In this week’s episode, I had the pleasure of talking to Isabelle Griffith.
Isabelle is an Emotional Wellbeing & Resilience Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and the creator of The Pause Approach™.
After 20 years in the corporate world, she now specialises in helping female leaders who experience stress and high functioning anxiety to press pause, reconnect with themselves and develop a resilient inner core.
Her mission is to help women become more emotionally empowered, so that they can stress less, live more, lead well – and have the impact they desire (whether at work, in their communities or within their family) without sacrificing themselves and their wellbeing.
Her coaching is insightful, transformational and compassionate because this has been her journey too.
Highlights within this Episode
Isabelle shares the powerful story of how she climbed the corporate ladder only to find herself with “everything” and feeling completely at a loss when it came to her happiness and wellbeing.
Her story really resonated with me because it’s one I have experienced too and it’s one I hear often, which is what makes this episode so insightful and empowering, particularly if you’re someone who’s experiencing that sense of ‘stuckness’ and overwhelm right now.
Over-functioning Anxiety and Under-functioning Anxiety
Depending on the energy behind it and the stories we’re telling ourselves, anxiety and stress can present in a variety of ways. For some of us, the more anxious we get, the harder we push ourselves while for others, that sense of anxiety causes us to retreat.
If you’re like me, you oscillate between the two.
Either way, when you’re pushing yourself flat out without looking up to figure out what’s so urgent and why everything feels important, it’s likely you’re being driven by the energy of stress. By the same token, if life feels too overwhelming and all you want to do is hide away, that’s another good indicator that something’s not quite right and it would be worth pausing to ask yourself some questions about what’s truly important to you.
The PAUSE approach
This is the approach Isabelle developed to help us take a moment and choose how to move forward more intentionally. This approach forms a core part of the skills she teaches her clients and it’s a great way to start tuning into ourselves, our bodies, our thoughts and our feelings so we can make better choices about how to move forward with intention.
The power and value of meditation
This incredible habit is one Isabelle and I agreed we would keep above all other mental health habits and she explains why it is so important and what it does for our wellbeing and our ability to slow down and take a pause.
There is no timestamp for this subject because it features repeatedly as we talk about what it takes to develop the skill of taking a pause and observing your emotions and bodily sensations.
The 4 Elements
Isabelle explains how we can move between different attitudes and energies depending on what’s needed – and when we know to do this, we are also better equipped to identify when our approach is part of what’s keeping us stuck.
What I loved about Isabelle's approach
As someone who struggles to slow down and take time to figure out what’s really important, I benefit massively from the types of tools and practices Isabelle shares.
So often, I find myself driven by the energy of high-functioning anxiety and I keep pushing myself to achieve more and more but sometimes I forget to stop and refocus on why I’m doing these things and what’s truly important. This is the lesson that’s behind the entire ethos of Big Happy Life and it’s one that benefits from consistent reminders.
I wish I had listened back to this episode over the summer holidays this year! If you listened to last week’s podcast episode, you know I found that time incredibly tough and I let go of many of the lessons I have learned in the years since starting Big Happy Life. Perhaps Isabelle’s wise words might have given me just the pause I needed to help myself change the tide. As is, I am certain I’ll return to this episode in the future, at any time when I need a reminder to slow down and take a pause and I hope her fantastic tips and advice help you if this is something you struggle with too.