On Monday 5-Dec-22, I broke my last year's record of 11 minutes by holding the plank for 12 minutes. Though, on Friday 2-Dec-22, when I tried to hold the plank, I fell down after 1 minute 30 seconds.
Couple of lessons here:
1. Past is no reference for what may get created in the future, yet we live life with our past creating our future.
2. We need Agility of our Mind to operate in the present moment with only the learnings form the past and not from fears of the past.
3. Learnings from the past help us create a powerful future in alignment with our intentions; fears from the past recreate the pain of the past in the future.
4. It's logically impossible for me to do 12 minutes plank. I am 49, probably in menopause, genetically anaemic because I have a condition called Thalassemia Minor. I am plant-based and fast daily for about 16 hours, eating 2 meals between 10 am to 6:00 pm with fruits or vegetable smoothies to replace the 3rd meal in-between.
That means even if something is logically impossible, we can still achieve it.
5. My fitness coach is certain it is not my body that does the plank, my mind does it. She is right and there's a lesson here. Mind is way more powerful than we give credit to it. And, our Mind can bend Reality in alignment with our intentions.
Then, the question is how do we strengthen the Mind. I like to use the phrase - Agility of Mind, because it feels more accurate. By default, our Mind is stuck to one point on the Ball of Perspective, which feels very logical, giving us a certain point of view. Since our mind is very logical, it will take Actions in alignment with that certain point of view.
And, guess what? The Results we create are in alignment with the Actions we take. If we want different results in our business, relationships, health or in any other area of our Life, we necessarily would need to take different Actions.
That's where the catch is. We cannot take different Actions if we don't see a different view on that Ball of Perspective. And, to see a different View, we would necessarily need to travel to another point on that Ball of Perspective. That, my friends, requires the mind to be Agile enough to move.
Then, the question is how do we strengthen our Agility of Mind.
There are many answers, one way is by strengthening the Agility of our Body because Mind (mental body) and Body (physical body) are interlinked not only to each other, but also to our Heart (emotional body) and Soul (spiritual body). The ancients in our country discovered this a long long long time ago. This understanding gave birth to Yoga, which is the only system in the world that works on all the 4 bodies. If you haven't integrated Yoga as part of your Daily Rhythm, stop reading the article and do that right away. Yoga to the mind, body, heart and soul is like brushing the teeth; to be done daily.
When we strengthen the Agility of our Body by pushing the body beyond what feels like its limits, we are in parallel stretching the boundaries of our Mind. As the boundaries of our Mind expand, the Mind becomes more Agile, becoming capable of moving easily and quickly around the Ball of Perspective.
Agility of Mind is the first Leadership Muscle (Gear 1), without which the inner Leadership journey cannot even begin. The key theme in Gear 1 is - 'I am extraordinary. I love myself.'
The default Mind is the small mind, operating from the Hole in the Soul -
i. I am not good enough.
ii. I am all alone. No one loves me.
iii. I am not important.
To get to Gear 1 itself requires a massive shift in human consciousness, massive amount of Agility of Mind to travel around the Ball of Perspective to find another point to see - I am extraordinary. I love myself. I am enough. I am worthy. My worth is not a function of my success and wealth. My success and wealth is a function of my worth in my own eyes. My success and wealth is a function of my contribution, the difference I am making which is a function of my worth in my own eyes. I can do it. If I imagine, I can do it. I can create from nothing.
Therefore, I push my body beyond its limits because I want to push my mind beyond its limits so that I break the barriers between my Conscious Mind, Sub-conscious Mind, Unconscious Mind and the Super-Conscious Mind.
On my One-Pager for 2022, I made a list of challenging tasks for my body. It's December and before the gong goes off at 12 midnight on 31-December-22 to welcome the new Year with a smile, I am going to give my best to do all that I had put out on my One-Pager.
