Living in the Richness of the Moment – Part 5: Trust the Process of Life

trust.jpgIn the previous post of this series, I invited you to clear the decks and Do Less. Today’s post is designed to further your thinking about Living in the Richness of the Moment by exploring another wellness tool: the powerful act of trusting the process of life.

Flip Side of Trust
First, let me say a bit about the flip side of the trust coin. One of the key ways we rip ourselves off from living in the richness of the moment is by engaging in worry, doubt, and fear. And there is nothing that tends to bring those creatures of the mind to the entrepreneur’s foreground more than: being in-between projects or contracts (a common state); or having to face the unknown or tackle something we know little about (part of the definition of entrepreneur in my book.)

When that all-too-common “messy” space of the unfamiliar and unknown enters my business, or my daily life, and taxes my “trust” muscles, I take comfort in a story from long ago. I put the story in an essay and offer it here as food for thought:

A SAFE ADVENTURE*
by Erica Ross-Krieger

When I was eight, we took a family vacation to Disneyland. I’d been before and I looked forward to seeing the Magic Kingdom again.

When we arrived, I ran through the entry gates and hugged Mickey. Throughout the day, I found Disneyland to be as wonderful as ever. Well into the night, Disneyland kept its promise of magic. But things had changed since our last visit.

As we walked toward my favorite ride, a small but distinct sign grabbed my attention:

Welcome!
Please excuse our mess—
This attraction is being completely refurbished.

A brightly colored drawing of Mickey, sporting a pair of carpenter’s overalls and holding a hammer and nails, illustrated the message. The captivating sign helped me add a new word to my vocabulary. Refurbished.

My Dad gave a further explanation and then herded us into line. We endured a forty-five-minute wait with other kids and families who weren’t put off by Mickey’s warning.

When we got inside we overlooked the boards, the scaffolding in the background and the strips of yellow plastic tape that sectioned off the work zones. We were excited to get to the front of the line and to hear the familiar music.

I guess we trusted Walt Disney. Despite the refurbishing signs, we climbed right into those little wooden boats. Off we went, expecting nothing less than a grand time. And that is what we had.

When we got out, we talked about the magical characters, the music, the swift rapids that the boats navigated, and how we couldn’t wait to come back. We trusted that any Disneyland ride being refurbished, no matter if it looked messy right now, would somehow turn out to be an even better ride when we came back…even if it looked different from what we’d known. After all, it was the Magic Kingdom.

So I wonder, why don’t we sit back in our midlife or entrepreneurial boats and trust the “Magic Kingdom” of life?

*This is a modified version of the original essay that appears in Seven Sacred Attitudes®

When I view spaces of transition or the unknown in the same light as a Disneyland “refurbishing” experience, they seem less daunting. Seen in this light, I am much more able to relax into this entrepreneurial and wellness journey of life, and so are my clients. Seen in this light, we may even be able to enjoy the ride.

INQUIRIES FOR THE DAY:
• What is it to view entrepreneuring as a safe adventure-vehicle in the “Magic Kingdom”?
• What would change if you were to trust that you are “right on schedule”? (…with your business, with your wellness, with your life.)
• When something has you baffled, and you can’t figure it out, what helps you relax into the unknowing?
• If you Trusted the Process, what new adventures would you try?

Keep us posted.

Table of contents for Living in the Richness of the Moment™
1. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Come to Your Senses
2. Living in the Richness of the Moment: What’s Important?
3. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Slow Down to the Speed of Life
4. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Do Less

Living in the Richness of the Moment – Part 4: Do Less

acupuncture.jpgIn the previous post of this series, I invited you to Slow Down to the Speed of Life. In this post, I’ll be talking about the importance of leverage, focusing and working smarter – what I call in Seven Sacred Attitudes, the Do Less Attitude.

Working Smarter
In his book, 365 Tao, author Deng Ming-Dao includes a Chinese fable about an ancient king who had much to learn from a common butcher about working smarter. As entrepreneurs, we can heed the same advice.

My short version of the fable is this: Rumor had it that this butcher could dismember an entire ox without much effort. As a result, he only had to sharpen his knife once a year. As the king’s own butchers had to grind their blades daily, he asks this village butcher how such results are possible. The butcher tells him that “he inserts his knife in the spaces between the muscles, thus parting the body along its natural lines.”

