STB 1 | Women Community

Clarity In The Fog with Michelle McGlade

Michelle is back with another solo episode and she wants to share with you her strategies to finding clarity when you’re so clearly lost in the fog. She has a couple of mechanisms she uses, and would you have guessed it, one of them includes breathwork! Really, really do not underestimate the power of your breathing because a lot of great nuggets of wisdom can flow through you.

Clarity In The Fog with Michelle McGlade

Welcome back beautiful lady and possibly a gent or two. Guess what you’re in for today. Another what I’m calling affectionately, The M Sessions! Oh, I haven’t sung it that way yet. If you didn’t catch one of the last M Sessions, let me give you a rundown. Here’s the thing. We talk a lot about leadership on the show. I talked to amazing women leaders to get kind of the backstory and insights on what makes them successful, but really what are they thinking about that success feeling about that success, et cetera. And at the core of all of this is my belief, which is true. Leadership is an inside out game. When you work on getting strong with it within, strong inside of you, you show up as a better leader of self that trickles right down into how you model for your team and for others around you in your life. And certainly that places you in a much more certain and powerful position in a good way to lead others.

So, it’s fascinating to me when we think about it this way that we have a choice, we all have a choice. We have the same amount of time in the day, but yet it can be so difficult. I was just talking last week with Catherine Hamilton about this. It can be so difficult to make that choice, to take time for you to work on you, to really get to the mental gym. But yet if you’re following the show and you’ll start seeing through every single woman that I talk with makes a point to share insights around how they go to the mental gym basically. And we call it out as that as such in the conversations. And I’ve proven this time and time again for myself, by the way, I’ve done this so, so, so very wrong, you know, just totally getting on that train.

I’m running a million miles a minute and really getting off track. And that just gets you into this spiral and really a downward spiral where you feel you have no place to go, but every time I’m able to pull myself back out of that and spend time within, spend time on me, spend time on self-care, whether that’s physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Circumstances change, insights come, creativity is sparked. New energy is created and I’m able to come from a place of overflow versus a place of depletion. And so that is what is at the heart of the M Sessions. And I have cooked up a really, really good show for you today. I’m calling this one Clarity In The Fog. So, let’s do it.

Oh my gosh. If I could bottle up the recipe for clarity. I’d be very, very, very wealthy. And I might just be able to do it here on this episode with you today. I can’t tell you how desperately people are seeking clarity, myself included. You’re probably nodding your head. Yes, it is the number one reason. And number one question and number one struggle that I hear over and over and over and over and over again from my clients. It doesn’t matter who it is. I’ve worked with the startup entrepreneur all the way to the CEO of a big, big, big corporation. Everyone struggles with clarity. Everyone is looking to get themselves out of the fog and into a place of crystal clear 20/20 vision. So how do you do it? I was really, really thinking about this and where I have landed.

And the journey I want to take you on today is that seeking clarity or feeling unclear or struggling to have a quality of sharpness in what you’re seeing in terms of vision or where you need to go, or what needs to happen next, or the step you need to take. That is just a mechanism you’re setting up for yourself to keep you safe. That is where I’ve landed. That is what I’ve decided. And when I was gearing up to talk about how and what mechanisms I’ve used effectively, really the recipe or the framework for you to get you on your own without a coach, to a place of clarity. Well, I started with a little bit of research. I wanted to look it up. I wanted to look up the definition of a clarity. So, let’s start there.

So, if you quickly do a search on the definition of clarity, or if you were to ask someone, what is it, what does it mean to be clear? I think most people would say something along the lines, or you would see that it’s means the quality of being clear, right? Intelligible, sharply defined. And I really liked that because it’s a better way to think about clarity. And this is what led me to thinking about it as a mechanism is like, we want it to be all or nothing. We want it to be all or nothing. But if clarity is truly the quality of sharpness, the vision or the ease of which we can hear the answers from within then, there’s a lot of gray area. I really liked that. On a side note, it actually comes from the Latin Clarus, is associated with glory. Now I’m not taking this too far down the spiritual path, but I thought, of course, right, it feels glorious. And the roots are so strong.

