Transcript #74. The OG of career change: From Accountant to Mindfulness Consultant, plus a 10-min meditation for job-hunters - featuring Ilana Kosakiewicz.

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Renata: Ilana Kozakiewicz one of Australia’s leading kinesiologists, energy coaches, yoga and meditation teachers. But her professional life started very differently. Originally from Gippsland, Australia, she started as an admin intern in a large energy corporation while studying to become an accountant and CPA. After struggling with her health and the work burnout, she took a long break from her corporate job and started a transition into a brand new career.


Renata: I love this interview with Ilana because although we have interviewed other career changers on the podcast, this career change of hers is really a 180-degree change, and I am delighted to discuss that with her and for you to be a fly on the wall. Not only she really did a big pivot, but she also is now, like me, a solo entrepreneur. That’s, in fact, how we met. We both have services we started offering face-to-face, one-on-one online, and we’re now scaling them so we can offer that to a large number of people. Ilana has a membership service, which I think suits her offering perfectly. You really want to have an ongoing subscription to a well-being service. 


Renata: You all know I love my mindset app. For example, it can’t be a point in time for me, and I need to have it all the time where I’m focusing on scaling my 1-1 coaching into online and digital delivery via group programs and also on-demand programs. So that when people need the help of an executive and career coach, they can access it, at a range of prices, from the more expensive 1-1 programs to an on-demand program designed with an ideal professional in mind, in my case, the executive with years of experience, going through a career transition. So that’s how we met, and we both have the corporate backbone, but we took different routes in creating our own career goals and preferred future. At the end of our chat, Ilana has a treat for us: she delivers a deliciously calming and relaxing 10-minute full body scan meditation, which Ilana says is a great way to reset and is a small version of what she delivers through her membership service. 

Renata: What happened a few weeks ago was that you interviewed me for your podcast, and now I'm interviewing you for my podcast, and your podcast focuses on health and wellbeing. And my podcast focuses on career advancement, job hunting, and there's definitely a synergy there. We found that we could do two interviews and still have loads to talk about in the future. I'm definitely not going to exhaust things today, but I always like to start my interviews by asking my guests to tell me about their careers, and your career has the OG of all career transitions I've ever seen in my life.


Ilana: Yes.


Renata: So let's talk about that tipping point. And tell me about how you decided on what you were going to do at uni, I assume. And then what happened after that?


Ilana: Okay. So high school, I had no idea really what I wanted to do. Like I was already back then into like, {inaudible] as a child because I've had allergies, and I was always interested in food because I had a lot of, I suppose, immune issues, I used to get sick quite regularly. So I was always fascinated by this stuff. But in high school, I was like, I don't know what I to do. I love numbers, so I'm going to do accounting. So for 12 years, I was an accountant. So actually, out of high school, I didn't go straight into university. I got a, which I love this story because it just shows that you don't necessarily always have to go to university straight away to do what you want to do is I ended up with an admin apprenticeship or traineeship.


Ilana: I'm from Gibson, and there's a power station. There's a lot of power stations down in Gibson. And I got a, I got an interview for an admin traineeship, and my mom was like, if you get your foot in the door there, lots of things are going to open up for you, but being 18. No, no, no. I just want to go to uni. So I got it. And I was like, just defer, just go and get some work experience and just defer. So that's what I did. It turns out the first thing I said in their interview was I want to be an accountant. Like I went in and said that. And so they knew, I suppose, which is probably why they ended up hiring me, that I had ambition and I wanted to do things, and I wanted to grow, and I wanted to learn.


Ilana: And, and that's kind of what I did. So I ended up studying part-time for nine years and working full time. Right. Yeah. So I did my degree part-time. I did CPA obviously as part-time anyway, really? Yeah. And so I kind of went through, stayed with the same company the entire time. Although AGL bought us out, it was weighing power, and now it's owned by AGL., so we went through actually a couple of owners, went while I was at Lillian. And, yeah, I still love numbers. I am fanatical about spreadsheets. I do my own bookkeeping. 


Renata: That's excellent now that you're a solo entrepreneur, isn't it? Wow. Okay. I haven't thought of that.


Ilana: Because you still have to do all those things anyway. So I got to age 30. Oh, actually, probably a year and a half before I turned 30, I had already started. I'd started seeing a kinesiologist because I had a sore ankle, and it wouldn't heal.


