#SWAAYthenarrative

The Business of Doing What You Love, and Why it's Imperative

Business

Everyone knows that love is incredibly powerful, and some may argue it's the most potent emotion possible. For Jennifer Noel Taylor, this realization came to her after working her first job as a software engineer at a San Diego company. While there, she sank into a deep depression, wrought by the pressures and dissatisfaction she felt at the company. She only worked there to pay the bills, and not because she was passionate about what she was doing.


To cope with the despondency she felt from work, Taylor began exploring bodywork and alternative healing. She attended the International Professional School of Bodywork, and became fascinated by energy healing and its various modalities. She then met Richard Gordon, the founder of Quantum-Touch, and claimed to immediately receive a clear message from the Universe that her truly calling was energy healing.

She then took a leap of faith, quit her job, and took over as CEO of Quantum-Touch in June 2002.

She continues to promote optimal wellness by helping people connect more deeply to their love. One of the ways in which she does so is in her book Love Incorporated, The Business of Doing What You Love, in which she reveals four key insights into how to pursue your true calling successfully. The goal of the book is to help you connect with your own wisdom, thereby transforming your life into a true expression of your purpose. "Your heart is a powerful compass that will guide you toward your greatest joy and highest service," Taylor instructs.

Love Incorporated: The Business of Doing What You Love

1. What inspired you to write this book?

The book just came to me one day while I was working in my garden. As Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book Big Magic, the spirit of creativity graced me with the wisdom and inspiration in my book; the information came through me and I wrote it down - I was merely the facilitator!

2. What would you say to female entrepreneurs trying to pave their way in a male-dominated business industry?

Although the business world appears to be dominated by the masculine mindset, the feminine energy will, in my opinion, usher in a new paradigm of business, characterized by heart-centered leadership. We can progress the current business perspective by owning the gifts that are considered more “feminine” in nature, such as cooperation, intuition, balance, and love. From my perspective, the consumer is becoming very wary of greedy, pushy advertising, and other disempowering business practices. So I believe the feminine energy will balance out (what feels to me) an overly masculine business environment. Therefore my advice is to own your gifts, your truth, your authentic self as a way to help elevate the current business climate into a higher place. Be a business goddess trail blazer!

3. Have you heard back from any entrepreneurs who have read your book? Can you provide an instance where the book helped to change someone’s business perspective?

I’ve heard from multiple people that my book helped them tap into their innate wisdom. One businessowner wrote: “We brought it for a quick read, but it was so much more! It was well-written, captivating, and made so much sense to me. The answers that I have received since reading this book are so powerful, that I am almost scared to continue because it has been overwhelming to me. But I will be ready, and when I am, watch out! There are only a few books that have really influenced my life, and this is one of them. Mahalo, and wishing you all the best in everything you do!”

Jennifer Noel Taylor

4. How long did it take you to write the book?

The book took about one year to write.

5. What was the process of getting this book published like – did you face any challenges?

For this book, I self-published, which, from my perspective is a wonderful way to go. There are a lot of companies out there that will help you self-publish or you can just publish on Amazon using createspace.com - which is what I did. The biggest hurdle perhaps is doing a layout that conforms to self-publishing guidelines set forth by the publisher. I would recommend hiring a professional editor and graphic designer.

6. Have you seen any gender inequalities in the writing industry?

From my perspective, I have not encountered any gender inequalities in the writing industry. However, my field of interest is personal growth and spiritual development, which happens to be (at the moment) dominated by females. However, even this is changing as we progress into a higher level of consciousness on a global scale.

7. How did you overcome the financial hardships you talked about in your book?

Financial hardships is a topic that from my perspective has a lot of layers to it. On one level, it’s very simple – we need to spend less than we earn. Yet, this simple concept becomes complex when we apply the idea to the real world. For example, most people have a hard time losing weight even though, in theory, losing weight is a simple concept of eating less and exercising more - yet so many people struggle with this. Why is this? Along the same vein, the majority of people spend more than they earn – why is this?

