The Art of Winning Blog

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Now hiring: Office Ninja

Position Summary:
The Office Ninja is a demanding position that requires your best, not just in your job, but also in your life. The successful Office Ninja leads volunteers and staff with confidence, enthusiasm, and grace. The Office Ninja drives organization and looks for ways to improve processes and procedures. The Office Ninja leads a person from Prospect through to Student and shares Student responsibilities with the Head Instructor.

An Office Ninja:
   * Tunes the administrative engine so everything runs smoothly
   * Engages people in the art
   * Makes people feel welcome
   * Helps people commit to the path
   * Loves organizing
   * Believes in To-Shin Do, Stephen K. Hayes, and themselves
   * Wants to make a difference

Key Measures For Success:
   * 24-hour turnaround on Prospect processes, including follow-up calls and data entry
   * 24-hour turnaround on Student processes, including follow-up calls, initial paperwork, and billing.
   * Net gains in student counts monthly
   * 80% conversion from Prospect to Student
   * 100% calendar accuracy
   * All monthly events are on the website at least 1 week before they occur

   * Development and Execution of Prospect Processes
          Enrolls new students
          Follow-Up calls and emails
          Appointment scheduling
   * Database management
   * Development and Execution of Enrollment Process
   * Including cancellations and holds
   * Managing Monthly Tuition Billing
   * Marketing for Events
           Internal flyers
   * Event registrations
   * Scheduling
            Maintains paper and online calendar
            Liaison with students and staff for private lesson and special event scheduling
   * Retail
           Manages retail display 
           Suggests new items for ordering
   * Purchasing
           Budgets and buys office supplies
           Budgets and buys janitorial supplies
           Budgets and buys gi as needed

Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:
Business writing and etiquette
MS Word
MS Excel
MS Publisher
Database management
Customer Services skills
Excellent phone skills and manners

Required Education/Experience:
Some college preferred

Expected Hours:
30-40 hours per week
*Could have some of these hours as an Instructor for the right candidate*

Starts at $8-$10/hour plus bonuses (generally becomes $11-$14/hour)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Meditation and Healing

I was thinking today about my first experience of meditation and I can't remember if I've ever blogged about it. A quick version of the story is that I was 19 years old and had an anaphylactic reaction to an antibiotic. In the hospital, I kept hyperventilating so they wanted me to breathe into a paper bag. The problem was that I couldn't feel my face to know if I had a good seal so I'd slip and be hyperventilating and not know it. At some point, I realized I could hear the heart rate monitor and I realized that as long as it was beeping, then I was alive. Furthermore, if it was beeping steadily, then I wasn't hyperventilating. I used the rhythm of the beeping to know if I needed to adjust the bag. 

The obvious (omote) lesson here is that you can consciously control your breathing. A little more subtle lesson is that you can effect your entire body, including your mind, with your breathing. But I think the hidden (ura) lesson is the healing symbiosis of mind and breath. You can use your breath to feed your healing. It's obvious when we think about how our autonomic breathing is effected when we are injured but it's so instinctual that we take it for granted. Consider the possibility that the breathing is a healing response. What then does that mean for emotional healing? We have different breathing patterns as part of the elemental teachings. What if we thought of these as different healing methods. What would it possible for us to unlock?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Doing the Bolder Boulder Wrong (and Right)

I did a lot of things wrong at the Bolder Boulder. I didn't train. I wore brand new sneakers. I drank wine the night before. I missed early registration. 

I did a lot of things right too. I went with friends. I had a really fun time. I was blindfolded (yes, in my book that's right). I danced and high fived my way to the finish line. 

I could've let all my 'wrongs' stop me. I could've decided that I needed to be faster, stronger, thinner, more trained, or let any excuse stand in my way. But letting fear and smallness stand in my way isn't the ninja way. Our motto is Unleash Your Potential and that's just how I feel today. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Great Loss

The dojo has lost one of its own as Bradley Holcmb passed away last night. A dedicated student of the art and of life, Brad had one of my favorite smiles. He brought with him a joy and thoughtfulness to the mystery that is life. Over the coming days, we'll have more information about how to support Lucretia, John, and Lena as they adjust. For now, please keep the family in your prayers in whatever way feels good for you to do so. Take a moment today to be grateful for all the joy and beauty in your life. Be present with your grief and your memories of Brad. 

