Being present to a piece of peace

StillnessMy musings on mindfulness practice…

“What do I look for when there is nothing to gaze at?

What do I hear, when I still all noises without ‘n within?

What do I feel, when I open myself to myself?

What do I say, when I commune silently with my soul herein?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me closer to my self that lives within, a stranger till now unknown.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me to a doorway that invites a dive into a kindly vortex where senses don’t count.

 

Why does it seduce me to stay longer to peer into a boundless vortex?

Why does it pull me towards it? Only opposites are supposed to attract!

Why does it feel like a sludge has been skimmed off?

Why does it vaporise the confusion while wonderment enacts?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Soaks me, envelopes me, surrounds me in the loving oneness.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Brings me upfront with the dreams, entrusted only to me to construct.

 

How does it allow the knowing, just when I hush the knowledge I have?

How does it bring more happiness, well-being and joie de vivre?

How does it heal, with a mere concoction of time and intention?

How does it create magic when my ‘clown’ and my ‘magician’ vanish altogether?

Being present to a piece of peace,

Is an indulgence we were born to savour every moment of our life.

Being present to a piece of peace,

Is my breath, my safest haven – shielding me from the gust around”.

– Harmeet Anand

 

 

 

 

Put a full stop to coveting style

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Ever secretly envied a team member who hogs the limelight. Their physical presence or tele-presence draws attention while you can’t get enough air time? Or have you ever wished to be endowed with super organisational skills like that colleague who has everything under control, including that wild thing called the inbox?

Motivated to learn new tricks and acquire habits we secretly admire in others, is a well adaptive behavior for adults. After all how we behave and communicate affects our success in myriad of ways. Enhanced communication aids us in…

  • In our career seeking abilities
  • In maintaining productive inter personal relationships
  • Overall Job performance

Yet trying out new behavior that does not come naturally to us is tricky and rarely sticks. It’s not cynicism when leaders say that it’s hard to get their people to change their behavioral style. It is the hard truth.

Changing behaviour permanently is hard primarily for two reasons. Firstly, because our schemas (organized thought, behavior and how we respond to the world) have been deeply ingrained and learned from a very early age. Secondly, trying to change a behaviour because it seems to work when others do so, keeps us externally focused. And if that in itself is not frustrating, in adult learning experience no change becomes permanent unless its from the inside.

In my work as an executive coach who focuses on communication and leadership skills I support people in finding that passion so they get motivated to do the right thing for the right reasons. Which means we often work together on behavioral changes hinged on client values and motivation. Following a ‘3 step process’ makes this change sustainable as it’s inside-out.

Here is what happens when we take this process one step at a time.

Step 1:

I have seen people light up from the inside when they become aware of “how they show up” to others. (Its the Johari Window’s part of what others are aware of, and you aren’t). It may or may not be in contrast with your own self-knowledge. But the knowledge you would have so far about your behaviour is tentative. The knowledge you get now is from an objective source and is scientifically backed, making it almost feel like a revelation – one which has a powerful effect and is aha-worthy. I call it the step of “being acquainted with your own style”. And I have seen many people get “aha” moment at the first stage of “acquaintance”. 

Step 2:

The second step in the process is to “own” your style. Each individual’s unique style comes with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Many strengths have been over used and have become a source of weakness.

Owning the good, bad and the ugly aspects becomes easier, because of the first step of self-validation. A development plan starts to take shape in step 2 and it is internally driven after seeing what’s working and what’s coming in your way.

Clients usually select one crucial aspect rather than floundering over many. That sharpens the results. At this stage you  know what you are trying to change is an adaptive style, instead of tinkering around with a well-ingrained natural style of behaving and communicating.

Step 3:

This is the final step and a critical one called “leveraging” your strengths. To be naturally gifted with a unique style gives you an edge over others, makes you an invaluable team contributor and a part-creator of the whole system. When you know what comes easily to you, you also know what areas will bring out your natural passion. And you automatically draw yourself towards those projects, conversations and events. That helps you be in the right place doing the things where you shine bright.

The 3-step process for personal and professional success in creating long-term behaviour change is …“Acquaint yourself to your Style – Own it – Leverage it”. Following this process gets you to do the things that feel right for you and bring you results, without the frustration.

Join me in the public workshops held in Mumbai, India for professionals and initiate a journey to creating a personal change that impacts your professional life positively and manifold. Email at harmeet.anand@gmail.com for details of the workshops in your area. Click this link for the October 2016 workshop. 

