Posts In: business stress

Years ago I attended a time management class. The presenter had us list all the things we wanted to accomplish in a day, then add up the time needed.

My list included exercise, time with friends and family, work projects, cleaning the house, meditation, etc. Like everyone else in class my totaled hours greatly exceeded the 24-hours a day that I’d been given.

Whoa, nelly.

No wonder many of us end up feeling overwhelmed. And that’s just the day-to-day stuff. Add a special event or a family crises and coping gets harder. Meltdowns happen. Health suffers. Our well-being gets chipped away.

Unfortunately the things that you might jettison out of your sinking ship are the very things you need to stay balanced and nurtured. The things that give you the energy and the joy to continue offering your gifts through your business.

Divine multitasking to the rescue.

Multitasking can create more stress. When you find yourself brushing your teeth, eating a sandwich, and talking on the phone at the same time you know you’ve crossed a line. (Not that I’ve ever done this. J)

Okay, so my example’s extreme. But even the “normal’ everyday piling of several tasks into one moment draws you out of the present, into more intensity and often, anxiety.

But multitasking can also be your friend if you consciously partner activities that enhance your life.

Four simple rules.

  1. Pair two or more items that you feel good about doing.
  2. Items should add, not detract from each other. For example, a walk with a good friend means exercise and friend time. Or how about a lunch with a potential referral source or meditation in nature.
  3. Prioritize mindfulness. I can be more mindful on a walk by myself rather than one where I’m talking with a friend. But in the example I used I would choose to be mindful of my friend and our conversation with the awareness that I might miss something in my environment. And I’m okay with that.
  4. Always stay aware. The “walk with friend” pairing might be perfect one day. But when you need quiet this pairing might not be in your best interest.

How can you pair things in a way that nurtures you and your business?


Do I write some pithy words about stillness? Or do I let stillness speak for itself? I’m going with the later.

I learned this gem from Star of Star Flower Essences on a trip to Peru. While it was powerful to experience this process at a sacred site like Machu Picchu, I’ve found it just as powerful in humble Oregon. I recently used it while waiting in line at the Portland airport.

Martin Gray, photographer and author, is the originator of Planetary Acupuncture. While he primarily uses this meditation to connect with the energy of sacred sites and earth’s energy, there are benefits that make a good tool for business owners.

What I love about this tool.

  • Simple to use. I’ve taught this process to many clients and they all get it quickly.
  • Accessible. You can use it in any setting. No need to close your eyes or have special props or equipment.
  • I always feel better after just a couple of minutes.


So how the heck does connecting with earth’s energies helps you as a business owner? Good question. Here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced in my life and also observed with my clients.

  • Connect with earth: You’ll feel more grounded, more centered. Ever have a day where you feel off or spacey? This would be a perfect tool to use.
  • Connects you with divine energy: If you get disconnected from your higher purpose, if you get on the train of doing and not being, if you forget the spiritual side of life, then reconnecting to a divine power will reset you quickly.
  • Connects you with your heart: “All you need is love” after all.
  • Connects you with others: Every time you exhale you share a bit of you with the world. When you breathe out with conscious intent from your heart you share that gooey warm loving place with the world and make the world better in the process.
  • Connects you to your wholeness: You know that magic trick where the woman in the box gets cut in half? While I’ve never worked on or with a person who’s been literally cut in half, it’s not uncommon to see people who “live” in half of their bodies.

If you’re someone who lives in the spiritual realms or in your head you might get disconnected from your lower body. The opposite can also be true. This meditation will help reconnect your upper and lower bodies.

  • You’ll claim a few moments of stillness. Even if you’re in a busy setting your inner self calms and aligns.

So let’s get to it.

You can stand or sit. To practice close your eyes (but it’s easy to do with eyes open once you’ve experienced it a few times.)

  1. Let your breath become steady and slow.
  2. Allow the divine energies from above to come into your body through your crown chakra, the energy center at the top of your head. Draw that energy into your heart and let it mingle with your energy.
  3. As you exhale let the energy in your heart move out through your root chakra at the base of your body. (My addition is to move the energy out through the soles of my feet as well.)
  4. Next breath, bring the energy of the earth in through your root chakra (and soles of feet) and bring the energy to your heart.
  5. With your exhalation let that energy move out from your heart to the world and space around you.

Did you try this tool? And what was your experience?

To read more about Martin Gray’s work check out his website.



Delete Your Excuses for Not Getting Massage 

I’ve received hundreds of massages. Yet I’m still a bit in awe over the effects. I can go into a session stressed, muscles tight, with a busy brain only to emerge with my breathing slower, my mind stilled, and my body relaxed.

I know you know that stress has detrimental effects. (Disturbed sleep, digestive disturbance, muscle tension, back pain, headaches, depressed immune function…)

And I know you know that massage is a superb relaxer. (Did you know that it can also alleviate insomnia, reduce pain, boost to your immune system, improve your circulation, reduce stress hormones, and more.)

So it surprises me to know plenty of people who are stressed and sore AND who are not getting regular massage.


