Two River Times June 2014 - Health & Wellness Column
Spring was abloom with lots of leadership training travel this season. Its amazing to listen to the unending stories of lagging leadership when it comes to creating highly evolved cultures of creativity and collaboration in organizations. I recently had an interesting conversation with a senior leader that wanted to know how long yoga had informed my presentations on resiliency and professional presentation in the conference and corporate space. He assumed I must be getting a lot of push back and was surprised to learn that I've been busier than ever sharing what I know to be true for successful teams and their organizational leaders.
Here are a few ways yoga informs a leadership style that's engaging and invigorating for all. Yoga celebrates perspective. Sure, we all need to be accountable for production, innovation and operational efficiencies but at the end of the day, we need to create limits for our work lest it becomes all consuming. Talk to any human resource manager about the importance and expense of retention and lack of it. Talk to neglected family members that remind you of "too many hours at the office." Yoga allows us to focus more clearly on what and how to do meaningful work while being mindful of the importance of the totality of our lives. The best leaders long term understand the importance of limits, work/life boundaries and a fully integrated personal and work life. Maybe that's why Silicon Valley has introduced "napping pods" and "yoga and meditation" breaks at their corporate campuses to encourage this notion of perspective around work. I had the pleasure while traveling to meet an executive that shared her title as "Culture Director" for a tech company out West. Her sole charge was to be sure every employee under her "care" was taking breaks and having fun during each and every work day so that creativity could be supported and prioritized. Anybody not want to have fun at work? When I asked what their corporate vacation policy was, she simply responded with the policy as "be responsible". She shared that employees at her firm were so happy coming to work, that they rarely sought additional vacation time and always did so with their team project deadlines prioritized and discussed collaboratively so that everyone felt valued. Yoga in action!
Practicing yoga and developing a meditation practice also allows employees to remain more centered and calm during a business crisis. Leaders that prioritize self care and develop their confidence through challenge model self efficacy for their teams and are generally more pleasant to work with, all other things considered. Ever work with a reactionary boss with a short fuse? Leaders at all levels of an organization share time and time again that maintaining a sense of equanimity and steadiness at the office is much preferred to the leader that lunges and leaps to conclusions and decisions without full consideration of the entire corporate landscape and the people that power the teams. Again, non reactionary tendencies equals yoga in action.
Not buying in? Try it a few times and see if you get any pushback from anyone on your team...You may even get an "Ommm"..
DonnaLyn leadership presents at national meeting.
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT keynotes, consults and coaches on integrated leadership themes at conventions, corporations and in educational forums. She's a business consultant for entrepreneurs and and economics professor at Brookdale Community College as a 25 yr local insurance professional. Join her in the summer at https://www.facebook.com/YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries.
Recently had the pleasure of leading an interactive Twitter workshops for businessleaders eager to leverage this cryptic social media tool. Once you master the language of Twitter, its all upward momentum if you embrace engagement and disseminate value. Our roundtable of experts included professionals in nutrition,insurance, tech, HR and horticulture to name a few industries ready to "dive in".
Here are a few of the takeaways we agreed on:
1. Discomfort equals growth. Everyone expressed initial Twitter trepidation. Too much to do, too little time. We managed to achieve consensus at our workshop that the effort would be worth the gains if we could committ to a mere 15 minutes a few times a week to get a "Twitter handle" established. Our group testimonials proved our point more than once..
2. Twitter is a great tool to amplify your effort and build your presence...once you get focused on your Twitter strategy and achieved identity in sharing your knowledge base as a brand leader.
3. Embrace my 3 R's of Twitter...Read, Respond & Retweet to maximize Twitter traction action and have fun doing it! Take a Twitter class to learn the techie details of setting up and launching your Twitter success. Our session was all about the "macro" view of how Twitter is building businesses..
4. Attend our next testimonial workshop or follow me on Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks to learn more about our tweeting in the Twittersphere!
Written by DonnaLyn Giegerich for the Small Business Development Center for Entrepreneurs at Brookdale Community College
As the economy rebounds and signs of green shoots in business building abound, here are three areas to consider for business insurance success. It's a new local landscape for many in the fascinating and frustrating world of insurance and risk management. Here are a few ways you can "improve your groove" in 2014 as a new or redirecting business in Monmouth and Ocean county.
