Five days in the forest, watching a full moon rise over redwoods, meditating with eyes wide open. Four days in the mountains with 150 strangers, learning about social media, dancing, and making art. Plus teaching these amazing entrepreneurs about mindfulness to grow their businesses.
Over the last two weeks, I stepped out of the flow of LA to embrace two life-changing experiences. In the first, at a Tantric Buddhist retreat, my perception of reality completely shifted. During one meditation I saw the whole world go white – the multicolored prayer flags around me swirled their yellow, red, blue together, then the scene pixalated, then I saw nothing. Even while my eyes remained open.
This flash of white light was not me dying or the end of the world. It was a reminder nothing is as it seems. We see things and give them meaning, oftentimes woven with our old stories and fears and limiting beliefs. That white light was the flashpoint of creation and destruction: the raw energy behind each of our experiences, emotions, and thoughts.
I tend to hold on to things tightly. Yoga and meditation help me breathe spaciousness into my need to know, to control, to predict – transforming it into curiousity, trust, and the uncovering of deeper realities. These tools can even transform rigidity into creativity (find 25 ways to do so in The Creative Executive on Amazon).
When we can sit still long enough to question life as we think it is, new opportunities are possible. Clarity arrives. Constraints lighten and evaporate. Where do you feel stuck? What do you want to shift right now?
I believe a key to leadership and business is being able to shift assumptions, to create new realities and therefore new products and services.
Meeting fellow entrepreneuers also catalyzes a new mindset. During the second weekend away, at CAMP (@theuniquecamp), Shaun Evaristo shared how movement unveils new aspects of our being (@whatmovesu). Teressa Foglia shared secret tips on social media. And Kevin Hainline, astrophysicist and crazy motivational sky speaker, shared stories about the birth of new stars.
Upon returning, I’m re-evaluating the way I express my work. Perhaps re-branding Executive Sutra to something more tangible, resonant, and clear. Building a brand combining business and yoga is not always easy. I know these tools can help more people.
What do you think about the words Mindful Manager? Or Mindful Life? Your opinion matters to me and to my business, and to everyone looking for new ways to convert stress into joy and success.
As we close out 2015, it’s a perfect time to let things go and hibernate, to prepare for the next year and do things differently. I’d love to hear your thouhts about the role of stress in your life, the challenges your business is facing, and how you plan to grow and develop as a leader next year. Plus any ideas or input on our new brand! Connect here in the comments, or send me a message at JessicaSchmidt@ExecutiveSutra.com.
Final thoughts: Sometime this week, even if it’s cold, even if nature seems far away, get outside. Take 5 minutes to meditate. Talk to an entrepreneur. Get inspired and ready to change.