What we miss when we over-prepare.
I sat in my meditation class, the lights low, staring at a brass bowl with a flickering candle inside. Space and time felt infinite. There was no where to be, nothing to do but be. The meditation leader opened up the room for questions or comments. A man said, "Sometimes I notice the harder I prepare for something, the less prepared I am." In this open space, I met his seemingly paradoxical statement with curiosity. This curiosity enabled me to turn his statement sideways, upside down, and really consider what he meant in the context of my experiences.
It dawned on me: When we normally prepare for a meeting or event, we usually focus on TASKS. Things to DO: make a presentation, build graphs, read articles, check out a LinkedIn profile, etc. We rarely focus on how we want to BE when we are there. "BEing" preparation for a meeting or event, might look something like this:
-How do I want to show up in the space?
-What qualities of myself do I want to offer to this person or group?
-How do I need to clear my head so that I am open to this experience?
-How can I take care of my needs in the days, hours, or moments leading up to it?
-Am I prepared to notice how others are showing up,
and what they need from this experience?
There is new research about mood contagion. Spoiler: moods spread really well. That means, if we show up prepared to BE in a way that serves us, we will benefit and so will others.
So, the next time you're keyed up to prepare for a meeting or event, consider ways to cultivate how you want to BE, alongside the tasks on your TO DO list.