How to be powerful while being quiet

The universe is all about balance, right?

I know that last week I encouraged you to speak up, and I still do. Sometimes, being quiet, not saying anything, can be very powerful too.

I was setting up for dinner with a friend the other night after a long day of fun work. I had performed at the farmers market that morning on a chilly/sunny morning, followed by a Milonga in the Park that afternoon, one of my favorite tango social to host.

eatingBy dinner time, I was tired and Hangry (hunger turning into crankiness) I was aware of it so I made the conscious decision to speak as little as possible. I believe we are accountable for what we say, do, and give to the world. My goal is to be a source of joy, not pain and discomfort, therefore, when I’m hangry, I often get really quiet, to the benefit of the people around me. My friend knows that but he still checked in with me which is what friends do when there is a change in behavior. I reassured him and sure thing, after a few bites of my dinner and some wine, I was feeling like myself again and enjoying a wonderful conversation.

Another example when being quiet is more productive than speaking is in the venting-complaining-ranting department. I’m a true believer of venting, I think it’s good for you and your soul to let things out a bit, to release some emotional pressure and give back to the world what it gave to you. It’s best to vent to the right person, someone that can understand what you’re going through, that can hold space and maybe provide some validation, reassurance or understanding. Venting to just anyone may not be that productive.

angryComplaining is venting, twice. If you said it once chances are it was heard. If there is a need to say it again it may be that you didn’t receive the reaction you wanted. Saying it again may not help, saying it to someone else might which would be venting. Are you with me πŸ˜‰ Complaining is typically disconnecting or it’s fueling a negative dynamic with another complainer. We get what we put in so I invite you to contemplate if you complain and if so, who do you complain to? You might find yourself in a negative environment which will keep you from being successful.

Ranting is like complaining on steroids. It’s completely counterproductive, disconnecting and a waste of time. It takes time to rant, that’s time that could be used to serve life and your dreams, I’ll let that sink in. I know, I’m a recovering ranter.

I invite you to vent, strategically. I invite you to be quiet for anything beyond that.

Another opportunity to be quiet is when we are in scarcity or speculation mode. Scarcity is all about fear and we say things that are not relevant, accurate or even kind. If we can’t say something nice, let’s say nothing. If we’re scared, which is valid, let’s recognize it and say so. We can’t conquer our fears if we don’t know what they are. Speculating is also about fear and projecting what might happen. There is true power in recognizing what we can control and what we can’t. There is so much power in appreciating the moment and how we can influence the present rather than worrying about the future. We have the opportunity to be quiet and not spread that fear to others with mindless comments.

Again, it is valid to be scared, it’s not productive to assume and make a statement of it.

rain umbrellaFor example, if the weather is conditional upon a certain event to be successful, like our Milonga in the Park, and the projection is for 50% chance rain, when do we start talking about it and make projections? When it starts raining! When I see the rain then I’ll do something about it, there is nothing I can do about it before that. I may plan just in case it rains but that’s it. I invite you to embrace what you know for sure. It’s particularly difficult in a culture that is based on fear, projections and the illusion of control but I have faith in you. I know you can do it πŸ™‚

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Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

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How to Maximize your Happiness with Intention?

AustinTango180Last weekend was quite the Tango experience. We hosted amazing teachers from Buenos Aires to teach a workshop. We taught our classes Friday night, then Milonga, then workshop Saturday afternoon, then Milonga, then workshop Sunday afternoon, then farewell diner.

My business partner and I were fried by Monday morning!

That being said, we had set a very clear intention for that demanding event: we wanted to bring the teaching of those two experts to our students and friends. So each time we ran out of steam a bit, we had in mind why we were doing what we were doing. We had set a solid intention.

What I invite you to do, with pretty much everything you’re doing, is to set an intention. From time spent with friends to career and hobbies. What are you trying to accomplish?

This is really important because we want to be happy. Happiness can be easily destroyed by resentment or lack of accountability.

intentBy setting our intention before hand, we are better able to manage our emotions, our time and our area of tolerance. We are better equipped to enjoy ourselves and easily set boundaries. We can protect ourselves from toxic elements or over stretching ourselves.

The idea of pre-set intention may seem overwhelming itself, however, like anything else, whatever we do gets easier the more we do it. It’s not like we’re planning every second of our life, we just get better at making faster decisions about what is truly in alignment with our authentic self. This is where joy and happiness reside and this is what I want for you πŸ™‚

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself

Paola

 

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What’s tolerable to you?

I’m not going to hold back on that one and give it to you straight: You get what you tolerate.

If we tolerate our friends being late and wasting our time, they’ll keep doing it.

If we tolerate our coworkers taking us for granted, they’ll keep doing it.

If we keep being passed on for a promotion and say nothing, it will keep happening.

If we let our partner treat us unkindly, it will keep happening.

All of it can keep happening, or worst, escalate in intensity.

What I invite you to contemplate today is your area of tolerance. What are you comfortable and what are you not?

