The Small Thing I Do that Makes a Big Impact on My Work

Pam Slim Body of Work BookSo, on my way to Aspen this weekend, I decided to dig into a couple of books that have been on my must-read list. But once I settled in on the plane, I realized that I’d make a mistake.

I’d only remembered to bring one of the books.

Because I believe in signs, I figured this is probably the one I should be focused on. It’s called Body of Work, the second release from Pam Slim, my [glorious] business coach.

In Body of Work, Pam nails something that I’ve been seeing in the entrepreneurial market ever since I leapt into it, back in 2009: the day of identifying our professional pursuits by titles is done, and the time for defining ourselves by our larger purpose, theme and goal is now.

My body of work, for instance, is about creating a more peaceful world, by helping individuals create more peaceful lives. I do this in 8 million ways, but professionally, I teach women self-care strategies and yoga-inspired techniques that form the content of their own personal peace practices. I also teach healers how to have sustainable, practical businesses, support aware, peaceful births and more.

But one of the ways I contribute to my body of work on a daily basis, that doesn’t require any of my certifications, licenses or degrees, is this: I just try to be nice to people.

Here is the part of Pam’s book that helped me remember how something so easy can be a deposit in your body of work bank account:

“Smiling and waving at your neighbor every morning as you get the paper can contribute to your bigger desire to see more civility and joy in the world.” 

I try to make an effort each day, whether it’s with my parents or the guy at the dry cleaners, my partner or the post office rep. I try to smile genuinely and connect, even if for 3 seconds. But I sometimes forget that it is part of my whole job in being here.

And I get it back 1000x over if I’m paying attention. There’s a guy at my local FedEx Office who drops wisdom bombs when I least expect it. I had a manicure a week ago, in the middle of a rotten day… and the nail tech just smiled and quietly said “Rainbow comes after the rain.” Yes, indeed.

Understanding how your actions fit into the larger scheme of your life is a crucial part of self-care. It brings purpose, presence and awareness to all you do.

Today, I ask you: what’s your “body of work?” How do you contribute to your larger purpose, in your professional and personal life, in big ways and tiny ones?

P.S. If you’re making time for your yoga mat this week, ask how your physical practice supports your body of work, too. Do the poses you choose, or the ones you love, or the ones that challenge you, fit into it? These days, I love a good, yummy warm-up followed by a lot of slower, “yin” poses. Looking at it from this new lens, I see how it helps me create a more peaceful, softer inner state that I can share with others. I’d love to hear how this works for you, so tell me here.

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