Dealing with tragedy in the news

peaceThe gravity of the Orlando shootings a few days ago is felt everywhere I go. As it comes up in conversation, it seems to connect us in a way that few things can. The feeling is universal among everyone I’ve spoken to:  “I don’t understand how this can happen.”

I struggle to make sense of what happened, and at the same time realize that there is no sense to this. In a world where people generally make daily efforts to just be happy whilst dealing with their busy, full lives, isn’t life already difficult without such hateful actions on top of everything else?

As a teacher of mindfulness meditation, I have learned to recognize and accept the emotions I have about this – the sadness, the confusion, the hurt and the disbelief.  Then, I turn my mind to recognizing that there is so much good around us, and that there is much out of our control.  What we can do though, is be mindful of how we show up in this world, and contribute positively to this world as much as we can. There is much to be grateful for.

I just finished delivering a keynote speech at the Justice Institute of British Columbia this JIBCmorning. The topic was building resiliency through mindfulness meditation. The JIBC is a superb, well-respected organization that trains first responders; a school for public safety, health, community and social justice. I tip my hat to these folks, and am reminded that there are so many good people in this world. Thank you to those of you who help others.

There are no good answers to what happened last weekend, but it is a reminder to live life with intention, self-awareness and to make a positive difference in the world where you can.

Be mindful, be good to others and to yourself.

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey



Business Value of Pairing Mindful Meditation with Change Management

The requests are growing fast for conferences and businesses wanting to hear about the power of combining workplace mindfulness meditation with change management.

Why?  Because the benefits are clear – that this combination truly helps increase personal and organizational resiliency to change.

I’ve been speaking to audiences in the fields of human resources, change management, healthcare, and financial services.  Interestingly, now software development companies are getting interested because they are seeing the need to better understand how to deal with ‘business users’, a.k.a. people.

SolutionsIQ is a well-known agile software development company, and they interviewed Wendy Quan on the subject of mindfulness meditation and change management.

Have a look here:

See their webpage here and find other interviews on the Agile Amped series.

It’s great to see the interest being sparked in all kinds of businesses!

Wishing you a wonderful day,

~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.


Workplace meditation reaches from Canada to South Africa

canada to south africa map

One of the times I just love technology . . . to be able to meet people half way around the world is truly grand.

Recently at the wee hour of 3:00am, I did a Skype session with a large company in South Africa with 25 of their change managers.  After watching my video ‘Meditation – a Powerful Change Management Tool‘, they wanted to speak to me to learn more about the concept of how to apply meditation and change management into their workplace.

In a company of 24,000 employees, this progressive change management team was buzzing after the session, sparking conversations about how they could start implementing mindfulness meditation into their organization to help their employees through change.

I would like to share some of their insightful questions they had of me:

  • Q:  What was your senior management’s reaction?  Did they support the workplace meditation program?
  • A:   I was fortunate that 2 of our senior executives took part in my initial pilot group in early 2011. This showed very important support for the practice, and they immediately saw the benefits within themselves and the others. I ensured I shared participant feedback with all of senior management regularly. Now we have 6 out of 8 executives participating when they can.
  • Q:  What type of resistance did you experience when implementing the program?
  • A:  As I look back, the first resistance I saw was my own, or I should call it ‘fear’ of offering the class openly to the entire organization, because back in 2011, doing meditation at work just wasn’t something organizations did. I didn’t want to be seen as weird, but I was pleasantly surprised how open some people were and it just grew from there. We now have 190 people (out of 730 employees, which represents 26% of the organization) attending classes on a drop-in basis.
  • In rare occasions, I do see that some people of deep religious faith tell me that they are opposed to meditation and they feel that people shouldn’t be doing this.  I know that this practice isn’t for everyone, and it certainly should never be imposed on anyone.
  • Q:  How does someone become a meditation facilitator at work?
  • A:   I offer a workplace meditation program. Currently it is delivered in person or via Skype, but I am working towards offering an online workshop and certification program for people wanting to learn to become successful meditation facilitators. Stay tuned  🙂

The manager of this group is a excellent leader who has the insight and spirit to be innovative, and positioned this in a way to get her team excited about this idea. She wrapped up the session by asking each person to provide how they felt about our session in one word.  What a wonderful facilitation tip to use that is succinct and quick.  Here is what the participants said:

  • Inspired
  • Amazing
  • Insightful
  • Mindful
  • Experiences
  • Reassuring
  • Motivated
  • Inspirational
  • Provoked
  • Thoughtful
  • Challenging
  • Calming
  • Enlightening
  • Peaceful
  • Awesome
  • Amazing

This was a fun and special experience for me, and I felt compelled to write about it because it is inspiring to see the increasing wave of interest to implement mindfulness meditation into the workplace. I have been contacted by people from around the world. With technology today, we can make meaningful connections with people around the globe.

To read the journey of how I implemented workplace meditation and layered on change management principles into the program, please read the white paper here.  It resulted in increased resiliency and reduced stress in the workplace through a major organizational transformation.

Have a wonderful day,

~Wendy Quan


I’m speaking in Las Vegas in April – how this happened

ACMP logoA series of recent events have culminated into my being asked to speak at the global Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) conference in Las Vegas in April. So how did this happen?

I’d like to share how I hold strong beliefs within me, which almost always manifest into reality. Here’s one example, and I show how I do this in the blue text.

  1. Nov 2014:  I write another paper about how I began workplace meditation in Vancouver over 4 years ago, and how I’ve integrated change management (helping people through change) into my teachings.  As I write each word of the paper, I hold a deep feeling that many people are going to read it and benefit from it. As I hit Send to submit it for judging, I trust that it will be well received.
  2. Feb 2015:  I get an email from the ACMP director that my paper has been chosen as a top winning paper to be published at the conference.  She offers me a free conference registration to attend.  I feel the deep gratitude, but due to my schedule, I turn down the opportunity to attend. I hold the feeling that the paper can still help people.  I hold the vision that I can help more people, somehow.
  3. March 2015:  The director contacts me again, asking me to reconsider attending, and in addition, entices me to come by offering me my own breakout session to speak at the conference.  My schedule had just changed and opened up. I accept this wonderful opportunity.  I now feel gratitude and a positive nervousness, and trust that this is part of the journey of my life’s purpose. 

Please see my session listed here. Please click on Tuesday, then scroll down to the 9:30am session called Meditation:  A Powerful Change Management Tool.

We all ‘want’ in our lives.  Most people are unaware that as they strive and long for what they want and don’t yet have, that they are suffering.  I see so many people in a mode of frustration.  One big learning I’ve had in my life is “enjoy the journey, and see life as an adventure”.  There were times when I wanted to just do all the things I’m passionate about and was impatient to wait to have this so-called perfect life, but once I realized that it’s important to enjoy the here and now, and truly experience the journey as it unfolds, life has become so much better.  Much of the longing has stopped.

Is being a conference speaker my goal?  Not particularly.  I actually don’t have a specific goal, but I do have a clarity that my purpose in life is to help people cultivate better lives. As long as I’m doing that, life is good.

Please enjoy your journey, every day.


My use of meditation to get through cancer

If I sum up why I made meditation and mindfulness a core part of my life, it would be because these practices built my resiliency when I went through cancer in 2010.  Meditation gave me strength.

I was recently reminded that my story was profiled in the Vancouver Sun newspaper and on a TV showed called Empowered Health almost two years ago.

I’d like to share this with you today, from the Vancouver Sun website:

Wendy Quan on Empowered Health

The story of meditation for resiliency

I hope somehow this helps people going through tough times.