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Do You Ever Sleep? When Do You Find Time To Read?

Self

I set a goal to read 52 books for the year. I have read ten so far. Feeling accomplished, I wrote about my book challenge. So many people responded with questions like: Do you ever sleep? Where do you find time to read?


We live in a world in which we are juggling so many things at once. While finishing an email, we are on the phone with a client, updating our calendar, preparing to go to a meeting, and on and on and on. This is a normal day for many people. However, we need to understand the difference between multitasking and efficiency.

When we get home from work, we are bombarded by so many sounds and notifications like Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Linkedin and all these social apps we are tethered to. When do we have time to breathe? Why do we respond to everything with such urgency?

I started to meditate seriously in 2015. Before this, I tried to meditate but didn't stick with it. I just wasn't ready. When I discovered Naam Yoga everything changed and I started to practice daily. Meditating has worked wonders in my life. Eventually, I explored other mindfulness practices and they all worked well. You need to try out different systems to find what works for you.

To answer the question where do I find time to read: by being present. When I am reading, cooking, spending time with my family, writing an email, talking to my clients, preparing a presentation, mentoring someone, laughing, dancing -- I am fully present and conscious that I am doing the activity.

Mindfulness is about being aware and awake. To be mindful at work means to be consciously present in what you're doing, while you're doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. If you're writing a report, speaking with a client, in a meeting with your boss, etc. mindfulness requires you to give your full attention.

Here are some tips that will help you to transition to a more rigorous mindfulness practice!

1. Start your workday by being present as best you can. Pause for a few moments before you start your workday. Try not to start immediately answering emails, phone calls, or Facebook notifications. Instead, take a few minutes to breathe and organize your day. These little moments add up to make the day a more productive one.

2. Be a Single-Tasker. Single-tasking is doing one thing at a time. To do this block off 3 hours of time solely to work on projects. Switch off as many distractions as you can and focus on achieving one task at a time.

3. Slow Down To Speed Up. By slowing down, you become more efficient, productive, happy, resilient and healthy at work. This allows your brain to become even more efficient, focused, effective at communicating with others, and better at learning new skills.

4. Cultivate Humility. Humble people have confidence in themselves and don't feel the need to continuously remind others of their achievements. Humility does not mean seeing yourself as inferior; rather, it means being aware of your natural dependence on and equity with those around you.

5. Accept What You Can't Change. Acceptance lies at the heart of mindfulness. To be mindful means to accept this present moment just as it is. It means to accept yourself, just as you are now. It doesn't mean resignation or giving up. If you have dreams of leaving your workplace to start your own business, just take baby steps to get there and remain positive about the outcome. Mindfulness is about giving attention to the present moment and not judging your innate talent or intelligence, but being open to new possibilities.

To be mindful on a daily basis no matter how chaotic life is around you, you don't really need to be sitting cross-legged for one hour meditating! In general, becoming more mindful comes with practice! Don't try too hard or force it to achieve any special effects! Simply relax into the process and pay as much attention as you can to what is here now. Whatever form that takes. Allow yourself to experience life as it unfolds, paying careful and open-hearted attention. A good place to start is to just breathe.

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Politics

Michael Bloomberg Can’t Handle A Woman With A Voice (aka Elizabeth Warren)

Elizabeth Warren majorly called out "arrogant billionaire" Michael Bloomberg for his history of silencing women through NDAs and closed-door settlement negotiations. Sound familiar? Probably because we already have a president like that. At this point, Bloomberg may just spend the remainder of his (hopefully) ill-fated presidential campaign roasting on a spit over a fire sparked by the righteous anger of women. A lesser punishment than he deserves, if you ask me.


At last night's Democratic debate, Michael Bloomberg could barely stammer out an answer to a question on whether or not he would release any of his former accusers from their nondisclosure agreements. His unsatisfactory response was basically a halting list of what he has done for certain nondescript women in his time at City Hall and within his own company.

But that certainly wasn't enough for Elizabeth Warren, nor should it be, who perfectly rephrased his defense as, "I've been nice to some women." Michael Bloomberg is basically that weird, problematic Uncle that claims he can't be racist, "Because I have a Black friend." In a society where power is almost always in the hands of straight, white, cisgendered, men being "nice" to a lucky few is in no way a defense for benefiting from and building upon the systematic silencing of all marginalized communities, let alone women. Stop and frisk, anybody?

