I own a variety of hats. Which is totally weird because I’m not really a ‘hat person’, but it seams that I have accidentally accumulated a bunch over time.
I finally have a use for them.
I was recently exploring this notion of role and the challenge that I face around moving from role to role with a sense of presence and grace. As I have been engaging in this predicament, I am seeing it everywhere with others that I work with and love, as one sees dogs everywhere after they get a new puppy.
It is described to me that one will be thinking about a client’s project while they should be attending to their accounting and worrying about their bottom line while playing with their kids and thinking about what to make for dinner and when to do the shopping when they’re listening to a client drone on about something…something that is likely deeply important but they can’t hear because they are not present.
Being complex beings it is often difficult to compartmentalize, especially or perhaps primarily for women. Many of us identify with and even celebrate our exceptional multi tasking abilities. But the multitasking can melt into multi-presence and undercut our ability to be fully engaged with what is before us. Carrying the various roles within our workplace, with our homes and families and social lives hanging out in the background can disrupt our productivity and lead to feelings of anxiety. Likewise, bringing our work home in our thoughts and bodies disrupts our ability to rest in what ever is called for at home and can cause feelings of guilt or shame.
The hat trick, is quite a literal exercise that a mentor of mine suggested. Wear a different hat for each role. Really. I’m not shitting you here. Here’s what this does…
1. It sets an intention to be present with what’s before you. You have a hat for planning and scheduling your week. You put it on, that’s what you engage with.
2. It grounds it in your body. When we’re not present, our minds are elsewhere, we’re not inhabiting our form. When we put a hat on our head, its physical presence acts as a grounding reminder to be here now with what we are dealing with now.
3. We are able to express our role more fully. Picking a hat that looks and feels like the role you are in at a particular moment allows you to become more intimately aware of and connected to who you are and how you want to show up in this particular role. For instance, when I want to get connected to my raw and real creative- the fearless, the grounded, the unapologetic…I wear my trucker hat with the beaver on it.
This is what we might call a presence practice. I’m not suggesting that you wear a different hat for every role or activity forever. This is something you could try though for a couple of weeks, to bring awareness to and ground in that which you want to become more proficient at.
Also…this post is for Jasmine. And you.