Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Adversity


Wow! So much has happened since my last post. I hardly know where to begin. I suppose the beginning is always good. The beginning of the new year held so much hope and promise. So what happens when things don't go your way? Well, you can choose how you respond. I have been listening to The 7 Habits on tape, after already having read it. It has helped me so much in so many ways. The first Habit, is accepting that you are you're own designer of your life. The Second, is start designing. I had to really put that into practice, after taking a terrible fall in the parking structure stairs at work. I have been up and down those stairs a million times, and I couldn't tell you what made the day I tripped any different. I have replayed that moment over and over again. It just happened. As it turns out, I had broken my fibula bone just above my left ankle. It was not the weight baring bone, so no surgery was needed. I was put in a cast for 9 weeks, and was told to not put any weight on it for the first 10 days. this was so not what I had put on my goals for the new year. I was just feeling at the top of my game again. Looking forward to some exciting prospects with the local dance studio. I was in the process of lining up some exciting classes for our team. Now what? I had to stop everything, and focus on allowing my body to heal. I wasn't about to feel sorry for myself. I looked at the opportunities to get caught up on some reading, needlepoint projects from when my son was born. (He's now 22!) What can I say? It also came at a time in my life, where my husband and I were about to make some major changes in where we lived. I focused on what was in my ability to do, and worked on letting go of the rest. I even managed to make it to several mat pilates classes with my crutches and cast attached. You'd be amazed at what one can do when one puts their mind to it.


So here's the big lesson through all of this. It made me focus on what was important at the time, and let the rest go. It made me appreciate so very much the opportunities that Lululemon had provided for me to take classes, which helped me to stay strong and healthy. It really made me realize how blessed I have been. I was a professional dancer, and I valued my health already, but this made me realize that there is more to a person than what one sees on the outside. I had to focus more on the inside, and be prepared mentally for the battle of gaining back my strength post cast. I was able to use a temporary handicap sign, and every time I used it, I prayed for all of those who will spend the rest of their lives using it. I only had 9 weeks.


Where am I now you may be wondering. Well, I am on two feet, and loving every minute of it. It has not been easy, but I am getting my strength back more and more everyday. My husband and I are thinking of moving to the West Side, so we are temp. staying in Westchester. I am now working at the Plaza El Segundo store, and am enjoying getting to know my new family of lulus. I miss my Pas. fam, and you will always be in my heart! I hope we will keep in touch, and keep spreading the lulu love!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Acro Yoga Demo

I took a few pictures of the Acro Yoga demonstration with my cameraphone since the store's camera was out of battery. The pictures are here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/AlanKC/AcroYoga

Monday, January 14, 2008

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU

New beginnings, fresh starts. Beginning a new year is such a great time to reflect on where you are and where you want to be.



Lessie and I had the honor of joining about 40 other people at Yoga House on Saturday for a 3 hours workshop with our wonderful Ambassador John Sovec. His seminar was titled Art of the New Year. It was great. He started off by having us write down the highlights and low lights of 2007. Really reflect on key events, and allow yourself to really relive the feelings associated with them. If it was a difficult time, really feel it. As well as really experience the joy associated with the good things. This was something I had never really done before, and it was an eye opener. One woman shared that it really showed her how strong she was, based on the difficult year she had, and how she survived through it. Very powerful!



Then he went around the room and asked us to share one word to sum up the year. I am sad to report that the first word to come to mind was less than positive. What does that mean? I know it was not all bad, but the first thing that came to mind was pretty depressing. Well, it was what it was. Then he led us through a guided imagery, where we took all of the pages of the calendar of 2007 and ripped them up and threw them in a fire pit surrounded by loved ones, who support us along our journey. Let the smoke rise up and let it go. Very liberating for sure. His reasoning, was that so many of us carry forward that which is history. We let the negative things cloud our vision for the future.



Then he asked us to look into a pool of water, reflecting back to us an image or word or phrase to carry with us into the New Year. Something that will sustain us through difficult times. I found this a little hard at first. I kept trying to conjure up what I wanted it to be. I thought I want to be a magnet for positive things. Whether it be love or good fortune. I couldn't seem to have anything just come. Then he had us write it down in a letter to ourselves that he would mail back to us. When I started to write, what came up was I WAS ENOUGH! OK, so now what? Then it hit me. No matter what may come my way this year, I WAS ENOUGH! Pretty powerful when I let that sink in. What I took away from this, and what came through loud and clear, was that my God has equipped me with everything I need to move through this life. I am strong enough, I am loving enough, and am faithful enough. I AM ENOUGH! Pretty Cool.



So here came the fun part. You know how we had to create our goal board? Well, we got to create our 2008 goal or dream poster. We pooled our resources of magazines, and began clipping and gluing our desire for this coming year. How much fun we all had. Lessie and I shared with each other at the end, and it was so inspiring to be a part of her process, and hers mine. What a bonding thing to share dreams and goals together.



So, my encouragement to you, is in addition to your goal board for Lululemon, think about letting go of last year, and making room for all the possibilities of this coming year. Allow yourself to dream a little. We are the designers of our life. You might even want to start a dream notebook. Whenever you come across something, a saying, a quote, a picture of your dream car. your dream vacation, clip it and put it into a binder. Fill the binder with clear plastic sleeve protectors, and simply build your dream life. For example, I really want to take a family ski trip this next year, so I clipped an image of skiers. It is lots of fun, and you can continue to add to it at any time. Be creative and share them with others. There's something really powerful about putting our dreams and goals out there in the Universe. So, happy dreaming!



Blessings, Tori

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I read Library 1 by January 2008.

Happy New Year Everylu!