We feel clear clarity. There you go. Say that 10 times fast. So I would like to suggest that we begin together, you and I, because I could use some work here as well to let go of this mechanism, that if it’s not clear, I have to get clear like all or nothing. Then I can’t move forward, whatever that means and replace it with a much more gracious idea of clarity as more of the quality of the sharpness, the quality with which you’re able to see and hear for me, intuition, right? The quality in which I can connect and get very fine tuned with what my intuition is telling me. And I want to talk about two ways that I have used that, how I’m able to dial in the sharpness, how I’m able to see and hear more clearly for myself, an intuitive knowing of what it is that I need to do next, what step I need to take eventually leading to more of the clarity that I’m thinking. So do I have you on the edge of your seat yet? What are these mechanisms, Michelle? How are you able to do that? Fabulous question lady. I had to pause, I actually realized as I was ready to share with you, the first mechanism, there’s actually two that I combined without even realizing it. Aha.

That’s what I love about teaching this to you is that I receive these amazing insights because when you teach your truth, one it’s easy and it’s fun, but two, whenever you teach, it’s so glorious because you can learn so much more. And one of those insights just came in before I was going to tell you that the mechanism that I use often to get more sharpness, to fine tune, to see and hear more clearly what my body and my intuition already knows is to talk it out. And oftentimes I talk it out in two ways, either driving in the car alone, of course, or walking in nature. And I can tell you that the nature is much, much, much more powerful for me. And there’s a really fun story I have for you around that. Now I want to not forget to make a side note that I believe this is such a strong mechanism for me in a positive way to become more clear because I’m a very verbal individual, right?

I mean, podcasting, some people might do better with writing. If you’re like a voracious writer. Like if I sit down with a beautiful pen and a notebook, it’s just still not coming out of me. But if I just get in the car, go for a long drive, start talking it out or go for a beautiful walk through the mountains of Vermont. It comes in. And I think it’s because, and the driving works, but I think the nature works a lot better for me because obviously I’m not driving. So I’m not as needing to be as present with what’s going on there on the road. And I’m just able, when I’m walking in nature to relax my mind and connect to the energetic vibrations around me in a much, much, more powerful way. So believe it or not. And I may have shared tidbits of this before.

It was probably around this time. Last year, I was really in a transition. I had been doing hardcore consulting work, really heads down on some big projects and was quite exhausted and started to realize, one, that I wanted to get back behind the mic and two, that I needed to make some shifts in the type of work I was doing or who I was doing the work with. And I just had no clarity of course, and lots of brain fog around what it was that I needed to do next because I have a lot of options available to me. I have a lot of business building experience, a lot of consulting experience for other businesses. I have a ton of coaching experience for leaders and it wasn’t quite clear how to bring all that together in a juicy, fun way that would light me up, help me grow, stretch, and want to get out of bed in the morning, honestly.

And I think it’s important to talk about that process besides the mechanisms that I can teach you around clarity, it’s important for you to realize that things just don’t happen easily like this. This is a process. It’s almost like the peeling of the onion is such a great metaphor for why wanting to gain more and move in a new direction. So many of us feel stuck, whether that’s stuck in an unhappy relationship, stuck in a soul sucking nine to five job, you know, stuck, stuck, stuck. And we so desperately, I think as human beings, move through these seasons where we need to make shifts and we’re waiting so desperately for the clarity before we take action. And we’re using that brain fog that we’ve created, that mechanism, right? Like, Oh, I don’t have clarity. I’m all foggy.

Every time I get quiet, every time I take a walk, go for a drive, and start talking it out, insights start coming to me and they will come for you as well. Share on X

So, that’s a way that we’re holding ourselves back. I’ve done this and I’ve moved myself out of it. And so can you, but I just want to call that out, but this isn’t something that’s like easier for me or comes naturally. This is a lot of experience over time, really doing what I’m describing to you, which is very uncomfortable of taking the time to go within, to work on my mental gym, you know, work out at my mental gym and to truly place trust within myself and this brain fog shows up in so many sneaky little ways. And so, I want to call that out for you, too, it’s a mechanism that really offers us an excuse for not taking action. It offers us an excuse for some people between what they see as true and false in this world.

It’s a mechanism for others between what they are attaching to right and wrong. But certainly for all of us, it’s a mechanism that holds us back and keeps us safe. So the opposite of that, or one of the ways as I mentioned, that I’ve learned for myself to start dialing in the sharpness to see and hear more clearly that deep knowing within and to trust that is to talk it out. And so last year, when I was wanting to find more clarity about what might be happening for me next, I would go walking alone. And in the woods on the path, look at the beautiful mountains talk and I would talk to the trees. And one day it was fascinating one day, because sometimes I just like might be saying a little bit of something in my head and one day after several walks, because I don’t want to make it sound like, Oh, I just go on a walk and I start talking and it all flows out again.

