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The art and science of being in the groove

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Make your own kind of Music!

Rock star singing with her brush


For those of us coming from the generation where Madonna sang about getting into the groove to prove your love to someone or even our parents who grew up in the Flower Power Hippy times (and I don’t mean wide hips time) who thought it was uber-cool to be groovy; well folks, they knew how to be in the groove.

Read the papers, attend a few tele-summits or read the About Me page of popular websites –bloggers, coaches, consultants, spiritual healers and  you’ll find lots of amazing stories of reinvention.

The one factor that’ll comes across is that they have all stated that they suddenly woke up one morning (or less dramatically) to find that they wanted to have a higher purpose, questioned the meaning of their life and then went ahead and chucked up their day jobs, stepped out of their comfort zone and went into a completely different line.

They get a lot of media coverage because they have chosen to flee the pack and step out on their own. Some say it is a mid-life crisis, others say the individual has gone nuts. I say, they have connected with their inner selves and chosen to live. They have gotten their groove back.

It’s easy to get caught up in living that life eludes you. It’s easy to mortgage your present for a future which never seems to appear.

The decision of the person to make a complete makeover or reinvent themselves doesn’t mean that they do it that very morning when they woke up. The stepping out into the sunlight is usually well thought out and planned months in advance. We only hear of it when the deed is done.


Connect with yourself


The moment they are referring to is when they have clarity, when their intuition finally gets their attention and they connect with their inner wisdom which says, ‘Buddy, you go on this way and you will join the ranks of the living dead. Better write your obituary and leave it in a place where it will be found with a note that the advertising fee of the newspaper has been paid in advance’.

Vatsala’s quick question – How Would Your Obituary Read?

While I never endorse draconian decisions without consulting those who will get affected like your family or even employers, I do suggest that you should be aware of yourself and hence practice the art and science of being in the groove.


Scroll with tips to get groove back

5 Tips for practicing the science of being in the groove

I have 5 tips that work for getting back on the wagon and into one’s groove. Try 1 or all 5. I promise you they work!

Make yourself Numero Uno – At the end of the day, you may have had an assisted birth but you will die alone, even if family and doctors are present. You are your best friend and if you aren’t then MAKE yourself your new best friend. Focus on your needs, eat well, sleep well, exercise well, go for routine checkups (diabetes, depression and heart diseases are not necessarily hereditary). Live a balanced life. Check if you are heading for a burnout with this quick self-assessment.


Make Yourself Numero Uno


Make a daily ‘Me Time’ slot in your diary– In other words, maybe half an hour or so when you do only things for yourself.  You could decide not to do anything during me time, but the point is, it’s your time. (Tip: I’ve shared some more ideas for Me Time in my post Can burnout be prevented or treated)


Be realistic – You have 24 hours in a day and there is only so much you can achieve. While setting yourself tasks, ask yourself what tasks are of priority, what timelines are required to complete them, do you need assistance and can it be delegated? More importantly, does it take you towards your long term objectives or take you away? Are you doing something because its worthwhile but not that important?


How aligned is your work with your values? – When we do things which are not aligned with our values, it shows. The tasks are mechanical; the passion and inner drive is missing. We lack commitment which makes everything much more difficult. Review and reassess your priorities and work towards them, not away from them.


Cat thinking outside box


Think outside the box – The phrase is well ingrained in corporate lingo and managers expect employees to do it. Parents who want their children to do things do it subconsciously. So why not do it for yourself?

You want to lose weight; you enroll in a gym membership and exercise wit h determination daily for a week and then 5 days, 4 days till you stop it altogether. Why not do different sets of exercises for each day of the week? The trainer would be delighted to work out a plan for you.  You would be exercising without going into a rut. The weighing scales will vouch for your progress.

If you need help to get your creative juices rolling for out of the box thinking, I recommend trying one of these 7 simple tips or downloading my guide on tapping into your imagination (click the image to get it).


Karmic Ally Coaching's Tap into your Imagination ebook


Other areas include improving your communication skills, learn the skill of being a good listener, open up to new experiences, learn to say no, set up appropriate boundaries. Be comfortable in your own skin.  You’ll find the exercises in my book Self Confidence in 8 Steps useful for this.


As with all behavioral sciences, these are just the actions you could consider. The list is not exhaustive. The art is your will power, your inner knowledge of what works for you and what doesn’t.

It’s all about you. Know yourself, find ways to rediscover yourself and very soon you will be back in the groove, feeling groovy!

Your turn, how do you make sure that you stay in the groove and operate in your zone? I’d love to read your stories and personal tips in the comments box below!


Vatsala’s update: This blog post was originally written in August 2011 and in fact is the third blog post I wrote. It has been updated for relevance and to provide more value to the reader.

