As Swimco celebrates its 40th year of business with 22 stores from B.C. to Manitoba, as well as online, it leads the way as a Canadian company who offers corporate meditation workshops to its Calgary head office employees.
Before offering a meditation workshop to her employees, Lori Bacon, the owner and president of Swimco learned how to meditate and established her own daily practice. When asked what motivated her to start meditation, Lori stated, “I kept hearing and reading about the benefits and also my doctor had recommended I start doing this to deal with stress.”
Lori described the benefits she has seen in her own life as a result of meditation, “I really look forward to my morning and “happy hour” quiet time (so does my dog Maggie!). When I’m getting all “swirly” in my day because of all the excitement at work, I can give my head and body a chance to simmer down. I do feel calmer and more focused. I also know that great things are happening in my body as a result of meditating.”
After experiencing her own personal benefits from meditation, Lori decided to offer a meditation workshop to her employees. When asked why she wanted to extend this opportunity to the Swimco employees, Lori replied “I have heard from time to time my team members complaining about stress and the impact it was having on them (excema, sore muscles, weight gain, headaches). Once I started meditating I felt very strongly that this could be something that would really help them live a happier more healthy life.”
The Swimco employees participated in a workshop offered by The Compassionate Mind, learning the Simple, Easy, Every Day Meditation Method. Participants gained an understanding of how stress impacts them at a physical, emotional and spiritual level. They became intimate with the way their mind works in processing stressful experiences and learned how to use simple daily practices to quiet the mind and gain a deep state of rest. The staff were encouraged to start a daily meditation practice, spending 5 minutes a day.
Lori’s clearly a leader who walks the talk and believes strongly in the importance of taking care of the vital connection between the body and the mind. Lori explained that she wanted her employees to have “a sense of calm in their day and a tool for coping with day to day living”. She wants her staff to have “a sense of perspective that they are in control.”
Swimco joins other companies like Target, Google and Ford that understand the powerful benefits of meditation, from changing both the structure and function of the brain, improving the immune system, increasing the ability to focus and an overall reduction in the effects of stress.
A recent article published by the Chopra Centre, 5 Ways Meditation Can Benefit Businesses, identified that the “Harvard Business School along with INSEAD—Europe’s leading business school—have concluded from their research that the two most effective business tools for twenty-first century executives are meditation and intuition. The benefits of meditation in the workplace are cumulative; they build on one another, starting with the individual and from there, positively impacting the performance of the business as a whole.”