“An awareness of others, of the energy around you, of the universe. That you are part of something much bigger.”, With Beau Henderson & Yasmine Décosterd

An awareness of others, of the energy around you, of the universe. That you are part of something much bigger. An awareness of Karma — that with every action there is a reaction. To be grateful for the things you have and not to focus on the things you don’t have. To treat others the […]

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An awareness of others, of the energy around you, of the universe. That you are part of something much bigger. An awareness of Karma — that with every action there is a reaction. To be grateful for the things you have and not to focus on the things you don’t have. To treat others the way you want to be treated. To assume people, have the best intentions, unless they show you otherwise with actions or words.

As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yasmine Décosterd.

Yasmine is first and foremost a wife, mom of two, and Global Corporate Executive turned Wellness Practitioner. She has 18+ years of Executive experience in ad-tech, with a focus in HR, Learning & Development and Business Operations. She is currently a Crystal Reiki Master Practitioner and Breathwork Coach in the state of Washington who has her own brand of curated wellness products, and also runs her own HR Executive practice on the side.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Myentire career journey is a great example of how in a corporate business environment, you can absolutely achieve success with on the job learning based on your brand and reputation. In my latest career endeavor, I definitely don’t have your “traditional” spiritual background. So, I’ll do my best to give you a synopsis that doesn’t put you to sleep!

Growing up, I always knew I was highly intuitive and an empath (although at the time I didn’t realize the extent of those gifts — I’ll get to that later). My family relocated to the United States from abroad, I faced a decent amount of adversity throughout my younger years which taught me a lot about human nature, survival and mindfulness. I didn’t know what I was going to college for, but I had a creative flare, so I decided to focus on Fashion and Art — because, why not. What I did know, was that in any job, I wanted to be dealing with people. When I graduated college, like many people back then, I ended up in a job that had nothing to do with what I spent 4 years studying, and then spent 18+ years moving up the corporate ladder. I started as a Digital Media Planner at an Ad Agency, and quickly moved up the ranks, then transitioned over to the Publisher side of the industry (Yahoo!), later on moved to a few startups that would prove to be pivotal moments in my career. I went from Media Planning, to Project Management, to various Leadership roles, to managing a Global team that included traveling to India every 3 months, to Sales Operations, to Marketing Operations, to Chief of Staff, to Business Operations, and then finally to Human Resources. All made possible based on my ability to build relationships, be accountable, build trust, deliver results and go after what I wanted.

I wouldn’t trade my corporate career for anything. It has taught me a lot of skills and techniques that has allowed me to be a one woman show in building the brand I launched a few years ago.

At some point, like many women, I felt like I was losing myself and losing sight of what I really wanted to do in life. I put all my energy into my husband, my work, and after having two children 18 months apart, AND relocating from one coast to another — it was either, have a complete meltdown, or get it together and start focusing on myself. I rarely back down from a challenge, so meltdown wasn’t an option.

When I relocated to this small town in Washington (from NY/NJ), I realized that there were not only a lot of other women just like me, but an opportunity to create something new. My journey to where I am today, started when I launched a local group with a mission to empower women to give back to themselves, via curated self-care + learning experiences, and give-back community events.

Throughout this time, I kept getting signs that I needed to pursue Reiki (FYI I always had a Crystal obsession), and so I embarked on completing my Crystal Reiki Master certification, and Breathwork training, and eventually the universe gave me the courage to pursue my passion and I created my Crystal Wellness Company brand, launched an online boutique, started a Crystal Reiki practice, starting teaching workshops at Yoga studios, and the rest is history. Fun fact: I do moonlight as the Experience Officer (Head of HR) for my husband’s company. It’s second nature to me and I enjoy helping him grow his business. Eventually I’ll pass the baton to someone else. I also have my own HR consulting practice on the side; I work on different global projects within the HR / Learning & Development field.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I’m not sure if it is the most interesting story, but it was something that stuck with me for many years (and even still today) and I would consider a defining moment in terms of opening my eyes at a young age to taking control of my own destiny and not expecting someone else to do it for me. Many years ago, I worked at Yahoo! in NYC. The stories of rotating executives are true, but I remember one of the early CEOs. She was authentic, she was relatable, she was approachable. It taught me that it was OK to be yourself, no matter what level you were. But that’s not what stuck with me. What stuck with me, was something she said in one of her town halls. “No one cares about your career except you and your mother.” WOW did that light bulb go off for me — you control your own destiny! I have used that phrase so many times on panel discussions, training or coaching sessions. It’s just so relevant, yet so simple if you really think about it.

What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?

