Do You know how to tap into Your executive presence?
Gilda Joffe has transferred her skills as an internationally renowned violinist in to coaching executive women with a vivid vision how to perform in their world.
📚Dancing with Your Muse: Inner Magic to Release Fear and Embrace Creativity (2021)
🤷 What Inspired Me
📚This heartfelt, motivational guide speaks to the fear of having a dream and chances of failure. You are not alone in this fear. Dance with your muse and progress past the fear fencing you in to achieve your goals without inhibition.
About the Guest
Gilda Joffe is an Executive Presence & Mindset Coach for high-performing female leadership.
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Dr. Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
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Intro: You're listening to Life and Leadership: A Conscious Journey. The podcast that shares wisdom and strength. Join your host, Dr. Michelle St Jane's conversation on how to have a positive impact for people, planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention, to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to life one today at a time, you’re in the right place at the right time. Let's get started.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:00:39] Gilda Joffe is an executive presence and mindset coach for high performing female executives. She assists them with bringing their best.
☝️Do you ever feel like your life has a performance where you play many different roles, even as you lead your leadership?
☝️Has you feeling like you're part of a theater troupe with a different part to pay each day?
In the words of William Shakespeare, “
“All the world is a stage, and all men and women are merely players.”
Gilda Joffe is a violinist with a 40 plus year career in the classical music industry. She’s toured internationally as a professional violinist. Playing on some of the world's greatest stages. She started her training at Julliard school of music in New York. Gilda reached the top by performing with disciplined dedication.
☝️Have you experienced a great joy, the emotional sinkholes and face discrimination as a woman in a male dominated field?
She is well positioned to transfer her wisdom into the business area. Coaching executive. Gilda, I am a big fan. I appreciate how you show up in the world.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:01:44] I really love the title of your book “Dancing with your Muse.”
I'm going to open this up with the question: what has made you smile this month?
Gilda Joffe: [00:01:53] The actual true answer is knowing that spring is coming. Really what makes me smile is knowing that I can help women to get beyond some of the chains that they put around themselves emotionally. That really makes me smile. When someone can come out of themselves.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:16] My favorite color is yellow. I can't wait for the daffodils that start coming up around Easter. In Bermuda, we have Easter lilies that just smell divine.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:02:26] The bird song and the aroma of flowers makes me very happy.
I love the title of your book that came out in 2021 ‘Dancing with Your Muse’ and it’s about the magic to release fear and embrace creativity. What an awesome topic. Tell us about you and your paths to being an author.
Gilda Joffe: [00:02:48] I didn't really plan on being an author at any particular point. During COVID I had had some ideas in my head that were running around, and I thought during the first year of COVID, if I don't write it this year, then I don't necessarily think it's going to be written.
Gilda Joffe: [00:03:03] So, I started, and it really developed and encapsulated so many things that I had learned in my own life that I wanted to put together in a way that people could easily understand without feeling that they had to plow through a novel.
Gilda Joffe: [00:03:22] So, it's a series of 30 essays, which really deal with the most common fears that women have, or the people have in their lives concerning releasing their creativity and allowing themselves to do.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:35] What a beautiful gift to the world. I dream big, but on my shoulder, the imposter syndrome can be sitting there.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:03:43] And the devil's saying, who do you think you are? I only have to look at my past behavior to know I can do things like this.
For example, take this podcast, I didn't know what a podcast was. It came into my head during meditation and eight weeks later, I had one.
If I had let the fear of failure color my thoughts, I might not have even gotten around to it.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:04:07] So, I agree. Fear of failure is such a universal issue. You have nailed the hard yards in terms of you being a performer.
Gilda Joffe: [00:04:17] Sure. I mean, there were so many times when, as a performer, I didn't get the position I want. I had a horrible audition. I had umpteen projections.
Gilda Joffe: [00:04:28] As an artist or anybody in any business, we all have our share of rejections and quote failures. And I say, ‘quote,’ because there really isn't any such thing. There really isn't any such thing as failure or success. It all depends on how you look at the situation. It's like, you can go up or you can go down, which way is better.
Gilda Joffe: [00:04:49] You really don't know because it depends on the direction that you want to go. So, when you have a quote ‘failure,’ its only information telling you what you need to tweak a little or do something differently.
Success really means that you've reached that particular goal that you wanted to. Then there's always another one.
Gilda Joffe: [00:05:05]
It really depends on where You want to go and how You want to grow 🌱
🏵️ That should take some of the pressure off people thinking You've got to get this or that.
🏵️ There are many paths to Your goals. You just don't know about them.
