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Amy McCae

"How Mindfulness practices and Emotional Intelligence promote Greater Well-Being and Resilience for Healthcare providers and others with Amy McCae."

Video Transcript

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[00:00:06.570] – Laura Cicholski

I am Laura Cicholski, I was the host of the stress relief series for health care providers. Now we are transitioning over to a new podcast. It’s the finding balance in your business, career, finances, Health and Life podcast. Today, we are super thrilled to have Amy McCae as our special guest. Amy McCae helps industry leaders have more fun with family and friends without costing them productivity in their work. She started her business after spending nearly a decade ill with chronic diseases until finally finding relief through fitness, nutrition and meditation.

[00:00:45.030] – Laura Cicholski

Amy holds over 16 certifications in the fields of mind and body wellness and is passionate about healing and helping others live intentionally. She offers mindfulness based coaching, corporate training and intuitive energy work. Amy, thank you so much for being here today. It’s great to have you. How are you?

[00:01:04.290] – Amy McCae

I’m fabulous. Thank you for having me, Laura.

[00:01:06.390] – Laura Cicholski

I appreciate you so much. Well, very impressive. All these certifications you have. And I really want to hear about your story, because I know when we talked originally before  the setting up this interview you had told me about, we’ve talked about the importance of health care providers and they do have to prescribe medicines for their patients. But then we also talked about the fact that there are some complementary therapies and different things. Right. That people can take in addition to be even healthier and sometimes they can get off their medications.

[00:01:32.850] – Laura Cicholski

We’re not advocating for that. But sometimes you find maybe you can use less medication, just be healthier all around. So tell us about your story a little bit. So interesting, I’m sure.

[00:01:41.520] – Amy McCae

So I actually did spend my entire life wanting to be a doctor until my mom died. She died when I was 20 of cancer and saw her die.

[00:01:50.220] – Laura Cicholski


[00:01:50.850] – Amy McCae

It was it was it was traumatic. So I just didn’t have any and have any desire to do in the medical field anymore. And after she died, I just went a whole lot of different directions and I ended up diagnosed with fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome. There was a day my oldest is 18 and when she was a baby, I was too sick to take care of her. I just started searching for answers and I found really cool things and I got a personal trainer.

[00:02:22.320] – Amy McCae

So I started working out. I started I found a doctor who had left her traditional practice and was doing some more natural stuff. She helped me figure out a totally different diet called a modified Lunesta, which got rid of. I had no idea the crap that was in my food. She helped me get some stuff, some supplements sort of stuff. I started doing some I got Bruntlett, meditation type stuff and and lots of things. And so I felt so much better.

[00:02:46.320] – Amy McCae

Even after 30 days. I did this diet for like 30 days. I feel completely, but I feel better than I had in like eight years or something. So that helped. I also had made some connections to some things I knew while I was breastfeeding that I had felt better than I did prior to breastfeeding. I knew that when I ate certain foods, like it’s bizarre, like I remember eating. I thought I was doing something healthy. It would be late afternoon.

[00:03:11.250] – Amy McCae

I would have crackers and cheese and fruit as a snack. Well, I would get angry within 20 minutes of eating it. And I started doing research on how your food impacts your brain chemistry and things. Well, it was crap food, you know, the box of whatever, crackers, whatever, and fake cheese and, you know, pesticide filled fruit. And so my body didn’t on it. So you have to learn to tune into tune into that.

[00:03:36.030] – Amy McCae

So that was the those were the little things along the way that were just like whatever. And I became so passionate about it because my life was so there were all these little things happening in my life was becoming so different. And I was studying all these things. So I thought, well, I’m just going to start getting certificates. And fitness had become so important to me that that was the first certification I got. I was a training certificate and just one thing led to another.

[00:03:59.340] – Amy McCae

I mean, sure, I was I really enjoyed it. And I did some things on nutrition and energetic healing and meditation, stuff that my passion is really mind body wellness, OK, mind body was so most things now in the last multiple certifications have been mindfulness based stuff, OK? Because of the neuroscience, I mean, partially because of the if it proves something and because we’re such a driven society and I think some of the reasons I wasn’t healthy was because I was so driven and a perfectionist and that I needed to develop self-awareness and be able to make conscious choices.

[00:04:35.220] – Amy McCae

And I don’t do it properly. I still I’m very, very human. But I know that my teaching, it makes me always come back to that. I want to be authentic so I can’t be telling people to live a life that would be awful.

[00:04:48.100] – Laura Cicholski

So exactly how do you talk about the not smoking and stuff in doing the meditation? You have to be doing that. That yeah. Walking that walk. Right. Yeah, it comes down to the honesty, which is good. I’m sure you are. Well, you bring up some really good points, Amy, and sorry about your whole story. It’s so hard, but it’s like it’s it’s probably made you the wonderful person you are today. Right.

[00:05:06.270] – Laura Cicholski

And you know what I mean. And down the path and the great mom that you are, your kids and great sister and friend of your friends. But it’s so interesting. I remember we were talking a little bit about earlier and how sometimes if your body you talked about self awareness of many other things to talk about. But if you don’t take the time to do self awareness and these wonderful our audience, the wonderful health care providers that have done such a great job over the past year, thank them so much for taking care of patients.

[00:05:30.420] – Laura Cicholski

You’re right. If they are so busy, obviously, with families and their friends and their personal life and and their work life, and they’re doing an amazing job if they or any of us don’t take the time for self awareness. You brought up a good point that it will make you stop in your tracks, right?

[00:05:45.330] – Amy McCae

Yeah. If you don’t, how do we say. I said if you don’t, you don’t stop. It’ll be fine. Your body will decide it for you.

