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February 2017

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At the core of the human being is the life force of breathing. If we stop breathing, we die.

How in touch are you with your breath? Have you ever thought about the relationship with breathing and leadership? Boom! Here I will explain the close relationship of these two synergies.

Being connected with your breath is at the core of being mindful and Mindfulness should no longer be considered a “nice-to-have” for executives. It’s a “must-have”:  a way to keep our brains healthy, to support self-regulation and effective decision-making capabilities, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress. It can be integrated into one’s religious or spiritual life, or practised as a form of secular mental training.   (mindfulness can change your brain) – Harvard Business Review. 

Regardless of the daily introspective practice you choose, mindful leadership will enhance your clarity about what is important to you and a deeper understanding of the world around you. Therefore, you will be at a higher level of awareness

Here below are some leadership capacities developed by mindfulness Practice

  • Metacognition. This is the ability to choose at crucial times to simply observe what you are thinking, feeling, and sensing. It is like stepping out of that festival of 2000 thought flux so you can actually see what’s going on. When you have the skill to do this, you can better see your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and impulses for what they are. Without metacognition, we are in reacting mode and autopilot.
  • Allowing and flowing.This refers to the ability to let what is the case, be the case. It’s about meeting your experience with a spirit of openness and kindness to yourself and others. It’s not about being passive or weak, but just facing up to what is actually going on in each passing moment. Without allowing, our criticism of ourselves and others crushes our ability to observe what is really happening.
  • Curiosity.This means taking an active interest in what has arisen in our inner and outer worlds. Without curiosity, we have no impetus for bringing our awareness into the present moment and staying with it.
  • Listening. Being in the moment allows people to be better listeners instead focused on what they going to say next.
  • Better decision making. Since you have more control over your mind and is it the byproduct of having enhanced clarity.
  • Awareness of the impact on others. That means actively paying attention to how we respond or approach the beings around us and have a positive impact or constructive interaction on everyone. This is especially important in stressful situations to keep everything under control.

All these leadership skills are not solely for those who are in executive roles or the ones aspiring to one. At the end, we are all leaders and the above is crucial to living life at the highest level of happiness.

Pick one skill a week and start focusing your awareness on each area and by practising meditation, you will enhance the awareness on each of them.

In a fast paced world, mindfulness enables you to clear your mind of clutter, focus on what is important, and be creative.When people perform under stress there is very little room for creativity, for flow and connection with others and connection with oneself. This key mind state is crucial to be able to collaborate and generate ideas.

When people perform under stress there is very little room for creativity, for flow and connection with others and connection with oneself. This key mind state is crucial to be able to collaborate and generate ideas.

MRI scans after an 8 week course of mindfulness practice shows shrinking of the amygdala  – This is the region of the brain associated with fear and emotion, involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress. (Ireland, T. (2014). What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/what-does-mindfulness-meditation-do-to-your-brain/ )

The state of flow that allows problem solving, clarity and creativity is enhanced with people that practice mindfulness.

Creativity requires to be in the moment, to be present and aware of the thoughts and emotions that are arising in your body. Have you ever found yourself being really focused in one task that you enjoy and ideas were just flowing? This is the creative process and it cannot coexist in a stressed mind.

Mindfulness helps you increase the metal focus by not getting distracted during creative tasks, since you are more aware when you get distracted and you can bring your mind back.

Idea generation is enhanced by mindfulness practice and even some times when you meditate, you will find your best ideas come through as a byproduct, although this is not the objective of the mediation.

Tech and innovative companies like Apple, Google, FB  and P&G Mckinsey have already implemented programs on creative mindfulness as it is increasing the importance of teams collaboration.

The same can be applied to agile companies where mindfulness agile can be applied by collaborating with stakeholders based on mutual respect, dignity, and appreciation of healthy relationships. We all have a personal power to impact others and when we are aware of our power, it is important to be aware and take responsibility for that POWER.

How is your company supporting mindfulness and the importance of having healthy minds in today’s fast paced environments, which require so much focus in the middle of so much noise and distractions?