Martha Treats Archives
Treat #57 : A Bow of Respect

  Today here in Malaysia I noticed that each time I entered or left the room where I am coaching, the receptionist would stand and slightly bow to me. I spoke to her and expressed my gratitude. She explained that the bowing was an expression of her respect.

As I went back to working with my client we were talking about ways of slowing down the pace a bit and relaxing the pressure of the workload. I shared my experience of practicing "exaggerated slowness" anytime I start to feel that "way out ahead of myself" place. It occurred to me as we were talking that the guts of what I am teaching/learning is to respect and honor myself in the process of taking action, in a sense bowing to who I am as I am doing.

When I am willing to honor myself by focusing my attention fully in the moment, then the sense of urgency disappears and the work happens in a natural flow. Often I find that the impossible gets handled in ways I couldn't have created with my worry, frenetic pace and distractions. Having my full attention opens more space.

What my clients are telling me lately is they are experiencing more and more pressure and less and less completion. I am observing that the pressure is more about not choosing to respect and honor ourselves with our own attention than it is about the volume of work. And the volume is increasing, so our attention is needed more.

One common example I observe is the allowing of constant interruption, the dropping of everything the minute the phone rings or the Blackberry vibrates, without even noticing what we are dropping to run to the ringing and the buzzing. One of my clients was commenting that he knows he is addicted to his Blackberry and the constant interruption, yet he feels obligated by his culture to continue to do so.

I offered my client the challenge of spending one day with the Blackberry vibrator turned off, choosing to check his email at intervals of his choice thus giving himself time to focus on the work needing his attention. If, as a result, he experienced an increase in his focus and productivity, then I encouraged him to do it a second day. The idea is to keep experimenting until (and if) he notices greater focus and completion. It just takes one person in a culture to start to demonstrate a way-of-doing that respects being.

I know bowing to our own attention will carry us to successful completion and create solutions to the ever increasing workloads.

Martha Invitations

1. Take a day off from urgency in any form and go slowly in focus.

2. See what interruption in your life you are most addicted to and switch your behavior for one day and then another and then another. Notice any difference.

3. Today honor yourself in some way that respects who you are and what you do.