The Law of Least Action
The Do Less Attitude is founded upon the Chinese Law of Least Action. This Law advises the acupuncturist to choose to place needles in only those acupuncture points that will get the energy moving — no more, no less. The same law advises us to Do Less of the unimportant stuff. To Do Less of the unnecessary. To do only those things that have the greatest leverage for us—just as the wise butcher did in China when he dismembered that ox with just four simple cuts of his knife.

Not About Laziness
When high achievers (a.k.a. entrepreneurs) hear the phrase Do Less, we often squirm. We often (erroneously) think that Doing Less means being less productive. But if we take a minute to consider the fable above, and the times when we are most productive, we know there’s much to be said for Doing Less. The Do Less Attitude has to do with focus. It does not have to do with being lazy, letting important things slide through the cracks, or abdicating responsibility.

Speak without words, work without doing
Few realize how much how little will do.
–Lao Tsu

Do Less Applied to Business Wellness
As an entrepreneur, you already know that your business is at its best (I call it business wellness) when you have a clear and focused vision of where you are heading, know which activities are closest to your bottom line and delegate or dismiss the tasks that are not the best use of your time. This is the Do Less Attitude in action.

Do Less Applied to Pesonal Wellness
When it comes to your personal wellness regime, the same Do Less idea applies. Eating less “empty-calorie” foods and more energy-packed nutritious food; doing less of the couch-potato or computer-hunch activities and more high-leverage physical activities (take the stairs, walk more briskly while heading to appointments, power walk with light weights) are all examples of the Do Less Attitude in action.

Do Less = Greater Wellness Overall
You’ll actually come to work, life, and the richness of the moment more fully when you adopt the Do Less Attitude, because there will be more of YOU (your energy, passion, creativity) available. You will be, as author Chin-ning Chu wrote almost 10 yars ago in her wise little book, Do Less, Achieve More, “…elevated from the ordinary agitated state of consciousness into an extraordinary level where desired objectives and results unfold with an uncommon ease of effort, thus positively effecting our practical day-to-day performance in all arenas of life.”

As I’ve been emphasizing in this series, when we are bombarded by more e-mail messages than ever before, new information arrives every minute, and everything seems to be urgent, it can be easy to get distracted. It can also be easy to become addicted to busy-ness. But distraction and busy-ness are not requirements in life.

The keys to focusing and the Do Less Attitude are:

  • Identify what’s important (I discuss this in detail in the second post of this series.) This means getting clear about which activities in your work environment are closest to your bottom line and which wellness activities will help tone your physical ”bottom line.”
  • Identify the activities that you can delegate or dismiss.
  • Ask yourself what price you have been paying for trying to do everything.
  • Ask yourself how important is for you to be more relaxed, productive, efficient and clear-minded.
  • Commit (preferably to someone else who is interested in your well-being) to saying No to those items that are not worth your precious energy.
  • Commit (also to someone who wants the best for you) to saying Yes to those items that have the biggest payoff to you (however you define this.)
  • Keep it simple at first. Cut out a few things at a time. Once you get the hang of this and make it a habit, the Do Less Attitude will become a new way of life…a new daily practice.

The question is: When would NOW be a good time to identify those high-leverage activities?

I’ll be cutting a few unnecessary words from this post and focusing on a high-leverage article today. How about you?

Keep us posted.

Table of contents for Living in the Richness of the Moment
1. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Come to Your Senses
2. Living in the Richness of the Moment: What’s Important?
3. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Slow Down to the Speed of Life

Living in the Richness of the Moment—Part 2: What’s Important? or Did Lucy Ricardo Stop to Ask?

contemplating.jpgIn the first post of this series I discussed how Coming to Your Senses is an important step in helping you spend more time in the heart-centered present. Doing so will increase the level of wellness you experience in your life and in your entrepreneurial business.

Another factor that plays a vital role in wellness levels is our ability to sort through and process the mountain of information we encounter each day while remaining sane. Listening to or reading about the million ways there are to run our businesses, write our blogs, take care of our bodies, (and even to improve our wellness levels), can be overwhelming.

While there is no magic word, like abracadabra, or quick-fix, to make all the conflicting information and opinions disappear, there is something that you already possess that will help tremendously…although it may be worn out or have been a while since you’ve used it. It’s your unique blueprint of what’s important.

Learning to focus on what’s important is what this post is all about. It’s the real secret to balancing entrepreneurial success with wellness.

