Wellness Evolved

Dr. Romie Mushtaq

The Wellness Evolved podcast is Evo's journey into our workplace wellness and mindfulness programs, answering your health questions.

Join our Chief Wellness Officer and host, Dr. Romie, who brings her unique blend of expertise in neurology, integrative medicine and mindfulness together to guide the

All Episodes

In a matter of weeks, our personal and business lives transformed due to global pandemic COVID-19 novel coronavirus.  Evolution Hospitality's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, discusses how to rise above the panic.  In a pandemic, the fear is often as or more dangerous than the disease itself.  In this episode you will hear: 1) What is COVID-19 novel coronavirus and how is it different than the flu? 2) How can we boost our immune system naturally, including the importance of sleep and nutrition. 3) How we can start to rise above the panic so we can function in our personal lives and in the workplace? Links: Research on boosting your immune system CDC Website How to wash your hands Loving Kindness Meditation

Mar 13

20 min

Take a moment to pause and ask yourself, how do you feel after hearing our leaders speak at the Town Hall meeting or reading emails?  Change in any organization can create fear, even in times of success and growth.  Evolution Hospitality's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, discusses how to take ten minutes to destress your mind and destress your team.   After a period of intense focus, or when you’re feeling stuck, taking just a few minutes away from your desk and looking up from your screen can be just the thing you need. In fact, researchers have found that taking regular mini-breaks during the day can help shift your perspective when you feel stressed, and help you return to your work feeling recharged and refocused.  Try these strategies to pause and recharge during your workday.  You'll hear ideas ranging from power naps, meditation, and being outdoors.  Evolution Hospitality is a third-party hospitality management company with corporate headquarters in San Clemente, CA.  For more information visit www.evolutionhospitality.com

Feb 27

15 min

What happens if you are not mindful of your energy as a leader?  Whether your energy is positive or stuck in discomfort, your team will pick up on your mood and mirror your attitude. Evolution Hospitality's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, hosts this episode of "Wellness Evolved" as we discuss managing through change at our properties. Campus & General Manager Michael Murray oversees operations at three hotels and over 200 team members on the Redondo Beach Campus. Michael shares how mindfulness, servant-leadership, and Evo's guiding principles are helping his team navigate growth and change of his campus and the current organizational change in the company. Murray's advice on managing organizational change is to make sure that team members know that they have a seat on the bus.  He discusses the importance of trusting the process, transparency in communication, and the role of mindfulness to build trust.  Hear how their team implemented Evo's corporate mindfulness program, The Power of Pause,  with the help of his property's Campus Culture Committee. The Wellness Evolved Podcast is sponsored by Evolution Hospitality, a third-party hospitality management company with corporate headquarters in San Clemente, California.  You can learn more at www.evolutionhospitality.com

Feb 19

23 min

In the workplace, change is inevitable and also considered a four-letter word. The human mind seeks comfort in daily routines and rituals.  When our environment changes, our brain shifts into a high-stress mode and then feeds into fear.    In this episode, Chief Wellness Officer and host, Dr. Romie, breaks down the neuropsychology of why the brain's initial response to change is fear.  When fear sets in, the instinctual response is to question, "Am I safe?" and "Am I cared for?" As our company faces change, Dr. Romie discusses how Evo's mindfulness program and guiding principles can leaders manage emotions and operations.  Evolution Hospitality is a third-party hospitality management company with corporate headquarters in San Clemente, California.  For more information visit www.evolutionhospitality.com Show Notes: [01:51] I'm going to break down specific skill sets for leaders.  [02:20] Change can feel like a four letter word the "f word" fear.  [02:39] When our routines are disrupted our brains get hijacked and our brain gets shifted into fear. [02:49] Leaders and teams who succeed know how to put actions in place to manage change and manage emotions. [04:01]  Unexpected changes in our routine can create fear. Fear is created in levels one and two of our brain or our subconscious. [04:23] Level one or the basement is our survival center. This is where our life supporting regulations happen. When fear comes in our mind defaults to thinking from this area.  [04:52] During times of change, the emotions present can feel like a lack of safety in the workplace. [05:09] Level two is the limbic system or the emotion and memory center.  When we don't feel safe, our minds start asking if we are cared for. [06:20] Level three is responsible for analysis, processing data, decision making, and taking action. If levels one and two aren't feeling safe, fear can take over and false evidence appears real. [07:50] Start in the basement and assess level one. Do you feel safe? [08:54] For level number two ask, "Am I cared for?" We are a people driven culture.  [10:35] To transform fear into calm stick to your daily rituals of wellness, especially sleep. At times of stress, we often let our wellness rituals go. I asked you to stick to it. [11:14] Find a trusted advisor to talk to.  [11:35] Try the loving-kindness meditation. It's based on self-compassion and showing compassion for others.  [00:13:16] Make sure your team members hear the words, "you are safe I care about you." Links and Resources: Evolution Hospitality Loving-Kindness Meditation