I hear a lot of reasons for not getting regular massage. Have you ever used any of these?

1. Too busy. If you’re too busy to get a massage, you really need one. Staying too busy is a set up for being less productive and for decreasing wellness.

Getting a massage during a busy time can actually enhance your productivity and creativity.

I recommend a minimum of an hour massage for the chronically busy. But if the thought of an hour away from work puts you into a panic, try chair massage.

In 5-15 minutes you’ll notice that your shoulders are no longer attached to your ears. In an office setting it’s usually easy to get a handful of people together to make it worth a massage therapist’s time to travel to you.

But what if you work solo? There’s still hope for a quick massage break.

  • Some gyms and spas offer chair massage.  Ask around to see who offers this service.
  • Attend events and fairs. Go to your local farmer’s market (pick up some berries while you’re there) and look for a massage booth.
  • Create your own event. Find out the minimum number of people your local massage therapist needs to make an office call. Then invite your self-employed friends over for a weekly chair massage party

2. Can’t afford it. First, look at the value you’ll be getting. An hour massage gives me hours of productive, focused time. It increases my joy, my presence.

But if for you the going rate feels too high, check around for deals.

  • You can sign up to be on the mailing lists of deal sites like Groupon. Then you’ll  receive info about local deals. I’ve seen offers as low as $25 hr.
  • Some massage therapists offer specials that you can inquire about. I just got an email for a $100 for 3-massage deal.
  • Then there are massage school clinics that offer a lower rate. You can get a massage at Oregon School of Massage student clinic for $35 hour.
  • Some massage therapists will barter for services. Got a skill you can trade? Make an offer.

3.    Not sure where to go.  Ask for referrals. Ask your friends and colleagues. But before you ask who they see, get clear about what you want from your massage.

My favorite place won’t necessarily be your favorite place.  Ask your buddies why they like or don’t like the massage therapists they’ve seen. Then choose the one that feels like the best match.

4. Don’t’ like to be touched. (or touched by strangers.) Massage might not be for you. I’ve met people for whom the idea of getting a massage is uncomfortable. If the idea is unappealing for you, honoring that makes sense.

But I’ve also met people who’ve had a bad experience with massage or who are hesitant to disrobe or let a stranger touch them. Here are some tips if you fall into those categories.

  • If you don’t want to disrobe, try a style of massage where you leave your clothes on.  Shiatsu, Thai, and reflexology are three options.
  • Know that there are people who specialize in clients who are uncomfortable with touch or disrobing.
  • Ask questions before scheduling to see if their philosophy fits with what you want.

Your therapist should always, always respect your boundaries and comfort zone. As I said, I’ve met people who were not fans of massage. But with the right therapist and right technique some of them have been converted. You might just become a convert as well.

And you?

When was your last massage? If you get massage, why? What are the benefits that draw you? And if you don’t get massage, what’s your reason?


I’m thrilled to share today’s guest blog post from the inspiring Julia Kious Zabell. Julia’s a fellow business coach and the founder of  re:Invigorate. Check out the link to her site at the end of the article. 

Holding Too Tightly

Man grasping briefcase

© Dmitry Rukhlenko –
So, here’s a quickie.

My yoga teacher had me do it in class and then I came across it again in a book last night, so I am taking it as a sign that it must be shared.

Since there will be eye closing, you may want to read through the directions before jumping in.

▪   Close your eyes and sit in a quiet and comfortable place.

▪   Now squeeze your hands into small, tight little fists.  Hold on as if you’re going to drop your iPhone in the toilet.

▪   Without trying to control it, notice what your breath is like.  Does it take effort to breath?  Is there a weight in your chest?  Do you feel your brow getting furrowed?  Are you clenching your teeth?

▪   Without opening your eyes, release your hands.  Imagine them being immersed into warm, chocolate pudding (not that I know what warm chocolate pudding feels like, but you get the idea).

▪   Now, pay attention to your breath.  Is it easier to take a really deep breath?  Is there a slight smile on your face? Did your muscles relax?

If you are like me, you noticed the physical difference between holding on for dear life and just letting go.  Hopefully you see how letting go can be useful (not just in the ability to breath).  This week, pay close attention to your breathing and take note of the times you feel constricted…chances are good, you are holding on to something too tight.  Figure out what it is…and let go.

About Juliafounder of re:invigorate, Julia Kious Zabell

Julia Kious Zabell is the founder of re:Invigorate, a powerhouse coaching business that helps Do-Gooding Entrepreneurs and Visionaries create (and rock out) a business based on their passion and purpose.

She truly longs for a world in which business is done in an entirely different way: the Doing Good way.  What happens if she succeeds?  Well, business will operate as a huge interconnected community, supporting one another and holding each member with love.  It will understand that business is an avenue to live out our own divine purpose and to serve the whole as well as to comfortably support ourselves.  And, everybody will have time to take naps and month long vacations, because that’s what life’s about.

Check out her main website for more info and a chance to get her “Thoroughly Mixing Business with Pleasure” newsletter at


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