The following is an excerpt from Robert Oates’ book Celebrating the Dawn, which was first published in 1976 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.
Q: What’s the goal of Transcendental Meditation?
Maharishi: “The goal of the Transcendental Meditation technique is the state of enlightenment. This means we experience that inner calmness, that quiet state of least excitation, even when we are dynamically busy.”
Q: But activity and quietness seem to be opposites. Isn’t it necessary to sit and close the eyes in order to enjoy the peaceful effects of the TM technique?
Maharishi: “It’s only in the beginning days of meditation that one has to meditate in order to experience that silent, quiet level of the mind, that state of pure consciousness. As we continue to alternate the experience of the meditation with daily activity, the value of that pure consciousness is infused into the mind. The pure level of consciousness becomes stabilized in our awareness, and when that pure level – the state of least excitation – is a living reality even during daily activity, this is the state of enlightenment. This is life free from suffering, life when every thought and action is spontaneously correct.
Q: But how is it possible for the mind to experience two different states at the same time?
Maharishi: “This is the question. How can the mind be both active and silent? How can one have the state of least excitation in the midst of all activity? What we find is that it is the natural ability of the nervous system to live one hundred per cent of the inner value of life, and one hundred per cent of the outer value. It is only stresses and strains which restrict this normal functioning of the nervous system.”
Q: Then it would be necessary to dissolve stress in order to experience the state of enlightenment.
Maharishi: “Yes. And it brings very practical value to life. Even if we forget about ‘enlightenment’ for a moment – maybe that state seems to be inconceivable – still it is our daily experience that the whole value of life is very little if we are tired, if we are stressed. If we think of a morning when we have not rested well in the night, then we feel so groggy and everything just collapses into dullness and inertia. The world is the same as on the other days, but our appreciation of the world is so much less. And with the Transcendental Meditation Technique we have a natural and effective means to dissolve even deeply rooted fatigue and stress. This is the way to unfold full value of life. Even in the first days of meditation we find that our eyes seem to be a little more open, our mind seems a bit more clear. Our feeling towards our friends seems to be more harmonious. And then, as the practice is continues every day, a time will come when we will start living life free from all stresses. We cleanse the awareness of all stresses and strains, leaving the conscious mind completely free in its pure value.
Q: Does this mean that evolution toward enlightenment is automatic as stresses are released?
Maharishi: “Yes. When all stresses are gone, the whole appreciation of life is so much greater. Then the value of every perception, every thought, every action, every feeling will be supported by the full value of that pure awareness. This is enlightenment. It is like the ability to maintain contact with a bank even while out in the marketplace.”
Q: Maintaining contact with a bank – can that analogy be made clearer?
Maharishi: “Maintaining that pure awareness, that bliss consciousness, can be compared to having great wealth. If one is not aware of having great wealth in the bank, and one has only five dollars in the pocket, then there is some pinch about spending even one dollar for a rose. A man could say, ‘Ah, the rose is so beautiful, but now there are only four dollars left in the pocket.’ There is some pinch to the feelings. But if the awareness is open to great wealth in the bank, a dollar is spent for a rose and the man is only faced with the joy of having a rose. No pinch is there. And this is one’s experience in the state of enlightenment. When that pure state of silence and bliss is stabilized on the level of one’s awareness, every activity is supported by that peace and joyfulness. Every activity is the expression of the fullness of life.”
From Celebrating the Dawn by Robert Oates Jr.
Copyright © 1976 All rights reserved
As we come to the end of another year, find a few minutes for yourself to look back and appreciate the gift of life.
As we still have a few days left, take one step to truly make 2016 memorable, let it go down in your very own biography as the year you… ???
- What are three words to describe the theme of 2016 for you?
- What did you spend most of your time doing at work and outside of work?
- What key values did you notice yourself living more fully this year?
- What, or who, are you most grateful for?
- What disappointment turned out to be the biggest blessing for you this year?
- When did you experience compassion, both giving it and receiving it?
- Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
- What did you buy for yourself that turned out to be the best thing ever?
- What did you give/give away that brought joy to someone else?
