“High performance.” Lots of buzz around that one. We know we want it. We know we appreciate it when we get it. We get it from each other, and marketing tells us we get it from our commodities. We want to deliver it. Ask yourself this: where is the support for it in your environment?
I am reading excerpts from a book published just over a year ago, Shared Values - Shared Results: Positive Organizational Health as a Win-Win Philosophy. Dee Edington, co-author, notes we must have a healthy and supportive environment and culture at work, at home, and in community if we are to thrive. Dee is the author or co-author of over 800 articles, presentations, and several books, including: The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life. He points out that as it is up to every one of us as individuals to change our behavior to become healthier, it also is up to the leaders, whether family, corporate or in the community (local, national and/or international) to help facilitate that change through cultural, environmental and financial incentives.
He further recognizes “pillars” in that model of change. He notes a principle of “self leadership” as one of the five pillars. For me what that means is me making healthy choices more often. I know when I am making unhealthy choices. Sugar is still one of my drugs of choice, and other carbs are on my consumable list, though less often all the time, thank God.
Another pillar is that player who is acting in a “senior leader” role somewhere in your world. I have one of Sri Kaleshwar's senior students who has become my primary teacher and who is that player in my world. I go to great lengths to attend her processes and programs.
These are parts of how the world is on “the outside.” Our five senses are designed to draw our attention outward, yet, for me, there is the other side of the coin, just as important, or perhaps the even more important side. That has to do with our internal environment. It is only our sixth sense which is sourced from introspection. And, that introspective side also has important pillars, or players.
You have multiple players in your own internal environment. Your mind is one. Your heart is another. Your soul is another. (There are two others in the model I use and teach. That’s another story for another day.) Even though your mind is typically directed outward, and rightly so, so that you can achieve and accomplish in the world, your mind is also an instrument for your inner guidance, that which comes from your inner heart and your soul. True compassion comes from your soul, that part of your consciousness that knows that we all are connected in an intricate complex which goes way beyond what can be measured by our five senses.
A really important question to ask is this: “which one of these internal players is in a senior leadership role?” As I have learned to discern between those “internal” players, I have become more effective in my world. When I disengage from my monkey mind telling me, for instance, that I need to defend myself from attacks on my freedom, attacks that are perceived to be from my environment, I can instead engage from my soul and recognize another (very practical) truth: I need to embody freedom, and allow my actions to be motivated by love rather than fear. I will still act. Freedom is something I value and believe to be important for me and for my world. And, however I choose to act when those freedoms are challenged, it is the motivation behind the action which is all-important. Those motivators will determine whether I am creating from a place of real freedom or a place of defensiveness born of fear.
I do my best to disengage from the reactivity that will only make my environment, internal and/or external, more fear based. And, since it still is an on-going process, even if I have made progress, those fears have not yet been 100% healed. I do not trust the time. My desire to be 100% free of those fears is intense. So, of course, the universe is obliging my intense desire: it sets up situations in my life, one on top of another sometimes, to show me whatever is left inside of me that wants to be healed, so that I can be free.
Recently I had to confront a fellow participant in a residential retreat setting. I intended to be kind and clear about their crossing a boundary regarding our shared chores. They shared that they felt attacked, yet another participant encouraged them to see the gift in the process. I had done my best to be very careful in my encounter, and that was reaffirmed by the rest of the participants. I wanted to be acting in a compassionate way, I was afraid I might cause a problem, but I was also moved to act. The reaffirmation of all the other participants, including the leader of the process, reflected back to me how loving compassion can sometimes appear hurtful, even when intended to heal. Our hurts need to be revealed so that they can be healed.
The process to achieve that freedom is this: 1. Notice. Learn to disengage from the storyline your mind wants you to believe. Learn to engage your witness consciousness in a way that allows you to access a solution to your stressors that does not come from your mind, rather comes to your mind from your soul. 2. Discern. Know, feel, recognize the practical reality of your intuitive knowings and act on them. As I have said before, this is much easier for women most of the time. And these intuitive knowings often save soldiers on the battlefield. This is very practical wisdom I am suggesting.
Battles take many shapes and forms. Some are much more subtle than others. In fact, it is as if the ego is using the mind to battle the soul. Look around. We see obvious examples of people needing to defend their egos, every day now. Here is one thing I notice: my ego wants me to defend my sense of my self. So does yours.
Here is the next key: 3. Disengage. That does NOT mean disengage from the world, or from the truth of who you are. It DOES mean to redirect your attention: away from your mind, and onto your soul. And here is the simplest, most powerful way I have found to do that, after more than 40 years of searching: proper prayer.
4. Do what works for you to uplift your soul. For me, it is the Science of the Soul, through the grace of Sri Kaleshwar, that has delivered to me the most profound practical results. That’s what I mean by proper: that which works to elevate your conscious awareness and deliver results. The prayers I use are very specific mantras which are key sound vibrations that unlock channels of consciousness. When I get anxious, tense, and afraid, I have to slow it down, I say a mantra silently to myself, and focus on my heart, if only for a few seconds. It helps.
The mantras hold the energy that the soul recognises in itself. They act as the purest internal mirror and guide. I want my soul to be in a "senior leadership" role in my life. I am dedicated to creating that so that I can be free from the tricks and stories my mind would have me believe are real, and the suffering that comes along with that. And so that I can educate you to become free of that suffering as well.