Purpose + Practice

Earlier this week I travelled to Atlanta for a day-long intensive personal development event for Lululemon. One of the reasons I love working for Lulu is that they care so much about your personal development and have really awesome ways of helping you grow. This day was so meaningful and special. I went alone, did not know a single soul in the city of Atlanta, completely got out of my comfort zone and really took a large amount of clarity away from the day.

This whole day was centered around Mindfulosophy which is the new way that Lululemon is approaching their development for employees. It is all about being in the practice of personal development and living a life you love through the power of mindful practices.

Now, I really geek out on this stuff so I have been around a lot of different types of conferences, events, meetings, etc. but this one was different. In true Lululemon fashion, it blends ancient yoga philosophy with behavioral science. They “believe mindfulness is the ultimate multiplier for greatness in all aspects of life,” and I could not agree more.

We were asked to bring our yoga mat, clothes to do yoga in and to arrive in silence. My first thought was, “perfect, I don’t know anyone and I don’t have to worry about what I am going to say to them so that they get a good idea of who I am.” Right away, I realized that is a mindful practice; to not think of what you ‘should’ say to someone and just be there in the moment. Noted.

We came in, rolled out our mats and all awaited what this day would bring. We left our phones in a different area and all we had was a lot of time with ourselves. Without numbing out on social media or emails, let us be here now. Then, the most brilliant and badass woman stood up to begin speaking, and I was sold. Whatever would happen that day I knew I was going to grow, I would feel understood, seen, and connected. Why? Because of one statement: “Hi, my name is Kate. No title, no ‘how long have you been with the company’, no last name, nothing else. Just Kate.”

I instantly listened more intently, and felt like I could completely be myself. The reason I loved this so much is that one of my least favorite things to navigate with people is that question, “what do you do?” because I never feel like what I say is going to be worthy enough. Since I don’t have a fancy title or I am still in the works of figuring out my life, I always feel like I could not possibly say something that would do justice to who I am as a person. But ask me what brings me joy, what I am passionate about, etc., and I could talk for days. I hate worthiness hustling. It is exhausting and leaves you in a place of comparison. Kate took that away by creating a space that none of that mattered. All that mattered is who you are, as you are, completely whole and enough.

Setting the day on that tone created a safe space for everyone to be themselves. We moved into a beautiful yoga practice and meditation, followed by a silent brunch. The silent brunch was amazing. I smelled my coffee, ate slow, and really just enjoyed being in the moment. Instead of spending the 45 minutes eating fast, trying to make small talk with strangers or scroll through social media, I took the chance to actually enjoy the experience of eating my brunch. Revolutionary? Some of us just need to switch off and be in the moment more often.

After we ate, we broke the silence and moved into an examination of mindful performance from 4 different pillars: Purpose, Means, Joy & Freedom.

Mindful performance is our ideal state of being. It is the ability to be in the moment, while pursuing our goals. It is living with purpose and focus and joy.” 

The way that we went into thinking about our purpose was through the yoga tradition of the Purushartas which literally translates to ‘for the purpose of the soul’.

Talk about right up my alley.

“The aim of this exercise is to give you more clarity about who you are here to be, and what you are here to do.” 

This is what this day was all about for me: getting clarity. It was actually the intention I set at the beginning of the day and was precisely what I took away from the event.

Now, I am not going to give the entire day away because there was so much magic in the unexpectedness, but I will talk about what it really did for me.

Through journaling + discussing our past achievements and challenges, we were able to get clarity on our personal values. And from there set a “Here to be” statement such as “I am here to be…. authentic, open, kind to myself, present, enough.” Every time we would share anything with the group Kate would ask your name and “Who are you here to be?” Everyone shared from a vulnerable and real place, and could always loop back with who you are here to be today.

We then went into some talk about our legacy through a guided meditation and journaling exercise. This is where I gained my clarity. What I wrote down was exactly what I would want to create in my life, and from there we were affirmed in who we are, where we are going and what we valued.

We set some goals from this vision, and it was awesome to hear that some goals are not completely measurable and that is okay. It is okay to set emotional goals too! Such as, “I want to love myself.” Hearing this was so refreshing. We are so accustomed to setting goals that sometimes do not even matter to us, just to have something tangible and measurable, when at the base of it all we want to accomplish a deeper emotional feat even more.

I found it extremely interesting when we discussed why we are moving away from 10 year goals. Research has shown that you know as much about who you will be in 10 years as you do about a stranger. When I reflect back to who I was 10 years ago I would never imagine who I am now. We need to offer ourselves more room to grow into who we are meant to be naturally by setting shorter goals and allowing ourselves to grow through those years.

We explored new practices that we can implement into our daily lives, discussed what brings us joy and who is in our soul tribe. All of this fostered deeper connection with complete strangers and I even had someone tell me, “When you said that I saw the light in your eyes.” I love when other people feel vulnerable enough to point out what lights people up, and what she was talking about was something I wasn’t expecting!

I loved that we went from a place of joy, and built practices and goals around that instead of around what is “success” or where you will make the most money. We really got to the depths of who we are, instead of scraping the surface.

And lastly, we explored energy leaks and when/where we feel less brilliant and powerful. What situations do you feel inferior, not enough, anxious, etc. This was the most open and vulnerable part of the day. When we explore what takes us away from our best selves, we have a faster recovery rate back to our power. We can put things in place to let go that feeling, instead of holding on to it for far too long or worse (believing it as our truth!).

The entire day was a beautiful expression of vulnerability, connection, mindfulness, personal development and growth. I made new friends, got way outside my comfort zone, felt seen & appreciated and through multiple meditations and journaling exercises, got very clear on what I want to create in my lifetime. You know, small stuff ;).

If you haven’t been to a conference or event based on personal development, I highly suggest it. Each time I walk away with a new spark. This one was a good blend of high energy and groundedness. My favorite advice that I received was:

“Your purpose is always changing. It is not a tattoo, it grows and evolves. It can look different every single day.”

I couldn’t relate more. So, get outside your comfort zone, take some time to explore who you are and who you want to be, and step into your power. You won’t regret it.

 

For me, I got clear on what I want to create for my life. I will be someone who empowers others to live their most authentic and beautiful lives. I will be a loving human who is always the first one to tell you to go for your dreams. And with that, what are your dreams? Email me, I would love to know.

ashleyrainne@gmail.com.

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