will do first with a woman, inside our Energy For Life Academy program, is I will get that woman incorporating a morning ritual, because the majority of women that I work with, right at the get-go, they don’t have self-care. Many of them don’t even know what self-care is. To them, self-care is like going and having a pedicure. That’s not self-care. That’s kind of like self-care, outer self-care. Again, that’s like fixing from the outside. There’s nothing that they’re doing inner every day that’s kind of filling up their cup.
So that’s where we begin. It’s really teaching them how to start their day with themselves. Because how you choose to start your day is actually how the rest of the day is going to flow and follow. So if you’re getting up, you’re hitting the snooze, you’re stressed, maybe you’ve had half a bottle of wine the night before, your head’s foggy and you’ve hit snooze for maybe the last hour, well, just think about the energy you’re bringing into your day. That’s how the rest of your day is going to flow and follow. You’re going to be stressed, you’re going to be making the wrong decisions. And then you just keep bringing that into the next day and the next day and the next day. So this is where we have to start.
So it’s kind of looking at if she has any rituals right now, especially morning, and we get started with that. And what that can look like is breathing exercises. The power of breathing, and breathing fully. And there’s a wonderful set that I get every woman to begin with. And it’s an energizer set. And just even doing this Energizer set for like 10 minutes, 15 minutes in a week, her energy has increased just tenfold. She sees a massive shift in her energy already. That’s just in the first couple of days of us working together. And it’s really then starting to undo and unprogram everything. It’s looking at her life to date and looking at, really, her beliefs and her thoughts, really teaching her how to reframe those thoughts, showing her how to, you know, really clear those limiting and negative beliefs.
And I use a really powerful method, it’s called the mind detox method, and it really works with the subconscious mind. And the results that the women just get from this method, like, it’s just incredible. You know, a woman that might be holding onto baggage for 40 years, and through a session can just release so much.
One case of healing
So, in this woman in particular (I’m know I’m going off track here probably a little bit) you know, she would have come to me and just, complete mess, and her life was a mess. She was going through a separation at the time and a really difficult separation, quite a nasty separation. She was completely burnt out, exhausted, had no rituals in place, was riddled in negativity. And many areas of her life was breaking down – her business, her work, her family relationships, her relationship to her ex-partner. Everything was a mess.
And as we started to work together, and we worked from the inside, because that’s where we have to begin, because if you want the change to happen, you start inside. And as you change from the inside, everything starts to change on the outside. And within, you know, by the time she got to the eight-week period, her energy had come back, she was bouncing out of bed, she had self-care, she was incorporating self-care. She had rituals, routines. And her business, flourishing, her relationships, flourishing, including the relationship with her ex-partner started to change. Because that’s what happens when you work internally. Everything on the outside starts to change and, you know, reflect that. So that’s just one example.
Tears and fears
James: Yeah, that was a very good one. And a lot of insights there, especially the inside work, and I can imagine in your line of work, there’s a few tears along the way?
Corona: Yeah, lots of tears. But that’s good.
James: I get it. I know it’s so emotional. And I’ve always said to you, I have so much respect for tackling this market. This is a difficult prospect to be dealing with in the beginning. And also there’s a possibility at the point where they’re talking to you about coming on board, there might be some resistance and some hostility towards you as well.
Corona: Oh, yes, there’s a lot of resistance. Yes, so much resistance. And that’s hard and it’s sad, because you know, every woman I speak to, I care about it so much. I guess I’m doing the work I’m doing because I never want anybody to get to the point that I got to. And so many people get such comfort, so much, you know, they get so comfortable in the discomfort, because that’s all they only know. And if that place that they’re in is so utterly miserable, sometimes it feels easier to stay in that because they’re so frightened. Fear is a big thing for many of the women, and fear prevents a lot of women coming on board because they’re so afraid. They’re afraid of what could happen. They’re afraid of the change that could happen, and, you know, what that could look like, what that would look like.
James: Yeah, I guess it’s a bit like a beaten pet who’s scared of the next beating, that cowers in the corner when they hear footsteps. You know?
