4 alternative treatments that can restore work-life balance
In a business world of disruption, we all need some self-TLC to restore our well-being. Check out four alternative treatments that helped me rebalance and reconnect.
Sound Healing Therapy
Last year, between lockdowns, as I was searching for a way to lift myself out of the gloomy pandemic reality, I met Ori, a professional sound healer. After traveling the world and learning secret trades from ancient tribes, Ori returned to Israel on a mission to help people in emotional distress to rejuvenate and reach a state of calm. I knew nothing about this therapy but was so stressed out that I decided to give it a try.
I entered a beautiful studio, lay down on a soft mattress, and covered my eyes with lavender scented blindfolds. At first, I was tense and suspicious, but within minutes, a magical live concert presented itself, harmoniously combining dozens of exotic instruments. My tension and suspicion were soon replaced by innocence and wonder, my mind went blank, and I surrendered to a floating sense of bliss.
Two hours and a mug of herbal tea later, Ori explained that in Sound Healing - an ancient meditation originated in Tibet in the 12th century - each instrument plays a different healing role. Together, they create musical sounds that echo our bodies’ energy centers (“chakras”), release energy blocks and restore a state of calm.
I returned home with an amazing sense of tranquility and in full agreement with A.R Rahman’s famous quote: “Music is the language of languages. It is the ultimate mother of languages.”
Vipassana: The Sound of Silence
In music, said the late American composer Truman Fisher, “the pause is as important as the note”. In our disruptive, noisy business world, silence is a rare but important commodity. It cleanses chaos, connects us with our inner voice and tells us what we really need to know about ourselves, our relationships, and our careers. So, while it’s impossible to silence the noise outside, we can and should create it within. That’s what Vipassana workshops are all about: an ongoing insightful meditation process that tunes in to the sound of silence.
At first it feels forced: the body itches like rehab, and the mind continues to disrupt in annoying streams of thought. But if you sit decisively, you reach a moment where blessed silence presents itself.
When your inner voice finally arrives, it’s shy and timid, like a new kid in class on the first day of school. But a few days later, it elevates to a pure and balanced wisdom where the noise of doing transforms to peaceful being.
Martial arts for business leaders (and not only)
Martial Arts, specifically Karate, practically saved me from my younger 30-year-old self: a stressed-out workaholic in dire need to solve the accumulative aggression in my body. I trained twice a week for two hours straight with a diverse group of business executives. Through the spirit of fighting, I learned about discipline, complex relationships, friendship, reality checking, focusing on self-confidence and peace and passing it on to others. These precious business lessons that no Ivy league school could ever have offered me, have had a profound effect on the business leader I am today.
Sweat Lodge Ceremony
“You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying, in sweat.” Everybody growing up in the 70’s and 80’s remembers dance teacher Lydia Grant’s quote in the wonderful series Fame, and today’s disruptive business world demands practically the same. Metaphorically, we’re all expected to step out of our comfort zone and shed sweat and tears to overcome complex business challenges. But when I stepped out of my comfort zone and into in a traditional sweat lodge - a spiritual Native American purifying ritual for mind, body and soul - I experienced this literally.
I stepped in to a dark, domed low circular lodge and sat beside a central pit, which resembled the navel of mother earth. A firekeeper tended a fire nearby, heated stones which he later placed in the central pit, and then poured water and scattered herbs over them, to steam up the lodge. Symbolizing the four wind directions, the ceremony was divided into four parts and lasted an hour and a half.
At first the heat was unbearable: I was sweating my bones off and fumes burned my nostrils and lungs as I sat on the ground in pitch black, trying to make sense of this bizarre experience. But them the heat began to open my heart, and I suddenly found myself chanting and singing in an incomprehensible language.
When the ceremony was over, I crawled out of the lodge drenched in sweat, laid back on the cool ground, and for the first time in years — looked up to see a beautiful night sky full of stars. In our challenging business world, sometimes a good sweat and a starry night is all you need is to realize that everything is alright, and the best is yet to come.