The Many Facets of Teaching Yoga

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 8.55.54 PM

It’s time for a truth bomb.

The (old) yoga business model is broken.

Unless you’re one of the highest paid celebri-yogis that tip the scale toward a conceivable annual salary, chances are you’re earning less than $30,000 a year teaching yoga.

“The casual, gig-based nature of yoga teaching makes it hard to gather hard data about the profession, and estimates of its average annual salary range from $45,000 to roughly $30,000 or less. A yoga teacher’s income may vary wildly from month to month, as practitioners go on vacation or decide to stay home due to inclement weather. And on top of all that, a flood of new teachers has made the competition for teaching slots more intense than ever.” Source

Think Yoga Studio Owners have it better?

Wrong.

Studio Owners have all the challenges of every small business from filling the classes to finding high quality teachers to competing with neighboring studios.

Last year, author and yoga instructor Elena Brower closed her SoHo studio—Virayoga—after 12 years in business. Overhead is rising; the prices of yoga classes are not.

Some studios combat this by slapping together haphazard curriculum and calling it a teacher training, which in many ways perpetuates the seemingly unsolvable problem of yoga as a sustainable career.

Here’s another truth bomb for you:

There is a better way.

The yoga business is evolving and there are far more options for better yoga business than ever before.

The beauty of the new face of yoga business is that location, technology and niche-interests create the perfect constellation of what I like to call Yoga Plus.

Want to blend yoga, wellness coaching and intuitive readings?  Now is the time.

Want to open a yoga teacher training school? It’s easier than ever to step into the Teacher’s seat.

Want to travel worldwide and lead yoga + cycling retreats? Do it. (and send me the details!)

Want to teach virtual Private yoga classes from your living room? If you can video chat, you can definitely figure this out.

Want to retire your weekly group classes and move only to high-paid series classes and workshops? You can do it!

Want to create a “Yoga for Beginners” training course and sell it on your website? Great idea! You should go for it.

Want a location-independent yoga business? No rent, no problem!

The new generation of yoga business is here and it’s innovative, creative and has many passions —just like you.

So what do you want for yourself and your yoga business?

If you want fame, fortune and travel, you may want to be a Celebri-Yogi.

If you have expert status, want to write curriculum and love to teach, you may be a Teacher Trainer in the making.

If you want to be the boss and build community, owning a Yoga Studio may be in your future.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be talking about these yoga professional archetypes and what your next steps are to move your ideal yoga business forward so that you can move past “barely scraping by” and into something more abundant.

Stay tuned.

But, if you just can’t wait to find out what you should do next to grow your yoga biz, click over to the Like a Yogi Speaker Series where you’ll watch interviews from successful Celebri-Yogis, Studio Owners, Teacher Trainers and more of the yoga industry’s finest. Did I mention it will be free?

Posted in blog, conscious business, Yoga, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Do you want to be a Celebri-Yogi?

Today’s blog post is by yogini & brand strategist Laura Dos Santos of She Oms. I’ve worked with Laura and her team for the last year on branding, website design and program launches and I’m so pleased to have her here blogging about her favorite area of expertise—Instagram!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

With as familiar as I am with Kellie’s website and her tribe, I feel like I’ve made it big now that I’m here sharing my love of Insta-Fame and my support for Celebri-Yogis today!

Before you click away at the thought of Instagram + Celebri-Yogis, hold that mouse still for a hot minute, my friend.

We’ve come to associate celebri-yogis with fancy—and potentially dangerous–asana and not a whole lot of actual yoga. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Today, I invite you drop your preconceived notions of what being Insta-Famous is and really dig a little deeper into what you want for yourself and the types of people you are going to serve when you step into that role.

You need to step into the role of Celebri-Yogi If…

  • You want to develop signature workshops that you’ll teach across the country—or maybe even around the world.
  • You want to teach at large festivals and conferences.
  • You want a huge community that’s interested in your every day life just as much as they are interested in what you’re teaching.

Even if you’re not ready take the plunge just yet, if you ultimately want to see the world and share yoga with a whole lot of people, you better start building a brand right now.

