Transformational Change: You are most likely to Succeed if you are Present to the Present moment!
In today’s world of information overload, what feels like a faster pace of life, people having more personal debt than in the history of mankind and nearly everyone competing to be the best in their chosen profession, often without any conscious thought beyond their term, has resulted in creating business environments where managers, executives and leaders are making decisions that leave them wondering “Is that the wisest decision I or we could have made?” and knowing that something inside is telling them that something isn’t feeling right.
Even when intentions start out pure, honourable, and ethical it’s easy to get side tracked or caught up in some hype and to lose focus of what is most important and meaningful to you. Sadly for many in leadership roles once they have stepped onto a treadmill of achieving another persons or corporations agenda their work becomes a life distraction and for those people lost in the day-to-day running of a small business, they quickly forget that life exists outside of their business.
Often I am working with amazing people who have lost sight of their dreams, their hopes, their purpose. Some come as a result of workplace bullying, harassment or retrenchment and yet many executives come because they are experiencing a sense of boredom, have a poor work/life balance and others are feeling directionless. Some report being in a much welcomed process of personal evolution, what they refer to as an awakening or a mid-life crisis, yet are unsure about how to create such transformational change for themselves.
Most are compassionate ethical leaders or small business owners who want to leave something of use and meaning behind in the world. They own their decisions, they back themselves fully, they empower and inspire others and most are willing to take a hit for those supporting their cause; as blame is not their focus. They know how to do this naturally and passionately and yet something has shifted and it no longer feels fulfilling or purposeful. They are seeking more! They are aware that they have so much already and this creates an internal conflict; a personal struggle with who they are now and how they want to be being.
So how does one bring about generative purposeful change? How does a small business owner, leader or an executive start to make space for something new to come in, to grow it and share it with others? How can these creatively influential people shift into living and leading in a renewed way, a way that is enhancing their personal relationships, inspiring the next generation, helping those less fortunate and/or creating something new and useful within their community?
They create a space for change by becoming even more self-aware and this can be achieved by mastering a deeper connection with our entire body wisdom; what Eugene Gendlin refers to as the ‘felt-sense’. The felt-sense is not just physical felt body sensations, it also includes intuition, listening to those ‘other-me’ voices and also paying attention to that deep-fuzzy-knowing that exists either within or is felt to be outside of ourselves. It is incorporating the heart, head and gut wisdom simultaneously; what mBraining refer to as ‘Emergent Wisdom’.
It all begins with slowing-it-down!
In questioning successful entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners about how they are making their wisest decisions most say that they listen to their gut or are inspired by their deepest heartfelt desires and others use Mindfulness practices to master mental-stillness; and for me it is a combination of all the above.
In integrating mental-stillness with heartfelt desires and gut intuition people start to experience an inner-silence, a much needed space for something new to emerge, something unknown to evolve. When this occurs they feel it as either a physical sensation or an inner knowing, some hear something said, others see symbols or images and most describe it as that which resonates with their core values. In mastering silence they are present to what is occurring in their body as they interact with others. They have, consciously, given themselves permission to take time to pause… to breathe... reflect… and to check for the felt-sense feedback as it emerges in the moment.
Sometimes ‘it’, the subtle energy, is telling us to shut-up, do nothing, walk away for now, or it’s prompting us to ask more questions while another ‘something’ is telling us not to be so difficult, or to shake on the deal right now. Yet people who have mastered the slowing-it-down generally do not feel compelled to act on any of that feedback. Why? Because they are not feeling overwhelmed or conflicted by all the information rising. They instead acknowledge each ‘something’ that exists and know it is or was valuable in some way, now or in their past. The key is in the listening, the silence, the pausing and being present to what is emerging as the wisest decision to move forward.
So how can you be doing this ‘slowing-it-down’?
Stay committed to doing some form of self-awareness practice daily, such as mediating or practicing Zazen (a concentrated Zen breathing practice) or doing mindfulness breathing exercises numerous times throughout your day. Incorporate something that helps you connect with your physical body, maybe some form of daily physical exercise, as this builds body strength and promotes healthy organ function. Eat natural unprocessed foods to keep the bodies nervous system switched on and be present to your food as you consume it, this helps your body master slowing-it-down and to be present to something outside of yourself while in connection with fully.
Those who have mastered slowing-it-down know how to bring their body into a coherent balanced state before making a decision and they trust their unique way of feeling into decisions rather than thinking into decisions or reacting to situations and events.
All agree that it is only through ongoing practice that they know how to slow it down in the moment. If you were to observe their chest area when they are asked a new question they generally, not all but most do, take the question into their body through their breath. They are giving space to their heart and gut intelligence to catch up with the creative brains reaction. They know how to acknowledge each thing that emerges internally, they may pause, breathing and then will be replying thoughtfully or they elect to come back to the other party at a later time. Truly self-empowering.
Being Present to the Present!
People who can be present to the here-and-now moments are most likely to succeed. The future is filled with uncertainty combined with both hope and anxiety, often hope and anxiety are married and it’s not always a fruitful union. Others live in the past; cherished memories combined with pockets of fear of things gone wrong. Yet whichever you think about, past or future, the felt-senses that arise are in fact happening arising right in this moment, right now and not in the past or in the future. “No man can ever step into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” (Heraclitus).
So by slowing-it-down we are more able to be present to the here-and-now moment. This presence can influence our decisions in new ways, those who strategically plan know how it feels when it feels right. They know when it is congruently aligned with the head, heart and gut and they know how to give space for the something unknown to arise.
This integrating of focusing1 in, using the power of ones breathing to bring about a state of coherence2 and aligning the heart, head and gut wisdom3 promotes the creation of freeing up and as such a space for new things to emerge, grow and evolve. As people and businesses begin to live and lead more congruently aligned to their deepest core values they start to manifest and implement processes and change for the greater good of humanity, starting with themselves.1Focusing.org
Yvette Hughes is the founder of Actum Coaching and the tag line is ‘Liberate Your Spirit’. Her passion is facilitating Generative Change Programs for individuals, both personal-life and professional success, and working with small business owner/operators. She holds qualifications in Coaching, Counselling, Business Administration, Training and Assessing and Project Management. Such diverse and multiple modalities are integrated into her unique and compassionately robust style which is graciously influenced by her professional experiences while working in leadership roles and change management positions within large corporations for 18+ years and her intriguing personal life journeys.
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