Let’s introduce the concept of operating out of “the groundedness of your being.”
We have all heard more and more about the concept of Mindfulness. One of the world leaders of this practice and the research associated with it is Jon Kabat-Zinn. I heard him speak with the Dalai Lama at Harvard several years ago. He has given the most succinct definition that I have found for the concept of mindfulness. By presenting the Chinese character for mindfulness – he described that it consists of presence of heart.
Mindfulness assists you in moving out of what the Buddhist tradition calls “monkey mind” and to drop down into the “groundedness of your being” and be in the presence of your heart.
So, what does all of this have anything to do with getting better results? Absolutely everything! In the process of quieting our minds, we become an observer of our minds and not controlled by them. In this process of observation, we distinguish that our true selves are not to be found in our frantic and cluttered minds, but in the spaciousness and quiet of our hearts. This is where we show up most authentically and most courageously.
The fundamental tool of leadership and getting results is by training the mind. When we do so, through such practices as mindfulness, then we ultimately learn to manage ourselves.
Take five minutes to sit in the quietness of meditation and then unpack this thought a little more.
Meditation: Seated position, hands on legs, soft gaze or closing of eyes, attention to breath – the inhalation and exhalation felt in your body, when thoughts drifting – you may identify them as thinking and gently return to your breath awareness.
What did you notice about your thoughts?
In my work with executives, I have come to identify the process of mindfulness as an element of Co-Innovative leadership by becoming more reflective, collaborative and transformative – RCT.
Let’s just explore the Reflective piece. In order to be reflective, we must make room to quiet down. Mindfulness and/or meditation allows us to see that we are not just our thoughts. Reflection facilitates making the distinction between standard operating procedures and how we truly desire to be. It is the distinction between reaction and response.
Having lived most of my adult life in southern California, I have been cut off on more than one occasion as I was driving. In that moment, I can react or respond. For many folks that looks like waving to the other person with your whole hand as opposed to just one finger.
As we learn to train our mind, we better learn to manage ourselves. I heard from a colleague recently that time-management is a misnomer. We don’t need to learn to manage our time as much as the constant in the equation – ourselves. When you are willing to pause and go inside, you will find the internal answers that unleash you – for amazing external results.