[00:05:53.980] – Laura Cicholski

Exactly. Which is so true. It’s so I know it’s so true. And so what’s so exciting to think about kind of how your story has changed. It sounds like now you’ve kind of gotten out of the path where you weren’t didn’t feel as healthy, you couldn’t get out of bed, and now you seem very healthy. Now, the neuroscience and I’ve interviewed other speakers about neuroscience, which is so neat. Now, you’ve talked a little bit about where chatting originally, the rewiring of the brain, talking about better creativity, better productivity, different things, happier, less stressed.

[00:06:23.610] – Laura Cicholski

Can you talk a little bit more about that, like the connection and because I mean, that sounds great. Like we all want those things. It seems like, you know, how do we get that? Right. Right. Right.

[00:06:31.710] – Amy McCae

Well, it it seems magical. And I mean, it it is sort of magical is also very much so scientific advice to the neuroscience aspect of it. We know essentially we know that there are nine aspects of well-being that are developed through mindfulness based practices. So what happens is when you do something and if you see my hand still has the best, you gleam on YouTube. He has like like two minutes to, like hour long videos kind of go into detail on this.

[00:07:01.110] – Amy McCae

But if you imagine this was your brainstem and then your amygdala is a part of your brain right here, it’s it’s in the reptilian, the very ancient part of your brain. And it’s the part of your brain responsible for the fight flight or freeze response. OK, so you’re stuck here. That’s why when you’re stressed and stuck and we always say it comes in handy. Right? I mean, sometimes you need to be pushed into overdrive a little bit, but so that’s the part of remeasure that being here.

[00:07:25.260] – Amy McCae

And if you hold your hand over, this is your cortex, which is right here and right here. Right here is your prefrontal cortex. Well, this is yje part of the brain that’s all higher levels of thinking. This is visionary leadership. This is activity. This is intuition. This is conscious thinking. This is morale. And we had talked about in psychology, it’s referred to as fact labeling, effectively  that we know that when you start naming what you’re feeling like, name the emotion, OK?

[00:07:54.000] – Amy McCae

It deactivates this and allows you access to this part of your brain, your cortex. If you’re stuck in this, you can’t get here. It’s not possible. Like it’s for lack of a better word, it’s like a short circuit. But the practice of doing that, coming back to it, coming back to it, practice of mindful community of constantly deactivating this.   Let’s think of it as being emotionally reactive compared to consciously choosing. That’s OK. Let’s think about how many times we sent a text or an email or something will matter like even or hot or cold or whatever it was.

[00:08:27.690] – Amy McCae

It was it was an emotionally charged reaction. Take a couple of breaths. These things that are like common sense, but it’s easier to point practice. Exactly. Does over time retrain your brain to operate differently.

[00:08:42.480] – Laura Cicholski

That’s so cool. So if I could ask a quick clarifying questions, I love that song with your amygdala and I’ve heard that that’s kind of the emotional part of your brain. I know I learned that in PA school, but it’s interesting because when you when you said name that emotion is meditation, mindfulness, is that almost like naming that emotion?

[00:08:59.200] – Amy McCae

It’s mindful because you’re tuning in to what’s going on. OK, yeah, and we have here’s the thing with mindfulness is this big buzzword and there’s a lot of like the true mindfulness means that you were just aware, like you are aware of what’s going on and you’re OK with it. And there are qualities that will being of mindfulness that that’s what we’re trying to incorporate. But the actual practice of mindfulness. Yoga and meditation is just this heightened state of awareness that.

[00:09:37.230] – Amy McCae

Yeah, it’s a mental basically meditation’s or mental practices that lead to a heightened state of awareness. Mindfulness is just one of them, mindfulness based care that you can practice one. Yeah, so that’s what we call where the term mindfulness meditation comes from. So there’s mindfulness over here. There’s meditation and there’s mindfulness meditation, but there are different ways to do it.

[00:09:56.190] – Amy McCae

But the technicalities don’t. Right now, all the technicalities are just do something in mindfulness stuff is the naming, the emotion. Loving, kind of like sending loving kindness to yourself or to others, keeping body scans, gratitude, those are probably the like the hard core for lack getting are not really hard core, but they’re like the centimeter over the meat of it. Yeah. Yeah. Those sorts of things. And it’s because it cultivates compassion and self care and conscious leadership just does that.

[00:10:32.220] – Amy McCae

So I don’t really – to me. I like to pick whatever you want, just do something and kind of make a choice and do one of them. I know. I love that. Will you.

[00:10:40.350] – Laura Cicholski

I was trying to get after because you said the naming the motion kind of can help that your prefrontal be in charge again. So I get it now. So it’s not anything like a mindfulness or meditation helps you to name that emotion. And I like what you talked about because I think I had heard in some people years ago talk about, oh, it’s all mind over matter.

[00:10:56.550] – Laura Cicholski

Just forget it. You got it. I mean, like your but when you really try to do that, have you ever tried to forget about something that bothers you? It seems like it gets better.

[00:11:05.040] – Amy McCae

It is what you resist persists. That is my phrase, like what is this? And for me and like is with like a vengeance, because then what happens is you tune in to like emotional intelligence is a lot more depth than just any emotion. That’s just the start of it. If you sit there and say, OK, I feel whatever and you learn how to tune into your body, you’ll be like, oh my gosh, like my heart hurts or my throat feels dry or my right knee hurts or there’s a color yellow over here.

[00:11:36.120] – Amy McCae

Like there’s they’re alive. Like there’s this very vividness of emotions in your body. Right. But until you tune in, we do mindful schools of California. I have their K through five and six through 12 program I did about five years ago. And they in the very beginning of the the high school program, the older kids program, we do as she and I do it with adults all the time and incorporations they she called my feeling. So I sit and everybody closes her eyes and we get relaxed.

[00:12:01.770] – Amy McCae

And then I named these these emotions, these feelings. And people tune into them and they’re always like, oh my gosh, I had no idea, like, I could feel this up here in the or whatever. And it proves that it’s that they’re alive and and they are impacting your physical body. So that means they have the capacity to impact your physical health. Right?

[00:12:21.840] – Laura Cicholski

Exactly. For sure.

[00:12:23.070] – Amy McCae

And we want to make friends with them in mindfulness. We say inviting it in for tea because what you resist persists. So you’ve got to make friends with it. You’ll be like, why am I feeling that way? What’s going on? I always just say, be kind and be curious, because if you could treat yourself that way and people get judgmental about their emotions and I’m like, why would you do that to a five year old kid? Or I’m like to a child.

[00:12:44.520] – Amy McCae

So treat emotions like you will a child and they won’t they will control your world so much, you know, that you’re going to just be kind of curious. You can’t be like, oh, that’s stupid, or why do you feel that way? Or just shut up. That’s not whatever. That that’s the stuff we tell ourselves, right? That doesn’t matter. That’s not important. How could I be mad about that? I shouldn’t be mad about that.

[00:13:03.000] – Laura Cicholski

Actually. Move on right on to the next step.

[00:13:05.550] – Amy McCae

Yeah. You don’t need to do this. You should be doing that. Don’t do it like we discount it, throw it under the rug and then it wreaks havoc on your body. It doesn’t go away in your mind. Yeah. Interferes with your relationships , interferes with your work.

[00:13:16.860] – Laura Cicholski

So exactly. It could be anything in life with your kids relationships or anything like that. Oh my gosh. That’s so interesting how you talk about all that. I love the your tips now. Emotional intelligence. Let’s dove a little bit more into that and then I think you’re going to lead us through like, ah, do you feel comfortable leading us to a mini mindfulness practice? OK, perfect. Absolutely awesome. So yeah, emotional intelligence and I do my stress relief series.

[00:13:37.110] – Laura Cicholski

I had had a person that was on there and he had talked a little bit more about it through improv. But tell us a bit more about emotional intelligence and how it relates to stress relief or wellbeing for health care providers and everyone else.

[00:13:48.150] – Amy McCae

Sure. So basically the simplest definition of emotional intelligence is understanding your own emotions and no one understand your own emotions as well as someone else’s. And to be able to make decisions based on that. So take the example of a nurse or a doctor walks into a patient’s let’s just take a hospital setting, for example, or even like a clinical traditional political doctor’s office. You before you walk into that room, if you stopped and paused to take a couple of mindful breaths, you’re going to choose a different response.

[00:14:16.380] – Amy McCae

That’s emotional intelligence. Or if you pause with that patient and you’re like tuning into your body when you understand empathy, you’ll understand your feeling they’re feeling and make a decision based off that. So empathy is knowing what the other person’s feeling. And here’s what happens when your empathy is what allows you to feel compassion. And compassion is what drives you to act, because it’s our compassion and love. We know that they’re hurting. We want to do something about it.

[00:14:44.310] – Amy McCae

So when a doctor or nurse or health care profession, empathy is you want to like, know what they’re feeling, but you don’t want to mesh with yours and get those mixed up. And that’s what happens in health care fields a lot as you can no longer separate their pain from your pain. I do it as simple as like when I’m sitting with a client, I sit and since my hands and feet so that I can keep my awareness of myself, to myself and Birute, or since my core, I do those things to sense exactly mine to that I still know what they’re thinking and feeling of what’s going on with them without admission of mine.

[00:15:20.180] – Amy McCae

So, OK, doctors and nurses, would you like to start practicing that so that they’re not taking on the emotions and illnesses and whatever feelings because you OK, grace, compassion and empathy. What you get mixed up and you work. You understand if you understand emotional boundaries. Then it’s totally different.

[00:15:45.550] – Laura Cicholski

OK, so empathy, because they’re often taught in my school, I know the providers are always taught to be very empathetic, but then you’re right. How do you separate your own emotions about the situation? Because we’re human, right? If someone else is hurting and the family members are brought into it. Joining me now with covid they’ve had to deal with over the last year, they’ve done such an amazing job. You’re right. How do you so with empathy, you have to learn, like you said, to separate your your own emotions about the situation from there.

[00:16:09.790] – Laura Cicholski

Is that right?

[00:16:10.660] – Amy McCae

You understand your emotions and what you need to do and you understand their emotions and how to be a best help to them that their pain is not yours

[00:16:19.060] – Laura Cicholski

How do you quickly, Amy, ground yourself then, when you’re talking with the client? Because like you said, you’re right, if you have is kind of put your own oxygen mask on first. Right. If you don’t play and something happened to the plane, you have to put our action aside. If you start hyperventilating and don’t put the mask on, you’re not going to be any help to you to think straight. Right. To help your kids or your family members around.

[00:16:38.590] – Amy McCae

You take a couple like mindful breathing. We know that again, when you’re stressed or anxious or whatever, that your parasympathetic. I was up in the middle. I couldn’t sleep last night, so I was doing my breathing to relax. Did it put me back to sleep? Oh, it took a while, but I still like I didn’t have my thoughts running all over the place. I wasn’t feeling anxious. So did it solved my problem completely?

[00:17:00.190] – Amy McCae

No, but it made it better. And I was able to have a restful hour that I was awake instead of a stressful hour.

