The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

63 Conscious Leadership, Self-Awareness and Empowering Entrepreneurs with Monica Haughey

May 13, 2024 Dr Nia D Thomas Episode 63
63 Conscious Leadership, Self-Awareness and Empowering Entrepreneurs with Monica Haughey
The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
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The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
63 Conscious Leadership, Self-Awareness and Empowering Entrepreneurs with Monica Haughey
May 13, 2024 Episode 63
Dr Nia D Thomas

Welcome to another insightful episode of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast. In this episode, our host Nia Thomas engages in a thought-provoking conversation with psychotherapist and creative entrepreneur, Monica Haughey.

Monica is a multifaceted professional with a background in social work, entrepreneurship, and psychotherapy. From a young age, she showed her entrepreneurial spirit by making and selling candles, showcasing her creativity and business acumen. Throughout her career, she has organized cookery classes, run the Good Food Initiative, and managed her own psychotherapy practice. With a passion for creativity and helping others, Monica has made a lasting impact in various industries.

Monica shares her expertise in facilitating creative entrepreneur groups and emphasizes the power of creating a safe space for mutual support and networking. The discussion delves into the importance of self-awareness and emotional intelligence in leadership, as well as the impact of flexible and inclusive approaches in the workplace. Monica's journey and her commitment to unlocking potential and effecting change brings to light the significance of self-awareness in personal and professional growth.

Join us as we explore the fascinating world of self-awareness, conscious living, and the transformative power of leadership.

Access Monica's website here

Buy The Biology of Belief by Dr Bruce Lipman here

Support the Show.

Find Out More
Thanks for joining me on my learning journey! Until next time...


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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to another insightful episode of The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast. In this episode, our host Nia Thomas engages in a thought-provoking conversation with psychotherapist and creative entrepreneur, Monica Haughey.

Monica is a multifaceted professional with a background in social work, entrepreneurship, and psychotherapy. From a young age, she showed her entrepreneurial spirit by making and selling candles, showcasing her creativity and business acumen. Throughout her career, she has organized cookery classes, run the Good Food Initiative, and managed her own psychotherapy practice. With a passion for creativity and helping others, Monica has made a lasting impact in various industries.

Monica shares her expertise in facilitating creative entrepreneur groups and emphasizes the power of creating a safe space for mutual support and networking. The discussion delves into the importance of self-awareness and emotional intelligence in leadership, as well as the impact of flexible and inclusive approaches in the workplace. Monica's journey and her commitment to unlocking potential and effecting change brings to light the significance of self-awareness in personal and professional growth.

Join us as we explore the fascinating world of self-awareness, conscious living, and the transformative power of leadership.

Access Monica's website here

Buy The Biology of Belief by Dr Bruce Lipman here

Support the Show.

Find Out More
Thanks for joining me on my learning journey! Until next time...


Rate and Review
Once you've taken a listen please leave a rate and review on your favourite podcast player. A little word from you means a big deal to me!

Nia Thomas [00:00:08]:
Hello, and welcome to the Knowing Self, Knowing Others podcast where we discuss self aware leadership with thinkers from around the globe. I'm your host, Nia Thomas. Join me as we talk to today's guest. Today, I'm excited to introduce Monica Jorge, an experienced psychotherapist, passionate change maker and and creative entrepreneur. She has over 20 years of experience, and Monica brings deep expertise in human emotion, helping individuals unlock their potential. She's always been involved in effecting change at an individual and collective lever level, whether that's at a as a therapist, group worker, or through her community involvement. Beyond her therapy practice, Monica is a force for of positive change. She founded the Good Food Initiative, Empowering Families' Health, and authored insightful recipe books as well.

Nia Thomas [00:01:00]:
Monica's leadership extends to facilitating learning groups and organizing Dublin's 1st conscious living and working conference. Her ultimate venture, the school of conscious living, guides those ready for change. Monica believes in accessing inner strength, building resilient communities, and living conscientiously to shape a better world. For creative entrepreneurs seeking courage, Monica is here to support your journey. So welcome, Monica Jorge, to the show. Thank you, Leah. That's a lovely introduction. It's wonderful to have you here.

