Whether it is with clients or colleagues, or at home with our partner, children or friends, when turbulent times come, we may not always know how to deal with the situation. The most effective and beautiful contribution we can make then is to offer our freshness, our stability, our calm and our freedom.
These are not stereotyped techniques and tools to adopt when things get tough. They are states of mind and attitudes to cultivate within ourselves every day, also when conditions are more favorable.
We can offer our freshness, joy and beauty. Freshness allows us to take a fresh, candid look at the situation, maybe reconsider preconceived ideas and opinions, and apply the so-called "beginner's mind". We were all born with freshness, joy and beauty. Perhaps there have been circumstances in our lives that have made us lose a bit of that. Or perhaps we have lived in such a way that these qualities have faded away. Whatever the situation, we still have these qualities in us, we can restore them and we can start today.
We can offer our stability and solidity. Without stability and solidity, we get easily destabilized and overwhelmed by painful memories, feelings and emotions from the past, or plans, worries and fears for the future. Without stability, people will find it hard to count on us. If we are strongly anchored in the present moment, if peaceful strength naturally emanates from us, then we can be a true resource for ourselves and others.
We can offer our calm and peace. Calm and peace are innate qualities of all human beings. It maybe that we have lost contact with these qualities, but we can learn again how to calm our body, our sensations and our emotions. If we are calm and peaceful, things will not be distorted by our perception and we will be able to see things with more clarity, as they truly are. People will feel it and will directly benefit.
We can offer our spaciousness, our freedom. This starts with our inner freedom. We can learn to let go of our anger, our fear, our concerns, our plans, and create more space in our heart. We can cultivate freedom by learning how to manage emotions, suffering, pain. Then we will naturally have more freedom. The strongest oak tree needed space around him to grow. It is the same for us human beings. If we impose things we reduce people’s freedom, and if we do that it is highly likely that we might be lacking freedom ourselves.
When things get difficult, if we are able to be fully present to the situation with freshness, stability, calm and freedom, then we already are part of the solution. As leaders this is critical role we can play, for ourselves, for the situation, but also as a source of inspiration for our teams.
So how we do get there ? Very effective ancient meditation practices can help us cultivate these 4 attitudes. These practices are now fully backed by recent advances in neurosciences and clinical research in the field of cognitive and behavioural theories. So no esoteric guffy stuff here, this is very concrete. Click here if you want to try for yourself (no worries, it is free of charge).
Based on teachings from
Thich Nhat Hanh