[00:17:06.700] – Laura Cicholski

Just kind of could calm me down. And yet I’m even resting in bed. Sometimes not sleeping can be helpful versus running around and stressed about different things. So the empathy you try to like you said, if you do some mindful, so then what would they do? Like you talked about the breathing, but then if they’re trying to ground, is it putting their feet on the floor, their hands on the side of the chair, and you don’t need your extremities or the easiest?

[00:17:26.440] – Amy McCae

There’s a formal practice of a body scan that was actually became widely popular in the late 1970s. And they did a body scan to help you with anxiety and pain, pain. So a body scan is very useful to tune into your body so you can do this whole body scan, but your extremities are the easiest to sense. So, I mean, even right now, if you just sat and sensed your fingers and toes, do they feel prickly if you just feel a little tingly, particularly if you think about it,

[00:17:52.250] – Laura Cicholski

because that’s supposed to calm you down just by kind of feeling them and even driving my car.

[00:17:56.350] – Amy McCae

I feel anxious driving a car. So I don’t know why. I just I hate to drive. So I’ll semse my hands and my feet so that I can be more a safer driver and not feel anxious I’m driving. Or when my kids are in the car, I’ll get agitated with them because I feel anxious. So I’m like, if I set my hands and feet, helps me, not me, whatever. And then my core is just sense.

[00:18:17.230] – Amy McCae

I mean that sure. Powerhouse center of your being right is your core. So you just sense that those are things I do as well. You can do those anyways and nobody even knows like a grocery store line or something or at the bank. Right. And I do their easiest to implement all mindfulness based steps, easiest implement in a transition period. So I always say before checking your phone in, when everybody wakes up, looks on their phone, they’re on Facebook or checking their email right before you do that brief for two minutes or scan your body for a couple of minutes or send yourself some and kindness or.

[00:18:51.850] – Amy McCae

Yeah, just visualize your day how you want to feel during your day. I mean, that’s enough to kind of set the tone for your day. Right. And your day may not go perfectly, but you set the tone when you first wake up. You just it’s like you have this and there’s a bunch of science on this. You have the capacity to deal with the crap that happens just a little bit better. Life is going to happen like you’re not going to control everything, but you do have control how you respond.

[00:19:17.470] – Amy McCae

And if you’ve set your day up to understand like this, set something to be intentional and be mindful about. Right would ideally go how you’d ideally feel even when it doesn’t go well, you can be like, well, I’m still going to be all right,

[00:19:31.360] – Laura Cicholski

except that I can deal with it. I think you’re right because you set yourself up for the the calm reaction to it. Right. It’s positive, right. When something happens causing a little bit and it’s kind of like what you said, the empathy where you can a health care provider can go into a patient’s room and they can maybe before reacting right away, maybe they can step back and pause a minute, take a deep breath.

[00:19:49.930] – Laura Cicholski

Yeah. And then think about it. So what was the name of that guy or was it the facial something, facial training. You’ve said you implement something. I just could get the name of it.

[00:19:57.610] – Amy McCae

Mindfulness based, mindfulness based stress reduction that it’s M.B S.R. health care providers, obviously. And you’ll wake up to something in a minute.

[00:20:06.400] – Laura Cicholski

Super busy running from patient to patient. You talked a little bit more about because I know I have friends myself that they don’t do yoga. They’re big runners. So I know and I know my husband. I feel like you should do stress reduction stuff. He’s like, no, I don’t do that. I don’t do yoga mindfulness.

[00:20:19.300] – Laura Cicholski

But I think anyone could benefit from it. Even if they don’t want to do the traditional yoga. That’s fine. What do you think of based on a busy patient workday? How can they fit it in besides what you mentioned, the hands and feet.

[00:20:29.830] – Amy McCae

Well, like before, assuming that they stopped to eat at some point during a shift, it’s a great time to you could be grabbing  for food you could afford there’s aspects of being mindful, eating type stuff. There is, again, the acts of breathing before you eat the or after eat those any of those transition times, like when you know, as being a mom, sometimes there’s only time you have to lock the door and hide yourself sometimes in there.

[00:20:59.300] – Laura Cicholski


[00:21:00.310] – Laura Cicholski

That’s like a sanctuary. Yeah, exactly. That’s my secret. At home are the garage for just a minute. Exactly. I don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell my kids what we wont let our kids watch this interview though.

[00:21:11.580] – Amy McCae

So those times, like any of those transition times, break time, lunchtime, bathroom time, sitting down any sort of transition time is a good time to practice some aspect of mindfulness. It’s easy walking in like people always say, I don’t have time. I don’t have time to I don’t have time or lots of time and time and money. I always think I don’t have time invested or money to invest.

[00:21:36.500] – Laura Cicholski

Right, exactly. Yes. Before that time, you couldn’t simply pay attention. Mindful walking is a practice, so there’s a lot of ways to do it. But the beginning practice is to sense the bottoms of your feet when you’re walking. So when you’re walking from room to room since about your feet, how do they feel in your shoes? How do they touched with the floor? Are they warm? Are they cold? Like, there’s just very, very simple, you know, or walk when you’re walking down the hallway.

[00:22:02.380] – Laura Cicholski

What colors do you see that is brown? Like, it’s just mindless but mindful practice, just paying attention on purpose to what’s going on, which is so cool. And I can like you said, it can help your mental well-being, your overall health. And it sounded like it really helped you. So, you know, I mean, what kind of go from where you went to. Yeah. This kind of some of that. And those are simple steps.

[00:22:25.000] – Laura Cicholski

I mean, they may need medications to some of them, but less medications and be healthier.