Feb 14

15 min

As season two of Evolution Hospitality's podcast is launched, organizational restructuring, rapid growth, and personnel change have created the perfect storm.  Evo's Chief Wellness Officer & host, Dr. Romie Mushtaq interviews Chief Operating Officer, Will Loughran to discuss how to lead and manage stress during times of change. In this episode, we cover: Evo is a company built on a culture of practicing servant leadership, and the priority is making sure everyone reaches their full potential.  What steps leaders can take to combat the stress, anxiety, and fear that are natural during times of organizational change? Will's advice is to come back to our guiding principles including "giving each other the benefit of the doubt" and "listen."   In addition, we discuss managing emotions along with managing expectations.  Bringing that "Evo swagger" can help the company to continue to grow and create multiple verticles of inspired leadership. Evolution Hospitality is a third-party hospitality management company with corporate headquarters in San Clemente, CA.  For more information visit www.evolutionhospitality.com Show Notes: [04:12] There is so much going on in the company right now. [04:36] After our merger, we became the largest hotel company in the country. [04:49] John Murphy is moving into an advisory role. Matt Raine our Business Development Leader is going to work with our biggest partner. [05:20] Our leader of talent acquisition is also going to join John Murphy in his new venture. [05:33] All of this has created a large amount of change. [06:28] People involved in integration and working with the other teams are coming back very inspired. They are excited about new resources and strategic initiatives. [07:39] There is also a level of anxiety from other people who feel a level of uncertainty. [08:32] Dr. Romie could energetically feel the pause and the grief when the email was sent out. [09:09] We don't want to be just the biggest company, we want to be a truly excellent company. Will wants people to be confident and have that "Evo Swagger." [10:28] We want to have an incredible culture, but we are also very focused on results. [12:30] We need change management and training. We introduce a new process or integration every year. [13:31] The three programs that have helped us is our mindfulness program called The Power of Pause, emotional intelligence training, and are crucial conversations. [16:18] Guiding principles include giving the benefit of the doubt and listening. Being present is also critically important. [19:43] At Evo, we care for each other as a company. You are safe, and you are cared for. [22:04] Bring your team together and make it better than it was before. [23:58] Think about how to make the broader company better. It's not us versus the parent company. [27:15] We need to maximize performance in all verticals.  [28:46] Will takes a pause by riding his bike, meditation, and music. He loves Rock 'n' Roll. [30:50] Take the time to slow down and spend one-on-one time with people.  [32:00] Giving and accepting feedback openly is a main guiding principle for Will.  [33:01] He wants to lead everyone into making an incredible company in an inspired way. Links and Resources: Evolution Hospitality William Loughran Saturday Night Live Flight Announcement Why Workplace Wellness & Mindfulness is Important for Leaders & Culture: Interview with Evo's President John Murphy

Feb 14

35 min

One of the most guiding principles of Evolution Hospitality is to work with gratitude and humility. Listen to John Murphy's perspective on gratitude. "I think there's a relationship between joy and gratitude." He speaks of being humble and grateful as being the keys to the kingdom. As we come back to the holiday season, we have busy days and busy minds. Remember, gratitude rewires our brain for true happiness and joy. We will dive into how the brain processes and transforms with gratitude. I'll also teach you the psychological principles of processing gratitude. Yes! There is psychology science, which shows how gratitude can cause this type of transformation. What happens in your brain? First, think about what happens when you have pain, especially emotional pain and day-to-day stress. Did you know the emotional centers which process pain in our brain can only work if our pleasure system is deactivated? Temporary activities to create pleasure are eating chocolate or buying yourself something new and exciting. This gives you a temporary rush and can quickly transform into guilt, which lends your brain to experience pain. True pleasure, which can block the pain center in your brain, come in the form of social connections as well as gratitude. Making a habit of giving and receiving gratitude can rewire our brains for a consistent feeling of pleasure. How can we do that? Take a pause and say something you are grateful for in the past week. To stimulate the pleasure center in our brain, we have to perceive that gratitude through our senses. When you give thanks and gratitude, think of a specific memory that is associated with your gratitude. Think of someone on your team who you are grateful for and think of a moment with them. As we move forward, let's stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain by not only giving gratitude but receiving gratitude. My challenge for you: before the end of the month, find a person you work with and tell them or write them a note about why you are grateful for them. Could you take a pause and express this gratitude to a fellow evolutionary? Show Notes: [01:22] John Murphy speaks on gratitude. [02:07] Gratitude rewires our brain for true happiness and joy. [03:01] I invite you to pause for gratitude for someone in your workplace. [03:19] What happens in your brain? [04:30] The types of true pleasure you can have to block the pain center in your brain. [05:41] Examples of perceiving gratitude through your senses. [07:29] Think of a specific memory when you give thanks. [10:22] Dr. Romie’s role at Evolution Hospitality and taking time to pause and share gratitude for the teams at EH. Links and Resources: Evolution Hospitality Mediation: Take a Team Pause

Nov 2019

12 min

As a vice president of operations, Mark Van Cooney, talks about how stress can interrupt sleep, and how mindfulness helped him welcome peaceful sleep.  Mark also introduced The Power of Pause to his children to help them not only sleep calmly but also shine in surfing competitions. Mark breaks down how introducing our Evo culture and mindfulness program to our new leadership teams in hotels helps us learn that "none of us is as good as all of us."  His leadership advice to new Evolutionaries is to start each day at a team asking, "what are we grateful for today, and what guiding principle are we going to focus on today."  

