The Habit of Giving

istock_000003871437xsmall.jpgThank you to Robert Middleton of More Clients Blog for his inspiring post yesterday, “The Laws of Giving.” Robert’s reminders that giving be at the heart of our entrepreneurial lives was most refreshing. I stopped by and posted a note of thanks. You might want to do the same, and find one other opportunity to give today also.

There’s just something magical that happens when we give…I call it wellness.

Digestive Wellness For Body And Business – Part 2 of 3

I’d like to continue the discussion of how your individual wellness and the wellness of your entrepreneurial venture are linked more closely than you may realize. Today, I’ll take the second piece of the Digestion metaphor and offer some tips for applying the wisdom to your business and body.

The Digestion Metaphor Revisited
Yesterday, I introduced this affirmation for physiological digestion and suggested you consider applying it not only to your body but to your business:

“My intake, assimilation and elimination are in Divine Order.”

Today, I want to direct your focus to the second piece of the Digestion metaphor – Assimilation.

woman-meditating.jpgSpotlight on Assimilation in the Body
When it comes to our bodies, we know intuitively that going for a jog right after we have eaten a meal is not the best idea. We know this not just because we heard someone advise against it – we know it because it just doesn’t feel great to run, swim or workout immediately after eating.

That feeling of fullness is designed to serve a purpose. It keeps us from stuffing ourselves (well, if we heed it) and it keeps us from immediately doing physically vigorous work (again, if we heed it). It does so to give our bodies a chance to assimilate what it has just taken in – a chance to make optimal use of the fuel we have just provided.

I think it’s interesting to note that we really don’t have to do anything consciously for assimilation to take place within our bodies (short of not going out for that 5k run.) All we have to do is to trust the internal process and let the body do its work.

Try This:

After eating lunch or dinner, take an “assimilation time out.” Sit for just a moment longer than you usually do after eating. Close your eyes and put your attention on your digestive tract and belly. Breathe deeply. Silently thank your body for the incredible job it is doing to process the food you have just provided it. Thank your body for converting the meal you just ate into high-performance fuel to let you go about the business and life you love.

Spotlight on Assimilation in your Business
When it comes to business, I think many entrepreneurs have become numb to the feeling of fullness. Actually, maybe numb isn’t the right word. Many of us have just become occasional, or chronic, experts at denial when it comes to having our entrepreneurial plates too full and often not taking time for assimilation.

Years ago, when I first started doing executive coaching by phone, I used to set aside and then book one full day of back-to-back sessions each week. I’d stop between each call long enough for quick restroom breaks, drink water while at my desk, take time before the next call came in to stretch my muscles and ate a healthy lunch I’d prepared the night before. At the end of the day, I’d spend an hour or so sorting through my notes, updating client files and closing up shop. I truly thought I was covering all my bases.

But after a few months of this weekly full-day routine, I started feeling something was missing. My clients were getting great results, so it wasn’t that. But I felt empty. Some introspection time later, I figured it out. I felt empty because I hadn’t been taking the time to get nourished from the process of my work. I hadn’t assimilated what had transpired for me as a coach in each call.

I began to see my need to take a good half hour break between each call. I switched things around. I started a bit earlier and went a bit later each day, but I found I actually had more meaningful time…time just for me to stop, go outside, take a breath of fresh air, and let the experience of the last call wash over me. Time to reflect on the skills I’d used, or the mirror that the client was for me, or what I’d learned in the process of providing service during the last call. Throughout the day, I was taking the time to assimilate my experience. I continue this practice today. For me, the assimilation process is a big part of my definition of wellness.

Try This:
Find your own way to assimilate your daily experience as an entrepreneur. For my husband, who also runs his own business, the end of the day works just fine for him as a period for assimilation. My colleague, Joe, keeps a journal by his desk and jots notes throughout the day of his key business insights. Actively experiment this week and find or refine a practice that works best for you. Maybe the end of the day is right for you – maybe taking time to go for a walk or workout while you actively mull over what you learned for the day will help you put the day into perspective and give you time to assimilate all that has transpired.

Remember that assimilation time is more than just time to unwind. It is time for your business being to make the most of all you have taken in for the day – a balanced component of the Digestion metaphor:

“My intake, assimilation and elimination are in Divine Order.”

“52 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Thrive” – The List Begins…

people-jumping-sunset.jpgI love to say, ”thriving” when someone asks me how my business is going. The notion that things are flourishing, blooming, and prosperous fills me with delight. Likewise, I like to use the same word to describe my health and wellness. “Thriving” seems to capture that top-of-the-world feeling I strive for each day. So when I read the post on Angeles Arrien’s website this past spring, 50 Ways to Thrive and Survive in the Next Ten Years, you bet it caught my attention.

I chose a few items from the list and implemented them that week. I gave something away, talked to a neighbor, and explored a new walking trail. Doing so truly added to my feelings of wellness and “thriving.”

I’d like to co-create a similar list for entrepreneurs in the community. I’d love you to join me in building the list. Tell me the ways that you increase your sense of wellness and help yourself thrive as an entrepreneur.

Let’s shoot for 52 ways to thrive – that could cover a year’s worth of weekly focal points. I’ll start:

52 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Thrive (The list begins…)

• Put plants in your office, water them often
• Pack your lunch at night; Take it to a nearby park the next day
• Set a kitchen timer to remind you to stand and stretch each hour
• Go barefoot in your office
• Ask for help 3 times this week
• Start a blog
• Visit a toy store at lunch; find something that makes you smile
• Hold a board of directors meeting on a conference line with a few colleagues. Ask them to brainstorm with you on a topic that’s been baffling you
• Expand your community – post to a blog at least once this week
• Write a haiku on your lunch hour
• Take a lunch hour
• Put cucumber slices into a pitcher of water; drink throughout the day
• Give a business book away to someone who might need it
• Breathe. Breathe deeply. Just breathe.
• Revisit your corporate mission and vision; rewrite so it makes you smile and tugs at your heart strings

What will you add to this list?