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232: Ancient Rituals for Boosting Energy (with Dondeena Bradley)

Ancient Rituals for Boosting Energy (with Dondeena Bradley)

What’s the one thing we all want more of? I certainly want more of it and I know many of you do too. We all want more energy. Reducing stress and finding time for ourselves are things most women desire, but haven’t found the best way to achieve.

My guest today is an expert in identifying holistic health practices and translating them into practical rituals we can all use today. One of the reasons many of us suffer from low energy is the hidden stress we don't even know we have. And, as we know, we can't manage what we aren't aware of. 

Listen in today as I interview TEDx speaker and author of Living Full Circle: Simple Ancient Rituals for Modern Life, Dondeena Bradley. In our conversation, Dondeena shares why so many of us are experiencing low energy, her favorite techniques for boosting energy, and how you can choose you even when it’s hard. If you want more energy to do what you love and show up for your family, you’ll want to hear this episode.

Show yourself some extra love – sign up for the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat! Spend 5 days with amazing women like you, letting go of stress and finding greater energy, clarity, and vision for your life. Join us!

What You’ll Learn:

  • What inspired Dondeena to write her book.
  • Dondeena’s favorite techniques for boosting energy.
  • What hidden stressors are and how to remove them.
  • How Americans are taking their lives back by slowing down.
  • The correct way to breathe and why our culture seems to have forgotten it.
  • Why having low energy doesn’t necessarily mean you need more sleep.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 232. We’re talking about energy and what you can do to have more of it. Stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday. This podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You'll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don't rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women Podcast.

Hey my friends, we are talking about energy today, something I know you want more of. I want more of it. I think every woman and man probably that I’ve ever met wants more energy. How do we do that? Well, I’m interviewing Dondeena Bradley in this episode. And she wrote a book kind of listing a ton of ancient practices, although you’ll find that they’re practices that most of us have heard of today, that’s kind of fun. But practices that boost your energy and reduce your stress.

And I had a fun time reading the book, there were 20 things I hadn’t heard of before and we’re going to be talking about a lot of those in this episode today. So we’re going to be talking about hidden stressors, how to identify them and remove them. Have you ever thought that there are things secretly stressing you out, raising your adrenaline and cortisol and you aren’t even aware of it?

We’re going to talk about breath IQ. And we’re going to talk about energy boundaries. And we’re going to talk about how our thoughts and our stories affect our energy. So many great nuggets in this one, you’re going to love it, if you want more energy let’s go ahead and dive in.

Jen: Hey everyone, I’m talking with Dondeena Bradley today, and she’s an expert in identifying the benefits of holistic health practices and translating them into practical approaches that we as people can adopt into our lives. Dondeena received a master’s in nutrition from Purdue, and a PhD in food science from Ohio State. She has taught health and wellness at a number of Fortune 500 companies. And she presented a TEDx Orange Coast talk titled “Let’s Create a Society Addicted to Health”. I love that.

She’s a curious explorer, avid reader and believes in a broader view of health, and she loves spending time in the great outdoors. Welcome to the show, Dondeena.

Dondeena: Thank you. I’m so glad to be here.

Jen: So everyone, I’m going to preface this, Dondeena heard me say this before I hit record. So I have Dondeena’s book, Living Full Circle. And I told her I don’t often read all the books that are sent to me. But this one I read completely and got a few chapters in while I was using the bathroom, because that’s the quiet time we moms have to read. But what I love about your book, Dondeena, is the bite size chunks that made it really easy to read. So tell us about your book and how you were inspired to write it.

Dondeena: Well, thank you. And I appreciate that it made the list for you. I had all intentions of making it easy for people, given how busy and tired we are. What it was born out of honestly was I joined a group to kind of further my understanding and advancement of holistic healing. And you can imagine sitting there with a circle of people who come from all different walks of life and just listening to this guru who’s just an incredible human being, yet knows so much. It was hard to really simplify and take in all these kind of ancient practices, and so I started sketching.

