APMP2016 - Association of Proposal Management Professionals


APMP2016 - Association of Proposal Management Professionals
Surviving the “Death March”
Stress Management for Proposal Professionals
Presented by Jennifer E. Roberts
Views on the “March”
• Is your experience of those last stages of
proposals like a funeral march?
Views on the so-called March
• Or this? New Orleans Funeral Procession
Agenda and Topics
Conquering Fear
Overcoming the strain of time limits
Empowering the 5 senses
Mind over matter
Exercises for mind and body
Activities and Ground Rules
Experiential session
Leave self criticism at the door
Mobile phones silenced
Bring your sense of humor for joke breaks
Sharing breaks in pairs or triads
Participate in exercises
Activate your imagination
Raffle for balance ball. Win extra tickets when you tell a joke.
Welcome to Flight 1.11(insert your proposal)
Use of the oxygen mask (not included on some turboprops which do not fly high enough to need supplemental oxygen in a decompression
emergency) with associated reminders:
that the passenger should always fit his or her own mask before helping children, the disabled, or persons requiring assistance
About care and self respect
Where are you leading others?
Does Stress turn you into this?
Godzilla 1954
Or can you destress like this?
Relaxed cat
What keeps you up at night?
(Besides late writers)
Confusing RFP instructions and arguments
Unrealistic deadlines
Blame, shame,and justification cycles
Personality conflict
Last minute amendments
• Pair off for 2 minutes sharing
Sharing Break
Realities of proposals
• Procrastination
• One person's deadline is a proposal manager's
all nighter
• Lack of sleep
• Bad food, too many carb and sugar snacks
• Uncomfortable war rooms and hotels
• Sitting and lack of exercise
Overcoming the prime stress emotion
Fear: Snake or Rope?
Mistaking the rope for the snake, fear came to a man
and made him call somebody else to kill the snake. His
nervous system began to shake; his heart began to
beat... All these manifestations came from fear, and he
discovered it was a rope, and they all vanished. The
mind which saw the rope and took it for a snake was
not under a delusion. If it had been, it would not have
seen anything. One thing is taken for another, not as
something that does not exist.
"The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari"
Fear vs Reality
• When we interpret requirements in our RFP, are
we seeing reality?
• If our reaction is fear, we lose perspective
• Centering the mind and calming our physical
reactions increases focus
• Share in pairs—what are your fears? (Public
speaking, spiders, heights, elevators…etc.)
Self care in limited time
Simple ways to rejuvenate
Exercises for mind and Body
Increase Focus
Reduce stress
Rather than numb the brain and emotions, recharge your focus
and exercise body and mind
Exercise—Basic standing posture
• Remove shoes
• Stand in place
• Rock front and back on
feet, feel heels and toes
• Arms hang at side,
shoulders loose
• Look straight forward
• Imagine silver cord pulling from
ground straight up through crown
of head
• Experience your balance -feet are
on contact with ground
• Lean from waist to right, then to
• Arms hang at side, shoulders
• This is a basic "tree pose"
Exercise: Neck rolls-be gentle
At the start of your project, writing
Bend head to right 3 times
Repeat left
Drop head forward 3 times gently
Drop head gently back 3 times
Roll head - 3 times right, 3 times left
• From Edgar Cayce's writing
Head neck stretch
Hold head and lightly tilt to left and right to stretch neck
Roll head
Head roll continued
Head roll continued
Continued chair stretches
• Stretch in chair right to left
Side turn in chair
Side turn in chair
Standing and floor stretches
Sitting for long periods wreaks havoc on hips
Try stretches in your office or home regularly
Please secure a rolling chair against a wall or desk. Stretch inner hip,
repeat for right and left.
Hamstring stretch following hip stretch
Please be sure your rolling chair is stable
Floor stretch
Raise arm for more of a stretch
Hamstring stretch
Upper body stretch using yoga strap (can substitute a belt
or bath towel)
Back stretch using strap, belt or towels
Self hug
Need I say more?
Send the love to others
Vocalizing to release emotions
To clear lungs and stress
The misunderstood and misused disappearing "H"
Lessons in choir--sing Hallelujah with "H"
Say loudly Ha Ha Ha
Force breath with a push from diaphragm
Or more discreet, slow yawn "haaaa"
Stretch arms out like you're yawning
Joke Break
Practice your “HA HA HA”
How do you get down from an elephant?
