Give Work an upgrade with the present
Updated: Nov 19
The bamboo pieces rattled around the back of the Subbie wagon. I was on my way home to build a decorative, Japanese garden design, inspired fence. While I do not fashion myself a “handy woman”, I wanted to take this on for fun and as an experiment; to make it a Contemplative Project. “Uh…What?” Yes! A Contemplative Project ... it is one that is completed while using Contemplative Practices. Most common Contemplative Practices are: meditation, yoga, martial arts, dance… in short, something that takes our entire focus, using our mind and body. The main benefit of doing this is that we are simply living in the present moment. A “Contemplative Project” offers us a chance to be present and stay in the moment which is a key skill that can positively impact our life and work as a whole. Why does this matter? When we take time to build our living in the present moment "muscle”, it affords us important skills such as to be able calm ourselves, go with the flow and to accept things and life exactly as they are. It affords us the richness of living in the now, verses living in our minds, which are so often in the future or in the past, often in a worrying mode that has us miss the very life that is actually happening. How do we make a project a Contemplative Project? 1) We purposefully choose a specific project, particularly one with multiple steps 2) We take time to plan the project step by step 3) At each step we focus only on the activity we are doing in the moment 4) When our minds start to meander, (which always will, as it is its job... to think) we gently bring the mind back to focusing only on exactly what we are doing. Let’s take the fence project as an example: While doing dishes, I gazed out my kitchen window, having grown tired of the view and wanted a change. I started dreaming about what I would like to look at and imagined a small Japanese garden inspired area. After clearing the plants and pots I envisioned a low fence/border. “Hmm, I could make the fence a centerpiece to plant around!” For me, this project would be a challenge. The little fence alone has several step. This made it excellent for a Contemplative Project. What helped me to have a contemplative win?
Project Size and Length I picked a project that was pretty small and that had a clear beginning and end
Step by Step: I worked it out step by step- from creating the design to sourcing the materials to deciding on a knot to lash the bamboo pieces together to arranging and finally building.
Overcame Anxiety and Frustration: During the process I found myself getting anxious and frustrated especially watching the You Tube video over and over. I had to do this to get the knot right and for it to look consistent. To stay in the moment, I took lots of deep breaths and reminded myself why I wanted this fence and that I wanted this to be purposeful and contemplative project. The video actually helped because it was step by step.
Worked through one step at a time: I took each part of the project one step at a time, truly reminding myself to stay in the moment and to focus on what I was doing. (even in those moments I wanted to throw all the bamboo in the trash, out of frustration!)
Quiet Space: I kept the work-space quiet. Typically, I would listen to music, I purposefully kept it quiet, one to hear the video and secondly, to stay focused
Everyday we complete a multitude of projects, surely they can't all be Contemplative, however when it makes sense it is a a lovely way to upgrade our work and turn it into a practice towards peace and living in the moment! ================================================ Hello Friends,
Your friendly holistic business coach here. How could life be if work was more joyful, ease-filled and fun? With Focus Clarity, Strategy and A Clear Action Plan, it can be. Clients share their challenges, I ask questions to help them to unlock the answers and together we build winning strategies with practical action plans. I often assist in these key areas:
Impactful Productivity Tools and Strategies
Interpersonal Communication Strategies and Planning
Difficult Conversation Planning and Strategy
Sales Skills and Strategies
Accountability and Momentum Assistance
Motivation and Support
Relaxation and Stress Management
Turning work into Contemplative Projects
If you would like to learn more, or just chit chat, I offer a 30 minute get to know you session, at no charge . Or if you'd like to talk about an upcoming project and how you could turn it into a Contemplative Project, let's talk!
Have a beautiful week my friends! Shelly The BeeKeeper