Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Disconnected at last...

I was sitting in the gate area at the airport awaiting boarding for my flight to a Caribbean paradise. I just finished a call to my husband telling him we needed to take more vacations as I could already feel the stress melt away just thinking about my destination. I turned off the data reception on my phone before powering it down. No e-mails, no texts, no calls for four whole days. I experienced no sign of panic as the cell phone icon faded out - just peace as I imagined myself on the beach in my lounge chair, cold beer in hand, with the crystal turquoise water crashing up on the shore.

I recalled a recent conversation in which a friend stated with great pride that he had only taken one short vacation in the three years he had been with his company. "Why?" - I asked. It was such a foreign crazy concept to me. "The work just builds up while I am away and they can't live without me", he replied. How sad - for one to believe it, for two not to train someone to cover your work so you can escape and for three for the company to encourage this behavior and somehow think it is a good thing or to allow it.

We need recovery time.

I am often surprised how people cannot seem to turn off their phones for a short hour - whether it is in church or in yoga class - to have a peaceful experience. The world will survive without them, their friends can wait an hour for a response. You have to let yourself escape for your health.

We always rest at the end of yoga class in silence, on the floor on our backs letting everything sink into the floor completely relaxed. For some people it may be the only two minutes all day they really relaxed. It is so good for you. Turn it off. See how long you can last. Don't take that phone with you for one short errand. It is freeing.

I'll Come to Class After I Get Flexible

We all have those lists. Those things we want to do once we get to a certain point in life. Once we weigh a certain amount we will buy those fancy jeans. When we get enough money we are going to take that trip. When the kids are grown up we will finally have some free time...

I hear people say it all the time - "I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible. I'll work on getting flexible and then I will come to your class." I have to tell them - that is why you need to come now - to get flexible. If you wait until you are - the day will never get here.

See you in class.

On My Honor I Will Try

I was presenting on Creativity to a group of over 200 people at a dinner meeting of quality professionals and project managers. I mentioned a psychological study that found the more creative people think they are - the more creative they actually are. I then said we were going to TRY to change their perception of their creative selves and unleash their creative spirit. Then I laughed as I realized my blunder. I explained that I teach a course on Presentation Skills and I encourage the presenters to avoid the use of tentative phrases (i.e. try, hope). They should be confident and say "we will" or "we are going to". I asked the audience if any of them were ever boy scouts and a scattering raised their hands. "Do you remember the boy scout motto?" I asked, and a few of those hands dropped. "It starts off with - on my honor I will" I exclaimed. "How about girl scouts? any former girl scouts in the audience?" and several hands went up. "How does the girl scout motto begin?" I queried. "On my honor I will try... boy scouts will do it and girl scouts will try" I exclaimed. But tonight we WILL - change your perception of your creative self." And they were on board - and we did!

In yoga class I always tell them it is a practice not a performance. That we are going to try to do the poses and do the best we can, while always backing off if it doesn't feel right. And they TRY - and eventually they DO the pose.

Are you "trying" or are you "doing"? Even if you are only "trying" you will find that one day you end up "doing" too.