It had been a while since I’d visited the Rubin Museum of Art and I’d forgotten how beautiful it was. From the moment I walked in after a hectic day, I felt myself relax, almost back to where I’d been after my morning meditation. I’d come for an event on Mindfulness at Work, hosted by the Garrison Institute. The speakers included psychologist Daniel Goleman, Ph.D, Insight Meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, and workplace mindfulness expert Janice Marturano.
Even the moderator was fascinating: New York Times journalist David Gelles, who will have a book out next year that I can’t wait to read, Mindful Work (Eamon Dolan Books). Gelles posed a series of questions and the panelists shared their wisdom and humor in response. The conversation about mindfulness in the workplace really resonated with me since I run two businesses—Rewire Me and a real estate development and management company—and I’m always interested in learning more about skillful leadership and mindfulness on the job. It’s important to feel good about ourselves so that we can find happiness in our work, with our co-workers, and within ourselves.
Daniel Goleman’s Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (Harper) is one of my favorite books. I’m so drawn to the way he explores and explains attention and I loved hearing him speak in person. He explained how technology keeps gnawing away at our ability to focus and how we can’t pay attention well to the task at hand when we are constantly being distracted by email, texts, and other forms of social media. When leaders are touched by something, he said, they want everyone around them to be touched by it, too. Yes! I founded Rewire Me so that I could share what I’d learned about healing our lives.
Sharon Salzberg, whose work I love, was there to promote her newest book, Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace (Workman). If you’re interested in mindfulness meditation and metta (lovingkindness) practice, I recommend her Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala). It’s a real life-changer. Every time I hear Sharon speak, I come away with new wisdom. This time it was “Mindfulness does not equal passivity” and “Mindfulness serves not just to heal ourselves…it also serves as a platform for insight. And it’s out of that insight that compassion arises.”
Janice Marturano was a new name for me, but now I’m reading and enjoying her new book, Finding the Space to Lead: A Practical Guide to Mindful Leadership (Bloomsbury Press). Having been a businesswoman for most of my adult life, I was especially attracted to the way Janice applies meditation techniques and neuroscience to management, leadership, and the workplace. She suggests we approach our work lives not with “What do I want to do?” but rather “Who do I want to be?” I love this! I’ve even encouraged my children to ask themselves this question.
It was a great night and I’m looking forward to attending more events at the Rubin this spring, especially the Bodies in Balance art exhibition and interactive experience of Tibetan medicine. I’m also hoping to make it to one of Janice Marturano and Sharon Salzberg’s retreats coming up at the Garrison Institute in upstate New York. If you’re on the East Coast you should check both places out—they’re amazing resources!
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