Nia Thomas [00:01:33]:
So tell us about your creative entrepreneurial journey. How did you get here?

Monica [00:01:39]:
Yes. Well, you know how sometimes in life you get to a certain point and you sort of look back and actually think, yes, I've been a social worker. Yes. I've run cookery classes and the Good Food Initiative. And, yes, I've run a conference. And, yes, I've run my own practice as a psychotherapist. But really, I've been an entrepreneur since I was young and used to, school age, make candles and sell them on the bus and light candles and Okay. Have to make fun to make them and be creative and people wanted them so I sold them.

Monica [00:02:08]:
So I've always sort of done work that sort of feels right and feels of value, and I've done and that's really my entrepreneurial journey. I think entrepreneurs are people who see possibilities and listening to themselves and, the kind of entrepreneur I have been is somebody who's been creative and, really followed my own heart and what makes sense and meaning to me. So I used to be involved in the Dublin Food Co op because I'm based in Dublin, but I was very interested in getting people involved and good access to good food or easy and cheaper access to good food, good organic food. When my children were small, I wanted to keep them well. So I was entrepreneurial around the cookery classes and the recipe books. And it was only in looking back, I think, actually, yeah, I'm a psychotherapist. I'm quite sort of entrepreneurial and, realized that I do have something to offer around supporting people take risks and be courageous about their lives and step up into what they really want to do and are here to do. So that's how I sort of combined my entrepreneurial journey and my psychotherapy journey, really.

Monica [00:03:17]:
You describe your 1 on 1 psychotherapy as helping

Nia Thomas [00:03:21]:
you find your way back to a more confident and empowered version of yourself and to break free from your limiting beliefs and conditions. Now to me, that really does sound like there are there's a lot of reflective work in in developing your self awareness on that journey. So tell us a bit about that psychotherapy. How does that journey for individuals develop?

Monica [00:03:43]:
Yeah. Well, the stage I'm at as a psychotherapist is really helping people move beyond. So that is my style of therapy. There may people who want to go to more long term in-depth sort of processing of, your early childhood and traumas, etcetera. But where I've moved my practice to now, and I think it does or partly reflect what's going on in the external world is that people are wanting to find ways to move on from what's happened and to figure out what's holding them back. And, so, yeah, how I work is, as I said, my people may want to go sort of slower, more in-depth work with another therapist. I know you've had psychoanalyst, and that does tend to be a lot of work with the unconscious and probably more frequent and slower. But the kind I have is more how do you really listen into yourself and what is it that you really want to do.

Monica [00:04:35]:
And so it's about that fits naturally with therapy because I just see psychotherapy and the humanistic psychotherapy, which is my trading is about, providing like a mirror. People come to see themselves and they come to actually get to know themselves, get to know their own strengths, to take some power back into their lives. And, I really think that, again, it is time for that. We've had a lot of structures collapsing. I don't really have any astrologers on, but they have certainly very clear, strong explanations about the collapse of structures in the external world. And it's, yeah, it can be frightening and but and fearful or it can be seen as an opportunity for us all to do our work, get more clarity on what's holding us back, what's the conditioning, what's the limiting beliefs, and how do we move forward. And that all fits also then with the Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton and all those neuroscientists that they're talking about, like, the setting the intention, being clear about what you want, feeling the emotions, getting excited, and then obviously taking the steps. But to me, as therapists, we can also quite easily apply that to our work of increasing people's awareness and believing them and seeing them and trusting them and helping them with both identifying and taking that next step.

Nia Thomas [00:05:55]:
It's, it's lovely to hear you talking about the biology of belief by doctor Bruce Lipton.

Monica [00:06:00]:
Oh, yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:06:00]:
Yeah. Haven't heard, anybody mention that book in quite some time, and I remember I I read it probably or maybe 20 years ago, and I absolutely loved it. It's it's really fascinating. So you when you think Sorry. Go ahead.

