On letting go and letting flow

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope that September is treating you well and that you are your loved ones are healthy and safe. For those that face the start of school, and some of the anxieties that are likely to crop up, I hope you are taking deep breaths and centering.

For those that are enjoying the unofficial last week of the summer before Labor Day, I wish you a last lovely week. Labor Day typically signals the end of Fall for many of us, with schools starting around that time. For me, it has always felt like “the new January” because I have always loved the start of a new school year. New notebooks, a new school outfit or two and the freshness of a new set of subjects to learn.

For me, I have been contemplating a change, specifically a “sunset” to regular posting here. I have spent 3 years producing regular content here. For one year I posted every single day! (And for most of that I was working full time…) In total I have produced 720+ pieces of content. This blog began as a test for me. I love to write. And I wanted to see if I could produce consistently, on a challenging schedule. Mission accomplished.

While I do not strive here for news-worthy New York Times quality journalism, my goal is authenticity, personal learning and growth. I have been so grateful for the support of this community at WordPress. I have not been reading as much of your work lately, as I turn attention toward finding more sustainable income for my family. And I know you will be generous in understanding how that goes…

I have been neglecting the task of working on my professional website and producing consulting and coaching resources that will help launch my business and help my clients. And as I have been letting go of old files at home, and culling my library, it occurred to me that it’s time to decrease the “open channels” so I can go ALL THE WAY in this endeavor.

After every sunset, there is a sunrise. And new opportunities on the horizon…

Rather than making offers to potential clients, I have been staying stuck in indecision mode about what is next. When I listened to my soul and got really honest with myself I admitted I love to teach, coach, and develop curricula around the needs of an organization or department. Writing is breathing to me. So I will “pitch” myself for projects in that arena also.

It is time to make offers every day to those may need what I have to offer. Rather than applying for jobs with descriptions that are only 50-60% aligned with my strengths and interests, why not create offers for potential clients that are 90-100% aligned?

Short answer: because it is scary. Because it means rejections are inevitable. Sales people understand that there is typically a ratio of 10-30 “nos” for every yes. And yet, I am confident and driven enough to use those “nos” as fuel. Each one gets me closer to a new client.

I see so many managers, directors and VPs that are leading in tough times. In normal times, the best ones do a lot of coaching of employees. Now, they are barely able to keep their heads above water, and development coaching has fallen by the wayside. They also need support, and are not always getting it if companies have had to let go of L&D staff and internal coaches to cut costs.

I see employees who need and want support for their own development, given that their roles may have dramatically changed in the past 6 months. And I see companies that are so stressed and stretched that they are not able to assess emerging needs beyond getting through the current daily challenges. External perspectives can help.

As I brainstormed what I will offer, I recorded a few videos of myself talking through what I can do. Suddenly an explosion of energy bolted through me as I saw how I have been holding back due to fear. No more. I am ready.

This blog will stay live temporarily as I figure out how to archive and possibly re-write my favorite pieces for short LinkedIn articles. And occasionally I may not be able to help myself from issuing political commentary once in a while when I need to save my husband from my wrath and yelling at the news. You knew that yoga teachers are not the calmest people, right? We tend to teach what we most want to learn. 😉

This is my love letter to all of you. You are a wonderful community. You have engaged with my content in meaningful and helpful ways to me. I am ever in your debt in terms of your contribution to my growth. As winter emerges and business cycles for my industry typically slow at some times of the year, I hope to return to being a more regular reader of your work. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Much love and “mil gracias a todos”

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Yoga for over-thinkers Week 5 – Aparigraha

It is our fifth and final week of this series exploring the Yamas and learning asanas and soma yoga practices to support these principles.

Aparigraha is often translated as non-possessiveness, non-attachment or non-clinging. It is about understanding impermanence and honoring the divine flow of life. Nothing that is vital and growing stays the same. This teaching can help us to realize that what we cling to can keep us imprisoned.

