Posts tagged with "goals"

Marathon graphic via 360 magazine

5 Ways to Energize Your Daily Routine

The average person’s day is filled with routines. From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, we perform a particular set of tasks every day. While some people might enjoy their daily routine, others may feel bored or uninspired. If you feel like your daily routine is dragging you down, it might be time to change.

It is important to note that not everyone will enjoy or benefit from all of these tips. Some people may prefer to stick to their tried-and-true routine, while others may be looking for new and innovative ways to add excitement back into their lives.

According to a study by the University of Cambridge, humans are creatures of habit. The study found that around 40% of our everyday activities are performed out of habit, without any real thought or deliberation. Furthermore, this number increases as we get older – by the time we reach our 60s and 70s, over 50% of our actions are performed automatically, without conscious thought.

While routines can help keep our lives organized and allow us to accomplish our goals, they can also become monotonous and boring. If your daily routine is starting to feel like a drag, it might be time to make some changes. Here are five ways to energize your daily routine.

Establish a Workout Routine

Working out is a great way to get your body moving and boost your energy levels. Now is the time to start if you’re not already incorporating some form of exercise into your daily routine. Even if you can only spare 20-30 minutes for a quick workout, it will make a world of difference.

There are endless options when it comes to working out, so find something that suits your needs and interests. For example, if you enjoy being outdoors, go for a run or walk in your neighborhood. Try a stretch studio in Dubai or lifting weights at the gym if you prefer indoor activities. And if you’re short on time, there are plenty of at-home workouts that you can do with minimal equipment.

Make Time for Breakfast

Many people skip breakfast because they don’t have time or they’re not hungry when they wake up. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. It provides your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly.

If you’re not a morning person, try setting your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier than usual so that you have time to make and eat breakfast. There are plenty of quick and easy breakfast recipes that you can make ahead of time, such as overnight oats or egg muffins.

Create a Morning Routine

A morning routine can help start your day on the right foot and set the tone for the rest of the day. If you don’t have a morning routine, now is the time to create one.

Think about what you would like to accomplish in the morning and make a list of activities that will help you achieve those goals. For example, if you want to start your day with some self-care, you might include activities such as taking a shower, doing your hair and makeup, and making breakfast. If you’re looking to get some work done, you might include tasks such as reading through your emails and writing down a to-do list for the day.

The key is to find what works for you and stick to it. Experiment with different activities until you find a combination that makes you feel energized and ready to take on the day.

Set Some Goals

You can quickly lose motivation if you don’t have any goals to work towards. On the other hand, having something to focus on and strive for can give you a sense of purpose and make your daily routine more exciting.

Think about what you would like to achieve in the short term, such as finishing a project at work or learning a new skill. Then, come up with a plan of action that will help you reach those goals. For example, if your goal is to finish a project at work, you might break it down into smaller tasks that you can complete daily.

Make Time for Yourself

It’s essential to make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes. You can use this time to do something that makes you happy, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.

Making time for yourself will help reduce stress and give you the energy you need to power through your daily routine. So, be sure to schedule some “me time” into your day and stick to it.

Conclusion

Your daily routine doesn’t have to be boring or monotonous. Making a few simple changes can energize your routine and make each day more enjoyable. Give these tips a try and see how they work for you.

Katie Sandler illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Motivation with Katie Sandler

How to Get Off Autopilot to Move Your Career (and Life) Forward

Katie Sandler, career development and impact coach, offers tips on how people can get things moving again

Millions of people feel like they are living their life on autopilot. This is the word to describe when day in and day out, it’s the same thing, to the point that many feel they are sleepwalking through life. Polling by Strada Education Network finds that many people feel stuck in their career and don’t know what will help them improve their circumstances. In fact, 32% of those people say they don’t even know where to begin in order to make things better and become unstuck. The good news is there are things that can be done to get off of autopilot and move your career and life along in a better direction.

“Oftentimes, people simply suggest training or educational programs in order to move your career along, but there are plenty of other things you can do,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “We need to get off autopilot in life as a whole, not just in our careers. Once you do this, you will become more successful and ultimately enjoy life a lot more.”

