How We Kicked Cancer Overboard


We have plenty of experience in grass roots initiatives as small businessowners. Cushy corner offices, guaranteed salaries and private corporate jets are not in our wheelhouse. But we're darn good at tireless effort. When a long time insurance client and trusted colleague stopped by after my daring adventure in mid life pagentry for rare cancer awareness, we started to brainstorm. Our goal was to develop a program that would send folks challenged by cancer "to sea for free" on a funfest cruise to the Caribbean. We worked to leverage the "cancer queen" theme into a branded funfest with Royal Caribbean cruise line. In five years, through various bouts with wellness complications and a storm Sandy setback, we've sent over 100 free cruisers to sea and amassed a volunteer base that's been happy to get "on board" with our 501c3, Kick Cancer Overboard.

Here are three keys to our success to date which lever our leadership skills:

1. We take risks. Like all entrepreneurs, we have no guanantees but we have a formulated focus and a strong track record in meaningful work and unrelenting effort. We have a strategic plan on how to garner support for our mission and a clear vision on where we are headed with our "funfest at sea." As businessowners and cancer survivors, we're acutely aware of the fragility of life and move with an urgency to get the job done. There is no time to waste and no time like the present to get important projects completed. We embrace the words of Thomas Edison who shared "If we all did what we were potentially capable of, we'd simply astound ourselves." We work to live up to this lofty notion.

2. We collaborate. KickCancerOverboard is a huge team effort. We're fortunate to have existing business networks which serve to help us launch this project. We ask for help when we need it and reciprocate often. We are proficient at networking and working our wide net of contacts, clients and colleagues for opportunities to create a deliverable that's changing lives by bringing fun to families during stressful times. We celebrate our community of supporters with events that are fun, informing and opportunites to multiply relationships in business and life. Our projects are life affirming and that feels good for everyone.

3. We work tirelessly. We are a volunteer organization guided by a board of directors and an advisory committe. Our team is largely touched by cancer in a very personal way so we garner complete "buy in" with our contributors. We host and staff a variety of fundraising events from rock concerts, movie nights, marathons and fashion shows. We speak at civic events, business meetings, community festivals and leverage social and traditional media to brand build. We know Rome was not built in a day and recognize that to fill up an entire cruise ship with cancer thrivers will take time. We're ready. We're thrilled to be supported by a growing roster of businesses and peopleleaders that align with our dedication to deliver "to sea for free" in a big way.

Learn more at . "Like" us on FB @KickCancerOverboard. Join our mailing list at to embrace integrated leadership or nominate a compelling cruise canditdate at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The best part of conference keynoting around the country is the travel. Some find it exhausting, but I find it exhilarating because it's always fueled with good people powering personal or professional change. Sure, we endure the same travel travails as many, but we always focus on that bigger picture of how our lives are enlarged by the people we meet and the experiences we seek. Our galpal trip to Lake Austin Spa for a wellness reframe after a busy year of business was the perfect elixir for all ten of us. And we were largely perfect strangers. How's that for a daring adventure? How the trip actually happened is even more interesting. Read on. Here are four ways that you can invite more daring adventures into your life. Bet your business and wellness world will benefit, as well!

1. Delight in meeting others. Ask open ended questions. Be curious about what interests someone. You might just find you have a few things in common or at the very least, you'll learn a few new facts or consider a different point of view. You many even begin to embark on a longer term relationship that will benefit both you and your business! I met Michele, a global spa reporter, at a family owned spa resort over five years ago. She was there as a writer. I was there as a workshop presenter on leadership resilience for some guests that were navigating life. Michele and I landed at the same breakfast table that weekend and have been friends and collaborating colleagues ever since.

2. Travel alone if you can. Michele and I are both travel enthusiasts. Whether we're writing or speaking(or both), we delight in new venues, enjoy hidden gems and simply commit to the notion that a life well lived includes an occasional change in scenery(the more, the better!) Michele writes about travel, spas, wellness and foodie themes. I speak about leadership, wellness, resilience and professional presence. We both love people, yoga, hiking, biking and outdoor adventures. If we were traveling with our families, we would have missed an opportunity to forge a deeper professional relationship that's paid big dividends for us both. I suspect Michele invited us to join her lady leader summit in Austin because she knew we had so much in common. We love meeting new people, we're "other" oriented and we're highly experiential learners that take calculated risks. We also share decades of experience as insurance professionals..Serendipitous?