What’s Important
Remember the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy worked in the candy factory wrapping chocolates? Remember how the conveyor belt shot so many chocolate candies out that Lucy couldn’t keep up and so she popped handfuls of them into her mouth? Can’t you just see the scene in your mind’s eye?

Well, I remind you of this image not just for a trip down memory lane but to draw a comparison to our entrepreneurial lives. With To Do lists a mile long, email messages and in-boxes filled to overflowing, we too struggle to keep up. And as we do we can lose sight of what is important. I know I’m not the only one who’s headed to the web, followed a link or two (or three) and wound up mega-minutes later somewhere I had no idea I would be, completely losing track of time and what it was I was looking for in the first place.

We all agree that it has become more critical than ever for us to be clear and focused on what is important, but how do we do that?

Intention
Well, it boils down to this: the trick is to take time each morning to set our intention for the day – to set our intention around the values we want to embody and to make it our intention to take, as one of my coaching mentors, Mike Jay, calls it, “right action” in our lives that day. This is substantially different from setting up our To Do or Action lists (even those we carefully pull together with elegant GTD techniques for those of you like me who use them.) I have a way for you to set your intention, but first a bit more about “right action.”

“Right Action”
In short, “right action” to me means operating from the inside out – putting the souls of ourselves into what we do. Setting our intention to take “right action” for the day asks us to expand our perspective about how we spend our time and what we do each day. It’s up to each of us to name our top values and determine what it is that, for each of us, constitutes “right action.”

bookends1.jpgDaily Practice
I think it’s important to start and end each day with a daily practice that helps us focus on “right action”. We can take a brief moment of time in the morning to name what’s most important for the day—not just the Doing, but more importantly, the Being that we want to embrace. Then before retiring for the night, we can check in and ask ourselves if we were able to focus on what’s important or not and what we learned. I call this practice, “Bookends.”
It takes 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes before bed, and it could well be some of the most important minutes you spend in a day. It is for me.

Try this: Bookends™ Exercise

10 Minutes Upon Awakening:
•Take a moment to sit up, stretch and greet the day. Now think about the attitude or state of Being that you intend to bring forward into your day today. Examples: Gratitude, Confidence, Self-Compassion.
•Write down that state of Being you want to focus on today.
•Now think about the area of your life and/or business that is of most importance to you right now. Of all the To Do’s that are before you today, which action is going to further your progress in that area or deepen your learning? Example: writing a business plan
•Write that action on your notepad.
•Take another moment to contemplate how you will integrate the Being and Doing focus that you have listed. Imagine that you are placing that value or state of Being right into your heart or soul and will carry it with you as you take the important action(s) you need to take today.
• Example of how this could look: Writing a business plan while Being in a state of Self-Compassion could mean I pour myself a cup of tea and sip it while I write the plan, extend self-compassion by not insisting the plan be perfect, turn off the ringer on the phone so I am not disturbed.

Reminder: It’s more important to remember you can always return to that state of Being throughout the day, than it is that you give yourself a new mandate to try and stay in that state. Being mindful that you have let your focus slip from, say Self-Compassion, you can apply the 4-step process I talk about in my book: Stop, Breathe, Notice, and Choose™ and gently bring yourself back to your desired state of Being as you Do the next important task in your day.

10 Minutes Before Bed:
•Write a few sentences about the exercise for the day, or simply review this list of 7 inquiries: Where was I able to stay in the state of Being that I selected this morning and/or return to that state when I veered off the path? What evidence shows me that I lived by my top values today? What did I do that helped me take “right action” today? What got in the way? How can I change that in the future? What will I have to say “Yes” to and what will I have to say “No” to, so that I can keep on track? What else did I learn?

•Extend gratitude to yourself for your commitment to What’s Important.

And try this: A Bigger Time Out to Regroup
Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve taken time to clarify your values. Maybe it’s been awhile since you put together or revised your life plan, business plan, or investment strategy and tied these to your values. Maybe you want to reassess your values before doing the Bookends exercise.

Today, why not schedule an appointment with yourself very soon to at least begin? The appointment doesn’t have to be formal. It could even be an hour at a coffee shop or a few hours in the garden, where you spend time mulling over and identifying what’s important. Or it could be time with a notebook, a friend, a coach, or a colleague to sort through your values. Just be sure to make the time to stop the chocolate conveyor-belt of life for a bit and regroup.

Discipline
Creating lives that reflect our values and top priorities takes “discipline.” I’ve found that word makes some people shutter. But it’s fascinating to know that the root of the word “discipline” is “disciple.” That could be a loaded word for some of you. But I’ll take the risk and use it. Encouraging you to be a disciple of your own soul seems worth any feathers I might ruffle.

So I ask each of us to ask ourselves regularly: Am I willing to become a “disciple” of what is important to me? Sure, I can name what’s important, but am I acting on it? And, if not now, then when?

Practicing the Bookends exercise and asking myself these questions keeps me focused on what’s important and boosts my wellness levels. Give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Table of contents for Living in the Richness of the Moment

1. Living in the Richness of the Moment: Come to Your Senses

Living in the Richness of the Moment–Part 1: Come to Your Senses

rich-moment.jpgMy readers don’t realize it, but I had a self-centered motive when I wrote Seven Sacred Attitudes®. I really wrote it to remind myself that living in the richness of the moment is a life-long practice, not a one-time event. Now, those of you in this blog community, who are all busy entrepreneurs, passionate about life and want to drink in every luscious moment, have asked me to write more about this practice. So here goes.

This is the first post in a seven-part series. The series is designed to help you start living in the richness of the moment. Right now. With this breath. The focus is on learning how to spend more time on the heart-centered present, even in the midst of your busy entrepreneurial life. And the first step is to:

Come to Your Senses
Your body is talking. Are you listening? Not to your mind and all you think about your body and what you should do for it, but to your body itself? Your body has much to say. Every moment. Right now, as you read this, can you come to your senses and access your inner wisdom? What is your body saying at this moment?

Accessing the inner wisdom of your body takes practice. “Practice?” you say. “Another ‘To Do’? I don’t have time for everything on my plate as it is right now.” Well, the practice of listening to the inner wisdom of your body doesn’t require that you do anything else—no new activity to schedule in your day— but it does require that you shift your attention.

Try this: Choose one activity that you’ll be doing anyway in the next 24 hours—preferably an activity you do outdoors. Decide to place your full attention on your body during this activity. Even if you use outdoor activities or exercise time for creative thinking and problem-solving, do something different today.

Place your attention on your body’s experience of the activity. Start small. Start with 10 minutes where you will pay attention. Not to your mind where the stories live—“Oh, I wish I could get this power-walk or run over with.”—but pay attention and stay present to your body. Take your mind off of the mental “To-Do-list” chatter and come to your senses!

Your body lives in this moment. It breathes now. Notice it in action. Discover what it has to tell you about this activity on this day for these 10 minutes.

Print this list out and use it to guide you:

•Notice your breath.
•Notice the air against your neck.
•If you’re swimming, notice the water against your muscles. Notice the sensation of the water against your face.
•Focus on the muscles in your legs as you walk, jog, bike-ride or swim or even if you use a walker or wheelchair.
•Switch focus and pay attention to your arm muscles.
•If you’re at the computer, notice your shoulders, neck and brow.
•Whether indoors or out, notice the sensation of your clothing against your skin.
•Notice the rhythm of your breath.
•Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as it enters and leaves your nose.
•Pay attention to the sound of your breath as you jog, sit, or exhale into the water of the pool.
•Keep your focus on your body and your senses.
•Notice what your body is telling you.
•What do you learn from coming to your senses?

And try this: If you usually walk, swim or run for a certain distance or a certain time period, put away the timer, pedometer or lap-counting routine for today. Use your body as the barometer for a change. Without a watch or measuring distance, let your body tell you when it is done or tired.

If you usually sit at the computer until you have gone through all the email, written every response and use ‘being done with the task’ to dictate when you are finished, go ahead and set a timer for 10 minutes today. Stop when the alarm goes off and check in again with your breath, shoulders, head and neck. Is your body done? Is your body saying something? Is there something you have been pretending not to know?

We have been given the power to direct our attention wherever we want. Today, place it on your body.
See how it goes.
Just for today.

Let me know what you notice.

And let me know what you think, if you disagree with my thinking, or if there is anything about living in the richness of the moment you would like me to cover in this series.

California Fires – Time to Reach Out

helping-hands.jpgIn Know More Media today, Hal Halliday reminds us that good business is helping others when they need it. His post tells how U-Haul affiliates are offering 30 days of free storage to Southern California families who need to move their belongings away from the raging fires. The post also lists the 26 U-Haul facilities for these families to contact.

I’m thankful for the idea, as my own sense of helplessness had me stuck. My brother and his family, as well as many of our friends, are all impacted by the fires, and I have just not been able to think of a thing to do to help. Reading Hal’s post, and hearing of U-Haul’s generosity reminds me to think bigger.

Today I’ll be taking action that has meaning to me — either offering a few free wellness coaching sessions to those who have lost their homes, donating books, or writing a check to the Red Cross.

What ideas do you have? Let us know.

Hallowed Treats for Goblins You Love: Promote Wellness & Help End Childhood Obesity

halloween.jpgWhat do “Halloween”, “Wellness”, and being an “Entrepreneur” all have in common? Simple. You. (That is if you live in the U.S., Italy, the U.K., Ireland, France and anywhere else that celebrates Halloween. If you don’t, perhaps you know someone who does and can pass along this post.)

Let me start by saying that I’m indulging a bit today. I’m climbing up onto my soapbox and ranting a bit about a subject that gets me fired up: Childhood Obesity. At the outset and launch of this blog, I promised to limit my rants to only once in a blue moon, and Halloween’s role in Childhood Obesity is a subject that counts as a blue moon as far as I’m concerned.

So, here’s the rant. Yes, Halloween brings out the kid in us. No matter our age, it can be fun to get dressed up in costumes and go to parties or take our costumed kids and parade around the neighborhood. And yes, treats can be part of the fun. However, treats don’t have to be sticky, gooey white-sugar-based candy, and treats don’t have to be food. So when it comes to Halloween (or anytime) “treats” for the children in our world, the usual commercial fare is just not the way to go.

You know the statistics. You see evidence all around you. Childhood obesity has reached such epidemic proportions that world health officials have decided they need to take a more aggressive approach if they are to head off a global explosion of fat-related diseases.

But I refuse to wear a colored ribbon signifying an end to the socially caused problem of Childhood Obesity. Why? I just don’t like the whole idea of colored ribbons. I don’t like saying that I am against things. I’d rather jump on the bandwagon to support the things I do believe in — like health, wellness and the freedom to engage in entrepreneurial ventures. It just seems to me that teaching and modeling health and wellness to our children is the only thing that makes sense, and in doing so…we will end childhood obesity.

That said, I’ll contradict myself for a minute and talk briefly about what I’m against. Childhood obesity is no laughing matter. In fact it’s worth crying about or at least ranting about and risking your blog readers’ disapproval. On the other hand, healthy and fit kids will contribute to a healthier future and give all of us something to smile about.

Are you thinking, as I admit I was at one point, that since your own kids, nieces, nephews or friend’s kids don’t suffer from childhood obesity that you’re off the hook? Please think again.

We are all very much on the hook. And handing out sugary treats on Halloween because it’s easier than finding creative alternatives is no excuse in my book for contributing to the epidemic.

So what can you do?

Whether from your office checkbook or from your front door on Halloween, give “Hallowed Treats” that support wellness in our children.

Here are 31 ideas (in 4 venues) for doing so:

Venue #1: Your Front Door

Instead of refined white sugar or refined flour treats this Halloween, (when sealed treats are important) give out:

– colored pencils
– gel pens in bright colors
– crayons
– whistles (be mindful that they’re not choking hazards to little goblins)
– erasers in animal shapes
– coins
– stickers
– decorated hair clips or ponytail holders
– toothbrushes
– sealed fruit cups (applesauce, etc.)
organic juice boxes (100% juice)
– string cheese
– herbal tea bags (individually wrapped)
– protein or granola bar (without sugar)
– boxes of raisins
– individual whole grain Fig cookie packs
– individual 2oz almond packs
– All Natural dark chocolate squares by Endangered Species (at Trader Joe’s)

Venue #2: Your Own Healthy Halloween Party

Host a Halloween party at your home (when sealed treats aren’t required) and serve:

– spiced apple cider
– spiced apple cake made with applesauce and spelt flour
– popcorn sprinkled with parmesan cheese or brewer’s yeast
– fresh apple slices or do the “bob for apples” bit
– fresh veggies and spiced hummus dip
– pumpkin seeds (sprinkle with Tamari and let the kids help bake)
– whole grain cookies such as Fig Newman’s
– whole grain crackers with organic almond or peanut butter
– healthy mini-pizza’s: broil whole grain English muffins with tomato sauce, raw cheese, olives, and other veggies
– pumpkin soup
non-food treats such as those on the above list

***Notice I included NO sugar-free Splenda-containing items on these lists. With good reason, but that’s a rant for another blue moon. I promise. But if you don’t want to wait til then, check out what Dr. Mercola has to say about the hazards of Splenda by clicking on the link above.

