My Green Juice

A Journey to Wellness

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How to Make Time for Things that Matter

Pursuing a balanced life is not easy.  It never is.  We would always have the excuse that it is impossible to “find” time to do the all things that are important to our well-being:  spending more time with the kids, exercising, eating the right food, relaxing, dating the hubby, etc.  There are so many urgent things to do:  meet work deadlines, pay the bills, run errands, and the list goes on and on.  In the article Why Busy Executives Should Make Time to Exercise, I argued that similar to scheduling your appointments with a doctor or setting meetings with your staff, you should “make”, as opposed to “find”, time for doing the things that matter.

 So, how do you make time for things that matter?

  1. targetSet your objectives/goals.  Learn how to prioritize.  What, indeed, are the things that matter most to you?  Family, health, work, vacation, exercise, yoga practice? 

    My planner and journal

    My planner and journal

  2. Plan.  Plan. Plan.  According to the author of The Little Prince, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”  Being prepared is one of the key secrets to success.  When asked for an advice, my mentor simply said “always be prepared”.  Sustaining a daily yoga practice likewise doesn’t happen by accident.  It requires thoughtful planning.  Personally, I like scheduling my activities in my planner.  When taking exams, for example, I will review the list of subjects covered and make a schedule on when to read, review and practice exam questions.  Being a visual person, I would write them all down and start a visual countdown until testing date (30 more days to go!).  Similarly, with my yoga practice, I would plan a week ahead, scheduling classes (whether actual or online) that would focus on areas I need (hips, back, core, arms?).  Of course, each day may bring different needs and I would adjust accordingly.   Uncle Ben (Franklin) himself said that “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” 
  3. Commit.  Commitment is critical to ensure success and sustainability.  Take it from Peter Drucker, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
  4. Just Do It.  Nike said it all.

 

What do you think?  Do you have something to add to the above list?

 

 

 

Tales of a Central Banker.  Leadership Series.

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A Balanced Leader

central bankerOur mentoring program has started me thinking on what my work philosophy is and how this influences my leadership style.  I have never really thought too much about it, but now I realize that my work philosophy has actually evolved over the years.  At the core, I strive for excellence, grounded by the highest standards of professional ethics.  This is my mantra which drives me to continuously develop my craft.  Particularly during the early years of my career, I was ambitious, aggressive, and disciplined.  As a result, I had little tolerance for mediocrity.  These have served me well as I quickly climbed up the corporate ladder.  However, as I took on a leadership role and my responsibilities grew, I realized that what have served me so well in the past may very well lead me to an early burn out, as well as those around me as they try to cope with my demands.

Practicing yoga helps me realize that life is all about finding balance and this same philosophy can be applied at work.  But this can be hard to do.  In asana practice, for example, one tends to favor poses which comes very naturally.  Thus, for someone who is naturally strong, the tendency is to focus on strength training and active sequences.  Strong arm balances may be the poses of choice.  However, too much repetition and contraction of the muscles can lead to tightness, wear and tear; and ultimately, injury.

SPLITConversely, for the naturally “bendy” people, poses of choice are those that highlight their uber flexibility like the splits and deep back bends such as full wheel.  However, for super flexible people, the tendency is to hyper extend, and if the muscles are not strong enough to support the joints, this will lead to stress on the joints, and ultimately, injury.  Thus, it is important to incorporate one’s practice with asanas that will balance your body.  More strength training for flexible people, more stretching for the strong.

Personally, I love strength sequences because they provide stability and focus in my practice.  On the other hand, sequences that work on opening my hips, hamstrings, back, and shoulders create space and release stress – making me so happy and relaxed.  Strength brings stability, flexibility creates space.  Combine them both, and we have balance.

AutocraticBeing a strong leader means being able to set direction, provide guidance, make difficult decisions, and instill discipline.  At the extreme, however,this can mean being autocratic and its rigidity can break down the organization.

DemocraticA flexible leader listens to ideas, is open to criticism, and empowers his people.  However, allowing full democracy may lead to a slow decision-making process which may not be optimal, particularly during times of crisis. 

I believe that there is no “right” or “wrong” leadership style.  The key is finding a balance that works best for you, your peers, your subordinates, and your organization.   And it takes practice.  In yoga, constant practice allows one to be able to be more mindful about the needs of the body and mind.  For instance, my daily practice allows me to constantly listen to my body, which has increased my self-awareness.  Thus, when I went through rapid successions of strong sequences, I could actually feel my muscles stiffen and tighten.  True enough, the next day, I was sore all over.  My body was signalling me to then practice  gentle poses that would stretch my tired muscles to release the stress.  Similarly, constant practice of listening to yourself and those around you will help you hone your leadership skills.  With more awareness, you can focus on areas that need improvement to balance your leadership style. 

Personally, my leadership style naturally leans  towards being proactive, aggressive, decisive, and focused on results.  Thus, I know I need to practice on the softer skills to balance these yang/active/strong traits – listening to others, empowering my staff, and being more contemplative.  Hopefully, with mindfulness and constant practice, I can be a true leader who inspires others to fulfill our vision of being a world-class banking supervisor.

Tales of a Central Banker.  Leadership series.

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Trips with the Hubby

Originally posted on Travel Tales of a Yogini:

This gallery features my trips with the hubby.  Chronicling romantic getaways and loving memories.  Click on the pictures to read the stories.    Travel Tales of a Yogini.

Honeymoon to Remember

Honeymoon to Remember. 200  

Anniversary in Beijing

Anniversary in Beijing. 2012

love lock bridge

Bonjour Paris! 2013

Birthday to Remember. 2012

Birthday to Remember. 2012

Boracay

Boracay. 2008.

Cheltenham, UK

Cheltenham, UK. 2012

Trips with the Hubby_13

Christmas in London. 2009.

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Christmas in London

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Jane:

New series up and running. Trips with the Hubby.

Originally posted on Travel Tales of a Yogini:

My stay in the United Kingdom back in 2009-2010 is one of the most memorable experiences for so many reasons.  It was exciting to once again enter academic life, taking time off work as a full time scholar, and meeting new friends from all over the world. Yet, these were times also of great loneliness as I left my new husband (we got married in 2009) to take this wonderful opportunity.  His visit to the UK during the Christmas season was the happiest part of my stay there.  This post is all about spending Christmas in London.

It was a lovely, quiet stay in London during the holidays.  Most of the tourist attractions were closed, so we were contented just to walk around the city.

The famous Abbey Road.  We had difficulty finding this one.

We stayed at the lovely Grosvenor Hotel near Victoria Station.  And we felt like kids…

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Three Ways to Use Lemon

  1. Lemonade.  Who doesn’t love the zesty, tangy taste of lemonade sweetened by honey or sugar?  Here’s a quick recipe:  6 lemons, 6 cups of cold water, 1 cup of sugar.  When juicing the lemons, firmly roll lemons between your hand and table/countertop before cutting in half.  Combine lemon juice, sugar, and water.  Stir, adjust to taste and serve over ice.  Ahhh….Refreshing!
  2. Green Juice with Lemon.  I love squeezing a lemon into my green juice to balance the bitter taste.  While I’m at it, I’ll throw in a couple of sliced lemons which I can later use for my…
  3. Lemon Water.  I love the refreshing taste of water with lemon!  It really perks me up and energizes my day.

 

There are so many benefits of drinking lemon juice.  Lemons are vitamin C-rich citrus fruits that boost our immune system.  Also good for flushing out toxins and help maintain the glow of youthful skin.  Gotta love ‘em lemons!

 

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