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14 Responses to “The art and science of being in the groove”

  1. Alice says:

    I think #4 on your list is crucial to making sure you are “in your groove”! If these two things don’t line up, it’s hard to feel the flow.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Very true, Alice. Being realistic about the amount of time we have in a day and working on activities that are of priority to keep us moving forward and in the right direction mitigates the activation of stress triggers and keeps us in the groove. Thanks for visiting The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Blog and sharing your important observation.

  2. Tamuria says:

    Vatsala I think you know how much I love my life of domestic bliss, centering on family, home, garden and a few hours of teaching each week. Despite that, if I didn’t squeeze in the time to start my blog I think I would have felt like I was in the ranks of the living dead, being happy to be content but not move forward at all. Naturally that has come at a cost as it’s a very time-consuming venture but I think I have your first two tips nailed. I struggle with the third and am often unrealistic in what I expect to get through each day. This is something I really need to work on. Your tips are so helpful.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I know how much you love to look after others and appreciate your caring nature, Tamuria, and I’m glad that you’ve made time to focus on a project that makes you feel alive and is part of a more holistic self-care routine. Self-expression is important and the labor of love that you invest in your blog makes it even more enjoyable for the reader.

      The third tip is where many of us feel challenged because we want to do so much! The ROI tip that I shared in my round up blog post on Financial Literacy and Money Management is useful here too in setting priorities.

  3. I got into an unexpected groove after retiring from an awesome 30 years as a career counselor. My reinvention did come as a surprise when I discovered a talent & passion for creating jewelry. Once my artistic daughter joined me, the business took shape. 8 years later I still get excited by what we are doing & all I have had to learn to market online.
    Since I was always a full time working mom I learned to juggle & always made time for me. Still do. I make balance #1, my todo lists are realistic & I learned how to prioritize.
    Great points, graphic & tips.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks Roslyn. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and graphics. Your reinvention story is an inspiration for all of us!

  4. “Be realistic”is a critical gentle reminder to me to take human steps, and to set human expectations. Balance, self-care, health maintenance are as important as every single inch of progress I make in my business. In fact, without them not much progress would be made.

    Thanks, great post. Will share it with my tribe right now.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Being realistic seems to be the theme that is emerging here, Sue, as is the need to remember that we are human. I feel sometimes when we are passionate about a project, whether it is a business, blog or our work, we forget to remember to slow down so that we can gain momentum again. Thank you for sharing the message with your tribe. I appreciate you!

  5. One thing I admire about the kids in their 20s and 30s is that they haven’t bought into the same work ethic or value system that generations before them did. They make their own way, do what they love and aren’t afraid to take chances and make changes when and if they are “unhappy” in their work life. I think from a biographical standpoint, these epiphanies about wanting to do more meaningful work and to be of service, do happen at a very specific time in our lives. If we don’t heed the call, we are destined for burnout, as you talk about Vatsala. Having the ability to step back and objectively witness ourselves and our lives, is a first step in taking the steps, whether they be baby steps or giant leaps, to turn things around to recreate a life that is fulfilling and “meaningful” to us! Thanks for the wonderful post, as this is a topic that we all can benefit from re-looking at ongoing in our lives!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      That’s an interesting observation, Beverley. Indeed today’s youngsters are better at taking risks but the feedback I have from the corporate world is that youngsters tend to job hop for money money and instant gratification which is a major concern as attrition costs companies. Risk taking is good as long as it has been well thought out and there is a back up plan. This fact came to light in a big was during the economic crisis of 2008 when white collared professionals faced redundancy for the first time and since they are not unionized, they didn’t know how to fight back. Quite a few had trouble meeting their loan repayments for homes that they had bought which were more in line with their visions of ‘having arrived’ rather than hard economic realities. Thanks again for sharing your insights, Beverley. They provide much food for thought.

  6. Reba Linker says:

    Hi Vatsala, I love this post and I especially appreciate your observation that most ‘overnight success stories’ are usually a long time in the making. That is so true, and a kind thought to share to help counter the prevailing expectation that big changes should be ‘easy’ or ‘overnight.’ xo, Reba

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Reba. I like to be transparent in my dealings with others and it gets my goat when people talk about their overnight success because it sets up unrealistic expectations in others of what their benchmark or milestone for success should be. True success is being one’s self and achieving goals in our own way and time frame.

  7. Love this! Learning to say no and not overbooking myself has been huge for me! just these 2 things have allowed me to have some”me” time, and be able to actually be there and enjoy the things I say “yes” to!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love it when readers tell me that they have been using my suggested tips on their own with results that allow them to enjoy themselves, Kimberly. You certainly are in your groove!

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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