Ilana: And they said, you're going to have to have surgery. I've had had cortisone injections, which I really didn't love. So I went and saw this chiropractor, who is an applied kinesiologist. He's actually Bayside, Melbourne, and also in Carlton. And he was like, you don't need to have surgery and through chiropractic and he's muscle testing and, a few supplements. We see a holistic kinesiologist as well because he mainly focuses on the physical body. It went away, and the body literally can heal itself. A lot of my stuff was emotional stuff that I hadn't dealt with from my past. My parents had also gone through a divorce a couple of years earlier, which I kind of knew was coming. So it didn't really impact me, but I was the mate in the middle between the two. I'd moved to Melbourne. I do Latin dancing. So I was dancing all the time. I’m basically fried and burnt out.


Renata: Well, Latin dancing can kill your knees and your feet. I know that because I also used to do flamenco. It's terrible.


Ilana: It was my neck and back because I did see Lambada, which is Brazilian, and it's a lot of like twisting and yeah,


Renata: I'm Brazilian, and I don't do that. It's very hard. 


Ilana: Yeah, quite sensual. There was still salsa and bachata, which isn't quite so bad, but we would go partying, they all start at 10, 11 o'clock at night and you're dancing until three or four in the morning. Plus, working in the corporate as a lot of your listeners would know you sometimes don't get to choose your hours. I was used to getting up at seven, eight, seven 30 and being on-site. So I'd still be in the office like eight, but sometimes you'd still be in the office six, seven, eight, if it was forecast seasonal budgeting or whatever it is, what we're doing because I was a finance analyst. You had to stay on. I think years of studying and pushing myself and pushing myself and not taking. I had so much annual leave.


Ilana: I had so many RDO's banked up that I didn't really take because I was a yes person at work in a very responsible at work and a bit of a people pleaser and always wanting to help, which is obviously one of my leadership skills, but not at the, not to the point where it was detrimental to my health. So I fell in a heap at age 30 with chronic fatigue and later found out like limelight autoimmune disease. So I basically had 12 over, just over 12 and a half months off. And I had already, in that time, started sort of dabbling with kinesiology. And I was like; I think this is what I want to do because it was part of basically my healing journey. Yeah. Among other things. Like I saw a naturopath, and I, I was working with an acupuncturist, and I think I even saw a psychologist for a little while as well. Still, kinesiology was one core thing that really helped me shift my mindset and perspective and shift some of these old sorts of past things that I hadn't dealt with. And yeah, now I'm a kinesiologist yoga and meditation teacher.


Renata: That does accounting on the side to keep her business running.


Ilana: Yes. That I do. And in between all of the transitioning things, my partner and I also had a cafe in [Inaudible]. So we kind of had a stepping stone into small business because, yeah, I was petrified. I thought I would be in the corporate forever because that's just what I knew. And I was a bit scared to tell you the truth to go and start my own business. But that got pushed when my partner wanted to start the cafe.


Renata: Let's talk about that because I run a group coaching program called Job Hunting Made Simple. And part of the first week's exercises is to really delve deep into what you want to do, long-term trying to identify, those long-term dreams and goals, aspirations that people, when they're in the rat race, they don't think about. It sometimes takes what you had, a breakthrough, like a circuit breaker, to take you out of your comfort zone and allow yourself the time to think. What is it that I actually want to do? And you had the opportunity to do that. And one of the professionals that are doing the program with me, I'm running it now, said, Oh, I've just done the first week's exercise. And I feel like I want to have my own business. And we've been discussing that.


Renata: And we treat that as a group question, and in case anybody else has those same feelings, but having your own business can be very surprisingly hard. I mean, you have this benefit of being an accountant, which a lot of people would find incredibly difficult to do, because if you're in love with, let's say kinesiology or yoga or, skincare or anything, it could be even, to do with your own, expertise in the corporate sector that you now want to sell as a consultancy or contracting service and hire out, you still have to do sales and marketing and business development and set up micro, version of what you see in the corporate sector that you usually delegate to other departments, and now you're doing it all yourself. How did you make that transition, Ilana?