And we as a group started to talk to each other about the process of connecting our body and mind, and really getting grounded with our own breath work, all the way through just changing things in our lives that just we weren’t happy with anymore. And being intentional about it. And so that led to these 10 chapters and 50 techniques that hopefully are helping people kind of manage their energy and other things in their life that they just really want to shift.

Jen: Well, I found that to be true, and many of the techniques I had heard of before, several I hadn’t. So thinking about the 50 techniques, which are your favorites for boosting energy, since so many of us feel like we don’t have enough of that?

Dondeena: That’s a great question. And I think it’s been a combination of several, but depending where my mindset is, that’s changed over a different time or even a different season. Winter is kind of, at least here in the East Coast it gets a little dark and the days are darker longer. But I would say one is just really, really taking care of understanding that my body has zones of energy. And understanding how to clear those cluttered spaces of energy, this is in kind of the chapter that I call Zoning.

And one of my most kind of favorite spotlights in this section is being responsible for the energy that I put out in the world, and for the energy I choose to take in. And there is a simple technique in there about listening without judgment and noticing if judgment pops in while I’m listening to someone else. And while it doesn’t necessarily seem specifically tied to energy, it was interesting how for me, I kind of took the burden off of worrying about everyone else and putting myself last on the list.

And just constantly reminded that hey, I’m going to be responsible for the energy I put out in the world. And I’m going to be responsible for what I take from necessarily what’s around me. And it just gave me permission to kind of set up my own energy boundaries, if you will.

Jen: So putting our self first helps us to have more energy, but backing up even further, what would be some of those things, or thoughts, or situations that are sucking the energy so much that we feel like we don’t even have the energy for self-care and how do we fix that, those energy leaks?

Dondeena: Wow, big question. I call it the hidden stressors. In essence if you think about just even looking at the many hours in the day and what we do with those hours in the day and what we’re responsible for, especially a young mom or someone who’s responsible for a business. So this idea of really thinking about the balance of those hours, and it just seems so almost trite, if you will. But the sleep is so important and backing in from that, but if you think about the causes of this, and I put these in thought bubbles, if you will.

So I’m so overwhelmed, I can’t believe this is happening and I’m getting all worked up. And what I really need is to just find a quiet space and allow myself to be quiet. Maybe it is in the bathroom when we’re – that’s the only kind of space that we have. But it’s this idea of just closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths through the noise and kind of visualizing maybe a different outcome. Or taking a few minutes to notice what my thoughts or feelings are and allowing them to go through me as opposed to almost projecting them on other people around me.

And that is a practice, just saying to myself, “I am grounded, I am steady,” that kind of mental practice for me has certainly changed my ability to kind of manage that overwhelm or when there’s a lot of chaos going on around me. So being intentional about noticing those thoughts and feelings, but not necessarily having to always take them on has been super powerful in managing energy.

Jen: That’s fascinating because I think the collective story, I mean I don’t even think, I know, at least in the US that the collective story for women at least, for adult women is “I am crazy busy”. I can’t tell you the number of times people will even reply to a social media post with that phrase. “The reason I don’t do x, y and z is because I’m crazy busy, I don’t even know where to start.” Is there any truth to the thought that maybe the feelings follow the thought and if we just change the thought we’ll feel differently? I mean have you experimented with any of that?

Dondeena: Yeah, I definitely don’t want to say that if we just mentally reframe it all, we’re not in that – we’re a victim of our own kind of thoughts. I certainly don’t want to portray that. But I do want to pause on this because this was part of a lot of conversation about our own culture.

And I have an opportunity to kind of compare cultures outside the US and we are noticeably different in terms of go, go, go, work, work, work, drive after a certain goal and fill our lives. That has, I think, in essence, created a backlash that at least I’m seeing about slowing down to move more efficiently and more effectively. And so I’m sensing and seeing people are taking kind of their lives back a bit, and even taking sacrifice in order to kind of have more of that presence there.