Our coastal community businesses know first hand the affects of extensive 2012 Sandy damage. What many owners continue to grabble with when starting a business is the impact "Territory" will have on their business insurance success. Windstorm is a huge predictor of property damage in our coastal counties so understanding underwriting guidelines and pricing tiers in these locations is paramount to coverage placement success. Of course businessowners can expect to pay more for property insurance close to the shore, but many still fail to understand the coverage limitations, coverage availability challenges and the intricacies of the application process required to effectuate an insurance program. The second T is taking the "Time" to complete the new business insurance process thoughtfully. It's in a client's best interest to engage by requesting the "best coverage" to start the conversation and then adjusting the plan as budgetary restrictions dictate with a full understanding of coverage give-backs. Rushing through the process...
- Continue reading at: Small Business Development Center website
Two River Times May 2014 - Health & Wellness Column
Terrible things happen to undeserving people all the time. So how can the concept of detachment really serve you as you move through life?
First a word about what detachment is NOT. We often hear expressions like "it is what it is" or "whatever" in response to some painful event or unfortunate circumstance. We've become desensitized or inept at appropriately expressing emotions around challenging or tragic circumstances. This is NOT what the term detachment suggests.
On the contrary, detachment in yogic terms, according to Patangali's Yoga Sutras(the bible of Sanskrit teachings), is the idea of "total surrender" in the spirit of compassion. Detachment is the complete opposite of the lack of sentiment expressed in phrases like "man up" or "whatever". The goal of detachment is to not be attached to the results of your actions. Whether you reach your goal or not, win or lose a contest or remain healthy or ill, the practice of detachment is cultivated for the sake of the intention. Its not about the effort you put forth to attain any goal. It's really about surrendering the outcome to what will ultimately be regardless of your effort. The beauty of detachment is that equanimity can be achieved by dropping off fear, anxiety and stress around things we cannot control.
Detachment does not suggest a lack of feeling or a void in caring. On the contrary, the practice of detachment recognizes and honors the feelings of sadness, fear or disappointment but enables one to manage these feelings in an effective way. For example, when my husband and I were both diagnosed with aggressive, incurable cancers at nearly the same time in our early forties, we were definitely overwhelmed and felt emotionally highjacked. But in time, with perspective, we were able to detach from our emotions and surrender to the facts. Then we chose to concentrate on what we could do to continue living meaningfully. For us, our happiest moments before, during and after cancer have been serving our community. We simply continued to do the same in creative ways to help others navigate their career and lives through challenge. We focused on the intention of our work, not on the fact that in the end, we might not live long enough to see the end result of our efforts.
Detachment allows us to always be connected to our inner guide instead of being knocked off guard by shocking circumstances. As we develop our skills, we're better able to remain in the present moment, develop resiliency and remain fundamentally unaffected by outcomes. The end goal is to be able to live a more serene, calm and balanced life without huge emotional swings. The practice of detachment has been a key component in our ability to remain well throughout our journey. Meditation, yoga and pranayama(breathing exercises) are all methods we employ to build our detachment skills. These tools have helped us clear the space needed to continue to live at a high vibration in our work and personal lives despite shifting medical news, treatment side effects and impending surgeries and setbacks. As a result, we're able to focus on who we remain to be despite challenge and grateful for the entire landscape of our lives. I encourage you to explore how detachment and its supporting paradigms might help you navigate your unique journey inward and onward.
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC,RYT is an integrated business/wellness professional speaker and President of DonnaLyn Giegerich Consulting. Her leadership training serves the corporate, wellness and educational space on topics of resiliency, life/work integration and professional presence. She has presented from California to Cornell as a convention keynoter, corporate trainer and motivator for national brands like Novo Nordisk, Campbell's & Daiichi Sankyo. Connect at Donnalyn.org, on LinkedIn, FB & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks.
Team KickCancerOverboard did it again! We're up to EIGHTY SIX free cruise give aways! We were successful in gifting SIX more cruises to deserving cancer celebrants after the NJ Marathon this past weekend...Team Tireless Ted at Excel Travel rallied 200 volunteers to man up marathon water stations, give out bibs and T shirts while I feverishly worked the registration desk to upload last minute marathons and early birds for running slots in 2015.
