3 Tools To Boost Your Practice Right Now
We use that word a lot when it comes to yoga and meditation and mindfulness, and here’s one of my favorite parts of it all: there are lots of ways to practice.
You don’t have to practice in only one way or only the other. We choose what works best for us, at different times of the day and at different times in our lives.
So while a “practice” sounds like there’s discipline involved, it’s actually quite liberating as well. There’s the discipline of consistent practice, that’s counterbalanced by the freedom to choose the sort of practice we do.
Today I’d like to offer three different practices that you could choose, depending on the situation, your schedule, and what it is you need right now.
The first one, “Minute to Arrive,” is useful for every day, at work and at home.
The second one, “Letter from a Mentor,” is useful when you’re struggling with big picture “Why am I here? What am I doing?” questions.
And the third one, “Focus on Work, Not Outcome,” is useful to stop procrastination.
I’ve relied on these practices more often than I can count. I hope you’ll find them useful as well.
1. Minute to Arrive
I love this one, because it effectively slows down the rush of my day.
It’s a simple idea: take 60 seconds to pause, wherever or whenever you “arrive.” This could be the 60 seconds when you arrive at your next meeting, and the 60 seconds before you pick up the phone for a work call, and the 60 seconds at your mailbox when you arrive home to be with your family.
Within those 60 seconds, a few things happen. You pause. Your attention rests on a few rounds of breath. Your mind either clears, or you shift focus to the purpose of what’s about to happen.
The result is a centeredness and readiness to be present and aware, with the people and the work involved.
2. Letter from a Mentor
This takes a few more minutes to do, and it’s incredibly eye-opening in terms of perspective and your personal big picture.
Imagine yourself in the shoes of a mentor or someone who has your best interests at heart. Spend some time thinking about what that person would want you to know, at this point in your life. What would they advise you? How would they encourage you? What would they say you’re doing well?
Then write a letter to yourself from the point of view of that person. See what comes out.
3. Focus on the Work, Rather than the Outcome
I come to this practice when I don’t have a clear visualization of where a particular project is headed. Even so, I know that the work needs to get done, and this practice helps me to avoid procrastinating.
Being present with the work itself releases attachment, even if temporarily, to the end product. By focusing on the step-by-step mechanics of doing the work, I see myself making progress, which is encouraging and builds momentum.
What does this look like, in practice?
For me, if I’m struggling with a writing project, I focus on the work of one step at a time. This means, literally, stepping to my desk. Sit down. Open the computer. Launch a new Word document. Free write, to shift the gears of composition into action. Generate some subheadings, etc., always focusing attention on just the words.
The result, when I do that, is to set aside for now the anxiety of what the end product “is supposed to be.” Creating that distance also creates enough breathing room for the project to develop and evolve. Focusing on the mechanics is actually a surprisingly gentle approach to combat procrastination in my writing life.
What mindfulness practices are part of your life? Please drop us a note and let us know, and thank you.
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.
New Mental Health Resource for Service Industry Workers to Launch Next Week - Scout: Vancouver
"Mind The Bar is a new foundation and online resource conceived by a couple of service industry veterans who recognized the lack of affordable and free help for their peers suffering from mental health issues. "
When It Comes to Alcohol Sales, Happy Hour Is Big Business - Nielsen Insights
"As bars and restaurants navigate the slowing growth of alcoholic beverage sales, many are exploring ways to keep customers engaged and coming back. But given the long operating hours of many establishments, however, operators need to know what time periods generate the most business as they plan their engagement strategies..."
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.
Michaela Morris, DipWSET, Wine writer, educator and presenter
Years In Industry: 25
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
The constant travel, which is often long haul and across many time zones. Besides the jetlag, there is also the tempting abundance of food and wine that is part and parcel of the trips. It makes it very difficult to establish or stick to any type of sleep, nutrition or exercise routine.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Yoga. Anytime, everywhere. It's a huge help probably more for my mental than physical health. I do it at the airport between connections, in my hotel room - sometimes when I am wide awake at 3am, in gas station parking lots during rest stops on media junkets and have even been known to stop tastings I am moderating to lead a yoga break. I have never regretted doing yoga and believe that even 5 minutes is worthwhile. I have been practicing most of my life but only recently realized how it connects me to others. There is an extraordinary number of people in the wine industry who do yoga. When I travel, I now invite anyone who wishes to join my ad hoc sessions. Besides holding me accountable to practicing regularly, it helps cultivate a sense of community. This is crucial to my wellbeing especially when I am far from home.
I have plenty of other tricks as well, like drinking lots of water and seeking out healthy food. Above all though, I always try to focus on gratitude. This helps me appreciate and enjoy all of the extraordinary experiences I am so blessed with no matter how run down or tired I am.
How can we connect with you?
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.
- Australia Decanted event in Lake Tahoe, July 22 to 26 (Cathy)
- Bâtonnage Forum in Napa, July 28 (Cathy and Rebecca)
- TexSOM Conference in Las Colinas, August 11 to 13 (Rebecca)
- Business of Wine & Food Tourism Conference in Cape Town, October 17 (Cathy)