Conscious leadership is not just an abstract concept or a label that you can give yourself. If you are truly going to be a conscious leader, your intention is to always reveal the system to itself or in other words to reveal life, the universe to itself. This is how conscious leaders cultivate consciousness. By revealing life to itself, we turn unconscious into conscious, raise awareness and expand consciousness. Why would we want to do that? Conscious leaders lead from the presence, which is the opposite of being entangled in your mind and the stories that your mind is distracting you with. By being fully present to life in each and every moment, we experience life. Not in theory, not in our mind. We feel, we have intuitions, we notice our and other’s emotions, actions, responses. We dance to the rhythm of life (or as we call it “the system”). This results in being more connected not only with our own essence, but also with everything else. We experience empathy on a deep, humane level. We accept life as it appears to us and we are constantly seeing the wisdom in everything. We are even exploring the opposite for the sake of expanding consciousness.
Here is an example for how this could show up in our day-to-day activities, which in my case includes parenting four children.
In a household with 6 people and a Labrador retriever, the morning hours are following a certain established rhythm that ensures that everyone gets their private time in the bathroom, or in case of the dog finding a semi-private tree outside the house, everyone finds appropriate clothing for the day and meets at the breakfast table before leaving for school, college, work and the sofa. There is a certain flow that starts with my wife cutting fresh fruits and mixing yoghurt for the kids while my oldest daughter occupies the bathroom and the youngest daughter selects her cloths. The two sons wouldn’t even notice anything yet, still dreaming until last minute.
Keeping this scenario in mind, a couple of days ago I came down to the breakfast room and noticed my 8 years old daughter crying and my 17 years old daughter seemingly angry at her. I sensed there was sadness, confusion and anger in the system (in the room). When I asked my oldest daughter what was going on, she explained with an accusing and judgmental tone that her younger sister had taken only the best parts of the fruits in the yoghurt, didn’t pick any of the Japanese Kaki and therefore left mostly Japanese Kaki in the yoghurt for her still sleeping brothers.
As a conscious parent I noticed several things that happened and originated most likely from an unconscious place. First of all my oldest daughter acted out with anger on something that bothered her or triggered her. The impact she had on her younger sister was causing sadness, hurt and confusion. Using a mix of curiosity and powerful questions, I helped my older daughter raising her self-awareness around her own values. She realized that fair treatment and fair sharing is a very important value for her. Before her younger sister joined for breakfast, she had already virtually divided the fruits and yoghurt in equal parts and then took her part. She then expected everyone else to follow this unwritten, but in her mind very obvious common sense. When her younger sister didn’t follow the not so official rule, it triggered my older daughter. Her high value of fairness wasn’t met. She experienced it as being ignored and not respected. Not being conscious of what happens to her, she immediately acted out on her internal hurt and started to fight for her values as we always want to protect our values. She was entangled in stories her mind made up about her younger sister. According to my older daughter, her mind told her the story of her sister being stupid, ignorant and selfish and that she does it on purpose. When I repeated those words to her and asked her what she truly knows about her younger sister and whether those descriptions reflect this truth, she was first embarrassed, then regretful and then open to celebrating the new wisdom and self-awareness that was exposed to her. We realized together that not being aware of your values can lead you to being triggered when your values are hurt by others, which can lead you to acting out on it with unintended impact. Having gained consciousness around her value of fairness enables her to notice emotional triggers. The heightened self-awareness created curiosity in herself and others. She started to be curios about her younger sister and asked her questions (still a bit judgmental though, but this is another lesson of consciousness to be taught another time) about her preferences for fruits and what she thought when she picked the cherries. Nonetheless she learnt from her sister that she didn’t even think much about how many pieces of bananas and pineapples she was supposed to take or not as she thought there were enough fruits in the kitchen…
The only thing I did as a conscious parent, as a conscious leader was to cultivate consciousness. I didn’t teach anything. I didn’t preach or convert. I responded to the system needs by asking open ended questions based on non-judgmental, genuine curiosity for the sake of seeing the wisdom in everything and exploring the opposite. Of course I had an idea where unconsciousness could be hiding, but I wasn’t attached to any outcome.
While this scenario has been played out in my private life, I have, and I am sure you have already, experienced similar situations at work. Notice when you are triggered and ask yourself which values of yours might be hurt. Ask yourself what kind of stories your mind is making up. Stay curios, ask open ended questions and see the wisdom in everything as an opportunity to learn about diversity.
Conscious leadership allows you to improve communication, deepen the relationships, and create from conflict. In short, it can have hugely positive impacts on your life. For help being a conscious leader, call us at Paradigm Shifters today at (+1) 415-702-0334 to discuss our coaching and consulting services.