Tom and our foreign exchange champ, Karim made sure every runner was a fashionista with this year's terrific running T shirt. We met many KCO volunteers on Sunday at the super SaladShack to celebrate more cruise giveaways! One of my favorite business mantras is "People dont care how much you know, until they know how much you care." This theme was evident throughout the weekend as Goodbie Amy(2x survivor) and Dale Paradise rocked the stage with their musical talent at The SaladShack, Mario daCunha Photography and Tom Zapcic(2x stem cell transplanter) snapped photos, Zynergy Ryan, Mighty Mike and Bouncin Barb Youchah ran the race as I(10 hr sarcoma surgery survivor) tried to play the tambourine toasting guests...Thank you! terrific Team KCO for Kicking Cancer Overboard so others can have the time of their lives at sea!
Two River Times April 2014 - Health & Wellness Column
Planting the first Spring pansies always reminds me of lessons in resiliency. If environmental conditions get unbearable again, will life persist…for the hardiest flat of pansies or for folks that face great challenges? Research shows, for plants and people, that vibrant longevity often hinges on our ability to develop hardiness to endure the toughest seasons of our lives. So how do we manage the unexpected and the unwanted in this age of uncertainty and rapid change?
Experts offer several tips to develop resiliency in order to live in hope to cope. Harvard Business School professor, Joshua Margolis suggests that we frame adversity in terms of its depth and duration to help manage our response. In addition, how we control or create solutions to challenging circumstances is another way to transform adversity into a freeway of opportunity for others. If we can train ourselves to become more skillful in responding to our challenges in this thoughtful way, then hopefully we can spend more time engaged in meaningful momentum and less time in melting down. If you’re interested in learning more about your resiliency quotient, take a look at the challenging self test at PeakLearning.com. While you’re assessing your hardiness, consider a few more options:
- Develop a breathing practice. Ever hear of pranayama? In the world of yogic wellness, prana is known as our essential life force. Nothing happens without the breath and learning how to concentrate on the rhythmic patterns of our breath provides great benefits in calming nerves while crafting a resiliency plan for the next challenge. There are a variety of specific yoga breathing patterns but the first step is simply start becoming aware of the patterns of your breath and when the switch points occur between the inhalations and exhalations. Try to notice when you’re hyperventilating through life versus sustaining a rhythmic and calm tempo conducive to making informed, non -reactionary decisions .
- Learn some effective relaxation techniques that you can do at your desk, during your commute or at home when the lights go down. Autogenic relaxation techniques enlist the use of words to suggest a general unwinding or slowing down. Think along the lines of “your feet are rooting down into the earth” or “your body is floating down a calm river”. If you buy into the suggestion, you will surely experience a calmer way of being.
- Try body scanning by paying attention to successive parts of your body as you slowly unwind feelings of tension and muscle clenching. Start at the top of your head and progressively move throughout your form to induce a quieting of the body and calmer way of being.
- Experiment with progressive muscle-relaxation exercises. Build resiliency by talking yourself off a cliff the next time you’re stressed by systematically bringing different sets of muscles to greater feelings of ease by exhaling longer and more deeply than your initial inhaling. Flood your body with the feel-good hormones correspondent with the parasympathetic nervous system. Enjoy instant relief.
Even the corporate space is catching up on these resiliency boosting techniques. Silicon Valley is sporting napping pods at their corporate headquarters, CEO’s are taking snoozing breaks to recharge and congressmen in Ohio are meditating to keep the pace. Maybe it’s time you considered peeling back the power pace to restore to endure. Good luck staying Spring hardy!
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA, CIC, RYT, keynotes, consults and coaches on integrated leadership topics in the business, wellness and consumer space to empower others. Her work is viewable at DonnaLyn.org. Locally, you can find Giegerich providing client care as an insurance pro in Red Bank, teaching economics and coaching entrepreneurs at Brookdale Community College or hosting Yoga on the Lake Summer Series for stressed out leaders. Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks.