Ilana: For, for a lot of, I will say the last 12 months. I learned a lot. I think I fumbled my way through to tell you the truth. Like I literally just, it was about four years ago. I started and, you have your Instagram account, and you have your Facebook account. And I started running; what are kinesiology free events to get clients? And I did work with a coach for the first, I suppose, year, a little bit sort of, sort of, looking at emails and email systems and a little bit with funnels and stuff, but I didn't actually really do a lot of that, which I wish now in hindsight, I had a really done that, but I kind of just like one foot in front of the other for me. And I do really recommend like if you are starting your business, find yourself a coach, they will save you time, effort, and money, and basically give you the go-to and how to use to start the business or do a course, probably something similar.


Ilana: starting a business course. But for me, I obviously was doing kinesiology as well, but I kind of just got pushed and pulled in different areas. The other thing I would say is quite early, I, I, was in some women's networking groups, and that really helped me too, because when you start your business like I basically a one-woman show I've recently got some virtual assistants helped with a few little things, which I'm going to slowly offload some stuff because you get to a point where you can't, you can't be the bookkeeper and the marketing director and the.


Renata: True.


Ilana: It gets consuming. And there's only so, and it takes you away from what you love. So for you, it might be seeing your one-to-one coaches or being a coaching program, but then you've got to do all these other things after hours as well. So I think for me, I literally just kind of took one day at a time. But I did have assistance, and I think that's the key is don't try and do it on your own because you'll end up burning out. And I have had moments in the last four years of being like, I'm going down old, going down that old path again. And I had to kind of, I know the signs now, but I've had to kind of pull myself up, but yeah, I would say find your mentor or find a coach, find some women's business, networking groups, maybe do a course, for instance. and just let go, leave your various expectations and the pressure, because we feel that quite often when we have a business that we have to have it all done today, and I even have to do that now. And you're probably similar.


Renata: Yes. So, Ilana, I have a couple of follow-up questions, but before I ask them, do you have any groups or courses that you can recommend? I can think of a few, but I'd like to hear yours too. 


Ilana: Yeah. So I'm in a business group called 'she will shine.' It's mainly, I suppose, Melbourne-based. There is another one Bayside woman in business that I'm also with as well. There are a couple more that are Australian-wide. I'm trying to think off the top of my head.


Renata: Oh, if you remember, we can add to the episode show notes. Because I can think of, I like, apologies for my french, the bitches that drink wine.


Ilana: Yep. That's the, yeah, the like-minded, yeah.


Renata: Like-minded drinking wine. I have recently found that there is another one that has a very similar name, but they're not bitches. So they're like the like-minded non-bitches drinking wine. So if you're having a problem with the name, you can try that one. I just have too many groups at the moment.


Ilana: There's also Angela Henderson's women's collaborative that has a lot. Oh, she has a lot. And she has a program. That's the 12 pillars, like the 12 profit pillars. So basically, setting you up is a great one to actually do. If you're new to a business course, basically looking at all these little facets of having a profitable business from the start.


Renata: I used to be a member of business chicks. I haven't renewed it because I just have too many things going on. I like the Mamamia platform. They have lady start-ups, and they have some very inexpensive new courses that Mia Freeman is putting together. I'm not sure about the quality, but I trust her and the Mama Mia out loud. Those groups, even though it's not business-related, sometimes they do have business posts in there that I like; yeah, I did. B-School with Mary Forleo going to say, if we're going to go, it's a big investment. And I do it every because it's such a big investment. I tend I've done it. This is the third year that I'm doing it because you can do it every year with her. And I like doing that just to see the updates.


Ilana: Yeah, the refresher. I think the same with Angela's is you basically got it for life. 


Renata: Yeah. Correct. 


Ilana: And adds any extra content then.


Renata: Yeah. And I am, I'm very keen to make the Job Hunting Made Simple, be like that so that you can come back and do it for life. I find that people might sign up for Job Hunting Made Simple when they are really in the thick of it, thinking very much the short-term need of getting a job or getting that promotion. And the framework that I have is, is I always say this to people. You have to think long-term. And that played the long game and the short game, the long game. So it might be that it needs you to do it a second time for you to really be able to connect with that long-term thinking when you're not so in survival mode. So I've noticed that by doing B-School second and a third time, I want the Job Hunting Made Simple to be like that.


Renata: And because of the work I do with private clients who, through an outplacement or they find me, they have a redundancy package, and they say, okay, maybe it's the time to consider having my own thing or having a portfolio career. I tend to do that coaching as well. So it's actually good that with all the things that I'm learning for my own business, I can actually transition to someone else. Then I feel clients, going through, that at the moment, some have products, some have services. And it's really exciting, even though that's not how I positioned myself out in the market. It's really good.