Nov 2019

24 min

As Campus Manager for Evolution Hospitality, Adam has worked from the ground up on our guiding principles and has been an essential figure in growing our corporate mindfulness programs, The Power of Pause. Adam started working for Evolution Hospitality 19 years ago. He was recruited in March of 2000 by John Murphy, who joined Tarsadia Hotels at Regency Plaza. With rebranding and renovation, they changed to DoubleTree Hotels. In 2011, the business became a part of Evolution Hospitality. Since these beginnings started with one property, we have scaled to more than 70 properties. Adam speaks about managing the team's performance with what the owner of the company is expecting. Dr. Romie talks about these challenges which business owners commonly deal with on a daily basis. We discuss our people-driven culture, and as we grow, these are ideals we put into practice every day. Our principles aren't just written on a wall, they are practiced with every employee at Evolution Hospitality. We also dive into how to carry out the principles by setting expectations, holding people to those expectations, and making them accountable. We discuss servant leadership and what this means to Adam and how he applies our principles to his servant leadership. Adam gives his advice to general managers on how they can reach out for support or use resources to be the best at their job. Taking the time to pause and listen to all the evolutionaries in our company. Adam discusses with Dr. Romie the importance of being your authentic self at the office and how the guiding principles translate into the day-to-day business. How Adam came up with an idea to decorate with hashtags in graffiti artwork to create a buzz about company goals and how you don't need to be a brain doctor to know that the Power of Pause works! Show Notes: [01:38] Dr. Romie welcomes Adam to Wellness Evolved. [03:16] Adam tells the story of his journey with the company. [04:35] Overarching principles and their meaning within our business. [05:06] Adam’s personal principal he is most familiar with in the company. [07:11] Show employees why with a system of understanding. [08:11] Guidance from Adam to new general managers of Evolution Hospitality. [09:56] Practicing sincerity in our company and finding personal connections to build loyalty in a genuine way. [12:22] Adam tells the story of how he involved the entire office in decorating a space at the company. [16:03] How Adam adopted the Power of Pause.  [19:00] Did the Power of Pause come naturally to Adam? [21:45] Doing breathing exercises during brain surgery assists patients in having their heart rate lower. [22:54] How Adam takes a pause in his personal life. [23:55] What guiding principle would Adam advise a new General Manager to use first. Links and Resources: Evolution Hospitality

Oct 2019

27 min

Award-winning General Manager, Justin Hart, overcomes his fear of public speaking to champion the Power of Pause at Evo corporate headquarters and join Dr. Romie on the Wellness Evolved Podcast.   Justin explains what happened when his team steered away from the habit of practicing mindfulness in the workplace.  The hotel's leadership team started to feel disconnected and chaotic, and Justin talked about how to "make it better than it was before."  You'll hear how the entire team at Domain Sunnyvale Hotel created a meditation room for them to take a pause to decompress, celebrate, share gratitude.    When Justin says he has a life-changing bottle of wine to try, he delivers a whole new level of excellence.  Hear his secrets to picking a great bottle of wine, bring laughter to his team, and how he practices digital detox while traveling. Wellness Evolved is a corporate mindfulness and wellness podcast sponsored by Evolution Hospitality.

Oct 2019

26 min

Wellness is not just important in the workplace, but also now a required element in decision making for planning meetings.   In this week's episode, Dr. Romie interviews two dynamic global female leaders in the hospitality and meetings industry. Ashly Balding is the Chief Strategy Officer for Associated Luxury Hotels International.  Catherine Chaulet is the president and CEO of Global DMC Partners. Ashly and Catherine break down their personal wellness routines as mothers and executives. You will also hear top trends for bringing wellness into meetings- including nutrition, movement, and the importance of pause.   Show Notes: [05:56] Ashly's secret to wellness is that she is passionate about wellness because it promotes compassion.  [07:24] Catherine believes that wellness is critical, because life is short and we need to enjoy every day.  [08:06] We can help bring work life balance by integrating wellness on teams. It's appreciating life on a much deeper level.  [08:56] Dance has been a passion for Catherine. She allows 2 1/2 hours a week for dance. She also takes time for self like baths. She also gives her team undisturbed time off. [10:48] It's physical and mental for Ashly. She does yoga and takes time to breathe. She also meditates and takes part in a digital detox. Her and her children incorporate gratefulness and what makes them happy.  [12:47] Perfection needs to be thrown out the window when you have kids.  [13:24] Authenticity is sexy.  [14:38] Catherine is removing herself from social media to spend important time with her family.  [16:22] Ashly shares an aha moment she had where she was walked through a meditation as the future of the CEO.  [17:43] There is no other option for corporations than to incorporate wellness into their agendas to attract and retain talent. [20:05] People's minds drift after 30 minutes. Think about speaking formats and the time frame. Give people time to relax and recharge. [22:47] Wellness components that Ashly has incorporated include a puppy breakout session, cellphone baskets, and walking breakouts.  [25:10] Comfort in the room matters. Have chairs and couches. Have activities where there is no sound and appreciate natural sounds of nature. Drop the amount of sessions and focus on the three main messages. Don't exhaust people.  [27:37] Hygge is the Danish concept of comfort. This trend can be incorporated at every level.  [29:11] Food labeling is important. Have electrolyte drops on the table or do a vegan breakout. Smoothie bars are great options too.  [32:15] Junk food isn't acceptable anymore. Having presentations by dietitians are also a great wellness step for meetings.  [34:19] Ashly takes a pause by taking time to meditate and breathe and set her intention before she walks into the door with her family after a hard day's work. [35:45] Catherine can't take a pause everyday. When she does, she shuts the door and removes sounds and blue lights and just breathes.  Links and Resources: Global DMC Partners  Associated Luxury Hotels International

Oct 2019

40 min

Imagine your health failing you during a busy deadline at work. How do you pause to reestablish a nutrition plan and your health without missing a beat at work? In this week's episode, award-winning General Manager, Jeff Lawrence shares how job stress negatively impacted his physical health.  After a wake-up call in the emergency room,  he realized he needed to change his soda and sugar-fueled diet.  Learn the simple changes in mindset and nutrition that helped him to heal stress ulcers, lose weight, and thrive under the stress of opening and managing a hotel.  You'll also hear how implementing Evolution Hospitality's mindfulness program has helped him lead his teams through change.

