3 Steps to Building a Mindful Company Culture – How Mindfulness Will Save Your Workforce

Talent retention. That’s the word on everyone’s mind when it comes to HR and company culture conversations.   And it’s a seismic problem.

  • Loyalty is at an all time low.
  • Mobility, all time high.
  • Millennial mindset makes it exponentially harder.

And booze fests deemed “team building” don’t work. Even skills training are not effective long-term (he writes, when a large part of the business I run does just that).

So how do we work towards making our staff, team and compatriots feel happy, fulfilled and downright at peace with the work they are doing right now?

In short, it’s an inside job.

Step 1: Reduce Stress by Calming the Mind

We must remember it’s not within our reach to make others happy. Only individuals that can do that for themselves. What we can do is lead the horse to water and teach tools to quiet the mind, nourish the spirit and develop a path to a routine that will reduce stress.

Build a regular practice of no distractions. Cultivate clear minded thinking time. Learn non-reactive habits, like turning off ALL notifications from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even text messaging. We get anxious and non-productive when we are constantly reacting to all this inane stimuli. It frays our mind and nerves, and we become disengaged with our work, and with our peers. It makes sense to set some time aside to enjoy that communication, in a mindful and focused way, but not at all moments of the day. A peaceful, purposeful mindset will do wonders for all, but especially our digitally native millennials.

Step 2: Avoid Burnout Through Acceptance Perspective

Provide perspective on how truly great it is to work in the industry. For my peers in Digital marketing, it’s easy. This is an ever-changing world that is dynamic and fresh with boundless opportunities for those willing to unlock the secrets of success.

Share perspectives, and support conversations, on the seemingly intangible – like how nice it is to work with great and smart people. Enjoy interactions with like-minded peers. Understand and discuss your work path and long-term goals. Think about the career journey, what the path might look like while allowing yourself to relish where you currently are. These small acts of reflection and gratefulness can do wonders to enliven the day and re-connect those in your organization to one another.

In the mindfulness world, it’s referred to simply as “acceptance.” To build a practice one person at a time, and to have that as part of a daily routine, truly is life changing.

 Step 3: Make Training the Catalyst to Life Practice

Nearly all training initiatives in every topical area, including mindfulness, create moments of inspiration but then 2 days later, fall flat into oblivion. The goal is to create enduring motivation. To find a training program that starts with inspiration, and has the day-to-day tools in place to capture that momentum and turn it into a life practice. Daily audio podcasts, weekly video workshops, like-minded support groups and so on. If you want real results, this is where it’s at. Not one more training!

In summary, begin to think about one person. How you can help them or even how you, as that person, can help yourself. Then translate that into a meaningful dialogue about how the company can facilitate such. And finally, act with the long-term in mind and do it right v. getting a nice pat on back for bringing in that amazing speaker who gave a 2 hour lecture. The results to your organization will fade as quickly as those feelings of hubris. Call it a day.

Good luck and may you go forth mindfully in this cauldron of chaos we call life.

About the Author: Aaron Kahlow is revolutionizing life coaching & work skills learning as CEO of Popexpert, leading online video coaching platform & marketplace. As one of the most recognized thought-leaders in the eLearning and Digital/Social Media space, Kahlow is most known well for his tireless globe trotting delivering marquee keynote speeches to over 67 cities in 21 countries and part of his personal passion. Kahlow can be found in the great city of San Francisco, working on the global expansion of “Teaching the World How to Live & Work Better” through Popexpert and related Institutes for Digital Transformation (Online Marketing Institute) and Mindfulness (Mindful Living Institute).

How Mindfulness Can Help Your Mental Health

I bet you have a lot on your plate. I also bet you are a multi-tasker, doing many things to get as much done as you can in the little time you have.  Because of that, you probably rush through activities and don’t pay too much attention to what you’re doing.  If you consider work, family responsibilities and other commitments, it’s sometimes impossible not to always be on auto pilot.

What if you did your next task slower and with more mindfulness?  Do you know what would happen?  You would probably enjoy doing it more and you’d get more done.

How much of your time do you really pay attention to what’s happening in your life? How often does your mind wander away from one task onto others that are pending, or to daydreaming, to reacting to people’s statements or to wanting to be somewhere else? When you become mindful of yourself, others and life experiences, you become truly present and it’s that feeling of being present that makes your life richer.

What is mindfulness, exactly?  Here are some examples.  If you were mindful while driving, you would always be aware of how fast you were driving and be able to stay within the speed limit.  If you were mindful while eating, you would be aware of how fast you were chewing, how the food tastes in your mouth, and how the smells and texture adds to your enjoyment.  If you were mindful while talking, you would be aware of other’s body language, their subtle mood changes and the full context of the conversation.

What do you have to do to become more mindful?

