February 11, 2020

Nathalie Lacombe Talks About Happiness

Conversation with Nathalie Lacombe. Nathalie is a career and leadership coach for fit pros, Mover, Shaker and Joie de Vivre Giver!  Based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, she is an international presenter and career consultant in the fitness industry.

"This Happiness Habits conversation with Nathalie Lacombe had me laughing out loud and appreciating her authenticity." - Laura
Nathalie Lacombe talks about happiness - Happiness Habits from the Heart by SOH

Nathalie Lacombe is a career and leadership coach for fitness professionals. She is a Mover, Shaker and Joie de Vivre Giver!

As a leadership and career coach for fitness pros, mover, shaker, and joie de vivre giver, Nathalie offers real, insightful tips on how to cultivate happiness in life and at work - even when you are feeling down.

Her fun-loving style will have you reflecting on how to be less judgmental and more caring and why movement matters... all forms of activity - from burpies to making love!

She takes positivity seriously and gives practical tips on how to move from cynicism and negativity to optimism and trust.

I’d love to hear what Happiness Habit did you found the most interesting.

What part of the conversation inspires you to take action?

Enjoy and Be Well.

More info about Nathalie Lacombe.

Nathalie Lacombe's Nuggets of Wisdom

  • 2:05 Nathalie’s definition of happiness
  • 4:15 How Nathalie defines a good day
  • 4:40 What emotion she struggled with and how she overcame it
  • 5:31 Nathalie shares her key strategies for happiness
  • 6:27 Burpies and making love
  • 8:15 The secret ingredient 🙂
  • 10:24 How to get back on course when you're feeling down
  • 12:03 These moments make us the happiest
  • 13:36 Get your zzz's!
  • 15:28 Why celebrate imperfection?
  • 16:31 How to bring positivity into your work culture
  • 18:08 How to be less reactive and more reflective
  • 19:41 Managing confrontation
  • 21:08 What mental algorithm are you creating?
  • 23:13 Laura's insight on the key component to Nathalie's longevity in the fitness industry

Transcription of Nathalie Lacombe's Conversation with Laura

Laura: (00:03)
Hello and welcome to happiness habits from the heart where you will find conversations from people who live from the heart and make happiness and choose happiness as a way of being. I'm Laura Wharf and I am delighted to be here today with methody Lacome mover shaker and [inaudible] giver. Not that we will be sharing her perspectives on happiness today and her habits that she cultivates in her own life to stay in hers, whether these and her positivity. So excited to have you here. Welcome. Welcome.

Nathalie: (00:42)
It's my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Laura: (00:45)
So I'd like just to take a few moments, Natalie, just to introduce you to our viewers and our listeners so they, uh, kind of get to in context where, where we're headed and who you are. And I think that you've, um, you're first a career in a leadership coach for fitness pros and you've had a really colorful background to O spanning over the last 25 years as an international presenter and you're presenting experience and your experience as a leader in a coach combined with your educational background, especially with your two degrees with exercise science and psychology. What a dynamic, powerful duo of knowledge that you're bringing to all of your clients. And I know that you share so passionately with your clients and your audiences and your teams that you've had the opportunity to work with these insight, your insightful knowledge that helps them move forward in their careers and their lives. So I'm sure they're very grateful having had you as a coach as well. And I love to be able to share some of this wisdom and knowledge that you've gathered along your path. Um, and maybe we'll just dive right in. Let's, I want to know first hear about your happiness. Um, habits. First of all, define what happiness is from your perspective and how you cultivate yours, whether these signature style.

Nathalie: (02:05)
I find that happiness from my perspective is something that, um, if we think about, I'm going to go into my psychology stuff a little bit. If we think about that nature nurture type of aspect, I find happiness is the same thing. I, uh, had the absolute pleasure of being raised in a family where I realize now emotional intelligence was a big part of it. I realize now the soft skills of, um, relationship building and connection and determination and growth and constant personal growth was a big part of it. That is where I had the pleasure of, uh, of spending my youth and spending my time. Um, and that culture was a big part of that. And so I feel that for a long time when people would say like, how come you're so joyful? Where do you get all your energy? How come you're so positive?