Two River Times March 2014 - Health & Wellness Column
Last month we alluded to movement being our medicine. So what can we do to empower our relationships with our wellness and medical professionals when we need them most? Prioritizing patient engagement has been an ongoing initiative in the medical world and will continue to be a dominant trend as advances in personalized medicine occur. But what is personalized medicine? According to Partners Center for Personalized Medicine, it's the opportunity to understand an individual's unique molecular biochemistry to better diagnose disease, suggest treatments for successful outcomes and mitigate the likelihood of adverse repercussions. It's a complex process with a lot of moving parts but at the core of all the science and clinical delivery is our collective ability to bond and communicate well with our team of experts to decide which course of action is best for us. So how do we show up well to maximize great teamwork in an era of openness, exciting emerging genetic discovery, advancing drug development and designer medicine for all? We go back to the basics of advocating well for ourselves from "our center".
Here are a few reminders for cultivating great relationships with your partners in wellness:
- When a course of treatment is recommended, ask for pointed details on the facts around efficacy for your condition. Ask about comparative outcomes for proposed treatments and ask about the underlying evidence for the diagnosis and if there are other interpretations to consider. Gather as much unbiased detail on the proposals at hand and if you can have another party "lean in" on the details, welcome them to your team.
- Ask about the side effects...both short and long term and if the answers aren't readily available, do more research or have your team deliver these results before making any final decisions. No questions is silly. Brilliant people ask for help when they need it. Be vulnerable...its courageous and if you're not sure, consider reading Brene Brown's newest book entitled Daring Greatly. You'll likely never apologize for asking a silly question again.
- Get your skin in the game. A great patient is one that shows up as a partner in the process of developing and delivering a wellness plan. If you need guidance on how to be a great patient, besides doing the committed work to keep yourself fit, informed and strong at any age, read Dr Bernie Siegel's book Love, Medicine & Miracles to learn about his experiences treating exceptional patients. You'll be inspired to then create your own plan for exceptional.
- Consider creating a complementary team of professionals to support your healing on an integrated basis. Many facilities are completely on board with integrated wellness today. If you need more, create your own wellness posse and ask your friends for referrals. Medicine and guided relaxation, as one example, can be a powerful combination and the beginning of a lifelong love affair even after the big decisions and treatments are settled.
- Appreciate your professionals. For years, we've been in touch with our team of lifesavers by dropping them a note, a card or an email sharing an occasional major milestone around more life thanks to their efforts and commitment to patient care. Create a great team and celebrate your collective success and gratitude for quality care through a medical challenge.
- Lastly, surrender the outcomes once you've made your best informed decisions. As we say in yoga, "be detached from the results"...do your best for the sake of doing well. As we age and commit to living more skillfully, we have an ongoing opportunity through medical and wellness challenges to be present for what we're given. Seems often that we think we can control reality but when we get out of our heads and into our hearts, we recognize that control is largely an illusion. So cultivate an ongoing relationship with yourself and your wellness team that celebrates authentic forward momentum so you can struggle less and savor more.
There is no doubt we live in challenging times with all the major shifts occurring in the medical wellness space. Hospitals and doctors are under pressure to provide excellent quality care with diminishing reimbursements while managing readmission rates, procedural complications and rates of infection to name a few recurring themes. Everyone seems to be doing more with less and the rapidity of change will keep us all challenged to keep the pace. But if we, as patients and wellness seekers are going to maximize our opportunity for a long and vibrant life, then we're responsible for contributing purposefully to reversing the global increase in chronic disease through healthy lifestyling, informed choices and empowered communication. We can all do better together as we leap thoughtfully into a long awaited Spring!
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that speaks, consults and coaches on leadership resiliency from California to Cornell in the business, wellness, medical and consumer space to empower others. Work in motion is viewable at www.donnalyn.org. Locally, you can find DonnaLyn gratefully teaching macroeconomics at Brookdale, coaching entrepreneurs at the Small Business Development Center or providing client care at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance and Heritage Benefits Group LLC, Red Bank. In her spare time she shares the gift of yoga with her cherished clients and friends. Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks.
