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The Fear Knot

Lisa and Jill were hiking along a beautiful trail in a meadow filled with tall grasses and blooming pink and purple wildflowers. Jill hiked a bit faster than Lisa. Then, suddenly, Jill disappeared. Puzzled, Lisa picked up her pace to see where she went. Perhaps it was a quick potty break into the brush. Startled, Lisa found Jill in mud up to her mid-thighs. Little did they know but a strong thunderstorm had ravaged the area days before they hiked into the meadow. The mud began swallowing Jill’s body. Every movement Jill took to get out, only pushed her deeper and deeper into the mud hole. Now, she’s hip deep. How was Jill supposed to get out? Quickly thinking. Lisa clasped Jill’s hand staying on dry land and threw her body weight backwards. Jill barely budged. Keep breathing. We’ll figure this out. Jill rumbled incoherent words getting frustrated that she was stuck. Jill began yelling it’s all your fault and blaming Lisa. It was her idea to go through the meadow instead around the other mountain side. Lisa kept her calm diverting the anger that was thrown her way. Jill kept screaming and moving only to sink deeper and deeper into this mud pit. Lisa kept thinking, what can she do? What can she do? Without further thought, Lisa dug a hold into solid dirt and planted her two hiking poles. She levered herself and reached again for Jill’s hand. After three large tugs, the mud loosened and Jill’s hips came out of the mud. Three more tugs and her knees came out. Jill out of breath crawled on to the dry area with a huge sense of relief. Jill wrapped her arms around Lisa thanking her for getting her out. She apologized for yelling at her. Our fears are the mud. Unresolved fears dig deeper and deeper wounds. If the fears stay unresolved the wounds become difficult to heal and suck us further into the mud. Often we lash out our fears on others. The resulting anger is our own yet it’s projected onto others. You then blame them for an issue that’s truly yours. It’s okay to express your frustrations. It’s not okay to blame others for it. It’s time to forgive. This story is minor in comparison to how others have treated you in life. Don’t allow your fears to swallow you whole. When we don’t forgive we give others control over us. Marianne Williamson said, ““Forgiveness is the key to inner peace because it is the mental technique by which our thoughts are transformed from fear to love”. Forgiveness is undoubtedly one of the hardest things that you will ever do in life. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Continuing to hold hatred, anger or fear within you only causes you to suffer. It puts you in a cage. To unlock your fear is to forgive. Transform fear into love. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

 Why it’s not about discipline

Ever get frustrated when you want to make a change and then can’t stick with it? Then, you beat yourself up? This may sound all too familiar. The first thing most people will say to you is, “You need more discipline.” Yet, have you ever seen someone exercise daily and never lose weight? It happens. Even in our fast changing times, its easy to get stuck in a rut. It’s your time to think and act differently. “The moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred…unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe It’s time to do activities with a different frame of mind. In reality, its not about discipline. It’s not about that at all. It doesn’t matter how many times you write something down on your to do list if you don’t do it. Why you want to change has to come from your heart. You have to be so passionate about your dreams and desires. It must wake you up with excitement every day. If all you do is bring dread to something you’re already bringing that bad attitude which makes you not want to do something. Instead, bring that feeling that you want to have once you’ve completed that change. What will it feel like when you start to see the results? Your attitude comes from your heart. If you bring joy to an activity and go all in, you’re going to have way better outcomes. It’s not about discipline. It’s about your real commitment to your dreams. What commitment level do you have for your dreams and desires? What’s one thing you can do to increase your commitment level? Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International P.S. Exciting new courses and changes are forthcoming. Stay tuned for fun, new announcements.

