In October 2019, Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya was the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours. That’s about a 4.5 minute mile for 26.2 miles — or a marathon at sprint-pace.

Right now, you are running your own marathon at sprint pace —  playing a leadership role at your non profit during this pandemic.

The  disruption and uncertainty are going to last well into 2020 and beyond. That’s the marathon part. Meanwhile the day-to-day is a fast sequence of pivots and juggling — the sprints.

Over the next few weeks, Mark and I are going to be sharing a series of posts about resourcing yourself so you can finish the marathon and stay conditioned enough for the inevitable sprints en route.

Today, I want to share a very simple practice. The 60-second center.

(1) Think about yourself as the ocean. Even when the water is choppy, there is calmer water below the surface. When we are stressed or anxious (e.g. our sympathetic nervous system is activated), our minds mimic choppy water — racing from one thought to the next. By learning to interrupt that racing mind — we can reconnect with our deeper resiliency.

(2) The trick is reminding yourself to interrupt the choppy water. At first, set an alarm. Choose 3 times each day when you want a reminder to center.

(3) When the alarm goes off:

  • Inhale through your mouth and into your belly. Visualize energy coming up through your feet, seat, and spine and out through the top of your head.
  • Exhale through your nose. Visualize energy going from the top of your head down you spine and seat and feet deep into the earth below you.
  • Do this for one-minute.

(4) Enjoy the sensation of feeling more present and connected.

The more you practice, the more automatic centering will become. As it becomes more automatic, your leadership resiliency will strengthen.

The key is to practice — without judgement or frustration. So set that alarm — and start a practice.

Thank you Doug Silsbee and Bebe Hanson with Presence Based Coaching for this somatic practice