Ilana: I see them a lot. So obviously, I'm a kinesiologist, and people come to me for whether it's, shifting blocks in their business or shift in their mindset or their emotions or their fears around money or new clients. I'm starting to get clients who will, I'm starting to blow it to the business, and then they start asking you questions, and you're just naturally a sort of mentor.


Renata: Oh, it's so good because I have a client, and she's like, oh, I'm so glad, with all the information you're giving me. And I'm like, and I'm so glad I can dump that information on you because otherwise, what am I going to do with all of this information and these things? I am assuming more and more a year or two from now. It will be outdated because the way that we market ourselves is changing every single day. But talking about the fear, to do with financials, Ilana, did you before you set up this new trajectory for your career and this doesn't necessarily need to be about having a business, I think every big career transition would require this, some sort of financial runway that allows you the breathing time actually to start earning money in your next career. Did you plan that, or did you, again, just went with the flow?


Ilana: It was sort of planned, sort of not. So obviously, I had a bit of a break because obviously, it wasn't well, but, I, because I had so much annual leave,


Renata: I was thinking about that. Okay.


Ilana: Like I got a payout because I had so much annual leave. And I also didn't start my business full-time straight away. I actually went back and was working in an accounting firm. Part-time when I went back to work. And then I actually worked for a food company that did sort of like health food. So that's kind of the six months I started with one company, but they weren't the right fit. And so I found another company that was health-related because obviously, that's what I was starting to do with my one-to-one. And within six months of that, I was like, no, this is taking off now. I don't have the energy to work a part-time business part-time for someone else. So yeah, I took the leap of faith then, but it was a transition. So I had a little bit of money, obviously behind me, because of the payout with annual leave.


Ilana: But then I didn't because I work in finance. I probably don't like to take too many risks. 


Renata: I'm a migrant. I don't like to take any risks. I don't have any fallback.


Ilana: I like to be grounded, and I like to have stability and safety, a safety net. So, and I think for a lot of people, if they're looking to start a business, like make the transition easy, don't put the pressure on yourself and go cold turkey. If that's, for some people, that's great, they have that personality, and they just thrive on taking risks. But if you're not like take it easy, like take it easy, like start your business and do it a little bit of, behind hours, or taking four days a week or then three days a week, then two in your business. Because running your own businesses, it's stressful. It can be, it can be quite stressful, and yeah.


Renata: Yes. And the burnout and the burnout from the corporate sector usually trigger people to make those very sorts of harsh decisions and the circuit breakers and put themselves in a situation where they find themselves again in what is actually an even more stressful situation. So I have a short program. I'll put the link in the show notes. It's my short course called Reset Your Career to help people go through that. Because so many times people do the 30-minute free call with me, and they're like, I am going to resign tomorrow, but somebody told me I have to give you a call first. That somebody is a very wise friend of yours.


Ilana: Then they come and see me because they're emotionally distraught, and they're panicky. And I have to work through all the limiting beliefs and sabotages and the money fees and all of that because they've gone to just taking this massive leap of faith,


Renata: if you're not going to do the Reset Your Career program, which I totally recommend you go check, you should not make a decision, an important decision like that in that sort of emotional state. Plus, if you really want to leave your job, the best thing that you want is to stay in a job, unless - and this is a good time to say this because of everything that's going on in Australia at the moment in regards to women and sexual misconduct in the workplace - unless you feel unsafe in which case yes. Leave. But if you can stay, you at least have money to support your transition, to support paying for a coach, to support, validating your idea, finding that money after you leave is much, much harder, right?


Ilana: And also starting a business, people think, Oh, have this great product, or I have this great service, which they probably do, but there's a lot financially to invest in when you start, when you start your business, that a lot of people don't think about the hidden costs. So if you can work and do the part-time thing, and then eventually, when your business starts making you money, you can quit it. It can be a lot smoother and stress-free transition. Yeah.