3. Share often and meaningfully. I only talk to Michele once or twice a year. But we remember one another when we have an interesting travel, business or wellness tip to share. We leverage our social media channels to stay in touch, connect each other to aligned interests and encourage new contacts. By the time we arrived in Austin, I had met her PhD pal from Syracuse, a hand full of change makers in industry and a proud mom of a slew of emerging athletes. Michele, in turn, got to meet my family member that was a mover and shaker in Texas real estate with connections to one of the best rum punch restaurants in Austin. We were all very happy!

4. Learn the skill of networking. Had we not been experts in relationship building and goodwill, our group of ten would have never come to consensus on a Texas olive farm tour, a dualing pianos night club on 6th Street and a lively Sunday gospel brunch as a cohesive and engaged group. We found ways to bond, dropped off the small stuff and celebrated generosity to keep our summit sensational. As a result, we've all made new friends and look forward to meeting again. Find Michele McIntyre busy writing at or on Twitter @cnyspagirl for her next travel adventure. I'm crafting my next conference keynote in Saratoga Springs thanks to a ladyleader I met at the Lake Austin Spa at the culmination of our terrific trip. Drop us a line if these tips help enlarge your leadership life!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness motivational keynoter, corporate consultant and coach that helps leaders succeed. She's presented for global brands including Campbell's, Novo Nordisk, Daiichi Sankyo and Balfour Beatty Investments. Learn more at, or @DonnaLynSpeaks on FB and Twitter. She travel teaches yoga for stressed execs in the caribbean and @YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries on FB in her spare time.

As seen in Natural Awakenings Magazine August 2016


Gardening is Like Yoga!

Gardening helps keep people active and improves their sense of well being. The art of gardening has also been linked with reduced rates of depression, better balance and less stress and anxiety. Sounds a lot like the benefits of yoga! I recently visited a tranquil lavender garden in Doylestown, Pa with a group of garden enthusiasts. Thanks to Noble Garden Tours, Highlands(ask for Kirsty), we were all treated to a delicious day of learning all things lavender at the Lavender Peace Farm on the banks of Galena Lake in beautiful Bucks county. Here’s what we learned:

1. Gardening, like yoga, keeps you in the present moment and allows you the opportunity to appreciate the movement of time. Gardening also allows you to contemplate all it takes to create a beautiful garden or a purposeful life, alongside the seasons of our lives that bring about growth, both inward and outward.

2. Lavender, gardening and yoga are all informing therapies for natural healing. When faced with heartbreak, illness or uncertainty, many people retreat outside to lose themselves and their issues in the garden by digging, weeding and pruning. Gardening is therapeutic. Lavender has been recommended for ages as a stress buster. In the Middle Ages, monks gathered medicinal plants in healing gardens to source their infirmaries. A yoga practice supports healing by embracing stillness, peace and a broadened perception of what life can be. It’s all connected.

3. Lavender is not just for sweet smelling sachets, dried arrangements or calming yoga eye pillows. Fresh or dried, this herb is known to delight in savory dishes like salads and stews or sprinkled on meat and fish. The key, we learned in the lavender fields, is to let the dash of lavender in your dishes keep you coming back for more. We were grateful for the opportunity to taste this theory in lavender ice cream, lavender scones and lavender breads after our tour. Less left us wanting more for sure!