Aug 2019

19 min

In creating wellness, a core element to maintain wellness is our levels of Vitamin D.  In this episode, Dr. Romie discusses the one lab value you should request from your doctor today.  By optimizing vitamin D levels, you can optimize your hormones, immune system, gut health, and brain function.   You will learn foods that contain Vitamin D3, why people living in sunshine states still have low Vitamin D, and how to choose the right supplements.

Aug 2019

16 min

There is no one diet plan that will work for everyone, so how do we create a nutrition plan for an entire company? Dr. Romie, Evolution Hospitality's Chief Wellness Officer, introduces the science behind food sensitivity testing. Learn the difference between a food allergy and food sensitivity, the symptoms you may be experiencing due to food sensitivities, and how to test for this problem. Evo's custom wellness program, "Nourish", is also introduced. Nourish is a day program created to restore and nourish your gut health and overall well-being.

Jul 2019

18 min

As a busy senior hospitality executive, father to young children, and newly engaged- the last thing Scott Roby expected was that vague abdominal pain would turn out to be Stage 4 cancer.   On this week's episode of Evolution Hospitality's Wellness Evolved podcast, Senior Vice President of Operations, Scott Roby, shares his powerful journey on crushing cancer.  Today by focusing on nutrition, mindset, and love of his family he has reached his important 5-year survival mark with a poignant call to action. You will hear what you can do today to start your own wellness journey.   We also invite you to support Scott Roby's Cancer Crusher team raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma by donating or signing up to join our team to "Light The Night" at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sept 21, 2019. https://pages.lls.org/ltn/ocie/OrangeCo19/EvolutionHospitalityOC Show Notes: [02:20] This is the beginning of season 2 where we talk about the path of wellness as we Nourish ourselves. [03:18] Scott Roby just celebrated 14 years with Evolution Hospitality. He started out in 2005 as the Corporate Director of Revenue. He was then promoted to Vice President of Revenue Management. Last year, he made the move to operations. [04:13] In December of last year, Scott became the father of a baby boy and he also has four girls.  [05:17] In order to stay grounded, Scott finds time for himself during his commute. [06:54] Scott shares how he wasn't feeling well and eventually ended up being diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma. [07:56] He had just proposed to his new wife. [08:23] He spent four months in the hospital with an intensive chemotherapy regimen. [08:50] Some of his inspirations were The Art of Mindful Living. He also meditated. His office was also in an eighth floor room looking over the ocean. He was also inspired by The Serenity Prayer. [10:36] His wife was super supportive and started researching health and wellness. He cut sugar, alcohol, and nightshades out of his diet and added things like tumeric. [11:59] A rigid diet regimen is almost impossible to follow. [13:08] He wanted to give back, so he got involved in Light the Night. He also created the Cancer Crusher team. The money goes towards research which has helped a broad variety of cancer patients.  [17:12] Find community to inspire you and start now.  [18:42] Community is a huge part of the wellness triangle. Social isolation is a big problem in the US.  [19:55] Scott is the mastermind behind Rapid Fire where he fires questions at someone for three minutes to get to know them.  [21:06] Scott takes a pause in the car. He also pauses with his family.  [22:09] Scott's favorite guiding principle is none of us is as good as all of us. [23:45] Dr. Romie expresses her gratitude towards Scott. [24:44] What can you do to support your wellness? Links and Resources: "Light The Night" at Angel Stadium in Anaheim on Sept 21, 2019 The Art of Mindful Living: How to Bring Love, Compassion, and Inner Peace into Your Daily Life Why Workplace Wellness & Mindfulness is Important for Leaders & Culture: Interview with Evo's President John Murphy

Jul 2019

27 min

Evolution Hospitality has built their people-driven culture on a foundation of wellness to help Evolutionaries be the best versions of themselves. In the start of Season 2 of the Wellness Evolved Podcast, Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie introduces the focus of wellness initiatives at Evolution Hospitality.  "Nourish" is one of Evo's components in the Wellness Triangle, but what does it mean to nourish your mind, body, and spirit? Beyond fad diets or giving up the foods you enjoy, we discuss how to create a sustainable nutrition plan that can be executed in a busy work environment by eating an anti-inflammatory diet for just five days every month.   Show Notes: [02:24] This is the official start to Season 2. The Power of Pause was Season 1. You can still listen to all 16 episodes with included guided meditations. [04:11] What does it mean to nourish? You are adding something to your body that is contributing to good health. At Evo we believe in cultivating the whole person.   [04:44] When you nourish yourself it's your mind, body, and spirit. [05:13] At Evo, we believe in cultivating every person to reach their full potential. [05:27] This season is going to focus on nourishing your body through food and movement. [06:38] Nourish means creating a customized nutrition plan that serves both men and women of all ages and fitness types. [07:16] The core of our nourish program is going to be about reducing inflammation. [08:19] We want to balance the bacteria in our gut to reset our gut health and brain health by clean eating for just five days a month. [08:30] This means removing inflammatory foods and filling our body with antioxidants. [09:45] We will be bringing experts in to talk about these topics. [10:04] We'll also be breaking down the 5-day eating plan. Links and Resources: To learn more visit EvolutionHospitality.com        