For example, my definition of ‘late’ is 15 minutes after agreed meeting time. I prefer a message mentioning the delay by meeting time. Anything over 15 minutes after agreed time is officially late. Anything before 15 minutes is a delay that can be easily due to traffic, missed turn, wardrobe malfunction, long line at the coffee shop, etc.

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That’s my area of tolerance when it comes to time and meetings. I put that system in place years ago, that’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s the level of productivity I want in my life, therefore, I collaborate with individuals that match my needs which is a source of great joy.

That’s the point after all, we want to feel happy and purposeful, it will happen with individuals we invite in our area of tolerance.

Another example dear to my heart is when someone projects their anger unto others in person, through text, email or phone call. I consider all emotions to be valid and we can experience all of them freely. I draw the line at projecting negative feelings without consideration for others. Taking it out on others is not ok in my book. Some things need not be shared, we can be pissed on our own time and process it at our leisure, that’s what adults do. Children have tantrums, adults manage and process. Which will you be?

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I therefore draw a very obvious line in communication and any misdirected negative emotion is addressed in a firm and kind way. I don’t want that in my life, period.

Not tolerating certain things in your life doesn’t mean we don’t accept others. It means we choose what we allow in our life, and what we don’t. We can accept that people get angry and not allow them in our experience. We can accept that individuals are at a different stage of growth but we don’t have to be close friends or collaborators.

Being intolerant of others’ differences is being scared of them. I’m not scared of angry individuals or people that run late more than I can take. I just don’t like it and I have a choice to keep it out of my life. We don’t have to like and understand everything and everybody, we do have the choice to accept our differences and surround ourselves with individuals that are a source of joy and comfort.

So, what will you tolerate today?

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Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself!

Paola

 

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What’s on your bucket list?

A bucket list is not something to wait on when we’re older. A bucket list is something we nurture through out our life to allow ourselves to dream big and expand in our life.

One of my top goals as a coach is to empower women to break free of self limiting beliefs. It’s so counter productive to think small, why not think big?

As Maya Angelou said: “Don’t you know you’re a child of God?”

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I believe we can have anything our heart desires if we believe we can. Believe you can’t and you won’t, it’s that simple.

So today I invite you make a list of dreams, of things you want to do, become or have. You can start with a list of 10, or go straight to 100, you read that right, 100.

The point of the bucket list is to keep us in touch with our true desires and true self. It will also train your brain to spot what you’re looking for. The more you think about something, the more likely you are to recognize it when you see it. Think chocolate cake and all of a sudden you see chocolate everywhere!

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I invite you to write down your list with pen and paper, the idea connects to your brain more powerfully that way.

I then invite you to transfer that list to a virtual format so you can keep it updated. Replace every item you accomplish with a new one. The point is not to get to all the items all the time rather than training your brain to always be searching and being alert.

I also encourage you to read that list as often as possible, daily if you’d like. The more you do it, the more those items will come into your life. It seems magic but, really, it’s science. You’re training your brain to recognize what you’re looking for and for ways to get there. That’s it.

Not sure? Just try it and let me know what happens. I know it works because I do it all the time. I’d love to hear from you though, do share your experience with me πŸ™‚

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Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Reach for the Greatest Version of yourself!

Paola

 

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Perfect Timing

Perfect timing is something I came up with, and regularly affirm, with a certain dose of confidence and humor. I believe perfection is an illusion, I also believe we can get as close to it as possible.

Perfect timing is a system I put together to get as much done as possible while being as happy and content as possible. It’s part time management and part emotional productivity.

I notice that we often set ourselves up for failure building our to do list or planning our day. We may feel the pressure to accomplish certain things, or a certain amount of it, regardless of dynamics, priorities or energy available.

 

Perfect timing requires prioritizing, a lot! What are the top items of the day that will get you closer to your goal? Just pick a few, not 20. The dishes can wait until tomorrow, following up with a prospect doesn’t.

 

I encourage you to get rid of distractions. Do we really need to watch a Netflix for 4 hours each day? Do we HAVE to be on Facebook hours on end, or every 15 minutes? Focus is a big part of success and reaching our goals. Entertaining ourselves is valid, letting that stir us from our goal is not.

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I also encourage you to prioritize your human interactions. Who are your top personal and professional positive influences? Make a list and space out the time spent with the ones that don’t fit the category. We can have a vast network of wonderful individuals, there is no need to be in touch with all of them all the time, especially those that demand more energy from us than we get in return.

 

I invite you to make a precise schedule and stick to it. At what time we show up, late or on time, is a make or break in relationships. When was the last time you heard someone compliment an individual for being late? My point exactly! We want to create connection not, the opposite. I passionately encourage you to be on time to everything. For that to happen, we need to give ourselves time to get ready, get there, communicate to all parties involved what our schedule is. I closed meetings on several occasions because they were going on longer than I had planned. It was communicated and I followed up later, which let me be on time to my next appointment. We are allowed to be unapologetic about our priorities as long as it is communicated in a kind and confident manner.