Don’t run away!

(Sheesh, I sure am having to work hard to keep you around these parts today.)

Even if you are super extroverted and thrilled by the idea of yoga fame, the work that it takes to actually get there can be a little overwhelming. But I happen to know that you can handle it, because whether you realize it or not, your network is full of people who are highly qualified to teach you how to lay the foundation for your celebri-yogi career.

If you want yoga fame, you’re going to need clarity, organization and marketing.

Kellie has been instrumental in helping so many yoga educators and helping & healing professionals (myself included!) find clarity, get organized and start marketing. So I was so honored when she invited me here to talk about marketing.

You can be colorless-diamond-clear and you can be organized, but if no one knows about it, you won’t be famous, love.

This is where the marketing comes in—getting your message into the hands, eyes and ears of the right people is essential. Marketing has this silly reputation of being manipulative and a little magical, but we are going to bust that myth right here.

While there may be a little trial and error involved, the formula is simple, you get clear, you get organized and then you find your people and share what you’re doing in a way that truly serves them.

Right now, the hottest way to find your people and share your yoga message is Instagram.

Whether you love it or hate it, the fact remains that the yoga community on Instagram is HUGE and it’s growing every day. Yes, it’s asana focused. Yes, some of it is hardly yoga at all. Yes, there is room for improvement.

You can sit here and pass all kinds of judgment on how ridiculous the Insta-Yogis are.

But it’s not going to serve you.

What will serve you is embracing the fact that yogis are easily found on Instagram through hashtag search. In a couple of taps, you can be connected to MILLIONS of people who want to hear your message. You can build relationships with people all over the globe.

You can create a name for yourself— and share your message—without a lot of money.

But you’re already on Facebook…what’s the difference?

Facebook is a dying platform. It’s pay to play— no one is seeing what you post unless you are paying for advertising or moderating a group. Not to mention (or, I guess I am mentioning it) it’s much harder to actually find your yogis, because people just aren’t posting nearly as much about yoga on this platform–the community just hasn’t thrived there.

Instagram is where the yoga party is.

And that party is more than just a popularity contest. It’s a celebration of community.

So now that I’ve convinced you that Instagram is the path to the Celebri-Yogi life, what are you going to do?

(1) Get clear

(2) Get Organized

(3) Get on Instagram and start building your community

Ok, let’s be serious.

This is the simplified version of the path to Insta-Fame. My teaching style is to give you a little bit at a time so that you can digest it before moving onto the next big biz lesson.

Speaking of my teaching style, part of the reason Kellie asked me to take the reins on her blog here today is to let you know that I am launching a digital course this week on using Instagram for Mindful Marketing. Whether you’re planning on being a Celebri-Yogi or you just want to grow your local following, this course is your jumping off point AND I’m opening it a day early—JUST for Kellie and a few other yoga biz BFFs.

Registration is now open for you!

Love & Light,

Laura

Posted in blog | Tagged , , , | 2 Responses

Year of the Goat : A Year of Radical Union

2015_02_Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photos-burkina-faso-cows-herd-Marie-de-Smedt

I’m finally ready to share my annual plan, just in time for Chinese New Year.

It’s the year of the goat.

This is a yang year, meaning kindness, benevolence and auspiciousness is in our future and I suspect that this auspiciousness will take on a very different form for me than it has in years past.

Usually my New Year process of intention setting followed by sacred goal alignment results in a fiery word or an active verb like

RADIATE (2009)

EXPAND (2010)

GROW (2011)

A quality that requires bravery like

AUTHENTICITY (2012)

Or a shield-carrying and sword-wielding word like

COURAGE (2013)

FAIL (2014) (there’s a story to this one)

There’s a definite trend. I tend toward fiery and airy words that require me to be always on…always transforming (Fire) or always expanding (Air).

That is a good thing when you’re growing a business (and as a Pitta-Vata doshic type, this doesn’t surprise me), but this year’s intuitive intention took me quite by surprise.

Intuition shrieked at me to get centered, to nurture and to yoke.

