Check out Mark Lefko’s new Conscious Leadership Connection website – an incredibly good focus for conscious leadership across the world.
Archive for the ‘Coaches’ Category
Intuition has been nudging me for a while now, telling me that Sept, Oct, Nov are going to be months when we see a surge in the establishment of conscious capitalism, conscious business and conscious leadership in the UK. And so it has been.
On Tuesday this week the Conscious Capitalism Institute held a lunch in London hosted by Raj Sisodia. Raj, author of Firms of Endearment, took us through his presentation on conscious capitalism – it was inspirational hearing it from its source – and expressed his desire to establish a centre for CCI in the UK alongside other centers in Australia, South America and elsewhere. Timothy Henry from Arête will have this as his brief, but there were plenty of willing helpers around the table, including myself and Sarah Morris from The Global Institute of Conscious Leadership, Erica Uffindell from the Uffindell Group and Pinea3, and Pete Burden and Rob Warwick from Conscious-BusinessUK, along with several others who share a passion for conscious leadership and conscious business.
Two days later and this evening saw the launch of Pinea3 in London through Erica, accompanied by Pinea3 founder Enric Bernal. Pinea3 works with organisations as living energy systems and creates balance and growth where these are currently lacking to create more conscious companies and conscious leaders.
On Monday next week Conscious-BusinessUK holds its second London meeting, having already been established in Brighton for over a year.
To top it all, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, will be in London in November and will be spending far more time here in the future. We aim to host an event to coincide with his trip, bringing together companies under the umbrella of conscious capitalism, conscious business and conscious leadership for the first time in the UK.
All in all, it seems at the moment like the forces are congregating to cause a propulsion of conscious capitalism in the UK, centered in London. There is a tremendous sense of collaboration, information sharing and co-creation going on here right now amongst the people who are passionate about doing business in this way and promoting and growing it as mainstream in the marketplace. We have all come together through what seems like synchronicity, helped by the Internet. To me, it feels rather like the explosion of the coffee culture in Seattle, the concentration of IT culture in Silicon Valley or the emergence of consciousness in and around Boulder, Colorado. London is a center for the drawing together of these strands of energy and activity around conscious business. The timing is right, and the time is ripe for change, coinciding beautifully as it does with the difficulties in European and UK businesses and government and the need for an alternative to emerge.
Presence is where creation happens. Presence is where you experience your life in its fullness. Presence is what the teachers of our times are talking about. The here and now, zero point, being in the moment. To understand presence we need to be aware of what not present means. To be not present is when we have our attention fixed on anything other than the current moment. Any past thought or experience still sitting in your consciousness and any future imagination that is an illusion in your mind keeps you from being present.
Being present I believe is a prime factor to creating success in life and not being present is a pertinent cause to our lack of success. The magnitude of your results are dependent upon the quality of your presence.
When you are present your life appears to work, money flows easier. You feel more connected with yourself and the world and you have better sex too.
What we are unaware of are the dynamics in our past experiences that keep us from being present now.
We can do our best to meditate, focus on the moment, implement practices that keep you present and various other tools and techniques, however, if aspects of our consciousness have been fragmented or stuck in time then we will remain in a loop in our current time unless we allow these fragments or stuck patterns to be completed. Our energy and attention is unconsciously used up to keep the fragmented parts and passed experiences alive in our consciousness. To the degree we have fragmented aspects of our life and our consciousness needs to apply energy to keep it then to that same degree we are not present.
A simple example is an experience of trauma, which we have all had to a greater or a lesser degree. What we tend to do during a trauma is disassociate from the event when it happens and we create coping mechanisms to allow us to survive the event. What happens then is that the mind becomes fixed to the period just before the traumatic event. Emotions are not fully felt, they get blocked off and the energy remains in your system. Since you didn’t complete the movement at the time during the experience, a loop is created in your mind that keeps the experience from being fully absorbed. Life energy is then unconsciously drawn to that part of our life in order to keep the full experience from happening. The result is that energy becomes stuck and you remain in a life loop for many years. Your life ends up doing daily, monthly or even annual loops which are very subtle and go unnoticed. You find life being repetitive and mundane.
What also may happen is your biology retains cellular memory of the event and since it has not been completed, you will keep attracting similar events so that you have an opportunity to complete the movement and free up your blocked energy.
Victims of a devastating trauma may never be the same biologically because the movement of energy is not completed and the freeze response blocks the natural release of energy. The biological response needs to remain fluid and adaptive – not stuck.
Unless these areas are fully integrated and the energy is released again, a portion of your attention will remain in the past and not fully available to you in the here and now. And for that reason you may meditate for hours and not achieve your desired state as energy is unconsciously hindered in the past.