Monica [00:06:14]:
I think it intuitively makes sense as well. You know, I think that they have for point of neuroscience to back up, which I think is a very natural process. If we're going getting up in the morning, they go, it's gonna be terrible day. It's raining or we can set some other intention about something else. But I think that they have got the science behind, which is quite a natural process.

Nia Thomas [00:06:33]:
You mentioned, holding a mirror up as a way of of explaining self awareness. So how would you define it? If you had to give it a a sentence or a a definition, how would you define self awareness?

Monica [00:06:49]:
Well, what I did see is that I see therapy as holding a mirror. That if you come to me as a therapist, I having done, I say, at least 20 years of this work, I have sort of honed it down to actually you're coming to me to meet yourself. And my work would then be about to facilitate your awareness. So, how do you say if somebody's at a point where they want to change jobs, somebody is in a job, they're well paid, but it's gold handcuffs, that kind of thing? And I would say, well, so what's that like? What what does it feel like to go into work every day? To really get them to embody what it is like to do this and what keeps them there, what keeps them stuck. But so again, it's about the awareness. They may feel it in their body, and they may have a strong emotion around it or they may have something physical around it, but it's about helping them develop that awareness. And that's where conscious living comes in and it's it's not necessarily meditating to higher levels of vibration. It's actually just about in my book, it's about awareness and increasing awareness.

Nia Thomas [00:07:53]:
How do you do that when you're working with individuals? I mean, we've talked about 1 on 1 coaching, but is there a a different way that we can bring people together, groups, or or different kind of coaching that that that you're involved in?

Monica [00:08:08]:
Yes. Well, I've been doing it for years now. These I call them creative entrepreneur groups where people who are wanting to design their life and their work and to take charge of their choices really. And these groups, I find them so you know, the power of a group is so different from someone in the room and their own, and, obviously, that's a value and it can be a lead into a group. But people can really come up when they hear people saying maybe things that they've thought themselves and haven't really been fully aware of, and there's a lot of mutual support. And what one person finds easy, the other person can find very difficult. And so there's a whole sort of networking and building of community. I mean, I'm continually surprised by the power of the group and that and part of the wonder what is amplified in a group, really.

Monica [00:08:56]:
I had, one woman who was a yoga teacher. We're talking about she thought she came to the group to maybe build her practice and build get more clients for her yoga. The conversation went and people were saying, tell me so the group were holding her and listening to her. So I think therapy has been holding and listening and reflecting back. But we had a group holding and listening and reflecting back. And then whatever someone asked her, she said, well, actually, I'm an artist and I really love drawing. But it was only by having the space to sit into herself and to have this space where people were listening, curious, asking questions. And obviously, my job is to facilitate that and we I make sure we're not gonna tell each other what to do, which we all have a tendency, maybe women more so.

Monica [00:09:42]:
But it's to keep away from that, get curious, and just what happens in the one to 1, I think, is amplified in the group. So that's what I love about the groups. Yeah?

Nia Thomas [00:09:51]:
Yeah. I and I guess to be able to have those kind of conversations in a group, a group has to be very trusting. It has to be a really safe space. How do you create that safety in that space? Well, I suppose by well, obviously, we set rules, but,

Monica [00:10:07]:
you know, around the respect, etcetera, but that's almost sort of taken as read. But I think it's maybe because as a therapist, I'm very able to hold people if they get upset or angry or need not quite sure what something is. So I think that if I can model that, then it happens in the group, that people think, oh, well, such and such somebody. Mary said was upset there or she said that she's frightened of putting herself out there. So much comes to a frighten of success, frighten of failure. But then once someone is vulnerable and they're held, then someone else can be vulnerable as well when they recognize that it is a safe space. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:10:45]:
Interesting. So there is definitely something there about modeling behavior.

Monica [00:10:49]:
Yeah. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:10:50]:
And when you demonstrate that as a therapist, you you almost give everybody else permission that it's okay to share that vulnerability and to hold others within that time and

Monica [00:11:01]:
space. Yeah. And I think probably at this stage, I've heard a lot and ran a lot of groups. So that comes across as well that I'm not sort of taking it from a book because it just so intuitively makes sense to me bringing people together and help you know, facilitating a supportive network that can continue beyond the group.

