October 31, 2011

6 Ways to Tell That Your Practice is Working at Work.

In ancient Hindu mythology, golden deities and demons with a thousand heads would often meet on celestial battlefields. Both sides were immensely powerful and the battles pretty vicious. The deities as you’d expect, represented light or, supreme consciousness and the demons darkness or the egoic mind. They were there to work out their samskaras— literally scars from karmas created in past incarnations. Here on the earth plane, the workplace is an equally good arena where the blossoming of your yoga and/or meditation practice puts your ego to the test.

You know something’s shifted when;

1.  Some of your outmoded boundaries have uninstalled themselves. Those moments of irritation, resentment, annoyance or other forms of aggravation brought on by the actions of co-workers, clients or customers have dropped way down. The crude offhand remarks from the colleague in the next cubicle no longer cause you to bury your head deeper into the quarterly report. You’re focusing on your inhales and exhales instead.

2.  Time has lost its edge. Nine a.m. flows seamlessly into five p.m.The endless interruptions, the pointless meetings, the cool project your manager has pulled you from in order to plop you into the middle of one that’s utterly boring—nothing seems to break the ground of your awareness or peace of mind. Where such episodes would have once gnawed your patience down to the bone, you find yourself simply witnessing it all roll by.

3.  You realize that you actually have an attention span. Whether break-room chat or a sales presentation, you’re focusing longer before tuning out and surreptitiously checking email on your smartphone.

4. Everything becomes a teaching. Everything. The less wonderful than expected performance review. The long sought-after but lost piece of business. The quota that came in short by thousands. You see them all as learning experiences that promote growth rather than failure. And if you get blamed, you are handling it with equanimity, accepting gracefully

5.  Things are looking up while your ego’s keeping a low profile. They gave you the promotion, the assistant, the office. You’re finding that amid the back-patting and the praise, you are enjoying the affirming, supportive feelings without letting things get to your head (not too much, anyway).

6.  Smiling becomes your default mode. When passing co-workers in the corridor, you smile with your eyes, your mouth, your heart. When working with people from other departments, getting to know them as fellow humans becomes as important as what skills you can get out of them.

When slain by the deities, the demons radically changed form. From their gigantic broken bodies emerged magnificent beings filled with light, their true selves. In a previous lifetime they had it good until they behaved badly.

They had bullied a sage whose curse them out, causing them to reincarnate as demons. Thus they had to die in order to be reborn. Radiant once again, they hopped into their chariots and ascended to the heavenly spheres. Their false sense of separation from the Divine now dissolved, they resumed their true positions as servants of their Lord the supreme self, and were happy for all of eternity.

Just like at work.

  Valerie Carruthers recently posted “21 Dharmas for New Yoga Teachers,” which made ele’s Top 10 Blog Posts of the Week. Valerie is a maverick yogini who loves teaching and practicing Yoga and meditation as well as writing for magazines and the Web, not always in the same order or on the same day. She first practiced Yoga in New York City, back when there were mainly “Hatha” classes and no soundtracks. When performing an asana had absolutely nothing to do with toning one’s ass. Based in east central Florida, she has taught classes to diverse populations for the past decade. Valerie is currently focusing on teaching workshops that combine Yoga and art-making for all levels. When wearing her freelancer’s hat, Valerie writes about a) how to devolve from the world and evolve spiritually and b) whatever fascinates her about the social face of Yoga in its rapidly shifting manifestations merges into the cosmic face of Yoga in all its blazing glory.

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