It’s 8pm, you take another expresso, your heart rate increases, you tense your shoulders and you are ready for a few more hours of work to finish that client proposal… One thing that we often observe in senior executives is a habit of using adrenalin-based energy to drive results. Also when stepping into corporate offices, we often sense a collective adrenalin ‘vibe’ that is present. It’s almost like the office is ‘buzzing’.
A teacher once told me: If you really think you’re enlightened, go and spend a full month with your parents. So that’s what I decided to do…. I have been living as an expat for almost 10 years now in Europe, Africa and Asia. I generally visit my parents and home town once or twice a year. My parents still live in the house I grew up in in a small village in the South of the Netherlands.
“Relax, drop any tensions, enjoy and don’t get attached to any goal”….It sounds like a life coaching session, but actually it’s my freediving instructor giving me the last cues before I go under water on a single breath….. There I am, floating on an ocean with a wetsuit, 1kg of weight on my belt and a diving mask. I am grabbing onto a little buoy in the water while taking a special set of breath cycles that my freediving instructor taught me that morning. I am about to go down on a single breath of air to deeper than 20 meters under sea level. Welcome to the sport of freediving….
Suddenly I feel a funny sensation emerging from deep down in my belly. It’s not a frequent visitor, but I have heard people talk about it. I even listened to a powerful TED talk about it. It’s called shame…and it is arising right now while I am in a packed theatre in the centre of Singapore. I am attending an evening event on ‘mindfulness’ with big names like Dan Siegel, Trudy Goodman and Jack Kornfield.