Jun 2019

14 min

Vice President of Sales at Evolution Hospitality, Gary Spencer, answers one of the most commonly asked questions from Evolutionaries, "help, I'm going to corporate, what do I wear?"  As one of Evo's founders, Gary breaks down how fashion is a mode of self-expression, and the style at Evo is really to show up as your authentic self. Learn about how "The Power of Pause," Evo's corporate mindfulness program has been adopted within the sales division.  Gary also discusses how Evo's guiding principles based on servant leadership are implemented with new team members. Show Notes: [01:36] Founder and Vice President of Sales Gary Spencer is here. [02:25] The biggest event EVO is the Annual Leadership Conference. [02:49] A lot of people were wondering what to wear leading up to the leadership conference. [03:21] As a Southern California company, we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We want people to be comfortable, but we also want them to feel good and look good. [04:45] Looking hip and cool starts with a great pair of jeans. Get dark colored jeans that fit your body style. Tuck your shirt in, and sneakers are okay. You can also wear a blazer for the conference. [08:24] The point is to dress for comfort. [09:29] Gary embodies the spirit of fun and working hard. [11:22] The power of pause is fantastic for new hotel takeovers. The first thing we do is start with the power of pause to alleviate anxiety. The power of pause is centering. [13:52] Mindfulness isn't a gimmick, it actually works. [14:27] The power of pause is our corporate mindfulness program that is based in neuroscience, psychology, organizational psychology, and mindfulness. [15:45] If you are healthy at home, you will be healthy at work. [16:44] At Evolution the power of pause begins from the top. [17:22] Gary answers rapid-fire questions. [17:51] Celebrate success wildly is Gary's favorite guiding principle. [20:08] Saying thank you and recognition releases feel-good hormones in the body. Links and Resources: Met Gala 2019 Red Carpet: See All the Celebrity Dresses EVO Annual Leadership Conference Hard Rock Hotel San Diego  

Jun 2019

24 min

Use this guided meditation recorded by Dr. Romie before a team meeting, stand-up or huddle. Take three minutes to pause with this controlled breathing exercise to help quiet the busy brain, connect to calm, and feel focused. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.  

Jun 2019

5 min

In order to improve sleep, reduce stress, and feel energized, we promote digital detox before bedtime at Evolution Hospitality. Thirty to sixty minutes before bedtime shut down your digital devices, get yourself organized for bedtime, and use this 10-minute meditation to help clear your mind and welcome sleep. This recorded guided meditation by Dr. Romie is based in mindfulness techniques and can be used anytime during the day when you need to find your center and connect to calm. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.

Jun 2019

12 min

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed or having difficulty focusing during your workday? Use this guided meditation recorded by Dr. Romie before you send an email, enter a meeting, or make a telephone call. Take three minutes to pause with this controlled breathing exercise to help quiet the busy brain, connect to calm, and feel focused. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.  

Jun 2019

5 min

When you feel like your schedule is controlling your day, your mind has lost focus.  Join Dr. Romie in this brief guided meditation for a brief pause for to refocus your mind.  By using this mindfulness-based exercise, we learn how to anchor our minds in present-centered awareness.  Once we anchor in focus, we then feel back in control of our minds and our day. This recording is a bonus meditation created for Evolution Hospitality as a part of our Power of Pause corporate mindfulness program.

Jun 2019

5 min

Mindfulness is a state of present-centered awareness.  Challenges to feeling centered and focused arise from constant external stimulation and stress in our lives.  The body scan meditation helps us to distance our thoughts from our busy worlds and re-center ourselves. With this special breathing technique, we scan different areas of our bodies and release tension from our muscles.  Take 3-4 minutes and join Dr. Romie's guided body scan anytime during the day when you feel out or control or tense. This is a bonus meditation created for Evolution Hospitality as a part of our Power of Pause corporate mindfulness program.

Jun 2019

11 min

We are responsible for the energy we bring in the room. We cannot control negative situations in our lives, but we can learn to control how we respond with our thoughts, words, and actions.  In this brief guided meditation, Dr. Romie leads you through the process of facing and processing negative emotions.  By using this breath and movement technique, we release stress from our minds, bodies and our schedules.  By releasing negative energy, we become responsible for shifting our energy to a calm consciousness. This is a bonus meditation created for Evolution Hospitality as a part of our Power of Pause corporate mindfulness program.

Jun 2019

7 min

At Evolution Hospitality, one of our guiding principles is to do everything with gratitude and humility.  An attitude of gratitude shifts our minds, moods, and perspective.  How can we pause and shift our mindset to one of gratitude?  Join Dr. Romie in this brief guided meditation to take a journey to a moment of gratitude and learn how to carry this feeling throughout your day. This recording is a bonus meditation created for Evolution Hospitality as a part of our Power of Pause corporate mindfulness program.

Jun 2019

6 min

The Loving-Kindness Meditation (also known as Meta Bhavana) is recited to help foster compassion. It helps to foster kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others.  In this guided meditation, Dr. Romie leads you through the practice of reciting the loving-kindness meditation for oneself, towards loved ones, and the entire team.  Psychology studies have shown that when one recites the loving-kindness meditation, it helps to decrease negative and self-limiting beliefs.  Recite the loving-kindness meditation daily to help shift your perception of yourself and others towards positivity, kindness, and peace. This is a bonus meditation created for Evolution Hospitality as a part of our Power of Pause corporate mindfulness program.

