I had a bunch of you notice there was no flyer for a September meet up, and I was overjoyed that you’re all beginning to crave that hour for mindfulness, focus, real-talk, learning and sharing.  There will be another one soon! Meantime, I’m allowing space for monthly meet ups to take on different forms, as it did this month.  September’s meet up happened as a closed event for a company called Tierney, a Philadelphia-based PR firm.  Tierney invited me to come in and lead a meditation and wellness session for their employees as part of the culmination of an initiative called “wellness week.” TODAY The focus all week was on integrating wellness into the company culture to foster more well-being in the organization.  I was floored (rather, elevated) to see Tierney joining the ranks of other companies that are waking up to the importance of caring about the well being of their employees, not just because research shows it actually has myriad positive benefits on the bottom line by reducing sick days (yes, happy people have more robust immunity which translates to less sick days), engenders more productive people (more research: happier people are more productive people), but also because it increases employee engagement like you wouldn’t believe –who doesn’t want to work for a company that actually cares about the happiness and well being of its people?

TODAY3I was honored to be the top-off to such an amazing week for Tierney.  You could feel the energy in the space after a week of focus on physical and mental wellness- it was high and alive, calm yet invigorated.  It was working.  My job was to round out the week with a session on mindfulness and the science of positive psychology, both pieces of the equation that education and experience have taught me are fundamental to a flourishing existence.  This meet up ran as most of my other ones do, a rather conversational flow around the topics of meditation (what is it? Why do we need it?) and positive psychology (what, as opposed to negative psychology?) and its most salient interventions.  I interspersed meditations on breathing, gratitude, and metta (loving-kindness), with lots of discussion and conversation around how these experiences felt in the mind and body, and why they are so vital to our well-being. TODAY1

Beyond the incredible reception I could feel in the room around the subject matter, a literal leaning forward of bodies as the Tierney folks took in the good stuff, the experience had an unexpected effect on me. I was right in the thick of a really challenging time in my life, as I processed the pain of a break up and wrestled with mammoth decisions and choices around next steps in my life (think backing out of the PhD program that seemed like the perfect fit, leaving the family business, etc).  I woke up that Friday morning with heaviness in my heart and anxiety coursing through my veins.  How could I teach meditation when I felt so personally in flux? And yet I knew as I always have that the perfect antidote to that state of being is flow, where I would forget myself, all sense of time, and be right there in the moment.  And flow is exactly what I got; this material, this knowledge, is so second-nature to me now it’s like it’s in my DNA.  Being in service of others in this way, as a teacher and guide, is like my medicine.  As I work through my own process and journey, all of the glorious evolution and growing pains that seem to be happening at warp speed right now, serving others in flow states has been my saving Grace.

Thank you Universe, for the opportunity to serve.  I can’t think of a more salient gratitude prayer than that.