“You can absolutely create balance in your life” With Nicole Mixdorf

So many people tell me that it is impossible to achieve a meaningful work life balance. My response to them is that you can absolutely create balance in your life by simply adjusting your daily routine to incorporate enough quiet nurturing moments to balance out all the stress of the day. It starts by creating […]

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So many people tell me that it is impossible to achieve a meaningful work life balance. My response to them is that you can absolutely create balance in your life by simply adjusting your daily routine to incorporate enough quiet nurturing moments to balance out all the stress of the day. It starts by creating new habits. We can all set our alarms 5 minutes earlier to have a few extra minutes in the morning for a positive ritual, whether that’s taking some deep breaths, stretching your body, setting intentions for what you want to accomplish that day, thinking of things you are grateful for, stepping outside to listen to the birds singing, or closing your eyes to savor your morning cup of coffee. How you structure your day, and the habits that support it, define your lifestyle and how you feel.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Mixdorf.

Nicole Mixdorf is the Chief Wellness Officer of Balance by Nature and was recently awarded as ‘Most Influential Woman in Corporate Wellness Services USA 2020’ by Acquisition INTL Magazine as part of their 2020 Global Excellence Awards. She was also awarded as a ‘Top 100 Healthcare Leader in the World 2020’ by the International Forum on Advancements in Healthcare.

Nicole is a motivational leader who inspires people to be the absolute best that they can be. She spent over a decade working her way up the corporate ladder in a global firm, until she experienced the debilitating health consequences of a stressful work environment. After healing her body, she launched Balance by Nature in 2012 to inspire busy professionals to create more balance in their lives and thrive.

Balance by Nature was recently awarded as one of the ‘Top 10 Employee Wellness Companies in the USA 2020’ by HR Tech Outlook Magazine and by Manage HR Magazine. The company was also awarded ‘Most Innovative Corporate Wellness Company in the Western USA 2020’ by GHP News and awarded ‘Top 30 Most Reputable Companies 2020’ by Silicon Review. Balance by Nature develops award-winning employee wellness programs that support physical, mental, and emotional well-being to create healthy corporate cultures with happy, grounded, and productive employees.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was an adventurous kid who loved the outdoors. You could typically find me sitting up in a tree or doing cartwheels in the grass. I was one of the lucky kids who grew up in a home with a mom and a dad who loved me, along with an older brother and younger sister to play with. School came easily to me, albeit with hard work, but I had the most fun with my artistic and athletic endeavors. I was on the waterski team at UCLA and have always loved painting and drawing. My real passion began at the end of college when I added a 5th year of school to pursue a Spanish minor abroad in Spain. I traveled to 42 cities that year, and the experience completely changed my life. There is something truly magical about discovering other cultures, people, food, music, art, and ways of being. The Spanish culture and lifestyle made a permanent impression on me, as they measure success not in terms of how much money you make or how big your house is, but rather, in how much time you spend with the people you love, enjoying life. What a breath of fresh air that was coming from the hustle and bustle of a big city like Los Angeles!

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

Prior to launching my wellness business, I spent over a decade working my way up the ladder in the travel industry for a global travel agency. I loved what I did, as I got to travel the world while managing an international sales team, and winning awards as a top salesperson globally. Of course, it was stressful, with a high level of intensity and pressure to perform, but that was exhilarating while I was in my 20’s, and I almost had a sense of pride in the busyness of my life.

It all came crashing down when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, I not only had stress in my work life, but now in my home life too. You see, my dad was my best friend, so watching him suffer really took a toll on me. Eventually the stress coming at me from all sides started making me physically sick. For me, it manifested in my immune system and digestive system with a horrible autoimmune condition called ulcerative colitis. I did what every good corporate professional does who has no time to slow down… I kept on going, popped a few pills, and hoped the problem would go away. Sadly, that did not work, as that strategy is completely unsustainable.

After about a year, the health condition degraded to the point that it started interfering with my ability to lead a meeting an do my job, and really started negatively impacting my quality of life. I was left with no other option but to take a stress leave of absence to heal my body. As soon as I removed a big source of stress in my life and started focusing more on my own self-care, the most miraculous thing happened… all of my symptoms disappeared!! That was when I had my “Aha!” moment and thought “wow — you can exercise and eat healthy, but if you have so much stress in your life, it’s like the rest doesn’t even matter.”

