Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Find comfort in the pose"

I had a small epiphany today: open, honest and genuine communication can completely alter a situation. I had a good day at work. I'm always more than a little amazed when I'm having a fairly enjoyable day at work. Probably because I hated everything about it with so much passion for so long. Actually, my "dis-passion" was the only thing I was passionate about (I know, I'm ending sentences with a preposition...send in the grammar Nazis!). Am I eating my own words from the previous post when I was so completely frustrated with the reminder that "it's not the situation that needs to change, just your attitude?" Quite possibly. I saw a sign in a window today that read, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll still land among the stars." My immediate reaction was a small smile and I felt the slightest lift in my spirit...until "that" part of my mind chimed in and said, "Sure, unless you fall so short that you end up burning up in the atmosphere." Ouch! Really?! When did I get that pessimistic?! And I only say and think things like that to and about myself. I have far more encouraging thoughts and words for others, and I believe and hope for every one of them. So why don't I do the same for myself?

So, anyways, work was surprisingly good, and it was doing one of the things I usually hating doing the most: meetings. One of my responsibilities is holding little "trainings" or meetings with the people in my areas of responsibility. And I despise doing it. I don't like having to be in the center of attention and "speaking" in front of other people. I hate having everyone watching me and having to provide answers. I'm always afraid of giving out the wrong information, of it being interpreted wrong and then having people end up doing something wrong and then being responsible for it. I don't like being responsible for other people's actions. Aside from that, the "meeting" topics tend to be repetitive and feel worthless as they only seem to exist to fulfill some audit point. It also often feels like no one actually cares about anything I was talking about. Today was different. I had to go over the results from the store's recent inventory count and discuss the areas of high shortage (a.k.a "loss"). I was surprised to see how interested people were in the subject. Even more than that, I was surprised at their input. The other part of the meeting was to discuss what they thought might be responsible for the shortage. It was a good reminder why it's important to listen to people outside your usual "field" on whatever the topic may be because they literally have a different point of view--their experience with it is different so what they see is different. When I see shortage, I automatically see theft. That's literally all I see. I look for theft, that's my job. But, as anyone who has ever worked in retail can probably tell you, there are so many other "legit" (meaning not dishonest or illegal) ways for a shortage/loss to occur. I won't go into them because this isn't the place for it, but that's not the point. The point is that I wouldn't have even been aware of it if I didn't talk to and listen to people who have a different experience with it and, therefore, see other aspects of it. Some of it may not be accurate or relevant, some of it might be...but that's something we'll eventually figure out as we keep watching what happens in the store.

Another thing I loved about today was getting to talk honestly and openly with other people. And you know what, people have a lot to say! And many times I think people just want someone to listen and be open and interested in what they have to say. To really hear what they're concerned about and think is important. It felt like a really productive day because it felt like I really had them more aware, engaged, and interested in what is going on in the store. I also learned more about the people who work in the store, the people who shop in the store and about the store itself.

I also got a nice treat during my lunch break. I got to eat lunch with a couple of my "yoga buddies." Though I do enjoy being alone to get a mid-day "re-charge" by resting and listening to music during my break, this was a nice change. I feel like if I had done that today I would have actually lost energy. I also feel like I don't get to spend a lot of time with friends so I rarely turn down an opportunity to be around them.

My yoga practice this morning was a "slow vinyasa." One thing I love hearing my yoga teachers say is to "find enjoyment/ease/comfort" in the pose. We all have poses that are among our least favorite and make us groan every time the teacher says to do them. I get varying instructions on them. One teacher likes to remind us that it's our practice and that we don't want to do something in our practice, or if it isn't serving or benefiting us, then we don't actually have to do what they say...what we do in our practice is our choice. The other is what Kai over at The Reluctant Ashtangi said, "If it feels hard, it’s worth exploring." This could actually tie in with the first set of do you know if it's serving or benefiting you if you aren't present and don't explore it? Me? I tend to zone out whenever poses get difficult or intense. It's kind of an effort to "quiet the mind" so that I can get the benefit of whatever the pose is. Problem is I'm also not breathing as deeply. In fact, sometimes I stop breathing all together. Neither one of those is good...especially when it's warm in the studio, makes you really dizzy :-) Not only that, I'm also missing an opportunity to learn what is making the pose difficult. Is it an alignment issue? Injury? Or simply yoga "growing pains," where parts of my body are getting used, stretched and open that have never before received any attention? Won't ever know if I zone out and completely shut the mind down...might as well give it some good work to do if it insists on voicing its opinion during my practice. Sometimes it seems like yoga has a very negative view of "the mind," like it's this useless thing that exists outside ourselves and serves merely to tear and weigh us down and must be disposed of. That could just be me. Either way, I think there is a good reason for "the mind" and that we just have to use that part of ourselves in a healthier more productive way...enter one of the many aims of yoga. Actually applying that theory...I think that's one of the hardest "practices" out there. I'm still working on that :-)

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