Why don't whales use deodorant?
How many proposal managers does it take to
change a light bulb?
First, to sit in the posture In which you can sit
still for a long long time. All the nerve currents
which are working pass along the spine. The
spine is not intended to support the weight of
the body. Therefore the posture must be such
that the weight of the body is not on the spine.
Let it be free from all pressure. (Swami
Vivekananda )
Spine - Autonomic Nervous System
Spine is the conduit of your nervous system,
relates to all organs and glandular systems
• Lotus posture relieves pressure on spine and
aligns energy flow, releasing blocks
• Try this every day at home
• Gaiam ball chair relieves back end pressure
• Standing desks used by many high tech
Balance ball chair
Standing desk
The health benefits and risks
seated desk are disputed. Research has
linked health risks with both sitting and
standing for prolonged periods.[1] While
many studies have examined the risks of
prolonged sitting due to a sedentary
lifestyle or prolonged standing due
working conditions, these studies do not
directly answer whether or not using a
standing desk provides more health
benefits than risks, because they do not
distinguish work or recreation at a
standing desk from blue-collar work or
Postures for spine alignment
• The "Sun Salutation” (Surya Namaskar) is an ancient
and proven series of poses for maximum spinal
• Meditators sit for long hours, developed for spinal
health and strength
• Any of the poses are good
• We will do standing poses
• You can do anytime, anywhere
Postures for excellent spine alignment
Surya Namaskar "Sun Salutation"
Exercise-Standing poses
Standing poses from Surya Namaskar
You can do this anywhere, at a desk, in a
conference room
2 minute break
Breathing to Focus and Reset Fear reaction
Close eyes
Focus inner sight on the "movie screen" inside eyelids
Close right nostril, inhale through left 5 times
Long slow inhale,long slow soundless exhale
Alternate - hold closed right nostril - 2 times
Do this 3 times
Credit: Dr. Vanaja Reddy
Breathing for stress relief and higher
brain function
Use your lung capacity to the fullest
With techniques that maximize benefits you
were made to experience!
Then there are various sorts of breathing exercises.
One consists of three parts: the drawing in of the
breath, the holding of the breath —stopping still
without breathing —and throwing the breath out.
Some breathing exercises are rather difficult, and
some of the complicated ones are attended with
great danger if done without proper diet. I would not
advise you to go through any one of these except the
very simple ones.
Take a deep breath and fill the lungs. Slowly throw the
breath out. Take it through one nostril and fill the lungs, and
throw it out slowly through the other nostril. Some of us do
not breathe deeply enough. Others cannot fill the lungs
enough. These breathings will correct that very much. Half
an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening will
make you another person. This sort of breathing is never
dangerous. The other exercises should be practiced very
slowly. And measure your strength. If ten minutes are a
drain, only take five (Paramahansa Yogananda)
Basic soundless breathing
Place tip of tongue up on roof of mouth-palette
Gently and deeply inhale with making sound on inhale or exhale
Exercise: divide into groups of 3
Two people talk, one breathes
Are you are less susceptible to external noises?
The tongue pressure on your palette helps to reduce hearing and
• Like a mini escape
• Credit Dr. Vanaja Reddy
Leonardo’s Helmet for Stress Reduction
From Leonardo DiVinci’s drawing of Archangel St. Michael
Helmet represents how thoughts move and divert around brain
Visualization for protection
Reduce stress and recharge with the
Hear Sound-live music
Feel - get warm fuzzies
Taste - get healthy
Color me calm and Productive
What you see—Color scheme for daily
Color advantage
• What do you wear to a funeral? Black is negative
• Black blocks the good rays of the sun and
contributes to osteoporosis
• Color brings in and conveys good energy.
• The following slide is a daily color scheme. You can
try this with scarves or ties as you progress
through your wardrobe
See me—Daily color scheme
Monday - white
Tuesday - red (or orange-the red family)
Wednesday - green
Thursday - peach, beige , brown, cream
Friday - yellow
Saturday - blue and black
Sunday - bright pink/magenta
Hear sounds, music
Live sounds and music are the best
Listen to nature sounds
Live performance
A=432 Hz, known as Verdi's 'A' is an
alternative tuning that is mathematically
consistent with the universe.
• Feed your brain
• During times of high brain activity, avoid
stimulants and depressants
• Sugar turns into a crash
• Stock your war room with protein and
• It's easy to get gluten free
War rooms, offices , and hotels can be sterile
Bring a little fuzziness into your touch
Fuzzy slippers or socks
And what's better than your dog or cat?
Do stretches and give yourself a hug
Hurrah for fuzzy slippers
Sniff sniff
• Improve your environment and mood with
• Aromatherapy, you can get anywhere
• Grapefruit or tangerine for cheer
• Lavender calms
• Camphor, eucalyptus, peppermint clear
sinuses and comfort sore muscles
Three - way sharing
Share your favorite color, fragrance, music,
or your pet—cat, dog, or other
Motivation and Time Management
“Sure I am that this day we are masters of our fate, that the
task which has been set before us is not above our
strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond my
endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and
an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
Winston Churchill
Relativity of Time
Time is relative
Motivation and focus
Shortest route
When you're sharp, focus improves reaction
• Tasks don't take as long
• Exercises and visualizations
Overcoming Sleep Deprivation
• Sleep is necessary for our health
• When time robs you of sleep, some
meditations and visualizations, along with
gentle exercise, can rejuvenate you
• Many health problems from lack of sleep
• Sleep properly with back support
• The best defense against the crunch of time is
a strong offensive line
• Motivation sets up for success
• Proposal Managers know to front load
milestones in the schedule
• Here are a few "mind over matter"
Right and left brain hemispheres
Exercise for Brain connection
• Connect the left and right brain - analyst and
creative solutions
• Raise left hand above head palm up
• Right hand palm faces the floor
• Imagine a line connecting the left and right hand
• At the end of writing or project, reverse
Credit to Manin Erixon-Stanford-Merrit, VeinsofSilver.org
Motivational Pyramid
Red motivates and energizes, pyramid is solid, balanced
Credits to VeinsofSilver.org; Manin Erixon-Stanford-Merritt
Golden Sun Disk
Energizes the Pineal gland in center of head, increases speed of thought and focus
Credits to VeinsofSilver.org; Manin Erixon-Stanford-Merritt
Why brain activation reduces stress
Increase gland function in brain
Change brain waves
Control stress hormones
Access same hormones and brain waves that
are generated during sleep
• Controls appetite
• Increase feelings of peace
Scientific physical centers
Pineal and Pituitary glands
Pineal Gland
• The pineal gland, also known as the pineal body, conarium
or epiphysis cerebri, is a small endocrine gland in the
vertebrate brain. It produces melatonin, a serotonin
derived hormone, which affects the modulation of sleep
patterns in both seasonal and circadian rhythms. Its
shape resembles a tiny pine cone (hence its name), and it
is located in the epithalamus, near the center of the brain,
between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where
the two halves of the thalamus join.
Pineal and pituitary gland
Pituitary Gland
• The pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine
gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 grams
(0.018 oz) in humans. Located just behind the bridge
of the nose, it is a protrusion off the bottom of the
hypothalamus at the base of the brain.The anterior
pituitary (or adenohypophysis) is a lobe of the gland
that regulates several physiological processes
(including stress, growth)
Pituitary Gland
Pituitary Gland
Hormones secreted from the pituitary gland help control: growth, blood pressure, certain
functions of the sex organs, thyroid glands and metabolism as well as some aspects of
pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, water/salt concentration and the kidneys, temperature
regulation and pain relief.
Pineal and Pituitary work together
• Pineal gland is cone shaped and is located in the middle of the
brain behind and just above the pituitary gland. The pineal
gland contains pigment similar to that found in the eyes and is
connected to the optic thalami, hence it controls the action of
light upon our body.
• The pineal gland is located in the posterior end of the third
ventricle of the brain and the pituitary gland is located in the
roof of the third ventricle.
• It is said that the joining of the essences of these two glands in
the third ventricle is what opens the Third Eye.
