Together We Stand Divided We Fall

Emotions are running high across the nation today, and the divide among US citizens is creating a surplus of anxiety, frustration, anger or worse apathy. The presidential election is in full force and soon the greatest country in the world will have a new president to carry us forward.

Tomorrow morning some of you will wake up inspired and excited for the future. Some of you will wake up scared and worried about what the next four years will bring. And Some of you have already turned apathetic to the system, our nation and your role as a U.S. Citizen. Tomorrow, we face what could potentially be the greatest divide our generation has ever experienced.

In contrast, last week our nation experienced one of the greatest unifiers in history. The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series and brought together millions of people for the 7th largest peace gathering this world has ever seen. The Cub’s rally and parade brought together Chicago Cub fans and Cleveland Indian fans alike. The crowd of 5 million was filled with all nationalities, value systems, political beliefs and spiritual preferences. Everyone came together in peace and their collective energy was strong enough to rise above our man-made differences to create an unbreakable force of love. A powerful example for us all to reflect on as we enter into this election.

Together we stand divided we fall. Tomorrow we are faced with a choice. Do we stand united; putting aside our man-made differences so that together The Land of the Brave can create a better world for generations to come? Or, do we divide and fall?

Tomorrow my hope is that you exercise compassion, walk in the way of kindness and choose to unite in peace with your neighbor, your friends and your loved ones. May we all remember that it’s our collective actions and words that will blaze the trail forward and create a nation admired by all.

Gina Soleil, is an American author, speaker and business owner.  She blogs and speaks about how to create a better world where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil at info@ginasoleil.com and follow her on Twitter @GinaSoleilWorld.

The Corporate Vortex: We’re Not in Sedona Anymore

downtown-minneapolis-skyline-from-marquette

I recently went back to Corporate America. No, I’m not giving up my writing (obviously), but it was time to move forward with a new experience.

Over the past five years I’ve immersed myself in teaching, writing and speaking about how to create a workplace where people are energized, feel good and are happy. And how to create a work-life people love. Through my books and writings I’ve gained a reputation as the “energy girl” who pushes the envelope with discussion topics like spirituality, meditation and mindfulness at work. Now it’s time to live it–an author is only as good as the sum of their experiences.

Since jumping back into the corporate vortex (that is certainly not Sedona, AZ) here’s what I’ve learned. “Living it” is fucking hard! You can read, write and practice mindfulness techniques sunrise to sunset, but at the end of the day living it is far from easy.

I have found myself becoming my own worst client–unexplained depression, exhaustion, no time for self and a spinning mind that replays people’s perceptions of me and my performance. I don’t tell anyone this–it’s my little secret. On the outside I look like a professional confident woman people look up to. How little they know. Oh, and I automatically gained 10 lbs! How did that happen? Yep, cafeteria food, long hours at my desk, no time to workout and lack of sleep. Hell, I’m living the American dream!

Last week I had a “come to Jesus, come to Buddha moment”. A friend of mine so generously held up a mirror and said, “Wake the fuck up!” Okay, he was a bit more polished than that, but I heard, “Wake the fuck up!”.

Simply put, he reminded me that I had it all backwards. I’ve been giving all my energy, “my all” to this company and giving nothing to myself. (Now listen up, this is key…) I’ve been fitting my entire life into my corporate job rather than fitting my corporate job into my life. So much so, that for the past four months I’ve literally given up everything that I love–everything that makes my soul sing. For god sakes, I even gave up writing!

I’m not going to pretend that after one conversation I’m fixed and have all the answers. On the contrary… I’ve just begun my journey forward, and I have no doubt that every step forward will be a lesson that we’ll all learn from together (because I’m going to write about it).

You see, I’m on a mission. Together, we’re going to crack this nut! We’re going to figure out how to live as healthy well-balanced spiritual beings in a corporate world that’s anything but balanced or spiritual. We’re going to learn how to master mindfulness in the workplace and reclaim our calm–reclaim our life!

Lesson 1: My personal mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of humanity by making the power of good the driving force in business throughout the world. The “power of good” won’t come from forcing change in corporate process and operating models. The power of good will happen when we all figure out how to live as healthy well-balanced spiritual beings in a corporate vortex that is anything but spiritual and well-balanced.

Bring it on Universe! We’re ready.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

THE REAL STORY: Why Transparency in Business is Important

images (4)Are you transparent at all costs?

