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“Giving them something to listen to is key.” with Jessie May Wolfe and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Encourage employees to incorporate an element of nature into their individual every day routines. Screen Fatigue is real and so getting outside, even if for a short 10 minute walk or simple stretching is tremendous medicine and helps balance all of that screen time. If being outside is less accessible, movement indoors will generate the […]

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Encourage employees to incorporate an element of nature into their individual every day routines. Screen Fatigue is real and so getting outside, even if for a short 10 minute walk or simple stretching is tremendous medicine and helps balance all of that screen time. If being outside is less accessible, movement indoors will generate the blood flow and circulation to wake up the body and restore the mind too.

Asa part of my series about the “5 Ways That Businesses Can Help Promote The Mental Wellness Of Their Employees” I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessie May Wolfe.

Jessie May Wolfe is a brave heart leader, speaker and visionary. She empowers teams of creatives, entrepreneurs and executives around the world using the HeartRise Method.

HeartRise was born out of her genuine curiosity to understand how interconnected we all are. Jessie May is driven by her creative entrepreneurial force and desire to embolden others to live their truth.

Her expansive experience in the fashion, publishing, communications, startup, and wellness industries inspired the creation of what is now known as the HeartRise Method.

Over the last decade she has activated HeartRise in cities globally, sharing the method with educational organizations, leading-edge companies, foundations and communities. Each experience radically strengthens emotional intelligence, productivity, collaboration, and communication. From Wellness to Tech, Real Estate, Non Profit, Advertising, and Media; HeartRise disrupts company culture offering a fresh take on heart powered leadership.

Jessie May is building bridges with the language of the heart.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, 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?

I’ve always been curious and creative by nature. My desire to understand how interconnected we are was a driving force in all endeavors. I’ve loved people and been drawn to understand the meaning of life from a young age.

This led me to explore many different paths along the way, all which have contributed to what is now HeartRise.

Being in nature was always a big part of my life, loving being up at our family cottage and creating imaginary worlds in the forest with friends. Different chapters of being an entrepreneur in my early days, from tie dying t-shirts on our gravel driveway at the cottage, to being a camp counselor and tripper taking kids out on canoe trips, led to studying communications in university with a minor in documentary film studies. Compelled by the human story, I then got into photography and graphic design, while traveling with stints living in Sydney and London where I worked as a designer @Phaidon Press. Upon returning to Montreal, my hometown, I started a clothing line which I grew over 6 years, and was a creative expression of all these chapters…Jessie May the brand was born — with the tagline ‘Come Out + Play’ an invitation to free one’s heart and open to the free spirit I was listening to. Colorful collections, and palettes with creative titles for each collection from ‘Northern Rhapsody’ to ‘Desert Sun’ ~ with all my gorgeous friends as my models, we had a lot of fun. Over 6 years I had over 400 stores carrying the line and 6 showrooms — but my creative vision felt lost in translation, suffocated by the rat race of the industry, no sooner completing one collection than having to create another, even though the customers wanted repeats on what I’d created.

This is when I followed my heart and returned to my inspiration to work with people…pursuing a massive shift into the realm of coaching and healing, which came so naturally to me. I dove deep into research, learning and personal development, while pursuing my Life Coach Training — and along with training in many other healing & coaching modalities along the way from Reiki, to HeartMath for the science and studying with some of the best teachers. It became very clear to me that in order to achieve one’s dreams it was necessary to unleash the power of the human heart — and this became the guiding force that had clearly been moving me all along, only now I was developing a way to access it. And HeartRise was born, as an accessible method to plug into this heart power that is guiding and wise.

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

I volunteered with a group of men in recovery. One of them was a war vet having served in Iraq and struggled with PTSD upon his return. He had tried everything and sadly been estranged from his wife and 4 kids. He came to my Friday morning HeartRise sessions and slowly week to week, he opened his heart and began to really access his truth. Being witnessed by the other men, he found his heart again. The last week, after about 3 months of working together, he came to me in front of the group and said I have something for you. He gave me his ‘wounded warriors’ bracelet that said honor on it in front of our whole circle and said, “Thank you for helping me come home to my heart and restoring my honor.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and the most rewarding experience. We still stay in touch and he went home to his family. One year later his wife and daughter surprised me by attending one of my HeartRise Workshops in Malibu. At the end when everyone has a chance to share, they shared this story of how they had their husband and father back, his heart had been healed and his joy restored. The greatest gift I’ve known. The power of the heart knows no limits.

What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?

