High Vibe Life: Barbara Badolati
This month I had the opportunity to sit down with Life Coach and creator of the Blissful Business Mentorship Program, the dynamic Barbara Badolati. Barbara truly is Bliss in Motion, guiding others toward greater health and happiness. She also extends her 30+ years of business and marketing savvy to other coaches and wellness professionals so that they, too, can thrive doing what they love.
I thought Barbara would be a fantastic professional to chat with for the inaugural monthly High Vibe Life feature because, truth be told, she’s one of the most sincere, zestful, and high-vibe people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.
I’ve met a lot of life coaches in my time but there’s just something special about Barbara that stands out to me and I couldn’t wait to ask her some burning questions I’ve had brewing in my head. Read on to see what she has to say about creating a blissful life full of balance, joy, and mindfulness.
Sarah Farris: What's the biggest mistake you see people make when they're trying to infuse more bliss into their lives?
Barbara Badolati: Defining bliss is really important for people--I equate it to joy. Be clear with what brings you joy each day. We get too involved with the big picture and don’t know what makes us happy. Finding what makes you happy is an inside job; from the time we’re little we’re being told what we should be happy or joyful about and don’t get the space to figure it out on our own.
Focus on the little things and bask in them. Enjoy the feeling of your sheets if you’re in bed, the trees around you if you’re outside, etc. Get clear on what makes you happy and what makes you joyful. Start with gratitude--what do you appreciate and why? Sinking into gratitude changes your vibration and joy factor. If you don’t know where to start, really focus on the why of what it is that you think brings you joy.
Give yourself at least an hour of pleasure every day--break it into 15-minute components--it doesn’t have to be a consecutive hour. Maybe there’s an article or magazine you want to look at for a few minutes that you otherwise wouldn't make time for. Go get a massage, take a bath--it’s different for everyone. Ask yourself what will bring you peace, joy, and bliss. Break it down into small, measurable, easy things. And experiment!
SF: I know you believe that bliss starts with a mindful practice. Tell me about your morning or evening routine.
BB: My day begins the night before. I've learned to turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed. I light candles and do yoga or gentle stretching. The yoga/stretching allows my body to release tension and my mind to review the day, which then flows into meditating or listening to a guided visualization. Sometimes I'll journal or read, and I always like to recognize the endless "blissings" I am grateful for.
SF: Can a mindful practice be done in as little as five minutes for those of us who have hectic schedules and limited free time?
BB: Here’s an easy way I created a mindfulness practice: I turned off music or stimulation in my car and started with my 20-minute commute in the morning. I choose to turn it off and focus on my breathing and what I was thinking. There are a lot of things you can do that are layered on what you’re already doing. Maybe for one meal a week, turn off stimulation (TV, phone, computer) and focus on your food. Even if it’s a smoothie and you’re on the run, focus on how it feels going into your body. The idea is to start with things you are already doing because if it doesn’t feel manageable, you’re not going to stick to it.
There are also so many wonderful apps that you can use whether it’s for meditation, gratitude, mindfulness, etc.
SF: You've mentioned that your former sense of perfectionism was one of the channels that lead to your own rock bottom. How do you manage that piece of you today?
BB: Ha! Yes! My Mantra is: "It doesn't really matter.” Awareness is the key to choices, right? When I become aware that I'm spending too much time on something, or it isn't a priority, or asking myself, what's the R.O.I. of my time/energy/resources, I can usually regain perspective and move on.
I do have a real ambition and I’m older, so I can feel that time is all relative, yet I have a desire to do and experience more. But, I’m also more mindful of what’s important to me. I have a different aspect of balance. I’ve noticed what is important to me and I don’t sweat the small stuff. If there’s a real conflict, I step back and tell myself it doesn’t really matter. What matters is for me to be as joyful as possible, to be aware of all the things I am grateful for.
It important to ask yourself if you want to be right or do you want to be happy. I also have to remember to trust other people to do what they think is right. Does it matter to have this conflict with someone and be right because I want to be right? I’m not saying to always keep the peace just because--there are times it’s important to speak up and take a firm stance--but it’s a balancing act to stay in integrity with who you are.
SF: Is it really possible to achieve a balanced life?
BB: I use the Wellness Wheel and the Wheel of Livelihood for myself and clients as it is nice to have an overview of various areas of our lives--this can guide us in creating balance. Yet, I've also experienced that daily joy or "bliss" can keep us balanced in all aspects of our lives.
