Helping leaders emerge

Blog - 2017

The Body Scan!

What is the body scan? A deep investigation into the moment-to-moment experiences of the body. By bringing awareness and acknowledgement to whatever you feel or sense in the body, the body scan can be very helpful in working with stress, anxiety, and physical pain.

Body Scan Recommendations (FYI, Insight Timer is a free meditation app)

  • Elisha Goldstein (30 minutes) or see on Insight Timer meditation app or click here
  • Longer vision (45 minutes) by Jon Kabat-Zinn on youtube or click here
  • Shorter version (20 minutes) by Elisha Goldstein – see on Insight Timer meditation app or click here
  • Even shorter version (10 minutes) by Elisha Goldstein on youtube or click here
  • For more information about the body scan, click here

Ring the Bells that Still Can Ring by Leonard Cohen

The birds, they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ah, the wars
They will be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
Bought and sold
And bought again
The dove is never free

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11 Tips for Confident Public Speaking by Bill Rosenthal

1). Practice makes perfect. The key to doing something well is doing it often through practice – and public speaking is not an exception. Rehearse your presentation until you are comfortable with the actual words, then try practice it with a real or stand-in microphone to get a feel for it. If possible, record yourself so that you can hear your pacing, pauses, voice clarity, and overall volume.

2). Slow it down. Instead of talking at your audience, try to pace yourself so that it is more like a conversation. Speaking too slowly will put your audience to sleep, while talking too quickly will make it seem like you are trying to get the speech over with as soon as possible. Instead, researchers say to aim for approximately 190 words per minute as a confident pace.

3). Don’t phrase statements as questions. When you ask a question, you are inherently saying that you are missing information or want approval, which makes you sound vulnerable. Instead, project your statements with confidence by maintaining an even tone while speaking and do not let your voice get higher towards the end of a sentence.

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Ellen Langer’s (Non-Meditative) Approach to Mindfulness

Really good stuff! Ellen Langer, Harvard professor of psychology, describes how mindfulness is simply the practice of noticing new things.

1. Recognize you don’t know. You might think you know. Ask yourself how it could be different from what you thought it would was?

2. Actively notice new things about everything around you: the physical environment, the people, the work that you’re doing.

3. As soon as find yourself feeling stressed or in any negative emotional state, you need to actively look at it in this mindful way. Ask yourself, what are the advantages of this thing that you’re fearing? As soon as this negative thing has advantages, it becomes less negative.

4. How to mindfully deal with stress:
If you’re stressed, stress relies on two things: on the assumption that something is going to happen, and when it happens, it’s going to be awful. Attack both of those. How do you know it’s going to happen? Give yourself 3, 5 reasons why in fact it might not happen. So now you’re not sure if it's going to happen or not happen and you immediately start to feel better. Then assume it is going to happen, what are the advantages to it actually happening? And so the stress will dissipate.

Click here to listen to Ellen Langer's interview on mindfulness.

Happiness, Inner Peace, and a Warm Heart

Happiness depends on inner peace, which depends on warm-heartedness.
There's no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity.
A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for peaceful relations with others.
Scientists have observed that constant anger and fear eat away at our immune system, whereas a calm mind strengthens it.
Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.

– Dalai Lama

Shifting our “What Ifs” to “What Is”

Watch this insightful 3 minute video where Cory Muscara, one of my favorite meditation teachers!, shares his cognitive reframing mindfulness exercise: shifting your “What Ifs” to “What Is”. This helps us drop in and anchor ourselves to the present moment – and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Cory Muscara is the founder of the Long Island Center for Mindfulness. He teaches at Columbia Teachers College and the University of Pennsylvania – and spent six months living in silence as a monk in Asia. Learn more about him at

The Power of Neuroplasticity

If you are interested in how you learn a new habit (like meditation!) and rewire your brain, watch this 2 minute video on neuroplasticity.

Managing Stress in the 21st Century!

While it’s a survival mechanism, stress is stressful and and when we are stressed, it becomes more difficult to think clearly, learn, and remember things.

And as a leader, you are particularly at risk because you constantly face the following four challenges that lead to stress and burn out:

  • An uncertain outcome
  • Something important is at stake
  • Being observed or watched
  • Anticipation of any of the above

Learn more about stress and how to better manage it by clicking here.

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