Breaking habits, being more mindful

We all have a comfort zone. Many of us want to stay in it and never stray.

I think it is healthy to get out of our comfort zones. Sometimes we find something out about ourselves, we find something we like or something we are good at by trying something different. We can gain new perspective.

Getting out of our comfort zone is really just about breaking habits.

I used to be really shy and quiet. Yes, I know …

In junior high I was in a drama class and really blossomed when I starred as Baby Mouse in our version of Cinderella.

I’m usually comfortable in groups. Public speaking used to terrify me.

I joined Toastmasters at work (when I was still in the corporate world) to help me get more comfortable with my public speaking.

I decided to take a yoga teacher training and become a yoga teacher. Before my first class I was so nervous. Heart pounding, sweaty, a little freaked out. I thought to myself, why in the hell did I think being a yoga teacher was a good idea? I have to talk in front of a group of people.

Most of my classes start … Continue reading

A greeting practice

On Thursday night in yoga teacher training we had two hours of anatomy and an hour of a meditation practice and learning session.

The first hour was dedicated to our teacher Ericka and her reasons for practicing meditation, which is a truly fascinating story.

At one point she asked us to get up and walk around and greet each other, without words.

I will admit I find this stuff hokey and just not my thing. But I went along with it.

I got up and greeted my first person with a smile and a nod, the next with a smile and mouthing “hi,” the next smile, nod and Namaste hands (pictured), the fourth person with a smile and a hug … a pat on the arm … another hug … more smiles … kind eyes …

I got back to my mat and I realized I was smiling from ear to ear. I really enjoyed that practice and felt the love and support of my fellow students.

It was an amazing feeling.

Ericka told us after that practice that she does with kids she works with. One time working with a group of kids they did the exercise and … Continue reading

My ice breaker

 

I recently wrote about Toastmasters and how I had taken on my first major role in a meeting as the General Evaluator.

Yesterday I took on another major role: The Ice Breaker.

The Ice Breaker is the first prepared talk to “break the ice.” It’s supposed to be the easiest because it is about the person you know the best, yourself.

Funny thing is everything I talked about I am comfortable telling anyone one on one or in a small group. But standing in front of a crowd of people who are all looking at you and listening to you … well, that’s another story.

I hate the anxiety I feel right before and during public speaking. And I want to find ways to be more comfortable in those situations. That’s why I joined Toastmasters.

Public speaking is considered the greatest fear a person can have, even greater than the fear of death.

Challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone takes a lot of convincing. But I know it is important. Toastmasters is a great venue for this. The support is amazing. And I have to say I ended up with an awesome mentor. He … Continue reading