Jun 2019

7 min

There is a critical moment in every high-stakes conversation, that we must pause, self reflect, and take control before we become emotionally hijacked, the "wig snatch" moment.  The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindfulness program designed to help foster self-awareness, wellness, & communication skills. Evo's Corporate Director of Talent, Bulmaro Farias joins Evo's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, for an honest conversation about creating and growing a corporate mindfulness program.   The Power of Pause helps to create a solid foundation for "Crucial Conversations" - the communication training program used at Evo for our leaders and managers. In a fast-paced environment of hospitality, difficult conversations are inevitable, but Crucial conversations can help people with presence, self-awareness, self-regulation, to give the best speech you will ever regret or stop the wig-snatch. Show Notes [02:22] We have been bringing the power of pause to life. Bulmaro's advice was to spend time with all of the different teams. Everyone is hungry for a little centering. [03:31] We want our team members to feel that it's not just corporate embracing mindfulness. We want to do this for the whole company. [03:51] With the housekeeping team, awkward uncomfortable laughter soon shifted into belly laughter full of joy. [03:56] When we all pause together, we find the joy in our bellies. [04:59] The power of pause feels great. Many of us have to work though some things before we get comfortable and realize that we love it. [05:47] We trained 57 champions as our Evo Mindfulness Guides. [06:06] Bulmaro has been by my side helping train others in mindfulness. [06:36] One of the gifts of the power of pause and the Evo culture is having a person as your center [07:22] One of Bulmaro's key takeaway was the amount of growth that happened in the first four hours of training. [08:18] At first, people felt uncomfortable. Something exciting happens at the other side of that pain. [09:14] Evolution hospitality is a differentiator, because we focus on growing from within. We grow our leaders in their emotional development. [10:05] Evolution has a deep level of commitment to mindfulness. [10:57] Bulmaro is a strong advocate for human resources and the brainchild behind Crucial Conversations coming to Evolution Hospitality. [11:45] Crucial Conversations as a model for communicating in difficult scenarios. The model relies on a deep sense of self-awareness and reflection. We first have to understand what is going on in our heads. [13:36] You are responsible for the energy you bring into the room. [15:10] One of the first benefits of a pause is putting yourself in a position to be present. You will be less likely to be emotionally hijacked. [18:32] The pause has been especially beneficial for the sales team under high pressure situations. [20:57] The HR team was the first to adapt the power of pause. [22:14] Soft skills are the most predictive qualities of successful managers. Top business and law schools prioritize personal development over all other classes. [23:10] Behavioral skills permeate both work life and home life. [24:27] Bulmaro takes a pause when it serves him the most. He has guided meditations. He also has the Peloton app. Guided meditation will do the trick. He also prays. [27:04] Test it don't be afraid to fail. Serves him most. It starts with courage. Links and Resources: Bulmaro Farias @DrRomie on Twitter Dr. Romie Mushtaq MD on Instagram Crucial Conversations

May 2019

29 min

This week, we're rewinding to bring you an episode from earlier this year. Please enjoy! Emotions and behaviors are contagious like the flu virus- especially the workplace. The behavioral contagion effect is a well-documented effect in brain science that refers to the propensity for certain behavior exhibited by one person to be copied by others. This is also true of the workplace, the perceived leader's actions and emotions are felt by the entire team. Are you really the perceived leader in the room? Brain science shows that just because you have the title or seniority, it does not mean you are the perceived leader. In this episode of the Evolution Hospitality's Wellness Evolved podcast, you will learn how the behavioral contagion effect plays out in the workplace. Learn how our custom mindfulness program called, "The Power of Pause", is a solution to center yourself back into a calm mindset, control your emotions, and positively impact the collective emotions and behaviors of all of your team members.

May 2019

18 min

How does meditation actually change the function, structure, and health of our brains? Whether you are a skeptic or believer in mindfulness, this episode walks you through how meditation improves brain and mental function. Evolution Hospitality's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, takes you through the latest research studies on the impact of meditation in brain diseases such as depression and memory decline. Meditation also improves how your mind processes information, analytical skills, creativity, and the ability to manage stress.  

May 2019

16 min

Have you had your pause today? Today, we are going to hit the pause button and rewind. This is the first season called the power of pause. Whether you are part of Evo or you're listening from outside of the company, the power of pause is Evolution Hospitality’s mindfulness program. I am Dr. Romie, Evo's Chief Wellness Officer. When I stepped into this role last year, we decided to start our workplace wellness journey with mindfulness. And that's known as the power of pause. This rewind episode takes us on a journey of the last 12 episodes. Our mindfulness journey is based on the latest research and brain science, medical evidence, and organizational psychology. The team that pauses together moves forward and is successful together. Show Notes [02:42] We launched the power of pause initiative one year ago. We gathered our strongest leaders and trained mindfulness Evo guides and champions. [03:06] All of our teams are in various places in the movement. [03:35] Today is going to be a reminder of why we should take a pause, and it will help us navigate through some of the past episodes of this podcast. [04:04] We have over 6000 employees, and we wanted an innovative way to communicate with you. That is why we launched this podcast. [05:02] We are going to answer questions, bring experts in, and highlight other leaders. [05:18] You can learn more about me in episode 4. [06:03] Episode 1 will really help you understand who Evo is and why we not only hire for skills but also for culture. [07:20] Our episode on embracing mindfulness at work will help you implement the power of pause in your life and with your team. [09:16] If you are wondering what to do next listen to our inspiring episode how to grow the power of pause with Michael Kapoulis. [11:15] Find some quiet time and listen to the short interviews. [12:14] There are also bonus issues that take your through the meditations. [13:02] We all have busy brains. Taking a pause will convert that brain into a calm consciousness. Listen to our 3 minute personal mediation for this. [14:12] There is also a 10 minute at home guided meditation. Find a moment to take a pause. If you are doing this than email me how you and your team take a team pause. [17:20] We will be wrapping up our power of pause season and traveling around the wellness triangle. [17:36] This is my strategic plan on how to grow and foster wellness for our team of over 6000. [18:02] Season 2 starts in May and it's going to be about nourishing and nutrition. [18:25] We also have seasons coming up on sleep, finding your calling, and other important wellness initiatives. Links and Resources: Why Workplace Wellness & Mindfulness is Important for Leaders & Culture: Interview with Evo's President John Murphy Evo’s Foundation for Workplace Well-being: Understanding and Implementing The Wellness Triangle Embrace Mindfulness at Work: How to Start & Implement the Power of Pause How to Grow the Power of Pause With Michael Kapoulis Bonus Episode: Home 10 Minute Guided Meditation: Power of Pause Bonus Episode: Personal Pause 3 Minute Guided Meditation: Power of Pause Bonus Episode: Team Pause 3 Minute Guided Meditation: Power of Pause What is & Who is your Chief Wellness Officer? Dr. Romie Pauses to Share Her Story, Vision & Mission as Evo’s CWO Evo@DRRomie.com

Apr 2019

20 min

Rejuvenating our mindfulness power of pause program is a current goal. I am so proud of our mindfulness team of 57 Evo guides. These are people who have dedicated a full day of training on the power of pause and who are going through monthly classes on how to be mindfulness advocates and practice stress reduction. This episode is a quick recap on what the power of pause is and the benefits on a team level. Then I have an interview with Michael Kapoulis the 2018 general manager of the year from the Hyatt Centric Fisherman's Wharf.  His entire team has beautifully and openly embraced the power of pause. We talk about how this helps teams on a business level and each individual on a personal level. We also talk about implementing different techniques for different sectors such as engineering, housekeeping, and the front desk. Show Notes [03:34] The power of pause at Evolution Hospitality is our custom created program that brings together brain science, psychology, and mindfulness to help every evolutionary live up to their full potential. [04:18] The best way to help the power of pause to grow organically is to recruit other people into the movement as power of pause champions. [05:02] Ask enthusiastic group members if they would like to be champions and just ask for volunteers. [05:28] To train other power of pause champions work with them over the phone or in private. Have them read the script and practice with you before they are in a team setting. [06:00] You can also empower them using the voice recordings. Consistency is key so ask that person to lead the pause every day. [07:30] Taking a moment to pause can diffuse a sticky situation with guests. [08:47] Ask employees to take a personal pause before they come to meetings. [11:50] Michael was the general manager at Hotel Adagio and now he's the general manager at Hyatt Centric. Both of these properties are busy tourist destinations in a union stronghold. Michael still found time to embody the culture and embrace the power of pause. [12:58] The guiding principles really helped things at the hotel Adagio. It also solidified the relationship with the team at the Hyatt Centric. [13:40] Michael believes if you take care of your people, they will be there for you. [13:56] Starting the power of pause just takes a couple moments first thing in the morning. It also creates a cohesive team energy. [15:14] The housekeepers are the hardest-working evolutionaries. There was a joy when we all found calm together. [16:20] Michael has a pause with the team, and it helps unite them and lets them know that they are not on their own. [16:55] Michael is all about the team and treating people with respect. [17:23] It's the one-year anniversary of launching the power of pause. We are also training Evo Revolution guides. [18:27] Michael and his partner do something like play a game before bed that doesn't involve screens. This enables Michael to sleep a full 8 hours soundly. The digital detox is very beneficial. [19:30] One of our guiding principles is leading by example. Michael embodies this. [20:14] Michael thinks of the happiest place on earth, Disney, when he takes a pause. This is his happy place. [22:14] Michael's favorite guiding principle is make it better than it was before. [23:20] Michael's advice for new leaders is to truly get to know the people you are working with. Links and Resources: Embrace Mindfulness at Work: How to Start & Implement the Power of Pause Bonus Episode: Team Pause 3 Minute Guided Meditation: Power of Pause Bonus Episode: Personal Pause 3 Minute Guided Meditation: Power of Pause

Apr 2019

26 min

Are you ready to embrace Evolution Hospitality's mindfulness program, "The Power of Pause?"  In this episode, Evo's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, helps you fast forward on implementing Evo's mindful program, "The Power of Pause."  How do you involve your team members and family in the Team Pause ritual?  This episode covers the basics of our mindfulness-based program, how you can get to start with your entire team or family, and what to do when colleagues express objections.   How can you grow a movement as a team of one?   Learn from General Manager Mike Lerman how he built his team on the strength of Evo's guiding principles and the Power of Pause.   Mike was just awarded the 2018 General Manager of the Year for an Acquisition or New Hotel, and he openly shares how the Power of Pause helped him during construction of a new property and getting through a successful grand opening of the AC Sunnyvale Hotel.   