Those who feel stuck, both in their careers and in life in general, can take action to change those feelings. It all comes down to knowing what to do and how to get started. Sandler has helped many people to move past such a place and says some of the things that people can do include:

  • Get help. First and foremost, people need to start recognizing that you cannot do it alone and you need to hire someone to be a coach, a sounding board, and a catalyst.
  • Set the intention. You must set the intention and energy around creating new shifts in order to move in a different direction or at a different pace. AKA you have to decide to get off of autopilot in the first place.
  • Discover yourself. Recognize that you need to become familiar with yourself and your patterns of being – again, something you cannot do alone – in order to be able to make adjustments. This takes time, and it takes working with someone to help you see your patterns, to draw connections, to build understanding, and then to support you in reprogramming for desired outcomes.
  • Answer to yourself.  You also have to stop meeting society’s ideals, your family’s ideals, etc. and be open-minded and willing to do you, to be your authentic self and to honor what that means so that your career and life is filled with purpose and impact.
  • Making a decision. Oftentimes, people feel stuck because they are not sure what to choose. They consider various options and can’t decide what to do, so they don’t make any decision at all. That will keep you stuck, so make a decision so you can move forward with something.
  • Try new things. One of the most common reasons that people get stuck in life is that they don’t try anything new. They do the same things over and over, which ends up being autopilot. Make a point to try something new every month, whether it be for fun or for your career. This will help get you energized and so you can engage in life in a different way.
  • Start small. If you don’t like being stuck but fear making big changes, start small. Making small changes in various areas can add up to big results. Commit to the first small change, and then go from there as you get more empowered along the way.

“Nobody enjoys feeling like their life or career is stuck in one place,” added Sandler. “If that’s where you are, then it’s time to do yourself a favor and make shake things up. Working on honoring yourself will bring joy and peace to your life. Think of it as a gift to yourself, which ripples and benefits those around you as well.”

Sandler has provided professional support to many people to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. She routinely works with people to help them identify areas to focus on, paths for personal achievement, how to reach their life goals, and more. She also works with companies, providing impact trainings and workshops and developing and promoting purposeful and inclusive organizational cultures.

In addition to one-on-one coaching and corporate services, Sandler also offers low-key luxury impact retreats. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in mindfulness-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practice. She previously spent time as a research assistant while at Johns Hopkins focusing on purpose in life. To learn more about Katie Sandler and her services, or to see the retreat schedule, visit Katie Sandler’s website.

About Katie Sandler

Katie Sandler is the popular Impact Coach and provides health & wealth coaching and personal and professional development. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful so they can live with purpose and make an impact in our world. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit the site: her website.

Illustration for 360 Magazine art story

Ways to Achieve a Positive Mindset To Help You Succeed

A positive mindset helps people make the best choices and decisions for themselves, their jobs, and those around them. Learning to practice having a positive mindset also fosters a strong relationship with yourself and others as it relies on engaging in and maturing your internal dialogue. It helps in building resilience, creating a positive and optimistic attitude and ultimately leads to greater success and well-being.  The good news is that there are things people can do to have a more positive mindset.

“There are so many benefits of cultivating a positive mindset,” explains Katie Sandler, personal development and career coach. “The goal is to learn how to do it and then continue practicing it until utilizing a positive mindset becomes a way of life. It can be done, and when it is, you will be far more successful and content as a result.”

A positive mindset is a mental and emotional attitude – it’s about making the choice to think positively. If we think positively then typically beneficial behaviors and actions follow. Sandler has helped many people to shift their mindset and use the power of it to achieve goals and become more successful in multiple areas of their life. Some of the ways she has helped her clients to achieve a positive mindset include:

  • Practice mindfulness. When you are living in the moment and are aware of what is going on in the present moment with a kind and open attitude, you are being mindful. Many people worry about the past or the future, which tends to lead to symptoms of stress, depression or anxiety. But, when you attune to the here and now without judgement, you are better able to remain positive and achieve your goals. As your mind wanders, which it’s trained to do, simply acknowledge it and gently bring it back to the present moment by focusing on your breath.
  • Have an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful means noticing even the small things in your life that you appreciate. It’s a way to savor the moment, be positive and look for the possibilities in whatever life throws your way. When you do this on a regular basis, it helps to flex your mindset muscles – train yourself to be grateful and express gratitude and notice the good things that happen all around you.
  • Keep it real. Life is not easy or peachy keen. As a matter of fact, it is actually more difficult than it is easy, but no one wants to admit this. So let’s face the facts – we have to work at having a positive mindset, period, and anything worth having doesn’t come easy because life is hard.
  • Engage your internal dialogue. You know that voice you hear in your head? Well you’re not alone, because we all have an inner voice we hear. The thing is, a lot of people don’t realize that you can in fact engage with that part of yourself, and with a loving and kind attitude, you can work with yourself to mature your mindset.
  • Commit to it and keep practicing. People tend to think that knowing what to do is half the battle, but that’s not true. If you don’t put it into practice then it doesn’t do you much good to know it. You have to learn new habits and ways of being, implement them, test them out, and continually work at getting better at them.
  • Define what success means to you. At the end of the day, how we define success varies for us all, but this definition is for sure: To achieve well-being, a state of fulfillment and contentment, and a positive mindset is the type of success we should all hope for – the type of success we all need and deserve.

