Spirit Matters: Down to Earth Tools for a Spirited Life
by Jim Self and Roxane Burnett
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The rough stone was buried deep in the dirt. As he crawled through the obscured hole, Jamie found her, covered and filthy, almost invisible. Until he brushed her off, she could have passed for a clump of tar. Once clean, it was clear he had found a stone most precious, although he didn’t know her true worth. Climbing out of the hole, and sitting in the sun, he pondered his array of treasures. This rock was different. Special somehow. It talked to him stood out among the rest. He decided to get an expert’s opinion upon his return to the city. Gathering his belongings, he left the canyon.
A few days later Jamie again found the rough stone, this time under a pile of unwashed clothes. It still intrigued him and sparked his imagination. He brought it to the best jeweler in town. The jeweler looked it over very briefly—almost too briefly. Jamie felt embarrassed that he’d brought a clump of tar to this professional and had interrupted his busy day. The expert evaluated it as a chunk of common quartz; nothing worth more than a few cents. He tossed it back onto the counter. Disrespectfully.
Jamie then brought his stone to another expert; a woman who simply tumbled stones and cut them. She held Jamie’s rough companion and said she’d like to see “What’s inside this one.” Reluctantly, the boy left it there, overnight, to pick it up in the morning. At 9 a.m., as the lapidary opened her shop, Jamie was outside. He was obviously anxious to see what had transpired. The woman was only interested in brewing her morning coffee.
What she finally placed in his sweating hand was not a clump of tar. It was not common quartz. The humble lapidarist gave Jamie a multi-faceted, clear and brilliant precious stone. She gave him Light.
* * *
Look at any cut stone. It has many facets, each surface reflecting a different image and light. So do you. You are a multi-faceted being. You are a lover and a gardener, an employee and employer. And behind every role is a system of thoughts and beliefs. You, the gardener, think quite differently than you, the office manager. You, the lover, hold thoughts quite different from you, the employer. Each facet is a part of your unique whole. Each facet reflects a unique part of who you are. Each facet is simultaneously enough alone and an integral part of the whole.
Remember when you were in kindergarten and you would place a certain hat upon your head to instantly become that role? You could be a firefighter, a pirate, a nurse or a cowhand anytime you wished. Same concept here, as an adult kindergartner.
Let’s say you have several personal issues fighting for your attention right now. Your partner is stressed and might be diagnosed with a disease; your boss is in a rotten mood, you feel fat and slow. Your mother is coming to visit this weekend and the house is a mess; you’re worried about something you said to a co-worker and moments ago you were called upon to present a proposal at work. Impromptu.
Conducting a successful business meeting requires a certain unique thought system and focus of attention. It is important to be in business mode at business and play mode while playing. You wouldn’t wear your baseball cap to work, nor your work hat at home, however we do this all the time. We continuously wear inappropriate hats. We wear our relationship hat at work and are preoccupied with the drama at home, creating errors and low production. We wear our work hat to bed and wonder why our partner is not satisfied anymore.
Have you ever had the experience of driving to a destination and suddenly realizing you passed your exit? Your attention wasn’t on the present-time task of driving. You and your attention were quite involved with something else. Many times we are worrying and fretting while we drive. The next Energy Tool will help focus your full attention on the current circumstance whatever that may be. This is a tool that brings your attention back to the needs at hand and sets the stage for greater success, whether at baseball or board meetings. Your family will enjoy having more of your attention on them, and you’ll enjoy business more when a greater amount of your attention and creativity is focused there.
Energy Tool = Hats
For the purpose of this exercise, let’s assume you want to become more focused at work.
- Take a few minutes and have a seat. Close your eyes for greater focus and be in the Center of Your Head.
- Breathe. Say, “Hello” to your Grounding Line. Give it the command to magnetically attract to it all the noise in your mind right now. Take a full minute or two to just sit there and release tension and noise.
- If you notice specific thoughts and bits of distracting noise in your mind, grab them and throw them down your Line.
- Imagine what your relationship hat might look like on your head. Just make it up and go with the first thing that pops up. Take that hat off and place it on the front seat of your car, out in the company parking lot. You can pick it up later if you like.
- Breathe and return to the Center of Your Head.
- Notice another hat you might be wearing that is not work related. In other words, what else is on your mind?
- Imagine what that hat looks like and place it outside.
- Continue identifying and removing hats until you don’t notice any others and your mind has quieted down a bit. Here are some hats you might find on your head: sibling, mom/dad, son/daughter, student, boss, coach, party organizer, house-cleaner, plumber, computer guru, or teacher.
- Visualize what a work hat would look like. Make it amusing yet professional. Place it on your head, using your imaginary hands. Make sure it’s snug.
- Tell your body to match the hat. Pause and notice anything and everything. Allow your body to adjust and move to match the intention of business. It may want to sit up or breathe.
- Tell your mind or Mental Self to match the hat. Pause.
- Tell your Emotional Self to match the hat. Pause.
- Take a deep breath, open your eyes and move with Certainty into your presentation.
Telling your physical, mental and emotional bodies to participate and match your Hat is like asking a group of children to step up to the challenge and fully act their roles in the school play. The team is ready, on deck and prepared to work together for a common goal.
What is going on in your head sets the tone for the rest of your experience. You are what you think. Even truer than that is: You are what hat you are wearing.
Spirit Matters: Down to Earth Tools for a Spirited Life
By Jim Self and Roxane Burnett
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