Author (Harmeet Anand) is an ICF certified coach, a facilitator by profession and has international executive and life coaching experience. She is trained on many assessment tools including the DISC, has conducted workshops in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and Indonesia supporting clients get even more success in achieving their goals by understanding their communication and behavioral style, owning it and leveraging it.

Image courtesy – unsplash.com

DISC Workshop – October 2016

Communication is Everything

If you have ever felt misunderstood or have been ineffective in selling an idea to another individual or simply desire to up your game at building relationships this workshop is for you.

Through the DISC workshop I support you in understanding your communication style and use the knowledge of your style to manage yourself better. Moreover the design of the workshop is aimed at also facilitating understanding of others’ styles and adapting your communication to improve your effectiveness. With this program you will:

  • Know yourself; manage yourself
  • Know others; adapt to others

DISC is a reliable, valid and popular tool that demystifies the styles in which different people communicate. In 1928, William Marston published a book “The Emotions of Normal People”, in which he described the four behaviours in terms of Dominance, Inducement, Steadiness and Compliance. This is the basis of the theory used today. In a nutshellDISC is a model of human behaviour, helping people understand “why they do what they do”.

In this workshop what you will get:

  • A personalised detailed report of your own unique DISC profile a.k.a. communication and      emotional behavioural “style”
  • Understand communication styles of others and appreciate them better
  • Know how to adapt your own style to target your audience and win in any situation
  • Know which styles relate to you the most and which cause discomfort
  • Know what is your natural style and most important your adapted style

This is a half day workshop. And will be held on Sunday (to accommodate those who are working).

Date: 15th Oct 2016| Time: 9am – 1pm | Location: Goregaon East | Cost: Available on Request

For those interested drop me a message on harmeet.anand@gmail.com I will share specifics on the workshop.

Note: Last date for reserving your spot and payment is 11th October.

Intuition and the pink sparkly sandals

It’s Janmashtmi evening. Celebrations are on in the society where security measures are known to be tight. But this evening is special. People from outside are trickling in. Guards are fewer in number, many busy with putting up the dahi haandis. Hundreds of mumbaikars in a celebratory mood.

Few hours later lights about to go off. By now it felt like a day well spent ending in a usual note! Abruptly the usual routine is interrupted by a distraught message on our ‘friendly neighbourhood’ whatsapp group. A mother who had returned home from work can not find her five year old. Last seen during the Janmashtmi celebrations where she had been separated from her grandparents.

Thanks to whatsapp  70 odd, awake and furiously online moms get into action! Everyone reassures the mother, that the girl has to be within the society. Could not have wandered out alone. But still the collective fear psychosis has already built up. A picture is doing the round of the lost child. Nary a second thought, many come down to help search. 800+ apartments, swimming pool, refuge areas, stairwells, play areas are all being combed in this mega locality. Teenagers get into action too,  pokemon go hunts be damned!

Few hours back, could have been just another elevator ride for me, with the only exception that all my co-riders were people who I would give my seat to, had they been riding a bus with me – an aged grandfather with a tiny girl on a scooty, a mother with two small girls and a pram riding baby in tow.  I am not good with remembering faces, names and many important things but one thing my antenna catches really well are feelings. Call it my motherly instincts. As this other mother veers her pram off when the lift door opens at her floor, the two girls follow her. From behind I barely get a glimpse of a girl’s back. I notice her sparkly pink sandals. And I sense she does not belong in this family even though she accompanies them. Maybe a play date!

Rummaging through those hundreds of whatsapp exchanges made in the last 30 minutes, my mind recollects the glimpse of that girl, whose back I had noticed. Honouring my hunch I call this hitherto unknown mother to check ‘was your daughter wearing sparkly pink sandals?’ Mother was obviously in a flurry, hassled rooting about the place ! ‘Huh’, the mother fumbled, apologetic that she did not know.

I followed my hunch and my mind magically and accurately recollected the two floors the elevator had stopped before mine. In a matter of few minutes, I was standing at a door of a house facing a quite, shy, young five year old lass blissfully unaware of all the commotion. The girl had been separated during the celebrations, was brought by a samaritan to her house. On enquiring why she had not responded or reached out to the kids parents, this lady samaritan responded that she was caring for her own 4 month old baby and her 5 year old girl while figuring out how to get the lost girl to her parents. The lost girl  obviously did not know her parent’s numbers nor her own address. Our whatsapp group supports only 275 members and this lady was not part of the group, or probably busy to not check her phone as often.

Finally, the mother and the daughter were re-united. Hundreds of neighbours sighed in relief. My eyes catching a glimpse of the pink sparkly sandals lined up with all the other footwear, as if winking at me.

