Monique Russell — Short Advice, Experiences, and Wisdom From The Best In The World

Monique Russell is an executive coach, leadership guru, communication expert, and the founder of Clear Communication Solutions. She comes from a long line of educators in her family. Keeping in line with her desire to be on the big stage, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism.  She went back for two Masters of Science, one in Public Relations and the other in Advertising.

She’s an excellent communication consultant and coach, that’s why she’s ready to guide you with her gifts so you too can be a confident and clear communicator. This is how Clear Communication Solutions was born.

Organizations like CDC, Google, Salesforce, Verizon, Equifax, OSHA, FEMA, Chambers of Commerce, business owners, and faith-based organizations trust her to help them foster courage, creativity, and leadership. You can too.

Connect with Monique: Website | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram

Please enjoy this conversation with Monique!

Nishant Garg: What books—or even movies and documentaries—would you recommend to someone who want to live a meaningful life? What books have you gifted the most, and why?

Monique Russell: The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is a book I highly recommend to anyone who wants to live a meaningful life. I have gifted this book many times, and I remember when I first started reading it years ago — my mother and I actually read it together. I’d read out loud each chapter and when a concept was so deep we would simply start talking about it right away. It was so invigorating for both of us because as we read we were able to discuss the principles together. This book helps you to realize how much in control of your decisions and life you are. You are left feeling inspired and empowered to take responsibility for your life. Since then, my mother has become a certified Jack Canfield trainer and teaches the principles often. 

Nishant Garg: What does your first 60 to 90 minutes in the morning look like? What are your specific rituals on a regular basis?

Monique Russell: The morning is most important for me to prime my mind. Before I get out of bed I begin a practice of gratitude, thinking and saying all the things I am grateful for out loud. I start with my bed, my pillow, the good night’s sleep I had, my family, my health, and so on. Then, I execute my affirmations playlist that consists of 3 to 4 regular different sets of affirmations I listen to regularly. Sometimes I will repeat them or I will listen to it silently with my eyes closed. Then, I get up, make my bed, and take a shower. I drink 8 oz of water and take a multi-vitamin. Then, I make myself the first cup of tea. It used to be coffee, but I successfully transitioned to tea four years ago. I take my tea with me to my desk and pray. Then, I get out my journal and begin to free write. Once I am done with those steps, I am ready to start my work day. I look at the list of tasks from the night before if I wrote them out, and begin working whether I am coaching, training, being interviewed, or developing strategies for my clients. 

People often ask me how I can be so positive so early in the morning and this is why. By the time I meet with the first person in the day, I am literally on cloud 9. This morning routine is so important to me because if I jump into my day without prepping and priming my mind, I find that my frustration level heightens more easily. 

Nishant Garg: You have interacted with many successful people over the years — what have you found are the most beneficial exercises that people really feel have changed their lives for the better?

Monique Russell: The people I consider to be successful are those that have been able to work in their strength zones, build great relationships, and have time to enjoy life while being in a good financial position. When I assess and speak with some of these persons, I have observed 4 exercises that help them change their lives for the better:

  • An ability to implement daily discipline no matter how small the task is. They make their practice of discipline almost second nature like breathing.
  • Actively and intentionally nurture relationships. Nurturing their relationships is considered a critical business task and they treat it as such. This means proactively scheduling time to spend time with, connect and celebrate those that fill their cup, and vice versa.
  • Consistently engage in exercise or some form of physical activity. This could be walking, running, lifting weights, hiking, dancing, rock climbing etc.
  • Invest in their mind with therapy and/or coaching. Every one of these individuals had the realization that they were their biggest asset and as such, they invested in maximizing their mental capacity and faculties with facilitated thinking.
Continue reading “Monique Russell — Short Advice, Experiences, and Wisdom From The Best In The World”

Marla Mervis — ‘Love Your Body Love Yourself’, The Recipe to Feeling Good, ‘Over-eating and Over-exercising’, and More (#170)

Here in this body are the sacred rivers. Here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places. I have not encountered another temple as blissful as my own body.

Marla Mervis-Hartmann is the the creator of Love Your Body Love Yourself. After years of struggling with her own dysfunctional body-relationship, Marla has transformed her experiences into services to help women discover honor and find appreciation for their bodies. As a professional Marla, has been featured at TEDx Salinas. She was the leading body image expert and Reiki Master at Journey Malibu, a Drug/Alcohol rehabilitation center.

