Spring Wellness – Time Out for Pondering

contemplation-photo.jpgOnly We Know What’s Best for Us
The best wellness advice I ever received came in the form of questions for me to ponder…questions that helped me uncover my own truths.

As a wellness coach, there is no input I can provide here for you that is more appropriate than the wisdom you’ll receive by checking in with your own body, mind, and spirit. Ultimately, you must decide what is best for you. I believe this is true regardless of the source of any external advice.

Take Time to Go Within
In the spirit of quiet contemplation that the peaceful image above inspires, take some time out to look at your current level of wellness. Explore what you really need in each area mentioned below and let that information gently direct you to take appropriate action or non-action. Allow your body, mind, spirit and heart to speak to you.

I like to go through this gentle process of self-exploration each spring and let the natural healing forces and wisdom within go to work. Enjoy!



What areas of you need my attention?
Which foods would nourish you?
What forms of rest, recreation or replenishment do you want today, this week, this month, this year?
Do you need additional tools for rest and relaxation?
What activities would you enjoy at this time?
Are there any new healing/wellness modalities you want to experience?


What is intellectually stimulating and engaging for you?
Do you get enough of this?
How can I give you more of what you need?
Do I need to provide you with more rest?


What helps me feel connected with my source?
What is my spiritual anchor, compass or rudder in life?
What daily/weekly practices serve my spiritual life?
What things make my soul sing with appreciation for Life?


Who do I consider to be my “tribe”?
Who is in my closest inner circle?
Who do I love?
Who do I count on?
Who knows my heart?
Where am I expressing love?


What can I do to further your greatest expression?
Where have I abandoned you?
What am I pretending not to know about you?
How can I love you?

Hope the pondering leads you to new layers of awareness. Love to hear what you discover!

Healthy Holiday Habits for Entrepreneurs

healthy-bites.jpg Contributor Glenn Townes wrote a juicy article on November 2 in the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) business toolbox. He starts with this appetizer:

“Entrepreneurs are used to working long hours and occasionally ignoring their health, all for the sake of making their small business a success.

“With the holiday season quickly approaching and leftover Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies and Christmas goodies all racing through our heads, now is the time to establish healthy holiday habits that will make your New Year’s resolutions last well beyond the first slice of pumpkin pie.” For the rest of the banquet, read Glenn’s full article.

Take Action:

Choose one of the following tips and habits (some from Glenn, some from me) and take action:

– buy a pedometer, learn how to use it, and get moving
– bring fresh fruit to the pot luck
– go for a brisk after-the-holiday-dinner family walk
– drink plenty of water
– opt for soup as an appetizer to curb your appetite
– hire a certified nutritionist or wellness coach before New Year’s Day
– select some energizing music (rock, jazz, oldies, you call it), and take an late afternoon office break to get up and move around for 15 minutes.
– enjoy the gathering of friends, family and colleagues in abundance and the food in moderation.
– count your blessings instead of a total focus on counting calories.
– take an information and technology break for 24 hours — no email, texting, cell phones, blogging, Twitter, newspapers, and all electronic games and computers. [Get past the first go-round of this, (where you’re likely to be worrying if you’re missing out on something) and next month you’ll look forward to repeating this one.]
– practice Dr. Andrew Weil’s Relaxing Breathing Exercises

My plan’s to outsource some more of my work to my VA starting this week — a gift for me and a gift for her.

What healthy habits will you start?

Keep us posted.

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.

Wellness Recipe: Try Something New

p-compass-sm.jpgYou had the courage to start your own business. You took a risk, you ventured out. But I’ll bet, if you’re like most of us, when it comes to the nutrition arena, you haven’t gone on any new adventures lately. This week, I invite you to break out of your usual nutrition routine and try something new and different. Being mindful of any dietary constraints and medical supervision, expand your nutritional repertoire.

If you have little time, try one of these options:

– a small handful of raw almonds and a few fresh figs
– an Organic Food Bar (try Organic Greens flavor; at health food stores)
goat cheese on a slice of Ezekiel bread
– organic turkey jerky and a piece of fresh fruit
– a small glass of multi-veggie juice (Knudsen’s Very Veggie is great!)
Nut Thins® crackers spread with hummus or almond butter
leftover veggies sprinkled with olive oil and a splash of vinegar – makes a great, quick cold salad.

If you have more time, try:

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah); this high protein grain has a nutty flavor and also absorbs the flavors that are used along with it. Prepare as you do rice with 2:1 ratio (liquid:grain); use vegetable broth or organic chicken broth for half of the liquid. Serve as a side dish or toss in shredded chicken, peas, onions, and/or chopped tomatoes for a hearty meal.