To take the time to build a relationship with your heart. It’s the greatest, most undervalued resource we have. By learning how to come home to our hearts, we can build self trust, repurpose our anxiety as meaningful fuel and truly begin to honor ourselves and all that we’re experiencing.

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

Listen to your people. Create a safe space where they feel heard and seen. When people feel they are accepted and appreciated, they produce their best; feeling empowered as an integral part of the culture.

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

Maya Angelou — ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ This says it all. It’s how I role and what HeartRise is all about. When we take care of how we show up, tending to our own healthy hearts, we can show up with compassion and kindness and people remember that above all else. So simple, So true. The vibes don’t lie and they leave a much more lasting impact than any words or things you do. It’s the WAY we show up. The heart we share. This is what connects us and builds the kind of heart bridges that impact real change.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. As you know, the collective mental health of our country is facing extreme pressure. In recent years many companies have begun offering mental health programs for their employees. For the sake of inspiring others, we would love to hear about five steps or initiatives that companies have taken to help improve or optimize their employees mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each?

1) DAILY PLUG IN OR MEDITATION TO ANCHOR EMPLOYEES:

Giving them something to listen to is key. Offering a short morning meditation or inspiring message can really help to keep employees grounded and set the right tone for the day.

2) BREATHE:

Inviting employees to practice breathing when they are overwhelmed is key, so often we rush through the day without taking healthy breathing breaks to slow down. Just by setting up time, whether its group times on the calendar or mini morning and afternoon breathing breaks. This can be a game changer.

3) GET OUT AND MOVE IN NATURE:

Encourage employees to incorporate an element of nature into their individual every day routines. Screen Fatigue is real and so getting outside, even if for a short 10 minute walk or simple stretching is tremendous medicine and helps balance all of that screen time. If being outside is less accessible, movement indoors will generate the blood flow and circulation to wake up the body and restore the mind too.

4) SHARE:

With so many varying times zones, schedules and working hours, having a dedicated community chat space for employees to share their daily wins + experiences helps with accountability, inclusion and support.

5) LISTEN:

Have regular weekly group check-ins where employees can get support and resolve issues collectively. We offer these with HeartRise where we see our company teams work through reframes in each others presence, where they can all learn and feel inspired by the action and breakthrough

These ideas are wonderful, but sadly they are not yet commonplace. What strategies would you suggest to raise awareness about the importance of supporting the mental wellness of employees?

Making sure you create time for your people to connect with one another. Especially in these times when we are more physically distanced than ever. A daily connect with their heart, whether it be through an app or we have our daily 4 minute Ignite Bytes delivered by text to keep employees anchored daily.

Having a morning meeting, even a short one that’s 10–15 minutes to check in with everyone and ensure that your people are connecting is essential too.

From your experience or research, what are different steps that each of us as individuals, as a community and as a society, can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling stressed, depressed, anxious and having other mental health issues ? Can you explain?

Connecting with the heart is essential. We cannot have mental health without emotional well-being. Get curios when you or your employees are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious. Our HeartRise Method is a powerful 4 step method that gets you to feel into and through what’s at the heart of the matter, helping to ensure greater ease and resilience. We have to feel through to heal through, so getting used to on-boarding the heart rather than trying to analyze the issue is critical and with practice a real game changer.

Habits can play a huge role in mental wellness. What are the best strategies you would suggest to develop good healthy habits for optimal mental wellness that can replace any poor habits?

The simple practice of laying one or both hands over your heart can naturally help to calm the mind and nervous system. With our 4 step method, you can learn to recalibrate when triggers arise and catch them before they take hold. This can be very powerful as the best way to wake up. Use our daily Ignite Bytes for extra support (a 4 minute guided message and mini meditation) and anchor home in your heart before you let your busy brain run away with you. With practice you can retrain your brain with the power of your heart and use the method to reset when situations arise to take your off center.

Do you use any meditation, breathing or mind-calming practices that promote your mental wellbeing? We’d love to hear about all of them. How have they impacted your own life?

YESS!! HeartRise is a fusion of all as an active meditation in 4 steps to help calm your mind, build emotional resilience and cultivate the capacity to respond rather than react when triggers show up. It’s very accessible and can be practiced on the regular.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

The Alchemist” written by Paolo Coelho: This book affirmed what I already knew in my heart, and what I believe we all know inherently. When we deeply align with our truth, there is a tremendous life force from within that conspires to support our evolution. It deepened my faith in life and the power we all have when we let our knowing hearts lead the way.

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. 🙂

Living it — HeartRise

What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?

Heartrisemovement.com

@heartrisemovement on Instagram

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

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