Renata: You know what? Another good program that is absolutely free. And most times, I believe, very easy to enroll and do are the incubator, validator programs that universities offer. I know that you and I are Monash, alumnus, Monash alumni, and Monash offers a validator program you can do every year. You can do it over and over again. And it's like, I think, five or six weeks. And it's really good if you have a business idea and you're not sure if it's going to work or not. I totally recommend if you are a Monash alum to go check it out. And if you have a degree from any other university or you have incubators near you that are run by councils, go check them out because they could definitely help you make a decision about your business model. And if it's going to be, the chances of success, if it's going to be successful or not.


Ilana: Yeah. And I was going to say like, check out the government websites because they all offer free quite often short programs or a lot of information around running businesses. 


Renata: Now, let's move on to talk about what kinesiology and everything else actually is because I'm interested in that. And I'm also interested in the overarching need of corporate professionals, professionals that are white-collar workers like me. So this is what happened yesterday, right? I'll tell you my day, and most people now working from home, in the kind of corporate sector, even though I have my own business, I work with corporate clients. I get up, and I have a very quick breakfast. I'm here in my office by 8:30, 9:00 at the latest. And I'm sitting down all day. And sometimes it goes really well, and sometimes something stressful happens. Like something went wrong in the morning, and I just had to get it done before I left. And it meant that I was here until very, very late at night, or should I say early in the morning, fixing that problem because it just had to be done.


Renata: As you said, you don't really control your hours, and you have people that depend on you. You have to get it ready for the next stage. And then you over the wall at, to another department take care of it, or you need to deliver a report or whatever that's sitting down and not paying attention to the messages that your body is sending you, you just lose touch with your instincts, don't you? It's just like you're operating at brain level only. So I wake up this morning, and my hand is so sore from typing—this part of my hand. And of course, I have a bit of a headache from not sleeping well. So it's really the next day that I know the damage I did. And I guess that, that a lot of people will feel like that, especially after a pandemic. And there are different types of stresses that we're not used to. We feel like because we're home, it's easier, but in a way, it can also be much harder for the isolation, the lack of social interaction, extra work you have to do if you have family and kids, how can pay attention and things like kinesiology like yoga, meditation help you?


Ilana: Yeah. So I'll start with kinesiology and work our way through. Kinesiology is basically a healing modality where we use muscle testing. Either if I'm, if the person in my clinic, I use their hand as to muscle test, and if it's an online session, I obviously muscle test for them, but it's a way of tapping into the body to say, okay, so if we have anxiety or I've got a sense or hand, or, I'm fearful about this interview coming up or changing jobs, would I really want to, what is the block that's stopping us from being our full potential or what is the block that's causing this emotional upset or this physical upset in, in our lives? Because our body is basically a biofeedback system. It's trying to come back to this harmony and equilibrium all the time. And so when it's out of balance, and we can't figure out why or why we're not sleeping, for instance, or why be getting upset, digest gin, our digestive systems, kinesiology basically goes and finds out, well, what is really what's going on? Because the body remembers every single thing that's ever happened to you from conception to today, it remembers everything. So we are basically just tapping into your energy field that tapping into your body and saying, okay, lovely body. What is it that we need to bring this back into a sense of harmony all better? And so that's kind of what kinesiology is. So, and for a lot of us, we've lost that intuition.


Renata: Can I ask a question that I just thought of? Is kinesiology the same as BodyTalk? Okay. Is BodyTalk a different area of study?


Ilana: It is a little bit but kinesiology. I think BodyTalk is something you can kind of learn to do yourself a little bit more, where kinesiology. We're actually asking the physio, like, you've got a practitioner asking the body what's going on. But I suppose a seamless sort of concept if that makes sense. Yeah. So we've lost this touch of intuition. And so what the thru kinesiology, we're basically going into the subconscious and saying, what is going on? Because quite often, we're not conscious of what's going on. Sometimes we are, and I get a lot of clients that come in here and the like, Oh yeah, I know what's going on. Oh, they come in. They're like, this is what's going on. Ilana helped me because I can't shift that pattern or that, you can't say no. Or I really need to have boundaries around my home, my work-home balance, especially with people working from home, but I'm not able to do that.


Ilana: So we figure out, well, what what's going on so that they can make sure that every two hours they get up from their desk and they eat their lunch at lunchtime and take a break or they go for a walk in the middle of their day or the afternoon, rather than just being here typing or whatever it might be. So, yeah, that's kind of what kinesiology is. And I feel like for a lot of people, especially that we've, COVID and the pandemic. A lot of people are still stuck in that fight-flight-freeze mode. They're just in go mode. And this especially happens when there are deadlines, obviously. And they've just gotten into the habit, I think of going into their office at home and not taking that self-care as seriously as they probably should. Maybe harder, if they were out in, or, we're going to their office because they were then forced to leave their house or they'd walk past the gym, or it was at work. For instance, it was part of the routine. I feel like a lot of people through COVID lost their routine and rituals a little bit.


