Posts In: business stress

You need to make a business decision or write copy for your website or create some class content or… But first you need clarity and it ain’t showing up. The harder you try, the more clarity refuses to cooperate and the more stressed you become.

Mr. Basil at Your Service

You need to meet my friend. His official name is Ocimum basilicum, but you can call him basil. Mr. Basil will grab ahold of your lapels and gently shake you awake. He’ll help you focus, clearing out mental fatigue and low-lying clouds while lifting your spirits.

Warning: This Essential Oil May Improve Your Life

You know how on the drug ads you get a list of side effects like “may cause sudden death or extreme unpopularity?” Well, aromatherapy can also cause “side effects” too. They just happen to be mostly positive.

So while you’re clearing out mental debris, basil essential oil may also erase your stress headache, including migraines. You might find your allergies or other respiratory problems such as sinus infections or asthma improving.

Basil oil comes in several varieties. You want to buy a brand that lists the Latin name so you know what you’re getting. The common name on the label might say basil or sweet basil. Some aromatherapy companies sell a variety that contains more of a particular chemical constituent in it. Then the label will read sweet basil “linalool” or just basil linalool. And BTW-don’t expect the essential oil to smell like the herb you use in cooking.

You also might find Mr. Basil’s cousin for sale, holy basil or Ociumum sanctum. Although she has some of the same properties, she definitely has her own personality and aroma.  Like the Mr. she’s also helpful with your stress and banishing headaches.

How to use

The best way to make basil’s acquaintance is to breath in the oil. Sniff it right from the bottle. And remember, as with anything related to your health, it’s your health and your responsibility. If you’re sensitive to scents, take your time greeting basil. That way you can pay attention to your reaction.

Do you use basil oil? Interested in trying it?  Please share your thoughts here.

I’ve got the perfect remedy for you if any of the following sound familiar.

  • You’re sensitive. Sensitive to sounds, scents, people’s energy…
  • You’ve got a lot on your plate. Deadlines, new projects, the world’s longest “to do list.”
  • Something’s thrown you off balance. A conflict that leaves you in tears, a realization that you missed a deadline, or bad news.
  • You’re craving rest and renewal. Now. Pronto. This instant please.
  • You want to dig a hole and crawl in.

Child’s Pose to the Rescue

With child’s pose you instantly cut off stimulation. No props needed. It soothes your nervous system. Your mind will relax.

On a physical level child’s pose will passively open your hips and back. If you’re the kind of person who defaults to action, passive poses like child can be a great practice. With the pose you get to practice a way to “let the pose do you” instead of you doing the pose. It gifts you with a way to allow something to happen as opposed to muscling it into place.

If your knees, back, or hips won’t let you come into the full pose watch the video for some gentle variations.

How did this pose work for you?


You know that stress impacts you and your business negatively. And you aren’t enjoying the evidence of that stress. Anxiety, extra weight, colds, sleepless nights, tension headaches, unhappy bank account, or an argument with your significant other… They all make you less productive.

You know you need, make that want, to do something to feel more balanced. And you know there are plenty of tools. At least 52. 😀

Tools are Cool, But First…

But before you start trying on tools you need to set an intention.

Why is an intention important? It’s your resolve, your reason. It shines light on the importance of reducing your stress both for you personally and for your business, for your treasured clients and customers.

 Reducing stress, achieving more balance. Neither of these inherently have value. The value comes from your results. And you first need to determine what kind of results you want to put in your shopping cart. No junk food here.

Picking up the Scent

Setting an intention means you stop dead or actually alive in your tracks. You pick up the scent of that which you’ve come here for. You get down on all fours. You explore the dirt. You dig. You sniff. And in all of that you find the scent that you’ll follow. Your intention really says, I will follow this trail. I want more. I want wholeness.

Moving forward without intention might seem easier at first. Let’s just get to it. Moving forward with intent means you do some work. It’s like tilling your soil before you throw seeds down rather than just tossing some seeds down. But you’ll get more results from taking the time to set an intention.

