Posts Tagged ‘As the paradigm shifts’

Every organization whether it be for profit or non-profit are in their line of business in order to gain something – it’s most likely in their vision statement. My vision statement, for example is:

The fulfillment of the human spirit through the empowerment of every individual on the planet.

This vision requires an acquisition of fulfillment and personal empowerment.

Gain

Whether to gain access to clean water, acquire political power, or to expand one’s capacity to lead effectively, we are all out to gain.

With the economic turn, the way it’s going, businesses are facing major dilemmas. On the one hand they – the choice-makers are facing potential loss of everything they’ve gained. Too often this drives them to act in ways that will hopefully allow them to not lose anything. Fear too often drives them to act in haste, making choices that may not be in alignment with their original vision. They are afraid. People make interesting choices when they are afraid.

We like to think of ourselves as gainfully employed or engaged, yet few of us want to associate ourselves with words such as greed. However too often we are unconscious of when and how we withhold what we’ve gained out of a fear we aren’t even aware of. Our greediness is often disguised.

On the other hand of the dilemma, there are those companies that are looking at their circumstances not from a fear-based perspective but from one that can benefit many during this time of adversity?

When we start to shift our contexts we see what’s to be gained – not from fear-based greed, but from some place other than fear – generosity.

Less is More

Do you remember the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, in A Christmas Carole? Scrooge’s greed wasn’t limited to money. He was greedy with his heart. We find out why, as we’re given the opportunity to witness specific events in his life that created devastating loneliness and heart break. Because of these events he chose to withhold and be miserly with his gains, which greatly impacted many people.

Like Scrooge, every one of us experiences, to some degree, loneliness and heartbreak. We experience, like Scrooge the inevitability of abandonment, betrayal and rejection. And, much like Ebenezer, we bury the pain deep inside, distancing ourselves from that pain, which wreaks havoc on the façade we’ve invented. This façade has us look and feel powerful and invulnerable, yet inevitably we find, as Scrooge found that this limits the potential to fulfill our true potential.

Fear is an enormously powerful muscle that is exercised far too frequently; so much so that we are unconscious as to how much it impacts on our choice to enjoy being engaged in the business of doing business. Our fears limit the pleasures of relating, connecting and sharing ourselves and our talents in service of our vision, which inspired us in the first place.

All of us – the Human Race – have the capacity to overcome the adversities of our pasts. Hiding our hearts in a scrooge-like fashion, though, is not the way to do it, but practicing generosity can be.

The Muscle of Generosity

This muscle called generosity is always with us. It just hasn’t had a whole lot of exercise.

Exercising this muscle generates the experience of abundance, openness and allowing, innovation and expansion. Scrooge found this place after his journey with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. He came to see that he had nothing to lose and had so much to gain in discarding his lengthy practice of greed.

As the paradigm shifts, we are so much more capable of witnessing our attachments to our gains, our fear of losing what we’ve gained and of finding that through some playful curiosity we can discover other ways to gain without fear of losing what we’ve gained.

Those committed to bringing spirituality into the workplace may feel like they have an uphill battle ahead of them. Simple exercises now will, however generate the necessary strength, courage and wisdom to engage in what’s to come. You will find the shift easy and effortless – trust me!

Just for one day I want you to try something (Maybe for some of us, it will be just an hour or a minute.): Notice opportunities to share a smile. Notice who you are willing to share a smile with, and from whom you withhold a smile. That’s it! That’s the practice.

You’re probably asking: “What’s a smile got to do with generosity?” Good question. I could explain it to you but it wouldn’t be the same as having you experience what happens when you smile. Plus, this practice isn’t about whether you smile more or less. It’s about noticing when you choose to allow yourself to smile and when you choose to withhold a smile. It’s about noticing how you are choosing to choose to smile. This choice-making process underlies so much of your being with fear, with gain and with spirituality.

Notice what it feels like inside you, without judging or assessing yourself. Our actions can be so automatic sometimes that we aren’t even aware of the thoughts or feelings we’re having underneath.

How can we be the generosity we so wish to experience?

I have the following three suggestions:

  1. Smile more often, even when you are challenged by your circumstances;
  2. Notice your desire to complain about anything and everything;
  3. Notice if what you are doing inspires generosity of spirit in your own heart. If it doesn’t inspire generosity of spirit in your own heart, consider doing something else.

Know that each and every one of us comes into our work environment anticipating and hoping that we will experience generosity of spirit from those we engage with during the course of our day. Like Scrooge, many of us don’t have the capacity to even share a smile. Even though it may be disappointing, see if you can share compassion to those who have less capacity to be giving of their hearts. Your compassion may be the most generous gift of the day. You may gain far more from that activity than you ever imagined.