Nia Thomas [00:11:18]:
Absolutely. Yes. Really important to create those peer networks so that people can have their connection outside of the group. So tell us about your school of conscious living. What's its purpose? What's its objective? What's it all about? Well, the School of Conscious Living has sustained from

Monica [00:11:36]:
a few things. One is that I ran this conference where I wanted to bring people from the business world because I would have done a lot of workplace wellness. I would have been involved in sort of campaigns around the environment, and I would have been involved in yoga and meditation, all the spiritual aspect of life. And I was sort of thought, well, it's pity that all these agendas are different with the extinction campaign and corporate social responsibility and to pull together the agendas and because they're all joined up really in my view. And then if we were more respectful to each other, respectful to ourselves, workplace was were happier and people were more satisfied. There wouldn't be some damage into the environment and, you know, if we were meditating more, etcetera. So they're all joined up in my view. So that was a very successful conference and then it did bring the different agendas together and brought the conversations together and so that and I did get sort of support from industry and the corporate surrounding that conference.

Monica [00:12:30]:
So then through as I've evolved through my work and sort of realized that this corporate world isn't that different from the world of psychotherapy and vulnerability and that people all have their stuff, but then doing leadership training and realizing that the best trainers on these leadership programs were people who were talking emotional intelligence and how people felt about themselves in your presence. And I'm thinking, my goodness. We learned all about that in therapy, but it's amazing that people in the business world are, talking about that. So I I suppose it's an aware yeah. With another awareness, a consciousness that, this whole being aware is crucial. No matter whether you're trying to save the planet, which we obviously were all concerned about, or whether it's about work and getting more engagement and happier, healthier employees, etcetera, or leadership, that really, it's about being more conscious. Being more conscious of ourselves, our impact on the environment, or how we treat each other, how we are in the workplace. So to me, the theme was consciousness.

Monica [00:13:32]:
They followed from off the conference, followed my work with corporates and conscious leadership. I'm thinking surely the key thing here is awareness, and then it fits in. So it's in a what I'm doing is I'm doing these webinars, like, what stories you tell yourself around money, when if you're doing what you love, then can you not make money, etcetera. We all have money stories, topics like manifestation and complex manifestation, which is sort of in the ether at the moment. But then I'm also thinking about health. We could have health and empowerment and becoming more aware of our health and how can we take back some responsibility for our health. So there's a huge possibilities I see around this notion of just becoming more aware. Absolutely.

Nia Thomas [00:14:16]:
Yeah. And I often talk to people about why I do what I do, and it's about raising awareness of awareness. And I think once you understand what your values and your strengths and your beliefs are, that helps you decide whether it is sustainability or it's money making or it's about social responsibility, that you can work out what your your purpose is, and you can use your self awareness to direct you in that direction.

Monica [00:14:42]:
Wonderful. And that's why that's I'd love to develop some tools around that, around finding your purpose. Because, again, particularly the millennials are all interested what am I here to do and, who was it? The Barbie song and the Oscars. Why am I here? Absolutely. Yeah. You know? So it's yeah. And it's, what why am I here? What's my purpose? Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:15:03]:
Yeah. You say that as we grow in awareness of ourselves and our relationships, we can be more effective in our roles as leaders. Tell us why you think that awareness impacts leadership particularly.

Monica [00:15:20]:
Because our leaders are important. It's really important that we have good leaders, and leaders can make a difference. And so the more that we can support leaders to be aware of their impact on others recently, I had a new client who is getting promoted and doing very well in her organization because she's challenging out of date systems and practices and people overstepping stepping boundaries, etcetera. And I think it's really important that I can support her in her awareness that in fact, she has been full of integrity in pointing something out that's not okay and that she's actually being promoted because her values are really good. And I've talked talked to her about and, yeah, of course, people are gonna be annoyed that you're going up the ranks. You know? But so to be aware of the impact that her success is going to have on others, it's not as I was saying to her, other people's stuff isn't our business, but to help her with the awareness of that, that she is in her own path and her own integrity and and very clear about what she's doing around, progressing up the company and to be aware that other people are dissatisfied about it. And then to be aware that, don't take anything personally in that book. The 4 Agreements is for not rocket science, but don't take anything personally.