[00:22:30.850] – Amy McCae

The medications, like I know people that can’t get off medication, but the side effects are like really, really causing a problem. So I know of someone that is going through cancer treatment and they want to do therapy. Well, maybe maybe that is their choice and there that’s their option. And they chose that. But they know they have these side effects. So there’s a lot of things. So it can help with dealing with the side effects. You live day to day, all day long in this body and you’re stuck in their heads.

[00:22:57.520] – Amy McCae

And we are people that we require human connection. We require at its simplest. You have to think, eat and move well at its simplest. Right. And it’s like that. Would I say eat? That’s nutrition. And that might mean supplements. It might mean it could be your skin care. Like I have allergic reactions. I can buy an ice cream and I was like can buy like might have more wrinkles now because it’s so dried out when I say eat well it’s nutrition as a whole, you know what I’m saying.

[00:23:26.660] – Amy McCae

Like that whole body care that could be skin care, that could be chemicals in your food, it could be food sensories, it could be supplements. whatever there is, that’s a big thing. And when I say move, well, maybe someone likes to lift weights and maybe some wants to run and maybe someone swims or plays tennis. It doesn’t matter. Just do it and do what you love, because if you’re going to stick to it and if you like, I’ve switched back and forth between yoga and lifting weights multiple times in my life.

[00:23:55.390] – Amy McCae

I don’t tend to like much.  I’ll try like anything else. So I’ll do those differently. What everybody needs. So do what you love and then you’ll actually do right. And then think, well, obviously there’s this awareness of knowing what you’re thinking and life coaching. We call it monkey mind because we always have these all wrapped thoughts, right? The stuff that they’re the blocks like when you start practicing mindfulness and sometimes it kind of sucks, to be honest, like you’d be like, oh my gosh, I had no idea.

[00:24:24.850] – Amy McCae

That’s really what I was walking around thinking all day. I should have, would have, could have been. I have a sheet that has a whole bunch, like if you’re blaming or justifying or all of these just things that we all do, that we’re all guilty of it. When you become aware of them, then you can change them. You can be like, is that real? Where do I do that? And like, just kind of you laugh a little bit about it.

[00:24:48.620] – Amy McCae

You not always at first, but after a while I would be like, oh yeah, I do that. And I do it more with this person or in this situation, I do it because I feel this way or because I was told I was supposed to do it this way, because all these reasons and that’s how you develop compassion for yourself, because then you have this understanding and then you can I can do something different about it.

[00:25:06.160] – Laura Cicholski

And I know before, too, we also talked about like cleaning products and trying to use things that have less chemicals in around our house. And it’s baby steps that everything at once. But I think you’re right, if you can obviously some forms of exercise, some type of meditation, mindfulness, even if it’s not the traditional way, even just like you said, feeling their feet in between patients, maybe when they get home from work and then nutrition.

[00:25:27.370] – Laura Cicholski

So do you talk about organic with nutrition or just like lots of fruits and vegetables, different colors. What do you think,

[00:25:32.800] – Amy McCae

a very big fan of organic organic produce, because I’ve read a lot of studies that pesticides create hormonal disruption, such they create fake estrogen. I buy grass fed meat from a farmer. That and organic grass fed and grass finished. I usually primarily only clean with the vinegar or the stuff called Florida water or whatever. Like I don’t.

[00:25:58.650] – Amy McCae

OK, a simple rag uses on a hardwood floor. Like I just try to find the. I can’t use it, I do sometimes use a little bit of comic because I don’t know, just like I just said, things like, generally speaking, I do basic. I keep it simple. It’s cheap, it’s does a job and it’s still vinegar. Vinegar alone for things are no water you’ll burn.

[00:26:20.280] – Amy McCae

It’s nice, but just vinegar, water, vinegar and water, OK, which includes everything so that and baking soda will clean.

[00:26:26.110] – Laura Cicholski

And that’s simple and it’s, it’s like cheap. I mean I’ve done it and this is not a I’m not trying to advocate for a certain product, but I really I use like the Norwest Rags because it’s water and silver and I put you wash it, they’re good. But the vinegar thing is nice to I have to try that. You put like a spray bottle, not just in a spray bottle. Half and half that’s usually what I do.

[00:26:43.960] – Laura Cicholski

Yeah, that’s perfect. And it cleans and disinfectants and you don’t have the chemicals. I know anything that I think people can do less chemicals and get everything right.

[00:26:53.440] – Amy McCae

And I’m always like, if you I went through a phase where I was trying to get even like my dish soap and all that, like I was so over the top and I was stressing me out. So I’m always like, if your wellness program and meditation program are causing you stress, you need to change it.

[00:27:08.200] – Laura Cicholski

Right, exactly.

[00:27:09.310] – Laura Cicholski

That’s not the goal. Right. If it’s too much, then I did it causing stress. That doesn’t work. Right.

[00:27:14.770] – Amy McCae

That’s the whole purpose of stress could cause inflammation and all these other problems. So let’s just eat the sugar then. You know, if that I was like, oh yeah, exactly. Because our goal is, like you said, less sugar and stuff. So now do you is this a good time for you to walk us then through like a mini practice that they could do, whether it’s health care providers in between patients are well, probably more on a break or lunch hour right now in between patients.

[00:27:38.440] – Amy McCae

But when they could take we’ll do something for a few minutes and then you can just anybody could take pieces of it and do it any time. So I’ll just walk you through a couple. We’ll just kind of I always like the the breathing in a little bit of a body scan and the mindful the loving kindness part. So we’ll just do a little bit of each of those. And then you could then they’ll have an actual experience of it and can just do it literally.