Do you ever use things like horse therapy or surfing therapy?
Corona: No, no.
James: I think they’re big deals in some circles. They’re using both of those things to help people. Horses are interesting because they have like, a supersonic nervous system. They’re much more nervous than humans. So, you know, when you start learning how to handle a horse, you can learn a lot about yourself as well.
James: Certainly surfing therapy’s a good thing.
The end result
James: But I’m sure you’ve got a good handle on the ones you do choose, and you’re going to have some pretty powerful tools in that toolkit. Can you tell me about what a lady’s going to be able to do after you’ve finished working with them? By the way, does it ever end, or do you continue on?
Corona: Yes. So a woman begins her journey with me through my Energy For Life program, and the way that I see Energy For Life is that when women start journeying with me, they are not living. They are existing. They are literally on a treadmill. They’re going through the motions and they’re just feeling like they’re on automatic pilot, and they’ve just no energy. They’re burnt. So the Energy For Life really gets them back into life. It gets them energized again, and it gets them back into their life again.
And then from there, a woman has an option. She can start on her own journey, that’s absolutely fine, that’s where she wants to end. Or she can choose to keep going. And many of the women that get incredible, incredible results through the initial eight weeks, well, they don’t want to stop. Why would you want to stop the growth that you’ve just had in those eight weeks, when you can see that it’s incredible in the eight weeks what women really receive. That many of them don’t want to stop, they want to keep going.
So from there, I have an Awakened Woman Life Mastery program, and that’s a 12-month program. But I recently moved that into a three-year program, because the women were getting such incredible results in moving through the first year that they wanted to know what was next, how could they keep going. So I really have turned that into a three-year program. I’ve been running that program now for nearly three years. And that’s really about looking at the five key areas of a woman’s life, which is her relationship, it’s her wealth and financial, it’s her health and vitality, contribution and legacy, and then her work, business and career. And we really look at those five key areas and it’s reaching her mastery. And yeah, you wouldn’t believe the transformation that the women coming out of this program have. It’s just mind blowing.
The science of stress
James: Yeah, that sounds amazing. And yeah, someone one has to be doing that role. What would you say would be the science that someone might want to pay attention to if they’re verging on the condition that is dangerous for them?
Corona: OK so let’s just talk a little bit quickly just about stress, because most of the women that come to work with me, they’re stressed and they’ve been stressed, their body has been in stress for a very long time. And there are some red flags that I think would be really supportive to share today.
So when you’re stressed, your nervous system goes into fight flight. It reacts and it releases hormones – the hormones it releases are cortisol and adrenaline, and it releases those into the blood. And this is what causes the increase in your heart race, in your breathing and even in your blood pressure. Now that’s not all a bad thing. Of course, this can be a good thing as it can get you through the hardest times in life. It can also help you to motivate yourself. However, too much stress on your body over a prolonged period of time can cause burnout. And this really takes its toll on every part of you – physical, mental and emotional. And you know, when you get to that point of burnout, it is complete and utter exhaustion. You feel exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally.
So one of the signs can be anxiety, so just feeling anxious or feeling worried all the time, or feeling angry, like noticing yourself kind of getting frustrated or angry or annoyed for no real reason. Or feeling like you no longer just want to be around people. You’ve noticed, you’ve observed yourself withdrawing from people, or you’re starting to withdraw from life. Or another common sign is that everything just starts to feel like it’s just too hard, or it’s too much, and everything feels like a chore. Or you might notice that you’re becoming more sensitive to things, you know? Just the slightest thing is just starting to trigger you. Or feeling tired all the time is another sign of when your body is in, you know, it’s giving you those flags, those red flags.