🏵️ I'm here to say that there isn't one way to do something. There isn't one way that to get to a future. 🪃
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:05:29] Well said!
Self Confession: I’m a triple ‘A’ workaholic in recovery. I'm very focused on moving from doing to being. It's a work in progress some days.
I appreciate your use of the metaphor of a staircase because it took my mind back to Harry Potter film. At their school, the staircases were moving. When they change classes, they kind of had to get to the right one and know that it was going to join to the next.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:05:55] You put me in mind of those horrific moments where you're suddenly redundant. In that you're thinking you’re on this staircase and, well, it's just a redirection. Take the jump onto the staircase that takes you to the next place you're meant to be. Be it down a level to explore something new or upper level to create something new.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:14] You've really done the hard yards with your 40 plus year career. That is amazing.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:06:35] You speak to in your book about judgment and criticism. I like the idea that they are guides. They're your internal guides, they are an influence on your thoughts of a visiting influence. What are your thoughts?
Gilda Joffe: [00:06:48] My thoughts around judgment and criticism are that we are our own worst critic. Nobody can be better at being judgmental and criticizing ourselves than ourselves.
Gilda Joffe: [00:07:01] It hurts when somebody from the outside does it. Much more dramatically intimidating when we do it to ourselves.
I think there's two points there:
One that we have to think about where the criticism is coming from, when it's coming from somebody from the outside, whether it's coming from an emotional disappointment on their end, which is causing them to try to squelch you, or whether they really don't know what they're talking.
Two, whether they do know what they're talking about, but you need to extract the positive elements from what they're saying from the destructive way in which they're saying it.
So that's from the outside then from the inside. We need to understand that kindness and compassion towards ourselves.
Gilda Joffe: [00:07:43] It’s really where it's at because we wouldn't treat somebody else the way we treat ourselves. When we're being overly judgmental and critical it really doesn't help. It's not a kind thing to do, and it's not necessarily. Most of the time, not true when we're beating ourselves over the head with something negative that we're saying about ourselves, that's an old voice from somebody on the outside.
Gilda Joffe: [00:08:08] Internal voices are really the soul voice, are always supportive. The other voices come from the little devil on your shoulder or the voice from outside, which has been internalized. Those are my thoughts on where judgment and criticism come from. We have to be very careful what we're listening to and understand what we're listening to and where that voice comes from before we really take its information.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:08:33] Well, said. I find using a tool that's worked well for me has been to self-witness. Step aside from that interaction and view it like it's a movie or I am a bystander.
Often you can see more than when you're in the moment. You've got these feelings and you want to interrupt and say, “hang on you haven't got all the information.”
Often these people are divine messengers. A little wake up or break. Other times they're a little bit late. You've kind of moved past that point as a self-witness, you can say, “I got that memo. Thank you for the reminder. I'll check back in. Not necessarily right now but put that memo for another time to consider.”
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:09:15] I like what you say in your book about success and different guises. That's a mouthful. How did you have to expand your notion of success?
Gilda Joffe: [00:09:24] I had to expand it to what it really meant to me rather than what it means to society or what it means to others. For example, when I decided to leave my former career and to literally leave the country where I was playing in a major orchestra, my colleagues said to me, “well, what are you going to do?”
Gilda Joffe: [00:09:47] They couldn't fathom the idea that I could change my life path because it was very scary. I understand that it's scary to everyone, but success is only what you think. It doesn't necessarily mean millions of dollars in the bank, although it can mean that to somebody. It doesn't necessarily mean being the CEO of a corporation, although it can mean that to somebody. It really means what it means to you. And if that means going around the world with a backpack on your back and nothing else. That is success as well. It really has no definition except for what you give it.
When you start thinking like that, it takes again, enormous pressure to conform, to outside ways of thinking away from you.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:10:36] You and I are everyday dreamers. We've both courageously chosen to take different pathways to creative success.
I want to go back to something you said earlier about internal voices are always the supportive voice. I’ve learnt appreciate that quietest voice.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:10:56] If you've got people loudly and proudly telling you, no, no, don't leave. Stay in that job for another 25 years. There's a great tension coming. It's really hard to hear that voice saying we have work to do. We're called to show up in a certain way. How can we courageously choose the path?
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:11:15] I'm going to shift gears here now. I appreciate your book, yet you have another super genius that is in the area of ➕ 💖 HeartMath® . I love this because for about 25 years, I've been following ➕ 💖 HeartMath® . I’ve been using they’re and the balance trainer on a regular basis.
You're a certified ➕ 💖 HeartMath® trainer and coach. That makes you an incredibly powerful person to have on the team in terms of evolving and transforming into your best self.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:11:44] Tell us about your journey, because this is a way of unlocking the power of your 💖 heart and creating a new story of yourself starting today.