I spend a lot of time building work culture or rebuilding…Be authentic, be accessible, have a vision and communicate transparently. It doesn’t matter if you have a team of 20 or a team of 5,000. The best leaders can traverse and navigate this easily (perhaps with a small army of people supporting them but nonetheless it’s about the intent and end result). There are different mechanisms you can use that are scalable and appropriate for your environment. I have had the opportunity to work for big brands and startups, to be part of an IPO and two Mergers & Acquisitions — I have seen it all, let me tell you. Trust me, the root of most issues is lack of authenticity, lack of accessibility, lack of vision and break down in communication. Culture included. Without your people, you’re dead in the water. So, put in the effort — it matters in the long run.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

To be completely honest, I can’t answer this. I’m not one of those people that rattles off authors and books that inspire me. There are parts or segments of many books, articles, biographies, interviews, talk shows, etc. that influence me at various points in my life. I would hate to highlight just one — because it would be inauthentic to who I am. There isn’t just 1 book, much like there isn’t just 1 person who has had significant influence in my career or life. I am a sponge and I seek information from many sources to form the most authentic version of ME.

Currently, I have 2 kids under the age of 6, two pets, a household to co-run with my husband, many businesses to manage and now homeschooling to add into the mix — I can’t remember the last time I read a book cover to cover!

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?

An awareness of others, of the energy around you, of the universe. That you are part of something much bigger. An awareness of Karma — that with every action there is a reaction. To be grateful for the things you have and not to focus on the things you don’t have. To treat others the way you want to be treated. To assume people, have the best intentions, unless they show you otherwise with actions or words.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?

In my modality of mindfulness practice, I am combing Crystals + Reiki + Breathwork. So, let me explain a little bit more about that, and then I’ll cover the physical, mental and emotional benefits.

Reiki is a Japanese relaxation technique used to help with healing. It comes from the Japanese words “rei” (universal) and “ki” (life energy). When Reiki is paired with Crystal energy, it is a marriage of spirit and mother earth, which offers deeper and faster healing. Crystal Reiki is the combination of natural Crystal healing energy and Reiki healing energy, to induce relaxation and stimulate self-healing of the mind, body and spirit. What someone experiences from Crystal Reiki varies from person to person. However, feelings of deep relaxation are usually felt by all. Crystal Reiki energy encourages you to let go of all tension, anxiety, fear or other negative feelings — it can also be used to heal past trauma. Typically, a state of peace and well-being is experienced by everyone, and for most they also feel refreshed with a more bright, positive, and balanced outlook. Crystal Reiki can also have a positive effect on forms of illness and negative conditions, although this has not been proven by science. Stress reduction with some improvement in a person’s physical and psychological condition, have also been experienced, although this has not been proven by science. Crystal Reiki always works for the individuals highest good and it will go where it is needed the most.

When you further incorporate Breathwork, there is a phrase that explains it well “the deeper the breath, the deeper the healing.” Our lungs work hard to get oxygen to our brain, cells and muscles, and to move toxins and carbon dioxide. Some proven benefits of breathwork as published by many Health Institutes are: it alkalizes your blood ph, increases muscle tone, has an anti-inflammatory effect, boosts immunity, and can elevate your mood. There are many more benefits that are not scientifically proven such as: an overall sense of “lightness”, greater clarity, a sense of calm, feeling more grounded, reduction in anxiety or anger, improved sleep, improved breathing, and many more.

Crystal Reiki Breathwork is not meant to replace conventional medicine, but rather to complement and enhance it. It should not be used as a prescription, diagnosis or treatment. Crystal Reiki compliments other healing methods and spiritual practices. It is not tied into any religion. It works independently of whatever your own beliefs or preferences are.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness and serenity during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.

Breathe. When you wake up, take a 4 count breathe — a simple inhale through your nose for 4 counts and exhale through your mouth for 4 counts — do 3 cycles of this. This is one of my favorite grounding breaths and so easy to execute (even for kids). When you feel like your blood pressure is rising or you’re heading into a presentation, or getting off a stressful call, or contemplating anything remotely negative — BREATHE. Do this before you go to sleep as well. You’ll start to notice a difference in you manage through these experiences.

Take a moment to be grateful. Be grateful for what you have, for the people around you, for the time that you have been given to slow down. You are not alone in this — so take solace in that. And unfortunately, things may be worse for someone else or in other parts of the world. Gratitude allows you to shift your focus on what you have, vs what you don’t have, and should help you manage through some of what may cause you stress or anxiety.

Try something new. Find a mindfulness modality or relaxing habit that fits with your style, time availability and interests or what you have accessible to you at this time. Maybe it’s time you tried Yoga, Breathwork, Distance Reiki or Meditate with Crystals. There are so many wonderful opportunities for digital learning now, and with social distancing laws in place. I see e-learning shaping much of the remainder of the year. Or, just going out for a brief walk when you can — hug a tree, pick a flower; getting grounded with Nature does wonders for the soul.