But you can also, there can also be physical signs. So some things that you need to pay attention to, and I see this a lot in women, is stomach issues. Most of the women that, you know, start working with me, a lot of them have stomach issues, and they’ve had these stomach issues for a long time. They just kind of see it as, oh, it’s the norm. So consistent stomach or gut issues could be constipation, diarrhea, maybe indigestion. And headaches can be another one, or pain, like, physical pain in your body, and feeling muscle aches, joint aches, back pain. And another common flag is problems sleeping, so you can’t sleep or you’ve problems falling asleep. Or another one, you’re starting to wake up at really odd hours, unusual hours, and then you’re really struggling to get back to sleep. Or loss of appetite. You’ve just kind of stopped eating, or maybe even an increase. So you might notice an increase in your waist or a decrease in your waist. And heart palpitations, so just noticing that your heart is racing.
You’ve got the signs – what to do?
James: So the first step if you’re feeling any of those things might be to have a look at reflecting on how you’re feeling about yourself and observing what things might be causing this, and then starting with some kind of a routine?
Corona: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s really taking a step back and you know, I recommend doing some journaling, self-reflection and really reflecting on what signs your body is giving you physically or mentally. And it’s very, very important that you read those signs, those flags. And you don’t ignore them, because that’s what can lead to more serious illness and disease. And when something like this is happening, your body’s screaming at you. It’s screaming for attention, and you have to listen.
James: Yeah, I like the journaling thing. Especially the gut. There’s a few experts who I’m coaching these days who are in that field, and yeah, realigning your gut and getting the proper probiotics happening, naturally of course. Eating things that stimulate it, like, for example, oats. Some of the things you described sound a lot like gluten, too. If you feel tired, or you have aching joints and or if you’re bloated, etc., that can be an intolerance of some kind.
Corona: Yeah. Now what I shared there, they’re all the signs of stress. But then you have to think of burnout, OK? Because then burnout is, you know, that’s on the other scale of that. That’s where some of the signs of the burnout is when you’re feeling totally and utterly exhausted. Like, you are unable to perform basic tasks or you’re starting to lose motivation in areas of your life. And it could be including your work or friendships. Or you can’t focus or you can’t concentrate or you just feel empty, you’re lacking in emotion or you’re just losing drive, losing passion and you’re starting to withdraw emotionally. So that’s just something to pay attention to, because that’s the point of burnout, you don’t want to get to that point.
James: Yeah, just an empty shell. You’re a carcass.
Corona: Yeah. That’s where I was.
James: A shucked oyster. I think most entrepreneurial types will have bumped up against that at some point, especially if you have a project that is not your absolute passion and it’s the means to an end. You can likely get to the end of that project where you just know you have to do something else. And I think I attract a lot of those people too, with a book like mine. I would get an email or two every single day, someone saying how much it’s talking their language in terms of realizing that we’re heading down a path that’s no good.
You’ve been so generous sharing this information with us, Corona.
Corona: Not at all. It was such an honor.
James: So in final sort of discussion, you mentioned as a couple of transitions that you go through in life.
James: Three stages. It would be great to get a short overview on that.
The three life transitions
Corona: Yeah, absolutely. So, life transitions, this is huge. And this is really what I support a lot of women to move through. And just to explain what a transition is, it’s kind of that in-between space. And I feel very honored that I get to support women through this, because it can be a tough time and it means change. And it means massive change. And as human beings, we often consciously or unconsciously, we resist change because you know, the unknown, it terrifies us. It causes a lot of stress. It causes fear. It causes overwhelm. It causes us to worry.
“People go through transitions many times throughout their life.”
And for many people, they will go through transitions many times throughout their life. But a big one is around midlife, and that can occur anywhere from your late 30s to early 60s. But these life transitions, they basically happen when there’s a huge life-altering event happening in your life that brings about great change. And that could be anything from becoming a parent for the first time, it could be a divorce, a separation. It could be leaving home, you could be relocating interstate or overseas. It could be a health crisis. It could be the loss of a job or a career change or just loss in general. An accident, retirement, empty nest. So when the children start to leave the home, this can be a big transition point as well. And each phase, each cycle of life, just like the cycles and phases in nature, they represent different phases of your journey and they have different needs and they have different goals.
So yeah, let me just share the three steps, because I think it would be really supportive for your audience today. The very first step of any successful transition is, the first thing that you have to do is you have to let go of the past. The structure of a transition, it’s simple – you end and let go of what was, then you have to remain open, you remain neutral, and so that the presence can change. You begin a new direction, you choose a new project, and each step needs attention, it needs a different set of skills.