Start Seeing the Signs

Before embarking on a long drive for the holidays, I got a slow leak in my rear differential fixed. Excitement ensued when I picked up the vehicle and loaded it up for my journey to the mountains for 10 days of climbing, skiing, and hot springs and yeah, a little work, too. Two hours into the journey, I hit a deep rut in the road on a very steep mountain descent. My SUV swayed left, then, right, then, left. While feeling like a doll flopping in the wind, I did all I could to brace myself, hold the steering wheel tight and keep the vehicle going straight. The vehicle stabilized and I landed on all 4 tires. WTF, just happened? I was aware that jeeps have a roll-over effect. Yet, my SUV was heavy, weighed down with tons of gear. I felt as if the car was about to flip for no reason. Shortly thereafter I noticed the steering wheel was not straight even though I was going straight which had me perplexed. The remaining four hours of the drive was uneventful. The next morning I was excited that a massive snow dumped overnight and it was time to ski in Telluride, about an hour away. As I started the drive, the roads were covered in snow. I kept my distance from other vehicles, speed was slow, yet I noticed that the car seems to slightly fishtail. I made it safely and enjoyed a fun, kick-but sore quads type of day. The drive back to my rental was more of the same. Now, I was getting concerned. Luckily, a maintenance lady at my tiny house rental recommended a local mechanic. Sitting in the passenger seat, the mechanic took my car on a test drive. At 20mph, the vehicle was fine. He turned on to a major road at 40mph the back fishtailed so bad, he turned his head, looked me directly in the eye and said, “This vehicle is dangerous to drive. You’re lucky you’re not dead!” With the holidays, most rental cars were out. I could only find a Jeep rental. For the next 10 days, I was in awe how easily this vehicle handled the road. The features from Bluetooth music from my phone to easily taking calls to a super sound system rocked my world. Very different from my nine year old SUV. I thought to myself, I could easily own one of these Jeeps. Was it time for a new vehicle? Fast forward three weeks. I found myself on an impromptu trip to take care of a family member who was diagnosed with cancer and in the hospital. Again, I found myself renting a car. No little cars were available for rent. The rental company upgraded me to a Land Rover SUV. All I could think to myself was “Fancy.” The two hour drive from the airport to the house was smooth sailing. Upon dropping off the vehicle after taking care of my family, all I could think about was the universe telling me it is time to upgrade my vehicle and that I deserve better. Fast forward four months, my car was totaled after getting rear-ended. Where in your life is the universe telling you it is time to upgrade yet you’re not seeing the sign? Having car issues was no fun nor was getting in an accident that totaled my car. Yet, keeping a calm attitude that I was safe, no one else was hurt and that I was due for an upgrade made it worth the while.  Sometimes we go through a muddy road to see a smooth path on the other side. Look past the frustrations and see the universe signs before your eyes. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

How to make life fun right now

The current level of uncertainty is beyond what you can control. You wake up every morning now cringing your muscles with what’s next? Your mind races with, can this possibly get any worse? When will life return to some sense of normalcy? Suddenly you’re faced with tasks and decisions you never dreamt of. Society tells you to be prepared and plan for everything. Yet, how could anyone be prepared for this? The current level of uncertainty is out of control. You love everything to be in control, know exactly when things will happen so you can adjust accordingly. There’s one missing aspect to all of this. —MAKE IT FUN—- What fun is a board game if you knew exactly who was going to win? What fun is tasting a new recipe if it tastes exactly what the old ones taste like? What fun is a relationship with the same old monotonous discussions and activities? It’s kind of boring, right? Why are you surfing the web? You’re bored of the same old things. You’re looking for that excitement again. A friend recently shared what her kids were up to with all the stay at home orders. Her kids wanted to create a pool. And, this family had no pool. The young kids scoured through the garage and house seeing what they could find. Turns out the kids found a wheel borrow and took a garden hose and filled it up with water. This little pool was quite small yet entertained the kids all afternoon. The kids turned this into a game! They figured out how to have fun despite being stuck in the confines of the house. Fun is about the energy you  bring to an activity. It’s an attitude. It’s even joy. It’s all about learning to play again. Too often as adults, you lose your fun, playful child self. It’s about getting curious about what sparks your world. Bring the playful kid in you back. Growing up doesn’t mean you leave the fun behind. What fun activities can you engage in? How can you turn your current circumstances into a fun game? After all, laughter builds your immune system for free. Wishing you nourishing thoughts, peace of mind, and a calm heart! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

