January 1, 2018, 1:20AM I boarded a plane in Singapore headed for Berlin. I was excited and couldn’t think of a better way to spend the first week of 2018 than on a meditation course with my spiritual master, Gurudev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
However, like many such courses, the stillness of our mind is often tested before we reach the event. When I arrived at the airport, I soon discovered my original flight had been cancelled.
“Ahhh”, I thought to myself. “The Sanyam course begins!”
“Slow down, cool down”. These were the first words spoken by Gurudev, and soon became the theme for the week. I took a sigh of relief thinking…
“Perfect, this is just what I needed”.
Like most personal development programs the benefits experienced are mostly internal and difficult to put into words, so I won’t even begin to try. Suffice to say, after the course and a week at home, my nervous system is saying “Thank you!”.
In Part 3 of my book on how to lead cultural transformation, I begin with Chapter 7 entitled: Tools for Inner Transformation. Why? Because before you can lead change, you must develop the skills to be able to access new sources of wisdom that will guide and empower you to lead transformational change. Otherwise you will continue to do what you have always done, and that is not transformation. Transformational leadership requires you to go inside and access new imaginal ideas through your intuition, awareness, and creativity.
What blocks or supports transformation is the state of our mind and quality of our awareness. Our mind is both the tool and object of change. When we encounter challenges or problems, do we respond or react? I used to react in difficult situations and in the process manage to alienate those I loved the most. My emotions would get the better of me and I knew I was not thinking clearly with all my mental abilities. Now, with more awareness, I respond with a curious mind that is more centered and calm.
Tools for inner transformation are those that develop inner awareness and access knowledge in our subconscious mind. To access wisdom at this level, one needs to still the thoughts of the conscious mind. This can be achieved through the breath and meditation. An added benefit to stilling our thoughts is the peace of mind, mental clarity, and rest it gives to the whole body.
From the moment we wake until we go to sleep at night our minds are busy working at 14 to 32 cycles per second. This takes a lot of energy and is why we come home feeling exhausted even though we have not been physically active. Sitting for twenty minutes twice a day in meditation is a healthy practice for leaders to reduce stress, relax, and re-energize. The whole point is to do nothing.
Mounting medical research continues to suggest that our health, quality of life, and even the length of our life are all affected by our mental and emotional states. Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study has shown that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, compared to those who practiced no form of relaxation.
As a corporate leadership consultant I have to be the first to experience a process before I can share, lead, and teach my clients a new method. This takes dedication to personal development and the desire to constantly learn, grow, and reflect.
Much of the personal awareness I have developed can be attributed to the tools and techniques taught on the TLEX Program. I highly recommend this as the first leadership development program for your leadership team if you are looking to develop transformational leadership in your organization.
You will be so happy you did! 🙂
Much love from Singapore,
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With 30 years in business transformation working with organizations, Joanna’s passion lies in working with leaders, facilitating active participation in organizational change, developing resourceful teams and aligning strategic objectives. Her goal is to help organizations become high performing and values-driven, where people take ownership, build commitment and bridge communication gaps. As CEO of the Culture Leadership Group, she ensures successful transformation from concept through to implementation.