No, that would be great. I’m working on that. I’ll let you know when I get there and how to do that for yourself. But this one day I remember it really clearly. I actually wasn’t in the deep woods or anything. I was just on a paved path, beautiful path, looking at the mountains. I kind of talking to myself and all of a sudden I just started actually verbalizing out. People probably thought I was crazy, but verbalizing all of this information around, you know, a network and these podcasts and collaboration’s and helping other voices amplify. I mean, it was so powerful. I literally was thankful. I had brought my phone with me on the path and I started recording voice memos because it literally just started flowing out of me. I couldn’t have planned it. And it was so powerful and such a knowing.

I actually began to cry because the clarity, the dialing of it in was so fast and so powerful. And what I love about this is it might not show up that powerful right away for you. It doesn’t always for me, but every time, every time I get quiet, every time I take a walk, go for a drive and start talking it out, insights come to me and they will come for you as well. If you don’t push so hard, if you don’t look outside of you and seek answers from other others, but just continue to dial in the quality of, to sharpen what you’re able to see and hear.

It’s a very powerful mechanism to help you begin to release that brain fog in a very safe way, because ireally clarity is not an all or nothing. It’s just shades of gray and moving towards a lighter and lighter shade. If you want to think about it that way. So, I’m smiling because this is fabulous, for you as a leader. But I, I can imagine a team member coming in saying, I’m struggling. I’m stuck, right? I’m stuck. I’m not clear on how to handle this challenge that we’re having with a client, or I’m not clear on where to take this issue within our team. And I can hear you saying, you know, maybe the old way was, well, if you were clear, you know, what would the answer be? Right? Which can be a powerful question, but instead I can hear you say, why don’t you go for a drive? Why don’t you go for a walk in the woods and just talk it out and come back and let me know what you hear. They might look at you a little strange at first, but after they try it one or two times, I think they might begin to get it!

All right. The second mechanism for dialing in the quality of the sharpness for you to see and hear more clearly. And by the way, I know I’m repeating that quite a bit because I want to change how we think about clarity. I really want to help you make a shift from it being an all or nothing, and really start seeing those shades. So, the second one, if you’ve been following along and you’ve been able to listen to some of the other M Sessions will not be a shock to you. So, the second mechanism that I use when I’m struggling or really want to sink into the intuition is you got it, lady. Breathing.

Breathing gets you out of the past, it keeps you from thinking ahead, and it gets you into the present moment. Share on X

I’ve talked about this one a lot. Yes. Just simple breath work. Okay. So to catch everyone up here, the breathing does a couple of things. First of all, if you are consciously breathing and breathing fully, which means, breathing in, through the top of your head, bringing that breath into your chest, to your heart area, and then bringing that breath all the way down to your root chakra, deep into your belly, and then releasing it back up the opposite way. So one, two, through the head. Three, four into the heart, five, six deep into the belly and root chakra. And then back out one, two, three, four, five, six, okay. And releasing that breath up into the light and beautiful sky above you. When you do that, that conscious breathing, it takes you into the present moment. And the only way that you’re going to truly tap into hearing what your body has to say, and your intuition wants to tell you, is to be present.

It gets you out of the past. It keeps you from thinking ahead, if you’re like me a visionary, I’m always looking ahead and it gets you into the present moment. The other thing that it does for you. So, most of us, especially, I would like to believe I’m not completely in flight and fight mode. I’ve operated there for years and years and years. I mean, as a high performer and overworker, and you know, like constant achiever, like fight, fight, fight, and flight has been my go-to mode. So I’d like to believe that I’m out of that, but I know that I move into that space really, really quickly. And the thing about the conscious breathing is that it signals to your body when you’re consciously breathing. You’re in the present moment, you’re taking full breaths at signals to the body, to your adrenals that you are. And my goodness, if you’re not feeling safe, there is no way you’re going to be able to dial in that sharpness. Right. You’re not going to be able to see and hear more, more clearly.

Yeah. If you truly, truly want to get clarity, begin to get clarity and the fog, you’ve got to move yourself into a place of conscious breathing. Now, I have a really fun story for you around this. So the walk in the woods, right? Well, I was now well on my way into the development and concepts for this show. She’s Talking Back. And the main challenge was, or where I was really struggling was to get clarity on the show name.

I was really pushing hard because, by the way, if you don’t have the show name, there’s a lot of things you can’t do, right. You can’t develop cover art for the show. You can’t communicate very effectively to potential guests, what it is you’re doing, because you don’t even have a show name. So, I was really wanting to get clarity and honestly pushing, pushing quite a bit. Wordsmithing when I’m trying to come up with a title or something like that. A lot of times I’ll look at the Thesaurus and start wordsmithing, and that was not working one bit at all. So I distinctly remember being in Lake Tahoe and having done some healing type of work for myself, with one of my coaches.

