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Mindful : August 2016
The words “power lunch” used to conjure up an image of men in expensive business suits gath- ering in an upscale restaurant to have a drink, eat lunch and make a deal. But having a different kind of power lunch is an important part of cul- tivating your capacity to lead your life in a more focused, clear, and compassionate way. In this lunch, the power is about taking a Purposeful Pause to actually set aside time to nourish your body, connect with some colleagues or friends, and punch a hole in the constant busyness of the day. In today’s power lunch, the idea is to make a conscious choice that powers your body, mind, and heart. WHAT TO DO 1 First, take a look at your calendar and block out time to eat lunch every day. This can be the most difficult step. We often forgo lunch because we are too busy or because someone else has booked meetings over lunch. Take charge of making the time to fuel your body. You can’t have power if there is no fuel! 2 Next, invite some colleagues or friends to join you. Spending time cultivating connections with people fuels us in a different way: It fuels our mind and our heart. When we engage in conversation and feel the connections we have with others, it helps us get out of our overly busy, thinking mind. We can take this Purposeful Pause over lunch to mindfully eat our food— taking in the tastes, smells, colors, and textures. And we will have the space in our day to step off the treadmill and perhaps remember how power ful it is to connect to ourselves and to those around us. The day is well underway when you notice that a familiar tightness in your neck and shoulders has returned, or you feel your heart racing as your mind fills with judgments, worries, and planning. This is a g reat time to do what athletes do, and walk it off. Only in this case, instead of walking the sidelines waiting for physical pain to subside, you make the simple act of walking—to the break room or the bathroom or even to your next meeting—a Purposeful Pause. Take the time to engage in a mini-practice, to explore once again, as you did over your morning coffee, what it’s like to nourish your body and mind using a routine, simple act as a prompt for mindfulness. WHAT TO DO 1 As you begin to walk, put away your phone and just walk. Notice your feet touching the floor, how the air feels against your skin, the sounds of voices or machinery, the expressions on the faces of the people that you pass, etc. 2 Any time you begin to see your mind replaying something that was said in the last meeting, or imagin- ing something terrible that might happen, or planning what you are going to say in the next meeting, simply notice the thinking and redirect your attention back to your body’s experience of walking down the hall. 3 Anchoring ourselves to the present experience of walking down the hall can break the cycle of the incessant thinking and worrying that wears us out. ● Janice Marturano is founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, a nonprofit that trains and supports leaders in exploring mindfulness and leadership excellence. She founded the institute after ending her tenure as Vice President, Public Responsibility and Deputy General Counsel for General Mills. She is the author of Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership. 4 power lunch, anyone? walk it off 5 August 2016 mindful 45