Twice so far this October I have been blessed with an “occurrence” that us Muggles attempt to engineer but often simply cannot. On the first two Friday nights of this month I was able to welcome the Sabbath at a place of a natural lull in my work. That is, by 5:00 p.m. my professional dealings were at a place where a pause was organically occurring. Emails wished, “Have a great weekend.” Texts read, “Catch you on Monday.” Friends called and said, “See you Sunday.” And most welcome was that my thoughts were quelled. My brain was down-shifting. My mind was at peace with the week’s workload behind me on the “I got this done” list rather than the “to do” list. There were no remaining unreturned messages as irritating to my entrepreneurial temperament as a dangling participle to a grammarian. I could be fully present with those I love and in the activities that define my social and spiritual selves.
This week I was not as fortunate. I am in the marble of sculpting a new business and the actualization of my vision has its own timetable and in the age of technology is unbound by our minds’ markers of day and night, work and rest. By Friday at noon I knew my work week was not over and I was in for a restless ride north to visit with my daughter as I could hear my phone buzzing and humming. Such disparate experiences the cacophony of modern business sounds and the visual buffet of autumn foliage in New England. And the third dimension of my own revelations as I digested the week’s current events – Putin in Syria, Presidential debates, terrorist attacks in Israel …. The world is on fire it seems and my new business concerns itself with such matters. But I managed. I pulled over and parked my brain and my car safely and returned calls, emails and texts before artificially “powering down” and fully embracing the beauty of my daughter upon arrival.
But I couldn’t trick my brain for long. No amount of skilled time and resource management can substitute for rest. They only facilitate it. I know this but indulged in the vice of denial anyway. Like a physics experiment in inertia I got home from Massachusetts and began crafting the menu for my week’s food – high grade fuel, really, for demanding days in construction of my venture. Lentil soup topped the list. It’s protein packed and heats up fast after a long day. Perfect! What a plan! Am I a champ or what? I’ll even share with my daughter, a New Yorker, another alpha, health-conscious professional. I texted:
“Making us a vat of lentil soup: organic, non-fat, vegetarian and Putin-free.”
It took my tired brain a moment to figure out what looked “off” in my text. When I got it, I put away my ingredients and headed to the couch for a much-needed nap.
Lisa Bernard has prepared and represented people from all walks of life to speak publicly at meetings, on panels, in their places of worship and as keynoters. She herself has addressed audiences as large as 2000 and designed and delivered over 500 workshops, seminars and college-level courses on oral communication. She has slowed down fast-talkers, turned “uhmers” into smooth-speakers and moderated accents from Brooklyn to Beijing – all to develop confident communicators. Lisa has a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and today manages Lisa Bernard’s SecuritySpeak, LLC, a consulting firm that makes available experts on national, global and cyber-security for distinguished lectures worldwide. You can reach her at (203) 293-4741 or LisaBernard@SecuritySpeak.net and like her firm at www.Facebook.com/PodiumTime.