Monica [00:16:37]:
You know, it's that awareness that, oh, it's it's, you know, I think women particularly like things to be nice and, you know, not to upset people and to have that awareness that that's partly her stuff that she'd prefer not to rock the boat and to be nice. And she, you know, she but she's just working well and professionally. But that awareness of the impact of that on others and that it's not hers. You know?

Nia Thomas [00:16:59]:
Absolutely. And, listeners and watchers have probably heard me say several times that my model of self awareness is reflection, recognition, regulation, and it's about recognition of your your impact on others. And what do you do with that? Because then you make a choice as as to how you want to regulate your behavior, or you say, actually, I'm stepping into my integrity, and that is my impact on you, and I am making a choice to continue along that path. Excellent. That's absolutely concur with that. Very clear. Yeah. Mhmm.

Nia Thomas [00:17:32]:
In your journey of becoming a creative entrepreneur, people often, encounter various, I guess, internal challenges like, imposter syndrome or procrastination or with self doubt, etcetera. What role does does the work that you do really play in in helping people work through those obstacles?

Monica [00:17:54]:
Well, I think as psychotherapists, we're very well placed to address those, issues that are there. And I know that they're often bandied around, you know, in the area of work, the these terms like imposter syndrome. But I think as therapists, we're very able to niche down into what exactly is your unique impostor syndrome. You know, your impostor syndrome is gonna be different from mine and that's why, I think we do have something to offer around, understanding that particular issue that someone has, whatever it's called. As I said earlier, there was doubt, self worth, fear, failure, etcetera. But what I can do is quite quickly get into so have you ever felt that before? What was it like growing up? I had a new child recently and, she's finding it hard to progress with developing our business and it turned out that there was violence at home. So when she put her head above water, she was knocked down. So it's a very noisy work environment and she wants to say something at work about the noise, but she's scared to say about the noise.

Monica [00:18:57]:
So I bring my curiosity. And have you ever had that before that you're frightened to say what you wanted to say? It just, oh, yeah. We had a terrible time at home, and I couldn't say anything I wanted to say. You know, my mother slapped me. So it was very clear that that's where that originated from. So I think everybody's whatever it's called has some unique origin and that's what really I love doing is getting in to unplug what is like, to unlock that early trauma and to help the person then find ways to manage that. Like, mine is, you know, I would I've done a lot of work myself, but if I'm at a meeting and there's some very strong opinionated man at the top of the table who knows everything, allegedly, I find it. I need to work with my smaller self to say, now listen, Monica.

Monica [00:19:43]:
You're gonna be fine. You do know what you're talking about or maybe ask the younger part to wait outside the door. You know what? But it's it's about we could be playful about this, but it's about developing relationships with these different aspects of ourselves, which may still be holding us back.

Nia Thomas [00:19:59]:
You've mentioned curiosity a couple of times. And where do you stand on that that I suppose it's a fine line between curiosity and judgment, and and I suppose you you entered it there just a little. You you sometimes you've gotta park it. But what is your advice to people? How do you manage that so that you remain in curiosity and you don't slide down the slippery slope to judgment?

Monica [00:20:25]:
Well, I think that curiosity innately is having an open mind and being open to who's in front of you and what they're saying. But you're saying that humans being humans that perhaps we also then have a, I wouldn't do that, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah. I would say in my experience that once you really listen in to what's going on and get underneath, most human beings are really doing their best even though it's what you might be what you would do. Right. We're all making the best decisions based on the information we have at the time. So I think that having a nonjudgmental approach will actually allow the person to I mean, recently, I I work with trainee therapists and one of the trainee therapists' students were saying that he had a new mother who was slapping her children. And, you know, so, obviously, you don't slap your children these days.