I knew my story was not unique, because all my colleagues were suffering too, but in their own ways. Stress affects everyone so differently. For some people it manifests in digestive issues, for others it’s migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression, weight gain, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, etc. I realized that corporate professionals EVERYWHERE were already suffering from many of these health conditions, completely unaware that stress is really the underlying trigger of their symptoms.

I got inspired to leave my successful corporate career behind to start up a wellness business so that I could teach other busy professionals how to create balance in their lives so they can continue performing at a high level in a more sustainable way and thrive. That is how Balance by Nature came to be!

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My parents were always my biggest cheerleaders throughout my life, encouraging me to explore the things that brought me joy. My dad was an entrepreneur and a visionary who was always coming up with innovative solutions to problems. He taught me how to think outside the box to find creative ways of doing things and achieving goals. Little did he know that I’d use that creativity to overcome residency requirement rules at UCLA to add a 5th year of school to go abroad, which required me to do 9 different petitions, several of which initially got denied, but I petitioned them again until they were all approved. Did I mention that this was 1 week before my scheduled graduation? So instead of graduating and getting a job, all I had to do was convince my parents to add another year of college so I could go live in Spain to do a Spanish minor! It is no surprise that I ended up with a successful career in sales!

Even though it was a financial hardship, my parents agreed to send me to Spain, as they knew it would be a positive life experience for me. I remember the moment that changed my life forever… I did my first semester in Sevilla and was planning an 8-week backpacking trip throughout Europe before starting the next semester in Barcelona. I had friends and family flying out to meet me for different legs of the trip; however, there was a 6-day period that I had no one to travel with. I was in the South of France with some friends, and was considering spending that time in Barcelona, as that is where I was planning to meet my parents a week later. Instead, I got the idea that I should travel by myself to Nice, France. I had never traveled alone, least of all to a foreign country where I did not know anyone or speak the language. To say I was scared was an understatement, but I decided to do it anyways.

I bought myself a train ticket to Nice without knowing where I was going to stay. I managed to find a hostel and immediately made friends with some fellow travelers. We went out and saw everything there was to see in the city — the beaches, the museums, restaurants, bars, even the glamorous casinos of Monte Carlo! I had a blast! I will never forget the train ride back to Barcelona, watching the beautiful French countryside go by in the window. In that moment, I had an epiphany. Not only did I manage to travel by myself to a foreign country where I did not speak the language or know anyone and get out in one piece, but I managed to have an incredible experience! If I could do that, I could do ANYTHING! I was instantly shot up onto a Cloud 9 and I have never looked back. That experience showed me that I am capable of anything and gave me the confidence to always pursue my dreams.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

In my business, I hire wellness professionals to deliver fitness, nutrition, stress reduction, and personal development classes for my corporate clients. Prior to COVID, we had an onsite model, where my employees would go onsite to our clients’ offices to teach classes. I learned early on that one of the main criteria I needed to look for in employees is corporate experience…

I hired a yoga instructor to deliver a series of yoga classes for a client in San Francisco. She was recommended by a friend, and we did a Skype interview and audition that went well. The classes were over the winter and the client was happy. The following summer the instructor told me she was moving to LA and looking for new classes to teach. I had a new client getting ready to start and offered her the job. I told her to meet me at the client’s office for a Meet & Greet event on Thursday, and that classes would begin the following week.

When she arrived, she was wearing a tiny spaghetti strap dress, which was not appropriate attire for that office. When I introduced her to the group, she brought her hands into the prayer position in front of her heart and raised her elbows just enough to reveal 3 inches of armpit hair! The employees in the room literally gasped and turned to each other whispering. I wanted to melt into the floor!

After that experience, I added a section into my employment agreement about professional attire and grooming! Coming from the corporate world, I took for granted that these things, amongst others, were not common sense to everyone!

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

My first piece of advice would be to start planning out your business NOW, while you are still earning an income somewhere. When I took my leave of absence from work, I had every intention to go back. I was not thinking about starting a business, so I did not have anything planned out. It took me a lot longer to really get going as I had to figure out everything as I went along. It would have saved me a lot of time and money had I done some research and worked out the details of a business plan while earning a paycheck.

The other piece of advice would be to get a business mentor or coach right from the start. Having the opportunity to learn from someone who has already sat in your shoes is incredibly beneficial. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when someone else can give you a blueprint.

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?

