Episode 11: The Ultimate Energy Hack

Filed in All Episodes, Business Strategy — November 30, 2021

Episode Summary:

Let’s talk about the ultimate energy hack! I know that you are sitting there drooling for this information because only a short six months ago, I also would have been doing the same. I remember feeling so exhausted, like my energy was against me. I had so many things that I wanted to do in my business, but couldn’t find the time. I was suffering, my relationships were suffering. I knew something had to change. That’s what we’ll be diving into today – the steps I took (and that you can take, too) to learn how to manage your energy to create a life that you feel in control of again, or maybe for the first time. 

Topics Discussed:

  • An inside look at parenting a child with a lot of medical needs and the shame and struggles that can come with that
  • The reminder that entrepreneurship is a holistic act 
  • What to do when you feel yourself in a stage of exhaustion, avoidance, and overall downward spiral 
  • Why focusing on a scarcity mindset can add to energy depletion and why it’s important to seek abundance 
  • The steps Ash takes to hack her energy 

Episode Resources:

Click here for a raw, unedited transcript of this episode

Ashley McDonald (00:00):

My friend, my friend, my friend, welcome back to the podcast today. We are having an incredibly important conversation. I think honestly, post not post we’re not post yet current pandemic. This is one of the most important conversations that bad multifaceted women can be having. And that is about energy, but first, and as always, we’re going to start with where I’m at in my cycle. So you can continue to understand how your hormones impact everything in your life. Because if I have not yet made it abundantly clear that you need to understand your hormones and live your life through the lens of your personal biological blueprint. I mean, what am I doing here? Like, are you listening? And then to gratitude, always, always gratitude. So today I am actually recording on my son’s fifth birthday, my middle son. I still can’t believe you guys, but I have three children let alone a seven-year-old a five-year-old and a three-year-old I’m dead.

Ashley McDonald (00:56):

I can’t, what, what is life? I don’t feel old enough, mature enough, capable enough, like any of those things. So for anybody who’s ever looked in at me and thought I had altogether, there’s not even a response. Just no, not at all, but I’m so emotional today. When will that ever change? I don’t know if it will. I cannot believe that he is five. He is I am grateful for Becca. I am grateful for Becca and the joy that he exudes in this world. He is the most fun and funniest like hysterical. This kid is hysterical. I would not be surprised if he becomes a comedian. I created a real today of just little video clips of him, which is always the thing that pushes me right over that emotional ledge. But he he’s like dancing or doing something really funny in all these videos.

Ashley McDonald (01:47):

And it just so his personality also, because I like to keep it real here on the podcast. Being back on his mom has been one of the most challenging told you it was emotional. One of the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life, he is absolutely everything to me. I adore this child and for any mom out there that has a child that is everything and so amazing. And so just perfect in all the ways, but also challenging. I see you. I see you. My sweet boy all the things we are in speech therapy, occupational therapy, he had a traumatic brain injury when he was two. He slipped on the hardwood floor and fell on his head. And it has been a little rough since then. He’s got sensitivities from eggs and gluten and oats. His skin has issues, almost always we’re in and out of eczema, flare ups. I mean, the kid has just, there’s always something. There’s always something. If I am in the doctor’s office, I am most often there with him. So

Ashley McDonald (02:59):

It has been a struggle financially. He also happens to be the one kid that we, we, I I’m taking full credit here. The one kid I delivered that happens to not be on a great insurance and insurance experience. And so we still pay for his delivery. My other two are completely paid off and I still pay for his delivery. And it feels like such a like middle kid thing. Like I always feel like, oh, why is it always? And I say this because I always want to create normalization around these conversations. And the truth is I will fight tooth and nail to the end of time for this boy. And I cry a lot.

Ashley McDonald (03:42):

I cried a lot because I feel challenged and I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. And I feel scared and I feel overwhelmed and I feel sometimes I feel disappointed. And then I feel shame because I feel disappointed. Sometimes I feel grief because I thought motherhood would look differently and it doesn’t. And my brain has to process that it has to grieve that. And then I feel shame that I’m grieving such a perfect little boy. These are not easy things to say out loud, by the way, but there’s such important things to say. In fact, I was having a beautiful conversation with a client today about this very thing and some struggles that she has with her son. And this is why I am called a holistic business coach, because I will never be the mentor who sits down with you and focuses strictly on business because my friend, whatever it is that you are holding, whether it is motherhood, relationships, your own self-love business, like anything, friendships being a daughter, being a friend, all of those things are a part of who you are and you cannot carry one thing, no matter how easy it feels, you cannot carry one thing like business.