Monica [00:21:23]:
And, but the group that I was in were all saying, but can we find out what's going on? This woman has come for help. Can we find out okay. We we think she shouldn't be slapping her kids, but let's find out what's underneath it. She probably doesn't want to be slapping her kids anyway, if the truth be told. Mhmm. But I think if people have the space to be held and listened to, I mean, what I would do if I was that the therapist with that, client, I'd say, listen. Should I be worried about your children? But so it'd be sort of a collaborative, open minded, let's together figure this out. Right.

Monica [00:21:57]:
Just told me that. Yes.

Nia Thomas [00:21:58]:
There's there's definitely something about you step into your professional persona, and you park your judgment at the door.

Monica [00:22:07]:
Yes. I think so because you're not gonna be any help to that person if you say you shouldn't be slapping your children. Right? And, generally, when you get it underneath, someone has a story to tell. Yeah. Yeah. The murderers or abusers, if you listen, dine in, once you know, there's some story to tell. It's not just their behavior is right. But and I suppose that's what I've loved.

Monica [00:22:28]:
I've been a social worker before this, and it's just given space people space to figure out themselves and be listened to. Yeah. Everyone basically underneath it, you know, is good and wanting to do the right thing.

Nia Thomas [00:22:39]:
Yeah. It's interesting. My background is working in the early years and early intervention sector. So when you're talking about childhood trauma and how that impacts the way that we think, the way that we behave as adults, we are impacted and and there's no way around that. And we have to work with people like yourselves and work with our social workers, whoever they may be, who is providing support to help us move forward from that. But it's it's not an easy journey.

Monica [00:23:06]:
I think people need a safe space to be themselves, warts and all. Yeah. And that's when the healing will happen if we're not judging them or giving them the space to admit whatever it is they need to admit. Yeah. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:23:20]:
What commonalities or themes are you, noticing about leadership strengths or the gaps of entrepreneurs? I because I'm what I'm noticing and the more people that I'm talking to in different sectors, there are commonalities either in behaviors or in attitudes. Are you seeing something common within the entrepreneurs that you're seeing either through their leadership or the gaps that they're identifying?

Monica [00:23:45]:
Well, I think in terms of leadership, I think people are being challenged, particularly more conservative leaders are being challenged about people asking for what they want. And, I was working with group of solicitors on conscious leadership and they were saying talk about flexible working hours and hybrid work. And and they were saying, we just give people what they want because people are becoming increasingly empowered and say, well, I can't be going traveling all that distance or just make any sense of that. I can work just effectively at home. But people are more empowered or, you know, about their children being sick or their needs or sabbaticals. People you know, I do think that there is a shift in the hierarchy that it used to be what the boss said went, that sort of thing. So that I think that's one thing. If you have a conservative notion of leadership, I think it you've been forced to change into more inclusivity, into sharing information, including people in decision making.

Monica [00:24:41]:
So I think that if you're not doing that, you're gonna be challenged. But in terms of the other bit about entrepreneurs, and I suppose also I think entrepreneurs are really leaders because they're being leaders of their own lives. Yeah?

Nia Thomas [00:24:52]:
Yeah. Definitely.

Monica [00:24:53]:
And what I feel is strongly around is that more and more people are wanting to take leadership of their lives and to make their own decisions whether it's that they're gonna rent out to the countryside and work from home and have a have a room for their craft work or the digital nomads, whether they want to work in the sunshine somewhere that I think that all those opportunities are opening up. But the challenges in that, I suppose, is to keep going, to believe in yourself, to trust. But a lot of people are at a point of change. I was at the EICAR tool conference, and a lot of people were standing up saying, well, I'm a 62 year old teacher, but really I want to be a singer, but I can't sing. Or I'm a vet, but really, I I think I'm very intuitive, and I really want to open up to this other side of, my practice and be more intuitive. But people are opening up to more of themselves, and that really excites me because that's why I want to be part of that, helping them to open up to more of themselves.

Nia Thomas [00:25:48]:
Yeah. Fascinating. How are you finding that leaders are responding to this? So you said that, absolutely, entrepreneurs are leaders in their own right. But if you're a leader of an organization and you've got so many direct reports, are you finding that leaders are open to these opportunities? Because not everybody is like that solicitor firm that you mentioned that are saying, absolutely. We're we're saying yes to what people want. Are are you finding that there's a balance between those who are saying absolutely not? You've gotta do it our way, and we're holding on to our authority, or are you finding that more people are saying, do you know what? We there there is flexibility. We wanna we wanna open up our opportunities to people.

