When things aren’t working and we’re stressed out of our minds, we need methods that don’t require us to be at our best. We need methods that work when we’re at our worst.
I don’t believe that we have to choose between wellness and kindness in the workplace and an effective workforce. I believe that the former is the most sustainable and reliable approach for the latter. This is not some fanciful idea. Whether you look at individuals or a whole company, research has repeatedly shown this to be true.
Here are a few threads that when woven together tell some of the stories of why I do this work:
Thread one: from a young age I’ve been struck by how depressed and worn out people look coming home from work. It is something that I continue to see today as a significant issue that needs addressing.
Thread two: I’ve worked in places where people enjoyed being there. Where we spent extra time helping each other out even though we didn’t need to. Where you could easily chat to the boss and good communication meant that things got done efficiently, because we all worked together in a cohesive way. The environment was so good that I sometimes miss working there.
Yet I’ve also experienced the opposite: where the environment was so toxic that the turnover rate was at a minimum weekly, and very often daily. Where the threat of being fired or reprimanded at the drop of a hat was always present. Where good intentions (like encouraging people to be optimistic or offering free food) became twisted manipulations to try to squeeze more productivity out of people.
It was during this period of working in a toxic environment where I saw that not looking after people’s health was not just destructive for the staff, it was also costing the company immensely, yet it was something that could have been changed for the benefit of everyone.
Thread three: When I was at school, I often struggled to understand things that almost everyone else just seemed to get without any trouble. Thus, I began looking into alternative ways of learning. I was delighted to find that not only are there far more effective ways of learning and studying, but that one of the common elements in all the different strategies I am across, was a use of imagination, of curiosity, of play and enjoyment. It was not the “try harder, put in more hours, hustle till you drop” mentality. Yet despite my discoveries, I did not apply much of what I learnt. There was a disconnect I couldn’t put my finger on.
Thread four: I began to realise that there was a deeper current that needed to be addressed. A current of emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. I found that I could discipline myself to work hard, but then I would get sick - not a good strategy.
While I figured out healthy eating, the emotional and psychological elements were more complex and nuanced (they were also the most fascinating!). Many of the approaches I tried felt like they were temporarily dampening my stress rather than releasing it or solving any of my problems…
…that is, until I came across the methods and philosophy I now use. What I learnt is that we have a conscious and a subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is literally a million times more powerful. It’s one of the major factors in our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. It’s like an elephant used to going along the same track each day (our daily habits and ways of doing things). The conscious mind is like an ant on the back of that elephant. The ant might want to change direction and make things better (eg: being healthier, not feel so stressed, improve performance etc), but telling that ant that it just needs to try harder to go in a different direction is not a strategy that will yield good results.
Another way of thinking about the subconscious is that it’s like a riverbank. If you shift the river bank, the water will naturally change course. When you shift the deeper structures, you don’t have to try to make the water go in a different direction, it happens naturally. Yet when we try to change things for the better, we’re often only addressing the conscious layer. We’re trying to change where the water goes without shifting the riverbank. We’re telling the ant to scream louder instead of learning how to speak elephant. My work is focused on addressing those deeper elements.
There are deeper causes that create and compound the problems we face. If you’ve ever seen someone freak out over a tiny mistake, it’s likely that they weren’t just reacting to the current situation. Rather, there were unresolved emotions which compounded their reaction.
If a staff member is terrified or public speaking and is giving a public presentation, they probably logically know that nothing terrible will happen if they fumble on their words, yet no matter how many times they tell themselves that they can just clarify their point if they do fumble, their mind and emotions still go into hyperdrive. The sad irony is that they then become far more likely to make the very mistake they fear.
This reaction is not due to a lack of kale in their diet. Meditating more also wouldn’t solve the problem any time soon. To the best of my knowledge, their reaction is due to a deeper distress and perceived limits in the subconscious. An example of a perceived limit might be having a subconscious belief that public speaking is dangerous or that you can’t do it well. When these stresses and blocks are released, you need less willpower, which means you save energy. You’re getting to the core of the issue rather than trying to manipulate an outcome with your mind. Science also shows that the process of removing what’s in the way creates more health within us, and allows us to be more emotionally intelligent long term.
When I began to understand these deeper forces I realised there was finally a way of working with our emotions and reactions in a way that made sense, was lasting and wasn’t just “toughen up, do better, be empowered”. This approach puts our wellbeing at the core of it all. It is not something that can be cheated.
This work is like unlocking our potential (which is freaking awesome!) In an age where technology is becoming more and more prominent, I believe it’s our humanity that’s one of our greatest assets. Being more robotic and disciplined is not the path to wellness and innovation. I believe that by bringing more heart into the workplace, we also bring more intelligence and possibilities which have widespread benefits. And quite frankly, I think that we could all do with more kindness and compassion in a world that can sometimes seem so harsh and cold.
Everything I do is scientifically validated. The methods I use are designed to address the deeper causes, by using a mind-body approach. My work is also trauma informed which means that even if someone has had a very bad thing happen to them and it comes up at work, I know how to regulate them and help them come back to centre in a way that is safe.
While I do this work consistently, I am not perfectly balanced and well. I get stressed, I react, I have bad times. But this approach has been invaluable for transforming and working through my own challenges and problems that seemed unsolvable. As far as I can tell, there is no end destination, there’s always another mountain to explore. I don’t claim to know everything, or even most things. I try to come from a place of curiosity, as I think that when you consider how often we have been wrong, it is naive to be certain that you are right.
If this resonates with you and you would like to see if my services would be a good fit, I would love to hear from you. You can check out my different services and you can schedule a free chat with me here.
Emotional freedom techniques (EFT, AKA ‘tapping’)
Tapas acupressure technique
Energy psychology techniques
Heart math techniques
Brain wave training
Qualifications and training:
Certified clinical EFT practitioner
Certified energy psychology practitioner