Make a layoff fun

On a cold, wintery day, I took the day off to study for my finals. It was no small task to take on an online masters degree program, commute an hour to and from work, and work ten plus hours a day. Discipline was my middle name. December finals were fast approaching and I couldn’t find the time needed for additional studying. I couldn’t catch a break. Then, one sliver came through. In between waiting for study data, I found one day to get some studying done and asked for the day off. While studying notes at home, my boss calls me at 11:00am. In a sense of wonderment, why was she calling me on my day off. How dare she? What the heck? I slowly reached for the phone hoping this would be a short conversation. She informed me there was an all-hands meeting and the company announced consolidation of our ten offices in nine states. There would be layoffs at the end of the following year and relocation. She said we’ll know more in two weeks when they give us our severance package and retention bonus package. Well, that’s reassuring, I thought to myself. What am I supposed to do now? My main focus was my finals, not job security. At some point in your adult life, you will be let go from your company. The first time this occurs becomes an experience you’ll never forget. Yet, when this happened at the age of 25, I had no clue what would happen or how to handle it. I kept on with my daily living. The next day, I went to work and the water cooler gossip had every speculation possible. We thought, everyone would relocate to our office as we are centrally located. Or, would your job be eliminated all together? The vast majority of the 120 employees at my location began job searching immediately. Yet, I was perplexed why. We were given both a severance package based on years with the company and a massive bonus to stay with the company until the complete relocation occurs. The package alone was worth at least 50% of my yearly salary. Fast forward nine months, over half the employees gave up their severance and retention bonus package for job security. The other 99% decided to relocate to another state where the office was being moved to or found a new job to start as soon as this job ended. Then there was me. I continued my master’s degree while working and commuting and wanted nothing but a long vacation. Instead of finding a new job, I booked an airline ticket to spend five weeks in Australia and New Zealand. The funny thing is I had never traveled alone before let alone for that long. Those five weeks abroad turned into one of the best adventures of my life. It was only the beginning of more adventures like this to come. I had no regrets bunkering down for nine plus months of uncertainty to then be rewarded for all the experiences I had in Australia and New Zealand. To this day, I still have friends that I met on that adventure. With every obstacle you face, turn it into a fun playful game. This attitude will create a positive ripple effect around you. It’s time to play and get your creative juices flowing. Yup, getting laid off sucks. Yet, the adventure turned into priceless moments and experiences I will never forget. So, maybe you can’t travel far right now, yet there’s other opportunities. Read about a topic you’ve never heard of. Learn a new language. What other ways can you expand yourself and have fun while doing it? Did you know a billionaire in the tech world picked up and read a Latin hair magazine while traveling? In the process, he learned how to better interact with their Latin American customers and surged their profits 100x fold. Now’s a perfect opportunity to learn something new. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