Many of us cling to possessions, like cars or homes, fearing what we will become if we don’t have these things. Sometimes we cling to friendships that have come to an end, not realizing that the energy to maintain those relationships is actually stealing energy from other relationships or own vitality.

Aparigraha can also be applied to our expectations of ourselves or of other people. How often do we become prisoners of our expectations of others, rather than letting people be who they are? Can we learn to let go of those expectations, understanding that we not only free the other person, we free ourselves too?

Letting go w yoga mat
How are we best able to let go and receive? With a closed hand or an open one?

One of my favorite parts of the practice of aparigraha is the letting go of old ideas about ourselves. Sometimes this is scary. We have told ourselves a story of our limitations and this has kept us from being vulnerable, from being truly seen. By getting truthful and current with ourselves (practicing satya), we realize there is growth and possibility that we miss by being stuck in the old story.

Letting go of beliefs and thoughts we have can be facilitated through coaching or mentoring. This is because it is sometimes hard to realize we are not stating “truth” but rather just re-playing an old pattern of thoughts. While they are not true, the may feel true, simply because we have repeated them without examining and questioning them. A good coach can gently challenge our beliefs and help us begin the process of letting go.

For the over-thinkers among us, letting go of worries and concerns may be challenging. In yoga, we settle our nervous systems in preparation for meditation, a practice of watching our thoughts without attachment. Often a mantra can help when watching the breath may not be enough. A mantra or phrase repeated again and again can keep the mind busy, so that the quiet openness does not tempt the mind to run off. And when it does (as mine inevitably does) we apply ahimsa and gently bring it back.

When it comes to letting go, what is most challenging for you? Feel free to post a comment. I am curious.

***

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Prepared to surrender

As I prepare to teach a 4-week learning circle entitled “Nurturing Your Feminine Leadership Journey” I realize that I have done what I can. Now it is time to surrender the results, and become (and remain) present with the participants.

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Photo credit link

I may have just a couple of students, but I am committed to making the course valuable and holding the space for growth. So I will “preach what I practice” and stay present, learn and discover what the students need most, and respond accordingly.

As some point in the process, we have done what we can. We only control how we prepare, how we show up, and our attitude. We do not control the result, so at this point, it is best to surrender it and enjoy the experience.

Have a great week, friends!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

On not taking things personally

Yesterday I got “stood up” by a company that set a phone interview with me for 10:20-10:40 in the morning. The company shall remain unnamed for now.

It was an interview for a part-time position that I was excited to do, a role where I would be teaching and coaching people on new technology, helping them get started. I was disappointed that nobody called at the appointed time. We had set it up 9 days before that, and I had received a reminder of the appointment 2 days before.

So here is the action I took after 15 minutes of waiting. I did not have the phone number of an actual person to call, so I emailed the contact that had “scheduled” the call. I explained that nobody had called me, and I would love to reschedule the call for another time if something else came up and they were unable to attend the appointment.

do not take it personallyThen I went to my 10:45 Zumba dance class as scheduled rather than getting too frustrated or worrying about it. I had a blast, and I am glad I had driven there in advance instead of skipping it in favor of the no-show interview.

I heard no word back from them as of 5 hours later. I am disappointed, yet I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Shit happens. Maybe they were unable to get to all the people they schedule or they were running behind (20 minutes is not a long time for a call). I sent a note to the original recruiter from LinkedIn who contacted me as well.

If they do not get back to me, I will move on. Unfortunately the gate-keeping function that a lot of companies set up is a mechanism to stop bombardment of people who randomly send out a lot of resumes. That is not me.

I do not take it personally. Sometimes things are meant to happen. Other things take more time.While I was disappointed, it does no good to dwell on that feeling. I continue to push forward on my other initiatives, realizing that not all “leads” come to fruition.

The right projects will emerge as I continue to make my “pitches” and hone my offer. I will sublimate my excitement for teaching and coaching for now and direct them elsewhere.

Cheers,

cristy@meximinnesotana.com