Guided meditations for the workplace

Just released – guided meditations for work!

These 15 minute guided meditation recordings are perfect for your breaks at work.  Treat yourself or a stress-out coworker to these meditations specifically tailored to help make your work life more enjoyable. These can also be used in your personal life, too.

Please enjoy an introductory price of 30% off the recordings.

Meditations for the workplaceHere are the titles:

  1. Reducing Stress. Reduce stress through a mindful body scan, cultivating a sense of peace.

  2. Reducing Anxiety. Calm anxiety by getting grounded and knowing that all is okay.

  3. Reducing Feeling Overwhelmed. Feel more space and lightness when there is too much to do and not enough time.

  4. Dealing with Change. Create a better experience through a difficult change, even when the circumstances remain unchanged.

  5. Breathing Freely. Tune in and allow your body to receive the type of breath you need in this moment to improve your state of being.

Many people have been enjoying The Calm Monkey’s professionally crafted guided meditations since 2014.  These same recordings have been provided to organizations and individuals who graduate from The Calm Monkey’s Mindfulness Meditation Facilitator Training course, so they can lead meditation sessions for others.

All meditations have been written by Wendy Quan of The Calm Monkey who is a certified organizational change manager, conference speaker, and a the pioneering industry leader who teaches and certifies passionate meditators to become successful mindfulness meditation facilitators.

“Helping to create a better experience of life”

Wishing you a peaceful day.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.

Stop, Breathe, then Reframe to get through stressful times

Stop Breathe Reframe

Dealing with stressful times

Here’s an important skill to practice when you are going through a stressful time.  Whether the stress is dealing with an undesirable situation, or you just feel anxiety even when things are going well, this simple practice can lower your stress level significantly.

#1: Stop yourself and become self-aware.  To become self-aware, ask yourself questions about how you are feeling in that exact moment. Questions like:  “How am I feeling right now?”  “What am I thinking right now?”  “Do I need to be thinking about this right now?”  “Are my thoughts factual or am I creating stories or scenarios in my head?” Our thoughts can cause the stress.  This important practice pauses your busy ‘monkey mind’ and lets you objectively see what your thoughts are doing.

#2:  Breathe Although this may sound a little silly, it is quite amazing how taking some mindful, deeper breaths can settle you down pretty quickly.  Even if you are dealing with a stressful situation for days or weeks, take as many opportunities as you can remember to just breathe.  Breathe deeply, rhythmically, and let your torso and abdomen relax so you can really feel the expansion and contraction of your lungs and muscles fully – try to do this for a few minutes, but even if you can only manage a few breaths here and there, do it. This important practice invokes the relaxation response in your body.

#3:  Reframe.  Now here’s the more challenging part, but it’s worth doing.  Can you see the situation with a different perspective?  Don’t dismiss this challenge flippantly.  For example, if you are spending hours driving your parent around to doctor’s appointments, instead of being irritated by this, can you reframe this and realize that what you are doing is honorable and you can be glad that you are able to do this for your parent?  Most people are naturally wired to see the negative, so this practice takes effort to see things in a different light.  This important practice lets you change how you see and experience a situation.

I was inspired to write this post because I am faced with something in my life that’s unexpected and disruptive, and when I called upon this practice, it reminded me how powerful it is. I hope that this post has come to you at a time that is most helpful.  If you need it, please take the time to cultivate this and really make it work for you.

Warmly,

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.

 

 

When it hurts to blame yourself

If ‘loving yourself’ sounds too corny, OK.  Instead, how about easing up on yourself, because you are probably your own worst critic?

When you are trapped in self-judgment, are you even aware that you’re doing that?  A key component of the practice of mindfulness is to first be aware of your thoughts. If you’re not used to doing this, it may seem foreign, but cultivating the practice is so powerful it can change your experience of life for the better.

Self-compassion is being supportive and understanding towards yourself when you are having a hard time, rather than being harshly self-critical.

Using your body’s sensations to connect with the hurt you feel when something bothers you, helps you to first recognize what’s going on inside you, so you can then work on alleviating that hurt.

When something bothers you, you are likely suffering with a fair amount of self-judgment. Even when you are angry with someone else, there will be an element of self-judgment. Examples may be as simple as not getting a text message from friends to invite you to go out with them, or bigger such as the guilt of a failed relationship.  Maybe you feel inadequate, rejected, or just broken. This is a powerful, negative feeling that sits within you, isn’t it?

Try this as a practice of self-compassion:

  1. Holding yourself with compassion

    Self-compassion is needed too.

    Sit quietly, undisturbed.  Center yourself by taking some deep breaths.

