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Are you ready for change? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “No”. 

Not wanting change is perfectly normal because we are hardwired to resist change. It disrupts our habits and beliefs, while fostering new, often unfamiliar experiences.  I’m not a transition expert, but if you ask me, shifting our script seems pretty daunting.   

I learned very early in my career that people resist change.  I went from pursuing a career in medicine to taking a job at an ad agency that specialized in travel, fashion, and beauty. It was an exciting glam job on Madison Avenue a la Mad Men days.   I decided to leave that job for another in healthcare advertising, HR asked me why I wanted to move, and I told them that there wasn’t enough opportunity to learn new skills, work on different accounts or take on challenges in that role.  Plus I wanted to do something in healthcare.  They told me that I was unusual in wanting this, and that most of their employees preferred the comfort and familiarity of staying in place working on what they knew. 

This was a pivotal moment for me, because I learned two things: my career needs were different from most people and secondly, I wasn’t afraid of change, but rather inspired and motivated by new and unexpected challenges.

 These are different times — the agency business is different.  For example, we are now tied to our utilization, and can no longer skip out to a movie spontaneously unless we have planned PTO. We have unlimited flex time to take care of our personal stuff, but no time to actually take the time to do our thing.   

Lately I’ve been examining where I want to be in my career over the next several years, how I want to fuel my tank –   be creative and strategic; to surround myself with the kinds of interesting people that the advertising industry attracts. 

I know that my career doesn’t define me, but the industry, with all its uncertainties and anxiety producing moments, has been very good to me and guided me to be the person I am today.    A person who recognizes that when you are operating Mach 10 with your hair on fire you can get burned.  And there’s gotta be a counterbalance to make it work.

I’d been practicing yoga and studying mindfulness for a long while.   Despite what I knew, I wasn’t ready to take my training to the next level and teach others.  But during the pandemic I was looking to surround myself with community in a new way and in a new place where I knew no one.   I began teaching yoga and meditation to friends and colleagues online, which was another pivotal moment for me, because now, almost two years later, I am teaching yoga regularly, which has helped me, and students find the counterbalance.

Yoga and meditation bring together the mind, body, and spirit to overcome fear and reluctance for change by rewiring the brain and dialing down the nervous system.  It is fascinating how a 5,000 yearold practice, has so much relevance today, when it is needed more than ever before.  Yoga has given me the mental discipline to embrace change with an open mind and genuine curiosity in a way I never knew I could. 

So, where am I going with this?   Nothing in life presents a clear straight path forward. Unknowns are threatening, change is disruptive.   Yet, if we can bring a practice of mindfulness and yoga to the work we do, at any level and in any way, it just may help us embrace the benefits of making changes that fuel us in new ways without getting freaked.

Namaste folks.


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