I recently personally thanked a friend for attending one of my classes. He curiously asked if I hadn’t expected him to come. I explained my view on expectations, basically, I had none. It is my belief that all who should be there will be there. This allows me not to focus on attendance but beyond that, it keeps me in a constant state of gratitude. It’s an authentic gratitude because I know at that moment a person has many options on how to spend their time. It is not my right to obligate anyone or to tie my success into someone else’s actions. When a student appears I see it as alignment. My choice to lead combined with their choice to attend is alignment, not a coincidence. Whenever I get to share a part of me with someone else, I am thankful.
Not everyone operates under this belief system. We often assume family and friends know we appreciate them. It takes two seconds to acknowledge someone’s effort and help free them from guilt, sorrow or feeling they’ve disappointed you because of expectations. Not everyone in your life is meant to serve in the capacity in which you want them to. They may want another role or serve a completely different purpose. Letting go of expectations and allowing others to show up how they choose reduces internal and external conflicts.
When you operate from a space of no expectations, you allow the universe to send who is supposed to be there. After class, I could call everyone to find out why they didn’t make it to class. I could get so caught up in the drama of expectations that I miss the opportunity to see the people who have a genuine interest in what I do. Expectations become a distraction and could cause me to miss out on the person who wants to explain the impact my class has had on them. I do not focus my attention on what’s not in my control instead I focus on what is presented to me in that moment. The moment someone appears I instantly become thankful. I feel gratitude for being allowed to guide them. I openly show my appreciation but I also silently send blessings as well. Whether we accept it or not we are being guided. Therefore I purposely thank people for their time and acknowledge the light that guided them into my personal universe. The people that choose to come to my mindfulness classes are making an investment in themselves. The alignment is bigger than me and I am honored to be their leader. My gratitude is sincerely to encourage them to keep following their light even if that light does not lead them back to me.
Peace and Blessings
I recently took a four-week break from networking to evaluate my experiences and to come up with a new strategy. Being new to the game and trying to get my feet off the ground, meant I spent the first 90 days going to any and every event. In retrospect, this was not the most effective approach because I found myself burned out and reluctant to continue in that way. Although I was meeting great people, those individuals weren’t always open to the services I provide. I quickly discovered that networking without a defined strategy is draining.
After a few weeks of rest and relaxation, I was able to redefine my networking target and niche. My intention is to focus on partnering with companies that are interested in providing mindfulness in the workplace options for their employees. I decided to take it a level further by creating a list of three specific professions to focus my efforts on including human resource, accounting, and health care professionals.
Human Resource professionals from a health and wellness standpoint are the gate keepers to benefits programs offered to employees. Beyond that every year human resource departments gear up for annual enrollment. Annual enrollment is when employees are added to the insurance plan for the upcoming year, the process usually starts in the fall and ends after the new year. This timeframe is very intense for benefits department which means a mindfulness practice can decrease burnout and improve overall mood.
Accountants on the other hand gear up for year end followed by audit and tax season. For accountants, December through April tends to be a highly stressful time of the year t since all three activities tend to overlap and have competing deadlines. This is also the time when most accountants work late nights and weekends, a mindfulness practice can increase clarity, concentration, and alleviate tension.
Last but not least I want to focus on health care professionals who are constantly on the front line helping to ensure the well being of others. Health care professionals are tasked with making difficult decisions quickly. A mindfulness practice would be a great way to manage everyday challenges, increase resilience and improve coping skills associated with the health profession.
By deciding to use my knowledge of corporate departments and also tapping into the expertise of close friends who work in these environments I was able to create a better strategy. If you are currently seeking a networking strategy here are ten steps to consider in your plan.
- Evaluate your target market and niche
- Choose 3-5 areas to focus on
- Define what successful networking means for you
- Create a metrics to measure your progress
- Every quarter evaluate your strategy and adjust it as needed
- Get involved in the community by joining causes and associations you believe in
- Volunteer at events that tie into your interest and business
- Attend a lot of events to increase your confidence, practice your approach and study the crowd
- Have fun and be fun to be around
- Drop expectations and trust the process
These steps should get you off to a great start. As you find your footing, more opportunities that are in alignment with your higher goals will appear. Stay positive and stay the course.
Peace and Blessings
I recently had a situation that brought into my awareness the concept of boundaries. Boundaries in the sense of who you allow into your personal space and your life. In some aspects, boundaries are a necessary part of life that distinguish between where we began and end. When we create mental, emotional and physical boundaries it also establishes what type of energy we will allow in and around us. The flip side of boundaries is if left unchecked we can start to create boundaries that imprison us mentally, emotionally and physically. We began to develop a general mistrust of all things and all people. There may even be a tendency to assume everyone you meet has the intent to harm you in some way.
This area of boundaries is one very familiar to me. I did not have the traditional upbringing. My environment and how I was raised bred me to believe that everyone had a motive so it was my responsibility to look for the motive. Trust wasn’t awarded, at first sight, it had to be built and mutually fed. As I get stronger in my spiritual walk I have learned to move away from general mistrust to a curious discernment. Curious discernment means I am able to perceive if in that instance a boundary is needed. Almost like looking at something through a window glass with my head cocked to the side with my eyes partially squinting. I’ve learned not to look at life with my eyes but rather to hear it, sense it, smell it and feel it. I learned what I see in front of me with my two physical eyes is not always the truth or the authentic version. So I squint them to increase mental focus. I hear the sprinkles of one’s inner workings as I tune out their actual voice. I am searching for the truth in what’s in front of me.
