All posts filed under: Health & Wellness

Feeling each piece of grass on your toes

It’s a really busy and anxious world we live in right now and if you don’t get a hold of your angst, it will strangle you.  “Try to walk so slowly that you feel each piece of grass on the bottom of your foot.”  That is what my friend Michael Apollo told me.  He was teaching me a walking meditation. I was 29 and feeling overwhelmed with work and life and had come to know Michael through a local health and wellness clinic. He taught some group mindfulness classes which I enjoyed so I decided to see if I could learn more 1:1.  As someone who was always active, this was a new way to bring some calm into my life. We were hanging out in a park near a busy street in Toronto. There was construction nearby, and I wasn’t sure how this was going to work.  In my mind, I felt anxious. “How can I concentrate with the construction noise? Is this going to work? Why can’t those people walking by be quiet? We should …

Getting the toxins out

There are many types of toxins in our life. Expectations are a new one for me. Drugs, alcohol, too much social media are popular ones. I’ve definitely been working on reducing my social media and replacing it with reading a good ole fashion book. I’ve journaled the results and it’s clear – I sleep better when I cut social in half and read before sleep. Expectations  I have a list of work, family, personal project and health items I want to get done every day. I measure my “feeling of accomplishment” by how much I get done. When I measure against all 10-20 items daily against purely getting done, I would get an F. When I prioritize out of that list what is important, is usually boils down to 3-5. I’m not going to speak to prioritization in this post, but instead of reflecting. We spend 8-12+ hours per day working, doing. How much time do we spend reflecting pre and post doing on if we have used our time well? A few questions I …

Life is Like a NYC Marathon

In the spirit of all those runners who braved the course to run the NYC Marathon yesterday, this one is for you.   A Marathon is 26 miles.   Here is what I learned from the one I ran:   Don’t ride too high or too low. The less you mentally travel, the more energy you actually have for your legs. When you hit a wall, small or big…and you will…get curious. Ask, what is possible right now? What is the learning opportunity? What can I focus on in the next 5 minutes? Visualize the race ahead of time, and like a good narrative, beginning, middle, and end. I only remember four things from the NYC Marathon I ran in 2003: Beginning: Running across the Verrazano Bridge with 30K+ other runners and how it felt like it was moving Middle: Being ahead of target time half way through End: Hitting the wall with a mile to go and really grinding it out Celebration: Enjoying dinner with other runners toasting the moment If you think about …

Perform like a champion

“Success is often gained by not doing battle, the strategy is as much in knowing what not to do as it is in knowing what to do.” – Sun-Tzu Excerpt from the “The Way of the Champion by Jerry Lynch” NCAA Championship Coach and Sports Psychologist. “An accomplished jazz musician once told me that truly good music is the result of the space between the notes. The pause makes it what it is. Musical pauses are not a lack of action; they are an integral part of the action. So it is with your training and work schedule. Getting in good shape, being at your best regardless of your sport or career, is the result of the rest (pause) or space between the intervals of work. Your cellular structure is fragile and requires periods of rest. Like a champion, you need to learn how to massage your mind and body into shape as opposed to excessively forcing or pushing it there.” Find your time to battle, not battle and enjoy the pauses between the notes. …

Clear is kind, unclear is unkind

Tough conversations are critical to your success as a leader. It’s a combination of empathy, aligning on values and being courageous on a conversation. Brene Brown spoke to our company earlier this month and as she shared “Clear is kind, unclear is unkind.”  We often sugarcoat or give people half truths to make ourselves feel better when giving feedback. “Not getting clear with a colleague about your expectations because it feels too hard, yet holding them accountable or blaming them for not delivering is unkind.” Of course, you need to invest in the relationship and build trust to earn the right to give feedback. Be Clear. Highly recommend Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead. Defeating the Average within. Colin

My Interview on Netflix – Cheating Death

I had an interview earlier this year for a show called “A User’s Guide For Cheating Death” and episode 6 focused on mindfulness, well-being and how people cope with life in a stressful world.    My example is how I used mindfulness to cope with anxiety in Ultra races and how that can translate back into life. My part is 30 minutes in and I encourage you to watch the whole episode as Timothy Caufield travels all over the world to find experts who have the answer.   Enjoy.   Colin  

10 minutes of this per day will make you better

As I heard Tony Robbins say recently, “the mind is like a kite on the end of a string, and where everything starts is with breath. Control your breathing, you control how the kite flies.” We wake up each day, with the chance to start fresh, through your first few breaths. Be intentional about how you start it, instead of letting it happen to you! The holiday (Canada Day and Independence Day!) week is a good time to reflect. Even if you have a family, what you do for yourself impacts how you can support the rest of the team. As they say in case of emergency, “put your own oxygen mask on first!” I spend the first 20-30 min of each day meditating. Successful people I know spend at least 10 min asking themselves questions related to gratitude or visualizing what success will look like in the day. Whatever your method, make sure you are taking care of yourself first! Colin

6 things I learned while on Paternity

1. There is nothing like the birth of a child!  We are blessed to have a healthy baby girl, Tess Gertie Nanka. Getting to spend the first three weeks of her life together as a family has meant everything to me. See pictures of our adventures with Tess (so far) here on Instagram 2. I have gained a huge appreciation for how hard moms work!  I appreciate my partner, Blake, more than ever. She is an amazing mother and a resilient and inspiring human being. I’ll work very hard to tell her that. 3. You can integrate your child into many things.  I start most mornings with meditation. But now, my morning meditation comes second to Tess’s morning feed. I am learning to be more flexible and even try and incorporate some after-feeding quiet time with Tess into my meditation practice. I don’t always win, but I try. 4. Exercise has been important to me and will always be important. As sleepless nights and responsibilities prevail, I made it a priority to get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. Take …

7 days of Tess

Wow, what a difference a week makes.  For those of you who haven’t seen the IG Posts, we welcomed a healthy bouncing baby girl into the world last weekend, Tess Gertie Nanka.  I decided (or so it happened) to wait until a little bit later in life to get married and have a child.  I was still learning about myself (and always will be). I’ve been on a journey to see the world, test myself, meet and learn from incredible people.  I’ve always wanted to be ready. I guess you become ready when it happens.  As I turn 44 this year, I have never been more ready. If not now, when? There is a new layer of accountability that has snapped in, to do what is necessary to make sure she is happy.  Who knew one of my new favorite activities would be to just watch her sleep.  A new journey is upon us. It doesn’t mean the other will stop, it’s just on hiatus for a little while until they come together as one.  The …

I’m leaving my position tomorrow

  …to start a new journey. Fatherhood. Feeling really grateful and fingers crossed everything goes as planned we’ll have a bouncing baby girl Nanka join the world this weekend. I truly appreciate Salesforce’s support of taking time off to fully immerse in the experience. I turn 44 in July and have been on many rewarding adventures across the globe over the last decade. This will the most rewarding yet. I’ll be offline from work for three weeks, so if you want to keep up with our going’s on, FB and IG will the place to be. I may pop a blog in here or there or just queue them up for when I return! Have a great weekend. Colin