For many years I ran a yoga, meditation, and mindfulness program for Miraval: Life in Balance, and was regularly asked by our sales and marketing team to speak with journalists about our programs and what we do. Inevitably I was always asked for “tips”.
I can do tips of course and it is good way to get very clear, very quick. In the beginning it was exciting to be asked and a fun challenge and I always felt pretty good about what I offered up. It was nice to see my name in print as the expert or authority and to get comments from friends, family, and colleagues about the publicity. I’m happy to say that my name and advice popping up in an article in Woman’s Day was a particularly thrilling experience for my mother-in-law. Yet more and more I felt dissatisfied about what ended up in print.
It was never quite what I said or meant, not the right context, it seemed banal and superficial. The idea here was of course to simply get mentioned, to get attention to your cause, but it never felt quite right seeing the tips end up next to tips for removing cellulite or losing your belly fat, or having the perfect bath. It’s like seeing the woman on tv who teaches yoga to professional athletes and swears by Advil for the days she is too sore or sick but the game must go on. It’s simply not the right message about these subjects. It’s static rather than substance.
I don’t mean to sound cynical, I have benefited from the mainstreaming of these practices. I am sure we all have benefited from these casual tips at some point and that we all need a little something different to get information across our filters. We all deserve a good bath after all! I will indeed keep giving tips and receiving tips.
Rather than cynical, I am curious. Can I find a way to get clear, quick, and still transmit meaning? Can tips be experienced as ideas, reminders, sparks that energize the reader or listener rather than concepts we mistakenly impose upon ourselves? In my mind one tip truly received could change our lives’, it’s that simple, yet not that easy!
Three Tips for Maximizing your Experience of Tips:
- Your breath is more important than anything you are reading or hearing or doing.
- You are already whole and complete, no improvement necessary.
- Let life live through you. (poem fragment from “Hokusai Says”, by Roger Keys)
Natasha Korshak is a long-time teacher and trainer of yoga, meditation, mindfulness and MBSR, and has been working in the field of integrative health and wellness her entire professional career. She is a graduate of the Interfaith Theological Seminary and an ordained Interfaith Minister specializing in contemplative practice, grief processing, and spiritual direction. Her study and training of mind/body/spirit methods is extensive and she has learned from many of the pioneers in their discipline. As the founder and director of the Sol Center she is well regarded for her depth, warmth, authenticity, and the smile in her voice.