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Mindfulness: A New Approach

Ellen Langer has been researching mindfulness for over 35 years, long before it was a buzzword in business meetings across the globe. Ironically she began studying the antithesis, mindlessness, and believes we are all, always either mindful or mindless. She doesn't promote the use of a specific meditation 'technique' or of a practice we 'should' dedicate 3o minutes per day to, rather hers is a way of seeing that challenges perceptions and reminds us that we will always find answers to the questions we ask. A phenomenological version of Parkinson's Law, if you will.... For example, if we change 'Can [...]

October 4th, 2014|Categories: Mindfulness|0 Comments
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Walking the Labyrinth

Labyrinth. We use the word synonomously with ‘maze’. Other thesaurus suggestions include: tangle, complication, jungle, puzzle and web. Curiously, we’ve imbued this inherently simple path with confusion, dilemma and deception. Walking the Edinburgh University Labyrinth this week, I wondered if this was a reflection of the human condition – to add challenge, struggle and obstacles to make any achievement feel deserved. Despite the apparent chaos from the outside, a labyrinth has only one, non-branching path leading to and from the centre. There are no wrong turns, no dead-ends and no mistakes. The journey, though simple, was profound. The symbolism continuing [...]

July 19th, 2014|Categories: Inspiration, Mindfulness|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Evan Williams: Mindfully Building a Company From the Ground Up

I've watched a lot of panel discussions, live and online, on leadership, on management, on inspiring others and on how to grow a 'successful' business. They look, at first glance, like this one. Well educated, Caucasian men sharing a stage with expensive-looking water. This. Is. Different. Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, talks in this interview about starting Obvious Corporation. The title of the discussion, 'Mindfully Building a Company From the Ground Up' merited my click. So, what do they do? We bring experience, capital, and focus to startups combining profit and purpose for a smarter, healthier, and more sustainable world. [...]

June 26th, 2014|Categories: Inspiration, Leadership, Mindfulness|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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Make Mine a Forward Bend, With a Twist: 5 Reasons to Find Happy Hour on the Yoga Mat Tonight

As the division between work and life blurs and collective stress levels reach an all-time high, it’s hardly surprising that a couple of cheeky drinks are called upon to unwind, connect with colleagues and put office politics back into perspective. Plenty valuable networking is oiled with alcohol and, when the company is paying, there’s even more reason to drink up! The morning after, though, can take on a different tone. Queasy, exhausted, fear that we might have finally told the boss what we really think (I swear he's mad at me this morning) and a general sense of ill-being envelops [...]

June 9th, 2014|Categories: Mindfulness, Wellbeing, Yoga|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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Leadership Lessons from the Yoga Mat #3: Handstand

Strength and awareness beat force and rigidity for collaborative and exemplary decision making. As children, handstands were an expression of our carefree and fearless selves. They were spontaneous, energising and fun. As adults, regardless of yoga experience, they can feel forced, exhausting and intimidating. What changed? In this inverted, unsupported place, we must feel confident in our ability to stay easy in the face of uncertainty, connect with our centre, challenge our comfort level and approach it all with an attitude of fun, no matter how it ends. Perhaps a lifetime of socialisation and self-set expectations can dampen this inherent [...]

April 30th, 2014|Categories: Leadership, Mindfulness, Yoga|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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Leadership Lessons from the Yoga Mat #2: Downward Facing Dog

Perhaps the most well-known and classic image of yoga, Downward Facing Dog is fundamental to the flow of sun salutations and features in most classes. Yoga practitioners at every level find familiarity here. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to avoid and as asanas go, this one is all-encompassing. Stretching and strengthening the feet, legs, back, shoulders, arms and wrists, Downward Facing Dog is energising and relaxing. It is said to boost circulation, digestion, improve bone density and release tension. In short, if this is the only practice you add to your day, you’re bound to benefit. Often overlooked, [...]

March 25th, 2014|Categories: Leadership, Mindfulness, Yoga|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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What Your Weekend Can Teach You about Fulfilling Work

“I would love to find more fulfilling work. I just don’t know what I want to do.” Sound familiar? There seems to be a growing movement. We’ve achieved success ‘on paper’ but feel like something is missing. It’s hard to quantify, it’s nothing in particular but there’s a nagging feeling that says ‘I better not still be here in 5 years!’ It’s challenging to figure out what we truly want to dedicate our lives to but when we fail to ask the question, disillusion becomes reality. The most visible confirmation of this trend is surely the sheer number who’ve taken the ‘What Career Should you Actually Have?’ quiz that filled our social [...]

February 18th, 2014|Categories: Inspiration, Mindfulness, Wellbeing|2 Comments
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Leadership Lessons from the Yoga Mat #1: Seated Forward Bend

This posture confidently exemplifies restraint, patience and self-awareness. The seated forward bend is one of the greatest guides to letting go of the ego. Our inherent competitive nature may surface initially, pushing us deeper into the stretch. It’s common to overlook the breath or become aware of what’s happening on the next mat, but the folded nature of the posture fosters a feeling of grounding, of coming back to oneself. Learning to focus inwards we can let go of the need to compare ourselves to others. We understand that every body is created differently and can begin to enjoy the [...]

January 10th, 2014|Categories: Leadership, Mindfulness, Yoga|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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Flexibility is a Choice

“I’d love to practice yoga, but I am just not flexible enough.” Whenever I hear that, I curiously ask, “Ok, so where else in your life does your inflexibility show up?” Now we have a conversation! This can surprise some people who meant to just talk about their physical body and possibly, only certain parts. There's a reason I ask. Mounting evidence suggests our mental wellbeing affects our physical state and many illnesses manifesting in the body originate in the mind. When the conversation moves beyond the physical, almost everyone feels this truth. The Oxford definition of flexible is: Flexible [...]

December 8th, 2013|Categories: Leadership, Mindfulness, Yoga|Tags: , , |0 Comments