Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Person's Name is Important

I attended a women's business lunch the other day and struck up a conversation with a very tall, impressive and fun woman at my table.  I loved everything about her, especially her very red jacket and the fact that as a tall woman she still wore high heels.  When I was young I used to wear flat shoes to keep myself from towering over all the boys.  No more.  After the meeting was over and the crowd headed to the hotel doors to retrieve their cars we ran into each other at the valet line.  She was behind me in line.  We were talking while she paid her ticket.  When she received her receipt, she thanked the valet and called him by his name.  She gained even more respect in my eyes in that short moment. 

I wrote an e-mail to her later that day - and I said -
"You know what I really like about you? – that as busy as it was outside at the valet stand you addressed the guy taking our tickets by his name – “Tony”.  I usually do that – but was distracted by our conversation and activity around us. Thank you so much for that reminder.  I always found out the names of the maids in our office building when I worked in “corporate America” – God knows I saw them often enough when I stayed late J. My father was a strong advocate of the “little man” - the one behind the scenes who doesn't always get all the attention but who without them, nothing would run smoothly. Though I was too young, my sister remembers him sending a check to the family of the police officer (J.D.Tippit – Dallas police officer) who was killed when Kennedy was shot (and with a family of eight kids – you know there wasn’t much extra money laying around to do that kind of thing) because everyone was giving their attention to the Kennedy’s and no one was really thinking about that police officer’s family (at least publicly).  I loved that about my dad."

In yoga class I try to remember people's names and ask them - sometimes more than once or twice.  If I see them often it is easier for me to remember them, but it usually comes back to me no matter how long it has been since I last saw them. I love how they don't mind me asking again and again - until I get it right. I admit having called a few people by the wrong name for months until some light conversation eventually gets me corrected. 

Remember to get their name - it's important - and then - remember their name - it's priceless.

Pick a Pose

When we start off fresh for the new year, many people make new year's resolutions.  Their hearts and will power are in it and they make a list of all the things they are going to do differently this year.  After all, the year is new and everything is possible.  But as January ends and February begins, many of those resolutions fall by the wayside.  Every year the process is repeated.  Hopes and dreams and diets and skinny jeans lay on the floor in a rumpled mess. I believe a few subtle changes might make the outcome entirely different.  One change would be to find a resolution buddy - be it a friend, a co-worker, or a coach.  This person will be your someone to support you when the going gets rough and to be accountable to.  And don't let them go as soon as you meet your goals or your new habits are in place.  Keep them close at hand to keep you on track for the future as there is no going back to the old way of doing things. The second change would be to pick just one thing to focus on and do that really really well. Your other wants and wishes and desires may get done in the process, but the one thing you focus on will surely make progress.  What would you pick from your list?

In a recent yoga class I encouraged the group to pick just one yoga pose to focus on for that day or the next few weeks. I encouraged them to pay attention to where they were in that pose today.  Then as the weeks unfold, note how much better they are getting in the pose.  The changes in yoga can be very quick in a short period of time.  It is a good idea to start with a benchmark so that you can be reminded and inspired by your progress.

Pick a pose - see how your ability grows.