Your intent?

Write down your intention related to claiming more balance. Couple of guidelines for you.

  1. Use “I intend” as your starting phrase.
  2. Include the “what” and the “why.”
  3. Use words that have meaning for you. Use powerful active words.
  4. Posting your intention here means you’ll be inviting support from all who read this. It commits you at a deeper level when you announce your intention to the world. Another way to enhance your success. I’ll show you my intention if you show me yours.

 The Rewards of Intention

Once your intention is in place you’ll be able to more easily select the correct tools for you. Plus you’ll find it easier to stick with your new patterns because the reasons for making a change will be clear.






Pop quiz. (Don’t panic. You won’t be graded.)

You’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of “to do’s” on your list. No clear priority about what should happen first. Feels like everything on your list “needs” to happen NOW.

Here’s the quiz part. What tool should you pull out of your de-stress tool kit first?

Meditation, you say. Or how about a walk in the park. No wait, it’s an aromatherapy bath, a deep breath or… I know the answer. It’s, its, its…

Awareness? What? Why? Huh?

Awareness is a tool, you ask? Yep, one of my favorite and the first tool in the cool tool for 2012 series. 

When you feel stressed your reflex may be to reach into your tool kit and grab something that will soothe you quickly. The downside to the reach and grab method is that our tool kits contain some out dated tools. Like peanut butter.

Peanut butter as self-care?

Since I was a kid my de-stress tool kit has contained peanut butter. I’ve graduated to what one office mate called my “nut butter collection”-almond, sunflower, hazelnut…

When I reach into my tool kit and grab awareness first, I can then be mindful about choosing the right tool for the current stress. But if my little hand grabs the almond butter jar first, there is no discernment about what tool would be in my highest good. It’s almond butter all the way.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with nut butters. Clearly I’m a fan. If I’m feeling low blood sugar then a spoonful of almond butter will do the trick and get me back to work grounded and energized. But if I’m feeling emotionally drained, then nut butter’s not my friend. (Sorry nut butter.)

Playing with Awareness

I think we too often look outside of ourselves for the answers. Our body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy all contain powerful information to help us get and stay on track. What track? The path of our purpose. The path of our growth.

I’m not saying you should never seek the wise counsel of your religious leader, business guru, psychic, best friend, or mom. But first consider checking in with your wise, wise self. Yes, I mean you.

How do I proceed?

Start by paying more attention to the signals from your body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy. Make friends with these messengers and their messages. If this is a new practice you might want to ritualize it until it becomes something you do more naturally. Set a time and place to check in. Journal about what you find.

Have you signed up for my Body, Mind, Spirit Business Balance quiz? When you took the quiz you received your score and worksheet. You also received a link to an audio file containing an awareness body scan.

In case you signed up for my ezine before I added this feature or you don’t remember getting the audio file, I’ll include a link in the next ezine.

And if you haven’t already signed up, sign-up today and you’ll get your results and the mp3 file as soon as you complete the quiz.



I’m guessing that at some point you’ve felt the negative impact of stress both for you and your business. 52 Cool ToolsStress is an equal opportunity employer. It visits when you’re just starting your business. But it doesn’t forget about you. It will pop in for tea and cookies throughout the phases of your business.

And when negative stress visits it leaves a calling card or two. An achy low back, frequent colds, indigestion, anxiety, feelings of overwhelm… Those calling cards make it hard to be productive. They also make it hard to enjoy your non-work hours. You know you’re not as creative, joyful, or compassionate when your head is throbbing, you feel irritable, or you can’t sleep because you keep mulling over a work issue or project.

And when your business is something you feel called to do, when it’s something you have passion for offering to the world you don’t want stress to be interrupting or slowing things down.

What’s a business owner to do?

I can’t help you get a restraining order for stress. But because so many of the business owners I talk with struggle with the negative impact of stress and lack of balance I’m devoting my 2012 blog posts to the topic.