I loved “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris, as it opened my eyes to the impact of working smarter not harder. I was always a hard worker ever since I was a kid. My parents drilled into me the importance of hard work. It all made so much sense until I read this book, which shines a light on doing things more efficiently. I came upon this book while I was still working in the corporate world as an Executive Sales Director. In the book, Tim describes spending 1 hour cold calling at 7am and 6pm to exceed his quotas, rather than cold calling all day between 9am-5pm. This is because executives are often in the office early and leave late, and if you call them at those “off hours” the gatekeepers aren’t there to block your calls, giving you a much higher response rate. Brilliant! I implemented this right away and had great success, but most importantly, saved myself a ton of time! You truly can work less and achieve more.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

When I was 16, Dr. William Glasser, a world famous psychiatrist and family friend, told me “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re only going to get what you’ve already got.” This struck a chord with me. I was immediately inspired with the idea that I could achieve my dreams if I were willing to embrace change and act. I think this is one of the main reasons why I have never been afraid of change. I have always held the mindset that change will take me somewhere better than I was before, which is a message that I feel called to share with the masses, especially during this shifting and challenging times.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am getting ready to launch my very first wellness program to the public in January called Finding Balance. It occurred to me that everyone can benefit from the stress reduction and personal development content that I share with my large corporate clients, especially during these challenging times. Finding Balance is an affordable monthly wellness membership that teaches people how to let go of stress, shift their mindsets, and create meaningful balance so they can get more out of life. Each month explores a different theme, such as Embracing Change, Building Emotional Resiliency, Releasing Stress & Anxiety, Cultivating Focus & Mindfulness, Reconnecting to Your Inner Self, Discovering Your Purpose, Structuring Your Day for Success, etc. People are overwhelmed and hurting right now and need guidance. This content is already changing people’s lives in powerful ways, so it makes sense to offer it to a broader audience to have a greater impact.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

We naturally have 2 different routines that we fall into — our workday routine and our weekend routine. During the workweek, we generally wake up at the same time each day and conduct our activities in the same order — whatever that is for each of us individually. There is a certain structure that we have created and tend to follow daily, from waking up in the morning to falling asleep at night. We are creatures of our daily habits and routines. These habits literally define our lifestyle and what we prioritize as important at any time in our lives. And of course, these routines may change from time to time, but only if we are willing to adjust our habits.

For example, prior to having kids, I woke up at 7am each morning and did a yoga and meditation practice to start my day. It centered me and started my day off in such a positive way. As soon as my first child was born, my entire morning routine flew out the window. Instead of waking up to do yoga, I was being woken up by a baby that needed to be fed. The amount of time I once had to focus on my own self-care shrunk to the point that it disappeared for a while. There is a reason why new parents feel so on edge and that is because their priorities shifted to giving their time to their children instead of focusing it all on themselves as they once did. Going through a major life change of any kind (new job, new home, new relationship, kids, breakups, loss, illness, etc.) tends to throw a monkey wrench into our previous routines, often disconnecting us to our former sense of self. The way to shift out of it is by creating good habits that support what is important to us and the person that we wish to be.

So many people tell me that it is impossible to achieve a meaningful work life balance. My response to them is that you can absolutely create balance in your life by simply adjusting your daily routine to incorporate enough quiet nurturing moments to balance out all the stress of the day. It starts by creating new habits. We can all set our alarms 5 minutes earlier to have a few extra minutes in the morning for a positive ritual, whether that’s taking some deep breaths, stretching your body, setting intentions for what you want to accomplish that day, thinking of things you are grateful for, stepping outside to listen to the birds singing, or closing your eyes to savor your morning cup of coffee. How you structure your day, and the habits that support it, define your lifestyle and how you feel.

In my own example, motherhood threw me out of my old routine, and I created a new routine on the fly. This new routine was very nurturing for my child, but not for me, per say. I felt exhausted, edgy, and drained as I approached my work. Half a year into this, I knew something needed to change because I did not feel like myself anymore and I did not like it. So, I started looking for new ways to incorporate wellness into my day. Instead of having 45–60 minutes in the morning to do my practice, it turned into 5 minutes of gratitude and intention setting while taking a shower and getting ready for the day. My physical exercise habits turned into 3-minute breaks to hold a yoga pose while cooking or raising my baby up and down to tone my arm muscles. I started taking more walks with the baby, using the time to take in the beauty of nature around me. I redefined how I structured my day and what I fit into it. The best part is that we can do that anytime.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Creating positive habits has been instrumental in my success. One of the greatest success habits I have is to regularly visualize what I want to create in my life and in my business. Clarity about what we desire is an essential component to overall success. When you know where you want to go, it becomes so much easier to navigate yourself toward it. I start this off by doing a vision exercise at the beginning of the year, connecting with where I want to see myself in a year. What are my goals? What are my dreams? All of this goes into my vision. I write that vision down and I read it every day, which I believe is where the magic of the vision exercise comes into play. Reviewing it regularly keeps it front of mind. I use that vision to create my business plan for the year, which I break down into quarterly and monthly goals. At the beginning of each month, I create a vision for where I want to be at the end of the month, taking the time to really picture it in my mind, as if it’s already happened.

