Note: This is a personal blog post and in no way represents the opinions, interests, or intentions of Amazon.com. This is solely my opinion which may change at any time.
As a longtime yoga practitioner and teacher, I see everything as an opportunity for spiritual growth, even the workplace. Especially the workplace! This is where we trade what we can DO so that later on we can just BE. Or is that the wrong attitude? How about…This is where we can practice just BEING in the midst of DOING.
BODY: To me, the toughest part of working on this assembly line was the overwhelming sensory stimulation. Especially the noise level. After three days working on the second floor, I noticed I had trouble hearing my lunch mates in the cafeteria. So I took advantage of the free foam earplugs offered in a nearby vending machine. They cut down the din by a sizable amount, and a few times when I forgot to put them back in after a break, the sound of the tape dispenser was startling.
It took 2-3 weeks to overcome the aches and pains pursuant to constant physical movement, especially in my left foot which is weak and tends to curl into itself with too much walking. However, raising my feet above my head for 10 minutes at the end of the day, massaging that foot and stretching the fascia, and soaking in Epsom salts worked like a charm. After a month I noticed that my body felt good at the end of the day, and my left foot muscles were strengthen enough that I have no more trouble there!
MIND: An attitude of gratitude is what I’ve been practicing daily since going on the road. I’m grateful for every creature comfort, safe journey, roof over my head, and every little thing. On the first day of Stand Up (a group meeting with announcements, shift goals, and stretches done before the start of our morning and afternoon shifts), another CamperForce worker and I rolled our eyes when a uniform set of stretches held for 10 seconds apiece was barked out in Drill Sergeant style over a microphone. As a yoga teacher, I knew that better body position was called for here, and that 10 seconds is not nearly enough time for fascia to begin to stretch. Grumble, grumble.
However, once we’d worked hard for a week, we agreed that the 10 second stretches were now our favorite part of the day and were much appreciated by tight calves. During the last stretch, what in yoga we would call “Namaste’” or “Prayer Position”, while our leader barked out the count, I began to silently count my blessings. ONE – I am grateful for the opportunity to earn money. TWO – I am grateful for the camaraderie. THREE – I am grateful for the trail mix handed out at break time. FOUR – you get the idea. On days off I would pull out my yoga mat and do the sustained stretches that my body longed for, then sat in meditation while my mind quieted down for a much needed rest.
SPIRIT: As we geared up for Peak Season after Thanksgiving, I was pretty much staying present in the moment throughout the day. My body was feeling amazing. My mind and attitudes were focused and positive. Sometimes I made up games to amuse myself like “Find 10 beautiful things right now.” ONE – the turquoise color on this package is so beautiful. TWO – the smell of Nag Champa incense in this cart reminds me of yoga class. THREE – these Happy 70th Birthday decorations are so sweet! FOUR – and so on.
Occasionally I sent a prayer along with a package. Like the 70th Birthday decorations “May you enjoy this day and many more.” With adult diapers “May you and your caregivers enjoy good health today.” With infant clothing “May you live a healthy, happy and peaceful life.”
What we do matters. How we do it matters even more. Practice being grateful, peaceful, and of service within this busy environment was a huge benefit. My next post will cover even more benefits of working for Amazon.com.