RADICAL UNION (2015)

To draw in instead of expanding outward. To nurture instead of achieving and pioneering. To feather the nest instead of flying into the heady expanse of freedom.

In a figurative sense, I scratched my head and thought “What?”

Then, I balked. Because my comfort zone is expansion, change and growth. I’m not always comfortable with ease. The more I investigated, though, the trend began to emerge (see above).

Everything cycles, everything changes, and everything that lives must honor those inevitable cycles —including my ambition and my annual focus.

This year, I’m craving the solitude of introspection, the stark black and white of words on page, the quietude of the creative cave, the intimacy of deeper work, and the harmony of retreat.

Obviously, this is a departure from my current business model.

And I can’t just pick up and walk away from my life.

There is a back story to this all—I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes.

During my birthday month (November), I get a little more woo-woo than usual because I like the ritual of connecting to sacred during the anniversary of my trips around the sun.

Last year, I chose an intuitive reading with a dear friend and colleague —I needed some healing and intuitive guidance and this was the perfect choice.

This year, I again chose an intuitive reading.

Each time, the themes of creating through writing were present…

…as were the boundary issues.

Here’s a quick summary of the recurring themes:

  • A need for protection and to strengthen / fortify my barrier.
  • A need for a practice to find strength in my mystical lineage.
  • A history of silencing my voice
  • A message to give voice (create, share, write) now
  • Lifetimes-long connections to the wisdom traditions
  • This life, mystical. And messy.
  • Meta-themes for this life: Intuitive, Healer, Mystic, Empath.

In each case, I was both certain and resentful…have you ever felt this way when you got a dose of the Truth?

Because in each case, I was ready to step away from my “dharma” of sharing yoga and mindfulness and into the numinous realm of creative possibility. It seemed this was pulling me back in.

I love teaching and sharing yoga. I light up inside when I see the spark of understanding in students. The reality of teaching yoga —and yoga therapy education— is a struggle.

My soft animal body craves rest. Deep quietude. The sanctity of the creative cave. Time to create, reflect and write.

Mystical exploration and philosophical inquiry, yes. Sharing what I know and empowering others as a guide and healer, yes.

The life of a traveling celebri-yogi, no.

Yet as a trained performer and empathic introvert, I understand what The Show Must Go On truly means.

It means, keep going even when you really need to re-charge. It means, show up when you’d really prefer to hibernate in the creative cave and not speak for days. It means, layer up on the gemstones, mantras, mudras and oils to form a protective shield from the endless onslaught of others’ energy. (As an empath, I feel it all: good and bad)

It means, don’t schedule anything the day after teaching an intensive because it will take at least a full day to find your center and recover your energy.

So I took a hard look at the business model I had created for myself (again). One founded on being “on,” performing and leading.

I call it (fondly), the Edutainment Industry.

And I realized it no longer worked for me.

I love crafting curriculum but now I am writing a book.

I love leading transformative, long-term trainings but how I do that is shifting (less certification focused, more experience driven).

I adore seeing the light of understanding in others’ eyes and I will continue to do so (like this).

I adore leading the small, immersive experiences and will continue to do so (like this).

I am freakishly excited about helping other yoga entrepreneurs develop their own teacher trainings, lead Retreats, and craft high value services (see here and here).

This year, I am radically uniting what I teach on the mat —embodied energy, sacred form —with all my business coaching. This year, I’m drawing in around a small and sacred circle, who are ready to shine their light in a much bigger way —and in a way that aligns with their purpose and personality.

Embodied experience, practical magic, intentional business design and sacred self-care.

Radical Union.

So tell me, lovely, what is your (Chinese) New Year focus? Tell me in the comments below!

xo

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Want to see what this year’s promise of RADICAL UNION sparked? Head over here.

Posted in blog, conscious business, Inspire & Grow, Motivation | 2 Responses

Play is Part of the Creative Business Process

IMG_1773

We did a lot of talking about mindset, leadership, goals and intentions, both on this blog and in the January Finding Flow Challenge. Intellectual support is necessary to create a solid foundation for your business–making it an integral part of your success as you do the work that you were meant to do in this world

But there’s more to business success than productivity, strategy & focus.