  1. Practice doing what you’re doing more slowly and deliberately.  Just do one thing at a time and don’t rush through it.  Your actions should be slow, complete and focused.  In spite of all the other things you have to do, if you focus on just one task, you will have a better chance of completing it and feeling good about what you’re doing.
  1. Try not to fill your day with too many things.  If you have the need to finish them all, you’ll concentrate less on doing things well.
  1. Be in the moment.  Look, Feel and Hear. Your mind will wander, but bring it back to the moment and what you are doing.  You will find that the present becomes more vivid and fresh.   Your awareness becomes less clogged with unnecessary thoughts, feelings and images and that you remember things more easily.

Mindfulness requires practice, discipline and patience.  But along with that comes an awareness of how you respond to things, to others and to events that may even be difficult and painful.  The more you stay in the present, the better you will deal with things as they unfold.  Make today your most wonderful day and make tomorrow even better.

To create a truly mindful lifestyle, you must first master meditation. Start with an introduction to mediation with a class like Morning Meditation to ease into your practice.

About the Author: Amy Sherman is a psychologist working with individuals and couples struggling with personal and professional issues that have kept them from the happiness and joy they deserve. Amy is an established author, and was awarded first place winner of the 2009 Victorious Woman of the Month Award. She is also a contributing blogger for www.BasilandSpice.com, www.EvanCarmichael.com and www.JenningsWire.com. and connect on Twitter: @boomnetwork

Emotional Intelligence For Powerful Leadership

Have you ever felt emotionally depleted? Frustrated at the direction a project is taking? Overwhelmed by the responsibilities you’re carrying, or unsure of decisions you have to make? The answer is surely yes. Whether an executive leader or entrepreneur, you’re still human.

Today, people are pretty detached from their emotional and spiritual worlds. Can you blame them? Barraged by immense pressures at work and often a chaotic home life, it’s a miracle anyone takes the time to pay attention to their emotional state.

But you should.

At the core, human beings are feeling creatures, and our emotions dictate so much more than we’re aware, including decisions we make and actions we take everyday. Often times, this comes in the form of reacting to others. A lot of these reactive tendencies are built into our inability to attend to our own emotions, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Everything you do takes emotional energy, but how you acknowledge, process and use that emotional energy is up to you. Leaders are people too, and like everyone else, have to manage the highs and lows that are their own emotions, and often, the emotions of others.

One of the greatest tools leaders can possess is the ability to be mindful of their own emotions, and be masters of emotional regulation. Mastering this allows leaders to be active, and not reactive. Akin to a seeing a train coming down the track, you can learn to see your emotions as they approach, use the useful ones, and discard those that are not. In doing this you’re able to approach each new conversation with a fresh mind, leave useless emotional baggage at the door, be less reactive, become a better motivator, notice before you reach ‘empty’ so you can proactively recharge and continue to inspire those around you.

Once you learn to become present, you’re on the right path to being able to regulate your own emotional state, to become an astute observer (and processor) of your and others emotions – and a powerfully empathetic leader.


About the Author: Lianna is the guest blogger for popexpert, and a lifetime learner. Connect on Twitter @Lianna_Turchin. 

Intimacy With the Present Moment

At the core, mindfulness is about cultivating a deep intimacy with the present moment. It is about being with what is. It is about feeling into the richness of our moment-to-moment experience without distracting or running away. Sometimes what is, is not how we envisioned it to be. Much of our lives are spent living in the resistance to what is, leading to discontent and dis-ease.

In today’s world, we are constantly feeling like we don’t have enough time. We are irritated when our time feels wasted. This discontent and anxiety, stemming from the constant narration of how we think we want things to be different, leads to anxiety, stress, and other mental factors that play a role in the development, perpetuation, and recurrence of illness at both the individual and cultural levels.

As people, we have a profound desire to feel open, content, and connected with of all life. All people desire a sense of inner control, competence, self-confidence, creating and sustaining healthy relationships, having a sense of meaning and purpose in life, increased happiness, and less distress. Meditation and mindful lifestyle practices teach us how to be aware and responsive to the thoughts, emotions, sensory impressions, conversations, and information entering our awareness, rather than repressing, judging, or reacting to them.

Mindfulness meditation involves finding a physical posture that is relaxed, but alert, bringing your awareness to your breath, and purposefully examining the nature of your thoughts, sensations, emotions and reactions non-judgmentally. This practice has been demonstrated to provide measurable benefits to health and well-being, especially for those experiencing stress, depression, and anxiety.

When we embody mindful awareness, we are better able to integrate the cognitive, emotional, somatic, and social aspects of our dynamic experience. We are able to be with what is, whether bliss or agony, and allow it to take its natural course and to move through our experience. Regularly practicing mindfulness meditation begins to generate changes in our presence throughout the day, impacting the choices we make that shape our lives.