Broccoli Soup: steam 2 cups of fresh or frozen organic broccoli. Place the hot broccoli into a blender. Add a Tablespoon of olive oil or butter, ½ cup almond or rice milk, a splash of chicken stock or vegetable broth and blend on high. Stop when the mixture reaches the desired consistency. More time for thinner soup, less time for thicker soup.

Arugula and Asian Pear Salad; (arugula will be near the lettuces in your health food store; tender green leaves are somewhat like an oak leaf in shape; flavor is both spicy and nutty. Asian pears are a poplar fall fruit; crisp and juicy and often referred to as “apple pears.”) To make the salad: Slice Asian Pears and place over arugula; toss with grapefruit or lemon juice and a splash of olive oil; garnish with some montrachet goat cheese.

Need a time out? Try this:
Take a refreshing break in your entrepreneurial day. Take a half-hour mid-afternoon visit to the produce section of your local Whole Foods Market or other health food store. Your “something new” this week will be simply to go to the store without a shopping list and without buying anything. Your “something new” will be to go with the intention of simply visiting the produce section and browsing around with new and curious eyes.

When you arrive, notice something you haven’t noticed before – perhaps the way the fruit is stacked, the way the greens are watered every so often, or the way the potatoes are kept in bins away from the light (or if they are not.)

Wander over to the celery; inhale the fragrance of a stalk of a celery – did you even know it has one? Then look around and find a fruit or vegetable that is unfamiliar to you. Pick it up in your hand. Notice its texture, size, shape, and smell. Read anything posted about it such as nutritional value or ways to prepare it – or ask the produce person more about it. Do so simply for the sake of curiosity. Next, ask for a sample slice of a fruit you haven’t tried before. Taste it. Simply notice the way the fruit tastes.

Take a final look around, inhaling the smells, sights and the produce that is there for you when you want it. Give silent gratitude for this place and head back to work refreshed. I do this on occasion to remind myself to slow down and remember just how lucky I am to live amid plenty.

Digestive Wellness For Body And Business – Part 3 of 3

The Digestion Metaphor for Entrepreneurs Revisited
The last two posts have focused on the following wellness affirmation and have provided tips for applying it to your entrepreneurial body and business:

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

So…moving right along with this three-part article, let’s turn our attention to the third part of the metaphor – the process of “moving right along” (a.k.a. elimination) and the roll it plays in our bodies and our businesses.

trash-can.jpgSpotlight on Elimination
for Body Wellness

Regular exercise, meditation, relaxation, and healthy diets that include lots of fiber and water all help our bodies eliminate what is no longer needed. This process of elimination is no more and no less important in our digestive health than intake or assimilation. And just like the other pieces of the equation, it is critical to our wellbeing.

Dr. Andrew Weil wrote a fabulous article on the subject, with tips, actions, and supplements to help keep your body “moving right along.” Check it out here:


Try This:

Fill a clear glass pitcher with at least eight 8-oz glasses of fresh water. Add lemon or cucumber slices. Notice the simple beauty and make a mental note that this water will aid in your digestive wellness. Stop throughout your day and with gratitude, drink to your health.

Spotlight on Elimination for Business Wellness
As it does with our bodies, the process of elimination in our businesses needs to be a regular activity. We can sometimes forget that in order to make room for new ideas, new things, new relationships, and new clients, we may have to let go of some of our old things, relationships and clients. Taking time to prune and eliminate weeds that have grown in our businesses is just as important as planting new seeds.

A daily or weekly practice of eliminating junk mail, old email that has stacked up in that in-box, and magazine stacks may already be a part of your regular routine. Do you do the same with outdated ideas, processes, methods, or systems? Do you review them and toss those that no longer serve you?

Try This:
Taking time to identify what can be eliminated is an invaluable activity. Slow down enough this week to do so. Over a tall, cool glass of that water you poured for yourself, take note of your:

– what has served me well but is no longer useful here?
– what nine items from my office can I toss out this week? (this is a feng shui practice and great to do routinely)
– what can I give away?

– how do I deal with proposals, phone calls, marketing, invoices, accounting? Are my methods and procedures serving me? Does any method or procedure need to be tossed out and a new one developed?

– what needs to be eliminated when it comes to my relationships with vendors, clients, or staff?
– what do I need to stop doing I these relationships? (there is always a “stop doing” on the other side of a “start doing” – what is it? Stop procrastinating? Stop pretending? Stop tolerating?)

