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Don’t Wait Until It Burns Down

As Notre Dame Cathedral erupted with enormous flames in Paris yesterday, all I could think about is the legacy we leave behind.
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In your life, career, and relationships, what are you building that will stand the test of time?

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Every day you have the basic responsibilities – food, shelter, take care of our loved ones, and our career to support all of this. Yet, many of you forget about the real impact that we live every day. How you show up in the world is a choice only you can make.

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When something tragic happens, how we choose to handle the event that saddens us creates our own legacy for others to follow. What choice of character do you want to hand down for generations to see?
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Resilience is key.
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Ask yourself these important questions:

·        Will you stay forever stuck in the moment that tragedy hit?

·        Will you forgive those that hurt you?

·        Will you create open space for something new to happen?
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Today more people are worried about keeping their electronics charged than how they show up to deal with the world’s challenges. Let’s change this.

​​​​A structure can burn but no one can take away your character or resolve that you have as an individual.
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​​​​​​​Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!
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​​​​​​​Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Paradox of Pervasive Pushing

Lillian loves a good challenge. She’s the first to seek a high-profile project at work. She thrived off the late nights and getting it done. This adds to her ever-growing list of achievements. Lillian boasts to her friends the high-profile clients she works with. What an accomplishment, right?

Yet, one Sunday, Lillian woke up and could barely crawl out of bed. The exhaustion wrapped her body so hard it felt as if she were in a straight jacket that covered her entire body.

Through an opening in her window blinds, the deep blue skies and bright sun called her to step outside. Lillian inched her way to the door and opened it to a surprise. She noticed her neighbor had a newborn baby. Did she somehow miss the entire pregnancy? How could that have happened?

Slowly, the crisp spring air breathed life into Lillian’s wretched muscles and suddenly the exhaustion slowly unwrapped. Lillian realized she was so busy racking up resume achievements that she sacrificed the very people she cared for.

Lilian made a point not to open up her laptop or check any electronics for the remainder of the day. She changed her clothes and headed to a park with a creek. For the remainder of the day, she absorbed warm sun rays, listened to the flowing water over rocks, and journaled about the life she wanted versus the one she was living. She chose to enjoy the moment over the push for something external.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

​​​​​​​Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

Got resistance?

Pete hit a wall. His employee Pam constantly failed to meet project deadlines which in turn made him look bad to his superiors. Pete kept telling Pam the exact activities to work on yet nothing was working. Albert Einstein once said, the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

Pete knowing something else had to happen went for a walk in a nearby city park. He observed two sets of people. The first set was a couple standing on guard yelling at each other. He noticed that both seemed to be blaming each other for the situation.

As Pete looked around, he caught daffodils blooming. As his eye saw two businessmen having a conversation, he saw a huge difference. The taller gentlemen sat silently, listening to a lady talk. Once she was done, Pete observed the gentlemen asking intriguing questions. Both were calm and remained poised. The lady’s body language changed and became inquisitive. The questions gave her new perspective to handle a situation. Suddenly, she stood up, and said, “I know exactly what to do now.”

All Pete could think about was Wow. Whatever the situation was, it got handled easily and quickly.

He scribbled on a piece of paper, “Meet every obstacle with poise, perspective, and power.”

Pete called Pam into his office and asked (instead of told), what are the three biggest challenges to meeting deadlines? Pam, with a large sigh, said…..Pam finally felt as if she was feeling heard and understood.

Pete and Pam smiled as they put together a game plan for the next set of projects.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

​​​​​​​Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

How choice determines your well-being.

Both Ron and Bill had the same responsibilities in the morning. Yet, how they went about their morning contrasted widely.

Ron before leaving bed reached for his phone and checked the news. Immediately his blood pressure rose. While staring at this phone, he half heartedly kissed his wife on the cheek, scoffed down some microwaved oatmeal, and rushed to his car. Ron nearly hit his neighbor pulling out of his driveway since he only looked one way.

Here’s how Bill spent his morning.

Bill upon waking, reached over and told his wife he loved her. He listened gently while the birds chirped joyfully with spring fast approaching. He opened his front door to check the weather. He took in the fresh scent of rain that fell overnight and watched the morning dew glisten on the spring buds of the trees. The sun ray sparked warmth on his skin. As he shut the door, his senses alive inside, he took a deep breath and said, I’m thankful for another day to be alive, see my family, and serve the world. Bill ate breakfast with his kids and then headed to work.

Ron and Bill had the same responsibilities that morning. How each choose to respond differed.

Where do you take in the present moment? Where do you rush through your day?

Your choices determine your well-being. Which path will you choose?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

​​​​​​​Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

When life throws bricks at you, here’s what you really need.

George’s thoughts rivaled the electrical speed of a bullet train from Paris to London. His actions were swift, deliberate and on target. Quite frankly, George was unstoppable. Until, this happened.

A series of three concussions slowed George down. An activity that once took him 30 minutes to complete now takes him three hours. All he could think was, what the heck? What’s going on? How do I get back into that awesome way of living and being.

I met George on Sunday night.  He continued the story with, yeah, I’m a perfectionist, too.