From e-mails to texts to the intranet, people are writing and reading 24/7. Writing is a great art and privilege. People rely on the written language for everything. It’s how we communicate messages, transfer information, gain alignment, and stay connected. That being said, “You can’t believe everything you read” is a statement that holds true in many businesses. To fuel healthy energy, you need to make sure that the messages being written in your business are transparent, and free from deceit, manipulation, and lies. If the words you’re choosing do not deliver a clean message, the whole story, and a positive intent, people will sense deceit a mile away. When they do, your business throws trust right out the window, and the toxic energy those words create will destroy the productivity of your business. People will go from wanting to work for you, to having to force themselves to show up and do the bare minimum just to get paid. No one wants to do anything for someone who uses deceit to manipulate their actions. You need to ensure that your business is not using the art of writing as a form of manipulation. It happens more than you think, especially when the financial stakes appear high.

Transparency is the bridge between truth and clarity, and it’s the action that keeps a business honest. Transparency is how a business delivers the whole story and presents all the details. Transparency is the living action of truth. You might be thinking, A business can’t always be transparent. Spin it however you want from a business leader’s point of view:

We don’t want too much information getting out. If all the information came out it would be detrimental to revenue and profits, and our stock would go down.

We don’t want to rock the boat and harm performance.

We don’t want to take people’s focus away from what they really need to be doing.

They don’t need to know all that information to do their job.

They can’t handle the truth!

Here’s the deal: The truth is going to come out sooner or later. All the information will reveal itself, whether you want it to or not. If you’re not transparent, the truth will start as gossip, and people will take the gossip as truth because that’s the only “information” they have to hang onto. A leader may break under pressure and share everything with a line-level friend, and that line-level friend will share her version of the truth with everyone else. Before you know it the news has spread like wildfire. Now the business has to spend hours fixing, smoothing over, and making excuses for why it wasn’t transparent to begin with; not to mention the effort that now has to go into rebuilding trust rather than nurturing the trust that already exists. Rebuilding is always more costly than maintenance.

As a business leader, you have choice. You can choose to be transparent by delivering truth and clarity with conviction, or you can you choose to only deliver a partial message that causes confusion and emotional turmoil. For every leader there is a defining moment: Someone will ask you to withhold the whole story. If you do, the people in your business will see you as a liar. I get it; you’re in a high-profile business, and some very important people who make six or seven figures are telling you to “Keep it a secret. Don’t show anyone. For your eyes only—and only while you’re in the club of leadership.” I get your reality, but here’s the deal: If you choose to continue the dysfunction by not sharing the whole story, you are a liar. That personal label never feels good, and it’s incredibly difficult to get rid of.

If you’re not being transparent, you can’t justify being frustrated that people aren’t doing what the business needs them to do. That’s like inviting someone to a meeting, not telling them the room number or time, and then getting upset because they didn’t show up. When someone has clarity because he inherently knows that he’s being told the whole story, he’s motivated to move the business forward.

Let’s take it a step further. When was the last time you were excited, motivated, and inspired to do something nice for someone who was deceitful and manipulative to you? When was the last time you walked up to your significant other or friend and said, “I really wish you we’re a complete liar. That’s the type of person I want to be around. That’s the type of person I want to give my all to. That’s the type of person who gives me energy.” Yeah, the green kind that comes in the form of slime. Yuck! If you think this is harsh, you’re right, it is. And it needs to be, because it’s the truth. It’s the whole story that no one wants to talk about. Or it’s talked about, but we don’t allow it to get personal. We justify it by saying “It’s my job.” No, it’s not. It’s called leadership dysfunction at its best.

We convenience ourselves that being a liar is okay as long as we’re getting paid to do it. The more we get paid, the more we’re asked to lie. The more we lie, the more toxic energy gets dumped into the business. You and everyone one else in the business are now caught in a cycle of perpetual deceit that generates enough destructive energy that your whole body feels like it’s stuck in cement and you can’t move anywhere—certainly not forward. Yet we still go back to justifying it. Hell, we even feel important when we make it to the top and get to be one of the few people who not only know the whole story but also get to lie about it. When you look at it from the perspective of being in a personal relationship, you know it’s sick, demented, and wrong.

Just thinking about being on the other side of deception is enough to give anyone anxiety and heartache. Think about the last time you were lied to, the last time you were impacted by someone who chose not be transparent and give you the whole story. Do you remember the feeling of heaviness? Can you feel it now just thinking about it? That heaviness you’re feeling is the toxic energy that lives in a business when the business is unhealthy. It’s the same heaviness that every person, from the part-time janitor to the CEO, gets to carry when the business chooses to withhold truth. It’s the heaviness that businesses are asking leaders at all levels to deliver to the rest of the people in the business. Congratulations—you’ve made it to the top. Now the question is, do you have the courage to change it?