Another habit that has helped me tremendously along the journey is visualizing my success in everything that I do before I do it! Each morning, I go through all the items on my to-do list, and I take a moment to visualize the ideal outcome for each of them. For instance, if I have an important meeting that day, I’ll visualize how I want that meeting to go — What are all the points I want to make sure that I get across? How do I want the other person to react and respond to what I have to say? What is my ideal outcome for the meeting? When I take the time to visualize it before it happens, I am always blown away by how often it unfolds exactly as I imagined it would. Professional athletes talk about using this technique to visualize winning the game, crossing the finish line first, or holding up the trophy.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

To develop good habits, you must first get clarity on what you want to create in your life. What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve? And most importantly, WHY do you want to achieve it? How will it make you feel to realize it? Connecting a sense of purpose to a goal brings a whole new level of power and momentum to it. Once you know what you want, ask yourself what you need to do to accomplish it. What is it going to take? What actions will support your journey toward that goal? This will help you uncover what new habits you need to incorporate into your daily routine to be successful. And then think of each new habit individually and ask yourself what steps need to be done so you can succeed with it. For example, it’s not enough to simply say you want to eat healthier to lose weight, you need to brainstorm ways to actually do it — looking up healthy recipes, doing some meal planning, grocery shopping, connecting with a nutrition/health coach, etc. The next key step is to write down a new schedule for your day that integrates these new habits so that they get done. I am a big believer in calendarizing everything. If it is in my calendar it will get done.

Bad habits are of course much more challenging to stop. And this can be anything from going to bed too late each night to eating your lunch at your desk everyday to spending too much time on your phone, and everything in between. The pain of continuing the bad habit must outweigh the resistance to changing it. At some point, you must ask yourself if you are happy with that aspect of your life. If the answer is no, then write down the reasons why not. Create a pain point list, including how the action makes you feel. Then write down how you WANT to feel, and how a new healthier habit will change your life in a positive way. Write down a list of benefits that will come from changing that habit. Ask yourself what new habits will support your success, and then figure out how to incorporate and schedule them into your day.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

Optimum wellness means that we need to create harmony in our physical bodies, and in our minds. The most powerful wellness habit to incorporate is owning the morning. How you start your day sets the tone for how you feel throughout your day, which in turn, sets the tone for how you feel throughout your life. Never start your day by looking at your phone, as it instantly sets you into the stress response. There is nothing good on there! Do not fall into the trap of checking your phone in the morning, as that allows others to influence your mindset and steal your focus. Allow the morning to be yours.

Create a positive morning ritual that will fill your cup. This may include exercise, stretching, deep breathing, meditation, writing down things to be grateful for, repeating affirmations, taking a walk, connecting with nature, reading an uplifting book, listening to an inspiring podcast, etc. Give yourself the gift of at least 10 minutes to do something that makes you feel good so you can start your day with a growth mindset. This will have a huge impact on your success!

Our bodies are not designed to be stuck in chairs all day, so it is really important to take movement breaks throughout the day to maintain healthy circulation and avoid back pain. A great habit to get into is standing up once an hour to move or stretch. This can be as simple as getting up for a glass of water, taking a phone call standing, or stretching your arms over head and shaking out your legs. I am a big fan of having a dance party! Pick one favorite song that always gets you going, and rock out for a few minutes!

