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Mindful Leadership

To Be Present Is to Open Your Heart to Everything

Being present has many layers.  In last week’s blog I mentioned that as a Mindful leader it means being present regardless of circumstances – being right here, right now.  And with more concentration, clarity and equanimity, you can go a step further.  Not only can you be present, but regardless of the joy or pain the circumstance, experience or interaction brings, you can focus on opening your heart.

But what does it mean to open your heart?  It means that you embrace everything that arises within you, without judgment.  If you are deeply saddened by a situation keep the heart open, allow yourself to experience the sadness.  Ironically, it won’t make you sadder.  In time you will be able to have a full experience which means that you will be able to track what is happening in your thoughts and emotional body and in so doing it will loosen its grip and you will purify.  Purification frees up a great deal of energy which enables your creativity and effectiveness as a leader.

When you don’t open up to the pain, it becomes suffering and its tentacles go deep into your being deepening a pattern.

If it is an injustice that has saddened you, at no point are you condoning the injustice.  You are merely accepting that your response is one of sadness; you are not suppressing or denying it.  It takes great courage to do this consistently.  But the benefits are nothing short of miraculous.

You see, if you are not willing to accept the sadness or pain within yourself, you also can’t fully accept joy.  It goes hand in hand.  You can’t suppress or deny the “bad” feelings and accept the “good” feelings.  What invariably happens is that eventually, if you suppress painful feelings long enough, you numb yourself and can’t actually feel joy.

The converse is also true.  Some people are willing to experience emotional pain but have greater difficulty in keeping an open heart with joyful or pleasant situations.

To be a Mindful leader is to stay present and open regardless of circumstance and to embrace every emotion you have with an open heart.

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