Here's something I want all of you to remember, don't push yourself beyond limits without a Coach holding your Space. If you are planning to push yourself beyond your physical limits, ensure you have a Fitness Coach committed to you and to whom, you are committed to, because without that partnership, it is just not safe or advisable.
I push you all off the cliff because I am there holding your Space, with my arms wide open to catch you incase you fall. Jumping off the cliff is part of the growth journey because that's when we discover our wings and fly high to the sky of our limitless possibilities; and in the process strengthen our wings to fly even more higher.
That's me in the photo below, massively relieved that it's all over after the 12-minutes plank. Actually, I only meant to do 11 minutes 1 second to break my last year's record. There I was holding to the last ounce of strength in my body for my fitness coach to tell me 11 minutes 1 second is over, but she told me only after 12 minutes. I didn't even have the energy left to tell her - That's just not fair.
You may well ask how does all this have to do with building a business or having it all. Let me tell you the story before and after the plank.
It is middle of our staff meeting over Zoom on Monday, with all of us trying to grapple with the agenda, logistics and the plan for our first in-person 3-days Annual RYD Soul Retreat. We call our staff - RYD Soul. Why? Well, that's another story.
I had tried to scale the business 10 years ago. With a sense of relief, when my Chief Operating Officer quit, I scaled down the business to become a solopreneur. In retrospect, I realise I didn't have the Leadership Depth then to be responsible for my people, didn't have the Leadership Depth to truly take care of my people, that leading people felt like a burden. I was relieved to get my freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however I wanted without having to take the whole organisation with me, dragging me down as I wanted to fly in different directions at the same time.
Over time, as I strengthened my Leadership Depth, I realised if I wanted to increase the impact of my work, I needed to grow up and become an adult; a Nurturer, a Coach, a Leader to support my people to joyously lead themselves and their work from good to great, realise their dreams and have it all with ease and grace. That should have been easy enough for me to do considering that's what I do - day in, day out - for my coachees. My coachees are part of my Heart, I call them RYD Heart. My staff are part of my Soul, they are far closer home, far greatly impacted by my energy, needing far greater Leadership Depth from me.
My fractured hand in Oct 2019 gave me the emotional depth to make that leap, not only helping me to give to my coachees a lot more than I had ever been capable of before, but also to finally get the Leadership Depth to start scaling up again. The biggest breakdowns are the source of our biggest breakthroughs. In fact, a breakthrough is only born inside of a breakdown. So, welcome your breakdowns, embrace your breakdowns. They are the gifts from the Universe, guiding us forward to the summit of our Mount Everest, personally and professionally.
So, in one year's time, we grew from 1 to 6 of us. And, on 5-Dec-22 at 12 noon, we were having a meeting over Zoom to finalise the first ever 3-day in-person Annual RYD Soul Retreat starting from 7-Dec. We are a Zoom organisation. We work over Zoom. Our Daily Huddle, weekly Deep-dives, Monthly Immersions all happen over Zoom. And, now we were going to be together for 3 days, in person - exciting and scary at the same time.
In the middle of the meeting, I get a call from my daughter from school crying that she wants to come home because she is tired and exhausted after being up the whole night for an exam. No, she doesn't want the driver to pick her up, She wants mumma to come. So, mumma moves the Zoom call to a Whatsapp call for her to continue to be in the meeting. Drops off from the call on reaching school to hear from her daughter, brings her home and settles her in. Daughter wants internet to watch Netflix. Mumma says No as it is better to sleep and becomes the devil again for her daughter; and rejoins the meeting.
By the time the meeting ends, I realise I am late for my fitness class. If I leave now, I will reach 15 minutes late. My fitness coach is okay this time. Usually, she makes me do 5 burpees for every one-minute I am late. I reach and share my intention of doing 11 minutes 1s plank, though just 3 days ago, I had fallen down after 1 minute 30s. With the intention set, I get started and break the 12 minutes barrier.
I have an unscheduled coaching call on the way back home. We have a family dinner at home because it's my son's birthday. Things are going on well till at midnight, my son and my husband have a tussle. Another breakdown. Everyone is shouting at each other with my daughter joining in. I feel strong and still in the midst of the chaos.