Marla has followed her passion for women’s health down many paths of study including women’s sexual wellness; postpartum care; Restore Your Core educator; Tantra teacher certification; Yoga teacher training, and massage therapy. This collected body of knowledge shines through in her offerings of Love Your Body Love Yourself. In all of her work, Marla is devoted to empowering women to feel good about themselves and to live the life they desire.

She lives in LA with her husband and son where she works full-time as a professional coach, speaker, facilitator and Living Light Reiki Master and Teacher.

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or on your favorite platform.

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Marla:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | TedTalk | Youtube

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Book Recommendations — New Possibilities, Healing, Love, Connection, and More

In this post, I briefly describe a handful of books that has made so much impact in my life in 2020 and 2021. I consider these books for life to revisit many times.

The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life: I don’t exactly remember how I got introduced to this book. But it’s a gem. I couldn’t connect to this book when I first picked up, I think it was in 2019. You know, sometimes you get to be patient with the book and with yourself. I keep coming back to this book even when I didn’t grasp some stories and ideas — perhaps, I wasn’t ready. Eventually, it turned out to be very useful during the first few months in the podcasting. There are some areas it was very helpful and still is — “How to handle rejections? How to enroll people in your vision? How to live life from a place of contribution? How to take things less personally? How to create possibilities in every situation?”, and much more.

I’ve read this book many a times and flooded with underlines and asterisks(*) as a reminder. I am sure you will learn a lot from this Goldie and Oldie. Be patient with this book.

Excerpt from this book:

“I settled on a game called “I am a contribution”. Unlike success and failure, contribution has no other side. It’s not arrived at by comparison. All at once I found out that the fearful question, “Is it enough”, and the even more fearful question, “Am I loved for who I am, or what I have accomplished?” could both be replaced by the joyful question, “How will be a contribution today?”

“If we were to take a “no” less personally, and ourselves less seriously, we might hear something else. We might hear someone saying,”I don’t see any new possibility here, so I think I’ll stick with my usual way of doing things”

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes: We all are transitioning from thing to another, one phase in life to another, from singlehood to being committed, from one job to another job, and including many other transitions. This book explains in detail how to navigate different transitions with ease. It actually explains a 3 part framework. I have got many breakthroughs from this book —such as saying yes to go to Sun Valley, Idaho after interviewing this amazing human Denise Shull, yes to hiring a career coach, and yes to join an esteemed mastermind group. How do you “end” things and “start” new things in life? This book explains that there is a “Neutral” zone we get to embrace after something ends and before something new starts. A must read.

Also, I recently gifted this book to a friend and recommended to others on many occasions. If you’re interested in learning more about Decision Making process using emotions and feelings, then Listen to my interview with Denise Shull on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsYouTube, Stitcheror on your favorite platform.

Excerpt from this book:

“Think of what would be unlived in your life if it ended today”. You might actually write the obituary  – it’s a revealing exercises – but if you don’t want to do that , at least pause for a few moments and jot down notes on a piece of paper.”

Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing: Honestly, It took me a couple of months to entirely read this book. It’s such a simple read and you can literally finish it off in a week. Why it took me that long to complete this book? My goal of reading is to really “study” and “embody” the learnings. I was reading in random bits and pieces. My initial thought was “who’s interested in someone’s story growing up in Hong Kong in an Indian family”. This book really becomes a healing power as you keep going.

I got to know about this book from one of the Wayne Dyer’s audio The Secret & The Law of Attraction. He’s been my #1 spiritual mentor and wrote a foreword in this book. Of course, I got to get this book, right? The truth is that I was window shopping in a book store(my favorite time pass) and suddenly my eyes gazed on this book. The name seemed familiar as I had already listened to The Secret & The Law of Attraction many times in which he mentions about this book and bought this powerful healing manifesto.

There is one specific chapter on “Allowing, letting go and surrendering” (paraphrasing) which I have read dozens of times. I only carried this book with me while spending two weeks in the mountains of Idaho in the August/September 2021, and and reread it over and over to just “let it go” and practice living from a place of surrender.