He asked me, how do you deal with this sudden, abrupt change?

I looked him straight in the eye and said. Acceptance. We may not like our current circumstances. We may desperately want them to change. It is not who we know we can be. The first step is to accept where we currently are. Acknowledge that this is the best we can do right now. We can’t pretend to be someone else. Accepting reality is step one.

He leaned and listened more.

The next step is to give yourself, grace. This gives you permission that you know you can do better even though it’s not the best of who you are.

From this place, we can then take the best course of action to correct what’s going on. From here we can start looking at multiple solutions and identifying the next best course of action.

Acceptance and grace are the steps to move your forward when life hits you hard.

Wishing you an abundant and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

 

 

 

What I Learned From Sharing the Stage with a Billionaire

Six months ago, I let out an exuberant sigh. Suddenly, my spine aligned swiftly and I sat up tall. I got up and walked with more vitality. A light bulb went off. I identified exactly where I wanted to go with my business. I wanted to use my voice to speak on stages. Every person I met, I said exactly what I’m looking for.

Plan: Design the life, business, and relationships you imagined.

Then, the call came in. Lora, I want to recommend you for an interview at a charity fundraiser in front of a thousand like minded people. The self doubt rolled in. Am I ready? Is this the right time?

I was scared. That’s exactly why I said yes. It’s the growth opportunity I wanted. This was the audience I wanted to be in front of.  Everything I previously did lead me to this special invitation.

As the interview day approached, I asked myself, What was the core message I wanted to share? How can I come across with the energy I wanted to convey?

I practiced what I wanted to say not knowing what questions would be asked.

To ensure I had the energy, I took the time to be well-rested, ate right, and exercised. In addition, I made sure I had body work done so that my muscles were open and relaxed and not tight.

Practice: Prepare with excellence.

The big event came. I put on my dress. And dang. My dressed was ripped. What, how did this happen? Can I get away with it? No. Luckily, I was prepared and brought an extra dress. How prepared are you for when something doesn’t go as expected?

I showed up engaging and curious about everyone there. I brought enthusiasm and excitement to every conversation and with each person I interacted with. I had fun, lightening up everyone I chatted with.

Ryan Long, the event host, called me on stage. It was my time. I was me. I didn’t pretend to be anyone else. I choked up when I started talking about the deaths early in my life. I shared laughs and even challenged Ryan – What are your non-negotiables in life? I discussed why self-care is important. I had fun challenging people to take care of themselves so they can give more.

Play: Have fun while achieving.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. What attitude shift can you bring? Or, how can you bring more play into what you do on a daily basis?

I shared the stage with billionaire founder, Jeff Hoffman, Priceline.com and Les Brown, best motivational speaker in the world, Les Brown. They both shared these same concepts. They’ve turned their profits to then serve.

Plan, Practice, Play, is the model I use to help you think big and play bigger.

​​​​​​​Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!


Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Priority Retreats International

This Blocks Your Prosperity

John told Gretchen, “You look beautiful tonight.” Gretchen replied with, “Well, my hair doesn’t look right. I look fat in this dress.” John with a gentle grip on Gretchen’s hands and looking directly into her eyes, said, “You look beautiful tonight.” Gretchen rolled her eyes.

How often do you not receive a compliment? Instead you find something wrong about yourself?

Or at work:

George, an eager Project Assistant, walked over to Bill’s office, “Hey Bill, I see you are working some late hours. My project completed last week, I’ve recuperated and I’d love to give you a hand. The company is at least two weeks out from signing the dotted line on this new project so I’m available.” Bill thought, that would be great, but it’d take me more time to make this happen. Bill stated, “Thanks for the offer but I got it.” Bill drives home at 10pm through torrential thunderstorms, plops on the couch as says “I can’t keep doing this. Things have to change.”

Where do you want to be in control and refuse help?

The art of receiving is just that, an art. It’s a practice we must all learn. Whether it’s receiving a compliment or an offer for assistance. The longing we crave for is right under our noses yet our blinders keep us from noticing when help is right in front of us. When we block receiving kind gestures from others, we block our prosperity for the future.

It is time to open up your heart and receive the love and assistance to move your life, career, and relationships forward.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International

This one thing creates opportunities. And, it’s not what you think.

Gerald woke up groggy and irritable every morning. This started impacting all his relationships. He was snippy with colleagues in the office, often saying snide comments. His wife no longer wanted to socialize in the evenings and Gerald took his anger out on her.

One by one Gerald’s team started handing in their resignation letters. His supervisor, Vanessa, called him to her office. She stated, What’s going on? Three of your team members have resigned in the past two weeks. You’re sending emails out at 10pm at night. I want you to take a long weekend and seriously think about how to work differently. Gerald was in shock.

When he got home, his wife left separation papers on the kitchen table with a note saying her and the kids were taking staying at her parent’s house for the next week. She said they can talk if he can agree he would not raise his voice at her or the kids.

Gerald sat into his lounge chair almost paralyzed. How did his whole life unravel in 24 hours?

