Their needs, my needs

The beautiful English countryside on my journey
The beautiful English countryside on my journey

These past few days I’ve been at a conference, so each day has been all about talking to delegates. And I’ve given a presentation. Plus I’ve had breakfast and dinner each day with a colleague who definitely likes company more than I do (what is wrong with eating alone, I ask myself?). Being with people is tiring for me. I’m a bit of a loner, I think. I like company, but I like to be able to turn it off! So, I like things on my own terms perhaps!

Given this challenge for me I’ve been using this as an opportunity for practising yoga off the mat. I’ve been very consciously focusing on communication (= union), considering the needs of the people I’ve been speaking with, and deliberately extending my energy and enthusiasm, as well as my knowledge, to them. I’m shy, so this is all outside my comfort zone, but is part of my professional responsibility, I think. But more than that I’ve been trying to sense the people I’m interacting with as individuals with their own needs that go beyond the professional. I’ve tried to share this warmth I feel towards all these people, and I’ve felt good doing that. I don’t know if it’s materially changed what we’ve achieved, but it’s what I can offer. A conference is after all just a temporary community — a collection of people with some shared interest coming together briefly, but intensely. There’s something quite special about that.

Just about room for my mat between the bed and the window!
Just about room for my mat between the bed and the window!

But it’s also a bit depleting.

So I balanced out my giving to others with some giving to myself.  A bit of yoga in the tiniest hotel room I’ve ever had and then a long walk around town this evening.

Roman town walls
Roman town walls

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