And so to your point about crazy busy, I absolutely kind of focus on that as what I’m calling the quiet zone techniques, which the thought bubble was I feel frazzled, and I need time to think. So create your quiet spot, maybe it’s in your car in a parking lot, but even taking just two minutes of a deep breath. Science shows that really does shift what’s going on in your brain, allowing you to calm down through your breath to help you think differently about what might be in front of you.

And for me that’s important as a scientist, given all the adrenaline and all the things that are kind of flowing through your body that just creates just almost this feeling of anxiety. That’s hard to control if you don’t stop and slow down and kind of take control of your thoughts and grounding your breath.

Jen: So just the act of creating the space and breathing can remove the adrenaline or decrease it and then we feel better and feel less crazy busy by taking that action?

Dondeena: Yeah. And someone asked me, “If I were to just pick one or two of these rituals in my book, what would they be?” And I always go back to grounding, and the breath IQ, and the breath scan because for me a lot of people don’t kind of even think about the idea that the breath is connecting the body and the mind. And the power of the breath is that, your life force.

And I don’t want to make that sound so kind of far reaching, but in essence when you look at your posture, you sit up, you take two minutes of quiet time to breathe. It’s interesting how that judgment and the emotion, and all those other factors that can kind of maybe amplify something into a problem that’s not even a problem.

I don’t quite know how to language that to not sound judgmental, but it just gives us another way to kind of think about a new day, a fresh start, a clean slate. And those things I think are important, especially to what you’re describing in terms of how busy we are and all the hidden stressors that also kind of hit us along the way.

Jen: So tell us a little more about what you mean by grounding, breath IQ and breath scan.

Dondeena: Sure. So as I’ve kind of shared, how we breathe is important. And breath work in my experience helps us focus, especially when our days are full and we’re over-scheduled. And so one of the techniques simply is just what I call a breath IQ. And the idea here is just noticing your breath and so kind of being quiet and notice it flowing in and out of your nose, and what that feels like. And notice the pace, the depth of it, the temperature of it, and even how your belly will gently expand. And kind of allowing yourself to feel settled with each breath.

And when you have an opportunity to kind of see how many people don’t even realize that there is a breath IQ, so to speak, it’s just one small shift in kind of being more self-aware about how you might respond to things that are happening kind of in your day-to-day. And if your day is just full of deep breaths, which is a sign of that needing to ground, and it’s a natural response as you can imagine to certain things that happen, certain stressors.

This is just one simple technique to start to put you in a sense of self-awareness around your breath so that you can almost anticipate when you might be going into a meltdown or kind of anticipate a tough conversation.

And the second one is more around the question that we would get quite a bit is, “Well, what is the correct way to breathe, through my nose or through my mouth?” And in essence it’s breathing through your nose, not your mouth, and keeping your mouth closed. And watching how your breath is rough or uneven, or almost in a sense, kind of stops, and you have some pauses in there. So as you breathe in and out and you count your breath cycle you can notice how focused that you can become or how distracted you are.

And all these things are just to kind of set a goal to start to think about breathing through 10 cycles, if you will, of just smooth and steady breaths. And notice the change that might be happening in your body that in essence can help you – I don’t know – deal in the emotional state that you’re in, I guess, would be the best way to say it.

Jen: That’s beautiful. So your book is titled Living Full Circle: Simple Ancient Rituals for Modern Life. So it’s funny but in your Amazon description which I was looking at earlier, it talks about there are all of these ways we can feel better, we can get the massage, or we can go to get this expensive treatment, or we can go to this or that. But simple ancient rituals, and we come right back to the foundational thing we come into the Earth with which is the breath. Why do you think we as a culture have forgotten how to breathe when it really is simple, like you say?

Dondeena: Well, we love the shiny new fun thing, and I think there is just many, many things that attract us to try to help bring well-being into our world. And the intention of this was to go back to the tried and true and really get to the foundation of some of the most powerful things that are working for us in our body that may be invisible to us. So my goal was to make the invisible visible, just to even start the conversation and more self-awareness around ways to even signal with our body, and gesture a deliberate action.