… and of course, your sharing goes a long way, be it through a smile, or through this article. So, do share your experiences via your comments.

Enjoy the Exploration!

Whether self-employed, employed by organizations, whether retired or unemployed, we all engage with companies and organizations that support us or we support them. In our interactions with these organizations, what we are wanting is to experience qualities of dignity, first and foremost. This means being treated as a sovereign individual of value, worthy of respect. I want people to communicate authentically, with curiosity and interest.

Disheartened by too many disappointments with customer service representative, HR people and bosses who have an agenda above and beyond the notion treating us as human beings, we’ve come to choose to cloak ourselves in various armor-styles. Through this strategy we attempt to mitigate the experience of being disempowered, triggered by attitudes and environments that are less than safe.

Consequences of stressful conversations and working environment are such that each of us actually empower ourselves to choose ways of being that are disempowering. We choose to lower our heads, withdraw and withhold, generating far less creativity, innovation, engaged sharing, often precipitating depression and demoralizing environments.

We are all affected by our own unique ways of empowering ourselves to disempower ourselves. That sounds confusing but it is none-the-less accurate. We want to blame others and remain unconscious as to how we are creating our own demise.

D.E.N.I.A.L (Don’t Even kNow I Am Lying) is the word that comes to mind.

Certainly we are affected by other people’s attitudes, moods and actions. At the same time, it’s important to get that they are also very much affected by our own. Our tendency is to want others to change so we can feel safe enough to the change too.

Quite often people are angered by my suggesting that we are not victims to our circumstance, that somehow we are collaborators and colluding with the enemy, that we are responsible for the abuse that is perpetrated upon us. My job is to provide an environment, in this case through my writing, where people can feel safe enough to being exploring possibilities beyond this current paradigm, which doesn’t allow deeper examination of the role we play within abusive environments.

Distinguishing what it is you are committed to will facilitate a conversation that either generates a discovering process or a disempowering process. This is in alignment with our previous discussion regarding commitments and conflicting or underlying commitment. Disclosing both reveals patterns and processes that we are unlikely aware of, yet present powerful and devastating outcomes.

D is for Dilemma

I spoke about this in my previous blog, that we are wanting change in our work environment and at the same time we are fearful of the consequence for being the change you are wanting. This creates a dilemma and precipitates a critical choice-point in just about every arena of our lives not just in the workplace. Again, getting clear about what you want and the degree to which you are committed to what you want can mean you begin to detach yourself from the perspectives and interpretations by which you have been living, being and acting. Through detachment you create a more expanded capacity to witness yourself making choices that aren’t in alignment with your own commitment. You begin to distinguish your actions from your thoughts, and intently choose to choose in alignment with what you are wanting.

Detach from Fear

At the New Living Expo, where I spoke about spiritual wounding in the workplace, there were many individuals present who experienced such disappointment, depression, dejection through their workplace. As we spoke it became clear that they needed to become their own advocate; not just in standing up for themselves but by noticing how they may be contributing to their workplace being less than optimal.

One woman asked – “What are some things I can practice before going into a meeting where I feel less than?” I encouraged her to sit quietly and get clear with her intentions – what it is she really wanted from the conversation, and then to feel the quality of that experience in her body of having it already. In this way she can truly embody her intention, and when embodied she’d be more than likely to follow through. Otherwise, the anxiety and fear precipitated by her conflicting commitment would take over and she would lose her nerve and withdraw.

A second person shared that he had used this particular practice and had experienced positive results. He shared that he’d followed through because he was able to stay in alignment with his intention by staying in this embodied experience.

Again, we have to be willing to detach from thoughts that precipitate sensations of anxiety and other discomforts. Habitually we act from these body sensations, hence it’s important to distinguish when we are acting from them and when we are acting from our intention. We know it in our bodies.

Domain of Humanity

I want to be clear with you that we choose to choose what we choose based on the ground of being we stand upon; the precepts of which are either fear-based or essence-based. These precepts reside in the Domain of Humanity.

Utilizing our personal power, we choose from fear or from non-fear. Our current paradigm is fraught with fear-based realities that we presume to be true. Can we detach ourselves from these fear-based thoughts enough to allow possibility to reveal itself? Can we allowing ourselves to expand our comfort zone to include what has yet to be conceived as real in our own thinking?

A fundamental practice that empowers this exploration is to distinguish the roots of your choice-making, within the Domain of Humanity. Just through noticing what is occurring in your body – those sometime very subtle tensions or releasing, you can reveal to yourself whether the current choice is founded on fear or founded on essential wisdom. Only through practice will you be able to reveal fascinating choice-making processes that empower you, in the long run, to self-generate dignity. Enjoy the exploration!