I guess when I say mindfulness, I know I am now more developed about being present, by learning from my experiences, getting in touch with my deeper values and ethics, connecting deeper with others and noticing the effects on the world around me.
Having spent lots of time and being curious has lead me to learn all the above facts, I can say I still am at cause now and again of getting into some unhelpful habits at times and knowing what I know now about mindfulness, the bonus is I can now get myself out of these situations much sooner by simply noticing. As I focus on my deeper values I can point myself to more wholesome healthy activities that have purpose and meaning to move me forward in life, so I continue to achieve my goals. The question is can you?
Mindfulness practice has helped me understand the true benefit of becoming self-compassionate. There are 3 main factors of being self-compassionate these are 1. being caring and kind to self, 2. mindfulness – being aware of the power of your feelings and 3. common humility – knowing that we all have imperfections and knowing we can relate to others vulnerability without judgement.
After all it’s not surprising that we get caught up in unhelpful stories which causes us to catastrophise, I noticed today the newspapers lined up in the supermarket, I took photos of all the headlines to remind me not to buy them, here is what they had to say, Statins: New Health Alert, Irate – £50k Legal aid, Heart attack – waiting longer for ambulances, we’ll block Brexit laws warns Scots and Welsh. What is good about life! I guess the editors like to suck people into the drama and problems in the world, when this clearly adds more layers of stress to most people’s already hectic and anxious life styles.
So, on that note thank goodness, I have good news about meditating. Meditation is fast becoming a fashionable tool for improving your mind, with mounting scientific evidence it is showing practice can enhance creativity, memory e.g. better scores on tests and better leadership.
Meditation helps you see the world in a more compassionate way, allowing us to break free from categorisations (us, them, self, other) which commonly divide people from one another. So why wouldn’t you want to explore this more and start to incorporate a few minutes of mindfulness meditation into your daily schedule.
So, let me share more, I landed on an interesting post by David DeSTENO, who shared that Psychologist Paul Condon had joined neuroscientist Gaelle Desbordes and the Buddhist Lama Willa Miller in conducting an experiment. He went on to say that 39 people in Boston took part in an 8-week meditation experiment (never having done any meditation before). 20 took part in weekly classes and the other 19 were told that they were on a waiting list. 8 weeks later another experiment took place to see if great compassion was given in a time of suffering. On entry to the lab there was 3 chairs, 2 already taken and the first participant came in a naturally took the 3rd chair. Then the 4th person came along using crutches and a boot on a broken foot, showing signs of pain, then leaned against the wall. The first 2 participants were in on the experiment so remained seated, putting the 3rd person in a quandary. The experiment showed that 16% of the non-meditators (the ones of the waiting list) gave up their seat. Against 50% of the meditators impressively gave up their seat after just 8 weeks of practice.
Although we don’t yet know why this truly happens, the article Gray Matter by David DeSTENO quotes 2 probable answers, the 1st is bringing compassion to ourselves helps us notice pain and suffering easier in others. The 2nd is mediation helps us foster a view that all beings are connected, this is the common humility in us which is part of self-compassion.
The Psychologist Piercarlo Valdesolo and David DeSTENO found any marker of affiliation between 2 people e.g. tapping hands in synchrony causes them to feel compassion for each other when distressed. So, this may mean meditators ability helps dissolve the artificial dysfunctions between ethnicity, religion, ideology and the likes that divide us. This gave me even more joy about the benefits of meditation when it comes to rapport building which I focus on in all my training delivery including, Profling, Leadership Development, Sales Journey Training programmes and general communication workshops.
I personally have learnt from this article that being a leader in change, these findings highlight that Mindfulness is now an essential skill required by leaders to allow them to be truly compassionate with others, and I have also learnt that mindfulness has helped me handle change much better. One of my niche areas is developing Leaders in Challenging Coaching and it is crucial in the FACTS model that you are both supportive and challenging to your people to gain high performance. The first step to supporting and challenging others successfully is starting with work on yourself and how you impact others. I share strategies with leaders on how to become their own “Loving Boot” as initially it always starts with you. When you adopt the loving boot approach you will find it easier to follow your passion with true purpose. This grounding and learning how to be self-compassionate about yourself will then allow you to go on and develop others successfully.
It fits perfectly with the resent fashion of being an Agile Culture, which is about being committed to a common cause one Vision, involving others in creation, helping them keep in a creative space to make decisions with speed, having a resilient mindset so they can deliver and overall great engagement.
It has also given me the ability to be more self-compassionate and forgiving about some of the truly uninspiring leaders that I have had over the years of corporate work, as it is highly likely they didn’t have self-awareness to understand the negative impact they had on me.
Then there is of course the handful of truly inspiration leaders that I had, who believed in me, saw my strengths and encouraged me along my journey which has lead me to the amazing place of self-employment and being able to live on purpose and help others see their own strengths and talents, allowing them to live a life of fulfilment.
So, if you are a Leader looking for a great work place culture I may be able to help you with the perfect solution of being an Agile work place, working in a mindful, supportive and challenging way.
If you want to know more please get in touch and we can talk more about a unique solution for your workplace.
Until then enjoy some meditating as it truly benefits all.