And she said to me, I believe what you’re looking for, you know, that quality of the sharpness is going to be much more easy to see and hear within the next several hours. And I was like, what? Okay. Next several hours. So I am like, okay, let’s see, my tendency is to want to work on it, right. To get out my pen and paper at a wordsmith at more, she said, it’s coming. So I need to, and I said, Nope, Nope. Let me take a pause. What is it that I need to do to gain the clarity that I seek? I’m going to breathe it out. I’m laughing at myself as I tell you this story. So, I’m literally, you know, sitting in the hotel room, looking out at these beautiful mountains, I had so much gratitude for a really great room view. And I was sitting on the bed, sitting up, and I just started to do the conscious breathing.

Whatever would come to me, would be correct. Share on X

And I know that you want me to tell you that it just popped into my head while I was sitting there breathing, but it didn’t. And what I believe happened with the breath work was that it really calmed me down. It really calmed me down, helped my body to understand that I didn’t need to be push, push, push, push, and that I was safe. I was in the present moment and that whatever would come to me would be correct. And the thing about the conscious breathing is, I mean, ideally if you could do it every single breath, every single day, that’s a little bit more mental gym work, but after sitting there for some time and not quite having any sort of answer come to me, I just made it a point during the afternoon as I was going for a walk grabbing lunch, just to take some really deep breaths, to remind myself, to stay present and trust. And guess what, She’s Talking Back popped into my head like a freight train, and I am not joking. I am not joking. And I knew in that moment that that was it. It was so strong. It was so rooted. It was so certain, it was so powerful that sharpness just dialed in. And I knew, and I trusted. And I took action.

And I want to smile very rightly at myself, because I just gave you another kind of mechanism process that I use, which is it came to me. I heard it, I trusted it. And I took action. That’s really important because if you’re not going to trust it and take action, it’s almost like a slap in the face to the universe. And to yourself. The key here for our session today is the hearing it, right? It’s creating the ability. It’s using the two mechanisms that I had the intention of highlighting for you today to create the clarity, despite the fog, it is talking it out and breathing. And within that, those two very simple concepts lie, powerful, powerful messages that your intuitive body, spirit, mind, whatever you want to call, it knows.

And I’ll just add to that. Once you create the opportunity to hear, it’s the trust and the action that are so, so, so very important. And you’ve heard leaders on this show talk about that quite a bit. We’ve talked about intuition week after week after week, it’s described in different ways by the women, but what they’re really talking is trusting, like hearing it, trusting it, taking action on it.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Beautiful lady for tuning in today, joining me and creating and being in the space to offer you more clarity within the fog. I really truly believe that we need to, or I would love to see a movement, a shift around how we feel and think about the word clarity. Because as I mentioned, every single one of us, it’s part of the human experience to be walking around with this brain fog, attaching our stories to it, allowing it to hold us back from seeing more clearly hearing more clearly, really having a quality of the sharpness of what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing so that we can trust and take action. And it can be as simple as these two mechanisms I’ve offered you today. So, what I am going to ask of you, because I am certain that a 100% of us struggle with this.

It’s not unique to just certain people. It is with certainty that I say 100% of humans walking around, struggle with this. And I would like to offer up a tool or two or three or four around helping release that brain fog, moving within the shades of gray, to something that is a little bit more sharp, something more easy to see and hear for yourself so that you can take inspired action. So the action I would like to ask you to take today is to just share this with one person, share this with one person so that they can find a little bit more sharpness in their day and begin to raise above that brain fog. All right, beautiful lady. We will talk to you soon.

About Michelle McGlade

Michelle McGlade

Award-winning woman in business and best selling author, Michelle McGlade began podcasting in 2015 for the love of uncovering the story behind the story.

The Modern Leader’s Maven, Michelle believes success is an inside out game and leadership of self is the key to building teams and unlocking the next level growth in business and life.

She is the Founder & CEO of Evolutionize Media, a podcast network and consultancy bringing to life voices of modern leaders and innovative organizations by aligning strategy, development, launch planning and production for new and rebranded podcasts.

With over 200 interviews under her belt from her first podcast Making the Maven, Michelle’s newest podcast, She’s Talking Back, features conversations with women leaders on leveraging intuition, holding yourself back, and what it really takes to create the success you desire.

Michelle’s work has been featured by Microsoft, Thrive Global, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and beyond and she’s slayed the stage at organizations such as Autodesk, eWomen Network and Deluxe Financial Services.

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