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Just Showing Up

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This is a long winded post  where I relate a recent experience involving 11:11 the time, yoga, business and what can happen if you just SHOW UP for life. It happened to me...

There can be a potent relationship between yoga and business on a personal level- these are not 2 separate subjects! In fact , the only way I am still in business after 7 years is because of the peace I get from my daily practice. Its simply too stressful being an entrepeneur without something to balance it out- and after years of being a fall down drunk neurotic lush, that was not working for me anymore. Even though this is all true, it seems like a lot of times yoga and business are on opposite ends of the subject spectrum. I had an experience the other day that really illustrates how they intertwine beneficially in my life.

I had been considering going to two events that night - but was unsure. I tend to work really hard all day and then just want to chill at night, so getting me to go out anywhere is sometimes a challenge.. But I was intrigued by what sounded like an interesting product launch at one of my favorite stores in LA - Zero Minus Plus at Fred Segal in Santa Monica, and the Zappos CEO Tony Hseih'"Delivering Happiness" Book tour meet up coordinated by Alaia Williams of The Entrepreneur Connection. I was thinking about these options as I drank my daily dose of caffiene and got ready to do my morning yoga.

For the last 2.5 years I've been doing a yoga practice everyday and since it takes 45 minutes I like to get it done first thing. The practice is a Kundalini Yoga  technique called Sat Kriya and it's a powerful and efficient way to connect with and distribute energy around the entire body. I do it because it works. It makes me feel amazing afterwards no matter how tired or bad I feel before I start. In fact - if I were to think of one thing ( besides my husband) that has allowed me to bust through the mental, emotional and physical blocks that running a small business brings up- it would be this practice. I can't say enough good things about it...and yet I still get bored with it from time to time and don't do the practice with the kind of attention and devotion that really can take you to the next level. My mind wanders,my eyes wander and my arms go up and down. But at least I show up. I was having these exact thoughts as I was going through the 31 minutes of active engagement in the posture.  First about whether I should go to the events...then about what a slacker job I was doing that day with the yoga... but then I thought to myself- AT LEAST I SHOW UP (dammit!)! Then at the exact moment I had that thought that I looked down at the timer and saw that I had EXACTLY 11:11 ( yes it's the name of my biz- but is also a universally affirmative sign) minutes left of Sat Kriya! I immediately took that as a signal that I needed to just show up at the events I was teetering on...because anything can happen if you go...but you'll never know if you don't!

So I went. First to the event at Fred Segal. It was amazing! This brand new and super cute accessory line made from pennies called Project Pennylane was debuting, and the whole business model is about giving back to mindful awareness education programs for children. So cool! We got to learn about what these charities were up to - including a talk by a father who's 20 year old son was murdered by a 14 year old  gang member while delivering a pizza ( a job he had to help pay for college at San Diego State). This father grieved heavily like you would expect from such a tragedy, but then he decided to forgive his son's murderer, partner with the murderers grandfather, and work directly with at risk youth teaching non violence- for the past 10 years! It was amazing. I was so inspired. I kept thinking of a charity that is close to my heart- Y.O.G.A. for Youth - they bring yoga into inner city schools and prisons, and I've been thinking about them a lot since I am  coordinating a benefit raffle for them this holiday season in conjunction with our Holiday mART. But I digress-- this was just my first stop of the night!

Next up was the Delivering Happiness Book Bus tour event. I've been a Zappos fan since way back..I used to spend too much money and time on there looking up gold shoes. I've since cured myself of that habit, but I still have enormous respect for the company, as their customer service is legendary. So when I heard about this event with the CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh I knew I wanted to check it out- and I'm so glad I did! Not only did I get a free copy of the New York Times bestselling book- I got to meet Tony and ask him how I should go about getting in touch with the right Zappos buyer! He said to just email him! YA I know right! It was so inspiring! I was seriously jazzed.. ya I said it. JAZZED! It was also great just be out of the office...and  talking with fellow business owners- very refreshing.

So you see the moral to my story. Do yoga regularly, pay attention to the intuition and signs you're given, and just SHOW UP! Anything really can happen- and I bet it's going to be good!]]>

3 comments

  • Jamila: November 17, 2010

    Thank you so so much Alaia! you inspire me!

  • Inspiration.: November 16, 2010

    […] it to the event had a great time and also left inspired and motivated. Some even blogged about it (here and here – great websites you should check out anyway…). It really got my wheels […]

  • Alaia: November 16, 2010

    What a great post! “Just showing up” is something I’ve learned a lot about since starting my business. It’s all so true!

    It was great to see you – I’m glad you made it to the event!!

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