4. Lavender is harvested in its high season of June and July. Lavender thrives in well drained sandy soil and requires lots of sunshine. Munstead is a popular type of lavender that produces deep blue flowers on a compact plant while hybrid Hidcote Giant grows up to 40 inches tall with impressive purple spikes. Herb gardens have a long history of combining practicality with beauty. You can pick your own at Peace Valley Lavender Farm for a song and a sight to behold. Learn more at

A recent study published in the Journal of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening(2016) found that gardening benefitted all people equally, regardless of gender or age. The key component of enjoying the garden was the depth of the relationship with the garden. People who got the most from their garden felt a real resonance with their garden. They reported a deep connection and commitment to cultivating their gardens based on their interest in all things living and growing(minus the weeds!). So plant what you love, visit a gorgeous garden, breathe deeply wherever you land and try something new this summer. Namaste

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business thoughtleader, conference keynoter and executive coach. In the summer, she hosts Yoga On The Lake in the great outdoors and is currently a Rutgers Master Gardener Intern. Learn more at or FB/YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries


DL Yoga on Lake 2016


821 Orchard Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701 (off of Alexander Road)

Google Maps

Mastering the art of connection will turn a commoner into a king (or queen)! – Winston Churchill

WOW! What inspiring words to start an amazing workshop with. Yesterday evening, my team and I hosted a Traction Building Workshop with the ever- amazing Donnalyn Giegerich, President of DonnaLyn Giegerich Consulting.

For 45 minutes, Donnalyn captivated the audience at my office in Morganville as she taught us the 5 ways the best networkers get traction and her top tips for connecting like a King or Queen. The information far exceeded the investment – and...

Please read the full article at Traction Building with the Great Donnalyn Giegerich!

Traction Building with the Great Donnalyn Giegerich!

You’re invited to a hands-on learning experience that will guide you through the steps to creating massive confidence and productivity.

After attending this workshop you will:

  • Transform fear and confusion into focused and relaxed thinking, messaging, and action
  • Turn dangers into opportunities, obstacles into innovations, weaknesses into advantages, and setbacks into breakthroughs
  • Find the fastest, most reliable way to boost your communication skills
  • Receive tools on how to master nervousness, small talk, networking, and making friends easily
  • Discover the importance of first impressions, physical & verbal language

Space is extremely limited for this Workshop. Register now while seats are available.

DATE: Tuesday, September 1st 2015
LOCATION: 500 Campus Drive, Morganville NJ 07751
TIME: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
INVESTMENT: $50 now, $60 at the door (Includes Dinner)

Register here: Traction Building Workshop with DonnaLyn Giegerich


yoga retreat

For more information contact Michele McIntyre - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 315.466.4983

Yoga Resort Pro: DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT delights in helping others rock their resilience in business and life. As a 10+yr traveling yoga instructor and integrated business/wellness thoughtleader, she delights in helping others improve their peopleleader skills in business and life. Struggle less, learn more and restore to endure in paradise with a spectacular group of ladyleaders celebrating life. Work in motion at, on FaceBook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks.

Travel Planning Pro: Michele McIntyre is a travel consultant at She's a global spa reporter and freelance writer covering spa, travel, wellness, fitness and healthy living trends for her readership. Follow her on Twitter @cnyspagirl to share her wide travel adventures or find her discriminating reviews at

     It's a good thing we loves planes, trains and rolling luggage because we've been on a daring adventure in business and life this season. Here are a few takeaways from our recent business travel and several city tour:

1. Never underestimate the power of social media. As we were working in the United Lounge at Newark headed to share a leadership keynote for the Insurance Auditors of the Southeast, I learned our niece was also flying from Boston to Charleston, SC to arrive same day, same city, same coctail hour. How? A simple tweet and a quick facebook post connected us to family fun possibilities amidst business building assignments. Thank you facebook and twitter! Be open to extemporaneous adventures through social media connecting! What application are you learning next to relationship build? Snapchat is on my list but as my coaching clients concur, old fashioned interpersonal connecting is time tested. The key is to dial it all up with social media!

2. Arrive early and stay late. Most keynoters are on and off the podium in a flash. I get that. They're in high demand, have places to go, people to see and are experts at preserving their energy for their next "gig". But here's the deal. If you can underpromise and overdelivery with your time and attention on occasion, you'll reap great rewards. By simply sticking around for a meal, a coctail or lively conversation with conference attendees, I guarantee you'll make more friends, create more business or simply relax a little longer for a change of pace. We're so glad we took the time to enjoy beautiful Greenville, SC and our newest friends at the annual conference for the Insurance Premium Auditors of the Southwest.

