A Wellness Coach on Why Her Phone is ‘The Matrix’

Plus what gives her energy.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Lina Salazar: I drink water! I’m also focusing on taking three deep breaths before I even get out of bed.

TG: What gives you energy?
LS: A good workout! I’m less tired and feel like I can do anything when I work out.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
LS: I have many! Food is key to keep me centered. My must-do’s are drinking lots of water and adding greens to all of my meals. I’ve also been using Intelligent Change’s Productivity Planner, which has increased my productivity but also my levels of awareness while working.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
LS: It’s hard to choose only one! “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach have changed the way I perceive the world. I can’t help making connections between these books and every conversation I have.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
LS: I see my phone as The Matrix: I have to be connected to it to be part of the system but it’s sucking me and I don’t like it! It’s a necessary evil.

TG: How do you deal with email?
LS: I don’t check it that often. I’ve gotten better at replying to email only when I’m in front of the computer. It can always wait. I can always make it wait. Charles Duhigg’s “The Power of Habit” has helped me be more aware of the habit and impulse to check email every 5 minutes.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
LS: Go for a walk, ideally in a park, where I can see trees. This is a very calming practice for me.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
LS: In 2016, when I was still working at a multilateral bank in Washington D.C. I felt like I was in race to a place where I didn’t even want to get in the first place. I was investing too much time and physical and emotional energy in work I didn’t feel passionate about. My stress levels were high and, most importantly, I lacked purpose.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
LS: I recently left a career in international development to become a health coach. Two very different fields! It’s only normal to feel like I’ve failed when something goes wrong with my new business. Three resources or tools help me get over these limiting beliefs: NPR’s How I Built This podcast, a consistent meditation practice and re-reading about Tara Brach’s “trance of unworthiness”.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
LS: The serenity prayer always helps me see things in perspective: “God [or universe, or Buddha, or higher power…whatever works!], grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Lina was born and raised in Colombia. Motivated by her passion for consumer education, health, and sustainable food systems, Lina transitioned from a career of 10+ years in international development to launching her own health education & coaching business, LiveWell. She’s also a member of the board at Community Foodworks.

Previous to becoming a certified Health Educator & Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, Lina worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington D.C., where she was responsible for building public and private sector partnerships, designing and executing communication strategies, and managing large-scale international events. Lina is a trained lawyer from Los Andes University in Colombia and received a dual Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University (New York) and Sciences Po (Paris). 

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