To- Shin!
Mary Aitoshi

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Momma Taught Me

I called my momma first thing this morning. Then I put on my fancy feather earrings and drove through the snow to dance class. It was a special Yin inspired class to honor our mothers and all the people and things we are mothering in our lives. As I reflect on my mom and mothering, I wanted to share the most important thing my momma taught me: be happy. 

My mom hasn't had it easy. Born in 1932, widowed in the early 50s, divorced in the 70s, and again in the 80s, and widowed again a couple years ago. She's got 4 children and she's lost just as many. Her 7 year old son died on the same day as her father, in unrelated incidents. Some days she struggles; some days she's annoyed that she's had to be so strong, endured so much. But even in those times, her spirit strives for happiness. 

Talking today, she reminded me: "You can't pick what happens to you. The circumstances of life happen. But you get to choose how you'll be in it. You can be happy or you can bring everyone down with you. Bring people into your life who support your happy." 

So today, whatever you are doing, do it in a way that supports your happy. You're worth it. We all are. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Saying Yes!

It seems everywhere I look there's another article about making sure you say no, setting boundaries, and not being a people-pleaser. But rarely to I see the counter-point. What happened to saying Yes? Dive into your life with a sense of freedom, of love, of passion. Let your Yes shine through and light up the world. And while you're at it, let your funk and your inspiration come out too. 

But with all this external imbalance, how can we determine if we are really embracing all our facets? Are we clear on what we want to say yes and no to? How about our groove vs our vision? I came up with a simple muscle test for myself. Try it and see what happens for you. 

First, a caveat: I made this up. The inspiration came to me in dance class, then I meditated on it, and now I'm sharing it. I hope it brings you insight. 

I've identified four basic head movements: the nod, the shake, the funk, and the flight. 

The Nod: face stays forward while chin and eyes move up and down. The classic Yes movement. 

The Shake: chin stays level while turning side to side. The classic No movement. 

The Funk: the ear comes towards the shoulder and the chin makes a smile movement while switching side to side. For me, it's a classic Song with a Funky Beat movement. 

The Flight: the ear comes to the shoulder and there's a nod at the shoulder (typically 2-3 beats), then on an up beat, the chin lifts to the opposite side moving in a rainbow arc. When I do this movement, I feel like I'm listening to the song of the universe. 

Exercise 1: Perform each of the head movements described above. Notice which feel natural and which feel stuck or unoiled. Note where else you feel the movement in your body and whether it activates a particular emotion. 

Exercise 2: Ask yourself a question and answer it with these head movements. Start with Yes/No questions to get a strong baseline. I started with inane questions, like "Do I want pizza for breakfast?"

Exercise 3: Choose one movement to practice today. Set a reminder on your phone for a regular interval that will remind you of your intention. 

Exercise 4: Share your experiences with me and other friends. If there's interest, I'll post more exercises and evolutions in the practice. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Elements

I was reflecting today on how lucky I am to be studying a martial art based on the elements. When I was a white belt, the idea of the elements intrigued me. At the time, I was simply grateful for the implication of choice when responding to conflict. Today it is just as simple, but not any easier than that first day. I choose to live and interact with the whole of my being, whether it's my daily practice or resolving a conflict. The elements aren't just inside me and they aren't just a part of the world. They a more than building blocks, psychological constructs, or kamae.  They are reflections of my connections with everything.

The Elements: A Poem
In the moments of realization and recognition
That everything is just as perfect as can be,
the world gets brighter.
Perhaps this is what they mean
When they say en-lighten-ment.
The sun is my fire. 
It's rays heat my darkening skin, 
casting lights and shadows across the hills.
The wind, my messenger of peace, 
and change. 
The birds' song sounds of longing
and searching
then quiets in discovery.
The legs of the cricket
buzz in the sparse grasses
And the dog's low-throated growl sends the deer prancing
into the trees.
Slipping deeper into the water,
I breathe in the freshness,
Aware that this moment is everything. 
The computer buzzes with alerts of emails and comments 
And things to do.
My mind dreams of what I will do today,
Next year. 
My heart cherishes the precious,
the breaths that bring awareness
Of the gift of
and every 
The earth is my champion. 
My spirit lifts in gratitude
To this moment,
To this opportunity,
To this reality.

Stephen K. Hayes Pro Shop

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