- What do you deserve a huge pat on the back for?
I’d like to thank all of you for your continuous support of my writing and my work.
With love and gratitude,
We humans live in language, the results we have in our personal and professional lives depend on the conversations we have in our relationships. We respond through our emotions, which are set in a background of moods, that are born in the body.
A desire to change the results in any area of our lives can only be realised with deep learning of a new way to be. Mere rationalistic, cognitive knowledgeis not enough, if it were, we would all be living fulfilled and purposeful lives in this time where thousands of self help books abound us.
This deeper kind of learning, which will be short-changed if Ieven try to express in it words, though I must try here, needs to be FELT and EXPERIENCED in ourbodies and the only way to transform really, is through repeated PRACTICE.
Our breathing is one of the functions of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS or involuntary nervous system). It is the part of the peripheral nervous system that functions largely below the level of consciousness, and controls many of our functions including heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation and sexual arousal.
Breathing is an exceptional function of the body in that it is ordinarily regulated automatically by the Autonomic Nervous System, but can be consciously modified. We can’t control any of the others deliberately, but we can choose to slow our breathing down or even hold our breath for some time if we so chose to, for example like how we do in conscious breathing practices or pranayama.
Because of this, breathing can act, as a doorway between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the self, creating an accessible bridge. Our body, thoughts and emotions affect our breathing and hence affect some of the other functions of the ANS. Haven’t you noticed when people get angry or scared, they start breathing faster and their heart rate increases? Similarly, it works in reverse, we can choose particular postures and breathing styles to influence our emotions and actions. As we practice these body positions, we become more adept and create new neuro-pathways to trigger desired emotions rather than reacting from old default habits.
Thought is an electrical energy and it takes one second to change. Emotion, which is directly affected by our thoughts is chemical and can take 10-15 minutes to change. Emotions are brought about by thoughts and will create physiological changes in our bodies. Worry and fear will cause our heart rate and breathing to quicken and we can go into panic causing us to feel even worse. It is a vicious cycle. Whereas changing your body position can be done in an instant and is probably the easiest bridge you have to improving the way you feel, speak, act and hence the results you experience in your life.
Neuroscience research suggests that negative thoughts can over-stimulate the amygdala, (the small almond-shape set of neurons located deep in the brain’s medial temporal lobe which can be responsible for more fear, stress and panic) The double whammy is that when the amygdala is stimulated by perceived fear, it shuts down our physical ability to release serotonin in our brains (which is a contributor to us being able to think positively and creatively). When we put ourselves in this state, there is no getting out of the self-dug rut. In this state, we block positive memories, fantasies and ‘hope.’
The body learns by doing though, not by thinking. Consider how you learnt to ride a cycle or drive a car, you can read a 1000-page manual on riding or driving, but until you practise with your body, you will never learn.
These body positions I shared with you need repetition and practise. The keyword here is practise which means to do and do. But like most things it has to be practised and embodied. Your body has to become familiar and comfortable in this position so you will remember to call it up whenever you need to.
Watch these two videos to see for yourself how changing your body position can change your thoughts and feelings:
As young children, we are often subjected to harsh and negative words. These comments, though sometimes unwittingly said, often bring up a sense of inadequacy, the thought of “I will never be good enough”. Similarly, we are often unappreciated for the good deeds that we have done; and instead are constantly reminded of our “wrong/bad” actions or failures , be it from our parents, our teachers, or our mentors; which ultimately leaves us with the “I will never be good enough” feeling. It is all these feelings and emotions that undermine our confidence, our esteem and our self-worth.
As children, young adults, or even as adults, we experience life with one hand often tied behind our back because of the beliefs that limit us to do what we want and to become the best of who we can be. But along the way, something magical happens and we suddenly feel something deep within our hearts and our minds. This starts the process of the spiritual awakening, where we feel that life has so much more to offer than what it has so far. And therefore, by utilizing all the resources around us, be it the Universe, our friends, family, or even better, A COACH, they will not only help us untangle ourselves, but also help us lead our lives to become a better version of who we are.
Sanjay L Bhojwani is a Gallup-Certified Strengths-based Coach, where he incorporates the StrengthsFinder online assessment to provide individuals with an in-depth explanation and understanding of their talents. Along with this, he advises his coachees on how to best develop their talents into strengths, and guide them in setting lifelong goals by maximizing their different talents.
If you’ve read my books, then you already know that I was a fat kid, and so as I was growing up, my self-esteem was plummeting with each aspect of puberty kicking in. My parents were wealthy and we lived in prestigious condominiums around Orchard Road in Singapore, so survival wasn’t on my radar back then, but as my dad went through his upsets as a businessman in Lucky Plaza, together with being an obese young woman, I also had to deal with depression of not gaining the affections of my first teenage crush to having to let go of my “Uptown-girl” status and adjust to a new life in a new country amongst people I didn’t fit in with.
Looking at the Values chart, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you will see that my level, 1, 2 and 3 needs were being challenged all the way. Then came the clincher when I was 26, still over-weight and divorced with a young daughter. From survival, to belonging to self-esteem, my un-met needs kept me in a web of despair. But then, luckily for me, I have truly been blessed with an inner drive to not just survive but also an inner knowing that I had a purpose and was going to live it. Struggling just to get my needs met was not enough to keep me busy. You see, I was living in a space of victimhood where I blamed everyone and everything around me for what was not working in my life. I look back at that time now with gratitude for the invitations that came to me to explore myself deeply. I was blessed to be open to re-discovering myself and asking different questions instead of “why me?” I was introduced for the first time to asking, “what can I do with what I now know and what I now have?” Looking at the chart again, this was the stage of transformation – and in Barrett’s terms, Level 4.
Now, after years of seeing my challenges in new light, from responsibility, from acceptance and from gratitude, I am at a space where I welcome the perceived challenges and ask myself another question, “What is great about this situation?”
This question always helped me to find a lesson and a way forward breaking through my fear barriers and venturing outside my comfort zone.
As part of my personal evolution and my work, I am developing the habit of remembering to frame my life experiences into modules that we share so that I can breathe life into them. Since I started using the iceberg model more frequently, I can’t help but be aware of not only my own iceberg but I also see people walking around with their icebergs, then when my over-active imagination starts to work, I see our icebergs touching and then I get this feeling of “rubbing each other the wrong way”.
I’ve also been “ice-berging” taxi drivers when they make the “mistake” of asking me what I do on a day when I’m not busy with my phone. Many of my friends have experienced me drawing icebergs on paper napkins too. Yes, I have become obsessed by the iceberg. The good news is that it has helped to reconnect me more fully with my values of empathy and compassion which according to Barrett belong to Level 6 and 7 consciousness.
I have become more sensitive to what drives the behaviours in the people around me and yes of-course, when I have my introspective balcony camera on, or as we say in Newfield Asia, when I look a the Observer that I am, I am able to see my own behaviours from a higher balcony and am compassionate towards myself for acting the way I do.
We are all walking around with our thoughts and feelings, values and priorities, our beliefs and mindset that lead us to act in the way we do. This awareness has helped me to acknowledge that people especially the ones who are behaving in ways that trigger irritation, anger or annoyance in me are merely just trying to get their perceived unmet needs met. A mother trying to protect her child, a father just trying to put food on the table, a husband needing to show his wife he can be leaned on or a business owner just trying to make a profit.
Without meaning to sprinkle quotes that most of us already get enough of through our Facebook feeds, one quote that I happened upon just outside an airport in India comes to mind strongly right now, “Be kind, everyone you meet is carrying his own heavy load”. As I read this, happily strolling my four-wheeled luggage, waiting for my car to drive up, I became intensely aware of elderly couples with heavy sacks bogging them down on the streets stricken with poverty and those who had a permanent hunch as if there were a ton of bricks still literally on their shoulders.
No I am not a fully evolved human being and I get triggered often, but by looking through the lens of my values, I am able to see which values are being challenged when I’m at the verge of having an impulsive reaction, I am able to pause and ask myself a transformational question like, “What is great about this?”, “What can I learn here?”
