Articles Tagged ‘Deseri Garcia’

Meditation and the Art of Being Quiet

Monday, August 31st, 2015

A friend of mine just returned from a five-day business trip to New York City. When I asked her how it went, she said, “Great! My meetings went well and I enjoyed the night life. But wow, I’m feeling frazzled. I really just need some quiet!”

I gave her a knowing smile, and she said (while rolling her eyes), “Oh, please. You don’t have to tell me … I know what I need to do.”

What I wanted to tell her, and what she already knew, was that her body was missing the meditative practices she had grown accustomed to (and yes, I had something to do with that). The constant noise that most of us are subjected to, whether it’s the sounds of electronics, traffic, machines or other people, can take a toll on your mind and body, especially when that noise level is beyond what you’re used to.

And that’s not even counting the other “noises” we deal with every day in our head, like: negative self-talk; obsessive list-making; worrying over deadlines; replaying stressful conversations; negotiating business deals or preparing for conflict resolution.

Most us of spend endless days running from task to task and place to place, tending to our colleagues, customers, family, children or bosses. We text, call, talk and listen to multiple conversations and stimuli pretty much around the clock. But we rarely take the time to breathe, calm down and get centered. Meditation is a practice that can transform your life and restore your energy and balance. The art of being quiet can bring with it an extensive list of additional physical and mental benefits, including:

Stress reduction
Increased attention span
Lower blood pressure
Better sleep
Higher brain function
Increased immunity
Clarity and peace of mind

There’s no doubt about it – meditation can be transformational. But don’t just take my word for it. “Getting away from the noise,” as my friend described it, is nothing new. For centuries, civilizations have known the benefits of this practice. But what might surprise you is how meditation is finding its way in places other than yoga studios and nature retreats. Here are some great examples:

Professional athletes use meditation to improve their game.
School systems in San Francisco, New York City and other communities around the world successfully incorporate meditation in the classroom.
Stressed-out employees find ways to meditate at their desk, and during their normal work day.

Some innovative (and maybe a little unconventional) quiet-seekers gravitate to extreme and unusual places like icy lakes and on top of buildings to find their calm.

Progressive CEOs, like Aetna’s Mark Bertolini, provide the space and opportunity for thousands of their workers to meditate and practice yoga.

As my friend discovered, meditation requires regular practice. But the good news is that it only takes a few minutes a day, and for many of us, that’s all we have! Anyone can learn to do it, and the benefits can help you create the very life you want to lead. Ready to find your quiet? I can help you with that.

What’s your quiet?

Do you practice meditation regularly? Where is your favorite place to practice it, and what type of benefits have you experienced? I’d love to hear about your stories. Please leave your comments below.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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The High Value of Disruption

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Have you ever gone someplace new or done something different and felt like it startled you awake? Have you ever been with someone you’ve known for years and, in a flash, saw them in a new way for the very first time? Ever notice how keenly aware you are when you are doing something you don’t normally do?

Life, people, places, nature can influence how aware, vibrant, energetic and creative you feel.

As I sat down to write this article, I felt stuck and uninspired. I knew my feelings of frustration were not connected with the task at hand. I had a sense I simply needed a change of pace to inspire my creative juices and get things flowing. Having about an hour, I packed up my backpack, grabbed a blanket, put my dogs in the car and headed to the park. When I sat down in the park, the first draft of this post began to flow.

I’m a fan of shaking things up every now and then. When we hire coaches, it creates a new dynamic and level of accountability – that’s disruptive. Experience–based learning, getting people out of their comfort zones – again, disruptive.

When we disrupt the status quo, we make room for presence, awareness, innovation, creativity and new perspectives.

A colleague and I facilitated an Emotional Intelligence training recently. Following the retreat, one of the participants stopped us to talk about the benefits of the day. He confessed before arriving, he was aggravated by “having to be there” but was profoundly impacted by being outside of the workplace to learn. When I asked why, in particular, that had a powerful impact for him he said, “Two reasons; One, I am rarely outside of our building during the workday. It was a welcome reprieve to get out of the office and be in a new environment…it got my creative juices flowing. Two, I was able to leave work at work and be present with our team without distractions. That impacted my receptivity to the training, my colleagues and learning.”