Monica [00:26:27]:
I think that's the way forward and all the people I meet. And particularly since COVID and lockdown and with everything turned upside down and then obviously the external world is a lot of chaos as well, that I do think that people are realizing we do have to have different ways of doing things here, more inclusive ways of doing things because we do want people to stay and we do want people to be engaged. And, I mean, I used to teach about workplace wellness. And now it's obvious that, you know, I wouldn't even bother mentioning that if your staff are happier, your work you're gonna be more profitable because people are engaged and working more effectively and communicating. So, you know, I I think that's what was taken as read. Now we know that workplace well is something that has to be included, and, I think that now it's about being more aware of the other changes that are happening and allow your team to be more empowered and support them in that way. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:27:14]:
Yeah. One of the tools for developing the self awareness that I talk about in my book is journaling. A couple of years ago, you wrote a blog about journaling and specifically the method you use to to journal. I'm really interested to find out more about that. Or how how how does journaling manifest itself for you? Fantastic. I have been journaling, I

Monica [00:27:32]:
think, probably for 30 years. Oh, okay. I don't know when Julia Cameron's The Artist Way came out probably at least 30 years ago. But it's I I have it as an intrinsic part of my day no matter where I am, when I'm traveling or in the hotel. I consistently do it because I feel it's really a way of clearing what's in my conscious and unconscious mind, maybe write about any dreams I might have had, but clearing my frustrations about what I mean. We all have our frustrations and feelings about whatever's happening in our lives and ourselves. And, so I used this way of just scribble, scribble, scribble 3 pages. I do what she says, 3 full stop pages, and, I find it it's a really good way to clear.

Monica [00:28:17]:
But it's also good if a client has a particular issue or they're upset about something or, you know, we've done our session, but it's still not cleared. Or sometimes I might invite them to write a letter to the person, you know, not send it. But that kind of the writing out and the expression and and if we allow the flow, then we get into the unconscious. Start off with the conscious, but if we just allow the flow, then who knows what's going to emerge on the paper. Yeah?

Nia Thomas [00:28:44]:
What are your thoughts on the difference between typing, that we all do on our computer, versus picking up a pen and writing?

Monica [00:28:52]:
I think that when you pick up the pen, you're closer to your own truth. And I think, yeah, I think you're listening closer into yourself because you don't have something in between. Now I don't know whether anybody can prove what's right or wrong in that, but my sense would be I remember doing creative writing course and having that dilemma, but and I did handwrite them, you know. And I know some writers and poets do just use a laptop, but it's probably a matter of taste, really. You know, I love the morning pages and pen and paper. And I really recommend it to all your listeners as a way of starting the day. You know, I think I'm a great believer in putting margins on the day, you know, rather than just getting up and straight out into it to do some practice, whether it's your meditation or your Mhmm. Pages or more or something.

Monica [00:29:37]:
Just to set the tone for the day and to meet you, sir, if you're in charge of the day and it doesn't just happen to you.

Nia Thomas [00:29:44]:
Oh, that's interesting. Margins around your day. I I really like the way you described that you are closer to your thoughts by having a pen in your hand. That's a really interesting idea. So when you are thinking about your own self awareness, how do you develop it? You've got journaling as one tool. Do you do anything else that that expands your self awareness?