Lately, the upsets I have had which I’ve been able to catch have been around efficiency – (level 3) and respect – (level 2). I noticed that I become self-righteous when I judge others for not being respectful towards me in a way that I hold “respect”, or undervaluing my efforts with thoughts like “How dare they?”, “They have no respect for my time” The flipside to this awareness is that I also then feel bad and become “self-wrongeous”, a
term coined by Dr. John DeMartini in his book, “The Breakthrough Experience” and this model was created by Corporate Evolutions based on his work. The thinking, when I become self-wrongeous is along the lines of “I don’t matter”, “I’m not worthy of respect”, “I’m not good enough…”
It’s only when I reconnect with my higher values of wanting to make a difference, of courage and of compassion that I’m able to feel that empathy and forgiveness (level 7) for others and for myself and respond to situations and people from a much more empowered, loving and joyful way.
By judging myself and others I remain stuck in a loop and when I choose to be trusting and fair, I release myself from that loop and am able to evolve consciously. I am not saying that I don’t get triggered, and like anything it is still a muscle that I am building by being aware, by moving to the balcony and introspecting on how I could be causing or why I may be attracting these upsets into my life. I am immensely grateful for being introduced to the Values framework as it continues to guide me to evolve my consciounsess towards humility-(Level 7).
Each and every set back I’ve had truly urged me to live my values more fully and stay focused on my purpose, even when I could not entirely articulate what that purpose was, it remains the light that beckons each one of us to keep at it, to keep moving on. Once we accept the past regrets with gratitude, we will have strengthened the belief that it is really all good and that we are supported in being able to live that purpose, it is an internal guiding GPS that will always keep us headed in the direction of inner fulfillment.Sources:
Newfield Asia – For more about coach training www.newfieldasia.com
Aberkyn Change Leadership Partners – For your organizational needs around transformation www.aberkyn.com
Barett Values Centre – For more about Richard Barrett and the 7 Levels of Consciousness www.valuescentre.com
Corporate Evolution – For facilitator training in “Facilitating Transformation Through Values” www.corpevolution.com Malti is Professional Certified coach with the ICF, an accredited Facilitator of Transformation Through Values by Corporate Evolutions, she’s an Affiliate Facilitator with Aberkyn – Change Leadership Partners co-founded by McKinsey & Co in 2012, a Newfield graduate, an author of several books including “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball” and “The Mind Spa-Ignite Your Inner Life Coach” For your organisational needs, contact Malti at Aberkyn, email@example.com For WPO, YPO, EO and other forum retreat facilitation or for a 2.5 day deep dive into your Values, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details or see: http://maltibhojwani.com/index.html For personalised executive and life coaching, email email@example.com or see: http://maltibhojwani.com/index.html
To become an Ontological coach, email malti at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about Newfield Asia
I recently felt bold and changed my lipstick to a deep retro red. Within days, I noticed others either wearing bright lips too or complimenting me on the look and asking me for the name of the shade. This may sound trivial, but I’m sharing simply to illustrate how any act of boldness, inspires others to be bold too.
The word “power” comes from Anglo-Norman French poeir, from an alteration of Latin posse and, etymologically speaking, literally means “to be able, ability to act”.
In a deep coaching session recently, I realized that I had an underlying belief formed early in my childhood that “when I use my power, someone suffers.” Imagine how helpful that has been in my life?
It sounds ridiculous, but it was driving or rather holding back my behaviour. In my limited cognitive capacity as a child, it was embedded in my emotional brain that when I truly turned it all up, my power of influence, persuasion, charm, cuteness, my inherent strengths and talents –
someone got hurt.
So despite my evolution, I rarely and cautiously stepped into my power, slightly, here and there and when I did, magic happened, but then when things didn’t seem to be working the way I thought they should, I let my doubts over-take, I questioned my own motivations, I second-guessed my choices and I stepped back again to being less powerful, less authentic, less me.
When I really connected with my knowing deep down, and took my ego out of the way, I realised that I could never cause anyone their suffering, they would only suffer if they themselves had given up their power.