Nathalie: (02:56)
I'd be like, I dunno. It's just, it's just something that, you know, felt like I just, I just came with it. Um, and as I face leadership challenges and had the pleasure of leading leaders, had the pleasure of having executive roles and trying to make it more, um, like you said, the, those rituals are kind of make it more habits or things like that and essentially connecting with other people to hopefully help them find those same strengths when they absolutely needed it. Um, it's helped me study and learn how to kind of put it into, um, something that we can tap into even in the moments where it's just not available. Um, so I had it kind of growing up. Um, but it doesn't mean that it's always at my fingertips even for me. And so I was able to keep thinking about how I can tap into it in order for it to be really, for me, it's being my true authentic self because no matter where that is on the realm of happiness, on happiness, positivity, negativity, or anything else, if you are the most connected to who you are, I find that's when you drive home at the end of the day or you, you know, come home to your kids in your family in the best way possible is feel like you had a good day.

Nathalie: (04:15)
And to me a good day is a day where I can be my best, true, authentic self where I, do you know what I mean? Versus, yeah. Versus [inaudible]. Yes, integrity is a great word for that. Where were you just come back and you're like, yeah, that was not, you know, you have these conversations. Sometimes it's like two seconds with somebody and you walk away from it and you're like, yet that wasn't great and you have the emotion that I struggled the most. Living with more than grief is regret my whole life I've always struggled with regret. And so being able to be as present moment focused and have the integrity have the authenticity is how I've been able to keep myself in a place where mentally and emotionally I'm as healthy as possible.

Laura: (05:00)
[inaudible] so it sounds like that, you know, you've had the fortunate opportunity to have a family that helped you program and cultivate a foundation that Lisa of positivity and wellbeing and happiness in your life. What would you say now are your strategies for cultivating happiness and what kind of gradually without you knowing it probably became your signature style of who you are today. I bet you you had certain habits and things that you have done that you can identify now as being strategies towards your happiness.

Nathalie: (05:31)
Yeah, one of them would be, um, reflection and um, solitude there is, I, I learned early on I was single for a good chunk of my adult life. Um, and I learned, um, early on that being alone doesn't mean being lonely. And so pulling myself back to solitude. So if you go back to that authentic, if I might, you know, uh, my authentic thing is 100%. If I start to feel like I'm at 62, I will pull myself away from that and find a moment or time to reflect. And that could be whether I'm physically, mentally, emotionally, not my best self. I will pull myself into solitude and reflect, um, which now having studied yoga and everything else, that's probably a way that I meditated. Um, or that at least found mindfulness at the time. And I've always done that so that when I, so that again, I don't, I decrease the likelihood that I deal with regret.

Nathalie: (06:27)
And so that was a big piece of it for me is, is pulling myself back to resourcing through the first one that it was always available to me was movement. Movement was always the biggest one for me. Um, and I, I do feel like any form of movement is an exercise in self care, any form of movement. Um, and that it's really important to go back to that which could mean, um, you know, it could mean doing burpees. Um, it could mean making love. It could mean anything in the middle of that. You're doing burpees while making love. We'll get to that later. But the point being, starting to men that is very athletic. The God bless you, not must gay if that is what you're doing, but we'll get to that later. Um, and so pulling myself back to be able to come from movement and that's really where everything was launched for me. I, uh, we were raised with sport, we were raised with fitness and, and movement and getting the blood flowing and doing all of those things. And it broke my heart early on, even as a kid where people felt that exercise was punishment. Because know what you see. Oftentimes in gym classes, you're punished for eating too much. You're showing up late for gym class and you have to do pushups or anything else