What’s your Intention??

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Picture courtesy Unsplash

Yesterday again we woke up in a rush. It was when we walked to school that my daughter shared with me some interesting happenings. We laughed together and she observed this morning walk was the time we actually talk in a day.

Now I have given up working as a full time employee, for her. I think I do a pretty good job of doing what I am doing as a mother. But it seems those 5-7 mins in the morning rush hour, are the precious moments when we actually connect. Summed up in those 5-7 moments was the intent of why I had made a big change. To have that connect with her.

We may believe we made changes based on our personal choices. How cognisant are we then to the daily decisions we make, for are they really serving the full purpose, of their original intent?

Wait a moment! Did I just hear you say – ‘intention, yes I had one but let me think back what it was’. Don’t worry you are not the only one. Often we have lofty intentions. We make changes because of them. But in the rush of things, they are lost. What we are left with are some broken phrases and the feelings those intentions were meant to give us. If we are still searching for words to share our intentions, then we may as well give us oodles of time till we get the right words to describe our inexplicable feelings. Feelings are trickier to articulate than our intentions.

Deep inside we are hard wired to detect others’ intentions. Words don’t really play a big part when we need to detect intentions. After all eons back if the primal you came to make a kill for the primal me, I knew just by the way you approached, smelled or looked that I had to run or attack. My brain has those primitive memories. This article is not about stating your intentions to others, so they understand you better, but it’s about the importance of a thought-through, heart-aligned and true to one’s spirit  intention that’s not forgotten when you are initiating a change. And one that keeps you mindful everyday.

Sharing with you three steps to never loose sight of the original intention for a self-initiated change.

  1. Knowing the WHY : To keep you accountable to the intention, filter it down by asking yourself questions like…
    • What’s at risk if I don’t choose to take this step? What feels most risky about it?
    • Is it possible that what you think is risky, is just based on fear, and the opposite could take place? So, what else is at risk?
    • What are the possibilities when you make a successful change?
    • Note – If there is someone else because of whom you are making a change in your life, consider if those possibilities are based on a real need, an imagined need or a need you have not been able to meet in your life, and you are prejudiced.
    • What draws you towards those possibilities?
  2. EXPRESSing the INTENT :
    • Now its time to use those distilled thoughts into words. You know by now why making that change is important to you. ‘Knowing the WHY’ gives you clarity, so you have the intent that feels right to you – in your mind, heart and spirit. But what you need to be reminded every day is the final outcome. So EXPRESSing the INTENT entails writing down the end product of what you would like to see happen. Try writing the outcome in short succinct language, no more than 25-30 words.
    • Keeping it short helps you remember.
  3. REPETITION is your FRIEND:
    • Finally, put it as a reminder someplace where you can see and read the EXPRESSed INTENT everyday. This will help you choose your daily actions in alignment with the original intent and the desired outcome.

These three steps go a long way in the rush of hours when we mechanically make choices. Our choices are anchored to an underlying true-to-ourself, thoughtful ‘strategic intent’. One that you know by heart!

Stillness and Longing

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It’s only in the moments of silence that I listen to my true self

It’s only in the moments of stillness that I feel the feelings that I have never felt

The voice, the longing till now shunned by the walls of my pride

Buried so deep that I did not know they even existed inside

Do I feel completely alive? Like the burst of the first rays that fall on a bud

Or do I feel damp like timber that wonders what is its real life purpose

What rests inside me I cannot see

Till I lift the veil of thoughts that surround me

And then I brave to go deeper than my own feelings

To experience the lightness

And that’s also when I touch my deepest of longings

Hardwired inside me… to connect, commune and to be of service

This is my voice I had never heard before

This is my longing that I knew was never mine to own

Making change your BFF

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Move to a new country can never be simple. And for most of us such moves are also painful. After all it includes cultures we don’t understand, people we cannot communicate with. Top it with all the work that settling into a new environment entails. All of it is bound to take toll on you – physically and emotionally. What then can you do to make change “easy”? Here are my “TOP 3 TIPs” that have stood the test of time as well as the plethora of changes…

1.People. Connect. People. Connect

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Find your tribe before you physically find yourself in a new environment. Get yourself acquainted with the lay of the land. The more people you can speak with who can help give you different perspectives, the better prepared you will be to make productive choices. Do this in advance. Networking may come easier to some than others. But make it your first step because it’s always helpful to step into an unknown territory using borrowed vision instead of being completely blind.