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Email Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

How to Get off the Crazy Train

crazytrainWe’ve all heard the definition of crazy: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. For some, it’s easier to ride the crazy train than remembering to breathe. Our addiction to crazy influences how we approach our job, health, and relationships. Crazy is everywhere!

Every crazy thought, word and action contributes to a brew of perpetuating life complaints that create an overflow of negative energy–negative energy that fuels the momentum of more crazy and fills your life with more of what you don’t want. Crazy makes you ask questions such as, “Why do I keep attracting that same type of relationship? Why can’t I get ahead at work? Why does my body still feel this way?” It doesn’t matter the life topic, nothing will ever change for the better unless you choose to get off the crazy train.

Here are five ways to get off the train of crazy and start attracting the things, people and situations in life you actually want:

  1. Break up with Crazy: The first step in getting off the crazy train is admitting you’re crazy (we all are). If you find yourself asking, “Why do I keep attracting…” then you need to break up with crazy.
  2. Make a Crazy List: Create four buckets that include family, job, relationships and health (you may have more). Under each bucket write a list of your usual crazy tendencies… thoughts, actions, complaints, etc. Then ask yourself, “Which of the tendencies that I  wrote have the power to bring me joy and which create turmoil?” Be brutally honest. Then cross out all your tendencies that create turmoil.
  3. Make a New You List: For every tendency you crossed out, replace it with an action that has the power to bring you joy. Then re-write your New You List and post it someplace that’s visible to you at all times. Put it in your purse, in your phone, on your desk, coffee table or refrigerator. It doesn’t matter where you put it. What matters is that it’s visible.
  4. Commit to your New You List: Eeek! The word commitment is enough to make most people run for the hills. Here’s the deal: you can’t get off the crazy train unless you commit to making YOU your  #1 PRIORITY. This is where the work comes in… If you truly want to attract something different (something better), you need to commit to doing the new you actions on your New You List everyday.
  5. Say It, Do It: All new actions start with your thoughts. Every morning, afternoon and evening read your New You List out loud. Then ask yourself, “How am I honoring my list?” It’s amazing, magic happens when you take the time to read the commitment you’ve made to yourself out loud–it’s one of the fastest ways to “program” your mind with new healthy thoughts and behaviors. After you read it, challenge yourself and do it!

Moral of the story: your reality is a direct reflection of the thoughts, words and actions you choose to put into the world. If there’s something in your life that you want changed, it may be time to take responsibility and get off your crazy train.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker, coach and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

You’re Bloody Brilliant

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In case someone hasn’t already told you, let me just say, “You are brilliant.” In fact, you are the most brilliant person in your life. You are so smart that you have the ability to answer any life question, accomplish anything you put your mind to, and your ideas are so phenomenal they have the ability to inspire and motivate everyone around you to be better and more self-confident. Without a doubt, you are brilliant.

Now here’s the reality, you may not feel brilliant or that your ideas are phenomenal. In fact, you may feel the exact opposite. You see, our society, especially Corporate America, has taught us the art of self-degradation. In fact, most people have become so good at the art form they literally insult and condemn themselves out loud in order to save themselves from public shame and humiliation. People think things like, If I tell everyone how stupid I am right now someone may think it’s funny. They might even respond by telling me how smart I am–that will make me feel better. And then people might not think I’m so stupid. Reverse psychology at its best.

Here’s the deal: most people have been doing this self-degradation thing for years–some, since they were born. What you may not know is that self-degradation is a form of mental programing. The psychology is simple: the human mind will believe what is heard repeatedly as truth. In other words, keep telling yourself you’re stupid and you will believe you’re stupid. Tell a child, or a young adult they’re stupid and they will believe it for life. I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a society where I am surrounded by brilliance not stupidity. Moral to the story: be respectful when you’re talking to yourself, and show compassion when you’re talking to others.

Today, make the choice to acknowledge your brilliance as truth. It doesn’t matter your IQ score, how far up the corporate ladder you’ve climbed, or what anyone else has told you in this life–you are brilliant. It’s now time to put your head up, stand tall and walk forward in this truth. And when you’re walking forward, and someone chooses not to acknowledge your brilliance, simply say, “I’m bloody brilliant”.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

How to get someone to say, “I love my job.”

