Muay Thai and Meditation

Oh my gosh I totally get it Emily.

When I finally got hired at Nemo Design one of the first things I was excited about was that my desk could officially become my desk.  I was at some arbitrary desk they selected near their designers and it was blank and bare.  At the time I didn’t care because my job required me to take my work space with me.  I was a contractor.  Contractors don’t have designated desks.

I was a 3D contractor for them for over a year, and of course with that much time spent here the desk slowly started to become “lived in.”  I could leave books or comics at the desk with relative assurance that they’d be there the next day and such.  But I did have to face the fact that when I was out for certain times it was because they had a different contractor at the desk.

And then I was hired.  The desk became mine.  That information all on its own led me into a whole new tier of work focus.  It was mine, and it made me comfortable to nest.  I brought work stuff from home that would live here.  I didn’t need to carry so many notebooks, reference books, magazines, and folders.  Work became easier.  Work became more focused.

So where does muay thai come into this?

(Muay thai for those who may not know is essentially kickboxing.)

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I do not look like this

It goes hand in hand with finding comfort in my work.  My workspace is my place to sit down and think.  Muay thai for me is my place to not be sitting and thinking.

One of the fundamental things I learned in art school was that if you had a problem, or if inspiration never came to you, you needed to distract yourself.  If your brain knows that it can solve this, you simply need to give it time and it’ll untie the knots and get back to you later.

While I technically started doing muay thai before I was full time here, it has become an essential part of me planning and working through projects at Nemo.  I tremendous portion of going to the class for me is that it is a focused hour of distraction.  The other parts are health and enjoyment, but those are boring to write about.

I enjoy kicking things!  See.  That would be the entirety of the post.  I’m overweight and have pretty poor self image (unless I’m wearing a Batman shirt).  Also a boring topic.

Muay thai is hard for me.  Like super hard.  I’m a mid-late twenties white suburbs boy who never took to sports.  I’m pretty soft and round.  While I’m not weak, I’m definitely not fit.  I’m your friend who can lug the giant TV by himself when no one else could, but I can probably only make like three to four trips before I need to re-hydrate with a burrito.

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This is me, but add an entire Taco Bell

However, the fact that its hard for me means I need to dedicate 100% of my physical and mental powers to what I am doing.  I do not get time to think about how to reorganize the vertices on my 3D shirts so that they all have the same vertex order.

If you know how to do that, call me.

No I need to make sure I can keep up with my partner or risk being kicked in the face.  By the time class is over I’m sitting there thinking about how sore I am, how I need to somehow walk downstairs and shower, and what I’m going to eat.  Usually on the walk about to work I start thinking about my problem again, but this time I can look at it fresh since muay thai flushed out my mind.

I used to do this with dance games!  Primarily Pump It Up.  I used to rock those games and that was my time of day to flush out my mind and focus on something else.

Its the same reason people meditate.  I know a couple of people who meditate.  Hell, I had a class in college once that went over meditation.  But I’m too antsy.  I’m really bad at holding still and thinking about nothing, especially since I can’t cross my legs for very long.

I would recommend meditating to the people reading this.  If you are stressed, if you are stuck, if you feel too pent up; you need to find a way to meditate.  Take fifteen minutes a day and sit down and close your eyes, read a book, knit a scarf, kick a punching bag, play a dance game, or go for a walk.  Most work places won’t be too pissed about 15 minutes.  Hell even normal jobs are mandated to give that to you!

There is no right way to meditate, but there is a right way to clear your mind and give it time to reset.

I’m glad you got your office back Emily!

-DTM

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My Workspace is my Headspace

This week I’ve been without an office at work. My office is being painted so I’ve been working wherever I can find a table. I’ve been in and out of conference rooms and my coworkers’ offices, trying to get work done without getting in the way.

To be honest, it’s been a little difficult. For me, my workspace often reflects my headspace. If I’m working in a messy space my thoughts tend to be messy and disorganized. Sometimes, when I just can’t find my rhythm while writing, I’ll take a few minutes to clean up my desk or rewrite my notes. It helps me clear my head and clean up my thoughts.

This week, I’ve been without a permanent workspace. I’ve had to carry my office with me and have not had the space to spread out. It’s been difficult to find my rhythm.

It’s not surprising really. I’m not the only person, creative or otherwise, who needs to have some type of routine in my life to feel productive. So many famous writers have routines they like to follow and having a specific space to work in is essential. See? I’m not that strange.

Anyway, what’s really helped me this week, besides my wonderful coworker letting me use her table as my temporary desk, has been my new at-home workspace. My friend built me my own standing desk and then Michael rearranged the living room so I could have my own space right behind the couch. It’s been nice to have a clean desk to work on at home, a space all my own that I don’t have to clear off when I need it. It’s awesome!

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I know not everyone is a fan of routine or really needs routine in their life to be productive. Some people thrive on being impulsive and spur of the moment, which I cannot even begin understand. How in the world do those people stay focused? It baffles me.

Now, not everyone likes routine, but I think everyone should have a designated workspace. I feel like there’s a benefit to having a space set aside for when you want to focus on something, like in my case writing. When you step into that space you know exactly what you should be doing. It helps you get into the right headspace.

The best example I can think of to illustrate this would be clothing.

I feel like everyone had heard the old adage “Dress for the job you want,” which basically means present yourself like how you want to be seen professionally and you’ll get ahead. I think this works, and let me know if you think otherwise, because you’re putting yourself into the right headspace. It’s the same reason dressing up for an interview, even if it’s over the phone, can help you feel more confident. You know exactly what’s going to happen when you present yourself like that. You’re going to be taken seriously.

I feel like the same thing applies to work out clothing. Well, at least it applies to me. When I put on my running shoes and workout clothes, I feel more motivated to actually work out. It’s like my subconscious knows that it’s time to run and I just feel like I need to. It helps me feel focused.

I feel like this is the same reason having a designated workspace is so motivating and helpful. When you sit down at your desk you know exactly what you should be doing. By sitting down, you’ve told yourself and the people around you that it’s time to get shit done, and that can be very motivating.

Or maybe it’s just me.

What do you think, Daniel?

-EMS