Over the weekend .. once the washing was done and the house duties sorted .. I gave myself a treat .. diving into one of my new books (see what was inside my Amazon box).
I am eager to finish reading Thrive, the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Arianna Huffington, before I head off to the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI) two day course in Sydney at the end of the month.
[What is the SIYLI? The mind is the root of all things. SIY provides evidence-based practices to grow in self-mastery. It’s about navigating our opportunities and challenges with more resilience, more engagement, and more happiness. It’s about living and leading fully... Our secret sauce is a ground-breaking pairing of Emotional Intelligence, Neuroscience, and Mindfulness toward leadership capacity].
And today I learnt about "email apnea", a term coined by Linda Stone who worked on emerging technologies at both Apple and Microsoft in the 1980's and 90's.
What is email apnea?
Linda found that when reading her email she would hold her breath for short bursts of time. She later conducted a study to find out if others experienced the same thing .. and found that 80% of those examined also had periods of 'email apnea'.
As Thrive outlines, and I am a constant teacher of .. "disrupting your body's breathing pattern can knock your body's balance of oxygen, nitric oxide, and carbon dioxide out of whack, which can, in turn, play a part in exacerbating stress-related conditions".
And, what to do if email apnea strikes?
By becoming aware of our breath .. in meditation, when reading emails and in general daily life .. we step out of automatic pilot living and reconnect with the world around and within us.
And perfectly timed, this week there was also an article in the Washington Post featuring one of my favourite meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg; You’re missing out on your experiences. A meditation expert explains how to live in the moment.
Sharon is a New York Times best selling author, a teacher of meditation and mindfulness and one of the co-founders of the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts.
Question: OK, mindfulness seems to be all the rage right now, but why do it? Why meditate? Why be mindful? What does that do for us?
Salzberg: "Mindfulness has a lot of benefits.
One is simply connecting with our lives as we live them
If you drink your coffee while reading your paper, and checking your emails, with the TV on, that can lead to you feeling perpetually disconnected and unfulfilled. You may think, you need to get different coffee, or grind it differently, and that would make you feel more satisfied, instead of realizing, ‘Maybe the first step is really actually inhabiting our life and really connecting to it every once in awhile.’
Sometimes, just drink the cup of coffee and experience it fully
So, are you living too much on 'auto-pilot' .. do you suffer from email apnea? .. can you just drink the cup of coffee and experience it fully?