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I hope this helps. I have been able to be extremely productive with this system, getting the important things done and not letting the small stuff get in the way. What’s helpful to you in your productivity? I’d love to know! Comment below πŸ™‚

 

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

 

Paola

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What’s your ROE?

One of the most useful practice I incorporated in my very productive lifestyle was to manage my ROE, aka Return On Energy.

We’re all different and some things can be a source of joy, others can be absolutely draining! That’s the journey of learning about who we are and what makes us tick, in a good way, or not. It’s also the process of being unapologetic about who we are, where we’re at, and what works for us.

I’m a recovering people pleaser so I can totally relate to the pressure of wanting to be perfect and liked for what we do, because we’re afraid of not being loved for who we are. I invite you to be strong and choose wisely, it’s totally worth it!

Two methods I use to honor the ultimate ROE is saying YES or saying No. It’s simple, again, it works best when we’re connected to our true self.

I love to say YES to opportunities and figure it out later. I especially say YES if it comes across as a little scary. There is nothing wrong about going back to previous commitments as long as it’s done in a way that is transparent and secure rather than volatile or self serving. We can also give a head’s up and communicate clearly where we’re at.

For example: ” that sounds like a great opportunity, I’m not sure that I can rise to the challenge fully but I’d like to give it a try, would that be alright?” That way we set the tone for the experience and the expectation.

I also love to say No, which happens more and more often lately. I say No to others and myself.

I say No to a lot of invitations, demands and expectations, social pressures and cultural framing.Β I was at a gathering last weekend and one of the guest completely put me down for not attending certain meetings, to which I never committed in the first place. She questioned me about my availability until I flat out responded: “it’s my self-care day” She didn’t get it, and that’s alright.

I say NO to myself if I crave junk food or if I want to keep working instead of focusing on self-care. I say No to myself about feeling responsible or guilty for others feelings and decisions. It’s their story to write, not mine. I say No to myself when i’m looking for the easy way out of my thought process instead of being vulnerable and owning it.

It’s a matter of focus and being clear on what we really want. Those decisions will define the emotional outcome. How much we can accomplish in one day will depend on how much we enjoy it. Let’s choose wisely πŸ™‚

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Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

 

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How to start the day

Is it really that big of a deal to start the day a certain way? Yes, it is. That’s why so many coaches and gurus share their tips and routine, specifically about that part of the day. How you start will define the rest of the day and how we manage situations. It’s like being on a certain setting. Can we reset through the day? Sure! I’m going for the most productive option here. I prefer to shoot for excellence rather than mediocrity.

 

So what do I do in the morning?

Step 1

I only get out of bed once my intention for the day is set. I already reviewed my schedule the night before, I know what’s coming, so I want to have a firm positive intention for those items too. I want to start the day with love and motivation in my heart, not fear and frustration. It’s easier some mornings than other, I’m not going to lie. However, it’s a golden rule of mine. By the time my feet hit the floor, I’m in the best possible and ready to make the day as amazing as possible!

 

Step 2

I bathe. I like to wake my body up slowly. I also find that I think straighter and better when I feel clean. My bathing ritual also gives me time to firm up the derails about my day and to focus on self care. What does my body need today? How can I best take care of it? Where can I improve in my self care routines. Our bodies are our most precious commodity, not our houses or our cars. How we take care of our body is a factor in defining our success. How productive can you be if you’re body is aching and distracting you from your tasks? On the priority list, self care always comes first!

 

Step 3

I move my body. I’ve been asleep for over 7 hours and I feel it’s important to get back in the movement slowly but surely. Everybody has their preferences, for me it’s ballet. I love doing my ballet exercises that involve balance and light stretching. It’s nothing strenuous but just enough to awaken the awareness of the body. These exercises also support the muscles I need as a tango dancer so it’s a win-win.

 

Step 4

I have breakfast, sitting down and enjoying every minute of that moment. I’m a warm drink kind of girl in the morning. I may choose tea or coffee depending on my mood. If I wake up early, I stick to grains, nuts and fruits. If I wake up later in the morning after sleeping in, I may have some eggs. meat and veggies. I then go through my emails and social medias updates, read articles and add to my to do list if I’m inspired by something I want to try. I stay away from negativity and anything triggering. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, I just don’t need all of them in my life, and surely not over breakfast. We get the space we create and I want mine to be inspiring and powerful, not negative and pessimistic. Our brain is already wired to detect the negative over the positive in life, let’s help out by being selective of what we feed and expose our brain to, shall we?

 

This is my personal routine and it has served me greatly! I attribute a lot of my personal happiness and success to my morning routine. The routine can vary from person to person of course, however, those 4 steps are a common to all the systems I’ve seen out there. I encourage you to make it your own, you only need 4 elements: intention, self care, feed the body, feed the mind. I invite to see what works for you, what’s joyful and natural to your body. How do you know if it’s working? Check in with yourself. The heart never lies. If you feel fear, shame, frustration after your morning routine, you may need to keep working on it. I know you can do it!

 

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

 

Paola
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