Apr 2019

21 min

Conflict in the workplace amongst team members rarely has to do with the day to day operations, but rather a breakdown in one of three areas- empathy, compassion, and communication. A conversation mismatch occurs when one person speaks processes through the lens of a data-driven mindset, and the other from an emotional mindset. In this episode, Evo’s Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, talks about how the Power of Pause can bring teams together through mindful communication. Take a moment to pause and reflect what your communication style – are you a pressure cooker, silent volcano, or all out-blurt out type of communicator? When we use the Power of Pause to see how others communicate during times of high emotions or stress, the mindfulness-based techniques will help prevent conflict in team meetings and conversations.

Apr 2019

21 min

What are the secrets of starting and sticking to a personal meditation practice?  Is there a right way to meditate? And, does it count if we are using a smartphone app to meditate?  Evo's Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, breaks down all of your answers on how to start a personal meditation and mindfulness practice.  You will not be asked to "empty your brain of all thoughts." Instead, let's discuss the "RPM" method to schedule meditation, correct breathing and posture techniques, and why meditating for 5 to 20 minutes daily will change your brain and shift your outlook on your day.   We will all start with a five-step meditation program: 1) controlled breathing, 2) waterfall moment, 3) the thought bubble, 4) repeating a mantra or phrase while sitting in silence,  5) and then set an intention or goal for the day. You got this Evolutionaries, let's work together to take our "Power of Pause" program into our personal lives.  Our "Power of Pause" champions known as our "Evo Mindful Guides" will be there to guide you as well.

Mar 2019

21 min

In order to improve sleep, reduce stress, and feel energized, we promote digital detox before bedtime at Evolution Hospitality. Thirty to sixty minutes before bedtime shut down your digital devices, get yourself organized for bedtime, and use this 10-minute meditation to help clear your mind and welcome sleep. This recorded guided meditation by Dr. Romie is based in mindfulness techniques and can be used anytime during the day when you need to find your center and connect to calm. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.

Mar 2019

12 min

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed or having difficulty focusing during your workday? Use this guided meditation recorded by Dr. Romie before you send an email, enter a meeting, or make a telephone call. Take three minutes to pause with this controlled breathing exercise to help quiet the busy brain, connect to calm, and feel focused. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.

Mar 2019

5 min

Use this guided meditation recorded by Dr. Romie before a team meeting, stand-up or huddle. Take three minutes to pause with this controlled breathing exercise to help quiet the busy brain, connect to calm, and feel focused. The Power of Pause is Evolution Hospitality's corporate mindful movement, and the program based in neuroscience, organizational psychology, and mindfulness.

Mar 2019

5 min

Emotions and behaviors are contagious like the flu virus- especially the workplace. The behavioral contagion effect is a well-documented effect in brain science that refers to the propensity for certain behavior exhibited by one person to be copied by others. This is also true of the workplace, the perceived leader's actions and emotions are felt by the entire team. Are you really the perceived leader in the room? Brain science shows that just because you have the title or seniority, it does not mean you are the perceived leader. In this episode of the Evolution Hospitality's Wellness Evolved podcast, you will learn how the behavioral contagion effect plays out in the workplace. Learn how our custom mindfulness program called, "The Power of Pause", is a solution to center yourself back into a calm mindset, control your emotions, and positively impact the collective emotions and behaviors of all of your team members.

Mar 2019

18 min

What is a Chief Wellness Officer, and why did Evolution Hospitality decide to create this role? In this episode, the interview hot seat is turned on Dr. Romie Mushtaq, Evolution Hospitality’s CWO- as she candidly shares her personal story and vision as Evo’s very first Chief Wellness Officer. You’ll learn why wellness was a priority for Evo's culture promoting the whole person. Dr. Romie's mission in promoting brain & mental wellbeing in the workplace is in alignment with Evo's dedication to workplace wellness, guiding principles, and culture.

Mar 2019

29 min

Corporate mindfulness and meditation programs are gaining popularity in the United States, but do they really work? In this episode, Evolution Hospitality’s Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Romie, reviews corporate mindfulness programs in the US that were successfully implemented with results. We also discuss Evo’s custom mindful program called “The Power of Pause, that is based in neuroscience and organizational psychology, a first in industry program in hospitality. The Power of Pause encourages Evo team members at corporate headquarters and our hotel properties to take a 3-5 minutes to pause as a team to connect to quiet our busy brains and connect to calm consciousness.

Mar 2019

14 min

Before implementing a successful company-wide wellness and mindfulness program, establishing a foundation or road map to employee well-being is crucial. At Evolution Hospitality (Evo), the company was founded with the idea that we believe in developing the whole person, and Evo's roadmap is the Wellness Triangle.  In this episode, Chief Wellness Officer and host, Dr. Romie, explains the elements of Evo's Wellness Triangle. You'll also hear advice on where to start on mapping out your wellness journey as well as the workplace wellness and mindfulness programs being launched at Evo in 2019.

Mar 2019

18 min

Evolution Hospitality (Evo) was founded in 2011 as a hospitality management company that hires for both highly skilled employees as well as a culture based on our values and guiding principles.  Dr. Romie has a candid and down-to-Earth conversation with Evo's President and CEO John Murphy who discusses why so much attention was paid to building wellness and mindfulness into our culture. In this episode, you'll learn first hand what it means to be an Evolutionary,  practicing servant leadership, and how the Power of Pause program brings together the best of brain science, mindfulness, and Evo's guiding principles.

Mar 2019

24 min

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