Brain waves
• Theta waves (4-7 cps) occur in sleep and are
dominant in our highest state of meditation. We
normally only experience theta waves as we drift off
to sleep, during some dreaming, and as we return
from the depths of delta sleep. The pictures we
perceive as we drift off and awaken are in theta
wave. During theta wave meditations, we are in a
waking dream where vivid imagery flashes before our
inner vision.
Lotus posture showing energy centers of spine and associated colors and
musical notes
The 7 Energy centers and endocrine glands
• Root chakra (1st) — Reproductive glands (testes in men; ovaries in women); - about base
• Sacral chakra (2nd) — Adrenal glands; regulates the immune system and metabolism.
• Solar Plexus chakra (3rd) — Pancreas; regulates metabolism.
• Heart chakra (4th) — Thymus gland; regulates the immune system.
• Throat chakra (5th) — Thyroid gland; regulates body temperature and metabolism.
• Third Eye chakra (6th) — Pituitary gland; produces hormones and governs the function
of the previous five glands; sometimes, the pineal gland is linked to the third eye chakra
as well as to the crown chakra.
• Crown chakra (7th) — Pineal gland; regulates biological cycles, including sleep.
Hand positions to control stress
Also called “mudras"
Do these when you need a boost
20 minutes of simple recharge
Conclusions and summary
You can't control everything,
But you can control how you react
Speaker Contact
Jennifer E. Roberts, CF-APMP
Proposal Manager, ManTech
Herndon, VA
[email protected] 703-488-2085;
• Personal: [email protected]; 703-855-8260
Credits and Resources
People, books, resources
Resources, Books
• Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa
• Swami Vivekananda, various writings
• The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma
• Edgar Cayce, various writings
• Mignon Manin Erixon-Stanford-Merritt
• Reverend, Shaman, owner at Veins of Silver,
LLC and
• Smithsonian Internet
• VeinsofSilver.org
• Woodbridge, Virginia
Dr. Vanaja Reddy
Hyderabad, India;
Chantilly, Virginia
[email protected]
Yogarjun/Yoga Therapist, and a highly regarded Yogini and
Guru from Hyderabad. Certified Yoga Alliance teacher, and
Naturopathy practitioner, she is the first & youngest woman
to receive the Yogarjun Award
Rolston James,
Army veteran,
personal trainer, coach
YMCA, Reston, Virginia
Email [email protected]
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902),
born Narendranath Dutta (Bengali: [nɔrend̪ro nat̪ʰ
d̪ɔt̪t̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk and chief disciple of
the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a
key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies
of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world[4] and is
credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing
Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during
the late 19th century.[5] He is perhaps best known for
his speech which began, "Sisters and brothers of
America ...,"[7] in which he introduced Hinduism at the
Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in
1893. He later travelled to the United States,
representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World
Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public
and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets
of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and
Parahamansa Yogananda
Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস য োগোনন্দ) (5 January 1893 – 7
March 1952), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মু কুন্দলোল য োষ), was an
Indian yogi and guru who introduced millions of westerners to the
teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography
of a Yogi published in 1946,
Yogananda was the first Hindu teacher of yoga to spend a major portion
of his life in America. He lived there from 1920—1952, interrupted by an
extended trip abroad in 1935–1936 which was mainly to visit his guru in
India though he undertook visits to other living western saints like
Therese Neumann the Catholic Stigmatist of Konnesreuth and places of
spiritual significance en route.
In 1920 he founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and in 1925
established in Los Angeles, California, USA, the international
headquarters for SRF.
Yogananda wrote the Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the
Christ Within You and God Talks With Arjuna — The Bhagavad Gita'
Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce was born on March 18, 1877, near Beverly, south of
Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was one of six children of farmers Leslie B.
Cayce and Carrie Cayce.
Cayce directed his activities to provide readings centred around health.
As a humble individual full of self-doubts, Cayce never profited from his
mystic gift. He read the Bible every day, taught Sunday School, and
helped others only when asked. Many did ask, and over the years he
produced readings that diagnosed health problems, prescribed dietary
regimens, dealt with psychic disorders, and predicted future events
such as wars, earthquakes, and changes in governments. Enough of
his diagnoses and predictions proved true to silence many skeptics and
to develop a wide following.
In 1929 the Cayce hospital was established in Virginia Beach,
sponsored by a Morton Blumenthall, a recipient of the trance readings.
Jennifer E. Roberts