Venue #3: Your Entrepreneurial Office and/or Nearby Walking and Jogging Trail

Get Running and Take Out Your Checkbook. “Treat” the planet’s children and:

– make a donation to the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)
– sponsor your own Halloween Fun Run, the weekend prior to or following Halloween. Gather neighborhood parents and kids, ask others to chip in for each few blocks you and the kids run/walk, and raise money for KidsPeace charity to help support healthy children.

logo.jpgVenue #4: A Salad Creations® Restaurant near you

“Treat” your kids to a “Create Your Own” healthy salad and show them what fun it is to choose from the 28+ fresh ingredients.

Let me indulge a bit more and do a little shameless self-promotion. Not sure if you know or not but my husband and I are the Area Developers in the SF Bay Area for the Salad Creations® franchise. We’re downright proud of the fact that Salad Creations® is committed to helping kids eat healthier and to helping put an end to childhood obesity.

So click here to locate a Salad Creations® near you and take your goblins for a crunchy Halloween treat! (And if there isn’t a Salad Creations store near you just yet, call a friend or family member with kids who does live near one, and pass along the idea for this healthier Halloween “treat”.)

———

So there you have it. Healthy tips “masked” this Halloween as my once-in-a-blue-moon rant (of course I may post it again the day before Halloween as a reminder:) Thanks for tuning in.

• Got “treat” tips? Love to hear them. Post your ideas about promoting wellness this Halloween!

• Feel strongly about Childhood Obesity? Send your comments!

Decisions, Decisions…

girl-with-2-heirloom-tomatoes.jpgAs entrepreneurs, we face all kinds of decisions all day long. And we take many things into account when we decide. When it comes to our business decisions, especially when we’re considering a new venture or whether to adopt a new policy or not, we look at many variables, including: financial implications, the time something might take, or the ethics involved.

And when it comes to deciding about our wellness programs, and whether or not to adopt a new program or regime, we might consider the expense, time, and convenience factors involved.

But no matter which type of decision we face, when it comes right down to it, and we’ve weighed whatever factors are important, we ultimately turn to our Inner Wisdom in the final moment. Learning to tune up our Inner Wisdom might just be one of the best investments we can make – in our businesses and in our own wellness.

I wrote a feature article about making decisions this week in my monthly ezine. It’s called, Time to Get off the Fence: 7 Tips to Simplify Decision-Making.” In it, I list some juicy ideas for tuning up your Inner Wisdom, including some good books on the subject. Browse on over and read the full article by clicking on the title above or clicking here.

After reading, let me know your perspective: What is it to decide well?

Wellness Coach Tips for Energy & Stresss Management

woman-outstrtchd-arms.jpgEntrepreneurs know a thing or two about stress. In fact, most of us accept the fact that managing stress and our energy is a regular part of living. We manage a gazillion facets of our own businesses, juggle schedules, and do our best to keep our stress levels down and our energy levels up. Without realizing it, you have probably put together your own tool kit to help manage your energy levels throughout the day. Browse through this list and see if there are a few more tools for you to add to your kit:

– Learn to calm your mind and body through meditation.
– Eat your meals in a relaxed environment.
– Take frequent breaks for stretching and walking throughout the day.
Eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet.
– Eliminate or restrict your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
– Eat smaller meals and healthy snacks throughout the day.
– Support your adrenal glands with vitamin C, Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6, zinc and magnesium – do so with the addition of broccoli, whole grains, salmon, sweet potatoes and legumes to your diet, or see a nutritionist for the supplement levels that will serve you best.
– Consider adding a high quality ginseng supplement to your regime, either Chinese or Siberian, to support your adrenal function and help your body’s resistance to stress. One valid approach is to take ginseng in a cycle of 2-3 weeks on and 2 weeks off, to give the adrenal glands a rest from the ginseng. Educational literature tells us to be alert for signs of possible ginseng toxicity, including nervousness, restlessness, and insomnia. Each person responds to ginseng in a unique way so starting with a low dose is the rule of thumb listed in most supplement manuals. As always, consult a health practitioner for the appropriate levels for you.
– Decrease stress and increase energy by learning to breathe with the diaphragm. Take breaks throughout the day and do so purposefully. Sit comfortably, both feet flat on the ground, eyes gently closed. Inhaling though the nose and exhaling through the mouth, place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Pay attention to the breath and focus on the hand on your belly. Inhale for a count of 4 or 5, filling the belly and expanding it so your hand rises about an inch. Pause for a count of 1 or 2. Exhale to a count of 4 or 5. Keep focused on the breath and repeat the process. Do so until you have reached a level of both relaxation and refreshment. Aim for 5-20 minutes a few times a day.
– Go for a brisk walk – with or without your ipod or mp3 player.
– Organize your office and life with the zen-like wisdom and help of David Allen’s book, Getting Things Done.

