I did a thing; I enrolled in the Lagos Business School for an executive MBA programme. I knew this day was coming at some point in my life, so I decided to take a bite.
We had a two-day orientation programme and on day two, we had a session on Emotional Intelligence, Search inside yourself. We did a practice session in class, and I realised I had been practising all along without noticing. Some time ago—I can’t remember exactly when—I came across a tweet on Twitter; it simply read “unclench your jaws, relax your shoulders,” and I complied. I realised I was in a tense state because the result of my compliance was relief and relaxation. I will call this feeling “the vibe.” I enjoyed the vibe so much that I made it a point to unclench my jaw and relax my shoulders any time I remembered.
Back to the class practice, we were asked to concentrate on our breathing and relax our shoulders. I noticed that my shoulders were already in a relaxed state, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. Feedback from my colleagues was that they felt calm, relaxed, and even sleepy, and I sort of felt left out. I felt that I should have a bit of tension, especially since I was anxious about the admission and still conflicted about whether to accept the admission offer or not.
We were asked to share our experience of the exercise with someone else in the class. While sharing, it occurred to me that, over time, I had internalised the process of unclenching my jaw and relaxing my shoulders; it had become my state of being. Whether I liked it or not, my body had decided it liked this vibe and was sticking with it.
Upon further reflection, I realised that this new state of being had become obvious to people around me. I had gotten comments on how I don’t look like I am under pressure, especially as a salesperson, and sometimes to my detriment. I had a manager who believed hard work and anxiety should be seen in your face, if not, you are probably not a serious person. But what do I do when my body has decided to enjoy this new vibe? Was I supposed to act as if I was in pain? No way. Anyway, I digress.
Back to my reflections, I also noticed that I no longer get as angry as I used to; I always look for an alternative to resolving issues that make me angry. My new motto is that anger takes away a lot of energy that you can spend on doing other things you like. Other than that, I actively avoid anything that will stress me out, like arguments, fights, an outing, etc. I will rather silently plot my revenge, which gives me some kind of joy even though I never act on it. Okay, this is beginning to feel like a confessional.
I’m not in the Zen state that I aspire to be, but the vibe has helped me gain clarity and consciously seek alternatives when faced with challenges.