What I’ve learned that most boundaries we create are a false sense of security. A faulty door that just has to be walked around. There comes a time when we have to take an honest look at these false borders that keep us from being fully present and engaged. It’s time to extinguish the borders that keep us from believing that a truly magical being stands before you with no expectations and no hidden agenda. A being that has learned to discern her way through the life she is creating and truly believes there is no such thing as coincidence. The only thing that is real is our understanding of the experience that stands before us.
I am not in the business of breaking down other people’s barriers but hope only to demonstrate that there is a freer way to live and love. Willpower and choice push you to get up despite betrayal, hurt, pain and ill intentions that may occasionally skate pass your door. This also means that we have a choice in the boundaries we perpetuate in our life. Boundaries are healthy and serve a purpose but stay open to surrendering them for a moment to trust what stands before you. Be willing to close your physical eyes and open the one in your brow center. For most of us boundaries were learned or created as a result of what was seen as a bad experience. Take a moment to review your boundaries and determine if they have to be one size fit all or if they can be softened when faced with new experiences. Be open to shifting and creating new ones.
Peace and Blessings
I am officially 90 days into full-time entrepreneurship. Like all areas of my life I spend so much time being obsessed with the activity that I lose sight of the reflection. When an impending burn out pops on my radar, I halt all activities to regroup. So for the last three weeks, I settled into my quiet routine to rediscover my center. I’ve spent the last few weeks being out in nature, reading and reflecting. It seems like so much has changed in the last 90 days, my experience has been good so far and here are some of my accomplishments.
- Lots of feedback from class participants. I love when I hear about how something I taught in class my students are able to use in their real life. My students report back how they felt prompted to slow down and breathe. Some of them will also share that they “heard my voice in their head” telling them to breathe. I love feedback because it lets me know that I am making an impact and heading in the right direction.
- Overwhelming request for me to continue. I teach several corporate classes. Usually, the initial contract is only for a six to eight week trial period. This gives time for both client and myself to determine if there is the partnership is a good fit. What I offer is not a fit for every company, my higher focus is on if the energy is a good match and if the students are engaged and receptive. Across the board at the end of each trial period, I have received an overwhelming request to continue. One Human Resources Manager said, “I don’t know what you are doing in those classes but please continue to do it”. She had apparently received an outpouring of calls and emails at the end of the trial period and was in a rush to get me back in the office to continue.
- For the first half of 2017, I have touched at least 150 souls. Over the course of my corporate, private and group classes, 150 individuals have signed up and attended at least one of my classes. 2016 was only about a third of this amount. Of course, I’m more out in the open now and actively networking to bring more awareness to what I do. It’s just amazing how quickly life has changed in the last 90 days.
- New ways to incorporate and expose students to mindful moments. Some of my students have been with me for at least a year. It is my intention that as I evolve as a teacher so does my teaching style. My focus is slowly transitioning from just teaching one how to breathe to a more holistic approach to living a mindful life. Mindfulness is about awareness. Awareness allows you to live in the moment. When you are living in the moment you are more likely to react with clarity or change how you react to others. Now more than ever we need more compassion for ourselves and others and mindfulness can lead the way. I want my students to live a more mindful life and to be able to share our experience with others.
- New possibilities have opened up. The first half of the year has been good to me and it has also put me in unfamiliar territory. As I attend more events I have become more accustomed to sharing what I do with others. In addition to finding my voice as a wellness advocate, I have developed an interest in public speaking and coaching. Both seem like a natural extension of what I am currently doing. I look forward to exploring these new interest.
- Writing has become a central part of my life. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and I’ve been able to find an outlet as a blogger. I currently manage two blogs Return of Eros and Jaiona’s Yoga Closet. About a month ago, I was asked by a fellow blogger to be a contributor to her site. I felt honored to be considered and gladly accepted the offer. I am now a contributing blogger for Get Inspired, a lifestyle blog for the everyday woman. I have learned so much from her editing style and perspective. I have been able to use the feedback to make my other blogs better. I have also been able to build relationships with a host of other bloggers in the Atlanta metro area.
- Happier and successful. I have made a major accomplishment by trusting my intuition. My stress level is low and overall I feel more upbeat. There are times when I’m living too far ahead or calling forward a memory from long ago. However, I’m learning to constantly redirect my thoughts to focus on the current moment. In the current moment, I realize what I am faced with but I am also able to solidify that happiness is a choice. Redirecting your life is a choice. Once you get past the fear of the unknown, you can live the life of your choice.
My life has changed dramatically over the last 90 days. I have had some great adventures so far but I’ve also had some challenges which I will share in the coming days. I continue to receive an outpouring of love and support from my friends and family which gives me the courage to stay the course. I am forever changed by making the decision to follow my intuition and I look forward to what is to come.
Peace and Blessings