This blog is co-authored by Brian Culkin B.A.
The idea of cause and effect has been discussed and debated throughout the ages. Cause is an emanation point. It is the source. It is the point in space where something originates. Effect is the receipt point. It receives a flow of some kind and is affected by it. The mark of a wise and mindful leader is his or her ability to extend an intention into space and become CAUSE.
If one was to look back in history at all the truly great leaders that attempted in some way to improve conditions in their sector or zone of influence, they share this common quality of causation. George Washington was a cause point over the army of Lord Cornwallis. In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther was a cause point over the Catholic Church and its abuses at the time. Rosa Parks was a cause point over the discriminatory policies of the Montgomery bus system. Siddartha Gautama was a cause point over his own mind and became The Buddha. These individuals were great because they were not the effect of their environment but stepped outside it to be the cause of change.
An overwhelming majority of us are seeking to bring forth positive and wholesome actions and behaviors in this world. We desire to improve ourselves, our relationships and our businesses. We want to see a better world emerge from these troubling times. One way to achieve this is to set your intention to be a wise and mindful leader in all aspects of your life. Those whose actions come from integrity cause wonderful effects everywhere they go.
A mindful leader leads from a position of mindful awareness, or mindstrength, by knowing how to respond from awareness instead of reaction and how to make everyone on their team feel recognized, affirmed and valued. Mindfulness provides you with clarity and calm in a crisis, protecting you from the temptation to panic and jump from one bad situation to another or to blame others for the crisis and avoid looking at your role in it. Plus it gives you the power to change it.
Mindful communication is an extraordinary tool for problem solving. It allows you to tolerate the discomfort of confrontation with others and the embarrassment of discovering how you might have contributed to the problem. Mindfulness also allows you to find your creativity and resourcefulness, so that you can approach the situation differently and perhaps transform it. It helps you to easily tap into your core creativity to solve problems and achieve goals.
Most of us were taught that creativity comes from the thoughts and emotions of the mind. The greatest singers, dancers, painters, writers and filmmakers recognize that the most original, and even transformative, ideas actually come from the core of our being. Core creativity emerges when we’re in a state of open-mind consciousness, which evolves from a state of consciousness called mindful inquiry.
It isn’t difficult to become a mindful leader if you are willing to make an effort to develop some type of mindfulness practice and be open to the process. One very effective way is through meditation, as it allows us to listen and pay attention to what we might otherwise overlook–whether it’s a fresh idea or a new way of perceiving a situation, or enhancing our creativity and letting go of our obstacles to innovation. Just taking a five to ten minute break in the middle of your day to mediate can allow you to clear your head and tap into your core creativity. Many artists, philosophers, leaders and thinkers throughout time have intuitively used mindful awareness to further their inner development.
Through mindfulness you learn to have a more Zen way of looking at the world, knowing that anything you cause is an energy flow emanating from the core of your being. You realize what you are doing and take responsibility for the effects you create. If we all tried to be more mindful, the world will be a better place in short order. So set your mind on what you want and direct it with power and positive strength.
Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. He is the director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy and leadership coaching in Santa Monica, CA, for individuals and corporate clients. He has taught personal and clinical training groups for professionals in Integral Psychotherapy, Ericksonian mind-body healing therapies, mindfulness meditation, and positive psychology nationally and internationally since 1970. (www.openmindtraining.com)