Four Things For Friday No.3

Each Friday, I share “Four Things For Friday” that are a collection of things I’ve seen, heard, or experienced during the week. Thoughtfully chosen, and intended to spark your curiosity, imagination, or inspiration. HAPPY EXPLORING!

 
The Alcove.

The Alcove.

The Dome.

The Dome.

Lounge area looking towards the Dome and locker area.

Lounge area looking towards the Dome and locker area.

What new experience did I try?

Inscape. A beautiful space, lounge, and boutique to explore. Inscape removes misconceptions about meditation, and helps you develop a more positive outlook on life. Located in New York’s newly named “well-being” district - the Flatiron / Nomad area has an increasing number of wellness related businesses.

A key characteristic of thoughtful businesses is that they take care of employees and clients and encourage them to participate in well-being related activities. Inscape is an example of an experience that would be a welcome addition to any business looking to inspire well-being. Meanwhile, imagine an Alcove or Dome in your office that you could participate in any form of meditation you wanted throughout the day.

This week I wanted to explore a modern take on meditation and visited Inscape to try their meditation experiences. On Monday I participated in a laying down meditation in the Alcove. The knotted structure above me on the ceiling reflected the brain mass structure - where thoughts come together and crystalize there were crystal drops I was mesmerized by. It was a helpful visual as I gazed into the depths of the space above me and began the guided meditation. The session was a 3D sound experience taking me on a journey with water sounds and gentle voice guidance. Visualization is a powerful technique used by entrepreneurs, leaders and athletes among others, and I found myself in 35 minutes of powerful visualization of flowing along with water and waves as I visualized the next steps for Birch Cove.

It is said that 15 minutes of visualization is more powerful than 12 hours of solid working.

If that’s the case I’m on to something good here. The second session I took part in today was a seated meditation for focus and clarity in the Dome. Beginning with breathing exercises and then moving through some movements before beginning the guided meditation. I found myself in a peaceful and contented space with a sense of focus that felt easy yet clear. 35 minutes once again swept by in a blink yet the power of the meditation gave me a sense of having been there for hours.

The lounge area after the sessions was the perfect place to sit and regroup, staring at the flickering candles nearby while sat in an incredibly comfortable bean bag chair, or listening to one of the additional meditations on the Inscape app - another excellent tool to continue the practice when not at the studio.

 
 
 

What nostalgic habit have I indulged in?

Wimbledon - Every year I delight in being able to watch Wimbledon on TV, and even more so listening to Wimbledon radio. It’s still remarkable to me that listening to radio my brain paints the pictures and imagery to match what I’m hearing. The power of the mind in play. Wimbledon radio commentary is excellent and conversations are brilliantly British. The commentators draw an image of exactly how and where the ball is being hit, and manage to deliver the same amount of excitement they’re witnessing on court, all while engaging in some properly British banter. For two weeks I feel like I’m in England, and enjoy every moment.

I am always inspired watching these remarkable athletes and I always learn something from them. So far, for week 1 Coco Gauff has inspired me, after defeating Venus Williams she commented “I’ve never played on a court so big, I had to remind myself that the lines on the court are the same size. Everything around it might be bigger, but the lines are the same. After every point, I was just telling myself to stay calm.” What a wonderful reminder from this incredibly talented 15-year old. Isn’t that true for many things in life? Our minds can blow things out of proportion so quickly and easily. Finding ways to reassure and remind ourselves of the actual reality by being present in the moment is perhaps one of the hardest practices we experience as adults.

 
 
 
Thursday July 4th Sleep Cycle

Thursday July 4th Sleep Cycle

What app did I download?

Sleep Cycle. We have a global sleep deficit. There is a growing exhaustion level and it’s impacting businesses, organizations and society. The U.S alone loses 1.2 million working days every year, amounting a whooping $411 billion in economic losses due to individuals not getting enough sleep, as discovered by RAND Europe.

I am fascinated by sleep, understanding more about my own circadian rhythms and what impacts it keeps me curious. My experience of sleep patterns has changed over time. As a teenager I slept for hours, and was definitely an 11am / noon riser - on one occasion clocking up 24 hours in one sitting (much to the concern of my parents). In my twenties my sleep reduced dramatically as I began my career and had many late nights and early mornings fueled by coffee. My thirties I began to pay attention to the quality of how I felt and it seemed to correlate with the length and quality of the sleep I was getting, so I started choosing to go to bed earlier to maximize good sleep and feel good in the morning. Now I’m well, older, and after starting my own company my sleep patterns have changed again. Consistency isn’t there in the same way, sometimes I’m up very early, sometimes later and possibly due to the fact that I can find myself with an idea to explore in the middle of the night, which either means I have too much excitement about it, or too much anxiety about it and that interrupts my sleep. Anxiety for Founders is a thing, which we’ll discuss another time. So, this week I’ve been learning about my own sleep habits and it’s fascinating to see the patterns and quality of my sleep.

I admit there is some comfort I’m drawing from being 2% above the U.S. average at 75% in sleep quality, although I’m still envious of those of you in New Zealand achieving 78%. Great work boys and girls! I have a new goal.

Meanwhile, if you’re intrigued to learn more about sleep here’s a good read from the NIH. You’ll be a sleep expert in not time!

Sleep quality over the last 5 nights

Sleep quality over the last 5 nights

 
Untitled (everything is just peachy) , 2019, acrylic on canvas, approx. 36 x 29 in.

Untitled (everything is just peachy), 2019, acrylic on canvas, approx. 36 x 29 in.

What am I excited about?

Jen Pak’s new art exhibition “Legoscape“. There is now much research available to demonstrate that observing, making, or participating in some form of artistic expression increases creativity, innovation, and unlocks new perspectives and ideas, read more about that here.

With this in mind, along with the artist’s tremendous talent, Birch Cove is a proud sponsor, along with Duchess of Cameron, for the opening evening of Jen Pak’s exhibition. Guests are invited to an observational art workout. If you are in New York on July 19, 5pm-8pm please join us at 198 Allen St.

Legoscape is the artist’s debut solo exhibition in New York City, and her seventh solo exhibition to date. It is composed of her most recent small-scaled works, and continues the artist’s search for order within the walls of chaos. The combination of both real and imaginary architectural elements stem from various cities she has lived in along with LEGO® buildings she has collected over the years. The soothing pastel tones of the geometric abstract structures are an effort to connect the bridge between chaos and order a.k.a the real and the imagined. 

Jen Pak was born in 1985 in New York and is currently based in Seoul, South Korea. Collections include The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Hana Financial Investment Co., and Noroo Paint Ltd.