25DW: Detailed Practices

Several people in the Windcall community put together some wonderful ideas for specific practices. 

Windcall alumnus and coach Alex Poeter’s ideas for 25DW are here.

Windcall coach Julia Lau de Guzman’s ideas for 25DW:

What awareness/self-care practices do you recommend others try out during the 25 Days of Windcall?

1) Be One With Nature: Take time to be in nature whether it’s the sun shining outside your window or the rolling hills on a hike.  Breathe in the essence of the nature surrounding you.  Imagine you can inhale the groundedness of the trees, the vibrancy of the colorful flowers, the brilliance of the sun, the serenity of the air… and whatever else you’re noticing in the natural beauty around you.

Allow each breath to open you more and more to discovering these qualities in you.  Notice where you feel grounded like that tree, vibrant like those flowers, brilliant like the shining sun, serene like the gentle breeze.  As you continue to breathe, feel into the truth of YOU as part of this natural grace and wonder.  Allow your body to move in whatever way you’re inspired to.  You might stand tall arms reaching up to the sun like the tree.  Or move your hands opening out from your heart as if you’re shining out rays like the sun.  Or you might smile, laugh, dance…

Complete this practice by affirming out loud the truth of this oneness.  It might sound something like this.  “I am one with the tall strong oak tree… wise, grounded, roots in the earth, reaching up to the sun.”  As you step back into your everyday life, notice what a force of nature you truly are!

2) Silence Your Saboteur & Be Who You Choose To Be:  If you’re human, you have a saboteur.  It’s that voice you hear saying mean things like “You’re lazy, selfish, dumb, not good enough…”  It’s the one that keeps you doubting yourself and holds you back from going for your goals and dreams.  Needless to say, silencing your saboteur is key to living a fulfilled life.  This is arguably your most important life’s work because it’s about accessing the pure potentiality of your humanity so you can realize your dreams and make the contribution you’re meant to make in the world.

The truth is we are whoever we choose to be right now… and now… and now.  Every moment is a brand new opportunity to create ourselves.  To make a choice and take action that either honors who we want to be or doesn’t.  We have infinite colors, textures, layers.  So many parts and facets that comprise who we are.  A kaleidoscope of expression available to us.  It’s boundless.  When we really get this, we’re in the awe of what it means to be human.  Rather than feeling shackled by our past, we are present and connected to our creative powers to show up however we choose now… and Now… and NOW!  Life feels juicy here as we become artists painting ourselves into vibrant sparkling aliveness.  So what does this look like on the ground?  You can think of it like a workout.  You’re training your mind/heart/spirit to be strong and healthy.  Here’s a simple technique that may work for you.  Remember to breathe through each step.

  • Notice when your saboteur shows up and clarify what it is telling you. If you have trouble identifying it, just dig underneath any bad feeling.  Try to distill its message down to a simple statement.  (e.g. “You are selfish.”)
  • Release the saboteur’s judgment. This can be done in all sorts of ways – exhaling it out, shaking it off, hurling it out into the atmosphere or simply telling it to go away.  Then, take a breath feeling into the space you’ve cleared free.
  • Declare out loud your commitment to honor who you choose to be.  (e.g. “I am committed to being generous.”)  Take a moment to listen and really land here.  It might take repeating a few times until you really own that this commitment is who you are!  As you breathe, imagine your commitment filling the open space.  Envision yourself living fully into this chosen way of being.  In your mind’s eye, see the ways this could play out in your everyday life.  For example, if you’re choosing to be generous, you might imagine yourself offering to help a friend, buying girl scout cookies or volunteering at a local organization.  Keep nurturing inspiration and possibility.  And, smile.
  • As you step back into everyday life, look for opportunities (big or small) to honor this way of being you’re committed to.  Follow the urge to act.  And acknowledge that you are living into who you choose to be!  Say it loud and proud.  “I am generous!”

What organizational practices (ones that promote sustainability, connectedness, and clear vision) do you think organizations/alliances could try during the 25 Days of Windcall?

