Today was the final day of 5 days workshop delivery and tomorrow I head off to India to work with a new client on developing an internal brand and culture strategy connected to 5-star service delivery. That is quite a mouthful and as I write this I realise that I must take some time and just refocus and relax my brain. It has been running on high voltage for the past week and now it seems to have just reverted to robot mode and repeat what it knows. During this workshop, we discussed the habitual mindset and how this can alter one’s perception of change. This week has shown me the importance of time to allow the brain to shut off and recharge as this ‘always on’ not only impacts health it also dulls forward thinking and creativity. I am sure it is much like how Buster felt the one time I saw him chase his tail. He did try for about 5 spins and then realised it was not for him. His active brain saw no sense in it and off he went in search of something to sniff or eat – got to love a beagle. I appreciate that some people find solitude in sameness and in routine and that is what makes us all unique in our own way. However, if I was to speak on my behalf and for others with dyslexia or with ways of thinking that need more autonomy and scope of creativity and change, it is important that we look at employees more as individuals. To be healthy we need to feed the body with the correct level of nutrients and hence the mind is equal in finding the right balance of workload. Over the next few months, I plan to monitor this more with myself between my need for sameness, creativity, exercise, social and me time. What I have truly recognised is just how out of balance I am in these 5 zones. It is like I live in excess in 1 or 2 of them till I drain the bucket and then I move to another and with excess, I drain the other. In order for my creative brain to find the nutrient that it needs to be happy and healthy, I must start to balance the filling and draining of these 5 areas with more conscious and forward-thinking strategy.
Mantra: Be kind to your creative brain
Today was a bit of a hard day to get going and I am not sure if it was some residual aftershocks from my session with Martin or maybe consuming more alcohol than I should have following it and without question not eating a balanced diet on Sunday have not helped. All this has not left me feeling full of beans today. It is important to recognise that not every day it’s going to be great and with a more conscious mindset I can see how different influences can have negative impacts on my overall wellbeing. I had to smile today as I overheard three people on the underground all discussing how they hate Monday’s as if it was their last day on the miserable earth. As the narrative continued they bounced from one person to the other in their office – with more blame as to how they did this or that! All the time ignoring the part that they played in this corporate battle of the ‘I am the star’. I appreciate that for many without ever considering the prequel that might have played out only days before might be the factor which distorts this view of “Mondays”. If I was to take ownership of what I do on the weekend and fully appreciate what impact this will have on how I feel on a Monday – would I still do it. Mmm often times yes, as I am only looking and living in the now and not focused on my personal wellbeing. I haven’t been kind to myself or utilised my downtime in a manner that promotes wellness in my mind, body or spirit. Potentially the way I see Monday is a reflection of the way I have treated myself over the last two days looking back over the weekend when I was not kind to myself and I utilised old habits to find some form of solitude. That definitely is impacting on the way I feel both physically and mentally about the start of the week. It is important that leaders recognise this both in themselves and in their teams. Promoting wellness in an organisation should not just be during the working hours if we are creating a culture of wellbeing and a belief in promoting all aspects of it to ensure that our people understand the benefits not only about wellness at work but how to maintain it as part of their everyday life. This comes in the form of greater education and as a higher purpose for the way in which they treat themselves and then respect others. And in this we can help support staff to find a much better work-life balance.
Mantra: wellness is mine to own
This week I’ve been really focusing on cleansing looking at toxins from the food that feeds my body, the self-talk that fills my head and to the relationships that I surround myself with. I have to say I really felt some toxins flowing through my body today following my session with Martin. This was two-fold as I believe that I let go of so much pent up stress and built-up negative energy during the session. I also then decided to go out and have a few drinks with some friends as this socialising is a very healthy thing to do but I think that the alcohol hit me harder today than normal. I only had two drinks and this is very much in support of a balanced approach to well-being however it is all about timing. Following any massage I have had in the past, I have always been told not to drink alcohol post the experience due to the fact that it can have some adverse effects. Well if a massage was a 5/10 on the Richter scale I would think the session with Martin would definitely be hitting an 8 or 9 in terms for releasing and opening up my body’s energy flow. Hence today I suffered the effects of a killer hangover coupled with the regret of – why did I do that, as I knew better. However, it’s very important for me to recognise that this is a 50-day challenge and it’s all about learning and experiencing new things and setting better and more appropriate limits and rules for myself in support of my own wellbeing. What these early days are showing me is that it is not about getting better and stronger every day as these early days are more about better understanding myself and what is currently working and not in my daily routine. It is all about resetting realistic expectations and guidelines. Also in my search to discover what balance really means to me and others, it reminds me that none of us are infallible. Striving for perfection only adds more stress as the fear of failure can impact on our effort and desire for success. Looking back at the 2017 Human Living Brand project, where I took on a dramatic transformation, the rules were very clear and for 30-days I followed them and I found it quite easy to follow because they were a no break clause. However that was not real life as it was not sustainable. Hence my advice to any organisation or leader that is involved in change or transformation is to slow it down, make it manageable and allow people the time to absorb the difference before moving on. It is also to listen to your people and check in regularly to better understand how they feel and the impact that change has on their wellbeing.
Mantra: Check in on myself and be honest about my feelings
It’s really hard to believe that we have now come to the end of week two and as I am looking back I must say that I believe that I am starting to make some small changes on various aspects of my own wellbeing and in that look forward to seeing how these connect to some of the bigger changes that I am looking to make in the world around me. Today I did my first body session with Martin and without question, it was not what I was expecting. I guess I had not appreciated just how much stress and various traumas I’ve been storing throughout my body and the impact this can have not only on its strength but on the way that I present myself. During the session, he worked with and on these stress points and muscle triggers and I can be clear, it was painful. However, it was also strange as the pain was greater in some areas than others and was more held by me than him applying excessive pressure. I did feel lighter and more open in both mind and body after the session and can start to see how all three of these areas (Mind, Body, Spirit) are so interwoven. That is not to say I am any closer to figuring this stuff out yet. At 51 I feel that I have to relearn so much after the last few years when I really stopped paying attention to my own wellbeing. The old analogy no pain no gain has some purpose here however I do appreciate that pain is not the point of this challenge. As I write this and continue to reflect back on the session with Martin as it has left me with a sense of calm. Also with a sense of confusion as it has seemingly released some deeper unconscious energies that I am unsure of. I am really not sure how it all connects together but I can definitely feel that something is happening and areas of my body are finally feeling a little more relaxed and maybe some of the confusion is due to the fact that I’ve just got used to not feeling this way – relaxed.
Mantra: keep an open mind