A few years ago one of my favorite bosses, Ron, asked me to create a list of things that I was really good at and took great joy in doing. I spent a few moments writing… coaching, mentoring, facilitating, training, writing about lessons I’ve learned, strategic planning, brainstorming.
I scanned the list and then looked across the table at Ron, “To sum it up, sir. I like to tell people what to do.” And the following year I quit my job and went out to make a living doing exactly that.
Now, truthfully, I don’t actually tell people what to do. I listen to them, and then offer perspective and advice based upon what I know to be true and on my own experiences. In short, I give advice. REALLY good advice.
Unfortunately I don’t listen to it all that often.
Case in point, one of the lessons I share almost universally with every client is the need to create space for a mindfulness practice. Whether it’s meditation or walking quietly in nature or spending 30 minutes petting the dog each night - we all have to do something that gives our overtaxed brains some respite.
My go-to mindfulness practice is yoga. Not contort yourself in 110 degree heat super-bendy yoga, but the kind where you slowly stretch, breath and pay attention to what’s happening within the four corners of your mat. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to yoga, consistently, in almost a year.
Which might have a little something to do with why I’ve found, over the past few months, that I’m increasingly susceptible to extreme moments of anxiousness, worry, sadness and disconnection.
At the invitation of Corinne I went back to yoga recently. One hour - ONE HOUR - on the mat and I had clarity and a peace that was so tangible it shocked me. In the days following my return to the studio, I settled on answers for decisions I had been struggling with for weeks. I wrote more than I had in months. I slept better. I felt infinitely more balanced. I felt like I was firing on all cylinders for the first time in a long, long time.
I kept questioning myself - could it really be this easy?
The answer is yes. I don’t have the time to be in the studio 3 - 4 times a week like I used to, but I can go once or twice a week - and have been and it makes a big, big difference. Science says so, and my body and mind say so. Thankfully I decided to start listening to it all again.
We don’t have all the answers to what ails us, of course - but I am pretty convinced that most of us have at least some answers if we quiet our minds, listen and trust.
What do you know to be true for yourself that you are not paying attention to right now? Share your story below, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, better yet, come out to the SheHive and share your wisdom.
With much love and gratitude,