I have been a fan of Marianne Williamson and her poem which she so graciously let me quote in my first book, “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball” – Our Greatest Fear” (pasted below if you don’t remember it) It has spoken to this since I heard it in the first self-awareness workshop I attended in 1999, and I know this, yet a few days ago, this stark realization that even after all these years of my own personal development, my reading, writing, coaching, being coached, facilitating, participating, I still held myself back and played small, for fear of outshining others, showing off, hurting others, causing others suffering! Who did I think I was? What a martyr I was playing!
I guess that’s why we need regular reminders, it is easy to fall back into old habits.
So the realizations were:
I am not more powerful than others, and in fact when I allow myself to be powerful, then I allow others to step into their power as well, to either stand up with or even against me. Hence I don’t need to fear my strength, just use it from a deep place of knowing that I am always taking inspired action, which comes from knowing that we all always, always, always choose the best option available to us based on the wisdom and resources we have at that time.
To add to the synchronicity of the coming integration and hence amplification of my power, this weekend, I walked into a 3 day intensive process with Peggy Phoenix Dubro where she bridged us to our infinite selves. Even trying to use mere words to explain the spiritual experience would be impossible, but I will say this much, it was as if I, we are 100watt light bulbs, but we only glow at 30 and through practice, we strengthen the filament so it is strong and then we can allow more “energy” in so that we shine brighter.
I will leave you with this. If you have been following some of my work and read the chapter on Synchronicity in “Don’t Think of a Blue Ball”, you may remember that I kept seeing the symbol of infinity, the “figure-eight”- in the 3-day session with Peggy, I received more confirmation that we are evolutionaries, playing our part in being in helping to serve and raise the consciousness of the world, firstly through brightening our own light, so that it may attract and help illuminate the path for others! To know more about Peggy’s work and the intense 3 day process we experienced this weekend with her in Jakarta, watch this video
How would you look if you turned up the dial on your power switch?
What would be possible if you stopped dimming the light you exude?
What will it take for you to shine brighter? Who can you ask for support?
“Owning your power enables you to act – to do things, to move things, to change your whole life! Most of us however have been programmed since an early age to give our power away. We give it away to inner energies, such as our negative ego/ lower self, inner child, emotions and fears.”- Gloria Excelsias, Integrated Ascended Master Expert
. Kindly review and let me know your thoughts. Below is the content:
§ Give time to yourself: How many days have you given time for yourself? How many days have you given out of your busy schedule? It is the most important aspect to even before you action your dream. You need to keep aside some time for yourself everyday. Everyone has got same hours in a day but still why some people can achieve while others keep dreaming and roll on for next year. Successful people do assess their time, investigate their past learnings and identify the areas to address. It is essential to understand how you utilized your time and how you plan to utilize. With our busy schedule of life, you can just add 30 minutes to your work and put into use with all honesty to assess your time – find your time where it was productive, rework on the time which was wasted and keep it practicing for a month. The change will automatically reflect on your daily routine life.
§ Work on your dream: Dream – the word changes all with the way you understand and approach life. Dream is the only tool which works subconsciously to make you successful. You have a dream then prepare a process map, keep practicing and analyzing everyday. Promise yourself to be successful and dream big. Never dream of small or obvious achievable objectives. You will get satisfied once you achieve them but if you dream big then the work towards it will force you to stretch your effort and ultimately you will land up on achieving your dream. Dream is very subjective and a serious thought. You should write your dream and put infront of you so that it keeps reminding you of the progress that you have made. Break your dream into small steps and assign a timeline for each small objective. Revisit every week and make necessary changes and restart again. Do not worry if the plan is not on track or need amendments as every revisit would push you to make changes but never compromise on your end result. Make your dream as your personal project and keep working without failure. Remember your every effort will be worth when you reach the end of it.
§ Read books / articles / autobiographies: Always spare time to read inspirational topics or books or famous autobiographies. It helps to detoxify your thought process and train your brain to attract positive energy. Choose your subject and read a small article or a thin book but always make an effort to read it thoroughly and unlearn your existing blockages which stops you to excel in life. Identify simple qualities from famous personalities and inculcate them in your habit. Never feel ashamed of your failures. The best way to motivate and keep you moving is by acquiring knowledge and learning from each source. Put a book in your travel bag all time or buy a book or newspaper or search for any video and keep listening to great people speeches. Reading will keep you motivated and help to achieve your goal in life.