Here is a brief clip of the Warren v. Bloomberg exchange, which I highly recommend. It is absolutely (and hilariously) savage.

But let's talk about the deeper issues at hand here (other than Warren being an eloquent badass).

Michael Bloomberg has been sued multiple times, yet each time he was able to snake his way out of the problem with the help of his greatest and only superpower: cold, hard cash. Each time these allegations have come up, in Warren's words, he throws "a chunk of money at the table" and "forces the woman to wear a muzzle for the rest of her life."

As reported by Claire Lampen of The Cut, here are just a few of his prior indiscretions.

  • Pregnancy discrimination—Bloomberg reportedly told a former employee of his to "kill it," in reference to her developing fetus.
  • Sexual harassment—You could literally write a book on this subject (someone did), but for the sake of brevity...
"I'd like to do that piece of meat" - Michael Bloomberg in reference to various women at his company.
  • Undermining #MeToo—Not only did he defend the accused, but he went on the disparage accusers every step of the way.
  • Defaming transgender people—Though he claims to support trans rights, he has also been qupted multiple times as referring to trans women as "some guy wearing a dress."
Yeah... That's not a winning formula for me, Mike.

Furthermore, Warren points out the simple fact that if, as Bloomberg claims, these instances were simply big misunderstandings (He was just joking around!) then why go to all the trouble to cover them up? Does Michael Bloomberg think women can't take a joke? Or can we only surmise that the truth of these events are far darker and dirtier than we could even imagine?

Certain commentators have called Elizabeth Warren's debate presence "agressive," especially in regards to this instance but also continually throughout her entire campaign. If asking poignant questions to known abusers who are seeking to further their own political power is considered "aggressive," then I am here for it. Bring on the aggressive women, please and thank you.

Calling a woman aggressive for being confidant and direct is a gendered complaint. You don't see anyone whining that Bernie is "aggressive" when he goes off on a screaming tangent. Also, have you seen our president? He's basically the poster boy for political temper tantrums. But still, it's Warren that is deemed "aggressive," for honing in on the exact issues that need to be considered in this upcoming election.

This type of derisory label is another aspect of how our society silences women—much like Bloomberg and his NDAs. Because "silencing" is more than just putting a "muzzle" on someone. It's refusing to listen to a person's cries for help. It's disregarding what a woman has to say, because she's too "aggressive." It's taking away someone's power by refusing to truly hear their side of the story. Because if you aren't listening, responding, or even just respecting someone's words, they may well have said nothing at all.

"Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard." - Renecca Solnit

Nondiscolusure agreements are a legal gag for people who have experienced harassment and abuse at the hands of those above them.

Gretchen Carlson, possibly the most famous person subject to an NDA, is one of these people. Her story is so well-known that it has even been immortalized on film, in 2019's Bombshell. Yet she is still forced to maintain her silence. She cannot tell her side of the story even when Hollywood can. She was cajoled into her current position after facing harassment in her workplace. She didn't have the power then to do more than accept her fate. And now, she doesn't have the power to tell her story.

She was, and still is being, silenced.

After her experiences, Carlson was moved to fight for all women to have the power over their truths. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times she declared: "I want my voice back. I want it back for me, and for all those silenced by forced arbitration and NDAs."

Carlson may still be tied to her NDA, but there are those who go a different route. Celeste Headlee, who wrote an op-ed on SWAAY about her experience, chose to break her nondisclosure agreement. Though doing so undoubtedly opened her up to numerous legal ramifications, she knew that she could no longer "sign away [her] right to justice."

Because that is what an NDA is all about, signing away a person's right to justice. Their story is their justice. Their NDA is a lock and key. Headlee may have broken through that lock, but she must face the consequences.

Neither Carlson nor Headlee are any less brave for how they have handled their journeys. They are both actively working to shift the cultural and political norms that led them here, and their work will, with hope and time, lead to real change. But they are just two drops in an ocean of women who are held hostage by their nondisclosure agreements, by men like Michael Bloomberg, and by a society that would rather silence them than let truth and justice be had.