Ilana: And the self-care slipped, or they just got so overwhelmed with emotion and like thoughts and limiting beliefs and the fear factor that was driving them. And what happens when we get into that high cortisol state, that fight-flight state, is you don't think properly. The tools that we usually would go to when the huts we are feeling stressed. We forget quite often because we're trying to survive all the time.


Renata: I'm glad you were mentioning that in particular in this podcast because a lot of people listening have lost their jobs and they are in survival mode, or they're feeling very fearful for their careers. I have clients that haven't really lost their jobs yet, but they can see it coming, or they have reached an age where they feel that a career transition is overdue so that anxiety and stress can really cloud your judgment, and they may be incredibly prepared, but when they reach the point where they go for an interview that stress overflows.


Ilana: Yes. Which is then why making sure that you have healthy boundaries with your, with your work, for instance, and the self-care practices like meditation and yoga, and even just general things like walking, like it's been, research that walking is like one of the easiest and simple as free things we have available to us that helps with, depressive tendencies and anxiety and overwhelm. And especially if you do it first thing in the morning because it gets your circadian rhythms going. So your body clock is back in check, which then helps you to sleep. But a lot of people when you well, and I, I've done it even myself, when you do really getting this high sort of stress fearful states, you go into shut down and then self-care quite often comes last because you are just stuck in this survival mode, but it's remembering that these tools and techniques are there to help you thrive in times of survival, rather than feel like you're not coping and allowing the emotional sort of, the emotions to take over because really emotions are just energy-demanding motion. They just want to be felt and seen and heard. And if they're not, that's when they keep banging on your door.


Renata: So for somebody who doesn't have a practice yet, or has fallen off the wagon, with their practice, they may have tried. It's hard to keep going if you don't have the self-discipline, and most people don't. What do you recommend people do to maintain a routine to incorporate wellbeing into your daily life?


Ilana: So I usually start with committing to a time of day. Are you a morning person, or are you an evening person? So working with what suits you and your lifestyle best because I'm a morning person. There's no way I will very rarely unless I can't sleep or meditate at night because I don't need it. But first thing in the morning, because I can quite often be sometimes anxious. I'm a morning person. So my morning routine always happens in the morning, but you might be a lunchtime person where you want to take that space at lunchtime for yourself. So I think the first thing I would say is to find out when it's going to fit into your schedule. And then I suppose the second thing would be actually committing to. It is one thing to put it in the diary, but it's another thing to take action and actually do it.


Ilana: It's almost allowing it to become a non-negotiable. And if it's something like meditation, for instance, and you never have, or you, because there's a lot of people that say I can't meditate, meditation is not, for me. Meditation is not about having no thoughts or quieting the mind. It's about just being present. We quite often also, when we're getting this higher sort of stress States, they're so far out worrying about the future or in the past that we just forget to be here. What can I do today? That's going to help me, waking up in the morning and saying, how do I feel today? What's my energy level? What do I need? And then that going and doing something that's going to help them today and less about the future or the past. So meditation is a great way to come back to today.


Ilana: And if you're starting, I would say, find, start with five minutes. Even five minutes of meditation can have a huge impact on your productivity and your mindset and your emotional wellbeing, and your sleep too. And build up and then finding things like a guided meditation. I started with a guided meditation. So it could be a visualization or something like yoga, Nidra, meditation, which I teach a lot of, which is great for helping people sleep and getting into that, those very restful, rest, and digest phase. So out of the fight and flight and the rest and digest, if you do feel like your nervous system is wired, or you're feeling burnt out as well, there's chakra meditations and sound healing and all, there are so many mantra meditations, there are so many guided meditations, but I would say start with a guided meditation if you're new to meditation, figure out when you're going to do it.