Laura: (07:34)
as opposed to celebrating what you can,

Nathalie: (07:37)
it's celebrating what you can do. And so that was really the start of the career and movement and everything else. And so movement is a big part of it for me. So coming back to being alone, reflecting, um, personal growth opportunities through that, through that mindfulness or meditation and movement. Um, and the big one that I always had is food, creating food for me, for myself. Again, you know, I talked about how the single for a really long time or for others, I mean I have a collection of napkin rings for the love of Pete. So for me, having people over and you know, creating a theme of apples and everything, it just makes me happy. I read recipe books like other people read trashy magazines because that's where I find newbie. Um, because the secret ingredient is love. Yes. So if there is love in what you're making, that means their love. There's love in what you're consuming. And if you're consuming love, you refill your cup and you bring yourself to a place of desire and creativity and kindness and love. And so cooking is another big one for me.

Laura: (08:44)
Thank you for sharing that. And you, you've just validated me as well because I love my time in the kitchen where I'm creating either trying a new recipe or just developing something out of whatever I find in the fridge. And uh, my granny always been. It is, I love it. And you know, everything is energy and vibration, right? So what we're creating, what we're carrying with our hands, whether it's the food that we're touching or you know, the, the loved one that we're caressing there, there's an energy exchange there. And so love being the secret ingredient, um, is, is true and that that's something I grew up with as well. So thank you.

Nathalie: (09:16)
Isn't it nice? Oh, it's my pleasure. It's something that comes from your heart versus something that comes from a box.

Laura: (09:21)
Yeah, absolutely. And this is all part of the happiness habits from the heart because when we come from this space, you know, use those words, authenticity and integrity and, and learning to really kind of sift through all the external stuff and old patterns or belief systems or things we might be exposed to that just aren't real or aren't true. Um, and you mentioned something before that I'd love for you to kind of maybe hone in on because we are bombarded by a lot of challenges in our world and we're challenged at work and we're challenged in our families, you know, and that can bring up different varying forms of emotions. And your background in psychology, I'm sure you've coached a lot of people on this before, so how in your experience, um, can we cultivate happiness when we are feeling low or we're feeling down because you know, I'll take an aside. Happiness. If it's an inside job, we don't have to be gleeful and joyful all the time. Happiness can be a choice, but when we're not well or we're feeling those down moments, what are some of those things that you could recommend to kind of get us back and on path?

Nathalie: (10:24)
Of course? Yeah, as silly as it sounds, I think I should, I shouldn't say it's silly, but even in the moments of, of really, um, a big challenge, um, there's, there's gratitude in the challenge. It's States for it's somewhere. Um, and the time where I learned that a lot, I happened to, as I was doing my, um, my yoga teacher training is the same time that my husband and I were going through infertility challenges. And in order for us to stay happy or at least stayed together as a couple, as we went through a really, really tough time for the two of us, um, gratitudes is what we started doing. And we did it, we literally call it gratitudes within NAZA. I don't know why, but we're like, let's do gratitudes. And it started becoming a habit that we would do at night. And there were days where it was as simple as I'm grateful that the day is over, but at least opens up a conversation.

Nathalie: (11:16)
So I had nothing, was never acceptable for us. It would be like, um, I'm grateful that my pajamas comfortable and that's it. And that's okay. And then usually it opens up the conversation for other things because, and when we look at this, when it comes to brain science, what you feel when you go to bed at night is really, really critical. And so if you want to move towards something that's positive, um, and you want to move towards happiness, it doesn't mean that you're like falling asleep with a big smile on your face, but you're like, there are some things for which I can be grateful. There is something of, for which I can be grateful and I can tap into that by taking a deep breath, being mindful, um, and seeing where I can actually find gratitude. And so that one to me is really important and everybody has those places.

Nathalie: (12:03)
Where on those times where you struggled, um, or the times that you really happy. What are some things that were going on? I would bet it's not looking at social media first thing in the morning. Um, I would bet it would include some form of movement. I would bet it would include some form of social interaction with the people who know you well and bring you towards positivity as well as time in reflection and solitude, whether that's watching a movie, reading a great book or complete silence or anything that comes along with that. But there's probably a combination of those things. And if you look at the moments where you're most challenged by things in life, we tend to sacrifice. Um, the things that we know are the things that bring us to towards happiness. And so whether we skip the workouts, we go back to social media, we don't cook the food as much. We go to restaurants more. All of those things will have an impact on it.

