Lea Bayles transitioned to a career in holistic wellness after recovering from an immune system collapse. She gained experience in areas including positions as mind-body therapist, yoga therapy program director, employee wellness coordinator and facilitator of medical patient groups. Currently, Lea empowers high achievers to become the exceptional leaders they were born to be with less stress, struggle and loneliness and more joy, vitality, connection and impact. She blends a masters in psychology with extensive experience in education, dance, theater, and healing arts. She wrote Take Back Your Life, Moving from Chronic Pain to Life-long Healing and numerous articles, healing meditations and spoken word poems.
Most Influential Person
- Joan Borysenko (Mindfulness author of A Woman's Book of Life)
Effect on Emotions
- I think it makes it much easier to have emotions and not get sidetracked by them or hijacked by them.
- It's like, oh yeah, they're emotions and they come and they go and that I don't need to be a victim of my emotions. Not pushing them down, but not needing to be a victim of them.
- Especially I think that self-criticalness was a part at one point that I would sometimes become a victim of.
Thoughts on Breathing
- Breathing may be the number one part of my mindfulness. It's so great because it's always with us and just one breath or even one part of a breath or noticing a breath can bring us right back to it.
- My intention is to start noticing it when I first wake up and to be aware of it all through the day. I love the practice of noticing and feeling the breath rather than trying to impose a perfect breath.
- Book: Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh
- App: Calm and Headspace for Kids
- Really fascinating since I've been listening to your podcast and hearing you talk to people about that, it's made me think about bullying a lot more and that's been good. Thinking in my own life and as a child, I can't remember ever being bullied, but there are a number of situations as an adult that I would consider bullying to have happened. And right now in the news there's a lot about abuse of power, which I think is a form of bullying.
- One particular situation which really stands out for me is about a man I was working with who was in a business situation and was in a position of, you know, in the hierarchy above me.
- Ironically he had asked me to help him teach a mindfulness class based on Jon Kabat Zinn's work. And so we're teaching this, but there were some very uncomfortable encounters with things that felt to me like abuse of power with students and with me.
- Then I went to a conference, a mind-body conference for therapists and doctors and educators and he knew I was going. He didn't say anything about going, but I was there and he showed up and was bizarre to me. Like following me and ranting and screaming at this professional conference it was very, very upsetting. I didn't feel scared really. But it was very upsetting. And that happened one evening.
- And then the next morning we had a workshop that happened to be Wayne Mueller. He does body mind, spirit work. One of his books is called Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Mueller And he was doing a workshop at this conference and I went into that workshop just feeling tense in my body and rattled and looking around to see if this other person was going to be there.
- I kind of felt like just going home. But I didn't want to, I wanted to stay at the conference, but I was definitely feeling disjointed and rattled and he gave us the best exercise.
- He gave us the exercise to go out on a walk at a Sylmar, this beautiful place by the ocean in California. To go out for a walk and be led by our senses. And he called this a sensory walk and we talked about that feeling of like, just notice what your eyes love and follow that or what fragrance are you interested in?
- And so it was just very simple. We each were out doing it for a and then came back. And just that following. I remember there was one particularly beautiful fragrant Bush that I just felt really drawn to and just was present with just noticing.
- The feeling I had was having come back to my senses. I was like restored to myself.
- So, you know, it's definitely a mindfulness exercise was like, what's here and how does it inform us and what does it call us to. And it totally brought me back to myself and I really felt healed from that.
- There's another way too that I think mindfulness could have helped me if I looked back sooner. If I myself had been more aware of some of the early warning signals.
- After that situation, I let our supervisor know I would not work again with this person, but before that there were weird things happening and I think if I had been more trusting of myself and what I was really noticing, I probably could have done something to stop it before it got to that point.
- So I think that mindfulness of noticing early warning signals is something that would've been helpful for me.