Ilana: And you might even, especially if you're working from home, like figure out, do you want to do it in your bedroom? Or is it going to be in your office? Or maybe you're going to try and do it outside because then you don't have to think about it. It's like, all right, so it's lunchtime. I'm going to do my meditation. You just go to that place. Otherwise, sometimes I think people sabotage themselves because they're like, well, I don't have anywhere to meditate. You can actually meditate on the train or in the car before an appointment. It doesn't have to be a big thing. It's just making the space to quiet the mind.


Renata: One of the traps that I fell into and I'm slowly trying to move away from now is going for walks that I thought would have very healthy for me, very long walks. I like to go for long walks but then listening to bloody long podcasts at the same time.


Ilana: I get so many clients that come to me and be like, Oh, I walk. Do you walk with nothing in your ears? Then you're not switching off. My routine is I get up, and I do five or 10 minutes of meditation. I have a little gratitude thing. I write a couple of things down that I'm grateful for. And then I usually do yoga, or I'll go for a half an hour walk. So that's kind of my generalized. I do not start my day without that. I'm not a successful business owner or partner unless I give it to me first thing in the morning. And so yes, but walking, I never listened to anything.


Renata: Yeah. I want to give a sort of a yin-yang response to that. I do have a morning routine as well, but I very recently added an evening routine for me. I and I've been mentioning this on previous podcasts that my struggle has always been the evening because I have trouble sleeping and falling asleep because of the busy-ness of my work. And me thinking about work before I go to bed. And what has been a game-changer for me? Doing an inverted position before going to bed. Now I have no idea why.


Ilana: Yes. And I'll tell you why. I recommend this, and I have a membership called align living, which is really about it has yoga meditation and about women's health and wellbeing. And we work a lot with the menstrual cycle, and we have women's circles, and it really in the meditation, it's about living your life to, what you're needing. But in terms of inversions, going back to your question.


Renata: Explain to listeners what inversions are, and then explain to me why it works. I don't know why it works.


Ilana: Well, inversions are basically quite often; it means that the body you're not standing up, so your head is forward or your legs are up. So, yeah, thinking like you're upside down almost, but in a very safe, in a safe way, a safe space. So legs up the wall are usually when I give to clients who can't sleep or afford fall, because what it does is it takes all of your lovely little thoughts about your business for you, for instance, and you're kind of taking them, and you're saying, okay, it's time to release them. So folding forward helps to get you because your head is no longer upright. Your head is actually down in your legs, closer to the ground because the ground is grounding to center you. And if you're doing something like legs up the wall, legs up the wall help calm the nervous system out of fight and flight into rest and digest. It calms the nervous system when you can't sleep quite often. It's because your nervous system is wired or your brain is on. Inversions quite often, depending on the inversion, are about calming the system. Coming back to that in a sort of stillness a little bit more, and they are fantastic for people who cannot sleep depending on the inversion. So as I said, a forward fold can be great and also legs up the wall for that.


Renata: That's amazing. I don't think I, I just, I don't think I read it anywhere. It was just, I did it once, and I'm like, Oh, I slept so well last night, let's do it again. And I just kept on doing it. It's been a couple of months now.


Ilana: We have a weekly rest and relax class in the membership for that reason because women do not take enough time to switch off. Most women are living in fight-flight response. We not only work full time now, we are the sole carers, mostly of our children. We quite often are looking after households. So many women, even with finances, have a lot of responsibility. And so, my aligned living membership is about giving you more of the energy and teaching you to take these pauses and micro-breaks in your day. So that you can recharge enough to give not only to yourself but also to your work and your loved ones. Because I am a class, I was a classic burnout case. And so now it's, I'm really passionate about teaching women to look after themselves, not just every now and then, on a regular basis. So I have a weekly rest and relax class,


Renata: We are going to add the link to the membership to the episode show notes. So if you're listening and you're a woman with burnout, or you're just curious, you can go there and learn and find Ilana. How about we finish the podcast by doing a little short meditation? Yes. It will be great for me because I really need it today.


Ilana: Yeah. Well, you can go and lie on the ground. 


Renata: Really?


Ilana: Yes, you can. And if you are listening to this, please don't listen to this part while you're driving the car. Okay.


Renata: Okay. So if you're listening and you're driving, stop and come back later, please, because we're going to do


Ilana: This 10-minute body scan. 


Renata: Okay. All right. So I'm going to lie on the ground. Let me put my volume up before I lie on the ground. This is exciting.


Ilana: Yes.