SF: Tell me more about this wheel--what is it and why is it so helpful?
BB: The Wellness Wheel is the wheel of life. There are different categories you assess in your own life: Friends and family, significant other, personal growth, fun and leisure, home, career, money, and health. People rate themselves and because it’s a wheel, they can pencil it in and move throughout the wheel assessing different areas of life and how they’re doing in each category. It ends up illustrating a different pattern and it helps people to see an area that is lacking and where to focus. As an example, some people love their profession but aren’t happy about their income and want to focus on the finances or accounting.
Where our intention is, that’s where our energy flows and where things start to show up.
As a coach, I know the client is capable and has the answers within them--they are already complete and whole. I help them determine what’s the most meaningful to them and they get to determine where they want to go. This gives us juice for joy--that internal inspiration that moves us forward--and that’s empowering.
I recently heard a yoga teacher say, “It’s not about proving yourself, it’s about improving yourself.” I love this because we don’t really have to do anything--it’s about being who we are, which is love.
SF: What's a misconception about the life coaching industry you'd love to dispel?
BB: Coaching moves us forward versus something like therapy that moves us into our past; coaching is action-oriented. Usually, a life coach can encompass most things on a personal basis, although there's a lot of specific types of professional coaches. Life coaches are more like generalists.
Life coaching is interesting in that you may think you’re going towards one thing and something else emerges that is ready to be looked at. If you’re not really sure what to do or where to go, you’ll get to the underlying issue. I've had people come to me for weight loss and we thought that’s what we were going after, but it turned out there was something deeper that needed to be addressed first.
There’s a true benefit to a life coach that will bring about something the client might not know otherwise. Life coaches can also refer out--I’ve referred potential clients to other coaches when I feel like we’re not a good fit. You have to remember that life coaching is a partnership between the client and coach--you need to find someone you really connect with. Therapy can absolutely have a purpose, but the inner work that comes with the guidance of a good life coach can really propel you to move forward.
There’s a quote by Helen Keller that comes to mind when I think about life coaching: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” There is a great benefit to looking at where you want to go and being in the moment.
SF: What are you working on right now? What bliss can we expect from you in 2018?
BB: I'm observing that more people are drawn to the profession of coaching, yet many lack the know-how of what to do after they receive their credentialing. Therefore, I'm providing business mentorship for coaches and wellness professionals. This year I'll be putting dozens of components together in a membership e-course, as well as working with individuals who want the guidance, expertise, and knowledge to get started with their business or take it to the next level, and beyond!
Thirty years ago when I got into this profession there weren't a lot of jobs--I created this business based on being employed. I’ve been coaching for 20 years and it’s continued to evolve. I got my first Mac in 1987 and I have learned everything about marketing, negotiating, business, obtaining clients, and creating a thriving livelihood. Moving two years ago from Michigan and starting over in Seattle I implemented all of this. Since being out in Seattle, I’ve seen that people don't know how to create that livelihood. You need to love what you do but you also need to be smart about how you do it.
I’ve started this new chapter where I can impart my decades of experience, knowledge, and mistakes, so people don’t have to fall on their face and throw in the towel--it doesn’t have to be like that. Now more than ever in this Aquarian Age, we're here to have more joy and bliss--that’s what life is meant to be. I want those yoga teachers, coaches, and acupuncturists in the wellness industry to be successful because the world needs them. If their business is thriving, they, too, can help others around them. I feel very blessed that I’ve had 30+ years of experience in this industry.
I still am offering life coaching for people not in the wellness industry in addition to the business mentorship. I’m planning an online course that’s entry level for people who are more budget-conscious but still want to eat from the proverbial wellness buffet. Then I can also work with people 1:1--I have a business checklist that we’ll go through in an individual session just to kick things off.
I also do wonderful retreats--I have a health retreat March 10-15 in Baja, Mexico--I have ten slots available and it’s a complete detox. There will be lots of rest, treatments, mediation--all on the Pacific Ocean. If you are interested, you can go to the web or call me (note from Sarah: Barbara’s contact info is included at the bottom of this interview!). I love phone calls!
If someone wants a sample session it’s $75 for 50 minutes. It’s a coaching session--it’s not me selling my services (another note from Sarah: You are crazy to not take advantage of this. Barbara lit more ideas on fire for me in 50 minutes than I had collectively in a year)--so that we can experience coaching together and both see if it’s a good fit for future work. Anyone who reads this needs to know this information came into their lives for a reason--follow the breadcrumbs!