2014: Will It Be Mindful or Mindless?

How will you design your new year? Will you approach it mindfully or mindlessly?

HollyhockIn 2011, I attended a six day silent meditation retreat, where I had plenty of time to examine my emotional state and recharge my batteries. Over those six days, I never used technology except to read and set my alarm. Instead, I filled my day with meditation, spontaneous naps, walks in the forest, and silent community meal times.

Even though I have taken countless restorative getaways over the past decade, this retreat was completely different. I was celebrating ten years in business, so this retreat held special meaning. As I watched the sun set over the verdant hills of the Maryland countryside, I knew I was in the right place, and that new insights would emerge.

The biggest insight that I gained from that reflective week in the woods is that obsessive goal-setting and marketing planning need to be tempered with stillness. My countless years telling my clients about the value of growth planning, tracking measurable results, and developing written goals were not spent in vain; however, my approach was missing the silent ingredient. Movement, breath work, and silence are powerful pathways to fine-tuning our senses, re-framing our mindsets, and sustaining forward momentum.

Two years later, I have stayed committed to a daily five minute meditation, a peaceful walk in nature, or yoga practice. On some days, that reflective time extends to a full hour. What a bonus! When that happens, I feel a higher level of ease, discernment, and confidence. Client and team conversations flow more smoothly. My “to do” list gets done without the panic and struggle of the past.

If we are unwilling to examine our lives and the impact of our marketing on the broader society, we lead a hollow, powerless, unexplored life. We are missing out on the ability to truly make our team’s and customers’ lives better. In fact, if our only measure of success is revenues, lead quality, and brand repute, we are actually contributing to their suffering.

Instead of waiting a year to schedule a retreat, start now. Schedule ten minutes every day for silent reflection or movement. Find your favorite place in nature to walk in silence, unfettered by technology addictions. Before you break into a cold sweat at the thought of temporarily turning off your electronic devices or distractions, enjoy this quote from meditation teacher, USN Goenka:

The path of Dhamma (the laws of nature) is no picnic.
It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill.
If all the comrades desert you,
Walk alone! Walk alone! With all the thrill!” 

What will you do to recharge your batteries over the holidays? Please share your comments here. Keep climbing!

Copyright 2013, Lisa Nirell. All rights reserved.

Additional posts to enjoy:

Find Your Inner Marketing Guru to Make Better Decisions
Wisdom 2.0?s Compassionate, Chaos-Reducing Brand Of Leadership

[photos courtesy of Lisa Nirell]

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