I am so proud of the people of Brinker Inc. and their Chili's employees for embracing yoga and meditation as part of their wellness and balanced life.
On Day one of their conference, 240 people chose to begin their day with yoga (and me!) - many for the first time. I was surprised and honored when they asked me to return Friday to share, inspire and lead the entire group of 1600 people in a short meditation.
I listened as Mike Hudspeth, Sr. Vice President adressed the group, sharing his personal declaration to fitness and balance for himself and his family.
Following me, was their keynote speaker of the final day, Mr. John Mackey, a leader in conscious commerce. I learned after I came off stage that he joined me in the meditation from backstage.
Here is what I had to say:
Chili’s Meditation session
Thank you, I’m honored to be here!
When I was 19, rheumatoid arthritis began it’s aggressive attack on my body, leaving me with the body and energy of an 80 year old woman.
But I was convinced that the body was capable of repairing itself if given the proper resources.
For 15 years I sought the right resources – without the use of debilitating drugs.I struggled to find balance in my body – and balance in my life.Doctors said I would likely need a wheelchair by the time I was 40.They were right!But not because the disease had deteriorated my body, instead because I was living a life of adventure and broke my leg doing acrobatics!
I finally realized it was all in my mind.The disease was real, sure, but my reality was a result of my beliefs.
Seven years ago I found yoga and it changed my life forever. I no longer have any effects of the disease! Among many things, yoga taught me to breathe.Simple.
Breath lead to awareness. Awareness influenced and refined my choices, actions and beliefs.
The very thing that is life, saved my life.I’ve been enjoying a life of wellness and adventure symptom free for over 5 years now.
How often we take it for granted?!
So I invite you to join me on a short journey with our breath.
Make yourself comfortable - this may be the most peace and quiet you get all day!
Close your eyes.And we’ll simple take three deep breaths together – in and out through your nose.
Notice the shift in three breaths.Now keep your attention with your breath, but there’s no need to force it or control it.Just be aware of your inhale and exhale.
Relax your feet, legs, hips. Soften your shoulders, throat, jaw. Release the skin of your scalp and brow. Let the tongue fall away from the roof of your mouth. Quiet your voice.
Take your vision inward, by letting your eyes become heavier in the eye socket.
Allow yourself to become even quieter by gathering any remaining thoughts, any business in the mind, and guide it down to the middle of your chest – where you can be aware of your heart and your breath.Leave your thoughts there and return your attention the front of the mind.
As best you can hold you attention there.As thoughts surface again, acknowledge them– without judgement – and guide them down to your heart and your breath.
With your exhale, release any other tension in the body.Release any attention the mind has outside of the breath.
Become aware of where your skin meets the air.
Become aware of the amount of air that surrounds you.Infinite amounts.
With every breath comes life.With every breath comes choice.With every breath comes new possibilities.
From this place of clarity, realize that you have the resources to create possibilities.What will you create?