The Ultimate Reset

You wanted less time commuting. You’ve got that. You wanted more time with your kids and spouse. You’ve got that. You wanted time to get more creative. You’ve got that. The problem is you’re complaining, anxious, and overwhelmed. That’s because you’re distracted instead of intentionally focused. Every adversity serves as a sling shot. It can either pull the rubber band back so hard that it breaks or propels you further than you ever thought was possible. What’s the same, the rubber band. Its elasticity and flexibility either allows you to move more fluid or completely resist what’s happening. Resisting isn’t saying you love what’s happening. It’s accepting the circumstance. Adversity allows you to move with greater strength or sit as a victim to your circumstances. COVID-19 is the perfect opportunity to relax your body, collect your thoughts, and identify what you really want. So, maybe we’re not at a beach or a lush mountain resort. The coolest thing is that we don’t have to be. Now is the perfect time to: ·        Start a new morning practice ·        Go for a walk outside and notice all the beauty that surrounds you. (I even found beautiful graffiti!) ·        Call a loved one ·        Declutter your closet, inbox, kitchen drawer (or all 3) ·        Write down your deepest desires in a journal and identify one courageous step you’ll take this week. ·        Bring a fun attitude to everything you do. Here’s two important questions to ask yourself: (1)    How do you want to feel at the beginning of every day? (2)    How do you want to feel at the end of every day? The choice is yours. Don’t be a victim to the current circumstances. Use this time as an opportunity to create exactly what you want your life and relationships to look and feel like. Every decision between getting up for the day and falling asleep is yours, yours alone. Choose how you want to feel in each moment. Now, is the perfect time to reset. Reset your relationships and infuse them with love, compassion, empathy and enthusiasm. Reset your environment. What can you declutter? Reset your practices. What practices no longer serve you? Reset your mind. What slows down your mind? Now is the time to reset. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

The Art of Knowing

f you’re struggling with clarity and focus, you’re not alone. Every day, we are bombarded by more information than we ever thought was possible. The internet, social media, news spits out tweets, images, stories and more political nonsense than we care for. Our overwhelmed brains sift through this, carefully assessing what information to keep and what to purge. In life and business, it’s easy to get super excited about an idea or go down the rabbit hole to keep researching something. We often jokingly call this the “squirrel effect.” Apple once had employees working on hundreds of projects. The employees were happy yet the company made little progress. Steve Jobs became more recognized for killing off thousands of amazing ideas, than on executing everything that the company came up with. Let’s repeat that. Don’t execute on everything. Focus on the very best idea and go big. We are in the midst of letting go of everything. The way we live. The way we communicate. The way we interact with co-workers. Even, the way we play. Yet, when we allow for the best to arise. The kids create a pool with a wheelbarrow and a hose. You find out something about your partner that you never knew. You rediscover a hobby that brings you joy. You start a new hobby that brings your loved ones together. That obstacle of not seeing your friends and loved ones turns into more communication than before. Suddenly you speak to your family more. You have happy hour with your friends on Friday evening. Instead of doing all the unnecessary, you’re using your time for what you enjoy. You’re growing in appreciation of what you can do. Our current times are giving us a bigger perspective on what’s important. How you choose to view your situation and what you choose to focus on with this time says a lot about how you will fair in the coming months. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

3 Traits to Build Resilience

Resilience is a combination of practices to overcome anything in your way. Let’s take a closer look at three of these traits. Gillian’s indepth knowledge of diseases impressed everyone she countered. Her secret wasn’t the knowledge though. She approached every situation with every project through the lens of each person at the table. Every project Gillian managed and coordinated came across people with various perspectives and roles. -A donor wants to know their funds are being used appropriately. -The academic wants a publication based on the research -The policymaker simplifies what the research says and why it is important. -The head of their organizations wants to make sure they appear effectively and don’t lose funding. Most people look at situations that only affect their direct environment, relationships, career. They fail to see that multiple perspectives are in play. Anytime a situation gets you all revved up, look at the people from the aspect of an observer. This allows you to see a situation from every angle. As the saying goes, theirs your truth, theirs and the reality that’s somewhere in the middle. Trait #1: Power of Perspective.  As life has changed considerably for the world with COVID19, our everyday lives have fallen off track. Suddenly being at home all the time seems as though the lion is stuck in a cage at the zoo instead of roaming the great plains in search of its next meal. Soon, being caged leads to feelings of resentment, bitterness, and even anger. Then, suddenly you feel as if there’s nothing you can do and remain completely reserved in the caged lifestyle. Yet, there’s another way to look at this. While being home more often is less desirable, you take advantage of this. Suddenly, you’re cleaning out closets of clothes and stuff you no longer want or use. Yeah for a clutter free environment. Those house projects finally get done and lead to a renewed sense of vigor that makes your house inviting to be in. Only seeing the obstacles with an unwillingness to change only leads to a caged lifestyle. When you see the opportunity instead of the obstacle, you have a growth mindset. Trait #2: See the opportunity instead of the obstacle.  Ever feel that you mind races all over the place? Tasks to follow-up on. People to call. The always, what if scenario plays repeatedly. This mind chatter gets in the way of a clear, focus directive. This ultimately distracts you from what’s truly important. Ever had one of those days when you never got out that one follow-up email? We’ve all been there yet recognize it shouldn’t happen either. The antidote to all of this is getting centered. Whether it’s a walk outside, a meditation or prayer, the idea is to let go and breathe again. Reconnect with yourself (or higher power). Trait #3. Get centered  Resilience is a daily practice. Most of all it’s a choice to live a growth mindset and not a victim mentality. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

