There are two kinds of shortcuts in life – short-shortcuts and long-shortcuts. The short-shortcuts are the ones that work, and the long-shortcuts are the kind we’ve all experienced when our driver (usually male – myself no exception) **insists** this route is going to be faster, but it ends up taking twice as long.
If we are to keep our bodies healthy, our minds clear and our businesses successful, everybody needs to balance work with rest. Not too much rest, but a certain degree of dynamic relaxation to ensure that we remain refreshed and alert. When people do not sleep for days on end, the results can be seen on their levels of concentration and productivity.
Although artificial stimulants appear to provide a solution, with endless cups of coffee being downed, or the caffeine tablets that abounded during exam-time at university, the body will eventually say ‘enough’. How many times have you partied for several nights in a row, or worked for days upon end, only to discover yourself in bed with the flu or suffering from a bad cold?
There is a Biblical shortcut to increased productivity and blessing, although it appears to suggest a slowdown in business: “on the seventh year there shall be a complete rest for your land, a Sabbath for God; your field shall now sow and your vineyard you shall not prune” (Leviticus 25:4). Although this is presented like a gentle suggestion, the tone sours later on with a series of curses, “if you will not listen to Me and not perform all of these commandments (Lev. 26:14).
What if we were to view this not as a commandment but as a law of nature – a kind of universal proclamation that is stating the essence of reality? Although it appears to be a shortcut in business to keep on working throughout the day and night, to continue answering emails on our telephones throughout the weekend and to make sure we are available to customers 24/7, perhaps this is actually the ‘long’ kind of shortcut. If we are not able to take a break, if the land is not allowed to take a hiatus from productivity, then maybe it will eventually be forced to take a break out of necessity rather than choice.
Many people say “I do not have time for a vacation”, “I do not have time to exercise”, “I do not have time to pursue my own interests” or “I do not have time to meditate”. Today, try considering these activities as essential shortcuts to increased productivity.
HOW TO APPLY THIS IN THE BOARDROOM:
1)Where have you been avoiding self-development activities? Is there a course you’ve wanted to do for a long time but have avoided signing up for? If you can’t afford it, consider the University of Youtube – millions of hours of seminars and information for free.
2) Have you been avoiding taking vacation time? Is it time you gave yourself a rest of some kind? Budget should not be an issue; there is always the option to engage your creativity to create a great staycation!
HOW TO APPLY THIS ON THE YOGA MAT/MEDITATION CUSHION:
Are you able to deeply rest? Not just to go to sleep at the end of the night whilst exhausted and falling asleep in front of the TV, but to experience that deeper, inner sense of peace and equilibrium? Here are two practices that can take you into that space of quiet:
1) Yoga Nidra – a practice for yogic relaxation. CDs/MP3s are available online, as with various instructions.
2) Longer meditations – when we sit and meditate for a period of longer than 20 minutes, the brain is able to reach deeper levels of relaxation. Try sitting for between 20-45 minutes.
Based on the Torah readings for Parshiot Behar-Behukotai.