General causes of lack of presence:
- Past trauma
- Incomplete commitments
- Emotional pain
- Incomplete conversations
- Suppression and repression of aspects of self (the shadow)
- Suppression of anger energy
- Invalidating yourself
- Family entanglements and unconscious family patterns
Some indicators of stuck energy patterns could show up as the following patterns:
- sitting on the edge of your seat expecting something to happen
- constant tension in the muscles
- excessive alcohol to numb the senses
- Lack of energy and aliveness in life
- Inability to stay focused
- Sleeping with the lights on
There are many techniques that support old energy to be released and energy to be brought back to the moment. Some are: Somatic mindfulness techniques, certain yoga practices, breathing techniques, conscious awareness of the experience, trauma release exercises, feeling the inner body.
If you are interested to know more, feel welcome to chat to me. Family constellations is one of the tools I use to support the completion of movements in a supportive space.
The Power of Questions
I presented a short talk on Money to a small group at a company recently.
One of the attendees asked me a question about certain events that keep happening in his life. He asked: “Why does this keep happening to me?”
Now that kind of question is not very empowering is it? It keeps you stuck in the past.
We ask ourselves questions all the time – or, you will find yourself constantly looking for an answer to a question you unconsciously asked.
We are conditioned to focus our questions on the past and what is wrong and what didn’t happen or what didn’t work.
Check with yourself. Do you find yourself asking questions (or looking for answers to questions) that focus on the past?
Why did this happen to me?
Why am I always late?
Why did I do that?
Why am I not getting attention from my spouse?
How did this happen to me again?
Every time you ask yourself a question, your mind will look for the answer. And it finds many answers because you are telling your mind to focus your attention on that.
Take this for example: Why do I always have bad luck with money? Why do people always take advantage of me?
Your mind goes looking. The answers to those questions could be: Because I’m a nobody, I am weak, I don’t stand up for myself, I don’t know any better, I’m too nice, I didn’t learn any different, I’m useless… and so on.
Although those questions could offer some valuable information about yourself and your behaviours, they are generally not beneficial to where you want to go or the type of person you want to be.
Stay looking for answers to these questions and you may find yourself a little depressed – Low energy, frustrated, disappointed, sad, upset, inadequate, lonely… overwhelm!
You will find that the mental or emotional state you are looking for is not found in answering these types of questions.
Gosh, I see in my own life that for a substantial part of my life I was looking for answers to disempowering questions. For about two years of my life (maybe longer… hmm) I realised that I was getting worse and worse and in a lower state, beating myself up all the time and not getting results. Not living the life I wanted to. I didn’t know that I could shift my state and consequently the results I was getting just by changing the questions I was answering.
As a coach I learnt about the power of asking meaningful questions and this year I have been experimenting with questions to shift my mental and emotional state. And guess what, it works J.
Every time I find myself in a low state, I start asking questions like:
What do I need to do to be happy right now?
How can I complete my work and have fun in the process?
Who do I need to be to create success in my life?
How can I increase my energy today?
What am I most grateful for today?
What do I need to do to increase my income?
What can I do today that will leave me feeling inspired and fulfilled?
These change your focus and your attention goes to something more meaningful in your life and more toward what you want rather than what you don’t want.
Now the trick is that you actually got to do the work and look for the answers. The best is to sit and write down the answers until you experience the shift in your state of being.
I have a list of questions that I use daily to shift my state of being. Let me know what you discover for yourself by using questions on a daily basis.
Additionally, if you are experiencing repeat patterns that don’t budge, well that’s when you may have a need for a deeper intervention.
Next month I will share some information on trauma and how we freeze in a pattern or a state as a result of trauma and how to get out of it.
I heard this quote many years ago and it stuck with me:
The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, rather a process of creation.
You are not discovering but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be.
In exploring what a Conscious Leader leading in a Conscious Business pursuing Conscious Capitalism actually means, the views are ever-evolving and building on one another to form a clearer picture that will light the way for leaders drawn to pursuing this path.
This paper describes a perspective on where a Conscious Leader lies in comparison to a traditional leader, aimed at making the territory clearer. (.pdf available for download here).
Conscious Leadership can be viewed along two axes:
X – axis: The axis of DOING, comprised of what the leader focuses on every day, how far his* (or her) worldview extends.
Y – axis: The axis of BEING, comprising who the leader is being in his role. Being determines mindset, behaviour and way of interacting with others.
These two axes INTERSECT at the point of PROFIT. Without profit, the business cannot exist.
The dotted red line denotes the traditional field of focus for leaders in a capitalist system: a focus on PROFIT and the SHAREHOLDERS to the business as being of primary importance. All other stakeholders are secondary.