I mean you know when you’re slumped over and feeling small versus when you’re sitting up straight and you’ve got that victory pose, your body does feel different. At least it’s gesturing, from a body language; it’s speaking volumes about where you are in kind of your own mindset.

And so the idea here was to highlight what I would say five or six in each kind of area of what it means to start from a grounded state, signal the kind of action that you want for yourself. Start to sense for those hidden barriers that are in your life and declutter that space and start to change your routine. And transition and potentially practicing, to your point, maybe one thing in a season, that maybe in winter it is getting up with the sun and not necessarily being so active after the sun goes down, that’s really hard for people.

But changing a little bit about how you might approach the day, and then obviously for me the big part of this was we have so much that we carry inside. And I call it healing from the inside out, wherein this idea of spiraling. Because we tend to think of spiraling as going down, you know, the phoenix rising. But going down to ground zero and the hope here was to offer these rejuvenating kind of small pieces and parts that you could insert to really start to understand and have a natural healing of growth from the inside out.

Jen: I love what you’re doing because a lot of us try to do our growth work just by changing our thoughts, like I was hinting at before. But we can change all our thoughts just by going back and changing something physiologically like our breath. I find that just the act of breathing for two minutes like you talked about, reduces or even eliminates thoughts of “I can’t do this, it’s too much. I have too much to do”. And so I think it’s the combination of the two but remembering our physiology first, which so many of us ignore.

So what helps you to remember in those busy stressful moments to breathe, or to ground, or any of the other tools you mention in the book?

Dondeena: Well, I’m glad you say that because we tend to compartmentalize again the body and what’s going on physically, and the mind, right? The busy brain. And in one of the chapters which I call Shifting, it’s this idea of looking at what’s happening with your body through a different lens.

So for instance right now what I do is I look at my tongue every morning and look at what color it is. And I do oil pulling and it’s a simple two minute technique. But in essence it comes from Ayurveda which literally means, it’s a Sanskrit word, for “the science of living”. And it’s one of these practices that originated in India with some of the oldest healing modalities. And it focuses on the integration of my mind, my body and my spirit.

And so as a simple technique of looking at my tongue, if it’s got a white coat on it I probably ate too much the night before, it didn’t really digest that well. And I kind of need to just think a little bit about what I’m eating and how it affects my energy level. And I think we get caught up in our own habits and we don’t necessarily shift them. But for me, I started eating earlier as opposed to typically kind of a New York late dinner. I started to go to bed earlier.

And I noticed just in kind of a few weeks my tongue was like bright red. And I was like, “Wow, there’s some things that I’m doing right.” I even felt better, and so it’s this idea, to your point, Jen, that there are these different techniques. And I’m not asking everyone to take all 50 on. But to start to identify one or two and then notice how you do feel a little bit differently. The other one I would say is just get a little bit more self-aware about your breath. You can start to notice what flows in your lives.

And this is a whole kind of chapter that I had called Owning where the spotlight was on Marianne O’Brien who is a kind of a creative person whose really understanding energy as our body is energy. And she talks about this idea that we live in an environmental prison, electronic prison. And it’s true. And so this idea of a quick fast or a sunset fast, you’re hearing a lot more about the intermittent fast, resting our livers because they’re constantly on. Thankfully our bodies send us these signals that help us prompt change.

And this is the idea that just help us become more self-aware, so we can hear the body when it is kind of sending those signals to us.

Jen: So you’re talking about fasting from food? Are you also mentioning fasting from electronics?

Dondeena: Yes, I am, so all of that. It’s like when you think about the multiple systems in our body and we are 70% water, which is basically you can think about water and how the frequency and the vibration that happens with water, imagine the big pool and all that kind of comes in. So it’s just this idea of really thinking about how what’s around us affects our energy and how we handle that energy affects our ability to show up the way we want to show up in the world.

And so to your point, an EMF detox, you probably know this, but when you turn off the Wi-Fi and have a day of just unplugging, there is a 24/6 book out that I really love now because it’s just talking about what we’re kind of doing to ourselves. And that one day of just detox, it can help you start Monday a lot more fresh.

