The Meditation Of Designing Your Days: An Interview With CEO Coach Lauren Zander
You might think your day unfolds exactly as it’s meant to, but what if you could design every workday? And manifest what you want to bring into your life? What if you could live with more joy, even while leaning into your career? The meditation of designing your day is the work of Lauren Zander, CEO coach, lecturer and author. Here is an interview with her about how we can create the life we truly want.
1. The CEOs and actors and other high-profile people you coach have absolutely packed schedules. How do you counsel them to take time to do what nurtures them and to “justify” this time away from work and family?
One of the best ways to bring joy into a person’s wildly hectic schedule is to make sure they don’t focus only on all of their to do’s, but also on their ever-important to-be’s. This is when I’ve been known to quote Snow White’s, “Whistle While You Work.”
I mean, sure you need to have physical integrity and make sure that your actions not only forward your dream and exist in real time, but you have to also have to manage your emotional (aka feelings) and your spiritual (aka thoughts) integrity, too. In other words, your thoughts and feelings have to go hand in hand with your actions and they need to inspire you and align with your dreams. I help clients have Personal Integrity in ALL areas of their life. You can’t be great at work and meh (technical term) with your family and not have it affect the other areas of your life. Even though most of us think we can compartmentalize our lives, we can’t. Each area (family, health, fun, adventure, spirituality, community AND career, etc.) impacts the others.
Another tool I teach clients is to “design their day” each day. This is where I have them write out how their day went before it actually happened and send it to me and any other people in their lives who will hold them accountable to it. Your “Designed Day” (DD) is an accounting of how you want your best and most fun day to unfold, equipped with attitude and aspirations. Whether you told the truth at a meeting and inspired everyone to do the same, or you completed all the work you set out to accomplish, had zero traffic, out of the blue magic or found that key new person to hire. YOU get to create excellence that is on point with your dreams. You get to manage and inspire yourself, keep your promises and talk to your life, directing it and practicing the art of authoring it.
I mean, after all, who should be in charge of YOUR day and YOUR nourishment?!
2. What do you do to nurture yourself? And how to make sure you take time to do this?
There really is a basic list of what you need to do to keep yourself happy and proud and deserving of your dream. There’s a checklist for all of us.
Knowing yours is key.
What it takes for me, personally, to keep myself proud and believing is pretty basic. I need to workout with weights three times a week and do cardio two times a week. My husband David and I even go to a personal trainer together and workout, flirt, and care about our bodies as a team. I stay away from carbs and only have three drinks, if even, a week. I romance my man and David is in charge of showing me videos that make me howl with laughter. I also paint while I work, which is my version of “whistling” while I work! Happily and lucky, I can do two things I love at once. I also make sure I listen to music a ton as I deeply care about it. I also adore my tribe of friends, so I always have friends I miss come and stay over. And before bed, every night, I manifest. And I practice what I preach, just like I have my clients do, I also design my day, every day, in the morning.
Clearly, my “basic” list that nurtures me is not yours. I highly recommend finding yours
3. Do you think this is a type of meditation? Does it put you in your “flow” however you would define that?
Yes, what nurtures us is also spiritual. My painting, my DD-ing daily (#designingmyday), are all deep, connected, spiritual, and magical for me. I’m also the sing-in-my-car type. As I sing (ok, it’s more like belt out the songs!), unafraid of the goofball I look like while driving, I’m thinking about the world and what I’m happily creating in it and for it.
4. What do you think of sitting meditation? Is it for you or do you prefer other types?
Here’s the truth about meditation and me: Through my 20s, from 22 to about 28, I meditated every day. I seriously loved it and everything that came with it, from incense to Guru Mai. However, I reached a point where I freaked myself out, no kidding, when I was meditating I would sometimes lose control of my body and fall back. So as much as I loved it, I decided it was time to retire from it, even though I really do believe meditation changed my whole life, especially my inner dialogue. These days, I think of myself as a manifesting junkie, though I don’t consider that far off from meditation. It’s using your imagination to create reality.
5. What do you think causes high-profile execs and people in entertainment the most stress? And what’s your top suggestion for combatting this stress?
I guess the question (rhetorical, of course!) I like to pose when it comes to how a person deals with stress is which do they think came first, the stress or the vice that is fed (literally or figuratively!) by the stress.
Did you ever notice that when a person is stressed they never need a salad?
So, if your vice is weed, wifi or wine, without question it’s affiliated with stress. In fact, whenever you’re stressed, you get a cookie, you get to have a drink to take the edge off, you get to have a cigarette, to not go out with friends and veg instead, to watch porn, etc.
It’s truly hard to tell which came first, the vice or the stress, and once you’re attached to that vice it becomes a habit. So, when I work with highly stressed humans who are up to big things, I first go to war with their bad habits. I don’t make them get sober, but I do take away their right to use a vice to relieve stress. A drink or cookie or Netflix series is for fun, not for taking the “edge off.” I break up that dynamic so that we can bring back fun in their lives and stop using fun things to reward their bad days. Once we break up that relationship between a vice and stress, it brings back real awareness and creates the ability to start to dream again. #livingyourbestlife