Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Economics of Human Capital

There is a new four-letter word, the "E" word. This word is "The Economy." Strangely, it's neither four letters long nor even one word. Regardless, hearing the phrase (brace yourself), "The Economy" probably conjures worry and a knot in the stomach. Whether directly or indirectly, we are all being effected by what's happening with (here it is again) "The Economy."

Unfortunately, hard financial times often makes us feel like we need to circle the wagons, draw in our resources, and look out for our own interests. The scarcity of financial means sometimes leads to scarcity of good will toward each other.

But despite what is happening on Wall Street, there is another form of abundance we can all cash in and rely upon. This resource is each other. Us. You and me. Instead of shielding ourselves from others, we can enrich ourselves and others during this tricky financial time by investing our sincere humanity (our love, compassion, trust, and laughter) into the reservoir of well-being and happiness of each other. We are each other's bail-out plan in the essential economics of human capital, a resource without a deficit and yes, one that is even more vital that dollars. We are each other's interest and will receive an immediate return on our investment each time we share a little of love and care from our endless account of humanity.

This is yoga's (read:union) true meaning. One-ness of all.

Tough financial times is an opportunity to draw together and build friendships and communities because sometimes that is all that is left. Community is what's essential. Community will get us through. Ask your grandparents who may have lived through the Great Depression. We can help each other out in myriad ways. Give each other rides. Share job opportunities. Even just making the effort to come to yoga and give your best effort is an investment into the energy and spirit of everyone else who came to class. We feed each other. Plus, tough times moves us toward fun creative solutions that we'd otherwise never have discovered.

I love my job. I love it because I am constantly feed by your generosity and your human capital. One of my treasures of what I do is connecting with you on a personal as well as group level. I am often allowed a sneak peak into many of your hearts and get to see first hand how yoga has effected your lives. Countless times, I have looked into your eyes as you've spoken volumes to me by the tender tears rolling down your cheeks and perhaps mixed in a few words to describe some of your unspeakable challenges. You've shared with me your immense peace and joy and your stunning moments of clarity. You've shared with me the ways in which yoga has been your lifesaver, an island, an oasis. I'm deeply honored to play a small part in your unfolding.

I love these emails. For one, I can practice being vunerable, something I'm still learning. You all know much more about me than I think I'd normally be comfortable with, but you know, it's only in that vulnerablility that connection can happen. This is part of my growth. Unfortunately, you don't see the tears in my eyes as I type this jazz. I also love these emails because I often get responses back from you in which you share your personal stories, insight, and appreciation for these principles and thoughts.Thank you.

I communicate with you. You communicate back to me. But I feel a little selfish. There is a missing link with this connection--your connection to each other.

In this community that we're building by practicing yoga together, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't encourage you to see who else might be feeling the same way you do or what other insights others might offer each other.

Therefore, I am launching a blog where you can both read this same message, review past emails, but perhaps more importantly, comment on the message and share your experiences (either anonymously or publicly).

I also invite you to check out my Facebook page as a way to see how big your yoga comunity really is. You may be pleased to see that you have several friends who are coming to other classes. You may make new connections and friends. One dear friend predicts 3 marriages from this idea. We'll see. Maybe you can find friends with whom you can carpool to yoga. If you know your friend is going to pick you up for 6 am yoga (Tues at Flow, Thurs Centered City) it's an added incentive to do 'Get-'Yer-Butt-Out-Of-Bed Asana.'

Please don't stop sending me your personal emails. But you may also want to consider posting a comment for others to read. To see this same message on my blog and to post a comment about this or another message, check out my blog (see the link below). At the bottom of the blog, you'll see "comment" where you can click and leave a comment and see what others have said.

Please know that all of the information you send me is private. You are in charge of what you post. I will not post anything you say unless I have your permission.

So check out my blog by clicking here.

Allow me to be your Facebook friend by clicking here.
Click on Add Friend. If you're not a member of Facebook, it'll ask you to join. Don't worry, there is no fee, no hype, and its fun.

Now, I know that this invites more technology mayhem into our lives but if managed with mindfulness, I feel this can be a great way to connect to each other during difficult times. And, it's free. Possibly priceless.


I asked one of my private students to write in her journal what she feels about yoga. She's a woman who I'm so proud of, a woman who has seen immense personal growth since she's started to practice yoga. She gave me permission to copy it here.

I Love Yoga!

Recently when I was planning out my week, looking to see which days I could attend a yoga class and which days I would need to practice at home, it suddenly came to me: I LOVE YOGA. The truth is, I love almost everything about it. I love thinking about it, talking about it, practicing asanas, meditating, learning from my teachers, going to the studio, being with my yoga friends, putting on my yoga clothes, reading yoga books, studying about it...You get the idea. For whatever reason, yoga just does it for me. I’m addicted to those yoga “moments” - when I’m in a pose and I feel completely weightless and at ease, when I’m meditating and I lose track of time and place or when I’m consciously breathing and I feel it in every inch on my being. I started practicing yoga about 2 ½ years ago and I was hooked from the beginning. I’m a fairly straight-forward, no nonsense person so I feel a bit silly writing this. But truthfully, I feel like a five year old who’s found the hidden candy jar. I love yoga and it has changed my life.


Scottro said...

Hey, everyone. I know it's lame to comment on my own site but I appreciate you taking a look at this.

Emily said...

it's not lame! you are loved for your commitment to creating meaningful community
across the big pond in Z├╝rich~
your own Swiss Miss

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing about an important topic.

Luburke said...

I loved Scott's class on Monday!!!

Marianne Woodbury said...

Just have to say, savasana while being bathed in early morning sunlight is pure bliss.

Anonymous said...

Your weekly comments inspire and energize me for the week. There is no way that I could put into words the thoughts that make me feel, daily I contemplate how will Scott's thoughts help me take stock of myself and desire to be a better person.

Keep writing

O'Shea said...

I went to Fri's CCY class. This is how it was for me.

I listened to Scott's words. Interesting theme. At work, all around me, it's been lots of doom and gloom... mainly cuz of the economy. When we did those initial OMs, it was like a wave of sound. I found myself thinking of waves and Scott's theme. I've been very fortunate. When it comes to outward appearances, I feel near the top of that economic wave. I like thinking that my coming to yoga might be contributing something to others... whether it's financially or in some other way. I can reach my hand down and help someone near the bottom. That thought helps get my butt to class. I want hope in a better future for all.

Then Scott said we had to break up into groups of 3 for backbends. OMG! One of my nemeses! Now I'm at the bottom of the wave! I look at the others and I'm flooded with feelings of being different. Of being separate. I think, "Why did I pick THIS class tonight?!"

But, it was wonderful. The person on my left said, "Partners?" And then another one came up and said, "Need one more?" I made it clear, "My back doesn't really bend, I've never been able to get my head off the ground." And they were cool with it. And finally, when it was my turn, I couldn't believe it. It was so frickin easy -- with their help, of course. I felt giddy. I almost didn't want my turn to end!

fastgrrrl said...

O'Shea! I love your comment. Thanks for sharing!