Two River Times Feb 2014 - Health & Wellness Column
February conjures images of piercing hearts and happy connections so what's your passionate plan this month? Recurrent studies show that humans are social by nature so perhaps this is the month to cast your sights wider to welcome a new circle of friends. Interesting people with large and active social networks are much less likely to suffer cognitive decline than those who are isolated. So here are some ideas on how to ramp up your physical and mental acuity in red hot ways in the chilly months of winter.
Create your own micro adventure and invite a friend to join you. Not sure what a micro adventure is? Neither was I until I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Lauren Rains interesting and thoughtful blog. A masterful micro adventurer is one that makes it his/her mission to create a challenging and creative mini trip when precluded from pursuing true wanderlust. Day job be damned! Check out " A Mad to Live Project" which highlights a variety of 50 mile walks for tomorrow's world changers and learn about the art of possibly crafting your own microadventure this Feb. Don't forget to bring a bonding buddy (if you can find one for a fifty miler..ha!) and if I see the two of you stranded on one of NJ's many highways walking to no where for a great cause, I'll be sure to offer you both a ride...assuming, of course, that you're at the end of your perfectly connecting micro adventure! Read Lauren's blog at MadToLive.com.
So if you're not feeling delightfully daring these days, simply try to change up one of your enjoyable routine activities. If you're a traditional runner, for instance, consider exploring Chi running...Your body and mind will thank you! My friend and colleague Dave Stretanski , certified master instructor of Chi running and walking fame right here in the Two River area, makes movement look easy, graceful and fun. Dave, where have you been all our lives? After earlier years of marathon and half marathon training that nearly made my knees buckle, meeting Dave and learning about "a better way" to improve my groove was a long overdue treat. The benefits to chi running include increased movement efficiency, reduced negative stress on the body, less discomfort and pain, and a much more mindful movement practice. Sounds like yoga in sneakers, Dave!
If you're a yoga enthusiast or want to be in 2014, try an appropriate style of yoga or a new studio to broaden your healthy living horizons. There are numerous engaging yoga studios in Monmouth county to delight your downdog, so vary your vinyasa or expand your knowledge around the vastly different types of yoga available. Need a place to start learning which yoga form is most suitable or next in line for you? Check out www.yogatrail.com for an informative yoga wheel that covers approximately twenty of the most popular types of yoga according to your body's love for movement. Need a beginner's class? Try a restorative or gentle yoga class. Ready to ramp up your power potential on the mat? Try an ashtanga or hot yoga studio that will turn up the heat...literally and figuratively. The important part of the yoga journey, besides inviting a friend to enhance the socially connecting effect this month, is to ensure that the class is appropriately leveled for your expectations. The goal with yoga is to enjoy the entire mind, body and spirit adventure without landing in a class that's misaligned for your level of practice. It's also important to connect with your instructor so let your yoga guide know if you're new or looking for a challenge to start a dialogue around your needs. All the instructors I know enjoy the process of supporting their students on and often off the mat. That's why we're here to help create an encouraging community of wellness for you! Consider calling the studio before arriving to make sure your yoga drop- in is a blissful experience. Dress comfortably, bring a mat if you've got one (most studios will rent you one!) and have yourself a great experience! Feel free to drop me a line for some recommendations on how to find a class best suited for you. Here are just a few of the reasons passionate people pursue great yoga:
- Stress Relief
- Pain Relief
- Better Breathing
- Focus on the Present
- Weight Management
What's not to love, lifeleaders? So, let this February be a month of heart opening adventures for you, your friends and family. Namaste!
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that's been in the national convention, corporate and consumer space helping others improve their groove in getting results with the intersection of her business, wellness and leadership initiatives. Learn more at www.donnalyn.org for workshops, events and speaking engagements empowering people and teams from California to Cornell. Facebook and Twitter at DonnaLynSpeaks. Locally, you can find DonnaLyn teaching macro economics at Brookdale, coaching entrepreneurs at the Small Business Development Center or providing client care at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance and Heritage Benefits Group LLC, Red Bank.