Ashley McDonald (05:06):

While if you aren’t carrying the other things, well, you have to have power in carrying them all. And that’s why sometimes building up your business starts with honoring where you’re at in motherhood, which is also why today, my husband and I officially hired a parenting coach because holy hell, if we’re talking about shame, the shame I have felt in not knowing what the heck I am doing as a parent with a freaking master’s degree in counseling psychology, and like a major emphasis working with children who really, really took that to the, to the home of thinking. I should know what I’m doing. And I shouldn’t the truth is I shouldn’t. And right now in my life, there are a lot of things I hold really well and parenting more importantly, co-parenting so like doing it where my husband and I are on the same page has felt like the greatest struggle.

Ashley McDonald (05:58):

And so right now our big investment is in getting on the same page. And I’m super excited about it. Once we dive in more, I will definitely be sharing more. I was a bit of a tangent, but you know, I’m always here for the candid conversations. Oh. And I’m in full likelier phase. So I’m actually like the period has ended. That’s what happens, right? The period has ended. I am like, I feel like a butterfly coming out of my cookie Hoon. No freaking that’s like the perfect analogy, right? Like I have, I was in this little huddle of like, leave me alone. I don’t want anything. I just want like coziness and yumminess and like leave me alone. And I feel revived today. I literally woke up a completely different person than I was yesterday. My energy is through the roof. I have so many ideas.

Ashley McDonald (06:42):

I like all of these areas. I will tell you last week, there’s these amazing things that I’ve been working on that felt really not fun. All of a sudden, like really not fun. And now I am like overflowing with my ideas. My OPM, Shana actually messaged, reached out after I did some stories on Instagram. And she’s like, yes, yes, yes, yes. And I sent her, I said, my fully clear energy has popped his little cute head up and I am taking full advantage. And that I am, my metabolism has also shifted. So I feel lighter because I don’t need as much food to really thrive. I mean, so many amazing things. I love, love, love, fully clear. Okay. Let’s get into it. Speaking of energy, I am here to talk to you about the ultimate energy hack. And I know my friend that you were sitting there drooling for this information.

Ashley McDonald (07:32):

I know because only a short six months ago, I also would have been drooling for that information. I was walking around in my life, constantly feeling like time and energy were against me. Totally. I don’t have enough time. I cannot get all the things done. Oh, I’m just so exhausted. Every time I get a chance to do anything in my business, I don’t have any energy to do it. And this is coming from somebody who is totally cyclically aligned. If I do say so myself and yet, I didn’t feel that way. I was doing all the quote unquote right. Things, right. I was eating for my body. I was moving my body. I was honoring these routines, these rituals, all of these things that, that are meant to work. Right. And yet I was feeling totally at the disposal of my life. Like I cannot get into my group. What is going on? And the reason why I said this is such an important thing to be talking about during this ongoing, never freaking ending pandemic. Can you feel me here is because friend, we are fricking in it. I don’t know about you. Every time I turned around, there’s just another crisis. And sometimes that crisis, albeit seemingly small in comparison to others is my child being sent home

Ashley McDonald (08:55):

From school is my child getting runny nose and not being able to go to school. Right? Just in general, even pre pandemic, like kids getting sick is already stressful enough. Right? And so I was just constantly feeling this. And then I was seeing it everywhere. My clients saying I’ve got all of these beautiful business ideas, but I have so many things I want to do, but right. It always came down to, I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough energy. I can not do it. So I hit this moment and I will tell you another reason why I hit this moment was because I was just a raging. Honestly, you know what happens in a marriage in this sort of situation, when you constantly feel like you don’t have enough time and you don’t have enough energy, the only person that seems like a sound person to take that out on is your sweet partner.

Ashley McDonald (09:53):

Can I get an amen? Right? Like this is clearly your fault, bro. If you could just make sure I had some time, if you could just help out a little bit. If I didn’t have to just do everything on my own or it’s like those moments when you’re like, ah, I feel like I’m such a good person, but if you put a camera in my house, there are times when I’m losing my ever loving. Cool. And I have not the greatest version of myself or I’m impatient with my kiddos or I’m flopping into bed at night and I’m turning on TV because avoidance avoidance, avoidance, I was kind of in that. Are you in that? Are you in that? If you’re in that, I want you to know that you’re not alone and I see you and you’re doing great. Also. I’m so glad you’re here.