I hear that frequently. This post is not about the power of getting your team outside of the workplace, even though I do recommend that for amazing impact. Rather it is about leveraging disruption as a tool. Disruptions can break us from our normal routine and environment and compel us to open ourselves to new perspectives.

Viewing a project from a 30,000 foot view; observing how we interact with our colleagues in new, creative ways; and, having the time and space to reflect upon making shifts in how we operate allows us to:
•Challenge assumptions
•Ask better questions
•See through prejudices
•Discover new possibilities
•Recognize emerging leadership traits
•Create new habits

Disruption can be a change agent. Used intentionally in coaching and training, it can also be a powerful tool for facilitating growth, creativity, innovation and learning.

In what ways are you leveraging disruption in your business, personal practice and/or life?

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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I Dare You To Do The Opposite

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

“I just need to remember to take the time to take a deep breath every once in a while” said one of my executive coaching clients. “There is just no time for breathing in Corporate America.”

Ironic as that statement is, we can all relate.

We are plugged in and communicating with each other like never before. Email, texting, social media, chatting, apps … the list goes on. Our days are filled with balancing meetings, webinars, conferences, workshops, projects and reports. On top of that we have clients, bosses, colleagues, team members, managers and executive boards to deal with. In the meantime we need to make sure we are improving our focus and performance … oh, and don’t forget to maintain your life-work balance.

I recently came across a commencement address by Maria Shriver. In it she said,

“Pausing allows you to take a beat — to take a breath in your life. As everybody else is rushing around like a lunatic out there, I dare you to do the opposite.”

We have so much to do. Oftentimes we get swept up into moving from one blocked task, meeting or function to the next and before we know it the day has ended. Reflecting back on our day how often did we take a moment to pause, take a deep breath and re-center? Once? Twice? Never?

Who has the time for that and why would you?

Because pausing, taking a deep breath and reflecting / re-centering are the most powerful tools we have to improve our performance. Not to mention our health, well-being, creativity, energy and vitality. We really don’t have the time to not take time.

Poet Doug King on the value of incubating, “Learn to Pause … or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.”

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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Top 10 Trends in Team Building

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Top 10 Team Building TrendsCorporate leaders, trainers, coaches and consultants are drawn to team building because of its long-term effectiveness in the workplace. As we look toward goal achievement and plans for individual and team development, it’s valuable to know the trends in the business.

Key benefits of team building include:
•Communication enhancement – breaking down barriers
•Build on individual strengths and strengthen leadership skills
•Create opportunities for groups of people to work with each other to accomplish goals and objectives
•Leveraging resources – break down silos
•Tap into new avenues of creativity and brainstorming
•Project management, organization and teamwork skills

Here is a list of the top 10 trends:

1. Team Building that gives back to the community – Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropic focused events; charity bike build, putt putt for pantry, backpacks for kids, to name a few.

2. TV inspired events – Min It to Win It Teams, music and video events, Corporate Survivor, Amazing Race and game show simulations.

3. Virtual team building events – on-line and multi-location interactive events.

4. Culinary-centric Events – sangria making and marketing challenge, stir-fry cooking challenge, bake a cake and chili cook-off.

5. Team building with movement, art and music – drum circles, team movement, team artwork projects.

6. Technology and Gaming – smart phone hunts, urban gaming, iPad team events,

7. Team Development Events – experience-based training events tied to specific team or corporate development objectives.

8. Team Building and Business Simulations – leadership and business skills development.

9. Outdoor and Adventure-based – strategic activities, ropes challenge courses, build a boat and orienteering.

10. Multi-day destination retreats – consultative experience-based professional development events.

Team building events are not to be confused with recreational activities. The ROI and true value of a well facilitated team building experience comes from process, debrief and reflective questioning.

Deseri Garcia
Vida Aventura
317-362-4898
www.vidaaventura.net

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