Taking a participatory, empowered and socially-responsible approach to our own well-being, through the practice of mindfulness meditation, has the potential to improve both individual and social health and well-being. Learning to practice listening to our experience without distraction or reactivity eventually inspires us to address our most important needs – the longing of our soul for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. When we become willing to be intimately present with all that is, we can truly know our most authentic self. And that is an experience worth our time.

About the Author: Megan Lipsett is a recent graduate of the Integrative Health program at the California Institute for Integrative Studies (CIIS). Megan teaches Mindfulness and Optimal Wellbeing and Sustainable Health and Ecology at CIIS. 


How To Make The Right Decision

Friends cliff jumping into the ocean, summer fun lifestyle.

Yes or no? Stay together or break up? Change careers or stay put?

Oh the discomfort of feeling stuck in indecision!

We try to figure out the best decision – analyzing all data – thinking hard about what to do – running lists of pros and cons in our heads.

Is it really possible to know the best choice to make before we’ve even made it?

Rather than wading in agony, debating what to choose, JUST CHOOSE. Make a choice and align your energy with what you choose.

Rather than worrying about making the right choice, make a choice and then make it the right one.

The Universe will give you feedback along the way to drive you to the next stage of your life.

Surrender the decision and ask to be guided. Make a decision on what feels most aligned and then JUMP. Don’t look back, just go.

The net will not appear until you jump, free fall, flail, calm down and suddenly…it will catch you.

Don’t stay in the stagnant energy of indecision – it will get you nowhere.

There’s no such thing as a wrong decision…as long as you choose something and line up with it in faith.

Certainly there are ways to center yourself to be sure you make a choice from a peaceful, fearless place. Turn to meditation, mindfulness, mantra. Become the awareness so that you aren’t victim of your thoughts. Your mind will offer you a million thoughts per second to keep you from choosing anything at all. Calm yourself first then decide.

I made a week long video series with PopExpert to help you do exactly that. Learn to wake up with a practice that will connect you deeply to your Intuition and creativity. (link this to the sales page?)

Shine bright. Love big. Find Freedom.

Loving you from here,

Jump on my daily morning emails at www.wakingupwithryan.com
Sign up for coaching with me on popexpert HERE

Expert Insights: Marcey Rader on How To Level-Up Your Productivity

Name: Marcey Rader

Expertise: Productivity

What inspires you to teach/coach people? I believe that as a society we wear the wrong badges – badges of little sleep, working long hours, a giant inbox and too little time. I want to help people get to what matters most by helping them work smarter and be healthier. I want them to Work Well so they can Play More!

Who was one of your most influential mentors and what’s one of the most important lessons you learned from them? I can’t really pick just one mentor but reading the book The Power of Less was what first got me interested in productivity. My business coach, Megan J. Huber was a great mentor to me in helping me figure out the direction I wanted to take in the first year of my business.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in your field? Hire a business coach. You may be an expert in your area but that doesn’t mean you are expected to be an expert in marketing and business.

If you could pick one person to spend an hour learning from (they could be anywhere in the world) who would you pick? I would learn from Tim Ferris. I have followed him since his first book and love how his mind works.

What are the benefits of meeting clients over live video? I think it is much more productive. Besides not having commute time, people are less likely to get distracted. Also, as opposed to a phone call, you can tell when a person is not paying attention and there eyes are scanning their computer screen because they are reading their email!

Debbie Gioquindo on the Wonders of Wine

debbie-gioquindoName: Debbie Gioquindo, CSW, WLS

Expertise: Wine

What inspires you to teach/coach people? Wine is complicated and I don’t want people to be intimidated by it.

Who was one of your most influential mentors and what’s one of the most important lessons you learned from them? Michael Migliore from Whitecliff Vineyards. I learned all about the process of making wine from him. Working in the field to blending the finished product. You always have to be thinking about what comes next.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in your field? Network with others in your field. People love to share experience and advice.

If you could pick one person to spend an hour learning from (they could be anywhere in the world) who would you pick? Gina Gallo

What are the benefits of meeting clients over live video? It’s personal when you meet clients over video. It brings people together as if you are sitting having coffee, (okay a glass of wine) together, even though you might be on different ends of the world.

Expert Insights: Christa Shelton on Lifestyle Design

christa-sheltonName: Christa Shelton

Expertise: Vegan Health Coaching

What inspires you to teach/coach people? I am passionate about helping others achieve their absolute best in life.

Who was one of your most influential mentors and what’s one of the most important lessons you learned from them? My mother- she always taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to.

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in your field? Design a plan and execute it daily.

If you could pick one person to spend an hour learning from (they could be anywhere in the world) who would you pick? That’s a hard one, there are several people I’d love to spend an hour learning from, but I’ll go with Oprah Winfrey.

What are the benefits of meeting clients over live video? It makes the interaction much more personal than over the phone and there are no limitations, meaning I can coach wherever the client may be in the world. It’s the next best thing to an in person coaching session.