For more tips, you can also check out the article, “Your Guide to Never Feeling Tired Again” posted today on the WebMD site. Author Nancy Rones gives you 22 more ideas for enhancing your energy.

Post a comment and let us know what you do throughout your entrepreneurial day to stay energized and stress-free.

Balance: The Entrepreneur’s Key to Wellness

istock_000003796974xsmall.jpgBalance. The illusion is that it is a static state. Nothing could be further from reality. Try this: stand on one foot, lifting the other from the floor a few inches. Stand like this for 1 full minute. Simply notice what is happening in the ankle of the foot you are standing on. No doubt, you can feel small, almost undetectable movements going on in your ankle. Your body is course-correcting — shifting subtly so you remain upright. This is how your body naturally achieves balance. It’s those tiny shifts that do the job. So my question for you to consider today is this: where do you need to make small shifts in your business and life to bring about even higher levels of wellness?

Once upon a time, my own business and life were so greatly out of balance that small shifts did not do the trick. A car accident and health challenge were the wake-up calls to do some major course-correction. But there were clues way before that. I just wasn’t listening. Now, I look for clues every day. You can, too. But first, define wellness for yourself. No doubt some clues to balance will be right there.

Does wellness for you include time outdoors everyday? Does it include a healthy financial bottom-line in the business? Does it include a weekly lunch meeting out of the home office? Does wellness for you include 6, 7, 8 or 9 hours sleep each night? And how do you judge whether you are in balance?

In the stand-on-one-foot example , balance was determined by this criteria: were you able to stand on one foot for 1 minute? How will you determine if your entrepreneurial life is in balance? How will you define wellness? I encourage you to do more than think about this.

Take some time out, eyes closed, and begin to imagine the experience of balance. Get a strong sense of how balances feels in your body by actually shifting yourself into your perception of a balanced state — perhaps a state where you are relaxed, yet quite alert. Notice your breath. Notice your posture. Notice your heartbeat and yet at the same time, notice the air temperature. Just notice. Take a few deep breaths and spend some time writing about balance. But write about the feeling, rather than what you would be doing if your business and life were in balance.

I emphasize the feeling of balance because it can be home base for you. A place where you return regularly. At any point in time, you may be course correcting back to this place of balance. In this way, you will come to appreciate subtle shifts — to your nutrition, to your activity level, to your busy-ness factor — as the powerful tools they are. Subtle shifts on a continued basis keep us in balance.

I described my own return to balance in a recent interview with Monica Flores, owner of SistersInBiz.com In the interview, I mentioned that role models, mentors, and a coach all play vital roles in helping me live a balanced entrepreneurial life. Find the role models, mentors and coaches that will help you do the same. They can help give you perspective, advice, input, and feedback to help you make those subtle shifts that will keep you returning to your “home base” of balance.

What helps you live a balanced entrepreneurial life? Let us know.

8 Tips for Wellness

Luke Houghton’s  post today in his Business Thinking Blog, is called “8 Things I have Learned About Success.” What I loved about reading it, is that every single one of the items on the list also pertains to Wellness.

I’m particularly fond of tip # 7: “Be patient and take small steps daily.” Yes it’s true for success, but there  is also no better advice to be given when it comes to your wellness program. As entrpreneurs, the statistics tell us that we have a propensity for liking to do things in a big way — for tackling big projects all at once. Sometimes, (most times), when it comes to wellness, tackling things all at once (be it weight loss, a new meditation program, a new fitness routine), we are better off if we “be patient and take small steps daily.” Many thanks to the Business Thinking Blog for the reminder.