• Four Experts Share Daily Rituals for a Season (and Life) of Success

    By Lashaun Dale

If you are seeking a new and different outcome, you have to shake up your status quo—and be ready to grow. Spring is the best time for this; nature wants you to be fresh, open-minded and on the go. As William James—the founder of positive psychology—said, “If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” We caught up with four incredible people to understand some of the daily routines they rely on to stay charged, focused and ready for anything.

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Here are some habits to consider—master a few or all eight, and prepare for a renewed sense of personal well-being.

BO EASON

Meet Bo Eason, a former NFL standout, an acclaimed Broadway playwright and performer, and an international presence/story coach. Eason has trained with some of the world’s most brilliant performance and movement coaches, logging more than 20,000 hours onstage crafting and presenting his personal story. Eason is now dedicated to helping others tap into the power of their personal story and become effective, persuasive communicators.

Activate your body

Despite a schedule that changes daily and requires regular travel, I stay committed to waking up and being the best every day. It doesn’t just happen; I must plan for it and schedule it.

One thing I’m definitely consistent about is a very active start to each day. I go through some kind of warm-up and get my body activated for the day. My body is an instrument for communication—bodies are the greatest instruments ever created, yet we don’t use them very well. We don’t activate them. We just show up and don’t let them get warmed up.

The best performers in the world understand this, like Usain Bolt, the fastest man to ever run a sprint. He doesn’t just show up and begin to run—he prepares his body with a routine that activates all the muscles in his body so that he can run faster than any other human being. That’s how I start my day, with an activation I call the Sacred Six, which gets me and my body ready to play every day. (You can train with me to learn this during my three-day Personal Story Power event.)

Here is a sneak peek of how I use rocks to free my feet. This is the most important part of my Sacred Six practices, and it is also the No. 1 thing I do. I stand on a rock with no shoe on. What that does is start to open up the foot. Our feet naturally are supposed to splay, to open to the earth. That’s what gives us that power and that energy. Whether you do my routine or another, get ready. Be a pro and start your days by activating your body, eating well, hydrating, and being ready to show up and play.

Protect your schedule

Commit to excellence. No matter what you want to do with your life, your workouts or in your business, you have to prepare. I love preparation; it’s like rehearsal. It prepares us for greatness, to become aware of our full potential. Preparation requires commitment, and it requires everything that you have to give. When you prepare and you hone your craft, you are transformed. It will impact the way you move, how you communicate, the sound of your voice, the food you eat and your relationships with your family. You will see that through daily commitment, the level of excellence and the quality of your experiences will start to rise, and you will feel this in your everyday life.

To make time for excellence, to prepare to be great, you have to own your schedule. Most of us say we have a shortage of time, but that is not true. We just are not using our schedule in a disciplined way to make time to practice, rehearse and train for the performance we want to give. We can remedy this through our mindset and by carving out time in our schedule for deliberate preparation. Protect your schedule: Spend 90 percent of your day preparing to perform, practicing to perform, rehearsing to perform and 10 percent of your day delivering the goods—performing in whatever way you deliver your work to the world. Do this, and it will change your life. Refuse it, like so many others, and you have sealed your fate to a level of mediocrity and a life of regret.

LATHAM THOMAS

Latham Thomas, aka Glow Maven, is a celebrity wellness/lifestyle maven and birth doula, transforming not only how women give birth to their babies but also how they give rise to the best version of themselves. Named one of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100, an enlightened group of leaders elevating humanity with their work, Thomas is helping women embrace optimal wellness and spiritual growth as a pathway to owning their power. She is the founder of Mama Glow, a lifestyle brand offering inspiration, education and holistic services for expectant and new mamas. A graduate of Columbia University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Thomas serves on the Tufts University Nutrition Council. Below, she shares practical yet radiant advice on radical self-care from her book “Own Your Glow” (Hay House Inc., 2017).

Punctuate your day with self-care

Self-care is not self-indulgence—it’s really about sustainability and preservation of your well-being, which I call “Glow Time.” Glow Time is all about mothering yourself. For me, it’s about punctuating my day with self-care so I reclaim moments for myself throughout the day—not all at once. This helps me maintain my energy. I may take 15 minutes to take a walk in the sunshine or do yoga. I also practice what I call “phone fasting” where I stay off my devices for huge stretches throughout the day so I can be present for my work and family.

Glow Time really helps me if I am in a funk, when my energy feels dark and I don’t see any light. It is really easy to get to places where we don’t feel our best, where we let a story take over. What is the trick to get out of it? What do you do when you catch yourself in a story where you find yourself going down into the rabbit hole?

When I find myself in that place, I pause because what I notice is that if I’m in that headspace, I might trip over something. I don’t finish something. I forget things. It’s like a domino effect. Decide in that moment to pause. We can literally change not only our mood but even our blood chemistry by being calmer. And we can also decide in that moment that we can change the story. Check in with yourself and give yourself a moment to breathe. Breathe into the higher state where you want to go so that you don’t have to operate from that place of feeling self-doubt, insecurity, upset or anxiety. I invite people to try these things first because our sense of existential stress and upset and anxiety is all controlled by our hormones, which are governed by our emotions. Once I can get a handle on any emotional experience that I’m having, and where is it living in my body, or where is it living in my mind, then I can harness it.

Reclaim your restoration

You have to reclaim your restoration; it won’t just happen. To help, we created this beautiful line of Mama Glow products, the Ritual Beauty Collection, Glow Time, which I love for use as daily practices. Restoration is really about slowing down. We have a choice: We can hurry up and get dressed in the morning, or we can take our time. Find ways to incorporate self-care on a regular basis. It’s not something I want you to use only on Sundays; I want you to use it every day.

