Leadership with Awareness (and Alertness)

“Awareness is the flower which blooms but never dies, but keeps on growing as we grow in awareness.”
With the ever increasing pressures of the materialistic society we live in, we are becoming more and more absent minded. We can’t notice the people (and their actions and behavior) around us, leave alone things like nature. The stress is taking the light away from our mind, causing the opposite of enlightenment, an endarkment.
To become more and more aware and bring light back in our minds, the first thing which we need to do is to live in the moment. But that seems a very difficult task to people today as either we live in the past-the guilt, the grudges, the memories or we live in the future-the expectations, the plans, the worries and the gift of the present is ruined in the process. Living in the moment is itself a type of meditation (called mindfulness). Mindfulness is an opportunity to experience joy and to appreciate the present moment.
It is all the more important for leaders to live the moment as it makes us clear-headed and therefore helps us in being keen observers of human behavior and things. In fact we can say that “Awareness is the beginning of the leadership journey. Self-awareness is the beginning of the awareness journey. Spirituality is the beginning of the self-awareness journey.”
Meditation can be a tool suitable for everyone to begin spirituality. According to Oxford American Dictionary, meditation is “the act of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation”. Becoming compassionate is useful in making our meditation more effective, J. Krishnamurti says, “The flowering of meditation is goodness, and generosity of the heart is the beginning of meditation.” Meditation provides rest to our restless mind. William Penn says, “True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”
Look at nature, put your mind completely there, and soak in the peace, right into every fiber of your body, total immersion. The more aware we are of ourselves, the more aware we can be of our own true desires and intentions. The more our intentions are aligned with our inner being and our life's purposes, the happier and more fulfilled we are. We also can gain insight into our unique talents (gifted to us by higher consciousness or God) by reflecting on our life experiences and connecting with our higher or true self. If we have to define self-awareness we can say it refers to the conscious understanding of our thoughts, feelings, and actions and how we relate to people and environment. Increased self-awareness can help us gain deep insights into not only the factors that influence our external world but also our internal beliefs, values and morals.

Pray, chant and meditate to increase your self-awareness and detach from outcomes & develop flexible attitude towards change. Remember self-awareness is a process, not a destination. Keep intentions centered on compassion, integrity and respect for humankind. To help you tide through the bad phases and obstacles, network with like-minded individuals and develop rock solid determination.
Remember the deeper states of awareness in your daily life and your whole life becomes a meditation. Watching your mind, enables you to actively see what does not serve you and let such thoughts simply fall away. Communication with higher consciousness on earth is difficult as the body is being pulled by gravity and mind by ego. However, meditation can overcome these obstacles and allow the spirit to align with higher consciousness.
In awareness meditation (a type of meditation) one simply observes what is coming up in one’s awareness by naming or expressing loudly what one is going through: “I am aware of the pen on the table.”  “I am aware that traffic jams make me very uncomfortable” Most people will do this for three or four times and then lose track. The exercise, if repeatedly done provides complete calm and clarity leading to meditative awareness. As the mind calms you can notice even subtle things and find that you start naming thoughts, feelings, and sensations as soon as they start to come up.
There are lots of other spiritual tools like chanting, blanking of mind and so on which are as useful as meditation. For a person who is truly aware, it is easy to connect with his consciousness to seek wisdom, happiness and emotional strength from his own spirit. Our best guru is looking back at us in the mirror. So get in touch with your inner wisdom. In fact once I wrote on Facebook, “A childish person seeks knowledge, a growing up person seeks wisdom and a grown up person seeks awareness.”  Developing self-awareness is like setting the centre of our life. Benjamin E. Mays says, “The circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the center is set.”
After self awareness, comes awareness of our surroundings. Aware people can even see the gifts that others have even before they themselves are aware of them. For instance, you may become aware, that the old ways of managing and directing employees are no longer effective and paradigm shift in our approach may be required. To become truly aware we need to look at our surroundings with all our senses. One needs to look into the eyes, the hearts and souls of people around oneself to feel what they feel, to know what they think, expect or desire. With such enhanced awareness you would be able to understand your team members and command their genuine respect.
As a leader one is often expected to introduce change which tends to meet with stiff resistance. If one wants to change something, one must first become aware of it, otherwise one cannot change.  However, things that you are not aware of do change you, which is not a good thing of course. With increased awareness levels we start realizing, “We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are” helping us realize our biases and prejudices. In the beginning of one’s spiritual journey, one gets few hints at answers (to the questions in mind), later complete answers and over a period of time a strong sense of intuition which will start making intelligence obsolete. One then sets on the path of quick and wise decision making and true leadership.
(This is the fourth article in the series, "Leading with Spirituality" in Spiritual Lounge E-Magazine)
Copyright : Dr Amit Nagpal
Courtesy Spiritual Lounge
http://spirituallounge.whitedrums.com/emag.html



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Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant with a holistic touch. To know more about him click here:-
http://www.dramitnagpal.co.in/p/about-us.html

He may be reached at amitknagpal@gmail.com

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