And the thing is that each of us develop a style. We either learn this, or it’s within us, it’s inherent. And this is what we learn to cope with the steps of any transition. So basically, in a transition, many things can change.
“Choosing to let go is a slow realization of who you are now.”
And even more challenging are often those things we have to let go of, but we are clinging on to so much. And during this time, it’s really a huge time of assessing your life. It’s a reassessment of your life. And often this moment of choosing to let go is a recognition, a slow realization of who you are now, and we change first, but then often what can happen is we find ourselves still doing the old things automatically, still doing the old habits automatically or speaking of ourselves in ways that’s no longer true.
Now, some people will let go easily and they’ll really embrace an ending and they’ll do it smoothly. But for others, a transition can bring a lot of anxiety, because with any ending there’s just this moment of unknowing. And this is where you need to just pay attention to your own style. And this is where it can be helpful where you can look at times in your life where you had a true transition.
And you look back to that and you ask yourself, what was my style? What was my behavior? Did I go quickly, as if it wasn’t happening, as if it wasn’t there? Or did I slow everything down so I wouldn’t have to feel much stress during that time? Or did I just kind of passively wait for change to somehow magically happen? Or when there was an ending that really needed to happen, did I claim it had nothing to do with me, my choices or my needs, or did I blame others? Did I blame they, it, or that kind of made me have to end this?
Another thing to pay attention to as well is, did you go into automatic pilot? Did you just take care of business, just hoping that those tasks would just dull any of the grief, any of the anxiety? Because there’s so much grief, there’s so much anxiety during this time, and you have to feel it. And another question to ask is, did you put your needs last? Did you care for everyone else during that time, so that you could ignore your own needs? And did you make that ending? Was it clear, you know, did you finish that relationship or that habit or that feeling or that belief that belongs to the past?
So some people can often linger here, they can kind of stay in, like, I suppose you could say it’s like a twilight zone, before circumstances eventually forces them to make the change. And often what can happen is there can be a common defense against the anxiety of change and endings, that we often will suddenly go backwards, because we cling to the old. So what’s really, really important during this time is support. Getting support, getting the right support. And also, have routine have ritual. Incorporate a way to start each day, to finish each day. Have a morning ritual – that’s going to help you really remain grounded.
And so that’s kind of the first stage, is the letting go, and having somebody support you through that as well, somebody who’s experienced.
And then something that I should also mention here is that, if you avoid any of these stages, so if you don’t do what needs to be done in the letting go, there will be a price that you will pay. And you will pay that somewhere later on in your life. So you want to make sure that during the transition, that what needs to be done and ended, whether it’s letting go of certain beliefs or feelings or completing a relationship or committing to a new habit, that it’s all done in that current cycle that you’re in.
And then the next kind of step that you’ll move into is the pause. And this is just a time where you pause – it’s like a quiet place. It’s where you disengage from the outside world. It’s going to be a quieter time, and if you have a business and you know there’s things going on in your life personally, this is when it might just affect those other areas. And that’s OK, because it’s not going to be forever. This is just going to be a period of time.
And like, I want to mention here as well, you know, in many cultures this was actually recognized as a really fundamental transformative shift. And it was really supported socially. And you’d actually go out on a vision quest, or you’d go into a retreat, or you’d just simply cease from your everyday activities, your normal everyday activities. You were actually given permission to go inwards, and to really seek another aspect of yourself.
However, the times that we’re now living in, society tells us that we have to keep going, we have to plan it, that we have to get everything done in a quick weekend workshop or we have to just get it done quickly and immediately because life has just sped up. And often it seems that we can’t take this time off, and this is crucial that we take this time off, that we pause, because this is a time when you’re really inviting in your intuition, your heart and not your mind. You can’t plan during this phase, you have to let go of the plan and trust that the plan is actually going to be revealed soon.