Its 2008 and I am ready to brave the blog! The first time I wrote my smart goals after joining lululemon, one of my goals was to complete Library 1 by the end of the year. To celebrate reaching this goal, I have written comments on each book to inspire progress in your own reading.
It is really amazing that we work for a company that prioritizes our well being to such extent that we have recommended reading to support our physical and mental growth.
Which book are you reading next?

Library One

Good to Great by Jim Collins
The book begins by asserting that good is the enemy of great. This takes a minute to wrap your head around but then it makes sense as the book progresses. Too, it helps to keep in mind that the author is an accomplished rock climber as well as business researcher. After looking at over one thousand companies, the research team narrowed their study group down to 11 companies that made improvement over time as such to make the move from good to great on their own.
What each company has in common is a corporate structure which encourages disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner or the company has integrity around finding the right people for the right job. The idea is to have the right people in the right seat on the bus.

We see this culture at lululemon in the way that we are each encouraged to discover our gravitational pull within the company and also through being both supported in and held accountable for our personal, health and professional goals.

After reading Good to Great, I was very curious about a little book called Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great. In this small volume, Jim Collins relates the same principles utilized in corporations to successful management of non-profit or municipal entities. I look forward to reading Built to Last in Library Two.

Focal Point by Brian Tracy
I loaded the Brian Tracy CD’s into iTunes on my computer so when I play music on shuffle I get tidbits of wisdom mixed in. This guy is great because he basically distills all the great ideas from the last 5ooo into little sound bites that are very tasty. The book Focal Point continues this legacy by placing emphasis on the 80.20 principle: 20% of effort yields 80% of results. This means we need to prioritize our time and activities by identifying the most important aspect or focal point in each area of our lives through a personal strategic plan.

The 80:20 principle began as the Pareto principle, formulated by Italian economist and sociologist Vilfredo Paredo in 1897. While studying the patterns of wealth in England, Pareto discovered that 20% of the people held 80% of the money. Then he realized that in other countries and time periods the same pattern held true. For example, in the crime industry 80% of the crimes are committed by 20% of the criminals and accident statistics show that 80% of the accidents are caused by 20% of the drivers. Author Richard Koch, in his book The 80/20 Principle, describes that a predictable imbalance is at work in the universe.

At lululemon, we frame our work around our 80.20 everyday! This is smart because we can then accomplish so much more with greater quality by simply prioritizing our actions and managing our time.

This book really speaks to me so I got my own copy to use for reference and inspiration. Library 3 features Brian Tracy again so I look forward to reading Goals because his writing is so clear and the content is immediately useful.

Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz
The author of this book is the CEO of Starbucks and he is a man with vision. This book is not just another success story. The fact that a new Starbucks opens everyday is beyond success. First, Starbucks is very employee friendly. Next, what Starbucks sells is larger than coffee because they offer an experience. Last, happy employees make an awesome experience for each guest and the company is revolutionary by choosing not to profit on the backs of workers. The cycle is beautiful and sustainable: this is culture.

These principles are alive and well at lululemon. We are changing the world one pair of pants at a time. The Guest Experience is everything: wow it’s you! Educators’ having smart goals and healthy life skills provides the basis of our development checklist. We think about who we are being when we are at work. I did not really like Starbucks before because they are everywhere but now I understand why they are everywhere. Plus, the coffee is so much better than at Le Pain its really remarkable.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt
This book is sneaky. It is different than the others because it is written as a narrative. The story is about a plant manager where the plant is on the brink of closure and his marriage is on the brink of disaster. I still do not know what kind of plant it is but I do know how the plant manager analyzed the bottlenecks that inhibit throughput by utilizing the theory of constraints.

This book is more tedious than others in Library 1 because it teaches through metaphor, poses unanswerable questions, and causes you to think in new patterns. By following the main character to work, at home, and on outings with his kids the reader engages with the Socratic process of solving the problems at the plant and in the home.

I plan to read the Theory of Constraints by the same author because The Goal made clear the import of understanding business theory to better effect progressive change and increase profitability at lululemon athletica Pasadena.

Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
Ok, this is a fun read because there is absolutely a science to retail. Underhill and his team of researchers observe people shopping everywhere from the mall to the grocery store. They use video equipment to follow tens of thousands of shoppers and dissect hundreds of hours of footage.

Underhill adapted anthropological techniques to the world of retail to study how and why we buy so we can do better making the experience of shopping work for the end consumer. Plus, he points out that the Internet cannot replace the mall: can’t replace the power of Guest Experience!

This information was very useful in preparing for the holidays in terms of setting up the floor plan, quick grabs, d├ęcor, and windows. I plan to read The Call of the Mall also by Paco Underhill.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
This is my favorite book in Library 1 because it is fascinating! The author, staff writer for the New Yorker Magazine, Malcolm Gladwell writes about human behavior patterns that reveal where the smallest thing can trigger an epidemic of change. Also, the book discusses the type of person or group capable of setting these changes into motion by connecting people and communicating in a way that causes change to stick.

These ideas are empowering because little things add up: changing the world one pair of pants at a time, moving from good to great, and setting viable priorities. Blink is another title by the same author that I look forward to reading in Library 2.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey
This book proved to be beyond useful. I read it. Then, I decided to have my 16 year old son read it. There is even a personal workbook that you can get to work through each of the chapters which I will now tackle.

This work is a good investment of time and energy because paradigm shifts do not happen overnight but do yield amazing breakthroughs in patterns of being. This is more than a good read; I am going to be working with this one for a while and hopefully you will see evidence of this in me as I grow.

I look forward to reading The Eighth Habit as it is in Library 3.

Well my lulufriends, that is it for Library 1! Read on…