Personal Freedom

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This week, while you're enjoying time with friends and family think not only about how freedom has shaped our nation - but how freedom has shaped you. What do I mean by that? We talk about freedom in the context of patriotism - after all, it was a battle-cry of our founding fathers. Freedom was called out for its roots in our DNA. Each of us seeks and enjoys personal freedom.

There is this growing trend where people are giving away their personal freedom. No this isn't a political blog - trust me! This is about giving away personal freedom when we deny one of the foundational principles- full expressing ourselves. 

Through authentic expression, we experience what's known as our whole soul. This may seem a bit strange at first, but there are parts of us that we feel fearful about. Maybe childhood traumas, old beliefs we picked up from listening to our coworkers, friends, and family members keep you from trying something or believing that something is possible for you. One of the areas that we quickly shy away from is creativity.

You might be thinking - I am NOT good at painting, drawing, acting, singing, playing, or anything typical of creativity.

You may also be thinking - what does this have to do with freedom?

Creativity and freedom go hand in hand. Once you allow yourself to fully express yourself, there's a lifted burden that you may not have realized was there because you've allowed others' judgment to keep you from freely expressing yourself.

Here are a couple of tips to practice your creativity and celebrate your freedom this week and beyond!

1. Pinpoint: Think back to your childhood. What did you really enjoy doing? What caused you to lose track of time and no matter how it came out- you really enjoyed the process of creating it?

2. Values: Pick apart your definition of freedom and think about how you want to live your full self expression. What does that look like for you?

3. Fear cleanse: Think back to those comments and judgments that may have held you back from sticking to something - what can you release? Write down those statements and then either burn it or write down your new belief. Everything is changeable!

4. Habits: Carve out time over the next week or two (notice I didn't say forever!) and try playing with your creative side. Does something resonate with you? Does something align or does it feel like a chore? Figure out the right amount of time and the creative task you'd like to take on. The best way to do this is to try it in little chunks and simply enjoy your own personal time.

The goal of these steps is to take you from sort of expressing to full of freedom expressing. Remember that each of us has a different definition of freedom and want to express it differently. Yours could be WAY different than any of the examples I've written here. That's the beauty of creativity and freedom - it's ALL up to YOU.

Now go play.


Getting the most out of PTO

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PTO, holiday, vacation, time away, travel, staycation, whatever you may call it, we all crave it. When you’re working constantly, taking a break from the routine is all about your mental health. A staggering statistic showed that 54% of Americans don’t take their PTO. Many of us, myself included, save their PTO for big trips and adventures. Other times, I save a day or two for a three-day weekend. Both come with their challenges, I don’t realllly get a full mental break from what I was doing.

Perhaps things were designed that way so that you couldn’t fully check out of work – but in other places in the world, time off is lengthy and sacred time to truly unwind, relax, and rejuvenate.

I’m going through my own version of a break, which is Maternity leave. I’ve had quite a range of feelings after taking an extended break from my old routine.  With summer unofficially kicking off, this article may resonate while you're planning your next getaway!

There are a couple of major lessons I’ve learned to help enjoy the moment and the new pace that taking a break can provide for you:

1.     The guilt you feel is a result of change, nothing more. We can associate ourselves with the work that we do daily, and by attaching our worth to it, taking a break can feel like an episode of the Twilight zone. If you find yourself feeling guilty for taking a break, remember that it’s the change that has you feeling dizzy.

2.     Your body needs at least 7 days to fully unwind from your daily routine: Now this one is debatable, because it could be more or less depending on your lifestyle. As much programming as you’ve done to your mind, you also do to your body and muscles. Your body is so accustomed to your routine that it carries the stress, tension, and elation of whatever happens to you on at work. Be sure to account any unease on your vacation to the change in routine and how that impacts your body.

3.     If you’re feeling anxious, your vacation may not be suiting your lifestyle. If you’re used to constant movement and all of a sudden you take two weeks at an all inclusive with unlimited drinks and food, you might find yourself wanting to go back to work faster to get your body and mind back into the swing of things. This means your vacation may need a little more planning and adventure next time around to keep you feeling invigorated while not focusing on your daily routine.

4.     Create an intention for your vacation, but don’t sweat it if you don’t do it: We get excited about creating something for us to do on vacation, whether that’s journaling, spending the flight working, thinking of an answer to life’s questions. Don’t sweat it if you get too caught up in the moment of time off to get to these things. The point of vacation is time away, time to play, to BE with the moment. Don’t worry about your phone, take the time to blink and take a mental photo of where you are instead.

Taking time off doesn’t need to be a huge under taking like maternity leave to be effective. Knowing yourself outside of work is just as important as inside the office. It’s most important that you take time to connect with those around you, and maintain your personal sense of identity.

Got a vacation ritual you’d love to share? Find me on Instagram @leaberrycoaching

5 Trainings you need before 30

5 Trainings you need before 30

At any point in our career we can feel stagnant, irrelevant, outdated. This seems to happen a lot more these days with new technology changing everything from the environment we work in to the tasks we perform. Even when we know our own unique brilliance, it can be hard to keep motivated and feeling like you’re on top of your game. I’ve compiled 5 essential trainings to help you get ready for your career in your 30’s.

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