Your Very Own Superpower, and How to Get It
Getting thrown off-balance.
It happens, right? On a regular basis, I would think, for all of us.
For some reason, however, these past few weeks have seen my scales of balance tip REALLY FAR in one direction and then another. Really high highs, that is, and really low lows.
It could have been bad, in all the ways – emotionally, psychologically, professionally.
I’m pretty sure you could relate.
That’s why, this week, I’d like to talk a little bit about an antidote. I don’t mean an antidote to things throwing us off-balance; that’s going to happen no matter what we do. I’m talking about an antidote that can help our reactions to those off-balancing things.
What if we’re in the middle of some trigger event, like dealing with an aggravating co-worker or a negative performance review, and instead of the knee-jerk reaction that we inevitably and naturally will want to express, we manage to not express it?
What if we recognize that knee-jerk reaction and feel the off-balance of it but, instead of letting it loose, we say this:
Or, “That’s interesting.”
Or, “I wonder…”
Imagine if we could do that.
It’s a little like a superpower, because what’s likely to happen is that the situation will be defused, at least somewhat. You’ve also given yourself time to move from reaction to response.
It’s actually a big difference. It’s also quite a bit easier said than done. It takes practice, and ideally you’ll have gone through the motions and built the pathways in your mind well before the immediate moment that you need to put this behavior into action.
Let me tell you, in the midst of the vertigo and nausea from all of that off-balancing of my scales, I’m yearning for more time to give to the practice of non-reacting. (Which is another way of saying meditation.) I want more of it, more time to observe my thoughts rather than react to them, more time to get good at it, more time to build the muscles of it so that they’re there and ready when I need them.
Because I have needed them. I do need them. I will need them.
They’ve saved me these past few weeks, more than once.
The practice of non-reacting lowers the decibel level.
It opens up more room to explore. There's more curiosity, and less judgment. There's more pause, and less reactivity. There's more calm, and less trigger.
There's also the time inward, for the introspection of observing our own thoughts. There's the space to wander around, and to see what’s really going on in there, to observe what these thoughts are really about and go, “Oh. So that’s it.”
There's a comfort in that realization, an understanding and a friendship with our own thoughts, when we are each the only person in the room.
I read an article recently that argued about meditation being an indulgence of the ego, when your time is dedicated only to self-inquiry.
If we can “self-indulge” and self-inquire for 15 or 20 minutes, and those minutes will impact positively our attitude toward others for the whole rest of the day?
I call it a bargain.
What do you think? What’s been your experience of meditation? Does it help? Do you notice the build-up of your muscles of non-reaction?
I’d love to hear.
And I hope this helps this week, in some way.
What We're Reading:
There's no shortage of wine stories and media inundating our IN Boxes. Here's what has piqued our interest this week.
Wine’s Emerging Water Crisis – Meininger Wine Business International
As more regions struggle with water shortages, Michelle Bouffard takes a look at one initiative to help conserve this precious resource.
What is Sleep Deprivation and How To Beat It – Medium.com
Evidence-based techniques to manage symptoms of sleep deprivation.
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.
Aline Baly, Marketing and Communications Director, and Co-owner of Chateau Coutet, AOC Barsac (France)
Years In Industry:
After 20 years of living, studying and working abroad in New England, the Mid-West, Asia and Europe, I traded in Boston for Bordeaux and marketing filtration devices in the bioscience industry for wine, specifically “gold” wine.
With an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and BA from Bucknell University, it was a a life-changing internship in 2008 at Chateau Mouton Rothschild that had me sign over my soul to our family business. I joined my uncle at Chateau Coutet in Barsac to lead the marketing and communication initiatives and today with my uncle I lead the company, and I am the youngest board member in one of the region’s most prominent Chateaux association where I try to give a new dimension to Coutet’s vision.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
The art of saying no without any guilt so that I can regularly sleep 8 hours, attend yoga classes, do absolutely nothing. And finally organize my overstuffed and secretly chaotic "Monica closet”.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
First and foremost, regardless of the time zone, I stay connected to the family and friends that nourish my soul (thank you WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, email, and cellphone)! On the practical side of things, I have a “hydration obsession”, I wait 12 hours between dinner and breakfast meals and maintain a regular yoga practice.
I also send emails to my “future self” with reminders and tasks which theoretically, I plan to be delivered at a time when I will be the most receptive to taking care of the content. It's the only way I have a daily to do list that is actually achievable -- and thus less likely to contribute to my stress.
In my “spare” time, I am an avid reader of social economics, historical fiction and literature, and you’ll find me in a yoga studio quoting “The Tipping Point” and its relevance to the Gold Wine category.
You can connect with Aline on Instagram @aline.baly and with Chateau Coutet on Instagram @ChateauCoutet Twitter @ChateauCoutet or via their website: chateaucoutet.com
Let’s Meet Up!
As work life has it, we are traveling over the next few months and would love to see you.
Attendee at Vinventions Summit in Liège, Belgium, May 29 to June 3 (Beck)
Presenter at Chile Uncorked, NOLA Style in New Orleans, June 5 to 7 (Cathy)
Presenter at the CDO Executive Summit, in Atlanta June 26 (Cathy)
Attendee at Fine Minds 4 Fine Wines in Bordeaux, July 4 to 6 (Cathy)
Emcee at Australia Decanted in Lake Tahoe, October 6 to 9 (Cathy)