This past week was a doozy and a tale in the sometimes contradictory yet co-dependent sides of my life. I started my week at a leadership training called Search Inside Yourself.The training originated at Google and is centered around how cultivating emotional intelligence through practices such as mindfulness can make you a more effective leader. It was the perfect training for me because it allowed me to see how I can bring more of my yoga, Ayurveda and meditation practices and trainings into my day job. I was completely immersed in the training and both learned new skills and was reminded of old ones I may not use as often as I could.
The course ended Tuesday evening. After it ended, I had to head to the airport to take a red eye to NYC where I landed at 5:00am local time so I could attend a 9:00am meeting. I then turned around and headed back to California Wednesday evening so I could be back for a two day offsite that started Thursday morning. Even typing this I am not sure how I did all of this, but I did and am now spending my weekend recovering.
As part of my weekend recovery, I re-read my notes from my training and realized that I did not do a good job of incorporating any of the learnings from Monday and Tuesday into the rest of my week. In looking at my notes I was reminded of the concept of being on autopilot vs. being aware. On Monday and Tuesday, I was fully aware, completely present and in the moment. I got myself through the Wednesday – Friday part of my week, by going on autopilot. I hunkered down, got it all done, got everywhere I needed to be on time but did it my separating from my body and mind – not being in them. I was focused on getting through the journey, not what I was experiencing while in it.
I have another big week ahead of me. Granted, I don’t have to fly across the country and back in under 24 hours, but it is chock full of offsites, meetings and socializing. My goal is to see if I can get myself through this week by being aware and not on autopilot and see if it feels different. I am going to do this by getting my butt to yoga before the meetings begin. I am going to be present and pay attention in the meetings and not be distracted on my phone or computer. I am going to meditate and also cultivate some of the mico practices that were shared with me during my training. Mico practices are simple things you can incorporate throughout your day to bring yourself back to awareness. One that you can do at any time you find yourself feeling anxious, distracted or uncentered is to take three breaths. On the first, just focus on your breath. The second, relax your body. And the third, ask yourself what matters right now.
Just by focusing on three breaths you can shift your perspective from autopilot to aware. I am looking forward to seeing how I can mindfully get through a busy week with awareness vs. being on autopilot. I will keep you posted and report back!