“One of the most important things you can do in life is to shift your mindset so that you can truly enjoy the life you’re living,” added Sandler. “It will be beneficial in nearly all areas of your life, helping you to become healthier, happier, and more successful. Make this the year that you put positivity front and center.”

A positive mindset can help people experience greater levels of happiness, and being happier helps people to become more positive – it’s a cycle. In an issue of the journal called Canadian Family Physician, a doctor wrote what he called a prescription for happiness. The three things he prescribed to help people be happier are spending time outdoors in a natural environment daily, starting every morning by thinking of three things to be grateful for, and surrounding yourself with supportive people.

Sandler has provided professional support to many people to help them achieve their personal and professional goals. She routinely works with people to help them identify areas to focus on, paths for personal achievement, how to reach their life goals, and more. She also works with companies providing impact trainings and workshops, developing and promoting purposeful and inclusive organizational cultures. Through her efforts, companies have been able to reduce absenteeism rates, motivate their team, reduce stress levels, engage their employees, and create a workplace in which to thrive.

In addition to one-on-one coaching services, Sandler offers impact retreats and corporate impact events. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in mental health counseling, has a strong foundation in mindfulness-based stress reduction, and has worked in hospitals and private practices. She has also spent time as a research assistant at Johns Hopkins. Upcoming retreats include Rest and Renew in Asheville, NC, Mindfulness in Mykonos, Rewire and Renew in The French Alps, and Mindfulness & Mindset in The Hamptons. To learn more about Katie Sandler and her services, or to see the retreat schedule, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.

About Katie Sandler

Katie Sandler is a popular impact and private wellness coach. She offers retreats around the world, as well as private coaching and corporate impact coaching opportunities. She focuses on helping people become more successful, overcome adversity, and reach new career goals. To learn more about Katie or her services, visit the site: https://katiesandler.com/.

2021 Illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

5 New Year’s Resolutions To Make Your Business Culture A Winner

New Year’s resolutions are not only for individuals but businesses too. Company goals leaders set for the year ahead are usually measured in data tied to categories like revenue production and expense reduction. 

After a difficult 2020 due to COVID-19, many enterprises’ bottom-line numbers will take on extra importance in 2021. And business culture will be just as crucial. Any resolutions that company leaders make are an effective way to measure their work environment and help their teams meet performance metrics, says Mark McClain, CEO and co-founder of SailPoint and the ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People).  

“Meeting individual, team, and company goals begin with employees and managers working well together in a vibrant environment,” McClain says. “And given the changes and challenges of these times, culture and how leaders pay attention to it have never been more important. 

“The bottom line falls into place when everyone is on the same page. But even if leaders have established a strong culture, it bears constant vigilance to ensure everyone is rowing in the same direction, especially now when a volatile world can threaten to throw even the most solid companies off course.”  

McClain offers these business culture resolutions for the New Year that leaders could consider:

  • Focus on shared values. McClain thinks it’s misleading to frequently state that a “family atmosphere” exists in a company. “The bigger a company gets or the more it grows in capability and value, the less it’s going to feel like a family,” he says. “Creative friction and disagreement on processes and concepts are inevitable. Smart companies leverage broader, shared values as common ground on which workers can connect. I’ve found one of the best places for doing that is through service to the community beyond company walls. If your culture encourages people to work together for some greater good, they’ll continue to appreciate each other as humans and fellow workers.” 
  • Avoid prima donnas. ”Talented people are essential for a successful business,” McClain says, “but don’t fall in love with a gifted person if they are constantly letting you know how special they are. Watching them work can be breathtaking, but not when they’re the ones sucking the air out of the room.”
  • Double down on integrity. “Large legacy companies are often loaded with people who are just taking up space and collecting a paycheck,” McClain says. “It’s a significant issue, and it goes hand-in-hand with integrity. Effective workers know the difference between busywork and producing value. Everybody in the organization must be clear on what success looks like. The role of management is to be clear on objectives and then let people run.”
  • Don’t stop innovating. McClain says many companies stagnate in this area and should learn how to expand their innovations while encouraging the cultivation of new ideas. “Innovation is an amalgam of product marketing and product management skills, of listening to the market, and of engineering people who can take a problem and figure out how to solve it,” he says. “But innovation should apply in every direction – in how a company contracts, how they sell, how they market.”
  • Be the first to own mistakes. “Anyone who has been involved in conflict directly knows there’s always the sense that both parties have some responsibility,” McClain says. “The sooner you own yours, the more likely the other person will own theirs – and the project can move forward.”

“New Year’s resolutions are often easily discarded because of a person’s lack of commitment,” McClain says. “For business leaders and their workforce, they reflect company core values and can create or improve a culture that everyone will appreciate and aspire to uphold and deepen.”

About Mark McClain

Mark McClain, ForbesBooks author of Joy and Success at Work: Building Organizations that Don’t Suck (the Life Out of People), is CEO of SailPoint, a leader in the enterprise identity management market. McClain has led the company from its beginnings in 2005, when it started as a three-person team, to today, where SailPoint has grown to more than 1,200 employees who serve customers in 35 countries.

A Beginner’s Guide To Non-Profit Fundraising

Fundraising forms the core of all non-profits, and it allows them to do the great work which they have been set up for. The reality for most of these organizations however is that fundraising is something which is not always enjoyable. These organizations want to be out there doing great work, yet of course in order to do that they need funds, and for that they need donors. 

Brand new organizations will need to get to work quickly in setting up their fundraising infrastructure, and in doing so they can not only raise funds now, but give themselves the greatest opportunity of counting to do so in the future. 

Identify Your Ideal Donor

Fundraising is about working smart as well as hard and that is why identifying the ideal donor is the first place to start. If you take a blanket approach to this then you will find that you are wasting you time in so many avenues, and that will cost money too. Consider what your organization is trying to do, and then who that speaks to, this will help to identify which group of people are most likely to care enough to put their hands in their pockets. 

Ensure You Have a CRM In Place 

In terms of a nonprofit success pack Salesforce offers the perfect CRM which your company can use to store and manage important data about your fundraising efforts, and about your donors. This is an easy to manage dashboard with will boost your fundraising efforts thanks to smart apps which integrate into the CRM, as well as intelligent use of metrics which can help you to tweak your fundraising strategy. 

Understand What Your Goals Are

Before you begin your approach to fundraising, you have to first set out clear goals. These goals are both for your company and for the donor. Laying out what your monthly costs are, what your desires are and how much money will be required for all of this to be taken care of are crucial calculations to make. 

Market The Non Profit 

There has to be some spending on your behalf and the marketing of your non-profit will be one such area of investment. It is essential that you have an eye on building the brand, so that you can call attention to the great work which you and your company are doing. This is a necessary step which will bring in more donations.  

The Evaluation Process

No matter whether you have just launched the fundraising round or you are in the thick of it evaluation is key. Working out which approach brought the best results with regards to your campaign, understanding what has surprised you along the way – both good and bad – and understanding how to shape your strategy in the future to gain better results, these are all critical in your efforts to raise funds. 

Focus on creating and implementing the most efficient strategy which will bring in the funds which your organization requires.

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

U.S. Soccer Foundation – 300 Mini-Pitches

300 Mini-Pitches from the U.S. Soccer Foundation Bring Soccer to Underserved Communities Research shows youth sports improve physical and mental health as well as academic performance in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 July 27, 2020 U.S. Soccer Foundation As a traumatic pandemic continues to grip much of America, particularly communities of color, efforts are underway to ensure that children and families across the country have positive recreational opportunities to look forward to when they return to school and play. 

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, with the support of its partners, this week reached an important milestone with the installation of the 300th mini-pitch in underserved communities nationwide since 2015. Through a collaborative effort with local governments, youth organizations, school districts, and companies of all sizes, the U.S. Soccer Foundation has continued installing mini-pitches during the pandemic, fulfilling a long-term commitment to children living in underserved communities. 