The extent of the leader’s ‘field of effect’ if governed by his EGO or IDENTITY. Ego is the point around which all of us are contracted. It represents our beliefs, our values and our conditioned patterns. It also represents everything we think of as ‘mine’: my job, my house, my wife, my name – and everything we think of as ‘me’: I am a leader, I am a male, I am successful (or I am not), I work for XYZ company. It is the illusion of who we think we are, and when we are not able to see outside of this illusion we are subject to being governed by its conditioned patterns, thereby living and leading UNCONSCIOUSLY.
The ego is focused purely on self-perpetuation. It is therefore founded in FEAR. Fear of losing parts of ourselves. Fear of losing our security. Fear of losing our position. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of being made to be wrong, look bad or lose control of our circumstances. It evokes in us DEFENSIVENESS against anything that threatens our sense of self. These kinds of reactions are widespread and easily recognisable in most organisations – and in ourselves.
Pursuing PROFIT and POWER fits in very well with the nature of the ego-driven leader. By securing profit and power at all costs, the leader gets to maintain the illusion of his own ego.
This becomes obviously limiting when one is able to extend one’s perspective to see beyond the context of the ego-driven leader. Much more is available than the ego can see, namely the potential to act into a field of possibilities (as reported by modern day science via quantum physics) without the illusionary boundaries (mindset, beliefs, reactions) of the ego. This field of possibilities is less accessible to the ego-full leader because he is too concerned about maintaining his position and his security. He suffers from a mindset of SCARCITY rather than ABUNDANCE.
Even where traditional leaders may engage in SELF-DEVELOPMENT via traditional coaching, leadership programmes, the development of EQ and other forms of personal development and knowledge development, the EGO still rules. Without becoming aware of one’s own ego and seeing its influence on our lives, and its inherently illusionary nature, the leader is limited to only ever going so far in his personal development. At best, he can expect to understand more and more about his own STORY. However, our story about ourselves, our life, what made us who we are, what our beliefs and patterns are, can only take us so far – to the outer limits of our own story. It cannot take us beyond this. To go beyond our own story we need to notice the illusion that the story is. Our story is founded on our ego’s or identity’s patterns and responses – and, ultimately, our identity is not who we are.
At this point, in recognising this, the leader has the potential to step outside of his ego. He becomes able to occupy a vantage point outside of his conditioned patterns and unconscious behaviour, observing it rather than having a perspective only from within it. When the ego or identity is recognised for what it is, an illusion, the leader gains access to the field of being beyond ego.
At this point, the leader has entered into the field of the CONSCIOUS LEADER. This is depicted by the placement of the green dotted line. This is not to say that this green line represents the outer limits of the Conscious Leader. Rather, it is meant to imply that anything outside of the red line depicting the ego enters into the field of the Conscious Leader.
He enters into a field of possibility where he is in creation much more than he is in reaction, and where DEEPENING his connection with his self and HEIGHTENING the expression of his authentic self becomes ever more possible.
Because the Conscious Leader is freer from the conditioned patterns and limitations of his ego, he is able to act less from fear and more in SERVICE OF THE GREATER WHOLE. In Conscious Capitalism terms, this means acting for the GREATER SYSTEM of which the business is part. Rather than relying on a focus on profit and shareholders as a way of maintaining security, the Conscious Leader is able to be far more abundant, extending his focus, widening his worldview and focusing on all stakeholders. In Conscious Business terms, these include the employees, the suppliers, the community of which the business forms part, society, and the environment.
As practised in Conscious Capitalism, profit is still important. However, it is not pursued at the expense of everything and everyone else connected to the business. The Conscious Leader strives to maximize the benefits and coordinates the needs of all the stakeholders in the business, keeping his perspective wide and inclusive.
Conscious Leadership depicts a move from ‘me’ to ‘we’. It requires one to move beyond one’s ego or identity so that one can act for the whole that is greater than oneself, the whole to which one and one’s business is connected. The deepened BEING of the Conscious Leader enables him to connect with a HIGHER PURPOSE that is greater than profit alone. Connecting to this higher purpose provides an energetic alignment for everyone connected to the business – and the Conscious Leader’s role is to coordinate this connection while ensuring that the business is run in an operationally sound manner as well. Research indicates an increase of over nine times more profit in businesses run in this way and far more sustainability during tough times.
In terms of the coordinates of the Unconscious Leader, therefore, these can be seen to be located squarely within the red circle, wherever that leader’s ego might be placed. The coordinates of the CONSCIOUS LEADER, on the other hand, exist anywhere outside of this area towards the green circle, with the possibility of expanding ever outwards into the space of possibility. This represents a new way of leading and of doing business.