I-love-my-job_employee-engagementI’ve seen my share of employee engagement programs. The best programs are those that show people they are valued, cared for and appreciated by the business and its leaders–programs that have people saying, “I love my job.” These are two of my favorite programs. Hats off to the fearless businesses that choose to put people first!

1.  Internal Humanity Budgets

Internal humanity budgets are funds that provide leaders with the ability to take care of the people on their team during times of need. These are funds that someone in need can receive similar to the way a grant works—no strings attached. Example scenarios include someone finding out he is losing his house due to circumstances out of his control. Another example might be someone needing to put food on the table after finding out her child has terminal cancer. A humanity budget is designed to take care of the basic human needs of the people inside the business.

It’s important not to make this complicated. The minute red tape gets involved, humanity budgets will become tainted with bad energy and complicated to disperse. The perceived hassle will automatically give leaders amnesia—they won’t remember the budgets exist at all. So make it simple. Make it one lump sum per leader. Make the budgets known to everyone in the business. Don’t micromanage it, and step away from the red tape. This is an exercise of trust, compassion, and freedom.

2.  Community Barter Sites

A community barter site is an online program that allows people to confidentially request help in times of need, for themselves or for other people inside the business. The site is barter only, and allows everyone in the business to confidentially respond to the needs of others. Again, no strings attached. Barter items may include groceries, clothing, and school supplies. The intent of the initiative is to give people in the business a vehicle by which to help take care of one another when people need help the most. The confidentiality of the program makes it safe for people to participate without shame or guilt.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

3 Fast Ways to “Destress” and Feel Human Again

adt-womanLet’s face it people, life is tough, and trying to remain calm and grounded feels virtually impossible among the day-to-day craziness we call “life”. In fact, life can get so out-of-control that at times you may not even feel human. You don’t know what you feel, but it’s definitely not human.

If you’re someone like me and the rest of the world, who needs a little assistance reclaiming your calm, here are three of the fastest ways to destress and feel human again. That said, here’s the deal: you need to commit to the process for a month. And the process includes all three steps. If you make the commitment, I personally guarantee you’ll feel better–more grounded, calm and back in the driver’s seat of your life.

Here are 3 Fast Ways to “Destress” and Feel Human Again:

1.  Morning Pages:
Each morning, before you do anything, write three pages of constant-stream-of-thought. The concept behind morning pages is that we subconsciously house damaging thoughts that we carry with us everyday. These thoughts block us from attaining our goals, feeling good, and being our best selves. When we write our thoughts immediately in the morning we allow ourselves to literally dump any and all negativity into the trash where it belongs–allowing us to be free and clear from the potential blocks preventing us from attaining our goals.

Important Note: Do not read your morning pages—at all. Many people choose to burn their pages at the end of 30-days, or simply toss them in the trash as a form of release. You may choose what to do with your morning pages,, but what’s important is that you do not read them during this experience. Think about it…. would you dig through the trash to eat something you threw out days ago? Why would you want to put those thoughts back into your head?

2.  Creativity Outing:
Your mind, body and soul is in need of a weekly dose of solitude and reward. The world is filled with noise that cloud our thoughts with fear and judgment; preventing us from remaining grounded, confident and clear about who we are and where we’re going. During the creativity outing you are literally cleansing yourself from negative outside influences. Humans are meant to create. When we create, we feel free. I don’t care if you go to a pond and line-up sticks, or decide to be a painter–what you do during the outing is your choice. That said, there are 4 rules:

  • You must be alone (no friends, no dates)
  • You must choose to do something creative outside your “normal” existence
  • You must be on your outing for a minimum of 2-hours
  • No technology

3.  Gratitude Reflection:  
The fastest way to get the results you want is by showing gratitude. It’s proven: what you put into the world is exactly what you will get back. Einstein himself, intentionally said thank you 90-times a day because he knew the Universe would reward him in beautiful ways for simply choosing to be grateful for the things already in his life. Every day, you are asked to write down 10 things you are grateful for. It’s amazing. When you actually stop long enough to be grateful for the life you have, your mind is able to find its calm and relax.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

Creating Ethical Cultures in Business

Do you have the courage to stand up for what is right? When you’re faced with a situation that you know is wrong, do you speak up? Or, do walk away and allow deceit and manipulation to flourish? The next time you catch yourself thinking, “Someone should do something.” Remember, that someone is you.

Thank you, Brooke Deterline, for sharing this message with the world.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

How to Live a Happier Life

Imagine_A_Happier_You_logoIf you’re not happy, there’s a 99% chance your life doesn’t align with your values.