Continue reading “Book Recommendations — New Possibilities, Healing, Love, Connection, and More”

Ruminations on Healing, Awareness, and Inner Work

I started capturing each and everything I learned on the web in Evernote since 2021 started. It’s better to capture what I’m learning so that when I look back a few years later, I can go back to my notes and see how far I have come. If you’ve been followed my work for a while or new to my work, I’d like to say that I find immense pleasure in sharing my learnings with you all.

This post highlights some of the fantastic quotes and contemplations on healing. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did in creating it. A few years down the road, I can revisit this post and tap into my inner peace and tranquility.

Below, you’ll find musings from the masters such as Wayne Dyer, Anthony de Mello, Gabor Mate, Young Pueblo, Michael Ostrolenk, Rumi, and many others.

Now, let’s begin:

“Heal yourself, not just so you can thrive, but to ensure that people who cross your path in the future are safer from harm.” —Yung Pueblo

“The word healing comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for wholeness and the essential nature of trauma is that it’s a loss of wholeness. It’s the impact of what happened and how that’s manifesting as a disconnect right now in our lives, and how we can reconnect. A proper understanding of trauma actually says, This happened inside me, it’s with me in the present, and because it’s with me in the present, I can do something about it.” —Gabor Maté

“I am just saying it is so much more helpful to see every manifestation of what we call illness, whether physical or what we call mental, as a manifestation of a life, a life history and a multigenerational life history, in the context of a certain society. If we reflect on all that, we can be much more effective in helping people, no matter what their issues are. Biology rarely provides the full picture, least of all in what we call mental illness.” — Gabor Maté

“Trauma isn’t what happens to you, it’s what happens inside you.” Gabor Maté

” I’m not going to ask you what you were addicted to, I often say to people, nor when, nor for how long. Only, whatever your addictive focus, what did it offer you? What did you like about it? What, in the short term, did it give you that you craved or liked so much?” — Gabor Maté

“I’ve had a lifelong interest in recognizing that we don’t have to be pushed by our culture and our family of origins. We can generate a sense of internal freedom to begin to design our own lives. We can learn to optimize ourselves mentally, emotionally and physically, as well as other aspects of ourselves.” — Michael Ostrolenk

A lot of people’s traumas, whether it’s sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or whatever happens to be, or even at scale, smaller versions of all those same things. For many people happens before they have a mental self sense, which means in practice that if you don’t work through their nervous system, you don’t work through their body. You can’t really help heal them or help themselves heal themselves through just cognitive behavioral work. Because it’s not just a thinking issue. It’s a physiological somatic issue. ” — Michael Ostrolenk

“I know you are tired but come, this is the way.
These pains you feel are messengers, listen to them” — Rumi

“Today I escaped the power of circumstance, or rather I cast all circumstance out — for it was not outside me — but within me, in my judgments.” — Marcus Aurelius

“The doorway to the higher purpose opens inward, and most of us spend the lifetime looking for it outside.” — Wayne Dyer

“Embrace Silence. Silence is not empty. Silence is full of answers. No matter how many times you cut silence into half, you only get silence. Silence is a way to know your true self.” — Wayne Dyer

“Everything passes, everything. If you seek thrills, get ready for sadness. These are the swings of the pendulum. One end of the pendulum swings to the other. Never “identify” with that feeling.” — Anthony de Mello

“I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow, and called out, “it tastes sweet, doesn’t it?” You’ve caught me – grief answered, and you have ruined  my business. How can I sell sorrow, when you you know it’s a blessing.” — Rumi

“Forgiveness feels like, we’re given a big pair of scissors to cut the tie and regain personal power. It starts with a choice and then becomes a process with no neat ending. One day you can forgive and the next you may hear the detail of what happened and feel angry all over again.” — Scarlett Lewis

“Look at where you were three/six months ago and compare to where you are now.  Realizing that you have experienced growth/momentum may help ease the frustration that you’re not as far as you want to be.  Most of us are not.  However, none of us ever get it all done…none of us!”  — Terri Lonowski

“Recognize that life itself is an incredible gift.  It is a miracle that any of us are here.  Sit with that for a moment.  All of life is at any one moment on the fragile brink of non-existence.  Behold the wonderment in the moment.” — Terri Lonowski

Continue reading “Ruminations on Healing, Awareness, and Inner Work”

Denise Shull — The Role of Emotions in Decision Making, Resolving Mental Blocks, Performance Coach to Professional Athletes, Understanding the Feelings, Experiencing Peak Performance, and More (#169)

“Every performance improvement anyone can want is on the other side of a better approach to the so-called negative emotions.”

