Nourish Yourself and Your Events Through Mindfulness

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Nourish Yourself and Your Events Through Mindfulness

By Lee Papa | Apr 29, 2019

Join Lee Papa at her Mindfulness Lounge™, sponsored by Visit Omaha, during MPI’s 2019 World Education Congress (WEC), June 15-18 in Toronto. Learn more at

You have heard it a thousand times: “work life balance.” But does anyone really achieve that goal? One or the other always seems to be taking the lead and leaving you feeling guilty about abandoning the other, like not being available for your loved ones the way that you want to be. Or, when you do step out of that pattern of putting your professional life first, you feel neglectful of your “responsibilities” at work. You feel pulled in different directions—and dealing with such emotions is not conducive to being happy,  emotionally healthy or your optimal self-expression.

Now, add to that equation that you are in an industry that promotes hospitality. Friendliness, kindness, warmth, fun, even relaxation and luxury—all set in a backdrop of meetings and events.

Being hospitable while juggling fireballs of issues that seem to be merging together into one big inferno can be a challenge. Yet you need to remain calm, cool and collected while you are getting texts from home about things that have fallen through the cracks.

You seek balance on that teeter-totter of work-life that is just out of reach. So, you shove it all down. “Just let me get through this” seems to be an affirmation of a self-fulfilling prophecy of just “getting through” over and over again.

And although you are in the business of making people feel nurtured and relaxed, knowing that everything they need is taken care of, there is a level of stress that is an interesting juxtaposition. Not only for the meeting planner, but the myriad departments and individuals who pull off a successful event. That’s a lot of stress! So, where does that leave you? Usually last.

In this battle of the personal and professional, there is something that is far more important than family or work—you! That may come as a shock, and all the resistance of your upbringing and programming is shouting right now, “IT IS SELFISH TO THINK OF MYSELF FIRST!” The reason for the resistance is the neuro-patterning that we have had for our entire lives that self-love and self-care is selfish. Even dictionaries describe self-love as “conceit.” No wonder we are programmed to leave ourselves for last.

But go along with me for a moment and play this “what if” game. What if there was no such thing as guilt? What if there was enough time for everything when you honor yourself first? What if self-love and nurturing yourself was the optimal path to leading a fulfilled life in health and success? What do you have to lose by embracing the mind-shift? I’ll tell you what you must lose: stress.

It is not that there will never be a stressful situation that presents in your life. It is that you will have the foundation, concepts and tools to not allow it to grab hold. And you will navigate these obstacles with more ease.

Related Article:
From Work-Life Balance to Work-Life Blending
6 Tips to Achieve Work-life Balance

One of the keys is to stop seeking balance and mind-shift to integration. Let’s call it “Integrating Intelligent Wellbeing.” “How?” you might ask. With a foundation in mindfulness practice. And all it takes is your participation and willingness to let go of old patterns that no longer serve you and learn to integrate your entire life in wellbeing by nourishing yourself mindfully and giving from the overflow.

This can be done simultaneously with your integration at work. There is one powerful thing you can do to stop feeling like you are being pushed off your game at work. And this very thing—the integration of work-life wellbeing through mindful practice—is also what your employees and attendees are desperately in need of as well. Mindfulness training for yourself, for your employees and your meeting attendees supports the foundation of the mind-shift that leads to a revised model of work-life integration and overall wellness.

It begins with the desire to incorporate wellness initiatives into your own life and company culture. The permutations are exciting and endless on how this core shift in mindfulness can present within your organization. Although our mindfulness speaking and training within the industry are what we are known for, we are excited by customizing and incorporating the foundation of mindfulness within companies and organizations in creative ways.

Forward thinkers such as IMEX America, who started implementing wellness-related topics into their shows in 2014 and have retained my services for the last five years with showcasing our Mindfulness Lounge™ (Be Well Lounge), understand the value of evolving meeting and event programs. Industry leaders and way-showers of wellness initiatives that include the foundation of mindfulness such as MPI, IMEX, Experient Inc. and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are on the leading edge of the wellness movement by providing attendee programs that support wellbeing.

What I find most desirable about all of these companies is their personal and authentic desire to be the change to support wellbeing in the industry. You can’t fake it.

Please note, you can miss the mark for incorporating wellness within your meetings. And a failed attempt will leave you stalled. However, understanding the optimal way to plan a wellness program or Mindful Meeting will lead to success. Mindfulness training through our Mindfulness Lounge™ offers elements of mind-body and spirit education, what I call the trio-of-transformation, and supports the rest of the branches. Did you know that mindfulness practice helps you to retain information at a higher rate, assists in alleviating jetlag symptoms and makes you feel more confident? Offering such a life-changing takeaway is making a strong statement to your attendees that you care about them.

This industry, like many that have worn stress as a badge of honor, is now seeing the light and embracing the understanding that the detrimental practices that reinforce the notion of stress as required to get the job done will no longer be the mantra. Rather, mindful awareness within a wellbeing initiative is the name of the new game.

Encourage nurturing self, healthy sleep patterns, rest and downtime, awareness, understanding the power of thoughts and words and listening to the body among many additional concepts and tools for optimal wellbeing. When your employees are running at optimal wellbeing, so will your organization.

Self-care is no longer a bad word; it is scientifically proven that mindfulness and meditation practice literally changes the brain and the supportive benefits have a ripple effect that is life-changing. It is time to be the educator and innovator that guides the industry, employees and your clients to healthier meetings and events. It is time to soothe the cortisol and nourish yourself and your events mindfully. 

Don’t Miss the MPI Academy webinar “Get On-Board for Mindful Meetings,” free to MPI members, at



Lee Papa
Lee Papa

Lee Papa is an internationally recognized and award-winning mindfulness and meditation speaker and trainer based in Las Vegas. She owned and operated a 6,000-square-foot wellness center supporting thousands prior to wellness being on the corporate radar. Lee brought mindfulness training to the meeting industry with her keynote, “How to Live & Lead Mindfully,” and her signature MINDFULNESS LOUNGE™ won her one of the prestigious spots on MeetingsTODAY’s “22 Luminaries & Trendsetters List” for 2017.