Honestly, I thought I would be running out of ideas but each day a new opportunity pops up!
Today, I invite you to do an energy boosting exercise – one that I did on Friday morning but you can do as read this post!
Extend your arms in front you, palms facing each other. Slowly lift your hands, keeping your elbows straight, until your elbows are next to your ears. Hold your arms up as you read – if you have to scroll, bring one hand down and then bring it right back up. The goal is to keep your arms up, palms facing in, for 2 full minutes!
Hands up? Start reading!
Monday was such a busy a day – my niece and her 6 year old daughter left and I had to catch up. In the middle of the day I squeezed in a meeting with the co-founders of an amazing nonprofit that I will be writing about later this week, R.I.S.E. to Empower, and a potential partner for the organization. As I sat in that meeting, I tried to listen differently. I usually listen to fully explore what the other person has to share and let it all fall where it may. On Monday, I set out to listen with the intent of finding every opportunity and every place where I could make a difference. Each time something came up, I noted it for review later. Yes, I walked out with a big to-do list but I also came away with a full heart, renewed spirit, and a genuine sense of finding and serving my purpose. AND just by thinking about a situation differently, I kept alternative pathways in my brain open.
(Hands and arms still up? Reach your fingertips up as if you were reaching for the sky…. )
On Tuesday, exhaustion set in early and about 2 PM I absolutely hit the wall. No energy, no brain power, no ability to focus or concentrate – no good. I went to Pandora.com and created a classical guitar station. I sat, eyes closed, focused only on the beat of the music and tried to clear mind – just follow the music for 5 minutes. It is amazing how restoring that was. I went back to work with that Pandora station on in the background and, as a bonus, I smiled all the way through the rest of the work I had to finish and beyond!
Here is one of my favorite energy boosting guitar pieces. Save it for a day when you are feeling low energy (and your hands are not up)!
Wednesday’s exercise was so much fun!
We laughed, we ate, and we played brain games. I will review the games we tried later this week but for now just know that even though Think-a-ma-bobs is a really cute name for a game, it is an incredibly challenging workout for your brain.
On Thursday I was finishing some financial projections and budget numbers due on Friday morning. I had to transfer the budget numbers from one format to another and do some fancy math to present the package. I could have used a template I created in the past or used the cool XCEL functions to figure percentages and get the totals but I had a few extra minutes and wanted to create a challenge to both make the mundane a bit more interesting and to wake up a few of those old functions in my brain. I started with a blank XCEL spreadsheet and wrote my own formulas from scratch. I cut my teeth on Lotus 1-2-3 (remember that?) so this, in days gone by, would have been a breeze. It took me minute (and a quick Google search…) to get restarted but once I did, I fell right back into it! I reopened some pathways and activated a part of my brain that I just don’t use anymore because I technology fills in all the gaps for me. Thinking harder feels good….
Hands still up? If you can, keep going!
This was my Friday morning sunrise so I had to find a way to just slow it down and take all of that in while boosting my energy and setting the tone of my day. I took my coffee and my sweater out on the patio and decided to do a focusing exercise. Standing up with my arms over my head – like you are doing right now right or just finished doing 🙂 – I picked a point in the skyline and fixed my gaze. I focused on the rush of the cool air in and the warmth of my exhale as I held my gaze on the point for about 2 minutes. That exercise is the perfect way to start and set my focus for the day. I read a study that I now can’t find about Japanese businessmen and this exercise. The study said that those who held their hands up over their heads for two minutes before entering a meeting felt more energized, were more excited about what they were talking about, and “succeeded” more. I would love to find that study but no matter – it makes me feels so energized and it is something I can do while doing something else!
I rolled Saturday’s exercise into racquetball. I tried to play entire points using either just my forehand or just my backhand. That was tough – the ball came at me quickly and it is really hard to think, move, and react appropriately that quickly. I started playing in the back of the court (I usually try to play in the middle so I can shift as needed) so that I had time to react. What a great brain challenge but not so good for winning points!
On to today’s exercise – whatever that will be!
Day 23…oh my on the home stretch!