Mojo Monday 5: Dancing with Trees

 

Tree Power

It’s a well established fact that being in nature is good for body, mind and soul. But when in nature, do we listen, or do we stay plugged in to our music, our thoughts, our need to label and define what we see. The power of nature is that it provides conditions to listen and by doing so bring inside oneself a moment of not knowing, not being in the head. What a gift that is.

Resources

There are hundreds of tree deities, here is one of many links to inspire:

https://steemit.com/deity/@new-age-myanmar/tree-deities-around-the-world

 

Mojo Monday 4: Ways to Wake Up!

The phenomenon of waking up

Everybody in the world wakes up in the morning, but each one of us experiences it uniquely. If you consider all the different causes of waking up, from bad dreams or eating too much icecream the night before to loud sounds outside your window to the person sleeping beside you who snores. If you consider all that, you realize that waking up is not so much done by us, but that we are encouraged or helped to wake up by the world – both internally and externally.

That takes the pressure off somehow.

Message behind the message

There is no shortage of advice on how to start your day in a way that makes you feel like you’re in control. Set your alarm at this hour, meditate for this amount of time, drink this kind of smoothie etc. But what if your day doesn’t start off under your control? What if your neighbor is loud, life’s pressures overwhelm you so much you can’t sleep or your roomate decides to play a prank by throwing ice over you? What if life doesn’t happen according to plan starting the moment you wake up?

 

 

 

Live the Questions Now

some questions move us

When I was eight, the first book I read after Charlotte’s Web was Tell Me Why:Answers to Hundreds of Questions Children Ask by Arkady Leokum. Titillating questions like, “Can grasshoppers hear? How much blood is in our body? What is the speed of thought?” fascinated me, more so than did the answers.

Still, I loved knowing the answers. (Understanding things – yes. But also being right.) In fact, having THE answer became a survival mechanism in childhood. And like most survival mechanisms, devolved beyond its usefulness well into my adulthood.

Suffice it to say that I’ve come to realize that the magic IS the question. There is a bit of hope that lives inside a real question. It is said that the most powerful questions are those that can’t be answered. The poet and writer, Rainer Maria Rilke, captures this point well when he writes,

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

These are the most intriquing but also the most challenging types of questions to stay with. One such question that I’ve had for decades (or rather, it’s had me!) is how to be a complete human being? That is, what does it mean to think and act humanely, when it’s easy but also, when it’s most difficult. This question has given me much in terms of insight, patience, and courage, in exchange for resisting the urge to settle on a definite answer. You know the type, the kind you can put in a box with a bow on it. But have you, like me, discovered that some questions are more valuable, unanswered and lived instead?

Mojo Monday 3: Multitask w/Movement

Multitasking, Seizing the Opportunity or something else altogether?

If you live in this world of technology, constant information and full schedules, you probably multitask from time to time. But did you know that there is a great deal of research supporting the fact that multitasking seems more productive than it actually is. This video makes fun of our tendency to believe that we can (and should) squeeze the most out of each minute…even before we get to work. No wonder we’re exhausted!

At the same time, it makes good sense to move when you can, especially if your day is spent at a desk. To that point, this video is a fun way to experiment exercising in moments before and after your daily tasks (like doing bicep curls while on the phone or taking the stairs instead of the escalator etc.) And something great movement and certain exercises in particular (like pushups!) it’s hard to do anything else while you do it. So is it multitasking or seizing the opportunity?

Beyond experimenting with exercise in the moments in between, there is another idea behind this video. And that is that what we take as ordinary, routine – like walking from the bedroom to the kitchen – can, with just a bit of imagination (in this case, a lunge) be transformed into a micro-adventure. In moving through space in a different way, you experience the world in a different way. Try it and see – I’d love to hear what you discover.

Resources

This video is dedicated to my trainer, Eric Nelson, whose expertise and committment helped me get back to the weight room. If you live in the Bay Area and are looking for great trainer, here’s how to reach him.

Eric Nelson staysinmotionfitness@gmail.com

 

 

 

Mojo Monday 2: Wiggle Everywhere

Wiggling can be an anecdote to being too serious/adult

Wiggling is an activity that most adults consider childish, and even ridiculous. Funny thing is that most adults can’t wiggle. So that tells me that, its not that its ridiculous, it’s that adults are hiding the fact that they can no longer (or believe they can no longer) do this thing, behind the oh-so-adult-behavior of judging. When you wiggle your body, its almost impossible to be angry, worried, or self-centered.

Wiggle for a minute and see what changes, from the inside out. You might be surprised.

 

Inner Courage Instead of Thick Skin

I have a client working with someone who is making his job very difficult. My client’s team is located around the world, so he has to manage them remotely. Not easy.

As he’s talking about this particular individual he says, “I just have to get tougher-skin to handle this person and focus on getting past this deadline.”

His use of the words “tougher-skin” caught my attention because they were out of character for him. His management style and strength as a leader draw as much from his ability to be direct, strong and clear as they do from his compassion, understanding and self-awareness. This is not a guy who looks for short cuts.

I suspected that the term tough-skin was not going to be helpful for my client as a way to manage his employee because it didn’t really fit with who he is as a person. But I didn’t know what to suggest as an alternative. Tough-skin, thick-skinned…etc – most expressions that convey strength are associated with hardness. In other words, extremely limited. What could he focus on to help him deal with this person the way he wanted to, from his best self? I thought about individuals who exemplified strength without hardness or harshness, like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh. What wInner Wisdomas their metaphor?

And it clicked – focus on what you know about your highest self, that essential quality you understand through mind and heart. That quality that you sometimes feel is both your weakness and your strength. That thing that is a part of your essence.

In my client’s case, a core value for him is compassion. So I said to him, “The world is full of leaders with tough-skin…but a lot of them are a**holes. Then there are others who may not be jerks, but who shrink before real challenges that call for a deeper kind of strength. You don’t strike me as either type. So, how can you draw even more from your compassion to be stronger?”

After a long pause he said, “You’re right, that’s what I want. To lead from who I am.”

“Exactly,” I said, “If you do that, it won’t matter whether or not your skin is tough.”