Jen: I love it. And I kind of feel inspired by we’re getting a sampling of everything in your book. But to make it a scientific study of our own energy, apply one thing, see how you feel, apply the next thing, go back to the one thing, start to nail down what affects each of our energy the most, because it’s probably different for everyone. But just being tuned in to even noticing our energy and realizing there’s so much cause and effect there where we can influence it for the better.

Dondeena: Absolutely, I mean the more you understand your own energy pattern the more you can direct your own unique demands. Some of us are morning people, some of us aren’t. And also we’re interwoven networks of energy, so how we put boundaries around our time. All of that’s important I think, going back to your comment about all the things that are coming at us and the fullness and the busyness of our lives.

I really advocate for taking one step to put up a boundary that helps your energy kind of regenerate because otherwise we’re always constantly feeling that depletion.

Jen: So I have a friend who recently posted on social media saying that when she felt low energy, for a long time she felt she just needed to sleep. But then she started to get enough sleep and she realized there was more, that was a great foundation but she realized she was feeling low energy because she wasn’t doing enough things that really lit her up inside. When she added that to the sleep, things got better. So have you seen similar detective work, your own energy detective work for you or clients or others?

Dondeena: I love this, because often we just think about energy as sleep or food. And I do absolutely agree that if you go back to some of the ancient practices that’s where chakra kind of comes from. And chakra means these spinning wheels of energy that in essence kind of run down our spine. And to that point, that’s really about your passion, and your light. And I have this kind of focus on these zones in our body, I call ROYGBIV and many of us learn that as a kind of a way to remember the colors of the rainbow, but they’re also the colors of the chakras.

And when you start to think about your root chakra, I am grounded, which is starting with the breath work in this case. But it kind of goes up, I feel content, I feel like I am a force of light, I love me better than anyone else, which is around the heart chakra. And when you can think about that self-love, and not putting yourself last on the list and who you are and how you want to show up in the world I know that gives you energy, I know that gives you more of a sense of purpose and passion. And things just seemingly flow when you’re in that state, which is super important.

And as we think about managing energy, not just the physical, not just the mental per se, but more about knowing who you are and your passion.

Jen: That’s good. So the longing so many women have after they’ve raised their kids or their kids are at least in school, a lot of women shift to this space of I need to figure out my purpose. And a lot of us think there is no purpose. Well, I don’t think that, but a lot of people think there is no one purpose, just do what you like. But I find that fascinating. Maybe these longings for change are actually things we need.

Dondeena: I think so, I do. Maybe our purpose isn’t lifelong; I certainly don’t want to make it sound so far reaching. But I do know that when I’m more intentional about what I really stand for and want to accomplish, even if it’s a given season or a given year, and set up an intention around my own kind of ritual for checking in on that. It, in its own right kind of creates the boundaries, but it’s something that I want to get up for every day and actually do, or achieve, or be a part of.

And that just for me is a tailwind that I know in some roles that I’ve had in the past, I wasn’t feeling that. And when you’re not failing that, why, obviously there’s reasons that we take on some of these things. But to keep at them over, and over, and over again and not to figure out how to transition and creating this more welcoming hopeful serendipity in our lives, I think that’s a choice we should reconsider.

Jen: So you mentioned roles in the past where you weren’t feeling I’m so excited to get out of bed, would one of those happen to be motherhood at all?

Dondeena: Well, in full disclosure I have my daughter who’s 21 and my son is 18, or she’ll be 21. And I went through a period of my life when they were quite young and I was in kind of the prime of my career, so to speak. And was traveling so much and I just felt disconnected, and I guess, this will age me, but we didn’t have all of the FaceTime and the different ways to connect with our kids 20 years ago like we do now.

But the idea was it really weighed on me and I did an off-ramp that wasn’t very popular where I left a role that from a career perspective was really positive in terms of my own achievement. But I decided that I wanted to choose them and that was a certain period of my life. And then I did that for a couple of years and then needed to jump back in and kind of did that same thing.