What are values anyway?  Values are how we name what we find important in life and what gives us energy. Like the flour and eggs that help a cake become a cake, aligning your life to your values help you become a happy and balanced person.  Values are the ingredients that make the best you.

What are your values?  Be careful… I didn’t ask you for your parent’s values, the values of the business you work for, or the values of any other influence in your life. Many people fall into the trap of aligning their life to the values of something or somebody else due to their fear of judgement and disappointment–one day turning around and saying, “Why am I not happy?”

Today, make a choice to be happy. Choose to align your life with what YOU value and what gives YOU energy. You most likely won’t be able to align your entire life to your values overnight, but even the most subtle shift can have a profound affect on the state of your happiness.

Here’s how to start living a happier life:

Take a look at this list of values, and choose the top 10 values that jump out at you. These are the values that you instinctually know are important to you. Once you have your list, then narrow it down to your top-five values. To do so, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What moment has been the highlight of your life? Describe it. Why was it a highlight? Who was there? What did the environment look like, feel like, sound like? What words were spoken or written? How did you feel, and why? What value(s) was being respected or honored? 
  2. Describe a moment when you have felt wronged. Who or what wronged you? What did the environment look like, feel like, sound like when it happened? What words were spoken or written? How did you feel, and why? What value(s) was being disrespected or hurt?

It’s the values that were respected and honored, or disrespected and hurt, that are the most important to you. These values should be in your top-five list. Your emotional experiences are always the window to what’s most important to you. 

Lastly, look at your top-five list and ask yourself, “Are my current life choices aligned with my values 100%?” If not, start brainstorming all the different ways you could shift your life in order to honor your values. Skies the limit! This is your happiness we’re talking about. Don’t cheat yourself–shoot for the moon.  Now choose one idea and bring it to life.

Don’t stop there…. everyday make one shift, until one day you turn around and say, “Wow, I’m happy.”

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.

How to Make a Leader Better, Stronger and More Inspiring

argentina_flag_by_chokorettomilkku-d7idrpsIf you want a leader to change; to become more authentic, compassionate and kind, send them on a mission trip. If you want a leader to become better, stronger and more inspiring, send them to a place where the culture is rich in respect for humanity and the Earth. 

One of the greatest life-changing experiences I’ve had to date was when I went on a two-week mission trip to Argentina, from Buenos Aires to Patagonia to Iguazu Falls. Argentina is not a wealthy country. It was at one time, but the country has suffered great economic hardship, and many people are still living in poverty. And yet, as a visitor, you would never know that was the case. Every person with whom I came in contact had a sense of life inside him or her that I had never seen before. I could look into people’s eyes and instantly see and feel how much gratitude, appreciation, and love they had inside them. The people I talked with listened, asked questions, and cared enough to keep the conversation going, even though we didn’t even understand the words that were coming out of our mouths. In fact, many conversations ended up with both of us just laughing, because we had no clue what was going on.

When the trip ended, we cried. In two weeks amazing friendships had formed and no one wanted to leave each other. But we said our goodbyes, and in that moment I realized I was actually saying goodbye to who I was and hello to someone new. You see, here’s what happened on that trip: When I looked into the eyes of these people who had nothing, I saw people who had everything. I saw life. And I realized that they were no different from anyone else I knew; I was the person who was different. For two weeks I was immersed in a life without materialistic items, status, or money—those distractions were gone. I lived simply, because I didn’t have a choice to live otherwise. And with everything stripped away I actually noticed life, and I noticed it inside another human being. I stopped long enough to see, feel, and experience what it meant to actually connect with another human being—and change happened.

I came back to the States a different person; a better person. I started to look at life differently. The experience was an igniter, and it put me on a path where I started to align my life with my values and my purpose, and it helped me begin to understand what it meant when someone said “authentic relationship.” And I realized, once I was home, that if I stop long enough to look into someone’s eyes, life always looks back into mine.

Mission trips are important, but not for the reason everyone thinks they’re important. Sure, you physically help other people who need your help, and you have a significant impact on the world in amazing, tangible ways, but the real point of a mission trip, and the real change, is that you come back a different person—a person who begins to understand life. It’s that understanding that has the power to open eyes, and it’s that understanding that has the power to improve the well-being of humanity and change our world.

So before you jump into your next leadership course, or send one of your leaders off to another leadership course, consider this… Real change—in people, communities, and the world—only occurs through experience. If you truly want a leader to change; to become better, more authentic, compassionate, and kind, you need to immerse them in a culture where authenticity, compassion and kindness thrive. So rather than attending another leadership course consider going out into the world to literally be the change.

Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.