Today’s guest “can do yoga as good as a yogi, run as fast as a cheetah, and clean as good as a vacuum.”

All of this is according to her son at age 5!

Today’s guest is Debra Lafler. Her approach to wellbeing provides an integrated body-mind-spirit perspective. Debra is an employee wellness and employee assistance program manager for a large employer in Madison, WI; and also is a private coach, consultant and speaker for individuals, groups, or employers in the Madison, Wisconsin area.

Today we talk about the taboo subject of spirituality in the workplace. Debra starts off tell us about her winding road of exploration in the wellness profession and what got her curious about spirituality. She drops quite a bomb about something that happened to her about 12 years ago. I commend her for sharing something so personal. I’m not going to spoil it…you’ll have to listen.

Debra goes on to define spirituality, how it’s different than religion and ways to incorporate this concept into the workplace.

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:
  • Debra had a few “a-has” that giving people an exercise and nutrition plan wasn’t “it” for her or the people she was trying to help.
  • We’re not alive to prove we are good enough.
  • If we don’t let go of the labels, we’ll keep focusing on them. Once the labels go away, then we can get curious about why people do the things they do.
  • Something about the human spirit must be touched in order to have us move in any way.
  • Spirituality is your higher self, how are you connected to other humans and how is what you do making ripples around you.
Check out these highlights (with timestamps):
  • Debra’s path when she started to doubt the wellness profession. [8:28]
  • Debra’s downward spiral into a depressed and anxious state. [15:20]
  • Her perspective on suicide. [21:35]
  • The rules/standards based approach to wellness makes people feel like they’re failing. [26:48]
  • Debra’s definition of spirituality and how it’s different than religion. [30:15]
  • How we can overcome the stigma of bringing spirituality in the workplace. [39:30]
  • A safer way to define spirit that has nothing to do with religion. [44:00]
  • How wellness professionals can start introducing spirituality in the workplace. [47:00]
Mentioned in this episode:

John Travis’s Iceberg Model & Illness-Wellness Continuum

Nick Vujicic video

NWI Wellness Model (with Spiritual Wellness definition) 

Mental Health America’s “Take Care of Your Spirit” (includes religion but has many other suggestions)

deblafler@gmail.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Personal.Wellness.Development/

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deblafler/

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/deblafler

 

Full Bio:

According to her youngest son at age 5, Debra was superwoman! To adults, she has been described as genuine, refreshingly vulnerable, connected, compassionate, deep, soulful and wise.  She has a nickname as “Dr. Soul,” and her hugs are known to provide a sense of unconditional love, peace, and healing.

Debra has delivered seminars at trainings, team meetings, retreats, and conferences on the topics of wellness & wellbeing, positivity, resilience, stress management, mindfulness, behavior change, and igniting the human spirit.

Professionally, she is employed as an employee wellness and employee assistance program manager for a large employer in Madison, WI; and also is a private coach, consultant and speaker for individuals, groups, or employers in the Madison, Wisconsin area.

Academically, Debra has earned a Doctorate degree in Spiritual Studies and Divinity from The Emerson Theological Institute; a Master of Arts degree in Health & Behavior Studies with a focus in Health Education from Columbia University; and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with Certificates in Wellness and Coaching from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

She has additional training in worksite wellness, wellness speaking, fitness, yoga, Reiki, meditation, grief support, and holistic stress management.

Debra’s approach to wellbeing provides an integrated body-mind-spirit perspective.

She believes that “wellness is a life-long process of self-discovery and self-improvement. This process is about progress, and not perfection.” Her mission is to help others foster their own personal wellbeing through personal awareness, curiosity, and compassion.