§ Acquire new skill: Look around you and you will realize that there are many skills that need to be acquired and practiced. Every day we come across small things which happen for a reason but we don’t give attention to them. Focus on each of them and try to learn and make them a part of your life. Some may require more time and some can be learnt immediately. Always practice them and do not compromise on anything. It creates a positive energy out of you which in turn will create a positive environment. This will change your surrounding and the impact is in long term. Identify all positive characteristics from all people, learn a new skill if possible & use all available resources to magnify your life.
§ Invest on yourself: At the end of the day, no matter what your skills are or how much introspection you have done or how many books you read, you will never be able to achieve your dream unless you invest them in yourself. Result will yield when you are ready to invest your dream on yourself. Everything depends on you, everyday belongs to you and every moment is important if you realize and understand the importance of each action you have taken. So dream, plan, revisit, respect, learn and invest wisely on your dream.
You don’t have to do it alone. Engage a Life Coach. Click here to book a session.
About the contributor:
Biren Patnaik is a blogger by passion, a professional by character, a dreamer by nature. He is a presently working in an MNC based in Gurgaon. He loves writing articles and short stories, likes reading inspirational books and listening to various philanthropist like Les Brown, Anthony Robbins, Napolean Hill and Robin Sharma. He has his own blogging site – www.uniquebiren.com.
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Twitter handle @uniqueBIren
“I am on a journey to pursue my dreams, my passion and enjoy the unlimited learning’s that is coming my way.”
Sweet sixteen marks a coming of age, the point at which a person transitions into adulthood. This definition of 16th birthdays is similar to what I sense 2016 is for me. I feel like I have grown…
not grown up,
but rather grown in…
grown into living my authentic self, fully.
Last year, I moved countries again, relocating back to my homeland, Singapore. The Mind Spa – Ignite Your Inner Life Coach was published, I earned accreditation as a Facilitator of Transformation Through Values, I started coaching and facilitating workshops for esteemed organizations with Aberkyn – Change Leadership Partners Co-founded by McKinsey & Company and I travelled extensively in the region.
Through all these adventures, the most powerful realisation I have had though is that
I AM joy!
I am Joyful.
I EnJOY every moment of life ever since I saw the perfection in every single incident in my life. I would not change a thing, it has all been perfect bringing me right here, exactly where I want to be.
Acceptance and compassion for others and myself has been my biggest gift and what I am most passionate about sharing with my readers and clients this year.
Enough about me though, what was your big let go from 2015 and what are you making way to “let come” in sweet 2016?
I would love to hear from you, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post publically if you have the courage on the facebook page.
In Joy, (simply)
How I can support you this year…
If you are ready to make 2016 the year you start living authentically embracing your values and living your purpose, you don’t have to do it alone, reach out to me in either of these 3 ways…
*Invite me to facilitate a retreat for a small group or forum to a destination of your convenience.
(Schedule at least 6 weeks in advance)
*Engage me as your personal coach (via Skype/Phone through one of these coaching packages
(Act fast – Limited slots available)
Or, if you would like Transformation Workshops for your organization,
Click here or email us your requirements and the current challenges you want to grow from.
I was recently approached by a unique team of senior leaders who belonged to a support group with the intention of being there for each other to brainstorm and seek advice from each other on their various business and personal challenges. It is a structured organized platform that allows for this kind of meeting.
They had been relating with each other for over 5 years and it was time for an annual retreat – somewhat of a team-builder. They all had their own separate businesses and did not work together. They had come to a point of some dissatisfaction with the level of trust and intimacy within the group, so they sought me out as an external facilitator to help break down some of the barriers, open a space for honest and kind feedback and to help them see where they currently are in their own lives and as a group. They also wanted to look at where they want to be together moving forward.
It was a question of, can we become closer, be more connected or is this as good as it gets? The group consisted of men and women in their early 40s to 50s from diverse cultures and of different personalities.
