Alexis Artin: “Set aside downtime”

Set aside downtime — With all the advances in technology, we can stay connected more than ever, but that has its downside. Feeling the pressure to be constantly available again encourages you to put others’ needs before your own. Set a time each evening after which you won’t check work emails. Set your phone to flight mode […]

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Set aside downtime — With all the advances in technology, we can stay connected more than ever, but that has its downside. Feeling the pressure to be constantly available again encourages you to put others’ needs before your own. Set a time each evening after which you won’t check work emails. Set your phone to flight mode if you need to! Another great idea is to ban cellphones from the bedroom.

As a part of my series about “How to Slow Down To Do More” I had the pleasure to interview Alexis Artin.

Alexis is a leading Success Coach and co-founder of FreeBody Practice. She has spent the past two decades propelling people towards their personal and professional best in body, mind, heart, and soul

After working with many A-list celebrities across the board in television and film, Alexis transitioned her passion and skillset for fostering potential and obtaining results to the world of self-development and transformation. She worked side-by-side with many of the most revered thought leaders bringing personal growth to the global stage.

She was the driving force behind expanding one of the largest and most respected female empowerment companies, which inspired her to channel her expertise into creating a coaching practice serving clients across the globe.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

Human behavior has always fascinated me. Growing up, I expressed that through a love of acting. I used to love delving into different characters’ stories, trying on different roles, and seeing life from a different perspective. Taking on a new persona also provided me with a safe space to experiment with expressing my emotions.

Eventually, I moved behind the camera. For ten years, I worked as an entertainment executive, supporting, producing, and managing talent. I quickly realized I had a knack for knowing what people wanted and needed. It was a skill that served me phenomenally well and allowed me to fast-track people to their full potential.

After a decade of catapulting celebrities to success, I decided to transition my skills into the personal development space to help everyone live an extraordinary life — and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past ten years.

According to a 2006 Pew Research Report report, 26% of women and 21% of men feel that they are “always rushed”. Has it always been this way? Can you give a few reasons regarding what you think causes this prevalent feeling of being rushed?

It hasn’t always been this way and we’ve seen so much more rushing in our society with every passing year. The reason for it is because we’re scared. We’re living in a more high-pressured environment with demanding jobs, parental responsibilities, and full schedules, which leads us to rush around trying to fit everything in. We’re living in a perpetual state of fear that we’re losing time and money, that we’re not quick enough for someone else’s needs.

Based on your experience or research can you explain why being rushed can harm our productivity, health, and happiness?

When we rush, we lose our connection to ourselves. When you’re spending your day running around, putting out fires, or anticipating problems before they arise, you don’t have the time to spend doing the activities that bring you joy, the ones that feed your soul.

I see it with my clients all the time; this need to set boundaries at work or in their personal lives. When we rush, it’s rarely for our benefit. It’s because we’re trying to impress, support, or help someone else. And when you’re not doing things for yourself, you won’t feel truly content. Add to that the exhaustion that comes from rushing to serve everyone else, and your productivity and health will take a hit too.

On the flip side, can you give examples of how we can do more, and how our lives would improve if we could slow down?

When we slow down and think about the list of tasks facing us, we can determine whether they are worth our time. Sometimes we rush to complete a task that isn’t necessary or that we don’t have enough information to complete, just to get it done. Then what tends to happen is we lose time later by revisiting that rushed job.

Slowing down gives you the space to monitor your energy and response to different tasks throughout the day. You start to become clear on what energizes you and what depletes your energy. With this knowledge, you can better structure your time to make sure you are giving the best of yourself. When you do that, you create more certainty for yourself, which calms the fear that’s behind the rushing in the first place.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed. Can you share with our readers 6 strategies that you use to “slow down to do more”? Can you please give a story or example for each?

