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Listen to Your Body and Discover Your Zone of Genius

Season 1, Episode 48

caneel executive coach

I'm a social scientist who helps people break out of the invisible traps and make whole-life changes easily and naturally.

Listening to my Body to Discover My Zone of Genius

Looking at me when I was a 25-year-old you’d think I was really a model of health. On the outside, I looked very fit, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with the world ahead of me. I was living with my new fiance and working on my Ph.D. at Berkeley.  

Yet at the time I couldn’t even walk down the street holding a single piece of paper in my hand. My back and all of my skin were inflamed, my nerves ached down my legs, and I couldn’t feel my feet. 

I was going to doctor after doctor and getting a lot of advice, and none of it was working. I eventually reached a point where I couldn’t do what I used to be able to do. 

During this difficult period, my husband and I moved to Amsterdam. The cold combined with my chronic pain felt miserable. I felt lost and frustrated. 

I started looking for something I could do just to get my body moving like I used to. There was a little dance studio across the street from our super old apartment, and I met the Pilates instructor there who invited me to come in one day.

That instructor and pilates changed my life. 

Pilates taught me how to feel my own body again. There were so many parts of my body I had not been aware of, there were so many parts I had learned to ignore.

I started going every single time they had a lesson, and it was gradually giving me this sense of where my center was. 

In pilates, integrity describes aligning and strengthing your body inward. The muscles around your ribs knit in so that your ribs are not flared out and splayed, which is what gets your back into all sorts of weird positions. You center your ribs around your spine, holding your body tall and in place.

As I became more centered and strong in my integrity in Pilates, I became more centered and strong in my integrity in my own life.

I began recognizing what was working and what was not working in my own life, in a way that was not at all crisp or clear before. 

Pilates gave me a window of time and the space I needed to assess what was working for me and what wasn’t. 

How Integrity Changed My Life

Pilates was the start of me waking up and understanding integrity isn’t about me stretching or loosening up. Integrity is about holding myself together and standing tall. 

My body had been screaming at me, desperately trying to teach me the most important lesson of my life. 

I had physical pain, and I got there because I wasn’t listening to my own body, mind, and heart. I was listening to voices of self-judgment, and to the idea, I needed to be something I wasn’t to be what I thought I wanted to be. 

I believed I needed to change myself and shove down my true being to have what I thought I wanted and needed to have. 

In reality, I needed to stay in my center. I needed to stop stretching out into all these directions, which was just me contorting myself into a shape I thought the world wanted me to be, but not who I truly am. 

I realized I was saying yes when I needed to say no. I wasn’t listening to my Whole Body Yes, which includes my head, heart, and body all aligning in agreement. 

Integrity is a process. You start by getting centered and doing one thing that makes a little difference, and then you can recognize what else can make a difference, and slowly, little by little, things start getting cleared up and cleaned up.

By committing to living in integrity you can live inflow, and learn to succeed without suffering.


About this episode:

Your body can teach you important information about yourself, your leadership, and your lifestyle. Gain wisdom about what you need and truly want by listening to your body.

Throughout this episode, learn how living outside of integrity can result in both physical and mental fatigue. Suffering is not necessary for your success. Hear how integrity can not only end your suffering but empower you to live and lead sustainably by guiding you to your Zone of Genius.

More About…

  • How to Find Your Zone of Genius (Free On-Demand Webinar): Watch Caneel’s free on-demand webinar walking you through the process of identifying your Zones of Being, as well as the Be, Do, Have exercise. When you signup to watch the on-demand workshop, you will automatically all of the free tools below!
  • The Four Zones of Being Diagram (Free Download): Use Caneel’s diagram to figure out your four Zones of Being – your Zone of Incompetence, Zone of Competence, Zone of Excellence, and Zone of Genius.
  • 5 Steps to Living in Your Genius (Free Download): With this practical 5 step checklist process, you will begin to move forward on the path of actually living 70% of your time in your Zone of Genius.
  • Daily Energy Audit (Free Download): Become aware of what tasks drain you and give you life with this daily energy audit.
  • Discover your Restorative Zone of Genius Worksheet (Free Download):  Follow these steps to find your Restorative Zone of Genius and take action on creating space to restore like a rockstar!
  • The Zone of Genius Mind Map (Free Download): See how you can integrate your Zone of Genius into all areas of your life by examining your Community, Gifts, Quality of Life, and Impact.
  • Emotional Intelligence Chart (Free Download): Understand what your body is truly telling you about your deep-rooted emotional state with this easy to use diagram.
  • The Be, Do, Have Exercise (Free Download): Get insight and guidance so you can identify the areas of your life where you have an opportunity to step more fully into your own power as a leader. It can be applied to your life as a whole or to one domain of your life (e.g., work, romantic life, health, parenting.)
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