The Mindful Leader
by Stephane Leblanc
Beathe. Let go and remind yourself that this moment is the only one you have for sure. - Oprah
We live in a very busy world and many of us have to juggle a career, family, taking care of our customers, our employees, our parents, and if we have time, to take care of ourselves.
Also, with all the electronic devices we have to help us be more productive, it is very easy to be connected at all times and be even more busy.
This often leads us to spend most of our time in multi-tasking mode where our brain frequency operates at the Beta stage, a very high frequency. This is what most of us consider normal and we believe this is what makes us productive. After all this Beta frequency is when most of us are most awake and alert.
Unfortunately, operating at this Beta frequency all the time can also be a source of stress, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, burnout and depression. It can also contribute negatively to our health and immune system.
There is a simple way to improve this situation and improve our wellbeing and this is to practice daily meditation. Meditation is easy and practical as you can do it for 10 or 15 minutes a day and you will enjoy a lot of benefits. Meditation helps your brain to operate in the Alpha state, the state of relaxation, tranquility and calm, single point focus and full creativity. This is the same state you already achieve when you are focusing only one one activity like reading, running, fishing or washing dishes.
Meditation is a mental discipline for achieving a deep state of relaxation where you can experience awareness without content: no thoughts, no beliefs, no personal agenda.
An easy way to practice it is simply to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. It is not necessary to try to stop thinking as this is nearly impossible as we have close to 55,000 thoughts a day. Instead, as a thought arises, you simply accept it and let it go.
When we are awake, we are conscious. We have awareness with a purpose. When we meditate, we have awareness without a purpose, thoughts may come, but we do not give them energy so they disappear again.
Meditation contributes to mindfulness which is the capacity to be fully aware of what you are experiencing inside you in the body, mind and spirit and to pay full attention to what is happening around you in the people, your environment, the events.
Meditation also has many other benefits as it increases your intuition and your creativity. It takes you to a quiet place where there is no anxiety, fear or anger and where everything exists in all possibilities.
With daily practice, we are able to bring our state of mindfulness from our meditation to the rest of our day and focus on the present moment. We often spend our days thinking about the past and the future, forgetting that life can only be lived in the present moment. By being more present, you remain available to the people you lead and can better face reality as it is.
Mindfulness cultivates a high performance mind, one that can enter at will in a state of consciousness that is the most beneficial and most desirable for any circumstance. - Anna Wise
Mindfulness contributes to a state of flow. According to a study by McKinsey, managers that are in flow, are five times more productive. If we could increase the amount of flow by 20%, we would double our productivity.
Neuro plasticity studies have proven that meditation also produces over time changes in the brain grey matter and a thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional intelligence.
Integrating a daily mindfulness meditation practice in your routine makes sense from a wellbeing standpoint, but also a productivity point of view.
To make this practical, I can share that my partner, Jeanne Rahilly, and I have a daily practice of doing a check in, a meditation and a gratitude practice. We always start our days like this and we find it puts us in a peak state to work together and to be creative and productive. There are some days when it is not possible to do the practice and we can both feel the negative impact throughout the day.
Committing to a daily meditation practice is a small investment that will have large pay offs in all aspects of your life. All it takes is a 15 minute investment in yourself, every morning as soon as you get up.