“Be the change that makes us Better” is one of our core values at Norbella.
We are constantly pushing each other to make sure our process, our strategies, our campaigns and everything we do is the best it can be.
In keeping with this theme, our President Stephanie Noris approached the senior leadership team and asked if we would be interested in an Introduction to Meditation seminar. Meditation is something she has grown passionate about and believes it could make us better leaders. We all agreed it was worth trying.
Personally, I was open to being educated but I didn’t think it was something I would practice. I am a working mom of two young children with a husband that travels frequently. As many can relate, each week is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. And the reality is: I wouldn’t change a thing. I thrive on being busy, finding organized solutions to chaos and those that work with me can vouch that my desk is always neat. I walk around with a long “To do” List and almost always sit at my desk to eat lunch so I can continue to work. I find plenty of time for fun and relaxation, but my Type A personality has me constantly thinking, doing and on the go. I take pride in getting things accomplished.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning. The senior leadership team came into the office early for our 90 minute mediation seminar. Some of us sat in traffic frustrated and others faced train delays, but when we arrived, we all sat around the table ready to give this a chance. The room was filled with a few skeptics, a few rookies and some that had tried this at one point in their life. Our leader for the morning was Andrew Kelley from The Boston Buddha. He was a former media guy – which I think made us all slightly more comfortable. Andrew shared a little bit about himself, his journey and then asked us about our expectations for the session.
To be honest, I don’t think any of us had high expectations. I thought to myself that if Andrew could quiet my busy mind, he would be some kind of Buddha superhero! Secretly in the back of my mind, I wondered if this meeting would take the full amount of time because my To Do list was waiting.
Our 90 minutes together was filled with education, discussion and two meditations. The slide that impacted me most was one that showed how stress impacts our physical and mental state. It was a turning point for me in the session… I suddenly shifted from being open minded to being genuinely interested. We started with a 3 minute meditation; I sat with my eyes closed feeling pretty relaxed, but wondering if others were opening their eyes watching me. I forgot about all the things I had to do, but I spent the majority of the 180 seconds telling myself to stop thinking. Andrew kept telling us – if we are aware of what’s happening around us then we were doing it right. By the time we did our second (So-Hum) mantra meditation I sort of felt like I was getting the hang of things. I heard background noise, had some thoughts but I was able to recognize them and revert back to a state of mindfulness. This second meditation lasted twelve minutes and after we all opened our eyes, I think everyone felt a sense of calming relaxation and accomplishment.
Andrew shared an analogy that resonated with me. He compared meditation to recharging a phone or tablet. I am quick to plug in any time the battery is running low, so why wouldn’t I do the same thing for myself? The easy answer is: I don’t have time but the truth is – 10 minutes twice a day is a small price to pay if the reward is recharging my inner battery. We left the meeting with insightful takeaways, helpful tips, meditation resources and overall, a consensus that this is something we would commit to trying. In fact, today a group of us will get together to do a guided meditation in our Zen room.
I am thankful to be part of an organization that truly embraces its core values and strives to improve and evolve for the better. After this seminar, I’m looking forward to adding meditation to my daily to do list.
-Stacey Washkowitz, Director of Operations
Would you give meditation a shot? Tweet us @Norbella to share your thoughts and experience!