Monday, 10 August 2020

If my heart could do my thinking

Not trying too hard is what has allowed my hamstrings to relax. When I was stretching them before, they were getting the same message they have been receiving for twenty-five years. They were still trying to generate force. Children do not use this little word to whine about something. From time to time parents might use No! Parents unfortunately, often take this No! When young children say No! They use No! They also use No! Children have no carefully conceived motives behind saying No! Much has been said and written about how important it is for children to have boundaries and that adults are able to control children's behavior. These issues play a dominant part in the field of child-psychology. So much in fact, that you are forgiven for thinking that this is what parenting and child development is all about. So you spent Saturday mornings before inspections baking and brewing. Furniture gets moved to places it's never sat before, shelves get decorated in new ways, and gardens get lovingly tended. After the hours of effort and sweat, you take a step back to inspect your handiwork and wonder why the hell you would ever sell a place that looks this amazing. Disruption breeds innovation. When we disrupt the norm, the status quo, we start to see new ways of operating in our world that we previously hadn't paid attention to. Change gives us the opportunity to look through different glasses at everyday patterns. Through the growth of `hackathons' (times when individuals come together to collaborate intensely to generate new products or processes) in our workplaces, organisations are going out of their way to disrupt things even when they are working well -- because they understand that innovation and advantage are born out of uncertainty and change.

Shifting into Stand Out is an internal and external disruption you are going through, so it's time to `hack' your own habits, shake things up and try on new ways of interacting with your world. DISRUPTION BREEDS INNOVATION. WHEN WE DISRUPT THE NORM, THE STATUS QUO, WE START For as long as I could recall, his dream was to buy a boat, something he achieved at a relatively young age. At the marina, I saw my dad come alive for the first time. Within a world of charts and navigation, Jimmy Buffett music and GPS technology, a whole social circle existed, full of folks who shared a passion for his special interest. Often, if I came home to visit from college for a weekend, he would spend the whole time on the boat, instead. Back then, I was insulted. But in hindsight, I understand. He had found his nirvana, and would always go to the place where he was most comfortable being Joe. He was painfully shy, often rocked back and forth clumsily during conversations, and relied on scotch or cigarettes to get him through social engagements. When he saw me struggle, asking Santa for a friend, or crying about another social blunder, it was just too much. He would turn and walk out of the room. Even though I want them to get more flexible, I instinctively try to achieve this by making them work harder. I am thus contradicting my own body. Disciple: If the pose remains just physical, just a stretch or just an exercise in balance, are you not missing out on so much? If asana is a branch on the tree of yoga, are you not missing out on something by making this about just physical exercise? That is a good question. You have been taught well. The pose should gradually move into a different dimension from a physical one like an evolution or a metamorphosis.

So, the pose may be just physical for the first few years or decades (finding your balance) and then you may find yourself in a much deeper or further enquiry into yoga. You may find yourself asking questions and reading articles you would not have been ready for all those years ago when you first started. The gradual mutation should be very natural and as a consequence of disciplined practice and not forced because the yoga community says you should be reading a certain article or doing something esoteric by now. This thinking has a widespread and very dedicated following. Accusations of irresponsibility and laziness quickly become the labels that stick to those parents who do not set strict boundaries. This is strongly supported by another primitive trend in children's upbringing and pedagogy. Namely, the increasing popularity of super-nannies, boot-camps and pop-psychology which claims to be able to convert any troublesome family into a calm, clean and structured unit in just a few days. The people behind these approaches try to convince us that theirs is the best way to live. It is noticeable and indeed worrying that the need for setting boundaries is growing at the very same time when children's physical and emotional spaces are decreasing. Most people think that children have become more liberated in their interactions with adults. They also think children have become super-consumers, but they tend to forget the fact that it is no longer possible for children to play, live and grow or indeed do anything without adult supervision. Just a generation ago children had plenty of space and time without adults. That is exactly how they developed what we today call social competence. TO SEE NEW WAYS OF OPERATING IN OUR WORLD THAT WE PREVIOUSLY HADN'T PAID ATTENTION TO. Disrupt the natural patterns that we slip into, even for the small things. For me, disrupting how my day starts has been revolutionary. Instead of being sucked away from dreamy sleep by the pitter-patter of little feet and fingers prying my eyelids open each morning well before they're ready -- and so being on the back foot for the rest of the day -- I realised capturing the sacred solitude of time before the household wakes is integral to my sanity and my ability to tap into calm. Now I'm up at 5 am and my non-negotiable is ten minutes of solitude. This completely changes how I turn up to my day.

Sometimes I'm out running at this time, sometimes I'm reading, sometimes I'm stretching, and occasionally I even have a bath (seriously, the pre-breakfast bath has changed my world). So, instead of having dinner at the same time and the same place every night, mix up your routine by packing a picnic and heading to the river. Instead of articleing back-to-back individual meetings with your team, look at catching up with people in duos so the conversations are still intimate while halving your time. Time passed, and I rather adeptly learned to mimic scripts, faking social ease with finesse. I charmed my father, too, and he was elated. I'm so glad, I remember him saying, a glass in one hand and tears in his eyes, that you don't have the trouble with people that I do. What a pure expression of love. We all want better for our children, and my dad didn't want me to hurt as he had on so many occasions. I remember being somewhat pleased and yet also sad that I'd so easily fooled him; Let him think I haven't been where he has. That I won't yet hurt as he has. Give him that. On one particularly trying night a few years later, my dad told me something that I will never forget. This again is just our mind and insecurities that make us feel desperate to fit in. The reality is that it should not be forced. You cannot enforce dietary changes or spiritual changes on anyone or even yourself. After a while, you just go back to the way you were because this approach does not make you happy. So, to reemphasise, the changes including the new-found interest in the deeper machinations of yoga and meditation should be natural and organic to you but never forced. Patanjali teaches that we should let go of desire and adopt discipline. If you desire spirituality and meditation, you will always be ignorant.

You will always be unsure and feel lost. If you adopt discipline and just practice asanas as a lifestyle rather than a race, you mutate into the real you. You will discover who you really are. This is something neither parents, schools, kindergartens or any other institution can teach children. No matter how hard adults try. Today's child has to be well-functioning--a label that is glued to children making it impossible for them to move freely. For exactly that reason, this article is not designed to support those parents who see a need to set fixed limits and strict boundaries for their children. We do not want to support anyone's desire to control or gain power over others -- children or adults. On the contrary, this article is all about the quality of our relationships and how important it is that we are able to say No! We need to learn to define our own personal boundaries --and as part of that process define ourselves. This is as important for our own lives as it is for the relationships and communities we are part of. We can do this with a very clear conscience for the simple reason that we will provide a good role model for our children. It is first and foremost through loving relationships with others that we are able to learn about ourselves on a deeper and a more profound level. Disrupting your pattern on the small things has the power to shift your world. YOU HOLD THE RULE article The majority of our work at Pragmatic Thinking involves delivering presentations and training programs. Very early in our business, we decided to stop handing out the traditional training evaluation forms for the sessions we delivered. You know the ones because you've filled them in -- asking you to rate the food, the venue, the presenter, and whether Tom's outfit matched the company logo or not. Ditching these forms was a conscious choice and one we haven't regretted, but it wasn't a natural shift to make. We used the evaluation forms when we started our business, and when we sifted through them we started to notice a trend.

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