I can’t believe it, but this is our 100th blog version of our podcast!!! We started out with only about 50 downloads per episode a little over two years ago and were really happy about that, as our goal was simply to spread mindfulness. Today, A Mindful Moment has more than 100 times that number of downloads per episode and we’re approaching 350,000 total downloads and still growing. We’re also in the top 1.5% out of the almost 2,000,000 podcasts out there and ranked in the top 100 for mental health podcasts. So an enormous thank you to our listeners! We’re so grateful that you found our broadcast in this giant pool and more importantly, that you are interested in becoming more mindful. Considering today’s political, social and economic environment, we definitely need more mindfulness in the world.
Reflecting on the beginnings of this podcast, I realized just how much has changed in two years. I had been a solo act at Work2Live until a few months before that first Mindful moment, when we added our first employee. Then we added a second a couple of months later and now we have a team of five, producing the podcast in English and Spanish, as well as creating and conducting workshops, trainings, retreats and participating in several health education projects across L.A. county.
When the pandemic hit, we changed the format of the podcast to address dealing with the resulting stress and anxiety it provoked and brought in outside guests for the first time to provide a broader perspective on how to cope. We went from weekly live events to an all-virtual platform, transforming every presentation we had and creating new ones to fit the needs of the abrupt disruptions in our work and home life. After a beta run, we had just launched our Dynamic Coaching Certification program right before the widespread shutdowns occurred and after getting through that cohort, revamped that program, too, so that it was self-paced to meet the needs of people struggling to adapt to all of the massive changes we’ve all experienced.
After hundreds of workshops, lots of program reconfigurations, adapting to remote work and now hitting our 100th podcast episode, it feels like we might get to settle down into a regular routine. Maybe. But even if more disruption occurs, we have already shifted into our new reality, so even with bumps in the road, we’re no longer operating in reactive-mode, but moving back into a proactive approach and focusing on long-term strategies again.
This brings me to today’s topic. When we go through massive and constant change over a period of time, it can create a reactive atmosphere, where one is simply jumping to address one challenge as the next one appears, whether personally or professionally. And with what’s occurred over the past year, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. But it’s not where we want to stay any longer than necessary.
We’re hitting the one-year anniversary of this pandemic and that’s a good marker to prompt reflection and perhaps a shift back to responding to life’s events, rather than reacting. Whether you need to re-regulate personally, whether you have your own business, or whether your employment is continuous or has been disrupted, it’s time to start determining what you want and where you want to go.
Do you have the same desires and goals that you had a year ago? For many, the answer is no. We’ve been through a lot, we’ve had lots of time for self-examination and we’ve seen the entire world through a new lens. That’s bound to have changed many people’s aspirations, as well as their values. Relationships have changed, whether at home or at work. For many, health conditions have changed. And unfortunately, many more have had economic changes that have severely impacted their pre-pandemic conditions.
It feels like we have experienced a reckoning related to the path we were on before the pandemic and have had our eyes opened as to the acuteness of racial inequalities, the lack of social justice, the inadequacies of our infrastructure, and the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness of many major leaders and institutions around the globe. The cumulative effect of everything we’ve experienced goes beyond change. It has been transformative for many people.
What’s the difference between change and transformation? Change uses external influences to modify actions, but transformation modifies beliefs so actions become natural and thereby achieve the desired result. Reacting to external circumstances, we change our behaviors, like receiving an unpleasant medical diagnosis, so we change our eating patterns, or like the pandemic, requiring us to change how we work. Change is typically driven by something external and we then look at that past event and change something about ourselves or our situations to adjust or fix whatever occurred.
Transformation springs internally. We have recognized the way we are in the world, how we have responded to it, and have identified a need to feel different, to interact differently or to adjust our belief system to better align with the reality we find ourselves in. Transformation is less focused on the past and more future-oriented. Based on where we are now, we assess where and how we want to move forward.
Considering what we have witnessed as to how our world works, many feel a need to do something about it now, as witnessed by the large number of peaceful protests around the world, through civil unrest, and unfortunately, through violence or conspiratorial machinations. But these are more change-oriented than transformative because they are external events prompting external actions. Could there be a mindful approach to where we find ourselves today, shifting our internal beliefs and responses through conscious leadership that might move us closer to where and how we want to be?
Today’s guest, Carley Hauck, is a leadership development consultant, author, speaker, and serves as adjunct faculty at Stanford University and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business teaching on the subject of leadership and business as a platform for positive change in the world. She has served to cultivate leadership skills and create thriving workplaces and mission driven businesses for many Fortune 100 companies.
In her upcoming book, Shine- Ignite Your Inner Game to Lead Consciously at Work and the World, Carley guides readers on a transformational inner to outer journey to inspire a new workplace and world that works for everyone and prioritizes people and planet first. She is also the host of the inspiring Shine podcast, interviewing leaders on the practices and tools they use to lead and influence business to be a force for good in the world.
Thanks again to our guest, Carley Hauck, for her insights and enthusiasm in making the world a much better place through conscious leadership. Carley has three free virtual events coming up over the next few months including The Role of Male Allies in Creating Cultures of Inclusiveness and Belonging on March 26th, Gender, Equity and the Future of Work on 4/21 and How to be a Climate Optimist on May 4th. Visit her website at carleyhauck.com/community-events.
And thanks again to you, our listeners, for continuing on your mindfulness journey. We really can make a difference for our own well-being, in our communities and for the planet through mindfulness.
Until next time. Have a wonderful week.