Renata: Ilana, if I fall asleep, then you just show yourself off the zoom meeting. Okay, let's do this. You can begin now. You won't see me because I'm on the ground.


Ilana: Okay. So I invite you now to if you can lie on the ground softly, you can also do this in a chair that has back. So I want you to be really comfortable wherever you decide to be. I want you to allow your body to connect with the chair, the back of the chair or the ground, the earth beneath you. And I just want you to slowly invite you to notice your belly and allowing the belly to soften and relax. This is an area of the body we often hold tension. So I want you to let that belly, let it go, release the tension, let it hang out. And while we're just allowing the belly to soften.


Ilana: I just want you to start to notice your breath, that gentle, rising, and falling off your chest and just allowing yourself to arrive here, feeling the support and contact of the ground or the chair. Just allowing yourself to let go for the next eight or nine minutes letting go of the to-dos and the responsibilities. And as you're breathing out, I just want you to release all holdings, and tension, any worries, any stresses, and just take three deep breaths. So we're going to breathe into the belly and expand and open through the chest and then take a deep exhale as you breathe out. And again, breathing in.

Ilana: And letting it go. And one more breathing in. And breathing it out. Softening through the neck and the shoulders. I just invite you to think about when you get up later, how would you like to feel? So I'm just going to set a tiny little intention for this meditation here. You might like to feel energized. You might like to feel calm or relaxed, and you might like to feel focused or have clarity. Just find one word. I just want you to pop that into your little heart and just relax as you're breathing. And then I slowly invite you to just throw your attention towards, so your little toes, all 10 toes on your feet, noticing the top of the feet, then slowly starting to notice your ankles, noticing your shins, the tops of the legs, moving your awareness towards your knees, feeling into your thighs, noticing the hips, the pelvis, as women now weighing space that creativity center. Noticing the navel, and the upper abdomen, noticing your chest, your heart space.


Ilana: Hmm. Softly noticing the pit of the throat, growing your awareness towards your right shoulder, your right elbow, and your right wrist, noticing your right thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger. Noticing the palm at the right hand and then the back of the right hand. Noticing the right wrist, the right elbow, the right shoulder, coming back to the base of the throat, and then noticing the left shoulder, the left elbow, and the left wrist. Feeling into the left thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger, feeling the palm of the left hand. And then the back of the left hand, noticing the left wrist, left elbow, and the left shoulder, noticing the front of the neck, feeling into and perhaps moving into the jaw, noticing your lips, the nose, being aware of both ears, your eyes, the eyebrows, noticing the forehead, the top of the head, feeling the back of the head on the ground, the back of the neck, feeling into the tops of the shoulder blades.


Ilana: The middle back, your lower back, feeling into the buttocks, the backs of your hamstrings, the backs of the knees. Feeling the calves, noticing both heels softly resting against the earth and soles of the feet. And softly just feeling the whole body resting, supported, and relaxed on the ground. The whole body deeply relaxed, feeling into the sensations moving through your body here. And now you're breathing here, and I just want you to connect with the next five or six soft breaths, breathing into your belly and breathing out, feeling the gentle flow of breath moving through the mouth and through the nose, breathing in the new energy, breathing out whatever is no longer savvy, being in the moment.


Ilana: And then when you're ready, I just invite you to slowly start to notice the body once again, resting against the ground or against your chair, perhaps noticing any sounds outside your environment, maybe noticing the clock, or some music, or talking inside your environment. You might like to slowly wiggle the fingers and toes. Just coming back to a sense of consciousness again, just feeling the toes wiggle, feeling the hands, the fingers. And I just want you to take a moment to reflect or tune into how you're feeling right here, right now at this moment, noticing any shifts, any changes. And then coming back to your word and allowing that to be carried with you into the rest of your day, knowing that if you are extremely comfortable, then you can stay where you are for as long as. Otherwise, you might like to open your eyes slowly. When you're ready, you can make movements and go back into your day. 


Renata: Thank you so much, my friend. Namaste. 


Ilana: Oh namaste, it was my absolute pleasure. 


Renata: Wow, I was so relaxed after finishing that. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I think you can tell I really do have a lot of fun with my guests and hope that you have a wonderful time listening. Please remember to like this episode if your platform permits, subscribe to The Job Hunting Podcast if you haven’t done so yet, and go to the episode show notes or to my website to find out more about everything we spoke about today and more: www.



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