Efficiency in business matters only when it results in more time for integration, creation and restoration. Leadership and vision matter just as much as productivity and check-off-able lists.

Leadership requires confidence, vision requires introspection and planning. And it’s here that our intuition becomes our best business support.

If we can tap into how things  feel in our business, we can extract some very clear messages for business direction.

The best part? If you can tap into intuition,  you will be able to make even better business decisions.

This is what I teach my clients when I work with them one-on-one. Mindset is just as important as strategy. To accomplish big goals and reach big dreams, we need to harness the power of alignment in intention and action. We have access to our inner wisdom at all times —although the messages get blurred when we don’t take the time to truly listen and to evaluate how things feel. The final piece is being willing to be guided by intuition.

Following our intuition helps us stay in flow in our business. Intuition tells us when things are misaligned. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, tells you that this may not be the right decision. It’s our intuition’s natural tendency to move towards harmony. While harmony looks different for each of us, the underlying concept is the same—deep down inside we seek accord and when we make decisions (or even think about making decisions) that go against that accord, there’s a part of us (that deep down inside part) that sends us a message to please reconsider.

Just as we spend time on personal development, educating ourselves on the ins and outs of business and continuing to study our craft, we must also spend time honing our intuition.

Exercising our intuition invites us to play!

Business strategy is about more than business books and annual plans. To keep the intuitive connection strong, I encourage you to explore this body, this mind and the world in which it operates. Play is part of the process.

Today, I’m sharing with you part of a Flow Play assignment taken from Finding Flow | A Happiness Challenge For Your Business. We’re focusing on connecting the two sides of the body— and the two sides of the brain— to create conscious movement patterns with an effort to access an absorbed, in-tune, intuitive state of flow.

We do this is by using the non-dominant side of the body in a rhythmic pattern. I’ll let you choose exactly what you want to do with your “weird” hand or “awkward” foot, but if nothing comes to mind immediately, here are some suggestions:

  • Drawing a lamniscus (infinity symbol) with chalk / paint / pen / other medium (I highly recommend a large surface – a big canvas, sidewalk chalk, white board, large blackboard)
  • Whisking cream / rice / eggs
  • Hula Hooping the ‘weird’ way
  • Knitting Continental Style (this only works if you’re already a knitter – and it may take longer than 5 minutes to find flow!)
  • Cleaning mirrors / windows (anything that involves circular motion will work)

Listen in -and enjoy the Flow Play!

How to play along:

There are just two rules for this exercise.

1) The movement must stay simple.

2) The movement must be performed with your non-dominant side.

When you begin the movement within that first frame of time, is that it will feel intellectual. You’ll have to think about it a lot. Because the action itself it familiar, but the movement pattern is different, your brain will have to work at the beginning to figure out what’s going on.

After the 2 to 5 minute period, you’ll find that it starts to feel a little more natural.

  • Notice the shift in movement from awkward to graceful, from intellectual to intuitive.
  • Involve your whole body – gracefully and efficiently.
  • Stay focused. Attention is key.

Do this again, but on your dominant side…allow yourself to go into the dominant pattern until you find an effortless state.

The idea is that we are making some different connections between the two sides of the body and the two sides of the brain. By doing the awkward side first, we will be able to notice the phase shift from very conscious intellectual state to more intuitive action.

Thanks for finding flow with me today!

yours in flow,

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  I’m delivering reflections on motherhood, mysticism and the beauty in the everyday to your inbox each Sunday with a brand new missive called Centered Sunday. Click on over here to sign up.

Posted in conscious business, Creative, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do More of What You Love, More Profitably.

 

Posted in blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I Want More Meaningful Business In the World

now is the time(black)-01

I want more meaningful businesses in the world.

It’s time for the purpose-driven entrepreneurs, the Conscious Creatives, the Healers and the Helpers to take over the world—with creative spirits and strategic business design.

Marie Forleo famously said the real secret to making millions isn’t what you know or what you sell, it’s how you position and package it.

For most conscious entrepreneurs, it’s not making making millions that motivates, but impact (although more money would be great, too).

