I’m breathing deeply.
I’m at a small table outside of the Starbucks next to the yoga studio.
Loud music plays on the outdoor speakers.
Two women are excitedly (and loudly) reviewing cell phone pictures while standing nearby.
Kids are crying in the distance.
The traffic sounds threaten to drown it all out.
It’s tempting to entrain to the energy of all it – the hustle, the distraction, the rush through life that’s become the norm.
Often I do.
But not today.
I actually headed here as I left yoga class because I was inspired to write to you.
Not a hurry up and get it done sort of writing, but the slow, detailed, spacious connection that you deserve.
The world around me seems to want me to be louder and faster right now.
I breathe and remember how my own pace feels in my body.
I arrived on my yoga mat this morning in a bit of a rush. I spent the weekend with my father-in-law, ensuring he could get to and from the bathroom, was well-fed, and in good Spirits. My mother-in-law is on a much-needed vacation, and my wife was called to photograph an event on short notice.
I’d had minimal movement for the three days she was away, and I was ready to get my body moving. But I was also feeling the pull of my to do list, and that I didn’t have time for a full on yoga class. I considered doing a few sun salutations in my office and calling it good.
Then I stopped.
I’d like to say that my deep soul’s calling to connect with my body won out.
In reality, the neighbor’s lawn guy began operating noisy equipment and I instantly knew I needed to leave. I had ten minutes to get to yoga class, so I quickly packed up my laptop and I was off.
As I arrived on my mat, just two minutes late for class, I saw that we had a substitute instructor for my favorite class. Oh no! No wonder I initially was going to skip it!
Her class was moving extremely slowly… I wanted my normal Monday morning instructor.
More slow movements…. I judged and wondered if she knew this was Vinyasa class. Where are my vinyasas? Where’s the mindful sweating?
Then I let go and I tuned in to my body.
I noticed how tight my muscles felt.
I noticed that I didn’t actually feel like moving very quickly this morning.
As I let go, I noticed that each micromovement felt like a delightful gift of self-indulgence. I visualized my muscles as little people doing a happy dance inside my body as they were noticed and acknowledged with each slow shift to the left or the right.
I began hoping class wouldn’t speed up.
I began feeling more and more alive.
Forty-five minutes in, my mind wandered to the parallels in business.
And to the thing I’ve known about alignment and am learning at an even deeper level this year. Alignment, more often than not, is not about massive and sudden changes in direction. It’s not about suddenly realizing you were ALL WRONG, and now you’re going make change to do it RIGHT.
Yet nine times out of ten IT FEELS THAT WAY.
We start to feel the uneasy sensation that something is not quite right. Our results drop. Our inspiration lessens. The self-doubt hits and we wonder if we may need to throw it all out and start fresh.
In that space we forget to listen for our alignment cues.
We can’t see all the things we are already doing right.
Like I was this morning, we are craving a major state change. We want to jump in head first and work up a sweat, rather than remembering the joy of micromovements, and the ability of a slight shift of focus or intention to make the effectiveness of a pose, and the experience within it, take on a whole new meaning.
We were nearly an hour into our class now, I was fully embracing and loving it, and we moved into pigeon pose.
As she cued us into the pose, she instructed us to visualize our chests moving toward the front of the room on the inhale, and our hip moving toward the back of the room on the exhale. I followed the instructions and it felt SO GOOD! The pose shifted with these cues in the next breath and I soaked in the joy of it.
Then we switched sides.
She gave the same cue on the other side, but before she did she said, “This will be your last alignment cue.” She must have been feeling that we wanted her talk less, but I didn’t. I loved it. Again the cue made all the difference and my pigeon was fantastic.
The last Alignment Cue.
I began to think about the power of the Alignment Cue.
This is the power of coaching, and of course, retreats.
In a yoga pose that you may have done 1000 times, an Alignment Cue can make all the difference.
In a business that you’ve been running for years…
In an area of development in which you are an absolute master – you even teach it…
In your relationships with yourself, your spouse, your clients, your marketing…
A slight shift matters, and often requires a cue from someone other than you.
I’ve been tuning in a lot these days on an area that I call “healthy compassion,” and how it relates to our industry and our work. I’ve been looking at how to create the highest level of uplifting support while holding healthy boundaries, empowering our clients and one another without creating dependency, or an egoic need to be needed. I believe this is the next frontier in our world of personal development, and our world at large… to truly empower one another.
I thought about my yoga instructor.
I know how to do pigeon pose.
In following her cues for alignment, I could tune in to my body, my own inner knowing of what the cue meant for me, and adjust.
This is the opportunity for us as transformational leaders, to take this approach, and shift the energy of our work ever so slightly that it makes all the difference.
I’m going to be sharing more about this a new training next week, so keep an eye out.
It’s for those of you who have been feeling the call to pivot in your business to be more in alignment with the Truth that is speaking to you now, but you’re not sure how.
I’ll be providing the Alignment Cues for you to tune in, and a framework for creating a pivot to new alignment in your business that you’ve likely never thought about before… and just might make all the difference.
Stay tuned (creating a page for you to learn more as we speak…)