Laura: (12:55)
So we slipped back into some of those things that aren't necessarily good for our mental or physical wellbeing. And it shows up in our moods, in our attitudes, right? It shows up in her moods and her attitudes. Yeah. Yeah. And I love how you say the gratitudes at night is so important and that's a practice that I move in and out of, um, quite often to go to sleep with a peaceful heart because our subconscious brain is working overnight. And I think it's learning how to create and rewire new neural pathways of positivity, cause happiness and positivity can be a learned skill. Would you agree?

Nathalie: (13:26)
Absolutely. And sleep is, I've always had a tremendous, I'm one of those people that will never wake up, someone in the fright. I'm always gentle. I have incredible respect for sleep. Um, I do my best when I'm sleeping about eight hours a night. Um, and in whichever way I can create that sleep hygiene is something that's really critical for me. You need to be rested to talk with your hands this much. You need to have the time. It's, you know what I mean? And call it balance. You know what, something I should've said something which I thought was really great is the concept of balance means even this, which I think for people is just in terms of hours in a day, really challenging somebody used the concept of fit because at different times it's, it's your life to spend more time at work versus time at home and other times it fits your life to take more vacations because that's what you need.

Nathalie: (14:17)
So, and I love because as you know, I'm in the fitness industry, so the ideas, that's what fits right now and a different week, a different time in your life when you have children, you don't have children. When you're growing up, everything else, different things fit differently versus thinking it's like 50, 50, like the physical aspect of in bed, almost like a balanced kind of scale. Do you know what I mean? And so I like the concept of like what fits right now. Um, and sometimes they're going to be like, it doesn't fit right now to spend a ton of time with my family because that's not what I need right now. In order for me to move towards that integrity and that authenticity and that's okay.

Laura: (14:52)
And that's like that. So it's not putting pressure on yourself. And I'd like to, we'll summarize a little bit of your personal wellness rituals. So based on what you're saying then the rituals don't have to be the same every single day, cause that may put pressure and it's not what you need in the moment. And I'm sure yoga and your mindfulness training has also taught you as it has for me to be self aware enough to tune in and say what would honor me right now, what it is that I need to come back into balance. Is it a meditation? Is it movement? Is it being creative in the kitchen? Is it solitude? These are all rituals that you've shared so far and good sleep for sure. I agree with you on that one too. Um,

Nathalie: (15:28)
and celebrating the imperfection of it all. I think sometimes the striving towards perfection just impedes excellence. Absolutely. And so celebrating the imperfection of it all and being okay, being okay with what it is. The first thing you gotta be gratitude is be grateful for us, whoever you are and wherever you are in that pace and giving yourself a little bit of cutting yourself some Slack, you know, sometimes and are coming back with those. Or again it all comes from the reflection. So coming back to the rituals or understanding that the rituals don't fit right then and there and you'll get back to them when it's in that place. And that's okay for me right now.

Laura: (16:06)
I love it. I've, I'd also really enjoy, not that if you can share some of your happiness and positivity coaching tips in the workplace because we spend more time often in our workplaces and in our projects sometimes and we do with our family and our friends. And so we talk about balance. How can we strike that balance also within our workplace. And you have a table that you've shared with your teams and I'd love to be able to share that for you to sure.

Nathalie: (16:31)
Yeah. If you want to pull it up. And the reality is, is that has to do with work culture, right? So just like there's a culture of your upbringing in that family, there's a culture of your adult family and there's absolutely a culture in each and every workplace. Um, and mine goes along the lines of I take my positivity very seriously. Um, because I think there's an assumption that when you're an executive summary, you have to be serious about work and everything else. But, and I am very serious about being positive and because for me, that is how we can all enjoy that work culture and strive towards, you know, driving for results and performance and professional growth and phenomenal careers. And that's what's important. So this is the way that I had actually, cause I find sometimes you need to make things, you need to have a recipe. And so this is the recipe for positivity going back to the kitchen. Of course. Yes.