Ashley McDonald (10:42):

I’m so glad you’re here because I had this moment that was like, I can’t do this anymore. Like this is not working. I am in a spiral, a complete, never ending downward spiral. And if I don’t change something, I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna fall apart. I’m going to run away. Right. I cannot do this. I had to shift. I had to change and being a therapist by trade. I knew I didn’t want to admit it, but I knew this had less to do with my routines and my schedule and how I was planning things. And every thing to do with what I was believing. You see the ultimate alignment hack is living a life that feels energized and completely run by you. Literally, that is in my personal opinion, the definition of alignment, you were energized, you were excited. You were having fun and your life is not only built by you, but it’s built for you.

Ashley McDonald (11:46):

Right? And in order to feel energized, to run a life completely by you, the ultimate energy hack is to change the way you see energy. No, no, no. Don’t you go change in the podcast. I know sometimes when we’re listening to stuff and we’re like, I am here for an action. Step sister. I am here for you to give me the perfect protocol to feel better in like 0.5 seconds. I hear you. And if I could, if I could run over to you, give you a strong shot of some, something good, something magical. And like, you are an energetic dynamic woman. I would do it in a hot second because you deserve it. But we all know that that’s not how this works. You need to change the way you see and experience energy. What am I, what the heck am I talking about?

Ashley McDonald (12:39):

Well, one what you heard me say, and I’m, I’m guessing that you were thinking, yes, yes, yes, yes. That’s me. Yes, yes. Yes. When I was saying things like, I just don’t have time. I just, I just don’t have enough energy. I just cannot do this. Right. That was me living in a scarcity mindset, scarcity and energy and time scarcity means a lack of something to the point of obsession. And if you were in my head or in my home enough to hear how much I was saying, I do not have enough time. It’s all about time. If only I had more time. If only I had more energy, you, 100% would be able to say, oh gosh, I sniff it up session. You are obsessed. Right. Anybody ever seen that meme? Total side note here. I think it’s like a mean girls meme, but she’s like, why are you so obsessed with me?

Ashley McDonald (13:35):

I always laugh about that because I feel that with my kids, when they are following me everywhere and like, won’t let me go to the bathroom by myself. And like, they can sniff me out. You know, always in my head is why are you so obsessed with me? Right. I feel like that’s what energy was saying. Why are you so obsessed with me? Right time? Why are you so obsessed with me? Okay. So scarcity was a big thing. It was also ruling my reactions, right? School’s canceled. Oh my God. I’m never going to be able to finish this stuff. Now I’m really out of time now. I really won’t have the energy. Right. My reactions to my husband, Hey, I got a meeting. I got to do this thing. I can’t give up any more time. Right. And honestly, because I was completely in avoidance at how much this is impacting me, my stress was probably through the roof.

Ashley McDonald (14:31):

I’m willing to bet if I had my amazing friend and client and like hormone guru, Alicia. If I had heard to test my hormones again, at that time, she probably would have been like girl cortisol is through the freaking roof. So I needed to start honoring my nervous system. Okay. Let me back up a little bit. When I’m talking about scarcity here, I need you to understand that if all you ever focus on, if all you ever see is the lack of something so much to the point that you’re obsessed with it, the only way to alter it is to quite literally rewire your brain, to see abundance. I E looking for the abundance of time, right? Changing the way your brain operates. This looks like kids being home. Okay. All right. Here’s one, one option is to, I don’t, I’m never, oh my God.

Ashley McDonald (15:31):

Oh my God. This list I’m never, ever, ever going to get all this done. The other option in abundance is okay, this I can handle 24 hours in a day. And the truth is which we all do know that I can get a lot more done in an hour than I can get done in eight. Hear me? When I say this, when we have a large amount of time, we tend to procrastinate. We tend to multitask. We tend to be all over the place. Focused energy is one of the most powerful things you can tap into. I’m not going to talk a lot about that today, but there are some really cool things you can do to tap into focused energy over scattered energy. It’s absolutely insane. Right? So I started to, my first step was to start to look for abundance in time, any way that I could see it.