We crave connection, expansion, world-changing ideas given life and form. Our work is too important – we have meaningful work to share and changes to make. We are inspired, enthusiastic and purpose-driven.

So the big questions is: Do you want to use that enthusiasm to reach more of your Dream Clients—and do even more meaningful work in the world?

Because that boundless enthusiasm is actually a tremendous business strength. Your ideas, inspiration and your purpose-driven mission to do meaningful (healing / creative / transformative) work in the world are keys to your professional success and financial freedom.

The world needs us conscious and purpose-driven entrepreneurs to dream big.

Dreaming isn’t enough, though.

We need to understand what we have to give, how our gifts meet the needs of our perfect-fit clients, and how to wrap it all up in a sweet little package that our Dream Clients will happily pay for.

Because Marie Forleo is correct: it’s not what you know or what you sell. You and I both know your work is amazing. We know it has the capacity to initiate deep transformation: individually and socially. Our work is too important to lead us to burnout, bankruptcy or defeat. The world needs us to show up. The world needs us to hold the lantern – illuminating a path to a better way.

Here’s a little thought exercise:

Complete this sentence: “If everyone would just  ______________, the world would be a better place.”

Chances are, you had an easy answer.

And that’s exactly why the world needs your sacred gifts: delivered in a more profitable, more sustainable business.

If you want more meaning (and more money) in your purpose-driven business join me this Tuesday, February 3, to learn the secret to more purposeful profit.

Update: Registration for this webinar is now closed. But if you’d like to be the first to know when it’s offered again, fill out the form below!

Purposeful Profit3

Header Sign-Up Form

  • SIGN UP HERE TO GET WEEKLY UPDATES STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

    AND GET MY FREE PDF EBOOK FOR FINDING CLARITY IN YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Peace, love and profit,

KA_Signature

Posted in conscious business, Creative, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The M Word | Make Money in Your Mindful Business

dollar-499481_640

Last week in the Finding Flow Challenge, I went there. I talked about the M word.

Money.

I admit that in the past, I was put off by certain business coaches because their brands were way more money-focused than heart-centered. If you’re feeling that way because I brought up the M word, I invite you to take a deep breath and recognize this simple truth: if your business isn’t making money, your work is not reaching the right people.

You didn’t set out to inspire at your expense, did you you?

Let’s face it: our business needs to earn money. If our business is not earning enough, it becomes a costly, time-intensive hobby.

In other words, a serious energy drain.

If you’re joining us from the Finding Flow challenge, we recently talked about how to keep the money energy flowing—the right way—in our business.

Hint: it all starts with energy management.

Part of managing our energy is being able to rest easy knowing that we are being appropriately compensated for all of the time and energy we are expending. But it’s more common than not in the purpose-fueled business world to overwork and under-earn.

We have to take care of ourselves—especially if our work in the world is to give to others.

The most straight forward way of figuring out just how much we need to be making in order to merit this kind of energy investment is the financial ease formula.

Oh yes, the Financial Ease Formula

Financial Ease = the dollar amount you / your business need to earn in order to spend appropriately, get out of debt, save at least 10% or more annually and live your Ideal Life

Here’s what it looks like…

*Financial Ease = the dollar amount you / your business need to earn in order to spend appropriately, get out of debt, save / invest / donate enough annually and live your Ideal Life

  • What are your estimated monthly business expenses?  ->> find that and multiply by 12
  • How much would you like to pay yourself / earn in salary each month? ->> discover that and multiply by 12
  • How much would you like to save / invest / donate each month? ->> discover that amount and multiply by 12
  • What profit margin would you like to see each year? ->> if you don’t know, choose a healthy percentage :)
  • How much do you want to set aside for vacation, time off or other large expenditures (including getting out of debt)? ->> decide on that then add it to the above figures

So, now what?

These are the actions that I assigned to the Finding Flow group last week:

  1. Define your financial ease amount.
  2. Take a look at your business financials, including profit and loss (income and expenses).

But I’ve got an extra action item for you—a little gift for tuning into the blog and investing in your business development.