Gilda Joffe: [00:11:55] Well, it's a bit of a zigzag story actually. It all started in the early eighties.
Well, I need to start with my brother actually, because he is part of a team. He’s been working with ➕ 💖 HeartMath® for many years and developed some of the algorithms that go into the biofeedback equipment.
My brother is a biofeedback and a brain specialist. In the early eighties, he knew about ➕ 💖 HeartMath® . He’d talked to me about it. I barely listened because I was in the middle of my career as a musician. I was preparing for auditions. I heard him and it went in one ear and out the other. I thought, “how nice it's interesting.”
Then later on in my career I noticed, not only for myself, but for my colleagues, being under the tremendous stress, strain and fear that went along with the profession and of course with many other professions as well. And I started looking around for different modalities that would help people, my students, and other clients in terms of stress management and fear.
Gilda Joffe: [00:12:57] I circled back to ➕ 💖 HeartMath® and started to really investigate this wonderful modality. I went out to the ➕ 💖 HeartMath® Institute in Boulder Creek, California, and met the people there that are the real linchpins of the whole organization. Wonderful people who really walk the talk, so to speak.
Gilda Joffe: [00:13:17] It's not just something they do. It's something that they live and it's their whole life.
I started learning and started training. I felt that this was incredibly useful for myself, for my students and my clients to really get them to a point where they could change their bodies physiologically and their minds to a place where they would not be running in circles like a Guinea pig on a wheel.
Gilda Joffe: [00:13:42] ➕ 💖 HeartMath® really helped me and it helps them to establish a baseline where they can trust them. They can more easily hear that soul voice because they bring themselves to a place called coherence. Where you really are in sync with your 💖 heart and your brain together, which leads you to be able to understand yourself and others a little bit better. A lot of words, but that's how.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:14:07] It's a wonderful story. I'm just going to drop some stats that I pulled off their website. Using the ➕ 💖 HeartMath® training and technology can (with medical supervision and guidance):
🔽 reduce depression by 56%.
🔽 reduce fatigue by 48%
🔽 reduce anxiety by 46%.
Improve your calmness 38%.
Here's what I consider my superpower 😴 sleep. It can improve up to 30%, your sleep and up to a 24% improvement in your ability to focus.
You know, when you're working with high performing people and being a high performer yourself, this is all incredibly important.
I was so blessed to discover and be an early adopter of ➕ 💖 HeartMath® . It was like a divine wink that I discovered ➕ 💖 HeartMath® a good 25 years ago and have using it ever since.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:14:57] I try to create a daily practice around [00:14:57]. How often do you practice with ➕ 💖 HeartMath® ?]
Gilda Joffe: [00:15:11] Basically, I just do it every day. The great thing about ➕ 💖 HeartMath® is that you can do it in the moment. I can do it while I'm speaking to you. It's not that I necessarily have to go and meditate for 20 minutes, which is wonderful by itself.
Gilda Joffe: [00:15:32] It's the kind of thing that you can bring with you into any situation or a preparation for a situation or to recuperate from a situation. Sometimes we feel so good after having done it for a while that we forget to do it for a while because it brings us to a certain level.
Now, I just want to reiterate that those people who need medication for whatever conditions they have, I would never say drop your medications and do ➕ 💖 HeartMath® because ➕ 💖 HeartMath® would never say that. But what it does is, is it teaches your body to learn how to behave in a different manner, which is more supportive to you when feeling as if you have a finger stuck in the electric socket and your whole being is buzzing like that.
Gilda Joffe: [00:16:16] So it does help sleep. It does help anxiety. It does help depression.
It helps people in the military, police force first responders which are groups that ➕ 💖 HeartMath® works with. It works with children. It works with teachers. It works with all populations where you need to have positive control over your physical and mental being.
Gilda Joffe: [00:16:36] For those of us who are not in those extraordinary situations where stress is hitting us over the head in the moment, it helps us to just live a daily life. Which is not always at the edge of the cliff so that we can come into a situation with more tools at our disposal and don't always feel as if we're on the Razor's edge.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:16:56] Yes. Thank you. We're not suggesting you replace your medication or your medical advice.
I appreciate your story behind finding ➕ 💖 HeartMath® . Since I was a teenager, I have had an intention to live from that deep abiding place that I find with prayer, meditation, contemplation, yoga, and very recently I've moved into sophrology.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:17:21] Sophrology means you're living from and loving from your inside out as opposed to being pushed and shoved from conditioning or outside in.
