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Author

Rah Engstrom

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I am a multi-faceted woman, and I love and enjoy every facet. I have a successful corporate career, I am a pro fitness model with the WBFF, a yoga instructor, healthy lifestyle coach and a relationship enthusiast – with my spouse, family and friends. Many people ask me how I do it all, and I want to share four tips that I believe have made me successful in managing those elements and truly living to the max!

1. LIVE BY A MANTRA OR QUOTE. I have two of them:

1. “Do one thing every day that scares you.” by Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “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.” by Maya Angelou

Why? This can be your guide, your anchor and your kick in the butt. I have said no to many things in my life, including surfing and downhill skiing. My husband kept reminding me, “but your quote is…” and I had to try both of those activities, and I actually had a blast. I have made some of the most exciting relationships by just talking to strangers or giving them a compliment, although I wanted to hold myself back out of fear of the unknown or response. And I’m a perfectionist at heart, so as a yoga instructor I want my classes to be perfect. But you know what? They won’t EVER be perfect, but if your students get love, attention and hugs from you, they truly will remember you – and keep coming back to your class. Now my whole focus is to create a space, a nurturing place, for my students to feel welcome, at ease and challenged. It’s ALL about how I make them FEEL.

I HAVE MADE SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING RELATIONSHIPS BY JUST TALKING TO STRANGERS OR GIVING THEM A COMPLIMENT, ALTHOUGH I WANTED TO HOLD MYSELF BACK OUT OF FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN OR RESPONSE.

Action: Find that mantra or quote that calls out to you, hold onto it and carry it with you. It will help you through so many times where you feel stuck, lonely, or in doubt.

2. COMMIT TO DAILY RITUALS. I have a few of them::

1. Morning meditation

2. Showering gratitude

3. Movement

Why? You can choose how to feel every day. You can choose how you respond to things that happen. Rituals keep me grounded, generate consistency in my life and bring me back into alignment because they’re focused only on one thing – myself. This is not a selfish act; this is a truly necessary one. So no matter if you’re a mother or believe you’re the busiest person in the world, just stop; slow down; and nurture yourself. Everyone will benefit from this. My morning meditation can last 2 minutes or sometimes up to 20, and I notice a difference in my clarity, energy and happiness when I make this choice for myself. I’ve used guidance from friends, online resources and meditation apps to practice meditation.

Showering gratitude is literally thanking my body for all that it does for me when I’m literally in the shower. This can also extend to all that I have in life – family, friends, achievements, and opportunities – but the act of loving your body no matter what condition it’s in can generate more commitment to nurturing your body into the day with the choices you make in your environment, on your plate or in your head. I used to say very sad and angry things to my body. Who wants to hang out with that type of person, and how does that person make people feel? I choose to love my body, no matter if it’s 6 pack ab lean or not, because by loving myself, I’m a happier person and that makes people feel happier. Spread the good around.

I’VE MET SOME PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY WHO DON’T LIKE “EXERCISE”, BUT THAT CAN TAKE SHAPE IN WALKING THE LAKES ON A SUNNY DAY WITH A FRIEND, OR WALKING THE HALLS WITH A COWORKER FOR A MEETING.

Obviously in being a professional fitness model and certified yogi, I have learned to move my body. But I do it because I love the way it makes me feel. From strength training in the gym, to cardio classes to yoga classes I make time to move my body in some way every day. Some days the only thing available to me is walking, so I make the most of it and the next day I focus on trying to get more in. I’ve met some people along the way who don’t like “exercise”, but that can take shape in walking the lakes on a sunny day with a friend, or walking the halls with a coworker for a meeting. You don’t have to force yourself to a gym for results. There are plenty of online options these days and at-home workouts. The key is to find movement you enjoy and move because your body benefits from it, and that body serves you every single day.

Action: Take one step to a daily ritual that will serve your mind, body and soul. Maybe it’s giving someone you love ONE intentional hug every day because you know what that hug will generate in both of your lives. Just do it, and do it every day.

3. CREATE A SCHEDULE. My biggest non-negotiable for myself is doing what I say I will do. So I schedule everything, including these things:

1. Calls or get-togethers with friends

2. Movement (see above)

3. Trips

Why? I am sometimes maniacal about my schedule. I have a work schedule with back to back meetings, and I plug my personal schedule either with follow-ups or dates with friends, movement (optimally movement with friends), and trips that I’m even thinking about taking to ensure I negotiate personal and other events in my life. This allows me to be more effective with the people I care for most in this life, people invested in a healthy lifestyle with my coaching, and in my career. I often look to the day/week/month to make sure that I’m balancing my schedule and also preparing for it. This attention has made me feel good because I’m following through on my commitments, and it also makes others feel that I’m dependable and there for them. Back to numero uno on my quote about how I make people feel. See how this is all circular? It’s called alignment.

THIS ALLOWS ME TO BE MORE EFFECTIVE WITH THE PEOPLE I CARE FOR MOST IN THIS LIFE, PEOPLE INVESTED IN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE WITH MY COACHING, AND IN MY CAREER.

Action: Schedule your daily activities. I use my phone calendar app. It’s that simple. From kids’ activities to evening work events, you will feel like you’re driving the schedule – not that the schedule is driving you.

4. ALWAYS CHOOSE TO FLOW. These are common situations where I CHOOSE to flow over other common reactions:

1. Traffic

2. Travel

3. Waiting in line

Why? Ever have those moments of anxiety, frustration and victimization, as if the world is against you? Things happen – good and sometimes very bad. It’s our response to those events that is completely within our control. It’s an ongoing practice for me, to be sure, but during these moments of stress I try to focus on my breath and consider how I could respond. Tendency is surely victim reaction, but as I’ve continued to practice this, I have been able to show compassion for the people or events that are causing inconveniences or pain for me, and most of those times, the outcome improves. Maybe just because I feel better for taking the high road. Ever heard of road rage? Traffic is probably one of the biggest generators of conflict or anger, so traffic is ripe for practicing the choice of flow over rage. Believe me, it’s not easy, but it will generate more happiness in your life. As a travel junkie, I have had many opportunities for this practice. Delays, lines, people in a rush are all instigators for frustration, but patience and compassion over frustration or aggression are some of my best travel assets. When it comes to lines at Target stores or at the airport, I have a knack for choosing the slowest line. This has afforded me many minutes of what I now call “medi-waiting”, which I read in a book so don’t quote me on it. But waiting does truly give you some time to meditate while you wait. Maybe it’s not the best environment for meditation, but it works, and the opportunity gives you some time to slow down, listen to your thoughts and if you’re really flowing, even send out thoughts of gratitude.

IT’S AN ONGOING PRACTICE FOR ME, TO BE SURE, BUT DURING THESE MOMENTS OF STRESS I TRY TO FOCUS ON MY BREATH AND CONSIDER HOW I COULD RESPOND.

Action: Practice choosing your reaction to events or situations in your life. It first starts with awareness – how are you reacting or responding to these events today? If you identify anxiety, stress or frustration, practice breathing and choosing to flow in the moment versus fight it. See what that opens up in your life.

Four tips, four calls to action. Life gives you so much practice opportunity, so start with one of these tips that resonates with you the most, turn it into a habit and then try another one on for size. Share your goal with someone and ask that they help keep you accountable. I’m here too at RahEvolution.com so hit me up, especially if it’s to tell me how these tips have helped you!