Stories About a Purpose-Driven Life
Marcia Polas came into my life when we were both in extremely uncomfortable situations. I was in a job with a difficult boss with lots of opportunities for growth, and she was navigating a relationship gone wrong while deciding where she wanted to go from her home in Denver, Colorado to explore the next iteration of her business. She ended up in New York City, and I shifted to a job that was a much better fit, but not before we spent many hours in deep, sad, enlightening conversations - with plenty of tears.
In one of those conversations, Marcia shared a valuable tool for difficult conversations, one that I have used and shared at least 100 times since then. I was about to walk into a meeting with my boss and her boss, and I was expecting the worst. I knew it would be ugly, and as I walked and talked to Marcia a few minutes before the meeting, she said:
Pretend there’s a camera recording the entire conversation. Think about watching the video in a few years, and consider how you would want to see yourself at that time.
I sat in the meeting and considered my facial expressions, my body language, and every response to her verbal attacks to be sure I could describe myself later as having handled the situation with grace, dignity, and compassion. It completely shifted the meeting in my favor, and I walked away satisfied and relieved.
Visiting NYC this month, I had an opportunity to sit with Marcia in the courtyard of the fabulous Lincoln Center and chat.
We talked about how we met, the beautiful friendship we developed at a distance, and the power of living with purpose.
Marcia has incredible instinct when it comes to body mechanics. She started as a Pilates practitioner and has grown her knowledge and practice into all aspects of body work. Her mantra is “It shouldn’t hurt to do your job,” and she works in high burnout industries like bartending, theatre & dance. Marcia can see immediately where your body is out of alignment, and what is likely causing pain.
She is rewarded in her work when her clients realize they don’t have to live with pain, that they have some responsibility to make adjustments to remove pain from their daily lives, and that they can be happier and more satisfied without having to leave a job they love.
What a beautiful world we can create when we serve with purpose!
From her website:
I discovered Pilates in Denver, Colorado, in 1999. I was hooked from my first class. Eight months and a serious car accident later, my physical therapist used Pilates to rehabilitate my back and neck. I was better but still had chronic pain. Two marketing jobs and two cities later, I walked into Pendleton Pilates in Cincinnati, Ohio. After six months of serious Pilates, I no longer had back pain and began Pendleton’s intense four-month teacher training program. My goal was simple, to become a better Pilates student. The result was finding my calling in life.
I taught at Pendleton for the next year as a “hobby” — and in 2004, left my 14-year marketing and communications career, to pursue my passion and teach Pilates full-time. After building a successful Pilates program within a country club, I opened the first incarnation of polaspilates in Columbus, Ohio. With the help of a loyal and dedicated group of clients, the studio succeeded and I learned much about running a small business, Pilates and myself.