Speaking from contemplation, towards the end of last century, I was kind of like my 💖 heart's not a pump or a metronome. I can imagine my 💖 heart being more. I would call that a divine wink. Certainly, wasn't something I had any knowledge about, but once I was thinking that way, imagining what my 💖 heart could possibly do. I can feel this more. That led me into the sort of 💖 heart rhythm coherence and the biofeedback and appreciating the effects.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:18:01] You're also deeply and powerfully engaged from a position of music and the impact of music, whole mood and mental clarity and tension. Would you like to share about that Gilda?
Gilda Joffe: [00:18:18] When I actually stopped my career. When I mean stopped, I stopped being the professional performer stopped being in rehearsal six hours a day or more. I realized that something was missing besides the obvious thing that I wasn't doing, what I was doing. After a while, I realized that what I was missing was constantly being around a wall of sound vibrations coming through my body. It took me a long time to realize that I was actually missing that. Not in the way that I'm missing doing something, but something was missing from my environment.
Gilda Joffe: [00:18:54] After realizing that this wall of sound was not present in my life in the way that it had been, I started thinking about what the components of that wall of sound was, vibrations, sound. Then I started listening to what the music was sort of coming from myself out instead of from the outside. I realize I'm being a little bit esoteric and vague here. But the wall of sound on the outside was really only representative of what was happening in myself. If I could hear it.
I began to explore that the vibrations within myself. How the vibrations come from myself into my world. Of course, I'm still exploring that. You need a couple of lifetimes to do that. We need a couple of lifetimes to do a lot of things, as we realize there was so much more.
I haven't the vaguest idea if I've answered your question. That's how music sort of came from the outside in. Then starting to work with my own music from the inside.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:19:52] That's beautiful. I, too, have heard the music from within and actually wrote a protest song around 2012. Letting that music out it's really important for me. There was a lot of noise from the outside. Just transitioning to gratitude, the parent of all virtues, and just staying with the ➕ 💖 HeartMath® .
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:20:13] You know, the grateful 💖 heart has a psychophysiological creates this opportunity to have a spiritual appreciation and expand what our experiences could be along with the self-regulation.
I really appreciate the work on the heart rate variability and COVID. But there was so much therapeutic opportunity here that we may be missing.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:20:37] We're out this getting in so many steps a day. But really our 💖 heart is right here in there with us. Generating not just energy to pump out blood, but the energy of creativity and inspiration as well. Has this been your experience?
Gilda Joffe: [00:20:49] Absolutely. When you were speaking about that, I was thinking about the fact that when you are doing some of the ➕ 💖 HeartMath® techniques, you can actually see in the biofeedback.
How your heart rate variability changes. You can actually literally see how on the graph. It will look like this normally and when you are feeling compassion or gratitude. It will actually change on the biofeedback into smooth lines.
Of course, it's not just a pump. We know that when we feel compassion or gratitude, we feel very differently in our bodies than we do on a beta state of mind, which is our usual state of mind in everyday life.
Gilda Joffe: [00:21:31] When we feel gratitude and compassion, something is really different in our bodies. The next time anybody feels that will notice how differently it feels from other emotions. Even, from other positive emotions, like joy or calm or happiness, gratitude.
Each has its own body markers, so to speak. It's a feeling of expansion. It's a feeling of openness. It's just a wonderful feeling that I think people should notice so that they can come back to that feeling and to realize how helpful it is. Not only for ourselves, but for the people that were putting that gratitude and compassion out there for, because in our magnetic fields, we're putting that out. It's not just for us, it's for other people in our area that were with.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:22:16] Absolutely. I'm also looking deeper into the dialogue of being able to decode the language of 💖 heart. I've actively, certainly since the end of last century, consciously less so than just unconsciously to that point, looking to my 💖 heart as my intuitive guidance system, aligning with my core values, my sense of purpose.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:22:39] There is this deeper wisdom and intelligence that we can connect with if we're willing and open to doing so. Yeah, making higher choices and deciding where you want to go. It really comes down to the mind's intention and the 💖 heart's intention. Being able to pick the best path or to go hand in hand when finding your purpose and how you want to explore that and determine how you would like to express.
Dr. Michelle St Jane [00:23:04] : Absolutely. Let's be in mind to that song by Celine Dion, ‘My 💖 Heart Will Go On.’ Oh, I just love that.
There are many types of intuition. There's very deep and good science around that the 💖 heart knows. In fact, I remember reading research that ➕ 💖 HeartMath® has on their website about your 💖 heart actually is reacting six seconds ahead of your brain.