I also want women to be thinking about how they can adorn themselves and anoint themselves and move in this way that’s really goddess-like. I think that we come from that lineage. In our modern day, how can we be more goddess-like? How can we be more ourselves? Self-care is really about returning home to yourself—slowing down and using ritual to pace the practice of self-care. Do whatever it is that you love. You can lather yourself, or scrub down, or soak. I love my nightly routine of soaking in the bathtub in our Mama Glow Rosy Glow Time Bath [Botanicals]. This soak has beets and coconut in it and turns the bath pink, and it feels nice.

LEWIS HOWES

Lewis Howes is a “New York Times” best-selling author (“The School of Greatness” (Rodale Books, 2015) and “The Mask of Masculinity” (Rodale Books, 2017)). He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Team Handball athlete and hosts a top 100 iTunes-ranked Apple podcast, “The School of Greatness.” Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country younger than 30. “Details” magazine called him one of “5 Internet Gurus Who Can Make You Rich.” Howes has appeared on “Ellen,” “Good Morning America,” “Today” and ESPN, and he also has been featured in “The New York Times,” “People,” “Sports Illustrated,” “Men’s Health” and other major media outlets. 

Start the day right

Every day is different for me, which I love. But I love routine, so I try to make the morning the same. In the morning, I try to simplify it with gratitude, with meditation for 10 to 15 minutes and with moving my body in some type of workout.

I always make my bed. My bed needs to be a clean space, and it helps me be more productive throughout the day. If I do those things, then the rest of my day is pretty good. I could be interviewing people—sometimes I’ll interview four people in one day because I’m batching for my podcast ahead of time—sometimes I’m doing live trainings online for 10,000 people who’ve signed up for an informational webinar. I’m taking a lot of meetings. I’m meeting people. I’m networking. I’m building relationships. I’m doing whatever I can to add value to the world.

Build your team

Trying to do it all on your own is almost impossible. I think that you can’t achieve great things or get great things done on your own, so don’t try to. Don’t say, “I want to do this myself. I’m going to just write it in my journal, and every single day, I’m going to commit to waking up on my own and doing these things.” Always do things with a team. I have accountability partners. I’ve got my team holding me accountable. I hire coaches. Do whatever it takes to build a team around you to be accountable, and then have 30-day goals or challenges.

Do something every day for 30 days, and then re-evaluate afterward. Don’t say, “I’m going to do this every single day for the year.” It’s too much. It’s too hard. It’s too long. Say, “I’m going to do it this week,” and then recommit. “I’m going to do it next week. I’m going to do it next week.” You can do anything for five days in a row.

And find an accountability person. Hire a coach. Pay someone. Any time I work out on my own, I can work out pretty well. But every time I hire a coach, I work out a little bit harder. And they don’t let me give up the last two reps when I’m almost done. When I’m on my own, I’ll say, “I’ve worked hard enough.” But a trainer wouldn’t let me do that if I paid them, and I would commit to working harder. I know the value of having a coach in every area of my life. And if you want big results, you need accountability or coaching.

RUBY WARRINGTON

Writer and magical thought leader Ruby Warrington is the founder of cosmic lifestyle platform The Numinous, author of “Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Life” (HarperOne, 2017) and the co-founder of the “sober curious” event series Club SÖDA NYC. Warrington spends her mornings cultivating her connection to her intuitive voice so she can be more present and conscious in the world.

Ban social media

[When I was writing my book], I put a ban on email and social media before 11 a.m. and after 9 p.m. I write best in the morning when my head is still half in the spirit world, so I needed to keep this channel clear and to also make sure I was getting super-deep sleep. I doubled down on my yoga and meditation practice for the same reasons. As for more esoteric practices, researching the book involved throwing myself headfirst into it all, and these experiences not only shaped the text but [also] me as I was writing it! It was a very holistic experience in this respect.

Get high on life

As I embarked on my spiritual path and really experienced this transformation, it really shone a light on how I was using alcohol as a way to experience many of the things that I was now getting from these spiritual practices. I think it’s interesting how spirits and spirituality have the same title. So many things that we look for in spirits of the alcoholic kind can be found through connecting to our spirit, our sense of aliveness.

I have spent the past six or so years slowly but steadily understanding and unlearning my habit of reaching for a drink on autopilot in any and all social situations. I had fun, loads of fun, but I didn’t like how I felt and the toll it was taking on my body. I wanted a different experience—and many people are craving ways to connect and experience joy and transcendence without using booze.

I have learned a lot about ways of getting high on my own supply and how bringing many of these practices into my life had led to me just feeling naturally more inspired, more connected—how they have led to me having experiences of transcendence and bliss without having to take a substance into my body that would then leave me feeling terrible the next day.

The kind of surprise subplots to writing the book and starting The Numinous was that I’ve completely re-evaluated my relationship to alcohol. As a journalist in my 20s and 30s in London, it was pretty boozy territory, and I drank regularly and copiously and had a lot of fun with it. But then there were the hangovers. There was always a price to pay with that kind of spiritedness, so now I describe myself as being “sober curious.” It means that every time I do choose to drink, it’s a super-conscious choice, taking into account all the reasons I might be choosing to have a drink, how it’s really going to make me feel, how it’s going to impact my work that I’m doing in the world. When I’m consciously making that choice every time, it means I live a pretty much sober life. There are very few situations where that momentary buzz really feels worth it to me.

Photo credit: Kristin McKee, Stocksy; Todd Cribari, inspirostudio.com; Lewis Howes; Mark Kuroda, kurodastudios.com
Hair and make-up: Ava Roston

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Author

Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale currently serves as vice president of content & programming for 24 Hour Fitness and editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine. A regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts, she’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.

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