I delve into the topic of financial hardship at great length in a new book I’m writing called, “Spiritual and Broke: A Practical Guide to the Energy of Money.” First of all, we must come from a place of empowerment to overcome financial hardship (as well as other challenges).

If we feel like a victim to our circumstances, to Trump, to our spouse, to God (or Goddess), children, or taxes, then we are giving our power away.So the key here is to take full responsibility of our situation and know that we can turn around any financial situation, no matter how bleak it may look. Another important key is to cut back on spending until you are consistently living below your means. It’s always great to focus on increasing revenue but for many people, cutting spending has the immediate benefit of removing the financial pressure to earn more. Cutting spending doesn’t have to be a painful process of suffering at all. In my new book, I talk about how people can cut expenses naturally without feeling deprived. In my case, I cut my expenses while improving my lifestyle and I surprised myself! I turned my finances around from a massive amount of debt into no debt (not even a car payment) and a decent-sized savings account.

8. There are a lot of pictures included in your book -- was there a reason you wanted to include the pictures?

Tapping into your own authentic self and your own innate wisdom is, from my perspective, the most effective business practice we can employ. However, this process is not a linear, mathematical process; it requires people to connect to their heart, their feelings, their inner- child and the playful side that many of us shut down as adults. So I felt guided to use pictures as a way to help the reader reconnect to their heart and feelings – the doorway to their own innate wisdom.

9. What is your number one tip for someone trying to start a business, but is discouraged?

If someone is discouraged about starting a business, I would first look to understand the source of their discouragement – is it fear of failure? Concerns about money? To alleviate concerns about money, I would suggest that people have a significant amount of money saved before quitting their job. Or start their new business on the side until the business starts earning enough money to stand on its own. Savings is fundamental; always have enough backup funding for the ebbs and flows of business. Unlike a steady job, business income will fluctuate; so in addition to savings, have ways built into your business and lifestyle that can adjust for fluctuating income. For example, stay out of debt, pay taxes, and minimize your monthly liabilities so that you can adjust for variances in your income. Build profit into your business model with everything that you do so you have the space to compensate for fluctuating sales.

"When you are following your heart, doors will open almost magically."

If people are concerned about failure, I say to that: embrace your fear because at some point, we all “fail.” It’s time to reframe the whole idea of failure. We are all doing our best to make the soundest decisions but we all have learning edges - areas where we need to grow. I’ve made very bad business decisions in my life because I just didn’t understand, at the time, the consequences of my decisions. Now I’ve learned from my so-called mistakes and now I continue to make more empowered choices.

10. If you had to summarize the biggest takeaway from the book, what would it be?

Readers have told me that they walk away from my book with a greater ability to connect with their innate wisdom. Oprah talks about the power of authenticity: “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”

11. How has your life changed since writing this book?

Well, speaking about the authentic self, I had a fear of public speaking before writing my book. After I released the book, I was interviewed on a lot of radio shows and even TV. I was really nervous at first but then I found my authentic voice on the air and now I enjoy being on air. So my book helped me more fully embrace my authentic self – which is exactly what I talk about in the book.

5 min read
Health

3 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress Each Evening (Instead of Reaching for Another Cocktail)

When we envision a person who is suffering from substance use disorder (SUD)—defined by having a history of past misuse, experiencing increasing mental health symptoms, or having a family history of addiction—we often picture someone waking up and instantly grabbing their first drink. However, in my experience working with those battling SUD for nearly a decade, I've learned that everyone's relationship with alcohol looks different and having a few too many drinks at night can be just as dangerous.

The time of day, amount, or type of alcohol one drinks doesn't define if they suffer from SUD or not—it's the compulsion to drink. By focusing on healthy stress relievers and implementing them into your daily routine, you aren't just avoiding another glass at night, you are curbing any inclination for SUD that you may have.

While you may feel the desire to reach for another drink after dinner and putting the kids to bed to relieve some of the stress you incurred that day, there are other things that you can do that are much more beneficial to your mental health and wellbeing.

