Do you feel that’s your time to glow? We don’t mean a superficial glow, but an inner and essential one. Whether you are a CEO, business executive, or just an employee facing everyday stress, anxious meetings, demanding deadlines, and limited free time, thinking that you may need a magical glowing stick to change all these things, then you are reading the right article.
Dr. Stacie Stephenson holds this magical glowing stick that can change our minds, thinking, and daily routine. And believe me, that’s the shift each of us needs. Dr. Stacie Stephenson is a business owner, philanthropist, public speaker, bestselling author, and certified leader in functional and integrative medicine. Dr. Stephenson is the founder and CEO of a new health and wellness media venture, Vibrant Doc, and she serves as Chair of Functional Medicine for Cancer Treatment Centers of America®.
Q: Is meditation a way of life for you? In what areas of your life has it helped you?
Dr. Stacie Stephenson: Meditation has indeed become a way of life for me, although it can look different from day to day. I love to do a traditional meditation in the morning and evening to bookend my day. I find this incredibly centering and calming. However, sometimes I meditate while walking or doing yoga, or I take time in the morning to read something inspirational, or I just sit quietly and listen to the flow of my own thoughts without being so formal about it. Traditional guidance is to meditate for 20 minutes each morning and evening, but I like to take 30 minutes for myself, not using it all necessarily for meditation per se, but simply for centering, planning, contemplation, or getting into the right mindset to start and end each day. To me, that’s a powerful if non-traditional way to get the benefits of meditation. That is why, in my new book Glow, I offer 90 days of morning and evening short readings that anyone can use as sources for meditation, reflection, contemplation, or inspiration. I wrote this book precisely because I wanted to show people how flexible and valuable a meditative practice can be for both physical and mental health.
Q: Do you have any favorite, motivational, or inspirational mottos?
Dr. Stacie Stephenson: One of my favorite mantras is “be the silence.” The world is so noisy, both externally and internally, that people often go for a whole day without ever being in silence. If it’s not external noise, like traffic or people, it’s internal noise, like worries, to-do lists, obligations, or even that inner voice making you feel guilty for not doing it all and being everything for everyone. We are so overextended and so digitally connected that sitting in silence is almost a revolutionary act these days! But it’s also powerful. If you can take just a few moments each morning and evening to sit quietly in a room alone, you may find, like I did, that you gain significant clarity and mental energy. At first, that inner voice will get louder, but if you can learn to watch it and not engage with it, almost as if the thoughts are coming from someone else and you are a neutral observer, you can find great peace. I highly recommend this practice for any busy person.
Q: What would you advise CEOs and business executives to do to have a healthy, glowing, joyful, fulfilled and stress-free life and career?
Dr. Stacie Stephenson: There are a thousand small ways to get healthier and feel better, but in my first book, Vibrant, I recommend focusing on the foundations first. Before you get into the advanced things like extreme diets, fistfuls of supplements, or any of the many “self-help” concepts out there, you have to start where you are and build a foundation of health on which you can then stack other practices. That foundation has three elements: What you eat, how much you move, and how effectively you connect with others.
I call this the Vibrant Triad. In brief, I recommend a nutrient-dense, lower-carb Mediterranean diet made of primarily whole foods; regular daily movement (whether formal exercise or not) that includes walking and some cardio, strength training, and flexibility training such as yoga; and a dedication to improve and strengthen the relationships that are most emotionally nourishing for you. People often forget how important human connection is, and I like to remind people that you can be doing all the “right things” for your health but if you are isolated, lonely, and don’t have support from other people who love you, you can still suffer both mentally and physically, and that can lead to poor health outcomes.
This is a starting place. I don’t know if any busy person can ever be truly “stress free,” and occasional stress has its benefits, but if you build a foundation for physical and mental health, you are building reserves you can use during stressful times, and you will weather them more gracefully.
Q: How long did it take you to prepare your new book, Glow: 90 Days to Create Your Vibrant Life from Within, and what do you think is its strong point?
Dr. Stacie Stephenson: I came up with the idea several years ago, but the actual writing took about 6 months. Of course that doesn’t take into consideration all that time the ideas were mentally brewing!
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from Glow?
Dr. Stacie Stephenson: What I hope readers will take from Glow is that they have the power to improve their own quality of life, both physically and emotionally. While much of what happens to us often seems out of our control, we can control some very important basics: What we eat, how often we get moving, who we allow into our lives, how we are treated, what we are exposed to, and how well we choose to take care of ourselves. When you take that morning and evening time to yourself, for self-care, you will gain more perspective and get your priorities in order so you can organize your life in a way that uplifts and supports you. This allows you to uplift and support others in the ways you do that best. That’s how you generate glow from within.
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