[00:27:59.860] – Amy McCae

You could take it and do it for two seconds. Twenty seconds. Two minutes. Twenty minutes. Doesn’t matter. Just practice it and do it like that.

[00:28:10.360] – Amy McCae

And if you had if you can’t fit twenty minutes in or thirty minutes or whatever, I’m good at doing twenty minutes. I’m not good at doing thirty or forty minutes. I will do thirty sometimes but I’m twenty but like two minutes, a few times a day is still better than nothing. I mean if you’re like I can’t do it. Yeah. I’d rather see someone be like not instead of saying I can’t do it at all, just do two minutes a few times a day.

[00:28:34.900] – Amy McCae

That’s fine. Yeah.

[00:28:36.190] – Laura Cicholski

That’s really good. Yeah. And like you said, you’re starting a new habit. We talked about habits earlier, you know, new habits and new on your schedule. And like you said, if they can just start putting it transition day into their schedule, then maybe they’ll kind of increase it a little bit. Small steps. We can do everything right away, right?

[00:28:50.680] – Amy McCae

Yeah, I think yeah. That’s why people don’t that’s why people do the things they like. They don’t make them lifelong habits because it doesn’t fit into their world how it is. And it just becomes another thing. It becomes like brushing your teeth or taking a shower or something or eating. It’s not this big, massive. I have to add it in. It’s just, you know, a piece of your life.

[00:29:10.360] – Laura Cicholski

Yeah. It can’t be extra work, right. It has to just be part of it and part of it. But I love how you’re talking about this because it can be a part of believe in wellness and better relationships with others and better relationships with patients and just healthier body.  I’ll let  you take over.

[00:29:26.320] – Amy McCae

OK, so go ahead and we’ll just say it’s a mindful body position so you’ll put your feet on the floor. And if you’re beginning a meditation practice is always a good idea to practice sitting up just initially. So you put your feet on the floor and your hands in your lap and you’ll sit upright so your spines erect, but it doesn’t have to be like stiff. So you want it like erect, but like your shoulders relax. And I always suggest that you raise your shoulders up and then drop them down because you’ll be surprised the most.

[00:29:55.970] – Amy McCae

The time that they’ll drop down is slightly lower than what they. They were. And you can close your eyes if you if it feels comfortable right now to close your eyes, but otherwise sometimes people feel vulnerable closing their eyes. And if that’s the case, then just or if you’re in a place where you can’t close them and never do this while driving or operating machinery or anything like that, then kind of just allow your gaze to go down and find a focal point because you don’t want all that visual stimulation from other places.

[00:30:27.570] – Speaker 3

That makes it a little bit more difficult. And the thing is that you can always stop and ask for help if you need to, if you become uncomfortable.

[00:30:36.860] – Amy McCae

But always know that thoughts are normal.

[00:30:39.020] – Amy McCae

The idea isn’t to control your thoughts is for them not to control you. And so you can go ahead. Take a big breath in. Breathe out. Breathe in, breathe in. notice the air flow in and out of your nostrils. Sort of sense it for a moment. Remembering, just practicing being here in this moment. Now, notice the rise and fall of your chest. Light your clothing. Right, sense the temperature. Inhale and exhale. Relaxing into the moment.

[00:31:58.530] – Amy McCae

Maybe gently bringing your awareness to your abdomen. With the expansion and the contraction. Makes sense the way your jeans or pants feel. To see if there’s any judgment. Now bring your  awareness to your whole diaphragm. Inhaling and exhaling. You can choose one of these, whether it be your nose or your chest or abdomen or your whole diaphragm. You’re going to use this as an anchor. It doesn’t matter which one comes to my first show that no one feels good for you in this moment.

[00:32:55.470] – Amy McCae

So every time you get distracted. By a noise. Or thought. Or sensation. Gently bring a respect that, you know, that space on your nose, at your chest, your belly, your diaphragm. It’s kind of like riding a bicycle, so you’re in other words, sometimes for mindfulness is attention training. So you just bringing awareness back. Every time you get distracted. It’s like riding a bike, so when you learn to ride a bike, your balance is going off and you might go to the left and you might go to the right and wait and fall down.

[00:33:39.830] – Amy McCae

But eventually it gets a little bit easier. So even though you might squirm a little or lean a little. A little bit easier time, just gently guiding yourself back, practice is the same. Inhale and exhale. Sometimes people find it beneficial to use a word as an anchor, so this could be something you practice, you could just. You could think something as simple as inhale when you inhale and exhale when you exhale. I could breathe in peace and exhale anxiety.

[00:34:20.570] – Amy McCae

Whatever its is, say positive phrases, the ones that come to mind that resonate with you are what matters most. At times I put my hand on my chest or abdomen, if that helps to help you kind of guide your attention again. Breathe in, then breathe out. And you’re just sensing this out, we’re just exploring there is no judgment, there’s no right or wrong. It’s just different ways to practice mindful breathing. Another common way to do mindful breathing is to count, so you would inhale on one and exhale two.  You would count until ten and the trick on this one let’s go ahead and practice that but the trick on this one is to not control the breaths. There are ways we can this a very specific way, but. You’re not controlling your breath, you’re just counting to the natural inhale and exhale. And you can practice this for as long as you want, but today we are just doing it briefly. Let’s go ahead and take a couple more mindful breaths. Then I want you to bring your awareness to the top of your head.

[00:35:45.030] – Speaker 3

I was going to do kind of a brief body scan. So bring your awareness to the top of your head and you might sense something, you might feel something, sometimes you have thoughts or sensations, but we’re just I mean, there’s a lot of different ways to do this, but we’re just going to gently tune into the body, so. Perhaps bringing awareness to your eyes, noticing if they flutter or twitch or. You see colors, or anything that comes to mind.