Gratitude Board: Tape a large piece of butcher paper on the wall and write “What are you grateful for?” across the top.  Put markers out and invite organization staff, members and visitors to share.

Acknowledgement/Vision Tree: Write these question on a piece of paper:  “What is one thing you’re proud of about this organization?  What is one thing you would love to grow more of in this organization?”  Pull a colleague aside and share your answers.  Then give him/her the paper with the questions to continue the practice and grow this tree of sharing.

More from Julia at www.essencelifecoaching.com/

Windcall alumnus and coach Alex Poeter’s ideas for 25DW:

What awareness/self-care practices do you recommend others try out during the 25 Days of Windcall?

FROM GRATITUDE TO ABUNDANCE:  Write down (or think of) at least 5 things that you are grateful for right before you go to sleep.  This may include experiences from that particular day (i.e. a pleasant encounter with another person, a delicious dinner, something fun you were able to purchase, etc.) or just things in general (i.e. having access to hot water, plenty of food, electricity, etc.).  This practice helps you to shift your focus towards positive things and to notice the abundance you are able to enjoy in your life on a daily basis.

LIFE ASSESSMENT & IMPROVEMENT:  Organize a mini retreat for yourself to assess your current life experience and to set specific goals for creating positive change in your life, including your work.  This can be a 2-hour retreat during a weekend where you complete the life wheel exercise.  This exercise is a great tool for assessing all main areas of your life (e.g. relationships, spirituality, health, etc.).  Here is a link to the Interactive Wheel of Life / Life Assessment, which also allows you to create your own interactive wheel based on whatever you would like to assess in your life.  Once you have completed your assessment, set at least 3 measurable goals with deadlines for the areas you would like to see improvement in.  Share your goals with someone you trust so that you can hold yourself accountable and receive support during moments where you need an extra boost of encouragement.

MAKE EACH DAY MAGNIFICENT:  On a daily basis, set an intention to notice at least 5 things throughout your day that you are deeply appreciative of.  This practice helps you to increase the number of positive experiences during any given day, but especially those days, which don’t seem to go so well for you.  It also helps you to become more aware of the little, often seemingly insignificant treasures in life, which we usually don’t notice or take for granted.

UPLIFT OTHERS TO UPLIFT YOURSELF:  On a daily basis, set an intention to offer compliments and words of encouragement to at least 3 people.  This may include complimenting someone on the way they look, how their smile has an invigorating effect on you, the inspiring effect of something someone else has said, or pointing out something that someone else is doing well.  The goal here is to highlight the strengths and positive qualities within others, which in turn helps you to feel more positive about yourself while allowing your own positive qualities to come more to the forefront.

CREATE A PEACEFUL AND INSPIRING WORK SPACE:  Make one positive change to your office or desk area every 5 days during the 25 Days of Windcall event, like adding something that has meaning to you or that inspires you (i.e. an inspiring quote, a nice picture or photo of a place that gives you peace, a beautiful plant, etc.) or removing clutter.  If you have a cluttered desk area, take time to sort through, file away or throw out anything that prevents you from maintaining a peaceful work environment.  Removing clutter from your workspace will help you to increase your focus and thereby your productivity.

CELEBRATE YOURSELF AS PART OF YOUR WORKWEEK:  During the 25 days of Windcall event, create a habit of leaving early on one day during the week to do something you really enjoy and that helps you relax, such as going out to dinner, going to see a show or movie, or going to a museum.  Consider turning this into a permanent weekly habit in celebration and appreciation of yourself.

FROM MEDITATION TO PEACEFUL EXISTENCE:  Meditation is known for its numerous benefits.  Only 15 minutes of mediation a day can radically improve your life and work experience.  You will feel more centered, content, positive, focused, productive, in touch with your intuition, stress-free, and less reactive.  One of the easiest ways to mediate is to sit somewhere undisturbed and comfortable, and observe your breathing.  Start out by taking a few deep breaths, filling your entire belly and lungs with air through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth, letting go of all stress and tension.  Then just let your breathing fall into its natural rhythm.  Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.  Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention.  If your mind wanders, simply return your focus back to your breath.  Consider using a free meditation timer app during your meditation practice.