Say hello to “2012 with 52 Cool Tips to De-stress and Claim More Balance for You and Your Business.”

Can you hear the New Year calling you? It’s inviting you to a new start, a fresh beginning. But if you’re like most of us you’ve ordered up a big, fat exciting goal only to send it back to the kitchen before it even got cold. Or you left in on the counter and forgot about it until it molded. Disappointed in yourself, goal setting, and New Year’s resolutions in general, you threw the goal in the trash.

The Solution

Many people opt out of setting resolutions and goals because they haven’t felt successful. Back in the 90’s I was the massage therapist at the local YMCA. Every January the locker room population would swell. And then every February the numbers would dwindle back down.

Most of us crave something better. We want growth. Better balance. More creativity. More productive hours. More fun. More impact in the world. More money. Better health…

But how do we go about getting all of that?

Tools for Your Toolkit

Having the right tools is one of the answers. Over the course of the year I’ll be sharing 52 tools. I promise they’re all cool (at least to me.)

You’ll learn:

  • Yoga breath to calm your jitters
  • Natural energizers that you can carry in your pocket
  • Simple stretches for achy arms and hands
  • Antidotes for long hours of sitting in front of your computer
  • Quick grounding technique for when you feel spacey
  • Simple ways to stop headaches
  • A lightweight jet lag kit
  • Tools for simplifying your life
  • Attitude shifts that bring ease
  • How to schedule in your own recess breaks
  • And much, much more!

But Not Just Any Tool

In working with hundreds and hundreds of people dealing with those nasty stress calling cards I’ve discovered that your best tool needs to fit you. This is not a one size fits all kind of thing. Your perfect toolkit fits into your lifestyle, your work schedule, your interests and preferences.

Having lots of tools to choose from means you can try them on, wear the ones that fit well, and put the others back on the rack.

It takes a village

I’ll be inviting some of my teachers, mentors, and friends to share their favorite tips.

And I’m inviting you as well. I’ve being studying this stuff for decades. But I don’t have all the answers. Your input might just be the secret nugget that someone else needs.

How you can participate

I’ll be posting the tools to my blog. I recommend signing up for the RSS feed (look for the orange symbol under my picture in the right hand column) so you won’t miss a single tool. Once a month I’ll be sending out my ezine with links to the posts so you can stay updated that way too.

The contest

If you incorporate one tool that helps decrease your stress, adds to your enjoyment and productivity with your work and life, you’re a winner. I wanted to offer an extra incentive to help you decrease your stress and harness more balance. So I’m offering the 52 Cool Tools Contest. Here’s the skinny

  • Open to all subscribers of my ezine, Align and Thrive.  (If you’re not a subscriber sign up is easy. Look for the heading on the left side that says “Biz Balance Quiz.”) That way you’ll get at least one article a month delivered to your email box and you’ll get the links to all the cool tools. You’ll also get a chart so you can keep track of the tools you’ve tried and your results.
  • The prize package. In January 2013 I will award a fabulous package to the winner.

How to win? Be the person with the highest score.

How’s your score determined? Give yourself a point for every tool you implement. If you already use one of the suggested tools you can give yourself a point for that too. Recommend a tool that hasn’t been mentioned and you can award yourself another point. I will provide a chart for recording your score.

To enter the contest simply send me an email with the number of tools you implemented and the number of tools you suggested, plus a paragraph to a page about your experience. If there’s a tie then we’ll draw one name to break the tie.

What’s in this fabulous package?

  • A self-care coaching session (valued at $111)
  • Your very own custom affirmation recording (valued at $39)
  • An aromatherapy goodie selected for you (value between $10-25)
  • A self care tool selected for you (depend on what it is)
  • And probably some other stuff. Who knows what will show up before January 2013?

On January 1, 2012 I’ll be hosting a New Year’s Day party to help you set a wholistic goal for the coming year. You can ask questions about the contest and share your dreams for 2012. More info here.

Ready to Get Aligned & Thrive?

Be in the know. Articles, videos, upcoming events...