I am kind of feeling stuck now, not sure how to proceed, whether I have the courage to continue telling the story.
Writer's Block has gripped me since my hand got fractured; after writing massively for many years before. Words no longer effortlessly flowed out, as they had before, as if they were scared to come out. It is on my One-Pager to write for one-hour daily but I never found the time. I know better - it wasn't time. It never is the time. It is always our own emotional energy. I just didn't know how to write without baring my soul and I was scared of baring my soul. That's why writer's block gripped me since Oct 2019.
For 1 year, 9 months from October 2019, my world crumbled in 1000 pieces. I did the 1000 pieces jig-saw puzzle to numb the pain, shedding buckets of tears with every piece I put in the jigsaw puzzle. I am a Have It All coach and I had nothing at all. Emotionally, I was shattered. My kids chose to stay with my husband. My hand was fractured so badly that the doctors said only a surgery would heal it. I left my home to set-up another house with a single hand with no money in the bank and no energy to work more than one coachee I was coaching.
Years of being a coach gave me enough strength to get-up after having crashed down on the rocks and find a therapist who gave me courage to leave a toxic relationship. Through the therapist, I found a psychodrama support group and finally found Herb, my Psychodrama teacher and mentor. I re-discovered myself, re-invented myself, re-built myself with his help and with the help of my coach, Clarence, to re-build my business, which is far more successful than before because it is creating far more greater difference because I have far greater Leadership Depth today than I had before my hand got fractured.
I did 100 burpees in 28 minutes today, saving 2 minutes since the last time; and yet I wrote 100 burpees in 10 minutes in my 2022 One-Pager. I am going to play full-out to win, so will take another shot at 100 burpees in 10 minutes on 30-Dec-22.
It's all linked. The Stillness I experience is not only because of my rigorous work-out rhythm which includes yoga, karate and functional fitness. Though, it is a very important first step, a very important tool in strengthening the Agility of Mind; which gives us the access to undertake the inner Leadership journey in the first place. And, the outer business success and impact is built on the foundation of the inner Leadership journey. Greater the Leadership Depth on the inside, greater the Business Success is on the outside.
Inviting all of you to create a daily fitness rhythm, integrating elements from all these five elements to ensure a well-balanced Exercise Rhythm:
1. Aerobic Fitness / Cardiovascular or Endurance Workout
2. Strength Training
3. Core Exercises
4. Balance Training
5. Flexibility and Stretching
Include it as part of your 2023 One-pager and inspire yourself to show up daily for your fitness hour; though under the watchful, committed eyes of your fitness coach.
Our 3-day Annual RYD Soul Retreat was deeply fulfilling, bringing all of us together on our Shared Purpose of supporting people to have it all; and be happy, healthy and prosperous. We are bound together by our shared Big Hairy Audacious Goal of creating USD 15 Trillion impact enabling India to be the world's most developed, beautiful and greenest nation in the world; with her citizens happiest, healthiest and the most prosperous by 2037.
Today 6 of us believe in this dream. I know the dream will become a reality as more people believe in this dream and as we take actions today in alignment with our dream of tomorrow. Because FATE is From All Thoughts Everywhere. India will become the world's most developed, beautiful and greenest nation with her citizens happiest, healthiest and the most prosperous. When more and more people in our country believe this dream, when this dream becomes the place to come from, we will bend Reality in alignment with our Dream. I have a Dream. That is more powerful than I have a Plan because without a Dream, a Plan will bring us to a screeching halt after sometime. I have a Dream, therefore I will continuously evolve the Plan which begins with giving my all to my coachees tomorrow to coach them to joyously lead themselves and their businesses from good to great, realise their dreams and have it all with ease and grace; while having lots of fun along the way.
Dream Big. Create Big. Impact Big.
And, it all begins with pushing your body beyond its limits.