[00:36:12.770] – Speaker 3

To your left ear and to your right ear. Now to your jaw. Is it tense or is it relaxed? Some people sense things easier than others against that, right or wrong, it’s just a practice and now maybe to your shoulders, maybe raise them up again and lower them down, see if they relax a little bit more. And bringing your awareness to your right arm. Now, left arm. Now, since each one of your fingers and extremities are usually the easiest to sense and you can always practice this later, but this is a really good sometimes I’ll be warm or tingly and sometimes I ask you to use a sensations list.

[00:37:01.090] – Speaker 3

Now, feel your back against your chair. Your clothing against your back. Sense your chest. Sense your core. Feel the way your legs rest on the seat. Maybe sensing the back of your legs first. In the front. Right hip, the left hip. Sense your knees. Now, your ankles. Your feet. Maybe even your toes and maybe just sense your feet for just a moment. And we’re just noticing. And people tend to get stuck in their heads a lot, so I’m going to challenge you a little bit and see if you can just sense from your shoulders down, not sense your head.

[00:38:04.480] – Amy McCae

Your whole body, but not your head. This seems a little bit this can be a little bit harder because we’re so stuck in our minds all the time, this is usually a good proof of that. It’s good to get out of your mind a little bit more in tune with your body. Sometimes people that have anxiety or trauma won’t do all the body scans, so this isn’t something you should practice if you have that without or certainly not regularly without consulting someone.

[00:38:34.250] – Amy McCae

Then maybe sent your whole body, including your head. And now, sense the space in front of you. Space behind you. Space to the left. Space to the right. Space above your head. Space below your feet. Now, sense your whole body in the space around you. And this could be a little bit tricky, but just practicing. Now, bring your awareness back to your breathing. And I like to put my hand on my heart for this particular practice, and this is one way to practice loving kindness or to this different ways, but.

[00:39:26.460] – Amy McCae

Go ahead and take a couple of big breaths and we’re just going to, you know, kind of relax, get into this moment and I’m going to repeat a couple of phrases, and I want you to mentally repeat them to yourself. And you could choose your own, but this is just the most common ones I tend to use. May I be at ease? May I  be at peace. May I be well. Happy love.. May I be at ease. May I  be at peace..

[00:40:02.940] – Amy McCae

May I be well. May I be love. Now, can either mentally repeat this just a time or two on your own? Or you can choose another phrase or two that worked for three or four that worked best for you. If there’s something that you intuitively feel you need, perhaps it’s competence or. Perhaps it’s security or joy or whatever, whatever it is. Just give yourself some of that. You up not getting to other people watching ourselves first, the kind. Then whatever person comes to mind first, whoever comes in my purse, that might need a little bit of love and kindness in.

[00:40:53.240] – Amy McCae

For someone that’s alive and some that you don’t have really people for this particular well, let’s save that for another day. You go ahead and send them the same thing. So we’ll say maybe it is. We just imagine that, miss. Maybe loved. You intuitively think they need something else you can add. You can also kind of sometimes people imagine awards or pink hearts or. You know, something might help to keep your focus on just the phrases I see the words in my mind when I do it and hold my hand on my chest.

[00:41:36.100] – Amy McCae

So send them what they what you feel that they need. It’s a little bit longer, and then I want you to bring that love back to yourself. And one last time, give yourself a loving kindness that you deserve and some gratitude and appreciation, so give yourself loving kindness, maybe hug yourself. Maybe just feel warmth, maybe send hearts, whatever that looks like for you, and whatever phrases offer love and kindness, gratitude and appreciation for all the things you do in the world for other people.

[00:42:17.810] – Amy McCae

Go ahead and take a couple more mindful breaths. And when you’re ready, you can kind of sense your hands and feet and open your eyes because that that can be thing that was so relaxing. Yeah, I didn’t fall asleep.

[00:42:36.010] – Amy McCae

And sometimes that happens. But those are three practices and they can be done in various different ways. But that’s an introduction to doing it. And they’re my three favorite. Anybody can do you can teach them to kids, you know, teach them tp the patient, do them  with a patient or whatever, you know, that’s so good, too.

[00:42:54.790] – Laura Cicholski

I know. I just thought of that when you mentioned that these health care providers could probably teach this or health care leaders or managers could teach this either to their staff or to or they could bring you into to do it.

[00:43:05.620] – Laura Cicholski

You know what I mean? Really a good instructor with it because I was totally into it. You know, I have a million thoughts going through my head and yeah, I was trying, I really your voice was very calming and it was very good because I was really I was into it. I was trying to let all the other thoughts go because I’m a mom and a wife and a business owner and I so many things going through my head in that.

[00:43:24.430] – Laura Cicholski

Yeah, I was just trying to let it go because we talk about and I know you’ve mentioned this to me before, the important of importance of the present moment. Right. That’s the only place where we don’t we can control. Right. The future can be fearful. The past already happened. We can learn from it. But you can’t really go back. You can just learn going forward. But I think you’re right. If you can keep in the present moment, then will be less likely.

[00:43:46.420] – Laura Cicholski

Hopefully that’s the right right to worry about the future because we can’t control the future. Right.

[00:43:50.860] – Amy McCae

The way we control it is being present in the present, right. Yeah. Realistically, what you do now is what what predicts what happens in the future. So if you just and everybody has thought, my people always say to me, what do I try to meditate? I don’t know if I’m doing it right and I still have thoughts. Well, when I first learn meditation, I’m not a cloud frilly person that wants my thoughts floating away. I’m more like, yeah, I hear you I’ll come back to you in a little bit because I would direct and that that’s my my mindset in the way I roll.

