Sonia Úbeda – Embrace and Lead

The Power of Renewal

Human beings are designed to continuously expend and renew energy. What happens to us is that we spend, spend, spend, and we don’t dedicate  enough time or the intention to rest and deep renewal.

The professional and family obligations that we have to attend to continuously are increasing, and we do not realize the great need to STOP to Renew and Restore our body-mind system.

It is when we STOP, we remain in STILLNESS and in SILENCE, when we let go of everything that no longer serves us, it is when one of the most extraordinary transformations occurs from within us.

From the point of view of Leadership,  Richard BoyatzisVisiting Professor of the HR department at Esade,  < strong>and Annie McKee, Co-Chair of the Teleos Leadership Institute, have coined the term “The Cycle of Sacrifice and Renewal”   or “The Cycle of  Sacrifice and Renewal”.

His work embodies both the scientific and practical view that leaders cannot be continually in a state of maximum effectiveness if they are not continually renewed. That’s why even the most effective leaders  those with a clear vision, unquestionable talent, and numerous emotional competencies end up having some Burn out experience in their careers. And this is a consequence of NOT PAYING ATTENTION  to your own RENEWAL in order to return to a state of balance.

But you don’t need to have a senior management position to suffer from the Sacrifice Syndrome and Chronic stress, as they mention. Surely you, who are reading this post, regardless of the position you hold or the work you do, have experienced this feeling of not knowing how to cut the vicious circle of work, family demands and meet your own needs.

Continuous stress significantly activates the Sympathetic Nervous System, which initiates physical reactions  of fight or flight. The right part of the prefrontal cortex of the brain is also activated, related to the generation of fearful emotions, as well as feelings of feeling depressed or anxious, and of feeling an unpleasant and non-fluid connection with the environment.

In contrast, The Cycle of Renewal, according to Boyatzis and McKee, is activated with the practice of Mindfulness, nurturing relationships based on Compassion, and with  feelings of Hope towards the future.

It is about activating the other part of the Nervous System, that is, the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is in charge of activating the left part of the prefrontal cortex, responsible for generating relaxation and rest responses, so that our body and mind save and recover energy. Thus we return to balance.

From my experience, I like to emphasize the Concept of RENEWAL in the Yoga sessions I do.

When we reach the end after an intense session of stretching, strengthening, staying in the postures, breathing consciously,  finding our own physical and mental limits,…after having sweated and molded the body and mind, we We lay down on the mat to close the session  in the Savasana position.

The position of Savasana IS MAGICAL: it is the pure metaphor in yoga of the concept of STOPPING TO RENEW AND RESTORE.

The position is to remain lying on the mat, with the legs slightly apart from each other, the arms slightly apart from the body and the palms of the hands facing the sky. It is in this posture where we allow all the work and energies mobilized throughout the session to be distributed where the body and mind need it most.


The great wisdom of this Asana  (yoga position), teaches us that it is not necessary to do anything for things to happen. You simply have to  lying down , letting yourself go in the moment, enjoying deep and restorative rest after intense work, knowing that all you have to do is allow.

And that’s how I also tell it in my seminars when I talk about the RENEWAL CONCEPT with the simile of Formula 1. I usually ask attendees: who do you think wins F1 races?

For a moment there is silence, and the answers begin to appear: “…the one with the best car…!”

Really, the one who wins the F1 races is the one who makes the most efficient pit stops.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? It has it and a lot, and for that reason, the Rafa Nadals, the Tiger Woods, the great peak performers, whether in the field of sport as in the company, as in  any other field, they continually make their pit stops to RENEW themselves and continue leading from awareness, maximum energy, and purpose.

Not bad to have them in mind to bring them to our day to day.

In addition to the strategies  they mention, on my own we work the body, the mind and the most spiritual part of the being to achieve the most effective way of renewal.

We work with Hatha YOGA sessions, with Meditation and  Mindfulness, with Energy Nutrition,  and we get in touch with what really nine us in life, becoming aware of our deepest values and seeing to what extent we are alienated with them in our day to day.  The idea is to become aware of and delve into the three aspects of being: the PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL aspect.

It is here, where working globally our being, we can renew ourselves more efficiently.


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