In the Nicest Way, Shut Up | Handel Group | Handel Group
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In the Nicest Way, Shut Up


Something was different about exercise class today with my favorite fitness guru Patricia Moreno. She wasn’t talking, at all. This is doubly strange because her whole yoga/martial art/cardio blast workout is designed around shouting out affirmations as you go through specialized, symbolic movements. Even stranger: regardless of Patricia’s laryngitis, this was one of her best classes ever.

My first wave of insight came from watching her put her heart and soul into demonstrating the movements and mouthing the affirmations. I wondered if she considered not coming to class today and getting a sub instead. Wouldn’t it seem logical to cancel teaching if you have no voice? Not to Patricia, she decided to plan ahead and write the affirmations on the mirror at the front of the studio in large letters as well as in a notebook that she walked around showing to people. She had her most seasoned students at the front, facing the rest of us, demonstrating enthusiastically and shouting the affirmations. She taught the class almost like normal, but it was BETTER than normal. Why?

1) Because she couldn’t talk, she embodied the movements fully, demonstrating the feelings she was trying to evoke and the extent to which the movement could be taken. Because there was nothing to hear from her, we were completely tuned in to her body and her movements, and were more deeply challenged to personally embody the movements ourselves.

2) Her students got to lead. So much of what she teaches is about empowering yourself. We got to see that in motion, as unwitting participants became the teachers. When you are in the spotlight, you become your best. The pleasure the front row took in inspiring the rest of us was palpable.

3) The spirit in the room in general was at an all time high because in the absence of Patricia’s encouragement, we all had to encourage each other. The best was brought out in all of us.
But here is the best thing I learned from this workout: if you think you CAN’T do something, then SHUT UP! It’s not true.

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For example, I have been working on a financial goal in my business for a while and seem to have hit a plateau. Just today I was complaining about how was I ever going to accomplish this shift when XYZ happens, people going on vacation, leaves of absence, etc. I seem to love complaining about the reasons I can’t accomplish a particular vision more than figuring out creative, new solutions. The brat in my head is so clever in getting me off the hook.

Then I encounter Patricia, leading a high impact exercise class, in a really loud, jam packed (100+ ppl) room, with NO voice and I say to myself: “In the nicest way, shut up Laurie, think outside the box a little.” Where is help available that you haven’t even bothered to look? How would a little extra planning make all the difference? How would demonstrating and embodying the dream you are trying to manifest impact the people you want to include in that dream? These are the lessons I learned from class tonight. What a workout!

Shutting up now,
Laurie