I had a pre-session conversation with each of them separately prior to the planned live workshop, to gain a deeper insight on what was really going on for each of them and understand the group dynamics.
I sensed some disappointment, despondency, blame and mistrust. Some were resigned to the idea that they may need to split up and go their separate ways, while others were superficial in their interactions, as they didn’t feel their ideas were valued in the group sensing that they were not as good as the others. A few felt that the group didn’t give them enough value for the time commitment it demanded.
They had hoped to be able to turn to each other for support and advice. I learnt that they were all waiting for each other to be more open and sharing in order to deepen the relationship. It sounded much like a chicken and egg story. Some were battling with the idea if disclosure was equal to trust. And others felt trust was more about dependability. The very existence of this group was hinging on whether they could build a deeper commitment to each other, there were talks of disbanding if things didn’t evolve.
Ordinarily, to build trust, trainers would introduce some typical activities including a trust fall, where the group stands around and invites each participant to close their eyes one by one and literally fall back into their outstretched arms. Or there are the regular win/win type games where the objective is to all win together, but participants often get competitive and hence all lose.
On a cognitive level, we would consider going through the elements of trust, either based on Covey’s “Speed of Trust” which talks about 4 Cores of Credibility and 13 Behaviors of High Trust and Gittomer’s Little Book Of Trust. We’d look at communication based on Chalmers Brothers, “Language and the Pursuit of Happiness” and share inspirational stories from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.
But I knew that these leaders wanted something much deeper than just new things to do, it was a whole new way of being that they were yearning for without being able to articulate it.
It had to be about doing things differently rather than just doing different things. Most of them had done their MBAs at top business schools and had engaged in countless outward bound and personal development workshops. They’d attended talks by some of the world’s most inspiring thought leaders, and I knew I could not give them more new tools or teach them different things they could do, it needed a new way of doing and seeing the same things. The regular old team-building toolbox was not going to be enough for this intervention.
So I did my research, pulled up all my previous workshop run-sheets, caught up with my mentors and peers and invested weeks in deciding on the perfect choreography for the 2 days to help inspire some insights! In the end though, they were the simplest exercises that had the biggest impact. One in particular that stands out was an activity that showed them how they resisted asking for help either because they felt competitive or because they had assumptions that the kind of help that may be available would not be enough or what they needed. When the penny dropped in this exercise, there were many “a-ha” moments for the entire group as they could relate how they behaved in it with they way they showed up in their real lives.
Another simple one that encouraged intimacy through presence and deep listening evoked emotional reactions that surprised the group as it opened up the floodgates of vulnerability that was yearning to be drawn out into the room. I stepped out of the way and surrendered to whatever was emerging.
Though some of the activities when isolated appeared strange and purposeless to them, the pieces started to fall together by the end of day 1. By mid morning on day two, tears were shed and some were hugging. Feedback was caring and useful and they started to see just how blessed they were to have each other.
I realised that it was through my own willingness to be open and trusting and at the same time not attached to my agenda that we were able to deeply connect with each other.
Each person’s unique life experiences, behaviors, beliefs and values added a new dynamic to the group creating learning for all on a deeply individual level. They were able to relate the lessons that they created themselves back to their own lives and relationships within and outside of the group.
I learnt that attempting to build and sustain this kind of connection amongst top leaders requires a custom approach and not a ‘standard’ “one size fits all” solution as human experiences are different.
I feel blessed to be able to do this work and be a catalyst for change and true transformation. It is humbling and deeply fulfilling.
Practical and profound, Malti writes from her experience and her heart. Through thoughtful and unique imagery she encourages you to adjust your perceptions of yourself in a most authentic way … and that is good news! New perceptions of oneself are the foundations for the deep and lasting changes you choose to create. Young and wise this strong,beautiful life coach is a true leader in the field of consciously managing your most precious resource, your personal energy.
Peggy Phoenix Dubro is an author, inspiring speaker, and international leader in the growing field of personal energy management and well being. Her work is practiced in over 70 countries.www.thebalancingwork.com