“If you keep considering feelings your enemy, you are war with yourself. If you embrace your emotions as information, they become much more friendly. You actually reduce the odds of acting on them by making them explicit or conscious.”

Denise Shull is the CEO and Lead Performance Coach at the human performance and decision-making consultancy, The ReThink Group Inc. Leveraging her unique combination of expertise in Neuroeconomics and Modern Psychoanalysis she has developed The Shull Method™ a unique approach to mental skills which prioritizes emotion in the pursuit of peak performance and the resolution of psychological roadblocks.

After working at IBM, Ms. Shull’s Wall Street career began in 1994 when she traded at one of the first E-trading firms in Chicago. She moved to Schonfeld Securities before being invited to run a desk in NYC in 1997. She founded ReThink in 2003 and continued to trade financial futures through her membership at the Chicago Board of Trade through 2009.

Her 2012 book, Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk has been reviewed as the “best of its genre” and a “veritable Rosetta Stone of trading psychology.” In 2015, Shull was invited to consult with the writers on Showtime’s drama BILLIONS and in 2016 Bloomberg Tradebook released the Trader Brain Exercise based on ReThink’s IP. In 2017, Shull and ReThink delivered HEADSx, a robust talent assessment tool used by select hedge funds to hire exceptional talent. In 2018, her work with Olympian Lindsey Jacobellis was featured in the New York Times.

A highly engaging speaker, Shull has delivered talks at NASCAR’s Hendrick MotorSports, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, MIT, US Ski and Snowboard Association, Harvard Business School, CFA Societies and Leaders in Sport among others. In 2019, Shull is featured on REAL VISION – the disruptive financial TV start-up. She has also appeared on CNBC’s Halftime Report and Squawk Box both in the US and Asia. FORBES, WSJ, FT, Bloomberg Markets, and New York Times’ Dealbook have run profiles on her while FOX Business, Bloomberg, Cavuto, PBS and The Discovery Channel have also invited her commentary.

She holds a Master of Arts in neuropsychoanalysis (1995) from The University of Chicago. Her thesis research, “The Neurobiology of Freud’s Theory of the Repetition Compulsion,” was republished in 2003 in the Annals of Modern Psychoanalysis and was cited in 2013 as one of the first papers written in neuropsychoanalysis. She is also a 2009 alumnus of Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education program, Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance.

Get her book Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or on your favorite platform.

Also available to listen on YouTube

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Denise:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Book: Market Mind Games: A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk

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Continue reading “Denise Shull — The Role of Emotions in Decision Making, Resolving Mental Blocks, Performance Coach to Professional Athletes, Understanding the Feelings, Experiencing Peak Performance, and More (#169)”

Contemplating Surrendering, Allowing and Letting Go

“Letting go doesn’t mean erasing a memory or ignoring the past; it is when you are no longer reacting to the things that used to make you feel tense and you are releasing the energy attached to certain thoughts. It takes self-awareness, intentional action, practice, and time. Letting go is the act of getting to know yourself so deeply that all delusions fall away.” — Excerpt from the book Clarity and Connection by Young Pueblo.

What does letting go mean?(in my own words)

  • Living from a place of surrender.
  • Creating emptiness.
  • Flowing with life and not following the mind’s noise and all other external noise.

The question I ask myself — “What would be unlived in my life if it ended today?

There is a power in not knowing, in the unknown, in the unfamiliar territory. I am practicing the art of surrendering. I trust in myself that I can achieve what I am intended to achieve. I can be what I want to be. I can have what universe has kept for me.

Surrendering is an art, it’s a practice, a knowing within me that, I don’t have to hold everything too tight close to my chest. See if you could release it and observe its magical nature.

Surrendering and allowing? What does it even mean to surrender?

Having a knowing within that right people will show up at the right time, knowing my true nature. Having a knowing that the right job and career will show up the right time when I am open and ready to receive the universe’s gifts.

Having internal peace that I don’t have to be the one always in front.

I am not advocating to do anything. It’s a practice to do something and then let it go, toss it away — having a knowing that I am doing the best I can.

Surrender is a space between the effort and the result or outcome. It’s a knowing that when life knocks you down, nothing seems to be working — you can always get up.

