Automattic is no ordinary company. We have no office, no dresscode, live in 60 different countries, and only meet in person a few times per year.
No wonder that when we do meet in person, it looks less like a business conference and more like a family reunion, with the most supportive and friendly kind of a family. This year’s Grand Meetup also reminds me of a mindfulness retreat, with meditation, yoga, and holotropic breathwork.
I never heard about breathwork until Apotheosis retreats, although similar ideas have become quite popular recently thanks to Wim Hof’s breathing exercises. The idea that by changing your breathing patterns you can change your physical state is pretty common sense, deeper breaths mean more oxygen flowing through your body, which means more power and vital energy.
What’s most surprising about breathwork is that it also gets you very emotional, to the extend comparable with psychedelics. In this raw and vulnerable state you can reconnect with your mission and passion, release the anger that was pent up inside, or let go of the hurt and trauma that may have accumulated over the years. Some people may laugh, some people may cry. I did both, and it was an incredible relief.
If laying on the floor and crying in front of your coworkers sounds like the worst idea ever, that’s totally understandable. Even I, having already discovered the power of breathwork, was still a bit anxious how it’s going to play out in a company setting. People at work want to be seen and treated as competent professionals, and showing intense emotions is perceived like anything but that.
But before we are professionals, we are first and foremost humans. Work setting or not, we all have emotional challenges and trials. How much easier it would be if we all stopped pretending this isn’t the case and just let everyone be who they are? This is exactly how I felt after the morning breathwork session, when we all sat on our mats so raw, authentic, and open.
Automattic truly does create the future of work. The one where work-life balance is no longer needed, cause even at work we can be fully alive.