Anyone in a state of anxiety, fear, or worry needs compassion rather than criticism or be told to just stop doing what they are doing. This is a time to help them get guidance from within. Often just listening is enough for them to find the answers themselves.
As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Chodorowska.
Joanna Chodorowska is the founder and CEO of Nutrition in Motion — an intuitive nutrition and energy therapy coaching company. She inspires transformation to love the skin you are in by learning how to nourish your body, mind, and spirit with unconditional self-love.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
Since I started my nutrition coaching business in 2004, it has morphed and changed several times. I was not aware at the time when I started, that I would become intuitive nutrition and energy, therapy coach. I accidentally fell into a healership program which has changed my life and my offerings. I now help transform my clients to love the skin they are in by helping them nourish their body, mind, and spirit with absolute self-love. It seemed so strange when I first started, but now with Coronavirus, it seems the spirituality and reconnecting to self with love is what is needed most now.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
I work solo in my practice and have an office in my home. I would suggest creating the environment that best suits your energy and productivity. Since I do not have employees, I only worry about creating a safe space for myself and mainly for my clients so they can thrive.
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?
One of the first books I read was The Energetics Of Business by Marguerite Moore Callaway. It was based on going with what makes your heart sing and staying true to who you are as a person and choosing what you offer in your business based on your true talents. I think I need to re-read it!
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?
To me, being mindful is being aware of thoughts. It is an awareness more than anything. We don’t need to banish thoughts, but once we are aware of thoughts entering, we can choose as to whether we allow those thoughts to land and ruminate, or just move through after being acknowledged.
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?
The main benefits I have seen in myself and clients from mindfulness is a lower level of anxiety, worry, and fear. As we practice mindfulness more, we are able to stay present. When we are present, we no longer worry about the past or be fearful of repeating past experiences that hurt us, and we are able to tap into our greater wisdom, intuition, and lead from our hearts. It really changes the way you live your life!
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.
I am not sure there are 5 steps, but let’s see if there are!
First, we need to calm our minds of anxiety, stress, and fear or whatever emotion is arising. I suggest we breathe deeply to gain calmness. Some would say count to 10. When I say breath, I mean breathing in through the nose for 4 breathes, filling the base of the lungs, down into the base of the rib cage, then hold for 4 seconds, and breathe out for the count of 4 through the mouth. This can be repeated anywhere from 2–10 times until you feel a sense of calm.
Second, we want to accept whatever feelings we have. Whether fear, anxiety, worry, or anger, we are human. We were given emotions and we need to allow them to surface.
Third, as we remain calm, we can connect with our hearts and our greater wisdom so we can make a decision about our next steps.
Fourth is to seek outside assistance to help you these steps. I often receive my own energy therapy sessions from other practitioners as I may be ‘too much in my own head’ and situation to be able to see a clear way out.
The fifth step is to see beauty, positivity, and learn from this situation. It is a sign to course correct and we can choose a different path to get to our goal if we are willing to stay curious, re-evaluate, and make adjustments while leading from the heart.
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?
First, remember, they are doing the best they can. Try not to berate them or minimize what they are experiencing.
Second, be compassionate and kind. Pretend that was you with the same issue. How would you want to be heard, consoled, and guided through the situation? Try to mimic the way you would want others to be for you.
Third, truly listen. Often, we don’t need to do anything except listen. We don’t always need to offer advice.
Fourth, be compassionate in your responses. Anyone in a state of anxiety, fear, or worry needs compassion rather than criticism or be told to just stop doing what they are doing. This is a time to help them get guidance from within. Often just listening is enough for them to find the answers themselves.
Fifth, let go of giving them the answer or expecting a specific outcome. Just know you created a safe space for them to unload their issue and move through it with more grace and ease than when they came in. You cannot make them do anything, but if you allow them to see their own options, you can help them make the next steps that are best for them.
What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?
I think resources are abundant now. I think spiritual groups and MeetUps may be a great support for some, while others prefer books on audio, books in real life, or apps like BreakThrough with Tony Robbins who can always help you reframe things into a more positive light.
Recently, I have been offering a Daily Inspirational Card reading on Facebook as a live daily video. I then upload it to my YouTube channel.
I have my spiritual practice which also includes being an ordained minister with monthly meetings. This is through The Movement For Spiritual Inner Awareness, msia.org. It includes discourse booklets that are read monthly, online zoom gatherings, online resources and recently, daily meditations. I have found these all so useful to be a part of my inner growth so I can reframe situations into more positive actions.
I would suggest that everyone needs to find their own resources for what works best for them. I love books and group gatherings. Being a people person, I also love to gather in person, yet online gatherings have been the key to my groundedness and connecting with other like-minded individuals just to talk things through.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I had several quotes pop into my head, but I honestly think the one that has been the most relevant is the Serenity Prayer asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can…and the Wisdom to know the difference.
I have learned that I can only change myself, not others, or other actions. I am the one who creates my own reality and others just reflect issues that I need to heal within myself through love. As I become more present to me and my situation, the more I can ask God for assistance and be present to get the answers.
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. 🙂
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
Readers can follow my blog on www.nutrition-in-motion.net, follow me on Facebook as me, or my business Nutrition in Motion PA, on LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. I am most active on Facebook which is where I get most interaction from online platforms.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!