I attended a retreat this weekend at
Karme Choling in Vermont called Fearlessness at Work. It was taught by Michael Carroll who wrote the books Awake at Work and The Mindful Leader. This was my first weekend retreat and really I was just worried about making it for three days on a cushion. I didn't do any research on the teacher or subject matter before I arrived. Fortunately, as I suspected it would be, the teaching was top notch. Michael's sense of humor and business savvy made the weekend both interesting and fun. I enjoyed getting to know the other participants as well. It was a small group which made it so that we all got to know each other and had some great discussions.
The exciting part of the subject of using mindfulness at work for me is how to use mindfulness to perform better. Before I started meditating, I thought that if I really mastered it, I wouldn't want to do well anymore, like I would just be so peaceful nothing would matter. While I have to admit that two years into meditating I don't care as much about how I rate against others, I put even more effort into my passions than before. But now, it's from a creative energy rather than feelings of inadequacy. Being with a group of people that also wanted to excel in what they do, yet maintain their sanity while doing it, made me realize that success and mindfulness are not contrary to each other. Instead, I see that mindfulness can foster success.
The class used the second book, The Mindful Leader as the guide which I am glad I have to read cover to cover. The most important topics for me were those of synchronizing with your surroundings and opening up your awareness to really see what is going on in any situation. I can see how it might take a while to incorporate everything but that each little step in using the learning will make small changes. My meditation practice has also taken a big leap forward with the advice and counseling from Michael as well.
~ Jillian Avey, purelifemeditation.com