Why Our Environment Is Important

Why Our Environment is Important

I’m overlooking Midtown, in the distance I see the Statue of Liberty. To the right is the Hudson river, to the left I see the red New Yorker sign and I can even get a glimpse of the Empire State building. My apartment is on the 37th floor on 42nd street and for the first time in my life I’m living with roommates. Yet, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm. I made it! I’m living in Manhattan. I don’t have a job and therefore no work-visa but it doesn’t matter. There is this sense of calm confidence and knowing that I will work it out and find a way.

I visited NYC for the first time in 2006 and it immediately cast its spell on my – I fell in love with the city. There was this pulsing energy of infinite possibility. It felt here I could do ANYTHING if I wanted it badly enough and put in the work. Its cosmopolitanism demonstrated an openness to new ideas and innovation like I had ever experienced before. I immediately knew that I would call the city home one day.

If I’m not Happy I Need to Change Something

Seven years later I went through a turbulent time. I knew I was living an unhappy life. I wasn’t being true to myself and didn’t honor my values. 12-hour work days that filled me with anxiety, the pain of a destroyed friendship, an impossible love relationship and a LOT of drinking dominated my life. This was not my dream! I knew I had to change something. So I quit my job and moved to New York. This was my second attempt and I was certain that this time it would be successful, no matter what!

Setting Myself up for Success

In New York I found my tribe, the city catered to my need for spirituality, mindfulness, and health & wellness in general. The conversation around these topics here were much more advanced than back in Switzerland, or all of Europe for that matter. Meditation and Yoga classes are offered at every corner. Mindfulness and self-development are broadcast through various channels. If I was willing to do the work, I just had to say yes and open myself up to the myriad of opportunities to reconnect with myself.

The Influence of Our Physical Surroundings

By changing my physical surroundings and basically stepping into a different universe I realized the importance of the environment. I had been confined by my environment and felt I couldn’t truly be myself. It wasn’t pretty. The anxiety I felt at work hindered my effectiveness and suppressed any creativity. I was afraid of making mistakes with the result that I made mistakes with things I could typically do in my sleep! Outside of work I didn’t feel comfortable claiming a healthier lifestyle because I was afraid not to fit in. I ignored my own needs and dishonored my values – not exactly a recipe for success!

In New York however, I was able to blossom and shine. My chosen environment has allowed me to nourish and align my heart, body and mind. Knowing how important this is for me I’ve learnt to set up boundaries and protect the time for it.

Work Environments are Part of our Overall Surroundings

Work environments are part of our overall physical surroundings! It’s my responsibility to set myself up for success but my workplace can support me in this endeavor or be counter-productive. It should and can be a win-win situation. My work allows me to carve out time to recharge my battery and gives me the flexibility to work from home on Fridays. Because I’m showing up with full batteries, and a whole sense of sense, I can draw from my full potential. Obviously that results in much better outcomes. Better outcomes give me a deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment which again positively impact my work. This is the win-win situation for both myself and work, created by an overall environment that is set up for success on all levels!

Author: Barbara Sennrich

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