Tag Archives: energy crisis

Marketing and the Mat

By Gail Z. Martin
In yoga, your mat becomes the space in which you grow, stretch, and find rest.  Your mat is both a laboratory for self-exploration, and a refuge where you work out the stiffness that comes from carrying the burdens of life on your shoulders.

When you come to your mat, it’s important to come without judging yourself.  Yet, while you don’t judge, you are supposed to be aware.  Are you more stiff today than yesterday?  Does something hurt today that didn’t hurt yesterday?  Is one side moving more easily than the other?  Did a pose finally “click” for you?

This process of checking in with yourself has value outside the yoga studio.  How often do you go through the workday berating yourself for being off your game, instead of reacting to the variations of every day with compassion, asking yourself why today is different for you?

We’re not robots.  We’re going to have high-energy days, and days where we sleepwalk, days when we feel like talking and days when we don’t, days when ideas come easily and days when every thought seems to require hard work.

What would happen if instead of judging ourselves and beating ourselves up because we’re not just like we were yesterday or the day before, we ask: What’s happening with me today?  Where am I strong today?  What’s going hard for me?  Then play to your strengths instead of fighting your temporary weakness.  If today it’s easier to be social than to write, get your phone calls taken care of and leave the writing for tomorrow.  If you’d rather be working alone than talking with other people, switch your to-do list to accommodate what your mind and body are telling you they need.

When you recognize your daily fluctuations in energy and interest, and adjust your expectations and to-do list accordingly, it becomes much easier!

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Letting Go of Perceptions

By Gail Z. Martin

When I started practicing yoga, I had a lot of ideas–perceptions–of what it should be like.

I thought it would be really hard. It wasn’t.

I thought everyone in the class would be as bendable as Gumby.  They aren’t.

I thought my teacher might be a fire-breathing vegan ascetic.  She isn’t.

I thought I might really embarass myself.  I didn’t.

One of the things I learned from yoga was how often our perceptions are totally wrong, and how we limit ourselves when we believe incorrect perceptions–especially when it comes to what we’re able or unable to do.

What perceptions do you need to re-think?

Have you held off from tackling something that scares you (like social media) because you don’t think you can do it?  Have you shied away from practing a new skill (like public speaking) because you’re afraid to fail?  Have you held back from doing something you’ve always wanted to do because you’re afraid of what someone else might think?

Now’s the time to break loose from those old perceptions and find out just how wrong they are.  When you challenge the perceptions that are holding you back, you find out they’re nothing but shadows–fears, misinformation, and misunderstandings that are keeping you from freedom and fulfillment.

Why not make today the day you challenge at least one perception and see what happens?

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A Matter of Balance

By Gail Z. Martin

Yoga has become a big part of my life since I started practicing two years ago.  I can’t do some of the fancy postures where you seem to levitate on one finger (and that’s ok, because yoga also is about letting go of competitiveness).  But one place where I can see a big difference is in my balance.

I got a WiiFit for Christmas a year or so ago, and when I did the yoga section, it rated me on my balance by having me stand on the WiiFit board on one foot and then the other while it recorded how much I wobbled.  And did I wobble.  The little red dot jiggled all over the screen.

Then I started to really work on yoga poses that emphasize balance.  At first, I wobbled and lost my balance.  I had to start over, put a foot down, steady myself against a wall.  But an amazing thing happened with practice.  I got better at it.

I still can’t levitate on one finger. But I can stand on one foot without wobbling for much longer.  I can lean foward while standing on one foot as if I’m about to take off in flight without falling over.  And every time I move through my balance postures, I gain strength and confidence.

How’s your business balance?  Are you wobbly, thrown out of kilter by every news report about the economy or every conversation you have with someone who thrives on the negative?  Or are you remaining balanced, calmly working your plan, making course corrections when needed, remaining focused without veering into wild overconfidence or bottoming out in despair?

Do you get all your news from one source, or do you seek balanced input, questioning input that predicts impending disaster, validating before believing negative news, making sure your news sources don’t have hidden agendas?

How’s your life balance?  Do you still have time for friends and family?  Do you take time to enjoy nature, a walk with your dog, a good look at the stars? Do you take time for yourself?  Take time to give to others?  Take time to learn and play and care for your body?

When you start to work on your balance, it’s amazing how good it feels.  Why not make a conscious effort toward regaining and improving your “balance” and see what happens?

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How Flexible Are You?

By Gail Z. Martin

I love my yoga.  In the two years that I’ve been practicing, I’ve gained flexibility and balance, along with confidence.  I’ve learned just how “yummy” stretches and twists can feel.  And I’ve gotten more comfortable in my own skin.

Flexibility is both a part of practicing yoga and an outcome.  In the beginning, most people discover just how stiff they are, how un-flexible they’ve become due to age, a sedentary lifestyle, or old injuries.  With time, the body becomes more supple as you practice, able to move more freely.

Maybe your company doesn’t require physical flexibility, but success in today’s world definitely demands mental flexibility.  So, how flexible are you?

Do you waste time missing “how things used to be”, or do you dive in to the challenge of learning something new, like social media or using a smart phone?

Are you fearful of technology, or flexible enough to learn how to use it safely and confidently?

Can you adjust your sales funnel for the “new normal” of the current economy, or are you still trying to win business like you did in 2007  (and wondering why it isn’t working)?

Are you comfortable trying out new networking groups, new live  or virtual events, and new ways to connect online?

Without flexibility, we become stiff.  When we’re stiff, we move less and less until we don’t move at all.  When we work at remaining (or regaining) flexibility, movement is a joy.

Where are you stiff?  How could you loosen up?  Where could you practice some flexibility?  Make a conscious effort to be more flexible and see what happens!


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What is Your Outrage Distracting You From Doing?

By Gail Z. Martin

In the book “Meditations from the Mat,” the author asserts that when we allow ourselves to be caught up in outrage over something external (such as politics, neighborhood gossip, or the behavior of celebrities or the stock market) we are using outrage to keep us distracted from the problems in our real life.

Wow, that explains a lot.

I thought it was a valid point.  When we rant and rage about something that we can’t control, we keep our minds off the things that really matter, things that we could do something about if we would face up to them.

I can remember times in my life when I was consumed with outrage over something I couldn’t do anything about.  And if I’m honest, I can also remember that there were problems closer to home that I was just as happy not to think about, either because I didn’t want to take the action necessary or because action would require change I wasn’t ready to make.

We seem to live in an age of perpetual outrage.  If you can’t manufacture enough on your own, there are talk show hosts, columnists and blogger who can stoke your fire.  So what issues are we using all this outrage to avoid facing?

Odds are, it’s different for different people.  It might be health problems, getting financial matters in order, addressing relationship problems, or taking responsibility for upgrading skills.  It might be dealing with old baggage, forgiving or asking to be forgiven, taking a risk, or accepting limitations.

Whatever the issue behind the outrage, it won’t go away.  Not only that, but the outrage itself is bad for your health, damaging to relationships, and toxic to productivity.

Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV, stop reading, watching, listening or hanging around with the outrage mongers, and get down to business becoming the change we want to see in the world.

What could you do with all the energy you’re wasting on outrage?  This is one “energy crisis” you can solve all by yourself.

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