Pilates is all about quality of movement over quantity. My love of quality extends beyond Pilates, to ensure integrity of an authentic life that comes from the heart. Quality brings a purity of a person to the forefront – there must be complete presence, a wholeness of the moment that is truthful, open, disciplined and genuine.
A Little Sweet Thing
In Costa Rica, a co-student of mine told me a story that he felt was important for me to hear. It was about a lady who created her own restaurant with only one table and she only served the one table at a time to ensure the quality of the experience for that table. No matter how long the lines of customers, she insisted on the one table for the quality of the experience.
The boutique resorts that I worked in were all less than 12 people. My classes never to more than 8 people. With less students I could provide quality attention to each person’s needs when there were fewer at class. The social aspects of chatting to clients was similar, small numbers and intimate quality interactions meant that we could genuinely connect. Authentic human connections that show we are all souls experiencing our own journeys with the support of one another.
Slotting Quality Moments
When I returned to London I was very fortunate to be fully booked with private clients, old and new. With limited ‘slots’ of time to see people I felt that harshness of city living return to be strict and limited in the precious moments I shared. It is easy to feel the rush, pace and have your head in the ‘next moment’ when in this frenetic paced life. To sense the lack of time to see everyone and do all the tasks; an easy trap of time ruling your experience of the present moment.
I decided to take each person I saw as precious gift of sharing intimate life moments with me. To be grateful that they had chosen to take time to spend with me and tell me about their new child, ending relationship or new home – all such exciting and wonderful stories to hear. To each person I gave my undivided attention, I brought my full self and felt the deeper connection as to why we met. The allotted two hours per person felt both eternal and short-lived as the present moments were fully immersive. The anxiety of transport, being late and my physical exhaustion were forgiven, set aside from my mind. I was often late, but it was fine because the moments of meeting still occurred regardless of our human time constructs and the moments still fully experienced.
Abundance of Treats
As the month continued I felt so fulfilled in my personal life and my time teaching. Each client and their time felt like a blessing to share such sacred time with them. I understood the story I had been told and why it was important for me.
I brought to each present moment my full Being, I recognised that each moment would pass and never be experienced again, so it was precious. Most importantly that money could not buy the experiences of full and authentic human connection that I was enjoying.
It dawned on me that the ‘one at a time’ is about abundance. When we focus on one at a time - a friend, a client or a penny – we stop worrying about where ‘the next one’ comes from. The richness of the one alone is so sacred there is no need for more. From this I stopped worrying about all the teas purchased because the real richness was the person I was with and our connection. Increased quality moments would generate opportunities for money to pay for endless cups of tea; and further quality moments. The cycle of abundance pays for itself it I committed to the ‘one at a time’.
Many considered my new approach unsustainable, but it is also one of the key reasons I chose to leave London – to live a quality of life that does not rely on quantity of money or my hours spent working. Modern city life thrives on quantity over quality. It is why so many burn out and suffer health issues when their mind overrides the body’s warning signs for rest, recuperation and rejuvenation by continuing to add more or a cycle of retreat and bounce back to full speed. Or there is the fear that if we relinquish what we have we will not receive the true abundance we seek – peace, joy and love.
To save yourself a burn out, seek the quality in your city life:
- worry less about being late & just be late if it happens,
- put less in your diary & cancel if you won’t show up as your fully present Self, and
- prioritise activities that connect you with the experience fully immersed with your full Self – this includes sleep!
GPS to Quality Street:
- Quality of Service – Bring all your Being to someone when you are with them. Serve them with all of who you are, whether as a sibling, friend, teacher or lover. Have you brought all of yourself?
- Quality of Moment – Each moment in time passes and is never again. That makes it precious in what it shows you. Each such moment is revealing something to you, if you can perceive it. Is your mind wandering or anticipating the conversation?
- Quality of Life – Quantity does not buy connection. Connection to your full self in the moment that connects you at a higher level, and the physical level to others around you. Life is our physical connection to experience in our form as human beings. Treasure your senses and perceiving through them the world around you. Listen to the larger conversation, reflect on it – what did it make you feel?