These communities are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the slowest to recover, which underscores the importance of these investments. “The trauma that young people in underserved communities face from this pandemic, from the loss of lives to family member’s loss of jobs to the closure of schools and community centers, has been profound,” U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO Ed Foster-Simeon said. 

“This is an unprecedented escalation in the already challenging circumstances that young people live with, day after day.” “The U.S. Soccer Foundation and our partners are sending a very real message to young people and their families through these projects: We are here for you. We continue to ensure that when communities are ready, more mini-pitches will be there for play.” The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mini-pitch initiative is responding to a significant challenge faced by youth in underserved communities—a critical shortage of safe places to play.

Since 2015, the Foundation has worked with partners to install mini-pitches in more than 200 communities across the United States and more mini-pitches are on the way. The Foundation plans to install more than 100 in the next year, with a goal of creating a total of 1,000 mini-pitches coast to coast by 2026. With safe surfaces and high-quality lighting, these mini-pitches serve as an ideal place for both pick-up games and free play, as well as high-quality programming, including the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program. 

Mini-pitches fit into urban environments or other areas where space is at a premium, providing a safe place for kids to play and for community members to gather right in their neighborhoods. Corporations including Target, Adidas, and Major League Soccer and its clubs are national partners in this initiative and have partnered with the Foundation on hundreds of mini-pitches to date. Last September, Musco Lighting partnered with the U.S. Soccer Foundation to update the mini-pitch with a new modular system including lights, fencing, and goals. On average, these lighted mini-pitches add 2.75 hours of playing time per day on each pitch. 

Although participation in youth sports is associated with better health and academic achievement, more than 80 percent of children living in households making less than $25,000 miss out on the benefits of team sports. Furthermore, one in three Americans don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk from home, leaving too many kids without access to a soccer program or safe place for free play. To address these barriers, the Foundation and its partners have committed to increasing access to quality youth development programming and creating 1,000 new mini-pitches nationwide. In addition to providing access, the creation of mini-pitches has lasting community benefits: 98% of communities report that the people in their community are more active and feel safer with the addition of a mini-pitch. 

Further, soccer mini-pitches serve as neighborhood gathering places for families, and nearly one-third of the kids who come to play on them are new to soccer. To learn more about the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s work to make soccer everyone’s game, visit itseveryonesgame.org

The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Follow U.S. Soccer Foundation: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Racial justice illustration by Mina Tocalini

Racial Justice

The Magnanimity of The Moment

Learning from Our Past in Today’s Fight for Racial Justice

By Jason Green

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many other black bodies have answered Langston Hughes’ prophetic question: “What happens to a dream deferred?” As justified anger and frustration have exploded across communities large and small, I have quietly questioned whether there is room for community building. I thought for a moment that our collective hurt and fatigue might be so great that there simply might not be space for hope and reconciliation. The idea of searching for fellowship felt naïve and insignificant.

Seven years ago, as I sat at the bedside of my then 95-year-old grandmother, she told me how, in 1968, her all-black church merged with two all-white congregations (themselves split generations earlier over the issue of slavery) in the wake of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Given the tumultuous backdrop, I was surprised by their decision to join, but I will be forever moved by the intentional community building that has kept their congregation together for more than 50 years. The hardest decision wasn’t the one to come together, it was the decision to stay together.

Last week, on our weekly call, my Grandmother Green reawakened my spirit. “We have to keep working and praying and not give up,” she extolled. “Even if things are not going our way we have to have that faith, and do the work. It was important that they see my face in the choir in 1968. Well, it’s just as important today.” She helped me realize in times like these, we need to be reminded of what is possible and to be vigilant about the hard work required to achieve it.

I’ve spent years chronicling how those three congregations came together in 1968 and how they have persisted, purposefully integrated, for more than 50 years. Below are three lessons I’ve learned from that experience that can inform how we collectively move forward today:

•Establish A Clear Goal

As they stumbled through the early days of the church merger, leadership of each congregation gathered to agree to the goal of coming together. A specific shared outcome gave them something to hold tight to when the path got difficult. As individual groups began working toward their own agenda, it armed the broader coalition with a mission to pull them back to. In this moment, people have begun working in different directions to speak out against and organize in support of racial justice. There is not one way to do the work — in fact, there must be a multitude of strategies, activities, and actors. To be successful, we must define the objective to hold others accountable to if their efforts achieve progress toward that shared goal, not question if their strategies happen to be similar or different to our own.

