Transformation Starts Inside
“Most of us would probably admit that changing our lives for the better — as well as helping other people — is part of the reason we are all on earth in the first place. Without the potential to learn, grow, or to be a force for good, life would be a pretty stagnant affair.” – Caroline Myss, Sacred Contracts
Over nine years ago, I began a transformation journey which has brought me to a point where I am now continually working on changing my mind — seeking ways to become a better person. To me this means that I make more conscious choices about how I want my day to unfold and how I want to interact with people. And I do this with the power of my mind and heart.
Many authors I’ve read discuss how our thoughts influence our success, our happiness and the ability to creatively deal with difficulties. I particularly like the simplicity of what Dr. Joe Dispenza says, “Our thoughts are powerful, creative forces in our daily lives.” I don’t need authors to tell me this anymore, as I have had direct personal experiences with the truth of it for the past 9 years.
I first began a process of gaining control over and re-directing my thoughts, by learning from spiritual leaders what they did and then learning how to practice it. Meditation, inquiry and self-reflection have been essential for this process, but I also found many special people along the way who have helped me see myself more clearly, providing important feedback for self-reflection. I don’t need to say much about meditation, since it’s become quite prevalent in our collective consciousness; however, meditation does provide me with enough freedom from my self-aggrandizing and defensive behaviors that I’m able to completely relax my mind and body and then focus on the personal issues I might need to deal with. More and more these days, I also use it to connect with my heart – to discover what it is I really want to unfold when I am in certain situations.
This is where the self-reflection becomes important. When I think, say or act in a way that’s inconsistent with my values, I either catch myself or, more often, I get a reaction from another person that makes me feel sad, disconnected, unhappy or angry. And those feelings are the triggers for me to “go inside” and find out what happened – to learn what did I do or say that provoked it and is there something I need to do to rectify it. Although it sounds a bit like jumping into a garbage pile, it’s really a wonderful discovery process that I emerge from with key insights about myself!
As a result of this process, I’ve made a lot of new choices in how to live, and very little of the “old me” is still around. I no longer eat meat, dairy or drink alcohol, lost over 40 kilos and my body is far healthier than it was 10 years ago when I started this process. I practice meditation and yoga almost daily, and I no longer worry about high blood-pressure, cholesterol, excessive stress or sleep disorder. Mentally, I have let go of many, if not most of, my old, odd habits and attitudes. For example, I no longer try to control everyone and everything around me so that my needs are met; I’m usually not arrogant or sarcastic anymore, but I have developed a wider and inclusive sense of humor about most things, including my weak points; I no longer have a chronic depression, masked by hyperactivity, but instead have found a profound happiness in living day to day, being with my partner, Anne, and people now tell me, “I can’t believe how calm I feel when you’re around.”
Many external beautiful events and blessings have flowed into my life during this inner transformation: new jobs, fabulous friends, new businesses, a yoga center, finding my “soul mate”, finding and exploring new talents, healthy life, to name a few. My point here is that my choices and practices for my inner transformation were the key to creating the outer manifestation of these wonderful benefits. And my experience indicates that this is especially true for business transformation.
We cannot expect successful business transformation “projects” without looking at how the leaders of the organization are living the vision and values. Are the values of the leaders consistent within the organization and are the leaders demonstrating them? How do the systems of processes that are operating within the business support or destabilize those values? How do customers, partners and suppliers feel about the way these values are enabled in practice? To me this is the essence of the job of the leadership team: creating a way for the leadership to see themselves reflected in the actions they take, and to take steps to align their commitment to how their values are being carried through the organization. This is the opportunity space for the vision, values and mission to align, for strategy and process to align and for the every individual to understand and adapt the transformation within the work each one does. This is the opportunity to align the mind with the heart within the workforce, make the transition a personal one and enable the changes to succeed.
– Doug Lowe, 2016