The Art of Living

Every once in a while, someone enters your life and alters your path.

Are you aware enough to know when it’s happening? (It might be happening right now, with this blog posting.)

Shyam Nair altered my path. We met at StockPot, Campbell’s fastest growing division at the time, when I was Director of Marketing there. We made the best soup I have ever tasted for foodservice and retail distribution.

Shyam and I became fast friends after he spoke at a leadership forum we had.

In a thick accent I hardly understood, he gushed about the potential he saw at the company. Then, slowing down, he apologized. “I know I’m hard to understand when I get so excited!” I laughed and sought him out after the meeting.

One day we went for a walk during lunch and I was grousing about some such thing. Shyam put up his hand and said, “Joe, I’m not going to listen to one more complaint until you take a course with The Art of Living.” (Watch this MSNBC video.) He explained it would bring me some peace and help me meditate through my dissatisfaction.

Hey, I’m from Brooklyn. There’s no way I’m taking that class, I thought. I like to sleep. There’s no way I can close my eyes and not sleep. I don’t have the patience to meditate. I’m not sitting in the lotus position and I don’t believe any of that stuff. If it works for you, great, but it’s not for me.

“You will take this class,” he said, undeterred.

Even if I have to pay the $350 myself.”

That was the clincher. I suspected that he didn’t have a spare $350 laying around. That he would really pay my tuition – oh, he was serious, all right – made me accept the help standing in front of me that day.

The Art of Living

Would you have taken the class? Will you interpret this blog as a modern day one-on-one conversation with me and look into taking a class?

From the Art of Living homepage, the basic course introduces:

  • breathing techniques to relieve stress and tension
  • skills for improving relationships at home and work
  • tools to handle your mind and negative emotions

These were all new to me. And while I don’t meditate regularly, it is available to me when I need it. I’ve made new friends, expanded my network, and picked up a few very useful concepts that help me stay centered.

I am happier in life because of The Art of Living.

Email me for more info. I’d be happy to share my experience. Happier, still, if I influence one person to take the class. Might that be you?


  1. Thanks, Joe. I love your post. I would like to take that course. I am going to try and move money around to make it happen because it’s just what I need!

  2. Joe,

    Believe or not, I connected “spiritually” with you when we first met. It is no surprise to me that you would be open to exploring the power of breath.

    I enjoyed the MSNBC Video, and I will review the Art of Living Foundation website.

    I wrote an article on how to take strategic breath breaks that was recently included in an anthology. Perhaps I should post it to Biznik???

    I appreciate you and all that you do as the loving and giving person you are….it may sound woo-woo, but you are more spiritual that you know.

  3. So, Joe, I just looked briefly at Shyam Nair’s blog and he listed your blog as one of three “Spiritual Blogs”.

    I guess Shyam and I are on the same page!

  4. Hi, superb post.
    i am a volunteer from bangalore.
    jai gurudev!

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