He stood up stern on the edge of the black leather chair and looked around his living room. This all means nothing without the most important people in my life. Tonight, I’m creating an evening ritual to get to bed by 10pm. A full 8 hours of sleep is what I need the most.

Over the next week, his body recovered from years of no sleep. He had a deep heart-to-heart conversation with his wife and they continued their marriage. He became a joyful, boisterous, fun-loving husband and boss again. Later in the year, he received a huge unexpected bonus at work. Now, he’s a role model for the rest of the company.

He changed one thing: sleeping a solid 8 hours. He wrote on a sticky note on his bathroom mirror, “Turn obstacles into opportunities. A better life awaits you.”

Sometimes it’s the least expected activity that can make a world of difference. When you tackle an obstacle and not a problem, the obstacle will never come up again.

What obstacles can you turn into your biggest opportunities this week?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

 

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International

This one thing shows how much you love yourself and others.

David’s chaotic life felt like the nose hairs freezing on an unbearable cold day. Every breath only made it feel worse. Anything made David snap, get angry, and take it out on others.  His project team kept missing deadlines so they were fearful to ask him questions. His wife who also worked long hours was no longer affectionate with him.  He yelled at his kids for not keeping their toys cleaned up.

David, in a small voice in his head, ”this has got to stop. I’m no longer myself.” He looked at himself in the hallway mirror.  He said out loud., “The only person that can transform this is me.”

After a deep breath and sigh, David pulled out his steno meeting pad and started writing feverishly.

Here’s what I will no longer tolerate:

  • A lack of energy
  • A lack of affection
  • A messy household
  • A team that misses deadlines

Then, David wrote: Here’s how I will counter each:

  • I will go for a daily walk at lunch to re-energize and let off steam.
  • I will schedule a date night with my wife every Thursday night.
  • My wife and I will set new rules for the kids.
  • I will be open to support my team so they can hit their deadlines.

He posted this on his bathroom mirror so he could be reminded of it daily.

The more you love yourself, the less nonsense you will tolerate. What will you stop tolerating?

Be the role model for the behavior you want exhibited around you.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International

 

 

Do your nerves get all coiled up and stop you?

An amazing opportunity dropped into my lap like finding the rays of sun on a beautiful spring day. Timelines to prepare for the event didn’t allow for any setbacks. With hawk style mentality, I drew up the critical path milestones and deliverables. First up, designing the full page magazine layout for the event showcasing what my company offers.

After deliberate conversations with colleagues, the design was in place. Yet, a vital piece was missing. I needed an intense, close-up picture of me lead climbing outdoors. (Lead climbing is where you put the gear in the rock then climb up with a rope.) I scoured 15 years of climbing pictures and not a single one met the specifications. Yikes, this presented two more problems. First, how do I find a climbing photographer on such short notice?  Second, I hadn’t led outdoor trad climbing in over three years due to significant health issues.

I started emailing and calling everyone I knew that was either a climbing photographer or may potentially know one. I was zero for five on day one of outreach. Then, zero for ten on day two of outreach. Sigh…How else can I approach this? My heart got heavy. How do I make this happen? The last attempt found one photographer available. Yippee! Finally! The shoot was on!

Then, the nerves set in. My stomach got squeamish and coiled up. It’s my time to get my climbing jam on. Yet, I haven’t placed gear in a few years. Am I rusty? Will I remember what to do? I questioned myself. How strong am I? Can I really hold on to rock and place gear? It’s been soooo long. It’s the dead of winter and I haven’t actually touched rock in over 4 months. Okay, yes, the climbing photoshoot day is suppose to be 60 degrees. But…what if I can’t do it? Then, what?

I kept reminding myself. I overcame huge health issues in 2018, I’ve been back in athletic training for almost four months now. “I’ve got this.” I kept saying. I’ve gained a lot of strength and endurance back. Over the next three days, I laid off heavy weight training and concentrated on yoga and one day of indoor climbing, running laps on moderate climbs. The idea was to keep my muscles active but not overstrain them.

Friday was the big day. An early rise to double-check everything I need. Climbing gear was sprawled out over my kitchen floor. Helmet. Check. Harness. Check. Climbing shoes. Check. My stomach churned. I’m nervous.

Outside the car, the crisp, chilly morning breeze hit my skin. I watched the sun rays slowly make their down the rock route we were going to climb.  I peed twice to get the nervous bug out before we walked to the climbing crag. As we walked to the base, I repeated, you’ve been preparing this for three months, “You’ve got this. You’ll be fine.”

As I put on all my climbing gear and stripped off my extra clothing layers, I was a little tense. I started climbing and placed the first piece of gear with ease. Each step got easier and easier. I haven’t felt this good climbing on rock in a few years. I flew up the 100 feet plus climb as it was nothing. The pictures turned out fabulous. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful 60 degree day in the middle of winter.

Where do you psych yourself out before even starting?

Do you trust your preparations and ability to figure it out?

It’s time to recognize that you’ve done the work. You’re prepared for the opportunity. It’s time to go out and claim what you’ve worked so hard for.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk

Chief Energy Officer

© Priority Retreats International