And so I guess, it’s a personal choice that we all make but I know the times that I cherish the most are the times where I decided to choose them and have invested in that relationship. And I know that’s not always easy for everyone, and I certainly don’t want to make it sound like it was easy. But it certainly was something that weighed me down. And once I had committed and decided I noticed that certain things started to flow.

Jen: Really? And so you felt excited to jump out of bed during that time when you made that choice to be with your kids because you had chosen it?

Dondeena: Yeah, I think so. And also even as they’ve gotten older I in some ways feel like they’ve needed me more. And so I’ve spent two years kind of not necessarily working full-time but writing this book. And that allowed me to go cross country with my daughter. And you don’t get 54 hours in a car too often to see the Black Hills and some amazing parts of this country. And that was in a time that she’s in college and dealing with a lot of change and transitioning.

So you have those just shared moments, and building trust, and building a relationship, but you also then create – pay dividends for how you can talk about even more trying things and staying connected even when they’re not here, like they were when they were young.

But I see this with anything that I do, not just with my kids. If I’m really clear that it’s something that I want to do, whether it’s a sacrifice to get somewhere else or it’s a part of me that I need to hone, the more that I’ve treated it like kind of a journey or an adventure – I hate the word ‘journey’ as much, but an adventure, the more I’ve been inclined to just embrace it. But I’m not going to say that I haven’t had those moments where I just want to stay in bed, absolutely.

But I have also been able to surround myself with a community of people who I can reach out and be like, “Man, I really need your help.” That’s what this has also been great is if you can do some of these techniques with your best friend or other people and then hold each other accountable for setting a new boundary, or waking up 15 minutes earlier. That certainly has also been a real vital part of the impact that I’ve seen with these techniques.

Jen: That is so great, I appreciate that. It’s all an adventure, that’s a way more empowering way to look at it, instead of have to, we’ve heard the phrase, “I get to,” but even better, “I choose this adventure”, that feels so empowering, that’s great. Dondeena, in your book you have these spotlights for people who have tried the tools that you’re recommending, which one of those is your favorite and why?

Dondeena: Wow. Every chapter has one that spoke to me. But I have to say the one that stands out as we’re talking about energy is through a woman Juliette Weeks, and I met her at a leadership retreat. And we were sharing some personal experiences around kind of early death. And so you can imagine that was quite a sobering conversation. And I asked her if she’d just help me understand some of the things that she was doing in her own life. And she was – self-described in the book talking about how she grew up really an anxious child and became [inaudible].

And she was a really, really sick woman [inaudible]. And in essence it was her with the thought bubble who said, “I am responsible for the energy I put out in the world.” Think about that, like all of our gestures, all of our, you know, what we do when we’re in a car and we’re like cutting people off when we’ve had a really bad day, or being short with people. And every interaction I’ve had with her I just see this as ingrained with her and I talked to her a little bit about that.

And it’s just the rituals and how she has decided to redesign her life to truly be responsible for the energy and for the energy that she chooses to take in. And that conversation really inspired me to think about my own boundaries and how I approach my day and my own relationships. And it’s made all the difference in the world.

But mostly for me it’s about that active listening and really thinking about serendipity, and almost just showing up in service of, as opposed to what can I get out of it. How can I affect this energy that I may not see the dividend of that, but I know there’s a ripple effect of it and hopefully I’ve helped in, or enabled someone else’s life, because we just don’t know what other people are going through. We’re not in anybody else’s shoes, and someone who looks like they’ve got it all together just could be going through some of the most extraordinary times.

And anyway, she inspired me to really think about that and own that for myself as best I can every day.

Jen: So I am responsible for the energy I put out into the world. So you apply that through trying to show up in that energy of listening and service. And your friend, how does she apply it? Did she tell you her secret?

Dondeena: Well, we talked a lot about judgment. So when you’re listening without judgment, because already when you’re diagnosed with something and you’re not getting better and you have responsibility for young kids and all that comes along with that. And responsibility of that from the beginning to the end of every day of getting them fed and feeling like you’re connecting with them. And if school’s in the mix, all of the things you want to show up for.