•Trust Must Be Built

When the churches merged, each harbored fear, skepticism, and animosity. There wasn’t the hugging and hand-holding you’d expect in church. To overcome, they had to be intentional; this started with acknowledging the pain of their history and being deliberate about difficult conversations. No meeting would end if someone still had something to say. Leadership demanded people share their concerns and complaints, though sometimes harsh, and those concerns were addressed. The work that faces us now is deep and structural and must push beyond performance. It will require addressing a history of hurt and creating alliances, with both traditional and non-traditional allies, to meet the magnanimity of the moment. At times, it will require taking the first step, even when you took the first step last time, and recognizing that sometimes, alliances will fray. Work to build trust anyway.

•Be Prepared To Go Alone

For those in the movement, this moment feels like a turning point, and there’s a desire to draw a line in the sand: “If you aren’t with us now, then you are against us.” But the reality is there will be folks who, even in this moment, will not be prepared to take action. Because we know that for something to be truly gained, something must be given up, there will be those who aren’t prepared for what change will mean for them. In 1968, my grandfather disagreed with the proposed church merger. My grandmother, my father, and his brother, decided to merge, despite Grandpa’s objection. We must be prepared to do the work, knowing that it is rooted in righteousness, and that there will be some who are not ready for change, even amongst those whom we love and respect. Move forward anyway, but resist the temptation to draw those terminal lines in the sand. Continue to build bridges for others to come on the journey. My grandfather joined the merged congregation years later. Before he died, he was one of its trustees.

Like the church merger, our democracy is one big social experiment that requires engagement and vigilance if it will ever reach its promise. Elections have consequences, and policy has impact. To see change, we must be active at the federal, state, and local levels to enable leadership that aligns with our values and implements policies that reflect the communities we represent.

But elections cannot eradicate racism, and policy cannot force neighbors to see each other with dignity, value and respect. This moment does not call for an “either or” approach; this must be a “yes and” strategy. And, if we want to eradicate the poison that killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, and every other individual lost due to racist acts, then in addition to external activation, we must look inward to understand what each of us is prepared to do, give, and change in this moment.

Last week, my grandmother turned 102, and as we discussed plans for her socially distanced drive-by birthday parade, we also talked about the current state of the world. As I expressed frustration regarding the lack of national leadership and exhaustion that this is where we find ourselves, in true Grandma Green fashion, she said, “I hear all that, but what are you gonna do? What are you prepared to do for those who look like you and those who don’t? For those who don’t pray like you? For those who don’t love like you? What are you gonna do to inspire fellowship and build the community that we all want to see?”

I guess I know what to give for her birthday this year. Join me in making change. Across the country. Within our communities. And in ourselves.

Jason Green is a Maryland-based attorney, entrepreneur and filmmaker. Green recently directed Finding Fellowship, a documentary inspired by conversations with his grandmother which focuses on the unlikely merger of three racially segregated churches in 1968. Green is the co-founder of SkillSmart, Inc., a workforce development company that creates transparent paths to economic prosperity. A current Commissioner for the Montgomery County Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation, Green also previously served as Associate White House Counsel to President Barack Obama.

Peaceful Relationships in Turbulent Times

3 Steps You Can Start Using Right Away

Are these scary times taking a toll on your most intimate relationship?

If so, you’re not alone.

Fear and stress can lead to impatience and anger. And before you know it, you’re in a gut-wrenching argument with the person you love—right when you need each others’ support and companionship the most. 

Then if these painful disconnects go unresolved, you can find yourselves drifting apart. In China, the divorce rate shot up when quarantines were relaxed, and we’re already hearing the same in this country.

But it’s not from spending too much time together in the current lockdown. It’s because we’re not good at maintaining true closeness when we’re frightened.

From decades of helping people have happier, more fulfilling relationships, we offer these three steps for alleviating fear and amplifying love—even in highly stressful times. 

Step #1: De-escalate yourself—before you try to de-escalate the argument

It’s natural to want to de-escalate the friction between you right away. But we recommend focusing on de-escalating yourself first.

This is not just taking a few breaths or counting to ten, although that’s useful. It’s a deliberate shift in your self-talk that dissolves your distress enough that your caring heart and clear mind come back to the forefront. 