3. Consider your creativity and share it! Sure, we're trainined in coverage details, premium trends and actuarial metrics that affect our clients and our consulting advice, But, we're also highly creative as we all have the potential to be. When's the last time you developed and shared that talent to enlarge your relationship building possibilities? Tom's a great insurance broker, but he's also a passionate photographer that brings his camera along to capture great moments. Our keynote conference host was thrilled to receive Tom's photos post event! Who doesn't like to look good, commemorate a great event and share those moments with colleagues and friends? What special gifts are you developing to brand yourself as an integrated leader that's interesting and interested in others? Drop me a line at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Tweet me @DonnaLynSpeaks.

Keynoting in Greenville, SCKeynoting in Greenville, SC

Two River Times March 2015 - Health & Wellness Columnist

Twenty days until Spring means little when you’re shoveling snow and defrosting ice from the windshield. Embrace winter with three things this season that will make your heart sing right here in the Two River area.

Can’t take time out for a downhill ski adventure this year? Consider burning more calories in a shorter time frame by ditching downhill for cross country skiing with friends. Your knees will thank you. If you close your eyes and catch the sunset by the bonfire in the late afternoon, you’ll swear you’re in Utah after a power hour on the groomed trails in our very own Thompson Park. Not only will you find a sweet little ski hut chock full of rental equipment, but you’ll also be greeted by outdoor enthusiasts with a cup of hot chocolate, an instructional video and encouragement to come back soon. Consider it done! If you’re a purist, the caloric burn for a 150 lb nordic skier is approximately 775 calories per hour, depending on how fast your feet fly. As I shared with our Chinese foreign exchange student that courageously clicked into his first cross country ski adventure with me this month, slow and steady wins the race. It’s not about the pace. It’s about celebrating the place of beauty you’re traveling through while grabbing your vitamin “N” for nature. Consider it a Zen highlight of the season!

If snow has become an unappealing four letter word in your world, consider what the indoor is serving up in our area. Serendipitously, I stumbled upon a young string violin talent competition last Sunday on Broad Street in Red Bank. The United Methodist Church was hosting an afternoon of magnificent musical talent for 13 to 15 year olds that had already made their way to the professional stage.  If that’s not enough inspiration to melt the snow away on a winter day, I don’t know what is! The warmth of their music took the chill out of the day as they bowed their way through another round of applause for their talent. Encouragingly, a local conservatory teacher shared that some of her best students start lessons after age 60  when time supports their focused and consistent practice. Time to update your bucket list? Clearly, it’s never too late to learn new things or string a violin! Learn more at

If you’re a ladyleader or a great guy that gets down to boogie, consider ongoing programming at The Red Bank Woman’s Club. You can grab a jazzy, steamy night of music the last Friday of every month in a warm, inviting venue or power up your networking with purposeful programming every February at Power Panelist Events. Either way, you’re singing your way through the dark days of winter embracing new friends or honing your skills to make music melt the snow all season long.

Perseverance Panelist EventPerseverance Panelist Event

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that keynotes, consults and coaches on enlightened leadership themes in the corporate, wellness and convention space. Learn more at or on Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks Locally, she's an insurance planning entrepreneur, leadership trainer and adjunct professor of economics and business.

"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." -  Malcolm Forbes

I love going back to school with my colleagues in midlife. Truth be told, many of us never left school…we’ve just kept changing our majors! Research shows that mastering new skills helps our brains stay agile and our social networks robust. According to the American Council of Education, more than 50% of students in the US are older adults for an approximate total of 8 million. The Apollo Research Institute projects enrollment to continue to grow by 20 percent by 2016.

The best part of our cerebral wellness adventures are the class trips. Every year, a group of lifelong learners caravan to a new destination to validate our research and apply our knowledge. We’ve visited holistic learning centers like Kripalu Yoga and Health in the Berkshires, the largest yoga based retreat and educational center in North America. While visiting, we merge our love of learning with our interest in holistic modalities to restore and endure in a world rife with the demands and detours of daily living. We’ve enjoyed the Kripalu community while rejuvenating with daily yoga, meditation, hiking, biking, cross country skiing and lean, green, clean cuisine to recharge our batteries. According to an ancient Ayurvedic proverb, without a proper diet, medicine is of no use but with a proper diet, medicine is of no need. We wish it were all that simple!