On Tuesday, February 3, I’ll be sharing a digital workshop on how to bring more money – and more meaning – into your business. Register for the Purposeful Profit Webinar and you’ll learn the secret every successful business owner knows.

More money and more meaning in your purpose-driven work? Sweet!

Leave your details in the form below to register – I’ll *see* you on February 3!

Purposeful Profit

 

Posted in blog, conscious business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Redefine Success

whatissuccess

It’s mid-January which means your resolutions are either going well…or falling by the wayside. With all the New Year! New You! New Business! hype, I’m sure you have a list of goals, To-Do’s and annual intentions for your business this year. You probably also have your Big Vision and a Big Holy Amazing Goal.

But I’d like to interrupt our regular programming this week and ask:

What is your definition of success?

Instead of sketching out a list of goals and To-Do’s, milestones and objectives, consider defining success for yourself: in life and in business.

Defining success on our own terms is key to building a profitable business we love; one that is founded on our passions and our purpose.

Success is a loaded word, with different meanings to different people. How we define success points toward our own implicit, internalized and influenced belief patterns. What does culture tell us is successful? What have we been taught about success? What are our own un-investigated beliefs about success?

 \\ Success is a realization. Intentional? Karmic? Divine? (You decide.)

\\ Success is the result of hard work.

\\ Success is the natural counterpoint to failure.  

\\ Success is equivalent to freedom: financial and otherwise.

Yet we have another choice when it comes to defining success. Success can be an expression of our meaningful work in the world. We can choose to articulate a personalized definition of success as a culmination of our purpose —the endpoint of self-realization. Success then becomes an outer manifestation of a life well-lived.

And those of us on passion and purpose-driven businesses crave more than outer elements of success: we yearn for sacred success.

Sacred success is ultimately about harmony of inner and outer.

  • Inner conditions and qualities like state of mind, beliefs, core values, aligning actions with intentions, committing to an inner experience that fuels specific outer expressions.
  • Outer conditions and qualities like arranging our life around our values, remaining productive with our time and harmonizing the outer energy (money, time, business vision/ goals) with our inner intentions.

In a counter-intuitive shift, creating a personalized definition of success in this way, becomes less about us individually and more about claiming our rightful place in the world.

Today, I’m asking you to take a moment to tune out cultural messages and your own mental chatter and tune in to your own inner wisdom —in service to redefining success on your own terms.

If you’re in business now—or heading into business —chasing someone else’s definition of success, stop now.

Define success on your own terms: it may (or may not) be X amount of money each year, or your name in lights, or opening a Yoga Studio or having a full coaching practice.

Dare I say: until you define sacred success for yourself—you’re still stuck on the hamster wheel of turning your passsion-and-purpose driven business into a J-O-B.

And because this single exercise alone could make the difference between building a sustainable business you love and financial (emotional, physical) suffering — I’m adding an incentive.

Answer the powerful question below and share it with me on Instagram — tag @kellie_adkins and use hashtag #SacredStrategy. I’m giving away 3 Sacred Strategy sessions —to help you align with your sacred definition of a successful business —and you could win one!

*not on Instagram (gasp!)? Hit me up on Google+ instead.

Powerful Question:

\\ What is your personal definition of success: in business and in life?

Prompt: What does it mean for you to be successful? Is it related to …. 

(check all that apply and give details) …

  • an amount of money in the bank?
  • an impact in the world?
  • a feeling in your heart?
  • a state of being?
  • outer aspects like house / car / possessions / lifestyle / travel / fame or recognition?
  • inner aspects like freedom / choice / time / healing / fulfillment?

Go ahead, put it out into the world. Head on over to Instagram and tell me your success story.

Posted in blog, conscious business, Inspire & Grow, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Flow | A Happiness Challenge for your Business

answerthesilentcall-01

You are driven to do sacred, creative, healing work in the world: but you’d also love more abundance, ease and flow.

In short: you want it all. Prosperity and purpose. Ambition and ease. Vision and freedom. Engagement and embodied intuition.

I hear you….and no, it isn’t too much to ask!