INCREASE MEANING IN LIFE BY BEING PRESENT:  Every time you are interacting with someone, you are in a collective space, or you are working on completing a task, ask yourself: “From a scale of 1 – 10, how present am I in this moment?”  If you realize that you are not a 10, shift your awareness away from distracting thoughts and other distractions, and into the present moment.  Often, when interacting with others or focusing on a task, we allow ourselves to be easily distracted and sidetracked by going through to-do lists or mentally preparing for a response to what someone else is saying.  As a result, personal interactions become less meaningful and our level of performance drops significantly.  If you find it difficult to remember to be present, consider setting yourself reminder alerts on your phone or start wearing a wristband as a reminder.  With continued practice, it will get increasingly easier to remind yourself to be present.

THREE DEEP BREATHS TO CALMNESS:  Every time you feel stressed out, agitated, or frustrated, remind yourself to take three deep and conscious breaths.  Fill your entire belly and lungs with air through your nose and then exhale through your mouth, letting go of all stress and tension.  While a seemingly easy concept, this powerful and effective practice can work wonders during moments of severe stress.  By taking deep breaths and momentarily relaxing your muscles, your mind will relax as well, helping you to release any negative and constricting thoughts that are causing you to feel stressed and tense.

What organizational practices (ones that promote sustainability, connectedness, and clear vision) do you think organizations/alliances could try during the 25 Days of Windcall?

ORGANIZATIONAL VISION BOARD:  Engage in an organization-wide visioning process to create a collective vision for your work based on shared values.  Then have all employees find, print and cut out pictures and photos that reflect various aspects of this shared vision and which has personal meaning to them.  Work collectively to paste the images on a big poster board and add inspiring quotes and affirmations.  Mount the vision board somewhere in your office space where everyone can see it several times throughout the day.  This will help to keep everyone inspired and excited about the collective vision for the organization.

CREATE A POSITIVE OFFICE SPACE THAT KEEPS MORALE HIGH:  Schedule a cleanup and beautification day for your office, preferably on a Friday afternoon.  Have everyone sort through, file away, and throw out anything that prevents you from having a peaceful and inspiring work environment.  Consider painting a wall in a warm color, buying some plants, hanging up inspiring photos and pictures, and allow each employee to add a little bit of their own touch so that they can have more ownership.  This in turn will help boost morale among staff members, have everyone feel proud of their office space, and increase motivation among all to work passionately towards a collective vision.

STAFF MEETING FIELD DAY:  Have one of your staff meetings at a location outside of the office, somewhere inspiring, such as a museum, a park, a restaurant, or even someone’s house / apartment (where you could have a potluck).  On the staff meeting field day, combine the staff meeting with a shared recreational and social activity, which allows everyone to bond and get to know each other better.  Deepening relationships builds trust.  Trust among employees increases synergy.  And increased synergy strengthens the collective impact of the organization.  If this practice turns out to be a success, make it a monthly habit.

CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF SHARING:  As part of staff meetings, encourage one employee to share a practice with everyone else that is meaningful to him or her.  It could be a cultural, personal or spiritual custom or practice (e.g. a 15 min. meditation practice, a song, a dish, a poem, etc.) and something that everyone else can participate in.  Allowing each employee to share something personal and meaningful with other staff members helps to build trust and allows each employee to develop a deeper connection with the organization.  This practice also provides an opportunity for each employee to bring their whole selves into their work environment and thereby help make their work experience overall more positive.

ACTIVE LISTENING DAY:  Have an “Active Listening Day” during which all staff members are asked to spend the day applying the tips listed here: 10 Tips for Effective & Active Listening Skills.  Often, when interacting with one another, we allow ourselves to be easily distracted by going through to-do lists or mentally preparing for a response to what the other person is saying.  This prevents us from being fully present and thereby inhibits our ability to communicate with one another effectively.  Practicing active listening helps to enhance communication skills, improve relationships among staff members, and increase productivity within your organization.  Consider making this practice a monthly habit.

More from Alex Poeter at www.alexpoeter.com