Can You Edge-Walk as a Leader?
The teachings of yoga can offer us a way to think about our “edges” as leaders. In yoga, we go just to our “edge”—the place where we notice discomfort in our bodies—and not beyond it. If we push too far, we are not practicing yoga—we are practicing violence. “Edge” is the metaphor for the beliefs and thoughts we have about what is possible. What’s cool about the idea of edge is that during a yoga practice you can feel it.
You come to that part where you’re putting your body into a pose where it doesn’t effortlessly cooperate. Ouch! (You begin to wonder why you’re doing this at 6 a.m. during a week off from work). The thoughts and body sensations start to grow. (Wish I could go back to sleep, this is difficult, it hurts, etc.). Then you remember the magic potion; close your eyes and breathe…
In my own yoga practice, as soon as I begin to breathe deeply and powerfully, the edge that my mind had constructed disappears. The sensations get stronger and continue to attract my thoughts. More breath, and the edge is now completely gone and my body goes to places it had never gone before.
When I practice “edge-walking,” I enjoy the immersion in allowing myself to experience my body without that hard edge.
The body will allow what the mind will not….
When I commit to doing yoga from my “mind,” I experience more of what my mind creates (conflict and separation). When I practice yoga attending to the sensations and allowing the thoughts to disperse, my body stretches beyond its previous limitations.
Now back to leadership.
How often have you been leading from the edge?
Do you see limitations that aren’t really there?
How would your others in your world respond to you if you were first connected to who you really are, that part of you that operates when you are in the “flow” vs. when you are in the “know?”
A recent example of how this worked for a client is when Mike had difficulty connecting his “thinking” to his “feelings,” he used a specific breath practice. This allowed him to experience the multitude of sensations in his body that could guide and direct him to what really mattered. He was able to go beyond the “edge”’ which was limited by his usual thinking about the problem, into the domain of clarity and precision about what was important.
Yoga is an effective way of learning how to go to the edge and extend beyond it.
If yoga isn’t your thing, simply find a way to do an activity you enjoy and see what happens when you can’t do something easily. Is your first response a reaction? Do you breathe and get curious about your edge?