  1. Delegate — Before you can think about slowing down, you need to shift some things off your plate. Identify your strengths and the tasks that energize you. Make those your focus. Next, make a list of the jobs you don’t enjoy and match them up to the skillset of your team. Determine who can take on what and do it well, so you can confidently pass tasks on.
  2. Set aside downtime — With all the advances in technology, we can stay connected more than ever, but that has its downside. Feeling the pressure to be constantly available again encourages you to put others’ needs before your own. Set a time each evening after which you won’t check work emails. Set your phone to flight mode if you need to! Another great idea is to ban cellphones from the bedroom.
  3. Slow down your eating — It’s a small step, but it’s super powerful to get your mind used to slowing down. Chew every bite 10–20 times and pay attention to the textures and flavors. This practice will also keep your attention focused and avoid the tendency to rush your meals while checking social media or reading work reports.
  4. Spend time in nature — There’s nothing like being out in nature to highlight how busy our daily lives are. Try to get out in the open at least once a day, even if it’s just a ten-minute walk through a park. Even better, if you can exercise outdoors — hiking, swimming, cycling — being out in the fresh air is a welcome sanctuary from the demands of work.
  5. Breathe — When you feel the pressure mounting, or as though your to-do list is running away from you, panic and anxiety will start to rise. When you approach a task in this state, you won’t be giving your best, so it’s important to take a pause. Try this technique: place your feet firmly on the ground (scrunch your toes a few times to really feel the connection with the earth beneath you). Then close your eyes and take three to five deep breaths. This is a powerful exercise for grounding you and reducing anxiety.
  6. Single-task — We view multitasking as a desirable skill, but often it causes anxiety and is the result of feeling rushed. Challenge yourself for one day each week to just do one task at a time. For example, cooking a meal without checking your phone or watching TV. Think only of the meal you are making, paying attention to the ingredients as you prepare them, the sights and smells as they cook. Then when it’s ready, practice step three and eat it slowly!

How do you define “mindfulness”? Can you give an example or story?

Mindfulness, for me, is the act of being truly present and at peace. Not thinking ahead to what we have to do later or disappearing into a daydream while talking to a friend. Being truly present is a challenge my clients face regularly, and I use a practice I co-created called FreeBody™ to help them reconnect with themselves.

FreeBody™ is a form of moving meditation. It allows my clients to notice what feelings and sensations they are experiencing and then move the body in a way that expresses that feeling and, ultimately, release it. It’s a powerful practice for grounding you in the moment and connecting with who you are and what you need in that very moment.

Can you give examples of how people can integrate mindfulness into their everyday lives?

The breath is a great way to incorporate mindfulness. Spend a few minutes each day observing your breath. You don’t need to consciously change the rhythm, but notice every in and out breath, noticing the rise and fall of the chest and stomach with each breath.

Do you have any mindfulness tools that you find most helpful at work?

A great workplace tool is an open-eyed meditation. You can do it at your desk, and no-one will know you’re doing it! Set a timer on your phone for two minutes, then pick an object or imaginary spot on the desk, floor, or wall in front of you and keep your gaze fixed on it. Begin observing your breath, mentally saying, “I’m breathing in, I’m breathing out.” If your mind or gaze drifts, just bring them back to the breath and your chosen spot — these are your anchor points.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to use mindfulness tools or practices

Dr. Demartini is my number one of all time. His method is incomparable to anything out there when it comes to mastery in creating fulfillment in all key areas of life. Hands down. He has so many resources out there it’s mind-blowing, I highly recommend anyone and everyone to check it out.

One of the greatest books I have read is The Human Ground by Stanley Keleman. He is considered the godfather of somatics and that was his first publication. Understanding what shapes us foundationally is of crucial importance and no one explains it better than Stanley.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“When one is pretending, the entire body revolts,” by Anaïs Nin has been incredibly powerful for me. I spent many, many years trying to live someone else’s ideal — it was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. And the result was rock-bottom self-esteem and self-belief which led me to putting my body through multiple plastic surgeries to try to “look” how I thought I should look, in the hope I would feel better on the inside. Understanding that we need to uncover and connect with who we are at our core to feel truly fulfilled is what has informed my life and also approach to coaching.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

FreeBody Movement. I want people to start connecting their minds to their bodies, hearts, and souls to really tune in to who they are and why they’re here. I would inspire people to find the way back home to themselves. To their own mastery, expertise, and sovereignty. So many of us live the lives we think we should, whether it be working a corporate job when we really want to be a musician or desperately looking to settle down because all our friends are when really we want to travel the world. By paying attention to the feedback your body is giving you all the time, we can start to know ourselves on a much deeper level. Imagine if each of us uncovered and started living our true purpose? I think the world would be a much happier, joyful place. How extraordinary would that be?

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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