Leverage technology to connect you with people — but also try to create boundaries around how much intake you are willing or able to handle every day (set a timer if you need to). It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in local or world news or information in general — and I think it’s important to manage the feelings that it can create. Balance is key, and equally important is not to become too isolated. We’re social beings — so get on your favorite video conferencing tool (many have free options), social media tool (video or no video), join a new chat group, and connect with loved ones, make new friends. You can even keep dating online if you’re single! If you have kids, something I like do with them when they are missing their family or friends — is to create video messages on my phone and send them later (usually it’s like 7PM PST and they want to talk to someone who is on EST or in Europe). I’m also working on “virus free art” packets for family members which is part of my homeschooling plan that I created. It also makes us feel good to know we will be putting a smile in their hearts.

Release what no longer serves you. Practice forgiveness for yourself and others. You need to remember that you are doing your best. What is happening is beyond your control. It is something that is affecting the world, our humanity and our future. Yes, that’s a daunting statement and overwhelming if you really sit and think about it. But you cannot change it or control it. We know that we will be part of what happens next. And so, we all have to shift our focus to THAT. Your actions will set the tone for what comes next — and whether or not you inspire others around you. Your attitude and mindset, will affect how you handle what comes next — and how you support / encourage others around you. Try to release & let go, try to focus on what you would like to bring forth in your life — I call these intentions or affirmations. Different than goals — goals are for the future. Intentions are for the present / current time. This is something you can even do at work if you manage a team — I’m seeing more and more companies embrace spiritual and mindfulness techniques in the workplace.

From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?

Communicate and share, but approach with kindness and good intentions. Part of this may require you to be vulnerable which is something not everyone is comfortable doing, or leverage public (social) avenues that may also be out of your comfort zone. But there is comfort in community. Community isn’t about the people who literally live in your town or city. It’s about people coming together around a commonality to offer a listening ear, advice and support or inspiration. I am part of this Global Parent COVID Survival Group on Facebook, and it has been so wonderful to see and hear how others are handling the balance (and sometimes what feels like borderline insanity) of homeschooling + telecommuting.

Listen. Truly listen. Use empathetic listening techniques. Don’t interrupt, repeat what you heard using the words you heard. Paraphrase what you heard. Put what you heard into your own words. This creates trust, common understanding and most importantly affirms that you were truly listening. Of course, if you’re in person (which in most cases right now is unlikely) — eye contact is also key.

Remain authentic. During these times, there’s nothing worse than people trying to be, do, or say things that are inauthentic. It is often transparent and unfortunately often ends up breaking trust or minimizing the importance or validity of the support they were trying to offer in the first place.

Be mindful of your behaviors. Often people don’t realize that things other than words, are noticeable. This is so important in a world where we have had to almost overnight adopt virtual communication options. Facial expressions, posture, how you move, your tone of voice, the language you use, your gestures — these are all behaviors that people will pick up on (possibly more so now than before) and things you should remain mindful of when you’re offering support.

Offer tips or advice of what works for you when you’re feeling anxious — but don’t be pushy. Try to refrain from medical advice unless you’re a medical professional of course. I like to caveat my advice with, this is what works for me — maybe there are bits and pieces of this that could work for you. If you are on the receiving end of this advice, try not to brush it off. The person giving you this advice may be trying really hard to communicate, share, be authentic, be mindful, listen and offer advice. The last thing you want to do (if you are receiving the information) is to hurt their feelings or discount what they are sharing.

What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?

Ask yourself what you want to learn or incorporate more of, into your day to day. Then, turn to your friends, colleagues or loved ones and see if they have suggestions on resources (recommendations you trust are often the best way to start). Do some research online and see what pops up locally — perhaps there is a yoga studio or other venue that is offering a service(s) virtually or can point you in the right direction — education is key in achieving your end result. Leverage social media — what are your mentors / influencers that you follow doing / talking about in this context — sometimes this also leads to that “aha” moment. Or just do a simple keyword search on social media and see what pops up. Check out best seller lists and podcasts on mindfulness / meditation / spiritual practices. Look at the ratings and reviews or just see what sparks your interest.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Always be learning. The moment I stop learning, I know it’s time for a new challenge. The defining moments in my career always pivoted around the moments where I stopped learning. It’s fascinating if you start paying attention — I bet most of you will find the same is true for you. I incorporate that mentality into my businesses as well.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. 🙂

I would like to borrow from Oprah here. A “favorite things movement”. A massive give back movement, feel good movement, kindness movement. Our world could use more acts of selflessness.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Instagram: crystalwellnesscompany and/or via my newsletter which you can sign up for at www.crystalwellnesscompany.com

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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