Gilda Joffe: [00:23:27] ➕ 💖 HeartMath® did some wonderful experiments with computer and images and people's fear. Long story short, the body was reacting to what the image would be on the computer before it was actually shown. And it was a randomly done image. Even the people in the laboratory didn't know what images were coming up.
Gilda Joffe: [00:23:46] Participants had sensors on their arms. It really is amazing. Well, it's sort of how you feel on a dark street. You may be a little bit nervous, but you sense things just before they might happen. I don't want to go around that corner or I don't necessarily want to go here or maybe I shouldn't do that. Or maybe I should do this.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:24:04] Yes, like, I really had to call you on the phone. Right? There's a lot of people I've heard say “I was just thinking of you, and you called,” right.
➕ 💖 HeartMath® also have Global Coherence Initiative. If you've been involved, can you share a little bit about this.
Gilda Joffe: [00:24:19] I haven't been necessarily involved myself. I know several people that are involved in the Global Coherence Initiative, which really has to do with training many people in different parts of the world and setting up programs.
Gilda Joffe: [00:24:32] Two different tensions and really try to prevent war in some cases, between different groups of people. I know that there was a gentleman who was training along with me who was a cardiac specialist from Columbia. He was specifically learning ➕ 💖 HeartMath® in order to bring back those techniques, to work with the gorillas and the rebels in his area and to set up a clinic. To work with these different factions, it wasn't just enough to say, “well, now we're going to sit down at the table,” because that's not going to work.
There are many, many other aspects to the Global Coherence Initiative. Basically, it's tried to provide some beginnings of world harmony, even in small areas because when you develop it in a small sense, like a small pebble in the pond, it makes ripples.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:25:19] ➕ 💖 HeartMath® are bridging this personal social and global opportunity to reflect out, you know, and it's much needed. As you said, indigenous spaces and global healing, so amazingly needed and important.
Tell us a little bit about your work because you are an executive presence and mindset coach, which has a fabulous title.
Gilda Joffe: [00:25:41] I realized that I wanted to work with women, especially because they are the ones that don't have the outlets and they are the most squelched in terms of careers and profession. I work with executive women with around:
😨 their fear,
🎭 their imposter syndrome,
👌 their confidence issues,
🤗 how to develop a presence,
🤗how to present a certain presence,
Which is not all that different than stage presence.
Gilda Joffe: [00:26:07] Whether you're a public speaker or whether you're a performer, women are not given the tools to enable them to express their potential, which lies within because they are so busy, fighting off the parts of society that want to keep them down.
My work is really to teach women to present themselves in their realm. Whether that has to do with:
☝️how they speak;
☝️how they move;
☝️how they present themselves in meetings;
☝️how they tried to get ideas across;
☝️how have they work with people who are constantly interrupting them;
☝️how they work with people who are constantly trying to denigrate them;
☝️how to present themselves for promotions.
It's all to do with mindset. The only person that can work with that is themselves. There's nobody at a company that's going to do that for them.
Gilda Joffe: [00:26:53] They're certainly not going to speak with their colleagues. They're not going to speak with their managers necessarily about that. My job is really to help them to bring out the best of themselves. Not only for a career situation, but for their life situation, because careers are not everything. They are a part of life.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:27:12] What do you most value in your clients?
Gilda Joffe: [00:27:14] I value their ability to be open to their own possibilities and not to be sabotaged by society. I think because those are the people that are most successful are those who are willing to open up to an alternative person, that they can be, an alternative.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:27:34] Very powerful words.
Dr. Michelle St Jane: [00:27:35] I will have all of your social channels in my show notes. I think you're a person that will be invaluable to work with, follow and support. I appreciate how you shop in the world builder.
Gilda Joffe: [00:27:47] Oh, thank you so much, Michelle. I also very much appreciate what you're doing in the world so much.
Gilda Joffe: [00:27:55] I'm working in the inner world, but you in the outer world are doing such fantastic projects that I don't even know where you get the energy, HeartMath® or not to do it. You have been a person that is so representative of life change and of life success and of life courage to do the steps. I think between both of us, we are definitely going to change the world.
Outro: Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward as meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in for real talk around life, leadership, and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please follow, subscribe, leave a review and a rating. More importantly, share with your connections.
Reach out. I am interested to hear from you. Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.
Dr. Michelle St Jane
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
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Executive Presence & Mindset Coach for High-Performing Female Executives
A certified HeartMath® Trainer and Coach, Gilda has found great fulfillment over the last two decades in teaching and coaching high performers in all fields to understand and overcome the emotional difficulties and obstacles that emerge from the highly stressed situations and environments to advance their careers.
Gilda had a 40-year career in the classical music industry, touring internationally as a professional violinist and playing on some of the world’s greatest stages.