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Mindful Leadership

Mindful Leadership in Action – Tip of the Week – Connecting Deeply with the World by Connecting Deeply with Yourself

If you wish to experience a deep connection to the world around you then you first need to connect deeply with yourself.  And the connection I am talking about is the connection to your body.  The body and the mind are in constant dialogue.  But somehow for most people the mind usually wins out.  But it is the body that knows best and knows all.

In order to cultivate a connection with your body, listen to it.  You can start to develop this skill by becoming aware of your body’s response every time you are aware of experiencing an emotion.  When you experience joy where do you feel it in the body?  You see a beautiful sunset and you might experience a sense of your chest expanding.  With this awareness the mind and the body are now in sync.  You may be talking to yourself about the beauty of the sunset and at the same time you are aware of this pleasant experience in the body.

Conversely, you receive very bad news.  The average person will either go into despair or they will suppress or deny how upset they are.  They may discount the importance of the news or they may distract themselves, another glass of wine another piece of chocolate cake will help the suppression or denial.

But there is an alternative response, a Mindful response.  You receive bad news and as soon as you think of it, you go into the body.  What is your body’s response? Perhaps your stomach becomes tight, the eyes become teary, your body becomes heavy with sadness or discouragement.  That is your body speaking.  You may be saying to yourself this is really unfortunate or sad, I am really upset.  If you allow this to arise with equanimity, that is without interfering with what is arising, both the body and mind will remain in sync.  From that place of equanimity you will know what the most appropriate course of action will be.  Or the situation may warrant doing nothing at all.  But you will know.

This takes practice because of the natural tendency is to disconnect from emotion.  As I mentioned in the previous blog, that is how we become talking heads, disconnected from the neck down.  It is only in connecting body and mind that we are fully conscious and fully connected to the world around us.  It all begins with connecting to our bodies.  Only then can we be truly present when someone else is in despair or be truly able to share in their joy.

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