And what’s really beautiful and what does happen after a transition, is you will attract new relationships. You will attract new resources, you will attract new projects, even new business. Your business may even change form. And of course, if you’re moving through these stages with grace and you’re not resisting. And to really honor this time, well, think of the pause. Honor it by meditating, getting out in nature, being with yourself, spending time reflecting, getting in the ocean and taking time out to really enter that state of stillness and allowing yourself to really become thoughtless so that the new intention becomes clear. And this is how then your intuition will really kind of guide you.
So it’s just really important during that time in the pause that you journal, that you pay attention to any synchronicities or any unplanned meetings that happen. It’s a time of just being really, really open and just being really accepting to things that might be outside maybe the normal flow of things.
And then the last stage is probably the easiest, is you begin. The last step is begin. And you’ll be instructed; your intuition will instruct you here on when and how. But new beginnings, they have their own energy. And just know that any beginning, they’re actually meant to be a bit mysterious. They’re meant to be a bit messy. They’re meant to even be a bit unexpected. And remember that after all, you’ve actually invited things beyond your normal patterns of thinking and feeling into your heart and your mind. So when you’re ready, the opportunities will arise. And an authentic beginning, this is the last point I’ll say here, it really relies on a profound inner alignment and harmony. And this comes back to doing the inner work. This is crucial, it’s really important, because that will enable you to really walk forward into this next stage and cycle of your life with so much confidence and so much guidance.
“An authentic beginning relies on a profound inner alignment and harmony.”
So maybe even just some questions that I could leave you with here is, if anybody is experiencing a bit of a transition right now, to maybe reflect on what is one transition that you might be navigating, or maybe there’s a few that you’re navigating right now. And out of those three steps that I’ve shared today, where do you feel like you’re sitting right now? Letting go of the past, which was the first, pausing in the second, or beginning? And then maybe asking yourself what you might be resisting.
James: Yeah, that’s a very useful diagnostic there. I made a note of that myself, actually. I can relate to that, letting go, pausing and then starting something new. And I especially like that you said it could be messy. And gosh, I was even thinking about people who would trade in their car and get a new one. Sometimes they had a lot of trouble letting go of their old car that had been so good to them and they had special experiences in.
James: And I would say, transfer the love. You know, just get the new car. And, you know, a month later you talk to them about their new car and they love it just as much and they would never get rid of that one. They’ve forgotten the old one. You know, we can move on.
James: I like the metaphor of swinging from vines, you know? Where you let go of the one that you’ve been hanging on to so long and you can reach out and grab the new one and hang on tight and just go with it, and you can let go. You’ll never go back to the old one after that.
Corona: No. It’s done.
James: It’s so soothing just listening to your voice. I could listen for hours and you could get me in some kind of a trance. A very playful melody.
Corona, it’s always a pleasure chatting to you, and thank you for the work that you’re doing with us today and with the people who you’re helping with in your programs. You’ve got a lot of information there at CoronaBrady.com. You also have a podcast. Do you want to give that a plug?
Corona: Yes, please. Yeah, I have a podcast and it’s called the Energy For Life Podcast, and you can find that on iTunes, and it’s also on Podbean and Stitcher. And yeah, there’s 41 episodes there and they’re quite short, because I really created this with in mind of the busy woman. Because most of the women that I support, they’re busy, they don’t have time, so I try to keep them quite short but very insightful and packed full of value and lots of practical insights and tips.
James: Look at you go – 41 episodes. I remember when that was just an idea.
Corona: I know. Thanks to you.
James: That’s great. All right, Corona, well, thank you so much for sharing, and I look forward to catching up again in the future. And of course we’ll probably get a few comments around this show. We’ll put together the show notes and a PDF transcript of this at Episode 605 with Corona Brady from CoronaBrady.com. You’ve been listening to SuperFastBusiness.
Thanks also for bearing with the connection. I am in the Philippines, it sometimes doesn’t quite hold a call the way that I’d like, but it’s better to get the great ideas and information and just roll with it than to wait till everything’s perfect. And sometimes it may never happen. So we did it. We made it. Thank you so much, and till next time.
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