Another great habit to get into is prioritizing joy into your day. The only way to balance out all the stressful moments of your day is by incorporating enough nurturing or joyful moments into the day. What is something that you love to do? What lifts your spirits or makes you happy? Maybe it is talking to a friend, taking a hot bath, reading a good book, going for a bike ride, knitting, using power tools, or playing racquetball. Whatever it is, find a way to fit 20 minutes of it into your day. Think through your schedule and figure out where to incorporate it in — the morning, during a workday break, right after work, before bed? Planning and scheduling are key! Remember, this is about feeling good.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Successful new habits must be meaningful. Remember your why. Remind yourself why you are incorporating these habits into your life, and where they will ultimately lead you. Accountability is also a great method to help you stay on track with new habits. Pick someone to share your goals and dreams with who can act as your accountability partner. Perhaps it is your spouse or a close friend. It is ideal if they are working toward positive changes too, as you can encourage one another along the journey. Make a practice out of checking in with the person for 5 minutes daily to share what your plans are for the day and how you will incorporate your new habits into your schedule. And do not give up if you fall down. No one is perfect, and we all experience momentary lapses. The key is to jump right back into your new habit after faltering. Within a short while — a few weeks or so — your new habit gets reinforced enough that it turns into your new lifestyle that you no longer must think about. It just becomes part of who you are. And that’s the goal, isn’t it?

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

One of my positive performance habits is to clearly set intentions as I start my day. I write down my Top 3 things that I want to accomplish personally and professionally for the day. I like focusing on 3 things, as it feels manageable to accomplish 3 things in a day. I always have my long ongoing to-do list of activities written down, but I do not like working off that list as it makes me feel like I can never catch up. A much better mindset practice is to choose 3 things to work on from that list each day, which allows me to feel accomplished at the end of the day when I complete those tasks or projects, which is a big deal! I can always pick 3 more things tomorrow, and 3 more things the next day. It is also important to prioritize the top 3 personal accomplishments for the day too. This helps to reinforce healthy habits to achieve my big picture goals.

I love practicing time blocking. I take the top 3 things that I want to accomplish for the day and block time off in my calendar to work on them. I start by looking at all the meetings that I have scheduled for the day and find the open blocks of time in between. How long will each of my 3 main tasks take? 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours? I will schedule each task into a specific block of time. The key is to treat that time block the same way I would treat a meeting — with no interruptions. That means turning off my email and phone so that I can limit distractions and avoid multi-tasking which is a productivity killer. When I focus solely on one thing at a time, I can accomplish so much more, as this deep level of concentration often leads to the flow state where I feel more inspired, creative, and innovative.

Another positive habit I use for performance is accountability. I have an amazing business coach and mastermind group that keep me accountable for the goals that I set for myself. Knowing that I will be meeting with the group and having to share my progress on goals gives me motivation to stay on track and get things done.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Staying organized is one of the most important ways of staying on track with goals and healthy habits. I suggest using an online project management software to keep track of all the projects and tasks that you need to accomplish. There are many software programs on the market that offer free versions, in addition to more robust paid versions. If you are a pen and paper type of person, then I recommend getting a good planner where you can keep track of all the things you need to accomplish.

I like to color code my time blocks in my Outlook calendar based on the type of event I have scheduled. Client meetings are all in blue, prospect meetings are in green, work projects/tasks are in yellow, and personal tasks are in orange. This breaks up the calendar visually, allowing me to discern the meetings from my task blocks.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

One of the most powerful ways that I improve focus is through meditation. I can tell the difference in my ability to concentrate throughout the day when I have skipped my morning meditation. We create new neural pathways when we meditate, due to neuroplasticity in the brain. We literally train our brain to become more focused as we meditate, which has profound and lasting effects on our concentration and productivity throughout the day. Additionally, when I do my meditation practice, I find it easier to bounce back from distractions that pop up during the day. An added plus is feeling more grounded, connected, patient, and less emotionally reactive.

Another positive habit that improves my focus is using certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils. I am a big fan of a blend called Motivate from doTERRA, which I apply topically to the back of my neck and behind my ears before I work. I also rub a drop between my hands and cup over my nose to inhale aromatically, and I add a few drops to my diffuser in the office. The blend of peppermint, clementine, coriander, basil, yuzu, Melissa (lemon balm), rosemary and vanilla are fantastic for increasing energy and focus. It is also great for those times when you are feeling tired and need a quick pick me up.

Limiting distractions is another way to stay focused. I turn off all notifications for email, texts and apps on my phone and my computer. Nothing is worse than being in the middle of an important project and seeing a pop up appear on the bottom of my screen informing me of a new email. That stole my attention away from what I was working on and derailed my focus. Instead, I check my email and phone messages on my own schedule.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

For anyone interested in getting started with meditation, I suggest trying out some of the phone apps on the market for guided meditation. There are so many different styles of meditation, including guided visualization, breathwork, mindfulness, mantra, loving kindness, transcendental, primordial sound, etc. Try out different styles and different instructors until you find one that resonates with you. And then commit to a daily practice, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Regular practice is more important than 1 long meditation done sporadically.

