A lesson from yoga training that will help you start showing up at work
A year ago on a whim, I studied to be a first level certificated yoga instructor. I say on a whim because I hadn’t done that much yoga in my life. However, when we purchased a home on the Caloosahatchee River earlier that year, I had a vision of a yoga class on the lawn by the water. Indeed, I was excited to make the vision into a reality.
Surprisedly, in that training, I learned more than stuff about body alignment and flexibility (remember I was a novice, at best). One of the many things that stuck with me that I still recite when a new student joins us is how important it is to shut up the brain and show up on the mat. Notably, I learned, quieting the mind involves three key elements (all driven by the ego). Once we calm the mind, then we begin showing up at work.
Let Go of Competition. Let Go of Judgment. Letting Go of Expectations. tweet
The parallels of yoga and work
Like in yoga, in work and life, it’s important to shut up the chatter in the brain. Conversely, we have a choice – stuck in our head or show up. Be present. Be engaged. We are stuck in our heads about others (competition), our performance (judgment) or how it all pans out in the future (expectations). Instead of realizing everyone is running their own race. How we feel or perform on any given day is a myriad of factors including how well we sleep, ate, our mood, and many other things that are out of our control. And expectations are a shot in the dark. Up to the present time, it was a great lesson, and I loved sharing that with new students. However, it finally happened. I began to live yoga off the mat.
A year later and it finally clicked
As a writer, it’s hard to know if you’re making “it” happen. For me, that means inspiring people. It’s easy to know you’re making it happen when a writer has millions of followers. Surprisingly, I had learned years ago that I’m running my own race so rarely do I find myself stuck in my head over the competition. Of course, I’m human, so it does happen but not often. However, the second lesson, no judgment is a killer for me. Most of the time it’s going on without my even noticing.
For example, last Friday I woke up in a great mood, had my inspiration for writing and nailed it right out of the gate. Unfortunately, the only gauge I have for how inspirational it was is how many likes and shares a post receives. Notably, it didn’t fair as well as I thought based on that metric. Conversely, Monday I woke up in a horrible mood (thanks to political drama in the news), felt no inspiration at all, and wasn’t all that pleased with the output. In my mind, I knew it was going to be a fail. I was in such a poor mood I decided not even to bother looking at the metrics. Consequently, I decided to look on Tuesday morning. Amazingly, Monday’s metrics were almost three times that of Friday. In effect, the day I felt I did the best I did the worst. As I questioned “how could that be?” a little voice whispered.
Your job isn’t to judge the work. Your job is to show up and do the work. -Karen Zeigler tweet
Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow
Take a few moments and reflect on your life’s work:
- Where are you stuck in your head ruminating over the competition, your own judgment or expectations?
- What methods can you put in place to quiet the mind so that you can show up and do the work?
- Who can you partner with that can help you?