Laura: (17:19)
So we'll all find this very valuable. I love how you've summarized it.

Nathalie: (17:23)
Yeah. And so the less is, you know, um, the things that we want to move away from and then the move towards from so more curiosity and seeking to understand versus jumping to conclusions, which is sometimes again, these are habits and these are patterns that we need to figure out how to break them. It helps when you have tools. Um, so less cynicism, negativity, more optimism and trust. Trust is a big one that people talk about a lot in any relationship. And so that's, that needs to be president of the workplace. Less gossip and in broken trust more candidly speaking to the right person if something has taken place and we need to address something, not speaking to the 42 other people about it, but actually going to the right person with safety and trust and speaking candidly, less judgment and more caring and empathy.

Nathalie: (18:09)
Um, less opinion, more reflection. That's such a big one for me. Um, we're in a, we're in a time right now where everything's opinion, whether, and we're asked to make, come up with it's super quickly. Um, and it's all, it's a lot of what you see on social media. There's not a lot of time to reflect. Everything has to be instantaneous. But the difference between the animal world and the human world is animals react. Humans who reflect and therefore respond. And reflection is the key between reacting and responding. And that's the difference between opinion and reflection. For me, less worrying about the past and more being solutions focused about the future. Therefore that's the recipe for me towards positivity. And it takes work in any culture, whether it'd be family, business or anything else, friendships. It takes work to do this. Um, and it takes practice and it, it takes us being okay with the imperfection and striving towards again, um, moving towards being grateful for any opportunity for excellence that we can have in there.

Laura: (19:08)
And can I say maybe also being bull of heck and B, maybe it's a bold statement to say that this also requires courage to follow these, you know, to go and speak to somebody if you're feeling hurt or upset or somebody insulted you or you feel insulted for it from some way. You know, being able to have the courage to have a conversation with a person because it's often not what you thought.

Nathalie: (19:28)
Courage. And I think the skills to do that and we're not, um, again, learn to avoid confrontation or to do it on social media when it builds up with us. And that's to have that protective layer of a computer or cyber space between us and somebody else. And I think we've lost the habit of, of handling things with pairing. Um, and um, and assuming again, if we're not confronting somebody for not having the courage, and I say confrontation and not necessarily a negative way, but actually confronting what it is that we need to deal with to do it in a way that we're fearful of how it's going to go. But again, that's an assumption, right? So if we manage our stories and we meditate and reflect on what we want the outcome to be and become added with trust and optimism, oftentimes those conversations will actually be much better than we might've thought. So at the beginning

Laura: (20:16)
if we speak from our heart and more than our heads know. And I do think too that it is a, I like what you say that it's a skill because these, um, any kind of conversation where there was something I wanted to mention on that, but I'm just forgetting now. But

Nathalie: (20:30)

Laura: (20:32)
yeah. Then it'll come back to me. But there was something that you mentioned that I found really, really important in terms of a skill Oh yes. Of what we're exposed to. So I think that it's easy to get caught up in sometimes the negativity with everything that we in media and wherever else this negativity might be coming from to choose not to jump on board with that. You mentioned something before about being bombarded by social media messages and all of this is programming our subconscious minds. So perhaps it's also a skill to choose what we expose ourselves to the people, our environment and media channels.

Nathalie: (21:08)
Absolutely. And, and it's how the algorithms and the AI work on social media platforms cause they want you to stay on there as much as possible. So if you start going down the rabbit hole of something that is negative, the platform will feed you this stuff constantly and constantly and you don't even realize you're like, Oh, I just, I saw it on Twitter and, and it didn't just happen. Somebody on a computer made it happen. But that's rewiring us. And so yes, we absolutely have a choice to wire or rewire ourselves towards what we want it to be in our minds. Um, in the same way that somebody else would want it to do that. And so the more you like things on social media that are positive, the more positive things will be fed to you. Um, the more you like things and you have gratitude in real life, the more these things will come to you. It works the same way behind the screens as it works in real life.

