Stepping onto the Mat
How to Truly Show Up and Do the Work
I’ve been practicing meditation in one way, shape, or form since I was five. (This is one of the many benefits of growing up with a new-age mother.) It wasn’t until I was 27, however, that I discovered yoga. A friend that invited me to an ultra-beginner’s class, and since then I’ve committed to a solid on-again, off-again, off again practice for the past fifteen years. While I am more of an “ass over tea kettle” than a downward dog kind of guy, what I’ve learned on the mat has been much more than the asanas, or physical poses. While some yearn for the physical practice of yoga, I find myself much more attracted to the breathwork and mental benefits such as concentration and calmness.
I won’t lie, my favorite pose is Savasana (the one where you lie on the floor and relax at the end of class), but while yoga often feels taxing on my body, the biggest takeaway from all my years of practice has been to simply step onto the mat. When we step onto the mat, we are committing, for that session, that we will put our best effort forward for that amount of time. Every time we show up, we show up to do our best, whatever our best might be that day.
While the obstacles of the day may change, our commitment does not. When we commit to do our best, we get results. While they may not be the results we expect, something is still gained from the commitment and effort exerted. If we take the same principle to other parts of our life, like work, we can expect the same.
No matter how much I don’t want to step onto the mat some days, I always feel better after I do – every single time. And I am always rewarded with Savasana. This is also true in the workplace. If you show up—I mean really show up—and buy into the work, you will feel better every time, and you will be rewarded for it with results.
When we go to the office – or in this day and age, turn on our computers at home – we should be choosing to step onto the mat. Like yoga, it’s important to remove all the obstacles and distractions. Throw yourself into your work by doing the physical part: the asanas of your work. If you put in the hard eight on the front end, you’ll have a hard eight toward deliverables. When you’re finished (and this is the most important part), relax and appreciate the effort.
So I ask you – do you show up to do the work? If not, what could you accomplish if you did? Are you ready to find out? If so, join me for a retreat, and we’ll get to work.
There you have the keys to the wisdom of stepping onto the mat and truly showing up to do the work. What are your thoughts and takeaways from your own personal practices? Let me know in the comments below.