2. Be Selfish

So you have other people you are responsible for during the change – maybe small kids who need attention or grumpy ones who have left their friends behind. All of those are important people to take care of, but the person who remains most important of all is – YOU. Be selfish about yourself, which includes your health, your emotional self and your needs. We know that only if you care of yourself, can you support others.

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Remember that when you fill your life with things that nourish you, you are playing ally to the invisible forces that have conspired those changes. You would rather be an ally to an indomitable force than a foe.


3. Beware of your favourite inner devils

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Change is the perfect time for things that “you control’ to take control over you. Be conscious of annoying devils that creep back in your life. It maybe complaining for some. It’s laziness for others. Perhaps its insolence for another. Whatever is your favourite poison, its likely to feast on you during times of transition if you are not vigilant. Acknowledge your inner gremlin and consciously choose to do just the opposite. The gremlin is an annoying part of you that needs attention, much like a child that throws a tantrum. The more you get upset with it, the more you lose control. The calmer you are with the process, the easier they are to come around. When you find your devils showing their horns, simply acknowledge and choose the opposite.


Change is the only way of growing. It can be uncomfortable. Growing out of our preferred zones and boxes always is uncomfortable. But remember “CHANGE” is universe pushing us to “grow”, much like a plant being re-potted from a smaller place into a vast patch so its no longer limited by the playing field.

Change = Discomfort = Growth.

Yoga – Lessons for Life 2

1. “Part” has the potential to fully support “the whole” and become “wholesome” 

In the “Forward Bend Pose”, I cannot forget doing the “Mountain Pose”. 

We are conditioned to look at “parts” as having core competencies. Thereby limiting the role of the “part” around only those competencies. We forget that there is huge potential in the “part” provided we are willing to train it in unconventional ways. Here is an example. As normal human beings our sensation of touch is limited, because it’s use has been limited – to feel pain or to feel pleasure. But a visually impaired being, sense of touch is everything. It’s his tool to understand the world. It’s his intellect, his wisdom. Sense of touch has remained the same. But the training has blossomed it into something bigger. The question is are we willing to train “parts” to support our “whole”, single-handedly. Because without a well-trained part, the whole is not really all that wholesome.

2. Action is happening even when we are outwardly still.

In motionless poses all organs are getting charged.

We are generation on the run. Given a choice of doing NOTHING, will drown us in a guilt trip . We love “to-do” lists, action plans, goals to achieve. Even vacations come with a tag of “things to do and see”. Yoga teaches us that in our bodies nerve endings (in our palms and soles) get activated through the reflexology points even though we are still. Thanks to the interplay of our body mass and forces of nature such as gravity, electromagnetic force etc! Leading to wondrous benefits for all organs within. Similarly in life a better action takes place when we allow nature’s forces to simply work through us.

3. The heart is more important to create big changes, not the head.

Join hands on the heart centre before the start of every Yoga practise.  

It’s a great reminder that it’s the heart that is all important. Just like Chip and Dan Heath say in the book “SWITCH…” once you decide why you need to make a change, you really need to think about “what’s in it for me”? If you manage to convince the emotional side of yourself, big changes take place with ease. That emotional side can also be about being of “service to others”. And remember when you are at this level of thinking – heart, head and spirit have actually come in perfect alignment.

MY STORY

I am Harmeet. And my story is no different from a any other simple girl leading an uncomplicated life with a loving husband and one equally loving and beautiful daughter.

Things were different a few years ago. I was leading a corporate life, but feeling stuck with the drill. Strapped for time, running on low fuel, lower on happiness. My wake – up call was when my health started faltering. Thyroid. Palpitations. And finally a stroke.

I was forced to make amends.

Career shift was the first among many. Initially I wasn’t clear what it was going to be. In fact at first not much was clear at all. And I was afraid. Very afraid. I had no idea where I was headed. And how I was going to get there. The only clarity I had was around “what I did NOT want”. In fact I often wished I could go back to the security of my earlier corporate life, but the shores I had left behind were now harder to swim back to. Slowly what happiness looked like, started revealing itself to me – healthy body, peace of mind and a nourished soul. This is “what I wanted”!

Gradually a career that was unfolding in front of me was that of teaching, training and coaching. It was a career shift for me. One that was aligned with my top two core values – “nurturance” and “balance”.

I love to read, write, travel, listen to music, study human behaviour. I now work with people who like me are in the corporate world or have been, and are dealing with similar challenges like I did. And that’s crucial – because I have walked in the same shoes and I know how it feels like.

This site is a resource that I’d like to share with you as you walk to your ultimate success also known as ultimate happiness. The two are really the same.

ps – If you would like to know more about my professional coaching, shoot me an email and we can have a chat.