Mindfulness Academy Podcast: Jan Byars
On this month’s episode of the Mindfulness Academy Podcast, I was honored to have a conversation with Dr. Jan Byars. Jan is the President of LeadSync, Inc., a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, trained mediator, Certified HeartMath® Coach and author of A Call to Wholeness: Empowering Organizations Through Possibility. Her incredible background and experience with mindfulness has led to her work with leaders in a variety of industries as they learn to utilize values-based principles to become conscious leaders for their teams. It was an absolute pleasure to have Jan join me on the podcast to share her experiences and expertise.
Jan’s journey to mindfulness started when she was early in her career and received her first big promotion, which came with a new level of stress that deeply troubled Jan. She poured over books, looking for answers on how to manage her stress levels in a healthy way and discovered meditation and its many benefits. Jan dove headfirst into the world of mediation and has had a silent practice she’s continued for quite some time (she hasn’t missed a day in YEARS).
One of the many benefits Jan sees from her meditation practice is the ability to see issues from a 360 degree view–one is able to gain a better understanding of what needs to be done and what’s bothering her. And the best part? No fancy equipment is needed! Jan’s practice lasts 25 minutes and she does hers from her bed each morning when she wakes up.
Later on in our discussion, Jan spoke about the leadership development she provides to organizations and businesses to help their executive teams become more grounded, conscientious leaders. Jan described this form of leadership development as vertical–it focuses on the benefits of developing leaders’ mindsets instead of teaching skill sets.
One of my favorite aspects of this training is the principle that this form of development is about growing up, waking up and showing up. In her coaching programs, it’s truly about having the presence of mind to understand your shortcomings and self correct. According to Jan, it’s not an easy, one-and-done practice, but a palpable ripple through a company that happens when leadership understands the benefits of consciously leading.
Later, Jan led a mindfulness practice highlighting how mindset can truly change the physiology of your body. One of these exercises had us focusing on one thing that we love or brings us happiness. After locking into this thought or memory, we took five deep breaths. The feeling of happiness and lightness felt afterwards was amazing. Our discussion around mindset also focused on our mind’s ability to bury challenging and painful memories and thoughts. Through mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to work through those “thought bubbles” without passing judgment on ourselves.
It was an enlightening experience to hear from Jan about how mindfulness has shaped her personal and professional life–I learned a lot from our conversation. To hear this episode of the Mindfulness Academy Podcast and others, listen and subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Check out this episode on YouTube!