It starts with noticing what’s going on inside you and then naming it for what it is. 

For instance, as soon as you recognize that you’re upset, you might say to yourself: “Yikes. My stomach is in knots. I’m raising my voice. I’m reacting as if the person in front of me is an enemy, not my beloved. I obviously got triggered and might be over-reacting… Hmmm…” 

When you do that, your neurobiological self starts calming your inner fear-fest and restoring your ability to think clearly and connect warmly—which puts you in the right place to approach your partner again

One way to know you’re ready to reconnect is that your desire to get back to love will be louder than your impulse to be defensive and right.

Step #2 — Restore the loving connection between you—before you get into a conversation

It’s so tempting to launch into discussing whatever went awry so you can fix it quickly. But don’t! 

The pain of an argument comes from the disconnect between the two of you—not from the issue that triggered it.  

Here’s our favorite way to restore our connection before we talk: 

Whoever’s ready first (that was usually Paige early on) approaches the other gently and says: “I’m sorry for my part.” And then Don would say: “I’m sorry for my part, too.” And as you might imagine, the distance would melt, and within seconds we were in the full embrace of love again.

Of course, this only works when it’s 100% genuine, and it might take some practice to discover what works for the two of you. But when you do, the subsequent conversations will go much better.

Step #3 —  Listen and speak to create deeper understanding—before discussing what to do next time

We got this step very wrong in our early years. 

As soon as we were back in sync, we’d start talking about what to do differently—thinking that’s how we’d avoid reigniting the problem. Logical, yes. But it usually backfired. We’d start arguing again, or, if we agreed on a solution, it wouldn’t stick.

In time, we found that a real resolution only emerged from a full conversation. That meant having a compassionate, level-headed exchange where the goal of our listening and our speaking was to understand each other better. 

This requires listening with a genuine curiosity about your partner’s experience of whatever went awry and why it was so upsetting. When practiced with patience, this kind of listening makes it safe for your beloved to speak openly and honestly.

Your speaking also wants to be compassionate. Meaning, while being honest about what upset you, you’re choosing language and tonality that are easy for your beloved to hear without getting triggered again. That means describing your feelings and perspective without blame.  

Pitfall alert!

During this mindful make-up conversation—especially in these ultra-stressful times—it’s easy to slip back into criticizing your partner, defending yourself, or shutting down again. If that’s what happens (which we know it can) just go back to Step #1. De-escalating yourself again, and then… You get the idea.

These three steps—de-escalating yourself first, then restoring your loving connection, followed by listening and speaking for deeper understanding—provide a framework for creating patterns of communication that yield an ever-deepening bond of love. 

We know the quest can be messy, especially now. Still the potential for experiencing new dimensions of extraordinary love is well worth it.

About

Paige Marrs, PhD, and Don Marrshave been joyfully married for over 33 years and have worked together since the day they joined their lives. They co-authored two how-to memoirs, both of which teach through story. Their most recent book, Grabbing Lightning: The Messy Quest for an Extraordinary Lovereveals their messy, intimate journey to a love greater than either of them knew to reach for. Paige and Don have offered their program, The Love Conversation® Approach, for more than a decade to provide couples and singles the tools needed to resolve their challenges so they can experience the depth of love they yearn for. You can learn more or sign up for their newsletter, LoveNotes, at www.TheLoveConversation.com.

CBD, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

CBD – Finding the Right Option and Optimal Dosage for You

So, you have decided to start using CBD to relieve your health issues. But now, you’re facing a tough decision: what are the best CBD oils? Should you consider edibles, tinctures, vaporizers, or topicals instead? And what is the ideal dosage?

If the great number of different CBD products seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. Different products affect the body differently. In addition, every individual responds differently to CBD depending on a number of factors like age, weight and the condition being treated. All this affects what form of CBD you should use and how much you should take.

This article aims to help you work out a CBD treatment plan tailored to your individual needs and health goals.

What is Your Goal?

Start by determining your health goal. What do you want CBD to help you with? Are you struggling with anxiety? Do you need help with chronic pain?

You also need to determine what area in your body you are targeting, because, in order to be effective, CBD needs to arrive where it is needed. If the target is somewhere on your skin (e.g. acne), then you should try using CBD topicals (lotion or cream). This will ensure that a high concentration of CBD is used just where you need it, instead of having to move through your bloodstream until it reaches the target.