Two River Times - Health & Wellness Column Jan 2014
Here are some timely tips to keep you powered up for purposeful action in the new year. Researchers at the Loma Linda University in California recently noted that looking forward to an event boosts immunity. Maxed out on obligatory holiday happenings? Well, now its your time in 2014 to reframe your focus on enlarging events. So what's your creative calendar look like this year? Looking to learn something new, experience something different or try a different travel theme? Studies reveal that biological changes like lowering levels of of stress hormones cortisol & epinephrine(adrenaline) accompany the joy of event anticipation. So if you're susceptible to sad affective disorder or the "winter blues" like I am, consider making an active effort to plan something purposeful to keep you focused on fun. We recently attended a international premier medical/research conference to advocate for and educate others but that didn't stop us from planning fun with our friends while visiting New Orleans. By day we dished academic and by night we embraced Bourbon Street after power yoga at Reyn Studios to embrace the notion of integrated wellness. Bottomline, we make it our mission to plan for fun amidst hard work to keep our immunity humming and our memories coming in full color. But please note, you don't have to leave fabulous Red Bank to craft great events ! Simply boost your mood by looking forward to plans with friends in this cool little town or find interesting ways to make new friends in a new forum. Your detrimental stress hormones will decrease as you dial up delightful plans wherever you land. Consider joining us in Red Bank Feb 8 at the Red Bank Women's Club for the beginning of our next Power Panelist event series. Learn what's possible in business and life from our diverse group of lifeleaders that rarely take no for an answer in the arena of enlarging experiences. Not coincidentally, our first 2014 themed event is entitled "New Year, New You." One of our fabulous panelist presenters went back to law school at fifty to exceed the expectations of her clients and family. So, what are you leaning toward learning new this year?
Here are some stretch assignment possibilities to consider. The world of technology has gifted us with a plethora of learning options. Check out website Duolingo to learn a second language, get your healthy on at Nerd Fitness or grab some video learning at Information is Beautiful. If you prefer in person learning to virtual worlds, feel free to join us for our yoga class at The Atlantic Club on Saturday mornings or come join our macro economic instruction at Brookdale to keep your worldview expanding in the land of commerce and connection. Think you're too old or not quite bold enough to learn something new or daring? I challenge you to recall the teachings of psychology pro, Al Bandura that taught us the importance of small, consecutive stages of progress as the keystone to success. So if you want to "touch the snake" to dispel your fear of learning something new or intimidating this year, remember Bandura's cues to create successive building blocks to break through to new levels of achievement in 2014. You'll be going BIG in no time.
As we craft our new year, new you goals in the spirit of adventure and lifelong curiosity, lets not forget the paramount importance of effective stress management. One of the greatest tools that has enlarged the lives of wellness seekers has been the simple gift of stillness. So if you've ever spent time in the professional or personal wilderness trying to figure out how to restore and endure, give silence a whirl. Some find this exercise through meditation, prayer, gardening, dog walking or simply being truly present in their daily lives with others. When work or life gets too frenetic, try what Rick Hanson suggests in his popular book Buddha's Brain. To paraphrase one of his important messages he suggests that when we know stillness and get comfortable with silence, critical insights come forth. When the insights appear, then and only then can we become more clear around what it is that will enrich or improve our lives. Give the gift of goodbye to the energy vampires and start ushering in new insights and a more rewarding life. The end game in clarity is that we are finally able to work, communicate and share our giftedness in the world in the spirit of greater awareness which is what our wellness community knows as yoga in action. So if you're dealing with long lasting life shifting stressors in the new year or need a refresher on how to deal with the invariable insanity of life sometimes, think about bolstering your immune system with a ten minute mindful meditation to refocus your day, week, month or new year. It will yield mind, body, spirit and relationship dividends like no other, no charge. And if you'd like more integrated leadership learning on point, pick up a copy of book, Yoga as Medicine by Dr Tim McCall or join us for Yoga On the Lake this spring. It will give you something to look forward to!
DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated national business/wellness speaker, business consultant and resilience coach that empower leaders, corporate teams and conference attendees with the intersection of her business, wellness and life experience expertise. Ongoing global advocacy and upcoming events, workshops and speaking engagements are viewable at www.donnalyn.org . She is the President of DLG Consulting, co-owner of Heritage Benefits Grp & producer partner at Couch Braunsdorf Insurance all in Red Bank. She is on staff at Brookdale as an economics professor and business consultant for the Small Business Development Center for entrepreneurs. She teaches yoga here and travels widely sharing yoga in her spare time.