Ashley McDonald (16:24):

Right. Even if I put the kids to sleep at seven 30, I have a full hour to get ready for bed and just reset because you’re probably like, wait an hour. I put my kids. It’s like at seven 30 and I go to bed at eight 30. I know. I know. I’ve just, I’m not a night person. Right. Even if, okay. So here’s another example. My kids, oh, Lord helped me. They like to wake up at like five 30 in the morning. I wake up typically between four and four 30. And sometimes it’s still frustrating. Cause five 30. I’m like, are you kidding me? And part of the reason why I wake up that early is because they do that. But here’s the thing. Now. I think even if the kids wake up in an hour, I have a full hour. Or if the kids don’t wake up until six and I’m like, dang, I just got myself two hours of alone time.

Ashley McDonald (17:13):

I’m constantly focusing on the amount of time that I have. Now. I’m also doing this with energy, right? I’m also doing this with energy. This helps to know that Phillip Lear and ovulation phases tend to give a lot more beautiful organic energy. But it also helps to know that during ludial and menstrual, I have to be the manager of my energy. Meaning I cannot expect from myself to do, do, do, give, give, give without first giving to myself, right? Because the truth is my friends. The only thing that you can manage is your energy. You cannot manage your circumstances. You really cannot manage your time. If we’re being really honest, because there’s a lot of unexpected things in our life, what you can manage is your energy. And that was a huge shift as well. I’m not talking about that today, but it is a really huge shift.

Ashley McDonald (18:01):

The ultimate energy shift though, is the way that you see it. The next step was reactions, right? So kind of on the same stroke of starting to see abundance, I started to change the narrative. What that looked like was telling myself that time was limitless. And that what I desired was a hundred percent guaranteed. I would repeat that. That was my affirmation. Time is limitless and whatever I desire is a hundred percent guaranteed. Meaning no matter what, no matter what with 100% certainty, everything that I desire is going to come to fruition. And this, my friend is true. If it is in you, it is for you period. End of story. Okay. That being said, when my husband walks in and is like, Hey, I need a little extra time. The initial response that I would have given before the very hurt response. I don’t have this to give to you or very fine.

Ashley McDonald (18:57):

Yeah, whatever. Go ahead, go. Right. But when I think of time is time is limitless. And what I desire is a hundred percent guaranteed. My response is all right. That sounds great. That’s seen a bit, right? Because I’m no longer basing the success of my life on how much time or energy that I have. I have full faith and full trust. That time is limitless. Energy is limitless. And what I desire is 100% guaranteed. Are you hearing me right now? Could you even imagine the literal shifts in your life, if that was how you operated, if that was the true through which you operated, right? How would life be different? When my kids get sent home? The biggest difference that I’ve seen ever in my life was okay, this is going to be great. I’m going to spend time with them because it really nothing else matters.

Ashley McDonald (19:56):

My goals, my dreams, their sentence don’t now, now listen here. I know there’s going to be people who are going to get aggravated by this and say, no, no, no, you have to work. You have to do the work. I’m not saying you don’t have to do that work. I’m just saying that half the work is how you see the work and how you see your life and how you show up for it. And the truth of the matter is, as I already mentioned, the only thing that you can manage is your energy. So if I chose, let’s say my kids are home. They’re home because the school is shut down. If I chose to multitask to have my computer up the whole time to try and do little things here and there, little things here and there I am now expending a hundred times amount, the a hundred times amount, the energy. Whoa, why is that the hardest sentence ever? A hundred times? The,

Ashley McDonald (20:47):

That I would, if I focused in, on my energy, right? So the, the alteration here is I say, I’m going to be totally here with my kids. And then I’m going to give myself 30 minutes to re to revive, right? While they’re eating, while I put a show on whatever the case may be. And then I’m going to be all there with my kids. You don’t what happens? I do this because I’m managing, I’m protecting my energy. And then when seven o’clock seven 30 comes along, I actually can give one hour to get the top priority things in my business done top priority, by the way, not all the things, the top priority things in my life done because I have managed my energy so that I have energy to give right. Often what I see is women trying to do everything all the time, making it impossible for them to do anything all the time.

Ashley McDonald (21:43):

I was the same way. So I’m not, I’m totally coming from a place of like, yeah, yeah, yeah. Me too. Me too. So my friend, the ultimate energy hack is to change the way you see energy change the way you see energy. Now, if you’re listening to this right now on Tuesday, if you were listening to this, my two incredible programs have begun this week. It is a week long. I have two programs running this week. One is called the synergized and it is Ugh, oh my gosh, such a dream program, such a dream program. This is one masterclass understanding and activating masculine and feminine energy in your life so that you can become the, the amazing commanding leader that you were made to be. I truly believe that knowing how to shift in and out of masculine and feminine energy is like, this is like, chef’s kiss.

Ashley McDonald (22:33):

This is, this is how you operate in your life and do it well. Right? And part of that is understanding the triggers of when you’re leaning towards one side over the other, because the truth is when stress is in our life, we tend to lean towards masculine. And then that creates just a ripple effect of all these difficult things. And then there are certain times in our life where it’s literally calling for feminine, but we’ve never been taught that that’s what it’s calling for. So this masterclass called synergize is going to help you to synergize your life between masculine and feminine energy. So you can step into the leader you were made to be so excited about this. Now this program could have been purchased on its own, or it could have been bundled with the other program that is also happening this week. That’s called the fatigue solution.

Ashley McDonald (23:16):

Oh, I’m so I’m like, just teary-eyed over this. Now you’re hearing me say that this program is going on right now, why I’m sharing this is because you can still gain access. Only one class of the four classes. If you bundle these two offers together, only one class has been taught and you can totally listen to the replay. In fact, a lot of it is similar to this with a few extra action steps we are talking about in the first class energy and time scarcity and how to change that, how to move into abundance, how to do the nervous system work, to protect your self, your energy right call to we’ll be all about unlocking your flow state, going from scattered to focused energy, understanding dopamine, and how to step into that flow state. Right? Really cool, actionable steps to understand what focused energy really looks like.

Ashley McDonald (24:06):

And then the final class is on energy management, right? I’ve been saying this over and over and over again. The only thing that you have control over is how you manage your energy. So we’re going to go through what that looks like, how you become an energetic match for your goals, how you manage energy, how you understand the difference between being, versus doing how you literally integrate rituals and routines that honor your energy in a way that you, my friend are in control of your life. Remember the ultimate alignment hack is living a life that feels energized and completely run by you. And these two programs help you do that. Literally synergized and the fatigue solution help you live a life that feels energized and completely run by you. They take you from limited to abundant from scattered to focused from feeling hesitant as a leader, to feel commanding and ultimately to turning your hopes into reality.

Ashley McDonald (24:58):

So if you’re listening, you can still grab this, send me a message right now on Instagram. Send me a message right now and claim this. You deserve this information. Also, we have another episode of bonus episode coming out this week. I’m super nervous about it, but I’m also excited and actually comes out on Thursday where I’m going to be talking about how stress shows up in my life. A really vulnerable candid conversation about how stress has shown up in my life, because we really need to be having these conversations. We need to understand the impact that stress has on our life now and into the future. And that’s part of the reason why I felt so called to create this program. These programs was because without them, I just saw women almost like creating their own downfall over and over and over again. And my friends, you don’t deserve that stress does not have to rule your life.

Ashley McDonald (25:46):

A lack of energy and time does not have to rule your life. What is for you can not be taken away from you and you deserve the shift you deserve to feel amazing. So number one, start to change the way you see energy. Number two, get your booty in my inbox and snag the bundle a fatigue solution and synergize because you deserve it. And number three, make sure to tune in on Thursday for the bonus episode on how stress has shown up in my life in a very, very physical way. I love you, my friend and I’m so, so grateful. You’re here.


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I am the definition of duality—I swear like a sailor and break rules like it’s my job, but I also hold incredible space for my clients and work my ass off to help them achieve the success they’re after (but faster).

My background in counseling and my experience founding three multi-6-figure businesses gives me a unique perspective on what it means to show up and serve as an ethical and successful CEO. Leaning on my experiences, along with the experiences of the hundreds of women I’ve been honored to work with, I offer founders a psych-backed and human-first approach to scaling their legacies—both in and out of the office. 

I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything, but especially business. Because at the foundation of any profitable, sustainable, ethically sound business is one thing: humans being humans. And to do anything without first considering the human behind the action (i.e., with intention and vulnerability) is to remove our most powerful predictor of success—ourselves.

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