As you finish up the week, can you remember a time when your thinking felt 'soulful' as you went about your day? If you have been stuck in 'meaningless' thought and actions try this exercise to help reconnect with the soul of your work.
Think over the ways you were asked to use your mind:
seeking meaning from someone's conversation with you - deducing further information or truth
answering emails on processes
answering factual queries
sensing your own needs re eating, moving, sleeping
driving and directing, getting from place to place
ticking off to-do lists
How often did you think about something that:
triggered energy in your brain and body that you could call 'inspiration'?
caused you to gaze long-distance, inner and outer?
warmed your heart as you imagined your success?
connected you with others' good will and skill?
deepened your respect for your own good will and skill?
made you jump with anticipation and expectancy?
made you realise why you do what you do?
felt generous and grateful?
For those of you that are highly analytical (including myself) it will help to know before you do the exercise that the brain has three parts that progress us towards greater conscious action. To get there (the frontal cortex) where 'civilised' decision-making happens, we need to go into the mid-brain where images and memories are stored and created, so that our basic reactions and instincts (the 'old' brain) do not hijack the adventure necessary to enter new territories of change and innovation. Our visions do in fact lead the way to greater results.
Visionary leaders keep an inward gaze that connects with their soul's wisdom. They then turn their gaze outwards while staying anchored within their core to take action. They measure the world by how it's matching up to the vision. How do they do this? Try this 4-step exercise.
EXERCISE - Keeping the soul in mind
1. OUTER GAZE Sit quietly and gaze into the distance as far as you can. Soften your gaze and begin to pay attention to what you are feeling within your own body as you gaze - how you are sitting, pressure on the chair, arms comfortable, how you are breathing. Spend a minute or so doing this.
2. INNER GAZE Now close your eyes and look at the inside of your forehead. Keep a soft, steady gaze on the colour/s, shades, flickers and so on. Keep breathing naturally while you do this for a minute or so.
3. SOULFUL GAZE Now take your inner focus to the centre of your chest. Feel your heart beating rhythmically, gaze at the colour, shape and so on. Now think about something that inspires you; your own vision for success or for a better world, a creative innovation. Visualise it and feel its impact as you keep the image within your mind. Be aware of your feelings both physically and emotionally.
4. OUTER ACTIVITY As you let go of the image and open your eyes, keep the feeling you had from the vision. What action will this inspire you to take now?
You have just connected your mind to your soul to work in tandem to create the results you really want. You have also just shown your subconscious what its goal is and set it to work to make it happen.
Measure your success. Keep a note of what you visualised and the feelings it invoked in you. At the end of the day check into see how 'soulful' you were able to be in your thinking and actions. What differences did it make to your body, mind and soul? And to the leader you were able to be...?
CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER FOR ALL OF US
The more you work from an inner gaze that holds your vision steady, the more your visions will reflect the wisdom of your own inner knowing, becoming more and more powerful in the impact they can have on the rest of humanity.
Practice having a soulful mind and lead with the soul in mind.
For more information on applying conscious leadership principles at work, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.