Back in 1991 I got what I would call my first “real” job. I was selected to be part of the pilot group of Salomon Brothers’ back office relocation from New York City to Tampa, Florida. The leadership team had a recipe for success — relocate seasoned professionals to brand new homes on golf courses, add in twentysomethings who were starry-eyed about Wall Street, and throw in a bounty of perks and an intensive five-month training program to create a team that supported the traders and brokers. The traders and brokers would call (or screech) through the squawk box, and we would prepare and process the work to completion.
When a job was offered to me a few years later in New York City at another firm, I jumped at the chance to live city life. Everything was fast-paced and demanding. Producing cash forecasting for the treasurer required constantly calculating what each area was receiving and paying out, so much so that I would get followed in the restroom to give information.
A move back to Florida, a marriage, and a few other jobs created from mergers and acquisitions landed me in the parent company that had purchased the brokerage houses I had worked at previously. I built a department from the ground up that was 80 percent of my staff handling urgent payment issues for senior executives about 80 percent of the day. These were the kind of payments that if not handled absolutely correctly would cause major service disruptions, huge fees, and legal and reputational issues.
Something that many people may not know about me during that time was that I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. My hair was falling out from stress, and I could not fathom what it would take to create a holistically happy life. My marriage was difficult, my body wasn’t happy with my environment, and I was working my ass off trying to fit everything together, until I finally made the bigger choice to create something that actually worked well for me.
Eight years later, I’m sitting in a coffee shop writing this article, so humbled, grateful, and excited for the changes in my life. My boyfriend and I live a few blocks from the marina in San Francisco and have a house in Monterey for our family weekends. We thrive in playing to our strengths to create a warm, loving, and sexy relationship. I get to work with people that challenge me and push me to do better, and I create my days in a way that work so deliciously well for me. Here are the five changes I made to improve my bottom line, so you can do the same for your life:
1. Take care of your body. It is brilliant and beautiful. My morning walks on the beach get me connected to my body and the earth. They allow stress, complications, and challenges to work themselves out, oftentimes opening up space for ideas or a business strategy to emerge. I recently learned that Richard Branson always schedules his self-care, such as playing tennis, no matter what is going on in his businesses. You should do the same with what feels good for you — make time for it in order to take care of yourself and your body.
2. Be present and conscious. Presence is being with you, your body, your life, or your business for exactly where and what it is in any given moment. Consciousness includes everything and judges nothing. When you put this together, you have the awareness and information to get clear on what you truly desire and require and the space to take inspired actions.
3. Acknowledge everything you create. Remember the anxiety attacks and hair loss I experienced? I absolutely created that. When I was finally willing to look at what was going on and repeatedly showing up, the awareness began to propel me forward, outweighing the fear or uncertainty of change. Albert Einstein says, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” What if your willingness to acknowledge that you are creating your life, relationship, and business is the impetus for the changes you want?
4. Appreciate everything. If consciousness includes everything and judges nothing, how much more gratitude is available to you in any given moment? Instead of making the usual conclusions about what’s right, wrong, good, or bad, try playing with these very simple tools to appreciate the greater contribution each situation can bring. In any situation, whether business or personal, think to yourself, “What’s right about this I’m not getting?” and, “What gratitude can I have for what this is creating, changing, and catalyzing?”
5. Choose the energy of what you know is possible. I had a screensaver picture of San Francisco on my computer for six years before I moved there. After my divorce, I dated on and off for seven years before I met my partner. I had a lifetime of living and working, training and teaching before creating my company. With each one, I had a sense of the energy of its potential, and every experience along the way gave me another molecule of that energy to steer me toward my ideal goal and turn it into reality. I’ve always been able to perceive energy and experience strong intuitive knowing. Trusting that capacity has been a process, and the most rewarding experience of my life. My invitation to you is to play with these tips and tools and inquire from a space of curiosity. Know that you absolutely have the ability to magnificently create your relationship, your company, and your life with so much more ease using pragmatic energy and inspired action.
Danna Lewis is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about that program here.