Over the years I’ve learned that patterns can emerge from unexpected events, challenges, adventures, or conversations with friends or clients. Passages in books leap out at me. Diffuse sparks, observations and readings eventually resolve into a pattern that hints at changes to come.
Lacking a crystal ball, it’s only in looking back that I see the milestones or triggers that foreshadowed those changes.
I sense that such a pattern is emerging now.
Learning to Embrace Change
What I’ve learned is to be open to future possibilities, to embrace the discomfort of change — the unsettling feelings of not knowing what the specific changes might be. My nonrational, intuitive mind has become better at foreseeing when something new may be just around the corner. What those changes might entail is unclear; when is also unknown and unknowable… It seems enough for the moment to be open to the possibility of something different.
These days I find myself wondering how my yoga practice will seep into daily life “off the mat,” how the clarity and balance found on the mat can infuse work life and nourish client interactions. (The impact on friends and family is already clear.) Professionally speaking, the implications or consequences are not yet clear, at least not to the rational mind. But intuition suggests that 5 years of yoga practice will slowly but surely work through me in ways that enable clients find their own paths to greater clarity and balance.
The signals are starting to emerge…
Learning the Practice of Mindfulness
Last week I picked up a copy of Mindfulness for Beginners while wandering aimlessly but happily around Powell’s Bookstore in Portland. This book found me, rather than I it; I was captivated by the back-cover blurb:
Anything and everything can become our teacher of the moment, reminding us of the possibility of being fully present: the gentle caress of air on our skin, the play of light, the look on someone’s face… a fleeting thought in the mind. Anything. Everything. If it is met in awareness.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn, in Mindfulness for Beginners
I’ve begin to work through this book, savoring each page. It’s coming with me to this weekend’s yoga retreat at Sleeping Lady.
Another signal: this month’s cover story of the Harvard Business Review, urging readers to “Change Faster.”
Yet another signal, today’s blog post on HBR, “Mindfulness Helps You Become a Better Leader.”
Several colleagues have died unexpectedly this year. The one-year anniversary of my niece’s death from cancer at age 21 is next week, another niece turned 13 today. Friends are talking more openly about retiring in the next few years. These are all reminders that “life happens,” whether you’re ready or not.
New clients are reaching out, seeking help with new directions and opportunities they are pursuing.
I’ve resigned my pro bono role as an entrepreneurial coach for Seraph, which will free up time for other opportunities (as of year end). It was a tough decision but there are newcomers who deserve the fun and thrill of helping starry-eyed founders tell their stories more effectively.
Change is in the air. I just need to apply my beginner’s mind to the practice of mindfulness, and be open to embracing new possibilities that might emerge.