Laura: (21:57)
Yeah. What a great connection there. Hey, thank you so much, sadly for sharing all these tips. Is there anything else that you'd like to share with our viewers and listeners in terms of happiness, habits, positivity, or is whether these,

Nathalie: (22:11)
I think I would, I would have us think about where we, um, where we come from when we make choices and decisions. So you use the word choice, which I think is quite, um, quite poignant. So choices and decisions come from us in order for us to make those easier. Um, and like I said, you know, there's a lot of people that come to me in career coaching when they feel stuck in some things. And one of the first questions I ask is, you feel like you're moving away from something or moving towards something. Um, because the energy of that is incredibly different. And that's sometimes where we feel like we need to be courageous. We need to be brave is oftentimes because we're moving away from something versus if we look at where we're moving towards, there's a lovely opportunity for us to make the choices and make the decisions that help us build our career in our lives and us as leaders of our own lives. And sometimes leaders of other people in a really positive way is to figure out where we want to go. [inaudible] longer want to go. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Laura: (23:14)
[inaudible] Oh, I like that. Thank you. You have so many wisdom nuggets to share that I'm sure we could continue easily to have this conversation for the next hour and not that he, I sincerely have to say one thing I've always appreciated you and it just projects here also on the screen is your caring. And I think if a takeaway for those of better joining us here now could be, can we bring more caring into everything that we do from our cooking to our own exercise and how we self care and take care of our bodies and you taking care of our families and our colleagues and you know, anything nature that comes into contact with us. Um, and you're really good at that. And I think that's probably one of the reasons why you've had such success and longevity in this career because you're not just in it for a career or a paycheck. You're in it because you sincerely want to elevate people. And by elevating others, we're creating a more beautiful, happier world to live in. So thank you for that.

Nathalie: (24:09)
Oh well thank you. It takes a special person to notice that in other people and that's why it's always been a pleasure for me to collaborate with you for the last, I don't know, 15 years or something and hopefully many, many more. It's always been a pleasure. Thank you.

Laura: (24:22)
Oh well thank you. For sure. I know it's, um, it's joyful and uplifting being in your presence. Thank you so much. So I just want to, we'll close off for now. I wanted to, um, perhaps before we close off is with all your wisdom nuggets, people may be curious on how they can learn more about you or how they can get in touch with you. Can you share that?

Nathalie: (24:42)
I'd love to connect with people and so you can find me on social media with ethnicity, like home coaching. Um, if you type in that any Lake home and you see a person like this and it's probably me, there's usually big eyes and big, deep. Um, and also through, you know, a lot of things through my website or my email at [inaudible] dot com. Um, really easy to find me online and, and I'm happy to connect with anybody who wants to reach out and see if there's ways that we can keep collaborating together.

Laura: (25:12)
Well, it's all about community and collaboration and here we are. This is what we're doing with happiness habits. And, uh, I just want to thank you again, sincerely from my heart and to you as a heart centered person as well. Um, and thank all of our viewers and listeners for tuning in. I hope that you picked up some nuggets and perhaps reflect on what's the one habit that you can now bring into your life personally or career-wise, that'll make a difference for you. And, um, so thanks for tuning in and until next time, Laura and Methodist signing off, bye bye.

About the Author

Laura Warf is the founder of the School of Happiness holistic wellness center whose methods are based on tools from ancient teachings to today’s current research to inspire others to take charge of their complete well-being by following her 8 essential elements to health and happiness. She is a healthy living advocate, passionate wellness educator and mind-body specialist offering services in corporate wellness, yoga, meditation, energetic balancing, and fitness conditioning. Laura is also co-founder of the Mend My Back at MendMyBackProgram.com
For more about Laura visit: LauraWarf.com

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