And so it was just this idea that really thinking about the energy is clean versus misjudging. And all of the stories that we tell ourselves in our head when maybe we’re overwhelmed with this kind of stress or I’m never going to get better or those parents think I’m the worst parent in the world. I’m not able to show up because I have to go to all these doctors’ appointments. And it just perpetuates this draining energy cycle. And the idea with this listening differently is more towards having greater empathy for people.

And in the end what she spoke of is it just gave her relationships with loved ones and coworkers, which was much more warm, and fulfilling, and richer for her. And when there aren’t any words she always would just talk about, just smile and play a positive part in maintaining the positive energy no matter where you are. And you know this as well as I do, when you smile, it just, it shifts energy just like that.

Jen: Yes, that’s so true. Now of course we’re both smiling because we’re talking about it, but it’s so true. I find it also helpful, I really have a belief and it’s getting stronger with age and experience, that everyone is truly doing the best they can. That assumption really eliminates a lot of negative energy and judgment, just to go to that thought, yeah, while you’re smiling.

Dondeena: Exactly, suspending our beliefs.

Jen: Yes, exactly. Well, thanks, this has been amazing and we will continue talking about this theme of energy and some of these awesome rituals in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. Dondeena, where can people find you or get their hands on the book if they want to know more?

Dondeena: Well, I do have a website, my first name And also you can find it if you search it out on Amazon, just type in Living Full Circle, it’s there as well. Would really appreciate the support, but more importantly just want to get out some really easy things to do that might help your life improve a little bit. So every little bit helps, right?

Jen: Yes, and just in time for summer, who doesn’t want more energy? I love it.

Dondeena: Exactly.

Jen: So this has been amazing, Dondeena, let’s have you leave us with some parting words of wisdom.

Dondeena: Wow. I would have to say choose you, even when it’s challenging to choose you. And I say that because even in my own life there has been times where I haven’t even realized how often I’ve put myself last on the list while I’m looking as if I’m holding it all together. And even in writing this book and becoming an author, that’s put different kinds of expectations on me that I didn’t even really imagine. And so choose you, but also choose the intention by which you want people to know you.

And I just found that for me, it’s opened up the opportunity to have positive conversations with people, but also to ask for what you need, and so often we don’t. And so even if you just need a smile and a hug, I think that’s really fair to ask for and sometimes can just dissolve a lot of the crazy overwhelm that’s in that moment. And so my hope is you choose you and ask for what you need.

Jen: I love that. I love that. Everyone, definitely get Dondeena’s book, Living Full Circle: Simple Ancient Rituals for Modern Life. Dondeena is spelled D.o.n.d.e.e.n.a. last name Bradley. So Living Full Circle: Simple Ancient Rituals for Modern Life. I think that these are proven tools that we can use to feel more energy. And I know we all want that, we don’t want our life legacy to be that we feel crazy busy. So I think you’re doing good work in the world, Dondeena, and I thank you for being on the show today.

Dondeena: Well, thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

So good, I love everything that we talked about, but my favorite part is when Dondeena said, “I love me better than anyone else because I know it gives me the energy to do things I’m passionate about.” And that’s a challenge for all of us, for all of you listening. Do you love yourself better than anyone else so that it gives you the energy to do the things you’re passionate about? And I would add, to be the happy, vibrant, amazing, energized woman you want to be for your loved ones, for your family, for your kids, that’s the point of all of this.

So put yourself first, do what energizes you, do a little less of what drains you, and start feeling good. We can do this with solid morning routines and with just doing some of these practices we talked about. I’m going to challenge you to do that this week. And for those of you who are in the Vibrant Happy Women Club, we will be talking more about this in our soul circles this week. I’m also going to be teaching a class later this week on energy. So stay tuned for that. Those of you who are not in the club, you are welcome at any time at

Alright my friends, make it a vibrant and happy week. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at

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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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