Risks of Reaching for Another Drink

Reaching for another cocktail or glass of wine can feel like a great way to relieve the stress of the day at the time, but over time it can actually lead to the opposite. Excessive drinking is known to lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders such as increased risk of family problems, altered judgment, and worsened sleep quality. These can all lead to increased stress and create a continuous cycle I have seen in many of my patients, which often prove difficult to break.

Increased alcohol consumption can directly impact an individual's mood and temperament, too. In my patients, I've seen a connection between increased alcohol consumption and irritability, fatigue, and loss of interest in activities that previously brought that person joy—activities that people should always put time into, especially right now during the pandemic.

While drinking in moderation doesn't have serious implications for some, others are already at increased risk for SUD. One drink per day is considered moderate for women, while eight drinks or more in a single week is categorized as heavy drinking. It's important to monitor your intake—whether you are at increased risk for SUD or not. It is all too easy for one glass to become another, and then another. And if you keep reaching for just one more drink, you can start to build a tolerance, as it requires more and more alcohol to achieve the desired effect. This can result in dangerous, addictive habits that will alter your life, and the lives of those who care for you.

Three Healthy Ways to Relieve Evening Stress

Stress relief from alcohol is short-lived, but choosing healthier, alternative stress relievers can provide long-lasting benefits for both your mental and physical wellbeing. At Wellbridge, our team not only focuses on treating addiction but also on teaching healthy habits to support ongoing sobriety. And many of these learnings can be implemented to avoid addiction by handling stress better as well!

Below are three healthy stress relief ideas you can implement into your routine:

  1. Mindfulness exercises can be a powerful and mentally stimulating stress reliever. Throughout our therapeutic program at Wellbridge, we provide different opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. For example, breathing exercises, such as box breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, mindful walking, and progressive muscle relaxation. If you're looking for entry, guided meditation, check out this YouTube channel where experts post mindfulness exercises each week.
  2. Human connection is invaluable. Whether it is your spouse, your children, a friend, or even a therapist, connecting with someone else can be a great way to relieve stress. The additional perspective that another person provides can also help us feel that the anxieties and stressors we are experiencing are more manageable. If you are feeling increased stress from loneliness or isolation, reach out and schedule a Zoom coffee hour with a friend, or call a loved one to check-in and chat.
  3. Physical activity is an excellent stress reliever as well, for so many reasons. Not only can it help us get our mind off of stress, it enables our bodies to release endorphins and provides long-lasting physical health benefits. Physical activity doesn't need to be a full-blown workout if you don't feel up to it, or simply don't have extended periods of time to dedicate to a longer exercise regimen. Even a short walk or some stretching can go a long way towards improving your mood. I enjoy following guided, online yoga practices for both mindfulness practice and physical activity.

Despite my years working in this space, I am no stranger to giving in to stress. However, I've learned that by allotting myself a little time each morning and evening for activities that set a positive tone in my life—like meditation, journaling, and exercise—I've been able to better manage my stress and feel more prepared for heightened periods of stress. Do I manage to set aside personal time every morning and evening? Definitely not—life happens! But by doing our best to take regular time out for ourselves, we're all certain to be in a better place emotionally and mentally.

Putting Your Mental Health & Wellbeing First

It's important to also recognize that it isn't just stress that causes us to reach for another drink at night. With the added pressures and responsibilities of women in today's world, having another glass of our favorite drink at the end of the day can often seem like a quicker and easier option than other healthier ways to relieve stress.

However, it's essential to put your mental health and wellbeing front and center in your priority list—something that many women struggle with. But just like the oxygen masks on an airplane, you can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself first. By focusing on implementing small, healthy habits and making them a seamless part of your daily routine, you ensure that you can show up in all aspects of your life and for all the people in your life.

If you are struggling with increased stress, be specific and honest with your support system about your need to preserve your mental wellbeing. Prioritizing your needs will help you be there for other people you care about in your life.

I always refer back to a quote from a Dar Williams song—a song about therapy no less! "Oh, how I loved everybody else when I finally got to talk so much about myself." Talk about your needs with others and find time to develop healthy coping habits. And if you feel as though you've already created an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, discuss that relationship with a medical advisor to learn if advanced treatment is the right option for you.