Tag Archives: Yoga

No-Vacation Nation: What Kind of Balance Do You Want?

Way back in February, I wrote a post about a 25-hour workweek that used data from the OECD. This data showed the paid vacation and paid holidays for OECD nations. In particular, this data showed the requirements for paid vacations and paid holidays for some of the OECD countries. There’s been an update to the data, so I’ve included the graphic below:

You may notice a couple of things. First, it looks very similar to the first one that I embedded back in February. The second thing you may notice… the United States continues its perseverance in not mandating paid vacation. Every time I see data like this, I’m astonished that one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world doesn’t see fit to require that its people are required to have vacation. Of course, the lack of vacation probably contributed to the US becoming one of the wealthiest countries in the history of the world, but what good is all that wealth if you can’t enjoy it? What good is money if you’re took sick to spend it?

The declining state of health probably had something to do with the separation of one’s mental health from one’s body’s health, but the lack of vacation has probably accelerated it. Of course, just because vacation isn’t mandated by the government doesn’t mean that companies don’t offer it. In order to stay competitive, companies have to offer their employees vacation or they’ll work elsewhere. That being said, there’s a pervasive culture of overworking yourself in the US. Not only on a national-level (lack of holidays), but also at the employee-level.

Take a peak inside a big firm and you’ll often hear about employees who participate in the game of one-upmanship in trying to see who’s worked more in a given week. “I worked 60 hours last week trying to get this report finished for a client.” “Yeah, well I worked 65 hours last week finishing a report…”

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At first, one may say that this is putting people and the culture way out of balance. Well, one would be wrong. Balance has a way of maintaining an equilibrium. That is, balance will always be balance. Confused? Think about it like this: stand up from your chair. Are you standing? Good. Right now, you’re balanced. You have some of your weight on your left foot and some of your weight on your right foot. Balanced. Now, shift your weight to right. You’ll notice that you didn’t fall over, right? You simply have more weight on your right side than on your left side. Balanced. Now, lift your left foot off the ground. All of your weight is currently on your right foot. You’re still balanced, right? Now, begin to bend at the waist to outstretch your right arm forwards… while stretching your left leg backwards. At some point, you may fall over in attempting to do this. That’s okay because I’m sure you get the picture by now.

At each stage of this exercise, you’re body was balanced. You were balanced when you were standing straight, you were balanced when your weight was on your right foot, you were balanced when you lifted your left foot, and you would have been balanced had you been able to outstretch your right arm and left foot. It’s simply a question of what kind of balance do you want. Do you prefer the balance where you’re standing comfortable with both feet on the ground? How about the balance where you’re lifting one foot off of the ground?

While the lack of mandated vacation in the US may seem like there’s no balance, there has to be. It just might be manifesting itself in different ways. You have a choice — what kind of balance do you want?

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Note: if you’re looking for a creative way to add more vacation days to the US, how about making every religious holiday a national holiday?

21-Day Meditation Challenge: UPDATE and Research!

So — we’re into day 8 of Deepak Chopra‘s 21-day meditation challenge. How’s it going? Are you finding it easy to stick to meditating? Are you finding it hard? Are you noticing any benefits? Are you noticing any strange thoughts coming up? I’d love to hear about any/all of it! Let me know in the comments. If you’re finding it somewhat difficult to stick to the meditation, you might want to read about the importance of stillness and unplugging. This may (or may not) help to motivate you to stick with the meditations.

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I came across some research this past week that I thought you might find interesting, especially in the context of meditations. From the Daily Stat:

After just 5 weeks of daily 5-to-16-minute training sessions in focused-attention meditation (“Relax with your eyes closed, and focus on the flow of your breath…”), research subjects showed strong brain-wave changes associated with positive emotions, says a team led by Christopher A. Moyer of the University of Wisconsin. The findings suggest that the benefits of meditation may be more accessible than was previously believed, the researchers say.

Pretty cool, eh? Of course, the Daily Stat is a secondary source, so if you’re interested in reading the journal article, you can find it here: Frontal Electroencephalographic Asymmetry Associated With Positive Emotion Is Produced by Very Brief Meditation Training.

So, maybe this is more motivation for you to get back to (or start!) meditating.

 

21-Day Meditation Challenge: Join Me!

I just finished listening to Day 1 of Deepak Chopra‘s 21-day meditation challenge. Boy, did it feel good to meditate again! When was the last time you sat (and didn’t fiddle with technology or thoughts) for an extended period of time? I’ve written about the importance of stillness and unplugging before, but now I’m offering you an opportunity to follow-through on it.

Why don’t you join me and thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands?) of other people and follow along with Deepak’s meditations for the next 21 days.

I really like being part of something bigger than “me” and this is certainly an opportunity to feel connected to an infinite number of people. As I’m listening to the meditation, I can be sure that there will be countless people who will also be listening to the same track as me (at some point during the day).

So, whaddaya say — let’s meditate together over the next 21 days.

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I will say that the meditations are couched in abundance. That is, the theme of the meditations have to do with abundance. Most folks think of abundance as an abundance of cash, but there are many other kinds of abundance. One can have an abundance of peace, joy, comfort, love, and the list goes on.

So — head on over to the landing page and listen to the first meditation because it started today. You can do it!