That’s exactly why I created the Finding Flow: A Happiness Challenge for your Business. (It started Sunday!) If you join us now, it will be a breeze to catch up.

I designed this with the purpose-driven conscious creative in mind. Before we get wrapped up in the challenge, there’s something we need to explore.

What exactly is flow?

What does flow have to do with happiness – in life and in business?

And, the Million Dollar Question:

How can I bring more flow and more happiness into my business and life?

These are questions that became the origin of the Finding Flow challenge.

Bear with me for a moment as we take a jaunt down Learning Lane to look at the characteristics of flow, as detailed by the pioneer in the field of psychology dedicated to this study, Mihaly Csikszetmihalyi (say that 5 times fast!)

Characteristics of Flow (Engagement)

  1. There are clear goals every step of the way
  2. There is immediate feedback to ones actions
  3. There is a balance between challenges & skills
  4. Action & awareness are merged
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness
  6. There is no worry of failure
  7. Self-consciousness disappears
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted
  9. The activity becomes autotelic

-from Flow: The Psychology of Optimum Experience, by Mihaly Csikszetmihalyi* (Harper Perennial 1990)

But the flow state – as optimum as it may be – is only part of the story of a life lived with more meaning and mastery.

Even Csikszetmihalyi recognizes that flow is not enough. Consider this quote:

“The flow experience is … Is good only in that is has the potential to make life more rich, intense, and meaningful; it is good because it increases the strength and complexity of the self.” (ibid.).

Martin Seligman’s current work on flourishing lends a depth to the quest by detailing the cornerstones of a life well-lived. Flourishing, Seligman says, includes all the following characteristics: flow experience, positive emotion (like happiness, serenity, contentment, savoring, gratitude), positive relationships, meaning / purpose, and achievement (PERMA for short).

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement (flow)
  • Relationships
  • Meaning (purpose)
  • Achievement

-from Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, by Martin Seligman*

The fleshing out of “happiness” into “a life well-lived” is good news for those of us in purpose-driven businesses that reflect our sacred work in the world.

Artists, creatives, helpers and transformational healers of all kinds are drawn to their work because of passion, purpose, and native strengths: all of which are necessary to experience more engagement (more flow), positive emotion, and meaning in one’s life. Further, when we can design our life and business around an optimal experience and environment to share our gifts, we attract the people who value what we have to share (relationships). Lastly, building a purpose-driven and profitable business means we are bolstered by milestones and achievements.

Want to join us?

Join yourself and share the challenge with a struggling solopreneur or a friend who’s aching to turn their passion into a purpose-driven career—Send them right over here to get the welcome goodies.

*Just so you know, the links to the books are above are affiliate links – which means if you happen to buy the book, Amazon will give me a little kick-back: which, of course feeds my reading habit :) P.S. I only recommend books that I have read, that I adore and that I am certain will change your life for the better.

Posted in blog, conscious business, Creative, Motivation, Productivity, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Resolve to make New Year’s Intentions

kaboompics.com_New

The new year is upon us. Letting go of what has not served us and heading into something fresh stirs up excitement deep within our cells.

Traditionally,  this profound contemplation of what has been and the energetic motivation to move up and on leads us to make new year’s resolutions.

To resolve:

  1. settle or find a solution to a problem
  2. to decide firmly on a course of action

I have always been a goal-setter. A resolution maker. A believer in the sacredness of time and the beauty of new beginnings.

Many years ago, in listening to people talk about their resolutions, I found a disconnect between the way we use the word resolve and the beauty and excitement associated with a new year’s resolution. I explored the definition of the word resolution, I quickly saw that this was not the ritual I sought. Bringing old problems into a new era in hopes of “resolving” them was not spiritually cleansing or awareness-inducing.

So what is the intention of a new year’s resolution?

Intention:

  1. an aim or plan
  2. the healing process of a wound (medicine)

The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of Arjuna, a warrior forced to choose between loyalty to family and loyalty to moral law. He must take action and go to war with his family, as this is his sacred work—or dharma— in this life. His heart is filled with dread. Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, offers encouragement by pointing out that it is the intention behind his action that most matters.