Our last transformative escape included rest and relaxation through mindful massages and meditation modules. This year, however, our self love mission during February will focus on learning about the gift of Ayurvedic nutrition. Ayurveda is among the oldest forms of practiced healthcare in the world today with origins rooted back over 5000 years. At it’s core, this Indian based wellness system is a science of self understanding with the goal of attaining optimal health alongside nature’s rhythms. The foundation of Ayurveda is found in the the five elements of ether(space), air, fire, water and earth. Turns out we each have very individual doshas or constitutions which can be understood and then supported by customized lifestyle choices. This includes recommendations on food types and its preparation, specific dosha appropriate herbs and spices, pulse awareness, behavior modifications, yoga and oil based massage therapies to enhance one’s vitality, longevity and overall health. We loved the notion that a full life well lived according to Ayurvedic principles is one filled with physical and emotional nourishment….a perfect modality that prioritizes open minded learning and self love in a month that celebrate’s Valentine’s Day!

Jamaica Yoga Teaching AdventureJamaica Yoga Teaching Adventure

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that keynotes, consults and coaches on enlightened leadership themes in the corporate, wellness and convention space. Learn more at or on Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks Locally, she's an insurance planning entrepreneur, leadership trainer and adjunct professor of economics and business.

Two River Times January 2015 - Health & Wellness Columnist

Tis the season to be jolly! But what if you're not? What can you do about it? Well, if you're chasing enlightenment in the new year and are interested in how others have historically managed suffering, it might serve you well to review the Four Noble Truths. Buddhists everywhere will share that abiding by these key life lessons will help you improve your groove in 2015. The word Buddha is derived from the Sanskrit root word "budh" which means to awaken or to become enlightened. According to this 2500 year old philosophy, a crucial step toward enlightenment or awakening is to surrender to suffering. The Four Noble Truths give us clues on how to alleviate suffering.

The first Noble Truth describes suffering as a universal occurrence. We all experience "dukkha" which are those unpleasant things in life that we would prefer to avoid. Suffering, in a way, is the great humanitarian equalizer. No one goes unscathed from suffering in a lifetime. It's how we handle suffering that can make all the difference in our lives and the lives of others.

The second Noble Truth centers on the origin of suffering. Suffering manifests when we cling to or crave pleasure or permanency. At the same time, suffering can arise by rejecting what is or avoiding the unpleasantries of life that we have no control over. Ever hear the phrase "Pain in life is inevitable but suffering is optional?" The Buddha speaks to our choice in how we manage challenge and crisis.

The third Noble Truth speaks to the cessation of suffering. If we apply the teachings to our lives, and learn to accept life for what it is and what it serves up, then we are better positioned to suffer less and savor more. Tall order no doubt, but through meditation, yoga and thoughtful awareness, we have tools to help us reduce suffering and dial up acceptance. In the teachings, we are reminded that all that begins, also must end and learning to embrace this notion will help us come to terms with multiple layered levels of suffering.

Lastly, the fourth and final Noble Truth embraces and supports ethical livelihood and a moral compass as a directive for a life well lived. To ensure liberation from suffering, if we act well, speak well, intention well and activate authentic effort in the way we conduct ourselves, we become closer to a life lived mindfully which aligns with a life filled with less suffering.

So, as you take down your holiday tree and celebratory symbols this season, consider what it might be like for you to sit underneath a Bodhi tree as Prince Siddhartha did when he became enlightened at age 35. May the new year bring you less suffering and more mental clarity. Namaste!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated business/wellness spokesleader that keynotes, consults and coaches on enlightened leadership themes in the corporate, wellness and convention space. Learn more at or on Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks Locally, she's an insurance planning entrepreneur, leadership trainer and adjunct professor of economics and business.

Monmouth County Chamber

Two River Times November 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

National Underwriter magazine cited a new Travelers Insurance Consumer Risk Index identifying priority
"at risk" concerns most Americans face today. At the top of the list (68%) is fear of financial instability
with risk of personal privacy invasion at 64%. Toward the middle of the list is the risk of a serious health
problem at 60% with "distracted driver' risk of injury being the newest categorical addition. As a
leadership keynoter, insurance professional and yoga instructor, my consulting
clients and college students are increasingly looking for ways to mitigate risk, manage careers and
reduce anxiety. As the world becomes a riskier place, living in the spirit of hope to cope has become
tantamount to living a complex life well.

