Distracted by my Own Breath

cc license, Ame Otoko

Last Friday I had the opportunity to hear Artie Isaac give a presentation at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. It was a talk on leading with your heart for a group of first year MBA students. Obviously, I’m not part of that group but there were some extra seats so I quickly took the opportunity to jump in and learn. I was left with a lot to think about, but I wanted to share just a few points in this post on how I want to start living.

How do you feel?

I want start taking time to pause and evaluate how I’m feeling. Not on an emotional or mental level, just physically how I’m feeling at a particular moment. Is my body relaxed, tense, hot or cold? What types of situations make me feel uncomfortable and stressed? There are some days I practically run through my routine. I rarely stop and think about how I feel, but perhaps this would help me feel more in control.

We are humans doing, not humans being.

Another thing I plan on trying is more self-reflection. Artie recommended sitting for a half hour every day in self-reflection. This does not mean writing another “to do” list or just relaxing with a good book that makes you think. This is a deeper examination of oneself. It’s a terrifying thought actually, because we are constantly doing. I am very guilty of this. I feel most alive when my schedule is the most crowded. I want to stop doing so I can start being and focus on my life.

Become selfish.

We must sometimes become selfish to be more helpful to others. I must tell people ‘no’ at times so I can become more powerful and make a difference. It’s an interesting approach, since we are told that being selfish is a negative attribute. Remember, taking time for ourselves in not a bad idea. I hope to find a balance between being a gracious volunteer and friend but also learning when I should say ‘no’ and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

If you haven’t met Artie yet and would like to hear him speak, I definitely recommend it. Take him up on his invitation to sit in on an upcoming lecture at CCAD. I also pull inspiration and new ideas from his blog on creativity and ethics. Now go spread the good word.

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3 Comments

Filed under About Me, Lifestyle

3 responses to “Distracted by my Own Breath

  1. Pay attention to that Artie Isaac fellow. He knows what he is talking about. Nice post Hannah 🙂

  2. Thanks, Hannah, for this lovely essay. I so appreciate your attending — for your professional kindness — and for your articulation of some of the key themes.

    Do you recall the question of the fellow in the back row: “Can’t I just be a dude?”

    I wrote about that — and included a link to your wonderful post.

    Thanks, again.

    Here’s my post: http://www.artieisaac.com/2010/01/mba_meaning.html

  3. Thanks guys, I appreciate it!

    @ Artie – Yes, I also believe there was some concern in the room when you told them to surrender their TV watching habits. I’m very glad I was able to attend and hopefully will get to see you again in the near future.

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