Mindfulness only works if you do this first.

A switch turns on in Joe’s brain every morning. Before he even opens his eyes, his mind starts racing. What’s on the kids schedule today? What needs to get done at work? What’s going on in the news? How will this affect my day? Joe’s shoulders tighten, his lower back cinches up causing his sciatic nerve to shoot a pain all the way down his leg. He tries to breathe yet his lungs are shallow with shoulders tightened all the way up to his ears. Years of chiropractic and massages barely made a dent in his low-level chronic pain. He’s learned to tolerate it and chuck it up to, guess this is what getting older feels like. The underlying aspect to all of this. What will go wrong today? How much pain will I endure? This automatically attracts situations in your subconscious that will go wrong today. Do you really want to do that? I doubt so. The first thing most people say, sit and meditate and pray. That’s all fine and tandy except when your mind is racing, right? The first thing you want to do, is ask yourself, How do you want to feel today ​​​​​​​Potential ideas, relaxed, thoughtful, focused? After identifying how you want to feel for the day. Create an image in your mind of what that looks like. How does your body look and feel if you’re relaxed? What is your mind doing if you’re relaxed? Now imagine being relaxed and focused. What image comes to mind. Before you start working on your mind, it’s important to know what heart space you’re coming from. Yes, it’s a feeling and an emotion. Once you know the feeling, put the feeling and emotion into your mind and hold it there for 5 minutes. Your days will begin to change exponentially with this practice. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International

Plant your seeds now for the future

As longer days give rise to warmer temperatures, nature signals the farmer to prep the soil for this year’s crop. It’s time to weed the soil and purge anything that may inhibit the growth. The farmer begins to till the soil and prep for planting the seeds. As the farmer reviewed the stats from his crop last year, he was disappointed. With adverse conditions, extreme heat and less rain, last year’s crop grew to only 60% of its potential. His family had been growing this crop for decades. It was the same routine, process and easy to follow. Yet, one more year of this limited growth would put his family farm in jeopardy and suffer greatly. He didn’t want to burden his family with this. As he went to sleep that night, he asked to be guided what to do next. What can be done differently? He woke at 4:30am with a brilliant stream of information. The farmer jumped out of bed, ran down the stairs, grabbed a paper towel and began scribbling down a series of information. After thirty minutes, he pieced together five paper towels with his newly created plan for his farm. He let out a joyful sigh. This is brilliant! I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. He didn’t berate himself, only to acknowledge there’s a great way forward. Most people often wait until life sends chaos into our life to change. Spring is a sense of renewal. What’s working? It is time to clear the weeds and rid yourself of anything that’s no longer working in your life, career, or relationships. With cleared land, you can plant any seed you want. It’s your choice. Spring is a sense of renewal. The only question for you is, what does your heart want you to create and bring to fruition? If you didn’t like how the crop grew last year, it’s up to you to change it. Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day! Lora Polowczuk Chief Energy Officer © Priority Retreats International