If you are a parent with kids at home right now, come up with a system for your kids to know when it is okay to interrupt you and when it is not. I’ve got a 2-year-old at home, along with a 5-year-old doing virtual kindergarten. It is so much to juggle with a growing business! The kids know that when my door is shut and my headphones are in, they cannot disturb me, but when the door is open, they are welcome to come in for a chat or a hug.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

Yes! We achieve the flow state when we shift into a growth mindset and apply deep levels of focus and concentration to the projects that we work on. One of the fastest ways to shift into that flow state is to elevate our energetic mood. Every emotion that we experience has its own energetic frequency. The lowest frequencies are the emotions of fear, grief, depression, and victimhood. When we are experiencing those emotions, we feel drained and depleted, as they are exceptionally low energetic emotions. On the flip side, when we are experiencing joy, love, appreciation, and freedom, we feel excited and alive, as these are high vibration emotions. Raising our vibration to higher frequency emotions helps us to achieve the flow state. One of the simplest ways to do this is by practicing gratitude.

When we deliberately think of things to be grateful for, it connects us to a feeling of appreciation and love, leaving us feeling happy and good. This automatically shifts us into a growth mindset where we are more open to receive inspiration, creativity, guidance, and innovative ideas. I always practice gratitude right before working on big projects, as it helps me achieve deeper levels of concentration and flow, making my work much easier and more enjoyable.

One of my marketing mentors, Fabienne Fredrickson, shared this prayer with me that I have incorporated into my workday to receive guidance and wisdom, or what we are referring to as “flow”. “Dear Universe, I know that I have a big purpose to fulfill and I’m excited to do the work, but I need lots of help to make manifest my vision. Please allow me to move my ego out of the way, that I may see, hear, and feel your divine guidance, and allow your wisdom, creativity, inspiration, clarity, and motivation to flow through me as I work on my projects for the highest good of all those who will benefit from it, and for my own highest good. And so it is. Thank you, Amen.” I swear that every time I say this prayer, I instantly feel more focused and connected. My projects take on greater ease and I feel very much in the flow. If it resonates, give it a try, and see if it helps you!

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am on a mission to inspire people to believe in themselves and play a bigger game in their lives, inviting more meaning and joy into their daily experience. I strive to teach people how to reconnect with their inner self, discovering who they are, what they truly want, and what their purpose is in this life. I can tell you from my own experience that when you are connected to those things, life takes on new meaning and you know that you are doing exactly what you are meant to be doing. It just feels right! We all have a unique purpose in this life, yet far too many people die with their music inside of them. Life is too short to spend time on things that don’t light us up. It is never too late to reconnect to your passions and shift your focus. Could you imagine what kind of world we would live in if everyone woke up inspired to work on the things that bring them joy and serve the greater good every day? That is the vision that I am holding for our collective future.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I would love to break bread with Paul McCartney, as I admire his work and resonate with his resilience after losing some of the people closest to him. His songs are so poetic, and many of them have touched my heart on a soul level. When my sweet daddy passed away, I sang him the song “Let it be”. I spent so many years of my life thinking that I could not sing, and it was just a limiting belief that got stuck in my head in my adolescence. I reconnected with my singing voice in my mid-20’s but never sang in front of anyone, including my dad. It broke my heart that the first time he really heard me sing was when he was dying, and I’ll never forget how he squeezed my hand when I sang that song to him. Later, at a Paul McCartney concert, Sir Paul shared the story about that song. His mother, Mary, had passed away, and she came to him in a dream, telling him not to worry and to let it be. He woke up to the sound of music with that song in his head. I got the chills when I heard him tell that story! My 2-year-old daughter asks me to sing her that song every night when I put her to bed, and I often feel my daddy’s presence with us when I sing it. Music is so powerful and transcends time and space. What an amazing gift Sir Paul has shared with the world.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Readers can find out more about my work on our website — www.balancebynature.com. They can also find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolemixdorf/ . Additionally, I am happy to share a free resource with your readers — Blueprint for a Balanced Life. It is the exact framework that I use to structure my day for success. By downloading it, they can join my email list, where I share all my best content for living a stress-free, balanced lifestyle. https://balancebynature.simplero.com/blueprint

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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