Are You Looking for Immediate Effects?

If you are looking for quick relief, inhaled CBD products (vaporizers) are the best choice for you. If you want to keep the CBD levels constant throughout the day, opt for oral products (oil, edibles, capsules, tinctures).

What’s the Ideal Dosage?

The effectiveness of each CBD product depends on a number of individual factors so, the dosage is also a very individual process.

It’s always best to begin with small dosages and see how your body reacts. If there are no adverse side effects, then you can gradually increase the dosage.

Even if you find the ideal dosage, it might change if you start using a product from a different manufacturer.

Can You Overdose on CBD?

Clinical trials have found that humans can take up to 1,200 mg of CBD per day without experiencing any side effects.

However, it’s always recommended to consult with your doctor before you start using any CBD products, especially if you’re already taking any prescription medications.

What’s Type of CBD is the Best?

Research has found that full-spectrum CBD products are more effective than CBD isolates because they contain all or nearly all of the compounds present in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with each other in the body, thus enhancing CBD’s therapeutic effects.

Final Thoughts

CBD is quite a complicated subject that researchers are still trying to piece together. There aren’t any fixed guidelines to follow when it comes to using CBD to achieve your health goals. It is a highly personal experience that requires patience and experimentation.

Azuri Technologies X Energise Africa Launch UK Crowd Campaign

Azuri Technologies, a leader in pay-as-you-go solar in Africa and crowdfunding platform Energise Africa today announced the latest phase of debt financing from UK impact investors to deliver affordable, clean energy and help solve the energy crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Azuri and Energise Africa collaboration plans to raise £2.5 million for pay-as-you-go-solar and help more than 100,000 off-grid people in Sub-Saharan Africa access clean, affordable energy.

The investment will support low-income families in Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Tanzania.

More than 600 million people across Africa live without access to electricity – limiting their life chances of achieving economic prosperity and improved quality of life. Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and can only be met with access to sufficient investment.

Crowdfunding has emerged as a powerful way of financing the off-grid solar industry and is leading the way in increasing investor interest in the market.

Through Energise Africa, individuals in the UK can invest from as little as £50 in bonds, issued by solar businesses, to provide clean and affordable energy access, while targeting annual returns of 6%. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Azuri is a leader in pay-as-you-go solar technology and since 2012 has been supplying affordable solar home systems and products to the millions across Africa living off-grid without access to mains electricity.

In 2018, Azuri and Energise Africa raised £1.7 million from hundreds of UK investors to deliver clean, affordable energy products to more than 16,000 families in sub-Saharan Africa.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri said: “Azuri is delighted to extend our partnership with Energise Africa and their community of UK-based retail investors to finance off-grid solar projects. With this innovative financing, thousands more households will be able to access modern solar energy for the first time.”

Lisa Ashford, Managing Director Energise Africa said: “Through Energise Africa, we are committed to providing UK based people with easily accessible opportunities to invest directly in sustainable businesses that can tackle climate change, create long-term social and environmental impact, and also deliver a potential financial return. We’re looking forward to the prospect of working with Azuri Technologies again to help accelerate the achievement of UN SDG 7.

Energise Africa has been developed by Ethex and Lendahand – two of Europe’s leading impact investing companies and is also supported by UK aid, Virgin Unite, Good Energies Foundation and P4G.

Over the past 20 months the Energise Africa community of investors has generated over £7.57 million for 12 solar businesses to provide 312,000 people in 10 African countries with access to clean energy, which has prevented almost 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions entering the atmosphere annually and also repaid almost £1.8 million back to investors.

Investing in Energise Africa projects via the www.energiseafrica.co.uk site involves risk, including the loss of all of your invested capital, illiquidity (the inability to sell assets quickly or without substantial loss in value), and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio.

The investment opportunities on www.energiseafrica.co.uk are not an offer to the public in any jurisdiction and are available only to registered members of the platform who have certified that they are eligible to invest. Any person who is not resident in the United Kingdom who wishes to view these investment opportunities must first satisfy themselves that they are eligible to do so under the securities laws and regulations applicable to them. This site does not constitute an offer of, or the solicitation of an offer to buy or subscribe for, any securities to any person in any jurisdiction to whom or in which such offer or solicitation would be unlawful.

In respect of its regulated activities, Lendahand Ethex Ltd is an appointed representative of Share In Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 603332).