Krishna says intention, when in alignment with our dharma, elevates all action into sacred action. Sacred action is anything that fulfills our unique and precious work in this life.

Let’s be clear though: intention requires action to truly have meaning. Simply “intending” to do something, to make a different choice or the move in a particular direction is not enough. Real change requires the fire of actions united by a common intention.

An intention focuses our actions onto a single point: our work in the world. Sometimes that is the development of a quality, a recognition of an overarching theme in our life, the work that shows up in our day-to-day living. Intention-setting for the practice that is our life, provides a clear direction: aiming us toward a more purposeful life, well-lived. (It’s one thing to practice equanimity on the yoga mat, quite another when you have a deadline and your little one is screaming in the other room).

Intention-setting provides a mental drishti on which to focus when our attention wonders. The intention—in both a yoga practice and our business plan—acts as a rudder, steering our attention and action back on course when we become distracted, distressed or unfocused.

Intention provides a lens to frame our experience and our motivations. Resolutions, goals, or To-Change, can easily devolve into reflexive responses to inadequacy, dis-satisfaction, self-criticism. Conversely, intention provides an overarching meta-theme to our daily choices, refined by our commitment to conscious awareness and actions.

In the art of conscious annual planning (for life and business), an intention serves as the litmus test for what to pursue, what endeavors to devote energy to, and what collaborations and creations fit into the year.

Intentions guide action. Action allows us to fulfill our sacred work in this life.

Before we act, we intend.

But before we intend, we need to align.

Aligning us requires us to go within: to listen to the inner whispers, to seek out universal guidance, and to create the space for transformation.

While it may be simple to resolve to eat less sugar or book more private yoga clients in 2015, transformation—in your business and in your life—only arises when you commit to remain intentional in all actions.

Intention is uncovered through inner work

  • When you sit quietly holding the space for your intuition, what arises as your own sacred work in this life –for the next year?
  • What intention would bring you more in alignment with that sacred work?
  • What does the the process of setting intentions bring up for you?

Go ahead, pick up the pen & your 2015 journal

Make some notes in response to these questions, but be warned, that this could turn all of your new year’s resolutions into something much bigger than yourself.

I know all too well how thrilling, yet absolutely terrifying, it can be when intention aligns your course of action. The metaphorical light bulb goes off, followed by the big questions…

What do I do next?

Well, I don’t have the answer to that questions, but I do know how you can find it.

On January 4th, 2015, I am hosting a completely free happiness challenge for your business called Finding Flow.

If you’re reading this post right now, you are either a conscious, creative entrepreneur or you’re going to be one some day (even if you don’t yet realize it!). Consciouspreneurs, as I like to call us, live out our dharma through our creative, helping & healing businesses.

Sometimes—more often than not—it’s a challenge to make it all flow while still getting our meaningful work done, especially when you’re on the multipassionate end of the spectrum: but I know it doesn’t have to be that way.

I’m inviting you to join me for Finding Flow | A Happiness Challenge for Your Biz.

28 days of vision, planning, purpose, flow, productivity and creative rest.

The investment is one I know you can make: Your Time & Commitment.

Make 2015 your happiest year in business ever.

Intrigued? Fill out the form below to flow with us: get your first 2015 Action Step automagically delivered by email.

P.S. Today is the last day to register for Strategy is Sexy. Which just so happens to be a very strategic compliment to Finding Flow!

 

 

 

Posted in blog, conscious business, Motivation, Yoga Business | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment
  • I’m Glad You’re Here

    Because you’ve got 100 years to live, love + leave a remarkable impact. And it’s not only essential, it’s your DUTY to share your talents and unique gifts with the world. But you have to tune in before you can radiate out, and sometimes you need a coach to give you that final nudge or a teacher to show you your own light. And sometimes you need someone to cheer you on as you step courageously into your vibrant life.

  • Need a Clarity booster shot?

    Apply for a complementary Breakthrough to Clarity Session here. Let’s create your vibrant life – and passion-fueled business – together. Learn about my Breakthrough to Clarity sessions.