Continue reading “Contemplating Surrendering, Allowing and Letting Go”

Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez — ‘The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success’, Science-backed steps to address Burnout and increase Resilience, and More (#168)

“Your worth is not measured by your productivity”.

“Let go or be dragged”

Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez (also known as “Dr. J”) is an award-winning Psychologist and Board-Certified Leadership Coach with a 15+ year career dedicated to the betterment of leaders. She has worked with individuals in top organizations in Silicon Valley and throughout the world. A graduate of Stanford University as well as the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium, Dr. J is a sought-after expert in bridging the fields of psychology and leadership. She contributes to national news and TV outlets, including CNN/HLN, Business Insider, Forbes, Fast Company, Oprah, and Bloomberg.

As the former Global Head of Coaching at BetterUp, she was a key leader in the development of ground-breaking science-backed coaching approaches for helping today’s top organizations, while also leading a global community of 1500+ international Leadership Coaches in over 58 countries. Her new book, The Burnout Fix, covers the topic of resilience, sustainable success, and peak performance at work. Dr. J holds a certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University and provides consultation on topics related to this important topic as well.

Check out her new book: The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success in the New World of Work 

Please enjoy!

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or on your favorite platform.

Listen to this episode on YouTube.

This podcast is brought to you by Newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about what I am reading, new documentaries, what I am learning new, recent podcast updates, things I am experimenting with, or anything —which I share extensively in my weekly short and sweet “Friday Newsletter”. No spam ever! I hate that too!

Connect with Jacinta:

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Book: The Burnout Fix

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Continue reading “Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez — ‘The Burnout Fix: Overcome Overwhelm, Beat Busy, and Sustain Success’, Science-backed steps to address Burnout and increase Resilience, and More (#168)”

Cultivate Loving Relationship — How to Communicate Needs, Building Rituals and Pathway to Bliss, Honor Sovereignty

In the last few months, I read some great blogs to improve our loving relationship. These blogs are based on “claiming our sovereignty“, “communicating needs”, “accepting our partner’s needs”, “balancing intimacy and independence”, “the pathway to bliss”, “tools for communication and conflict resolution“, and finally “building rituals for healthy relationships”.

Below is a list of these blogs and I hope that you will gain deeper understanding about relationships as much as I did. I like to keep track of things I am learning on a daily/weekly basis before I forget. The truth is we all learn several things and if we don’t track, we won’t remember.

I am putting this post so that whenever I need to work on relationships(during struggle), I can open up my own blog and quickly recall things. I always believe in creating posts for myself first because when I am excited, I know I can get at least one person excited to read my post. Not trying to create posts for imaginary audience. Period!

Now, without further rant, please enjoy the learnings and share with others.

  • What if we claim (and honor) sovereignty in our relationships?: To claim sovereignty means that I get to decide what happens to my body, heart, and mind. It means that I have agency and autonomy and am not controlled or manipulated by anyone. I get to make my own decisions and live with the consequences. I get to choose who I am in relationship with and how much space to give them in my life. I can choose to end relationships that cause me harm and walk away from situations and communities that don’t honor my sovereignty.
  • How to communicate your needs in a relationship: You have a right to ask for the things you need in a relationship. In fact, you have a responsibility to yourself and your partner to be clear about your needs. You are the expert on yourself. No one else, not even your partner, can read your mind and know what you need in the way of support, intimate contact, time alone, domestic order, independence, sex, love, financial security, and so on. So if articulating your needs isn’t something you’ve felt comfortable doing, how do you start going about it? And how do you do it in a way that doesn’t create defensiveness and anger, and offers the best chance of your partner being willing to listen and fulfill that need?
  • Why you need to accept your partner’s needs? : In this post, you will learn about “our core needs are not negotiable”, “how our needs get met is negotiable”, “lasting relationships require flexibility”, and much more.
  • The Difficult Balance of Intimacy and Independence: Beloved Philosopher and Poet Kahlil Gibran on the Secret to a Loving and Lasting relationship: This difficult balance of intimacy and independence is what the great Lebanese-American artist, poet, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran explores with uncommon insight and poetic precision in a passage from his 1923 masterwork. “Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you”.

Continue reading “Cultivate Loving Relationship — How to Communicate Needs, Building Rituals and Pathway to Bliss, Honor Sovereignty”