Monday, June 04, 2012

more on the zone of genius

This weekend we had a gathering of yogini minds..... or a teacher meeting.  I opened up our gathering with a guided meditation that connected us to all the teachers, mentors, guides, and role models we've had throughout our life.  Beginning as early as we could recall and working up to present time.

I also reminded my fellow teacher that not all teachers and the experiences we had with them would be positive.  Some teachers may simply have taught us how we didn't want to be.

I also encouraged them to make note of books, songs, words, lyrics, and movies they can recall as having resonated with them.  We used this as inspiration to draw forth qualities and traits that were wanting to emerge in us as yoga teachers.

I have a few teachers that stand out in my mind.  When I do this exercise the one that continually comes up in my mind as creating the biggest impact on my life is Mr. Brashear.  I had Mr. Brashear for three years in high school.  That's him in the photo above on a trip to Canada.

He was my first teacher in anything business related. He cared about all of his students. He was down to earth, funny and easy to talk to.  He believed in me. He saw something in me I didn't see in myself.  He saw potential and year after year, he kept drawing that potential out in me.  He believed in my worth well before I did. 

Mr. Brashear taught me that dreams come true. He showed me the power of travel.  I took my first flight, saw the ocean for the first time, as well as Niagara Falls under his leadership.  It is because of him, his teachings, and his belief in me that my world expanded and I could see bigger and farther than the ways I'd always known. 

I'm deeply, deeply grateful for Mr. Brashear.  Now I can look back. See the links. Connect the dots and see that he was drawing forth my own natural genius.

Last week I wrote on the zones of incompetence and competence.  I shared lots of my flaws. Today I'm writing on the zone of excellence and the zone of genius.

The zone of excellence are the activities you do really well, the ones you excel at.  It's likely you make a living from doing the things that fall under this category.  In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks says,

"For successful people this zone is seductive and even dangerous trap. To remain in this zone is to hobble yourself from taking the leap into your Zone of Genius. The temptation is strong to remain in the Zone of Excellence; it's where your own addition to comfort wants to stay. It's also where your family, friends, and organization what you to stay.  You're reliable there, and you provide a steady supply of all things that family, friends, and organizations thrive on.  The problem is that a deep, sacred part of you will wither and die if you stay inside your Zone of Excellence."

This is an area you rock.  But are you playing it safe?  What are the activities that fall under this category for you?

I'm excellent at teaching group yoga classes.  My groundedness, my ability to stay in the moment, and my mind all work in ways that support me in teaching group yoga classes.  In my early days when I was studying to become a yoga teacher, I could look at a sequence, process it for a few moments, then teach it with steadiness and ease.

I was able to excel at this even though I didn't like public speaking.
I was able to excel at this without having all the muscles and bones memorized.
I was able to excel at this even though I was shy and introverted.
I was able to excel at this without having ten years of yoga experience. 
In fact, I took my first yoga teacher training within a year of practicing yoga.

Even in those early years, something else would kick in and take over when I was leading yoga.  It felt natural and easy.  Seventy five minutes later I felt I would finish teaching class and feel so filled with peace, contentment, and joy.  Eight years later and I feel the same. 

Yesterday I was walking alone in the cemetery and I realized that I've taught yoga nearly double the amount of time that I stayed in my full time job in Texas after graduate school.  I've done so with great joy, with great passion and great purpose.  This feels significant.

I love being a yoga teacher.  Since the beginning I've challenged myself to do the things I wasn't quiet sure I could do.  I've continually challenged myself.  I've summoned the courage to continually grow, to risk my own significance.

Over the past 16 months I've asked myself, where am I playing it safe in my life?  How can I hone in on my greatest strengths and abilities? As Grace asks me, what produces the highest ratio of abundance per time spent?

The zone of genius are the skills and strengths that are unique to you.  This is full fledged working and living in the zone, feeling in the flow when you are doing these activities.  Work doesn't really seem like work.  You feel deeply satisfied and nourished by these pursuits.

What are your top strengths?

What are your greatest passions?

What are you praised for?

What are the things that make you different, unique?

What are your unique abilities?

What work do you do that doesn't feel like work?

In her book The Fire Starter Sessions, Danielle LaPorte says that gratitude is a feedback loop that will show you where you are thriving.  That the "gratitude you receive from others is a reflection of your genius."

When you receive gratitude for the things you do within your natural genius it will resonate on a deep level.  Even if you can't explain it.  Your body will vibrate with a certain energy, an aliveness that feels affirming, full, juicy, and yes.....delicious.

I'm living into, honoring my own inner genius when I'm combining yoga, work around passion and purpose in beautiful and natural settings.  Part of my genius is in creating new material and information for the retreats and yoga teacher trainings that I lead. 

Part of my genius is found in inspiring people to believe in themselves, to be devoted to the process from dreaming to doing, to live into their highest purpose.  Yoga and yogic wisdom are the tools I use for doing so.  That's what I love love love about teaching.

What are your very own genius ways of working and being?

Thank you again Mr. Brashear. You rock.

No comments: