Music with Sanskrit lyrics, celestial sounds from a tank drum, affirmations to banish self-sabotaging thoughts and relaxed meditation—these are not what one would expect of a corporate workshop.
But they are among the features of the Rest, Rejuvenate and Reward Experience (RRRE), a workshop to enhance relationships and productivity in the workplace.
Workshop facilitator Lia Bernardo said RRRE helps develop the emotional maturity of employees, which is key to teamwork and productivity.
Most team-building programs focus on educational and outdoor games to help employees improve communication, adapt to different personalities, and establish trust.
RRRE works on the premise that positive and lasting changes in the company begin with the individual’s transformation, said Bernardo. If one is unhappy with the self, one will not be happy in the work site.
“Happy employees are more productive and loyal to the company,” said Bernardo.
Setting the example
She said RRRE starts with upper management. “They can set the example of change in the company culture,” she explained.
The weekend corporate retreat is in the “Inner Journeys” program of Anya Resort. From his experience, general manager Mikel Arriet says quality collaboration does not begin with activities that build relationships and trust. It starts with a focus on an individual’s awareness of the positive, and how it can improve interactions with others. The resort’s sprawling landscape helps make guests feel rested.
RRRE is facilitated by Atma Prema (“self-love” in Sanskrit), a growth and self-development company.
Assisting the participants are Atma Prema founder Bernardo, managing partner Tina Nakayama, and certified hypnotherapist Nathan Alba.
The retreat aims to help people develop an integrated outlook in which the mind and body are in harmony despite the pressures of the world, explained Bernardo.
She added that the program is rooted in psychoneurology, a study that claims the self is born complete with virtues, and one can attain contentment and success with new learnings.
“Psychoneurology is an alternative to psychotherapy and psychology,” said Bernardo, a psychoneurologist. “It’s more of a lifestyle. You calibrate the brain toward happiness. It’s making friends with your emotions and directing them to your highest state.”
RRRE begins with creative visualization of a goal. The participant is encouraged to determine methods on how to achieve the goal.
The workshop injects ancient wisdom such as mantras to allegedly invoke divine energy and exercises to stimulate energy flow.
Exercises include pranayama (deep breathing), Ophanim (postures based on the Hebrew alphabet) and qi gong.
The retreat sets four objectives: Move, Learn, Grow and Create.
Movement activities improve the blood circulation and enable people to release their inhibitions. Activities include dancing and exercises.
“Learning has to do with finding out new resources and life skills that can help change your thought and behavioral patterns,” said Bernardo.
She said meditation, aromatherapy and herbal infusions could alleviate stress.
“Life skills” consist of introspection, acts of self-love and acceptance.
“Grow” is taught through inductory hypnotic meditation, going deeper into the unconscious mind and replacing stress or negativity with positivity.
Create is about changing negative attitudes such as finding opportunities in a crisis.
One of the activities is “Creating Flow,” in which the participant illustrates how he or she would move, learn, create and grow every day to maximize her potential.
Bernardo said she had observed that people in the corporate world were either unhappy or unproductive because they didn’t have a sense of purpose.
The realization of one’s mission is deepened when one fills out the ikigai diagram.
Ikigai is the Japanese concept of happiness. It literally means “what you get up for in the morning.”
The ikigai diagram shows how one’s passion, profession and vocation synergize so that one’s sense of mission could benefit oneself and society.
“Identifying your purpose and integrating it into your daily life results in a happier and more productive you,” said Bernardo. “You build self-respect and integrity, and imbue more meaning into whatever you do.”
Ultimately, when a company invests resources in developing soft skills and personal growth for its people, productivity is boosted—and it will show in the bottom line.—CONTRIBUTED