  2. Think about the situation that is bothering you.
  3. Identify what is happening in your body when you are feeling this hurt, this self-judgment, this self-blame.  If you’re not used to doing this, be patient.  Do you feel something in your chest, your back or your abdomen?  What sensations do you feel?  These are the areas that you would generally feel the discomfort, tightness or whatever you are feeling, even if it is hard to describe.
  4. Know that this is your hurt, and you are likely judging and blaming yourself in some way.  Be with it for a minute.  Allow yourself to feel it.
  5. Now it’s time to practice self-compassion.  Place your hands on that area.  Say this to yourself, directing it to the area of hurt “I care about this suffering”.  This will sound strange at first, but allow yourself to do this.  Tell the hurt that you care about it and that you see it.  Let it be noticed.
  6. Repeat gently, either silently or aloud, “I care about this suffering”, and then add more words like this:  “May I be free from suffering” and/or “May I be at peace.”
  7. After a few minutes, you may notice that the hurt subsides, and in its place a warmth will spread through that area.  This will provide a softening and opening of the area.

Doing this practice likely won’t completely rid the hurt, but it can soften the experience. The hurt may continue but not with such unrelenting cruelty.

So be kind to yourself, and try this practice.

If you would like to read deeper into this subject, I would recommend an excellent book called ‘Radical Acceptance‘ by Tara Brach.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey

 

 

Don’t wait for a death

pause

Create moments to pause

Did this heading catch your attention?  I hope so.  I say this because in the past while I’ve had conversations with a few people who said they finally ‘get it’.  They get that having someone important in their lives die finally made them realize that they need to pay attention to their lives.

Our lives are so busy.  Our lives are overwhelming. There is too much to do. We have to make more money.  We need more time.  If only…

I invite you to take control of your life, and make one change.  That change is to take intentional pauses in your life, every single day.

A pause can be:

  • Stopping and taking a moment to just ‘be’.  Take a few deep, slow breaths. You really can fit this into your life, no excuses.  You can do this before you leave your house in the morning, before you start the engine in your car, as you wait for a bus, right after you wash your hands. The possible moments are endless.
  • Meditating for 5 minutes each morning when you get out of bed.  You can get wonderful benefits from just 5 minutes of meditation per day, such as decreased anxiety and depression, and creating more joy in your life. Get started with easy guided meditations.

The busier you feel, the more you need this practice.

I am just delighted to talk to people who have discovered this important life practice.  They all tell me that they wish they had realized this sooner.

So don’t let a serious illness or death be the catalyst for change.  Let the desire to have a better life be the catalyst for you to change.

Wishing you peace and calm,

~Wendy Quan, The Calm Monkey

Want to bring mindfulness meditation to your workplace?

Wendy Quan teaching workplace meditation

Creating a special place for people to practice mindfulness meditation in the workplace. Very important. Very worthwhile.

Do you have a desire to see mindfulness and/or meditation in your workplace?  Do you wonder how to go about doing that?

I have taught over 1,000 people to meditate in the workplace, I always encounter a number of enthusiastic individuals who know the power of this practice.  They know that starting up a meditation practice at work will help people be less stressed, more resilient, and happier.

But how do you go about introducing it?  How can you spark the interest among your co-workers? How do you ensure you get senior management support to do this? How would you run such a program, informally or formally?

There are right ways and not-so-good ways to start meditation in the workplace, and you want to do it right or risk giving it a bad reputation before you get a chance to get it going.

I have a Train-the-Facilitator program and optional Facilitator Certification program for those wishing to learn best practices for a successful introduction and self-sustaining workplace program.

Currently, the Train-the-Facilitator program is delivered in person or via Skype for large organizations, but in Q1 2016 this is expected to be available as an online program for anyone.

To share a couple of key tips with you:

  • Onboard newcomers with a introduction session.  Whenever anyone new joins the meditation group, make them feel comfortable joining.  Teach them some basic, foundational things about meditation so they start off on the right path with the right attitude.  The ‘right’ attitude includes:  not expecting a blank mind in meditation, not judging your experience and simply being an observer of your mind in meditation.
  • Get management support.  You will want to ensure that the management of your organization supports this practice.  Some company’s cultures are quite health & wellness conscious, and some are not.  Regardless, most management will want to know what business benefits any initiative will have.  You are welcome to read and distribute my white paper Meditation – a Powerful Change Management Tool as a business reference. It was the top winning paper of the 2015 Association of Change Management Professionals conference.  Also, seek articles and research that you know will resonate with your culture.

Being a catalyst to start a workplace meditation practice is an exciting and compassionate action you can take that will reap many benefits for yourself and for those who participate.  It has changed my life for the better, and brought me tremendous joy.

Mindfulness & Well-Being at Work conference

Conference at UC Berkeley in California Nov 13 & 14, 2015

This weekend I was honoured to teach my Train-the-Facilitator program at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center’s ‘Mindfulness & Well-Being at Work’ conference.  It was a truly wonderful experience and one that I will never forget. and I met so many passionate, generous people who were eager to learn and share.

Upcoming:  In Q1 2016, I will be offering Train-the-Facilitator as an online, on-demand program, as well as a Meditation and Mindfulness Facilitator Certification program. Sign-up for The Calm Monkey’s newsletter to be alerted when these programs are available.

I invite you to email me if you would like to learn more about these two upcoming programs at Wendy@TheCalmMonkey.com.

Have a wonderful day,

~Wendy Quan of The Calm Monkey