When your Heart is Out of Balance: Our Community’s Responses, and How to Turn Aama to Agni
Last week’s post on the latest findings of the SevenFifty Daily gender study in wine certainly stirred the pot, and this week we wanted to pause and spotlight the community’s responses.
While subjects such as inequality are bound to start discussions and create dialogue, what struck us both was the resignation, dismay and questioning that you shared both in private, over text message and on email.
In yoga there is a Sanskrit term called “aama” which relates to the body’s response to the energy of heaviness. Like when you’ve eaten too many heavy foods, your body is sluggish, your energy is zapped, and your physical body is weighed down. That’s aama.
That is how this week has felt, but at the emotional and psychological level. Dragging through mud was a common theme we heard, summed up by one tribe member’s lament:
“I have not given up ALL hope, but if something great doesn’t come along soon, I may have to peace out myself from this business.”
Conversely, “agni” is the term in yoga for the digestive fire that fuels our physical body and drives the energy we use in daily life. Cathy’s teacher talks about using everything as fuel, from happiness to anger and everything in between. Agni is what metabolizes those emotions and transforms them, through fire, into action.
Right now we are in a place of wondering, which is exacerbated in the US with the current political climate. How do we move from this place of congestion, sadness and lament toward a place of fire, action, and moving forward?
Here are a few thoughts:
Remember the power, for good, that is in your own hands.
A Tribe member named Bill shared his wisdom simply: “Step up the fight!” Get the public behind your issue. Stop working for wineries that do not meet your criteria, and get women to stop buying wine from these wineries.
Turn toward the supportive light of people in your life.
Seek those people out and reach out to them and engage. They are the people to spend time with, to share days with and those who will energize you.
Turn toward someone in need and offer help.
Gratitude has an incredible way of turning even the most maligned of situations into an opportunity for community. It sounds counter-intuitive but it works. If you’re feeling financially poor, give something away. If you need help, offer help to someone else. If you aren’t feeling loved, offer love outward. Tap into the karmic cycle. What you put out will come back.
Step back and step out.
Get out of the fray of the disappointment, the unhelpful side-bar conversations and use your voice to vocally start to make change. Educate yourself on the facts. Support the cause important to you and commit to doing the work to recognize those doing the work.
As respected wine writer Tom Wark eloquently stated in his post on this subject earlier this week, “Be willing to mentor. As anyone who is just mildly successful. Their most important professional development was a result of their mentors. Be willing to mentor anyone who comes before you that has potential, be they men or women.”
Cut down on foods that burden the body.
This gets us back to aama, that heaviness that weighs down the physical body. In these times of stress and emotional upheaval, make a conscious attempt to drink a little less, eat a little lighter and remove some of the weight being put on your physical body. The physical body holds so much emotional weight, so turning down the volume on food and drink will help.
Turning the emotional aama into agni is not a magical formula. It takes clearing away the emotion, digesting the emotions in a healthy manner, and metabolizing them into action, whether through exercise, mediation, yoga (and even knitting!).
Aama is part of what’s standing between you and the way forward. Meet it with a healthy agni, that fire of metabolism, to cycle you back to balance.
In the meantime, please keep communicating. We’re here. We see you. We respect what you say, and we are grateful for your saying it. We are also right in the thick of it with you.
Rebecca and Cathy
Meet The Tribe
Our community is only as strong as the company we keep, and here we meet some of the folks who make our profession so dynamic.
President, Balzac Communications & Marketing (USA)
Years In Industry:
Seventeen. I began my wine career working in the tasting room of a major producer which gave me a firm foundation in wine education. All the while, I made friends and looked for my opportunity to marry my love of wine with my experience in communications. In 2004, the opportunity to join the Balzac team was a dream-come-true and after more than a decade managing key accounts, I acquired the company and became president in 2016.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
Physical and mental stress. With my very busy schedule of travel and meetings, it’s difficult focusing on eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. The stress of running the agency sometimes takes its toll.
I also suffer from depression. Depression has a habit of sneaking up on you, and at times of extreme stress, it can be overwhelming. It isn’t something that can be cured… it’s with you always, waiting to pounce when least expected.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Therapy and quiet time. Mental health issues continue to carry a stigma. They are often ignored or downplayed, so those of us with Depression are often uncomfortable talking about it. But I firmly believe that if we don’t share, we give it power, and more of us suffer.
I see a therapist every few months to talk through my issues. It’s amazing how helpful it is to talk to somebody who doesn’t judge you for your faults, and can help guide you through your troubles. It’s also important to have some quiet time alone, where I can collect my thoughts, or just relax with a book. It’s how I recharge my battery.
This Week's Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
To Cope with Stress, Try Learning Something New – HBR.org
“In two recent research projects, one with employees from a variety of industries and organizations, and the other with medical residents, we found evidence that engaging in learning activities can buffer workers from detrimental effects of stress including negative emotions, unethical behavior, and burnout.”
Voting is Good for Your Health – TIME.com
“Voting isn’t just good for the country. A new study reveals that adolescents and young adults who are civically involved also tend to have better health.”
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you. Check out details on the Let's Meet Up! Page.
MC - Wine Communicator of the Year Awards in Sydney, Nov. 6 (Rebecca)
A Balanced Glass in McLaren Vale, Discussion and Lunch Nov. 13 (Rebecca)
Speaker at Australian Women in Wine Symposium in Sydney, Nov. 16 (Rebecca)
Co-presenter at Wine2Wine in Verona, Italy, Nov 26 to 27 (Rebecca)
Guest Lecturer at INSEEC in Bordeaux, Jan. 21 – 26 (Cathy)
Attendee at ProWein in Düsseldorf, March 17 to 19 (Cathy)
Attendee at MUST: Fermenting Ideas in Cascais, Portugal, June 26 to 28 (Cathy)