It may be an old 80’s power executive cliché for some, but the idea of incorporating Zen spirituality and thought into business executive’s lives has been shown to come up with some good results. For those not in the know, Zen is the school of Buddhism that removes the old school emphasis on sutras and works on trying to achieve a deeply meditative state. For women entrepreneurs, especially those who are also raising a family, incorporating this philosophy and practice into their lives can definitely prove to be an asset.
No one in their right mind would deny that being an entrepreneur is stressful, especially as a woman.
Business owners have to deal with uncertainty every single day of the week, and at times, they may even have to face the risk of losing it all. They have to deal with endless sales pitches in all directions, with customers who can be difficult, and even have to deal with red tape that is just a plain headache. In many industries, a high level of stress is just something we’ve come to expect on a daily basis, and being unable to cope can easily lead to illness, faltering in our decision-making ability, and worse.
For entrepreneurs that are having a difficult time dealing with the high levels of stress associated with being a business owner, Zen exercises can definitely help. Exercises such as the Zen observation of the breath have been used for centuries to help reduce stress in people, and have also been scientifically proven to help people clear their minds.
Zen’s strong emphasis on learning also can prove to be very useful for female entrepreneurs that might need to be reminded that it is okay not to know all the answers. For example, in some cases, Zen flower arranging has shown to not only calm the mind, but also nurture a higher level of creativity.
Many people would say that it is clear that Zen can be a source of a lot of wisdom and peace – things that many female entrepreneurs would definitely want to enjoy more of.
The great thing about practicing Zen Buddhism is that it can be incorporated into almost any religious or spiritual practice, so I’m not preaching conversion. With that being said, even if you don’t incorporate Buddhist practices in all aspects of your life, the benefits of Zen exercises can still be helpful in managing stress, and many of these exercises you might actually be familiar with under other names or explained using different terminology.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can incorporate Zen practice into your stress management tool-kit, check out if there is a Zen Meditation Meetup in your area, or you might try reading John Murphy’s book, Zentrepreneur: Get Out of the Way and Lead.
Cartoon by Kriti Vichare, entrepreneurfail.com