[00:44:21.340] – Amy McCae

So I start having thoughts or I’ll stop meditating and I’ll just go write it down. I’ll be like, OK, fine, it’s off my mind now. Here it goes. Now leave me alone.

[00:44:29.920] – Laura Cicholski

You know, like good. That’s that’s amazing. Yeah. Because you’re right. Because if you otherwise everything in our brains if the to do list we talked about the to do list before this, I think everyone should, if they can listen to this or I should add some type of meditation or what you just gave to us and their to do list put it on there because I know for myself. Yeah I remember I talked about earlier, if I with all of my podcast interviews I’ve been doing to try to help the health care providers and everyone else with these wonderful tips.

[00:44:58.420] – Laura Cicholski

And thank you so much for being here. But sometimes I don’t find time myself to do the yoga and stretching because I’m like, no, I need to do this, that I’m focused on helping people and I want to get this content out, you know what I mean? And so you’re right. If you put it down, it will happen.

[00:45:11.530] – Amy McCae

Yeah, you have to put it down. And I do put it in my you put it in my calendar and sometimes good. That’s good. I mean, it is ideally and some days it doesn’t happen or it happens at a different time or something. Of course. But it does definitely. You have to make it a you know, you have to make you a priority and depending on what they walk in nature and do this very specific mindfulness based practice out in nature every day.

[00:45:34.940] – Amy McCae

And that’s what they do like that is their meditation. So make it your own. Don’t like. I can give you we just did three practices and I know how to do those practices like 15 different ways. Each one of them it looks like maybe more. So if it doesn’t, you have to make it yours like. Right. Your practice, your way of your life, even if it’s three times a week. I know people that are like only meditate on weekends or I only meditate during the  the week or just do it.

[00:46:02.990] – Laura Cicholski

Exactly. And make it like you said, their own word. My husband’s a sports fan, so maybe he would do that if I could get him to say his favorite sports name coming out of. I don’t I don’t know. It might be a stretch, but I could try it.

[00:46:13.580] – Amy McCae

You never know, though.

[00:46:15.710] – Laura Cicholski

I know this has been so wonderful to have you here today. You’ve given us so many amazing tips. Thank you so much. Now, did you have you I think you had mentioned you had a free gift for our listeners and then they can also find your website. Can you tell us more about that?

[00:46:28.670] – Amy McCae

Yeah, my websites are And then mindfulnessleader coach.Com. So one has more corporate information on it. The mindfulness leader one does and then the other one has some, but the other one has a lot of my, my story and other podcasts and things on it. Amy McCae one does. So I have a free guide at Stressless Now Guide which has mindfulness based practices and it’s Stressless now. And it’s I’ve spoken, I’ve actually done it as a presentation, I don’t know countless times to organizations just because it’s just quick, simple, five step, just pick one.

[00:47:06.470] – Amy McCae

It’s awareness, acceptance, attitude, action and acknowledgment. And it’s just like five skill sets with practices that you can do. It can be a lot to try to do all of it. So I don’t ever suggest you do all of it, but just pick stuff from it. And then I always I don’t know if I send them to you, but I always offer audios. If anyone wants audio just to send me an email, I’ll send link.

[00:47:23.150] – Amy McCae

That would be cool too audio. Yeah. I have lots that I have  created. So I’m always happy if somebody wants that to.

[00:47:31.910] – Laura Cicholski

Yeah that would be good. That would be good. You can put it on like your website with a little opt in page so then you know what I mean. You can find out if they like it or something to that idea and we’ll have that, we’ll have the stressless.Com, the little place where they can opt in to receive that, which is wonderful with this interview to have your picture and everything. So thank you so much for being here.

[00:47:49.940] – Laura Cicholski

You gave so many great tips and obviously they can connect with you, too, like if their health care practices now that I interviewed back real quick and then we’ll end here. But I interviewed Dr. Elia Gregorius from Colorado. He’s an amazing psychologist. And he had talked about what you mentioned earlier was. in my interview for the stress relief series,  he had mentioned that he deals with a lot of health care providers and managers and he goes in there and talks about different psychology stuff.

[00:48:15.470] – Laura Cicholski

You know what I mean? For them to help? Yeah, there’s a big need. And like you mentioned earlier, like taking care of our own oxygen masks first. So they you’re right. They also have it. They’re going to be seeing patients to help them with their their mental well-being, the patients. But then they have to make sure that their oxygen mask and their their pitcher of water is full first versus trying to pour it for someone else.

[00:48:33.740] – Laura Cicholski

Right. And so hopefully these tips and then they hopefully they can with your website, they can reach out to you, too, if there’s ever they want to hire you to come in for an in-service or anything, virtual teas and chit chatting about whatever we can do to help each other out, which would be cool because there’s such a need right now in the health care industry. But thank you so much. Again, it’s been great to have you.

[00:48:51.140] – Laura Cicholski

And I help the health care providers a lot of tips because they’re doing a great job saving patients. Thank you.

[00:48:55.430] – Amy McCae

Thank you.


Amy McCae headshot200 x 275


Amy McCae helps industry leaders have more time for fun and family without costing them productivity in their work. She started her business after spending nearly a decade ill with chronic diseases until finally finding relief through fitness, nutrition, and meditation. Amy holds over 16 certifications related to mind/body wellness and is passionate about healing and helping others live intentionally. She offers mindfulness based coaching, corporate training, and intuitive energy work. 

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