In prior columns, I've mentioned the benefits of meditation, pranayama(breathing exercises) and yoga
but it's important to recognize why yoga can be suitable for managing anxiety for almost everyone.
Here are a few myths about who can and should practice yoga:

Myth #1. Yoga is for younger people. Fact: Yoga is for all ages. The actively aging population is
taking yoga classes like crazy! Several of my national yoga colleagues specialize in yoga for the "moving
mature" and can barely keep the pace with the demand for this energizing form of exercise which can
be done in a chair, in a pool or in a studio as a gentle or restorative class for beginners or regular
practitioners. Always get a doctor's approval before starting a new program but if you take notes from
96 yr old Tao Porchon-Lynch, you'll truly be inspired. Tao has been practicing yoga for 70 years and
teaching yoga for 45 years as the founder of the Westchester Institute of Yoga. She is currently the 2012
Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest and active yoga teacher in the world. You can catch
her love of yoga for all ages in an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Myth #2. Yoga is mostly for women. Fact: Men are doing yoga at an increased rate of interest. Some of
the world's top yoga instructors are men that understand the flexibility, focus and strength benefits
that yoga delivers. I've worked with stressed out executives with bad backs, sports injuries and toes that
will never be touched but gains in pliability, reduced stress and a deeper sense of calm collection are all
reported benefits from their yoga practice. We just returned from another yoga retreat in upstate New
York where it was evident that many more men are now embracing yoga as a lifestyle and enjoyable
vacation getaway option.

Myth #3. Most yoga enthusiasts have a dance or gymnastics background. Fact: Yoga Journal updated a
2008 survey this year to find that 15.8 million yoga practitioners have recently grown to over 20 million
which represents about 8% of US adults. While most practitioners tend to be younger females(age 18-
44), most yogis are practicing to improve flexibility, reduce stress and live a healthier lifestyle. Fans of
yoga spend approximately $27 billion/yr to fuel their passion while only 15% of participants consider
themselves experts. Most yoga students categorize themselves as beginners(45%) so if you
decide to take the risk and dip your toe into the yoga universe, you'll have plenty of company in a
wellness world that is stressing less and savoring more. Namaste!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated businessowner, professional speaker, workshop leader and lifelong learner. Learn more about upcoming programming at Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks

Two River Times October 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

Stressed out leaders in life and business have gotten the green light from enlightened companies and scientific researchers that praise the power of pausing. Senators from Ohio are promoting meditation and CEOs are approving classes in ayurvedic nutrition and holistic learning to support their teams. Studies indicate that even a 10 minute nap will improve cognitive function and vitality for your “central executive” during a distressful day. So who’s not up for a little rockin restoration as we attempt to keep the pace all day?

DonnaLyn - Luncheon keynoter at Women in Leadership/Insurance & Financial Services Conference, Louisville, KY Sept 2014

DonnaLyn Giegerich - Luncheon Keynoter at Women in Leadership/Insurance &
Financial Services Conference, Louisville, KY Sept 2014

We’ve just returned from another insurance leadership conference in the beautiful state of Kentucky and here’s what attendees wanted more of after business as usual was accomplished:

  • Daydream more. Meetings less. . Most of us are looking for places to improve our energy groove between life’s demands and business quotas. You may not have to move very much or very far to maximize your money maker.  Start with taking mind naps to pretty places. Neuroscientists at Stamford are knee deep in research supporting the efficacy of daydreaming in our leadership lives. The research suggests that our lives largely seesaw between tasks that require great attention and others that do not. The important part of the research centers on compartmentalizing our days to avoid distraction to get important things done. That means segmenting the day in chucks to include time to review major reports, evaluate metrics, keep meetings on point  and check/respond to priority emails. The science suggests that switching “on and off” amongst multiple tasks consistently throughout the day impedes progress.  Think about how many times you check emails all day as a popular impediment to completing priority tasks for targeted deadlines. The argument is if you’d like to be more creative and more focused without feeling scattered and overwhelmed, take breaks regularly amidst prioritized work deadlines. Try to become more aware of the temptation to be distracted and make strides toward tightened productive processes.
  • Breathe to succeed. The next time you feel overwhelmed, push back and try this mantra : Slow Down or Begin Again. On the inhale, silently say to yourself “Slow” and on the exhale “Down” or when you’ve become distracted, try “Begin” on the inhale and “Again” on the exhale. Remain in a comfortably seated position and commit to several rhythmic breathing rounds until you feel your shoulders relax away from your ears and your seat really root into your chair. Notice how tension starts to melt away as you silently steady yourself into a place of less stress and strain by repeating the mantra alongside the relaxed breathing pattern. The end game is to center for greater clarity in an effort to savor more and struggle less.
  • Get connected to nature. After our business conference in Louisville, we jumped on the rolling hills of the scenic loop in Cherokee Park to join the other 500,000 visitors per year that enjoy  Frederick Olmstead’s landscaped architectural delight. There’s nothing like being able to bring it all together by celebrating the early signs of Autumn while daydreaming and breathing deeply to celebrate the “central executive” of our leadership lives! Namaste...

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated businessowner, professional speaker, workshop leader and lifelong learner. Learn more about upcoming programming at Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks

Two River Times September 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

Business colleagues in the corporate leadership and wellness space concur that engagement is the blockbuster drug of this century. Seek, connect and converse to unearth insightful solutions. So why is it that so many people still miss the mark when trying to deliver on their wellness goals? My experience listening for clues this summer points largely to the importance of engagement and dialoging during discovery.

Summer is often the perfect season to enlarge our experiential travel lives. Whether you stay near or go far, it’s often the time for scads of roaming revelers to try new vacation ideas. Getting started is sometimes the toughest part of the new adventure. Here’s a perfect example. I’ve had the great pleasure of teaching yoga around the Caribbean for the past decade and this summer was no exception. While sharing the gift of yoga as the visiting resort pro, curious travelers frequently ask for advice on how to get started in the right class, at the right level, with the right people at the best time. I invariably suggest that they ask engaging questions to dial up the dialogue on point.

Millenium Park with Zen Plensa sculpture, ChicagoMillenium Park with Zen Plensa sculpture, Chicago

As we converse about what might be best for them at their current level of fitness and interest, I ask them three simple questions. First, do you prefer an intense workout? If so, I might suggest a moderate to advanced vinyasa flow or ashtanga class which marry a series of poses connected to the breath. If the student prefers a stress busting modality or gentle introduction to yoga, I’d be more likely to suggest a restorative or yin class for the practicioner that’s curious about the healing benefits of yoga. If the wellness seeker wants more information, we’d then discuss his/her preference for heat. Some like it hot and most that do find great value in variations of hot yoga like Bikram, and warm flow classes that lean on the thermostat to turn up the heat in their workouts. Thirdly, I query the student on their preference for form and routine. Some yogis love the creative, unrehearsed process that some yoga guides provide for their visitors because no class is ever the same.  Others like to know exactly what they’re getting, so they prefer the structured variation of set processes and attention to detailed alignment in classes like Iyengar which emphasize form with prop use. Systematic asana rounds in the heat would also be found in most hot yoga classes. As far as best time of day to practice yoga, most would say anytime possible! Pay attention to your circadian rhythm. If you’re are early bird, frame your day with a morning asana adventure to focus on wellness all day long. Otherwise, close out a productive day or dump off some stress with a good stretch and strength forming session to keep you forever young..

Bottomline, ask for referrals, get feedback from trusted sources and find a class that offers modifications to ensure your safety and comfort as you travel well in the world. Wishing you blockbuster success as you settle down summer and segway into fall!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an intergrated business/wellness national keynoter, leadership trainer, local entrepreneur and yoga teacher. Seasonal outdoor yoga @YogaOnTheLakeSummerSeries  and next Power Panelist Event Oct 25 at The Red Bank Woman’s Club  combine business with wellness to empower others. Learn more at