Monica [00:30:12]:
Well, I think the bodily practices like yoga can be very because you're actually feeling into your body and it does take you out of your mind. Okay. Yeah. I used to swim a lot but even walking again, anything that takes you out of your busy mind. Meditation, Obviously, if we can still ourselves and notice the thoughts come and go and just develop a relationship with what's happening in our body, and that's all going to increase our awareness. So then we're more likely throughout today to be able to respond rather than react. We're gonna be more in control of our responses and our emotions and how we behave, etcetera. So

Nia Thomas [00:30:54]:
I I definitely agree. So for me, Wednesday night is now Tai Chi night. And I certainly know that if I think about anything other than the movements I need to Yeah. To do at that particular time, I've I've lost the flow. So, yes, you have to concentrate, don't you? And it takes you absolutely as you describe, it takes you out of your head and into your hands and into your feet and wherever you need to be at that particular

Monica [00:31:14]:
point of time. If you don't. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:31:17]:
Yeah. Most definitely. So just before you leave us, are there any pearls of wisdom that you'd want to share with our listeners and watchers around developing their self awareness or maybe even about seeking support from others to help you develop that self awareness?

Monica [00:31:34]:
I think that it's really crucial that we get to know ourselves and to know who we are in the world and what we're really what our strengths and talents are and what we're here to do. And I think that that's what we're all being invited to do is to really step up and in and to move beyond our fears and limiting beliefs. And I think that this, you know, as I said earlier, but the structure is collapsing and I think, like my parents' generation, it was an easier kind of way and world to navigate. It was much more simple and straightforward and worked hard and, you know, just got through things. But now there's so many more opportunities and choices and more confusion, more fear. So it's really important that we dig deep into ourselves and to our own strengths and our own knowings and our own passions and our own strengths and find out what we love to do, what's our heart's desire, what we are here to do. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:32:31]:
Monica, is there anything else that you'd like to share with listeners just before we finish?

Monica [00:32:35]:
That I'm running online, creative entrepreneur groups. There are online groups for people who are feeling a little bit stuck or that they have more to do. They'd love some support around unraveling what that is and love to join a group where there is other people who are wanting to step into a more fulfilled heart centered kinda life. One that makes more sense to them has more meaning. So if anybody's interested, I say, get in touch. Let's have a introductory meetup and see if this group is for you. But I find them to be very powerful and supportive. I'm a great believer in the handmade life, the one made by hand, the one designed by us and for us.

Monica [00:33:15]:
So I'd love to hear from any of your listeners if they're interested to hear about how to create more of the handmade life for themselves.

Nia Thomas [00:33:22]:
Amazing. Listeners, we will make sure that there are links to the show notes so that you can get in touch with Monica if you want to be a part of those entrepreneurial groups to support each other. Amazing. Monica, it's been brilliant. Thank you so much for joining me.

Monica [00:33:35]:
Thank you, Nia. It's a pleasure. I'm

Nia Thomas [00:33:38]:
thrilled, delighted, and so excited to announce the launch of my book, The Self Awareness Superhighway: Charting Your Leadership Journey. The book has got 3 parts. Part 1, why are you here, Traveller?' Which is all about defining and describing self awareness, leader effectiveness and leadership at all levels, and setting out why it's important to you, the reader, me and us. Part 2, 'Where Are You Going?' sets out the 9 directions of the self awareness compass. The 9 chartable compass points cover things like care, humility, authenticity and reflection and chartable is a mnemonic, c h artable. Part 2, also explores the signposts and directions that enable you and the roadblocks and trip hazards that obstruct you on your journey during your working life. Part 3, how will you get there? This describes, the variety of tools, techniques and methods that I've come across during my exploration of self aware leadership that you can use to develop your self aware leadership skills. And it covers things like mindfulness, journaling, coaching and 360 degree assessments.

Nia Thomas [00:34:59]:
I've dedicated my book to those who want to care better for others and those who want to be better cared for by others. I think it's going to be of most interest interest to people who manage people and have a desire to improve their leadership and management practices. And I also think that it's gonna be of interest to people who've been led by poor leaders and people who want to know how they can in turn better and do better than the people that have managed them. Please remember to leave a rate and review on Amazon because rates and reviews influence rankings. And the higher in my book goes in the rankings, the more chance we have of developing self aware leaders and self aware workplaces. Thank you for joining me on today's episode where we aim to develop self aware leaders around the globe to generate kinder, more respectful and creative working relationships through reflection, recognition, podcast and book. Looking forward to having you on my learning journey. Podcast and book.

Nia Thomas [00:36:06]:
Looking forward to having you on my learning journey.

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