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Breakthrough
"Productive insight; clear (often sudden) understanding of a complex situation."  Free Dictionary

Pop the bubble of conditioned thinking and emerge into the creative realm of "no absolutes," continuous change, uncertainty and unlimited possibilities.

Then, there can be innovation, adaptation and optimal performance.
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness
Open-minded:questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  

Mindful: consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

Breakthrough
Newsletter
VOLUME VIII ISSUE NO. 1 | JANUARY 2016 
Get REAL - Teach the Children
By George Pitagorsky
The other day I had the opportunity to teach a lesson on meditation and Yoga to my granddaughter's second grade class.
 
What a wonderful opportunity to introduce young children to teachings that promote self-control, loving kindness, and healthy living. Schools all over the country are beginning to recognize the need to add meditation to their curriculum.
 
I am comfortable teaching adults how to meditate and how to integrate meditation, skillful behavior and wisdom into their lives. However, I was a bit anxious, thinking that children are different. Will they understand? Do they have the same need to meditate? Will I be able to keep their attention?
Well, the answer is yes they will understand and yes they do need to meditate. Children have the same issues, it seems, as adults - easily distracted, waterfall mind (lots of uncontrolled thoughts), too tired, can't fall asleep, restless, worried, attached, fearful, angry, aggressive, self-doubting and all the other things that make learning, working and just being more difficult and stressful than it needs to be.
 
Meditation is an exercise for the mind. It is taking some control over your thoughts and feelings. It is not about stopping the thoughts. It is about choosing which thoughts and feelings you want to give your attention to and which thoughts you want to let pass and disappear. Over time meditation will let your mind quiet down so you can experience a deep and expansive sense of calm silence.
 
REAL
I anticipated that the children would ask "why meditate?" and that they may need a quick reminder of what it meant, so I came up with the acronym REAL. I told them that we meditate to "Get REAL". I left them with the suggestion that when they are feeling stressed and "antsy" they could ask themselves to "Get REAL." 
 
REAL stands for Relaxed, Energized, Accepting and Loving. 
 
Relaxed
Being relaxed frees up the extra energy wasted in being uptight, and unnecessarily stressed. Relaxation is a prerequisite for effective meditation and meditation helps the meditator to relax. How to relax? Find a comfortable place and posture and progressively move through your body relaxing each part from your feet to the top of your head. Breathe with attention on the inhale and exhale; breathe in expanding first your belly, then the lower part of your chest and then the upper part. Breathe, steadily and easily. No stress, no strain. On the exhale feel your tensions melting and flowing away.
 
Sitting quietly and comfortably while focusing on your breath or on a sound like AH or OM, noticing distractions and continually bringing your attention back to the breath will help you relax and promote a feeling of clarity and energy. It will quiet your mind.
 
There are many instructions on how to relax, look them up by inquiring about deep relaxation exercises. Above all, don't worry about not being able to relax or that the technique is not working. Give it time. Let go and accept whatever comes. 
 
Energized
Being energized means to be invigorated, to have the "juice" you need to be effectively active. Some people think that being relaxed means to be half asleep. Not true. Think about a master athlete or martial artist, relaxed, ready for anything, no extra tension. Being energized means to be bright, clear and healthy.
 
In systems like Yoga, Chi Kung and the martial arts your energy is centered just below the navel. It radiates from there like a little sun throughout the body, through subtle channels called Nadis or meridians. If you want to promote healthy energy, keep your posture erect and relaxed. Erect means having your head neck and spine in a comfortable alignment. If you slouch or keep your back rounded and head bowed, you will not let the energy flow freely. You will be more likely to be tired and depressed. Relaxed means not to strain yourself. In the beginning, if you have had sloppy posture, sitting and standing erect may not feel as good as your normal way. In a short time, you will have gotten your muscles used to the new posture and you will feel more energized.
 
If you want to get energized, learn Yoga or Chi Kung or any of the other systems that teach you how to sit, stand and move gracefully and be relaxed and erect.
 
Accepting
Meditation promotes acceptance. Acceptance means to be OK with whatever happens. This doesn't mean being passive and fatalistic. It is very practical to accept what you cannot change so you can then decide what to do about the things you can change. You cannot change the past or the immediate present. You can influence the future.
 
Accepting what you cannot change helps you to relax and be energized because you don't waste your time and energy being angry or sad over things you can't do anything about.
 
Loving
Being loving means wishing others well, feeling happy when they are happy and having a heart felt sense of empathy, caring and compassion for others who are suffering. Meditation results in a loving heart and mind. Before that happens naturally, there are meditation exercises that help to cultivate those feelings. You can explore Loving Kindness meditation to start a practice. On an informal personal level, you can choose to change the thoughts and feelings that lead to anger and a sense of wanting bad things to happen to people.
 
Get Real
So get real. Why waste your time and energy worrying, hating, trying to hold on to what you can't keep and trying to avoid the unavoidable. Relax, conserve and increase your energy and channel it into healthful and useful pursuits, accept what you cannot change and express yourself in a loving and compassionate way.
 
Teach your children to make "getting real" an integral part of their lives and support and promote the teaching of meditation in the schools.                                      
                                               
2015 George Pitagorsky                                                 Top
Performance and Open-minded Mindfulness

Open-minded: 

questioning everything, accepting diversity and uncertainty.  
 
Mindful:
 consciously aware; concentrated. 

Foundation for blending process, project, engagement and knowledge management into a cohesive approach to optimize performance.

 Learn More
Managing Conflict in Projects
By George Pitagorsky
Managing Conflict in Projects: Applying Mindfulness and Analysis for Optimal Results by George Pitagorsky charts a course for identifying and dealing with conflict in a project context.

Pitagorsky states up front that conflict management is not a cookbook solution to disagreement-a set of prescribed actions to be applied in all situations. His overall approach seeks to balance two aspects of conflict management: analysis based on a codified process and people-centered behavioral skills.

The book differentiates conflict resolution and conflict management. Management goes beyond resolution to include relationship building that may serve to avoid conflict or facilitate resolution if it occurs.

 

Read More
The Zen Approach to Project Management 
By George Pitagorsky

Projects are often more complex and stressful than they need to be. Far too many of them fail to meet expectations. There are far too many conflicts. There are too few moments of joy and too much anxiety. But there is hope. It is possible to remove the unnecessary stress and complexity. This book is about how to do just that. It links the essential principles and techniques of managing projects to a "wisdom" approach for working with complex, people-based activities.

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