I think entrepreneurs can get so busy deciding what we need to start doing, we can forget about the process of elimination. Yet just like the other components of the Digestion metaphor, elimination plays a critical role in entrepreneurial wellness:

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

May your body and business be in Divine Order.


woman-outstrtchd-arms.jpgWhat does digestion have to do with running a small business? Plenty! In the next three posts, I’ll explain how your individual wellness and the wellness of your entrepreneurial venture are linked more closely than you may realize. Today, I’ll share the metaphor and tips for working with the first of the metaphor’s three components.

The Digestion Metaphor
During nutrition school, I overheard a colleague discuss her protocol for clients dealing with digestive challenges. In addition to dietary changes and supplements, she recommended her clients use this affirmation to help keep their focus on a healthy digestive tract:

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

I recently got to thinking how much this affirmation applies not just to our physiological digestion but, as entrepreneurs, to our businesses.

Just think about that affirmation for a minute: “My intake, assimilation and elimination are in Divine Order.” What a grand intention for a small business owner to hold! What a difference it could make in our business lives if we kept our “intake”, “assimilation” and “elimination” in Divine Order!

Application to Business
Breaking the affirmation down into bite-sized pieces will help make it useful. Take a look at the three components individually:

Intake: in the world of physiological digestion, intake refers literally to what we take into our bodies. As a business metaphor, it refers to all the things we take in as small business owners: new clients, email, snail mail, ideas, information from the internet and this blog☺, handwritten messages, marketing material from others, invoices, books, phone calls, text messages, new supplies, new equipment, audio and DVD material, and customer feedback (positive and/or negative).

Assimilation: in the world of physiology, assimilation refers to how our bodies break down food and liquid into the components it will use for fuel. As a business metaphor, it also refers to our ability to extract the business fuel from what is before us and put it to good use. Assimilation requires our attention. Our time. It requires sorting, extracting useful information, and making small or large shifts based on new information. This can be a challenge when we try to take it all in – to take in all the email, all the new blog posts we see, all the phone calls, all the new communication that comes our way. Assimilating means making sense of information and ideas, putting them to good use, and getting the most from each thing we attend to – (i.e. assimilating the new tax laws that my CPA just told me about.)

Elimination: in both the physiological and business worlds, this means getting rid of what no longer serves us after we have taken all that has been useful. Perhaps you clipped an article from a journal. Now you toss the journal. Maybe you implemented a new marketing technique and joined a networking group. It served you well last year. This year, it’s no longer the right vehicle. You stop your membership. As a business owner, you can eliminate: antiquated systems, books and materials, equipment, clients, staff members, procedures, and even attitudes that no longer move your business forward.

As entrepreneurs, we took a big bite out of life when we set up our own businesses. We need to be sure to manage that bite well. We need to be sure that the intake, assimilation and elimination of our businesses are in Divine Order. We need to be sure our bodies are in that same Divine Order. Over the next three days, I’ll give you some tips for all three components involved in both body and business wellness. It all starts with intake.

Intake – Focus on Your Business
Today, spend some time thinking about all you take in as an entrepreneur. By taking in, I mean all the things you fold into your business life each day. This can be an overwhelming task, so go slow. Chances are, many things are coming in to your business at high volume and a fast pace. Simply notice your intake. Take time out to list or just notice the things you take in each day. Glance at all you take in – a message on a scrap of paper, a business card, or your email in-box. Breathe. Glance at something else you take in – papers in your in-box, notes by your phone, or books on your book shelf. Breathe. And notice something else. This simple act of noticing is a practice in mindfulness for your business.

Now, it wouldn’t surprise me if you told me that your physiological intake (eating) matches the pace of your business intake. If that is a hurry-up-and-eat pace, perhaps it’s also time to take a respite on the physiological front.

Intake – Focus on Your Body
Sometime during the next 24 hours, make time for this juicy dining experience. The experience will be most effective if you can eat alone…preferably in a peaceful setting.

Place the meal in front of you and take a few deep breaths before you pick up your utensils. Take a moment to simply notice the colors of the food on your plate. Take another moment to breathe in the aroma.

Now pick up your fork and arrange your first bite. Take that bite of food into your mouth and immediately place your fork back down on the table. Chew your bite of food completely. Notice the textures and flavors. Savor the bite. When you have swallowed, then go ahead and lift your fork to arrange another bite. As you did before, take in that bite and place the fork back on the table while you chew and savor. Continue in this manner until you are full and satisfied. Take a final moment to just allow the experience to settle in to your bones.

Eating this way is a practice in mindfulness. It can remind us of the many flavors and textures that surround us each day that we let go unnoticed. Intake is the first component of the affirmation for digestive wellness of business and body.

“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 WellnessCoach.com 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?