MINDFULNESS MEDITATION FOR ORGANIZATIONS
A Game Changer In Developing Culture & Leadership
The notion of upgrading human ability has caught on with successful companies such as Google, Inc. (see Forbes and New York Times articles) and General Mills, Inc. (see Forbes article), which have embraced mindfulness meditation training with the goal of cultivating an increasingly resilient, creative, and positive workforce—one that is motivated by individual responsibility for success.
Mindfulness, the idea of being calm and self-aware, of paying attention to the interpersonal dynamics of all that is happening in the present moment, is vital to leadership and overall wellness at every echelon of corporate and workplace culture. Yet such clarity and focus, the essential elements of good decision making, are not easily garnered or maintained amidst today’s status quo of multi-tasking, technology interface, global markets and supply chains, brief product cycles, and general information overload. This is precisely why the idea of fine tuning attending and reactive skills by placing the same significance on them as more traditional business skills such as accounting, finance, or marketing, has come of age.
Turning off smart phones and laptop devices for 15 minutes of group guided imagery or personal meditation incorporating interactive breathing techniques, body sensations, and positive affirmations can be an essential discipline necessary to sooth nerves, re-align synapses and neural pathways, and foster a congruent and connected awareness.
“These rejuvenating mental, physical and emotional respites within the daily workplace environment serve to ground employees and sustain their focus, promoting more skillful responses to difficult situations and allowing them to handle work challenges and conflicts without becoming frustrated, discouraged, or feeling over-burdened.”
Mindfulness meditation reduces stress, increases energy, and improves focus and concentration. Yet development of emotional intelligence also requires personal insight and communication strategies, both internal and external, which encourage recognizing and avoiding rote or uncaring reactions to challenges in favor of more productive, people oriented solutions—those that align with the principles of leadership, empowerment, and ownership of the culture as a whole. In turn, this outlook reinforces the value of emotional intelligence among individuals, within team and organizational structures, and throughout the company.
Prevalent in the hard driving business world today is ego-based intellect that operates on a survival mentality dominated by fear, greed, power, and control—this results in perceptions of scarcity, separateness, limitation, and the need to fight for success. The meditation and mindfulness training model developed by Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery shifts these perceptions by developing emotional intelligence through heart-based consciousness, which is the critical differentiation, the game changer, to our cutting edge approach. According to recent discoveries in neurophysics, the heart is an organ of far greater intelligence than previously thought, and evidence suggests a profound cognitive interrelationship between brain waves and the powerful electromagnetic energy signals emitted from the heart (see Examiner article). These findings have lead scientists and physicians to conclude that consciousness is a function of both the heart and the brain, and that ethereal forms of sentience such as intuition, precognition, disposition, and most certainly emotion, formulate and resonate within this realm.
According to the HeartMath Institute, “heart intelligence is the flow of awareness, understanding and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart. It can be activated through self-initiated practice, and the more we pay attention when we sense the heart is speaking to us or guiding us, the greater our ability to access this intelligence and guidance more frequently. Heart intelligence underlies cellular organization and guides and evolves organisms toward increased order, awareness and coherence of their bodies’ systems.”
Meditation is the first vital component to switching gears from the ego and fear-driven mental state most have been taught to believe in, and moving into heart-based consciousness. Research on the brains of meditation subjects has documented neuron growth in the hippocampus—which involves learning, memory, and emotional control—and the right anterior insula, believed to involve awareness. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin working with Tibetan monks found that meditation causes intense activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, while studies using MRIs have recorded change in other brain areas including increases in brain-signaling connections with subjects who had meditated daily for a period of only eight weeks. And among the many other examples, there are hundreds of published studies showing the effects of meditation in rewiring the brain for tranquility, happiness, and positive feelings.
Because of the brain’s relationship with the heart, and the need for coherence between the two spheres of awareness, the second vital component to promoting emotional intelligence through heart- based consciousness is recognizing and refining how our language of attitudes, feelings and beliefs, our inner voice, effects the reality around us.
Self-dialogue represents our mental state of being, our true disposition, and primarily comes from the life scripting we acquire in the formative years of our upbringing. Our engagement with this inner voice—and the thoughts, words, and actions that ultimately give rise to it—conspire as the most potent forces that fashion our relationship to the world. The discipline, enlightenment, and maturity with which we nurture this inner voice influences the way we respond to challenges, resolve conflicts, and overcome hardships, as well as how we enjoy, accept, and embrace life.
In our mindfulness and meditation model, the process of refining the inner voice occurs by recognizing detrimental attitudes, feelings and beliefs which are self-defeating or incongruent with the values and principles of the culture. Through a systematic affirmation approach to modifying self-dialogue which is integrated with daily meditation, employees are challenged to develop emotional intelligence by positively reconciling conflicted attitudes, feelings, and beliefs they may foster:
- Within themselves;
- About each other; and
- Toward their workplace environment.
This dynamic functions as a team building exercise which actualizes ownership and empowerment on an individual, interpersonal, and organizational basis.
Meeting Specific Needs
Learning and development seminars using this groundbreaking meditation and mindfulness model are customized and designed to specific industry needs and target audiences. Utilizing proven techniques that transcend mere concepts and ideals, participants not only comprehend the reasons why emotional intelligence and heart based consciousness are critical in creating personal success and a more productive workplace, they learn how this individual shift in perspective, attitude, and behavior can be achieved in their lives.
Mindfulness Meditation: The Narrative Of Success is a blueprint of the structure and curriculum that we use to customize seminars, workshops, instructional classes, or experiential exercises to enhance the productivity of workplaces and organizational environments. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.
©2014 by Shawn Quinlivan, C.Ht. & Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery
Cathexis Therapeutic Imagery specializes in innovative approaches to workplace wellness, mindfulness training, and personal development. Via private coaching, presentations, workshops, training events, and our partnership in the unique online wellness community Your Wellness Room—used by Kaiser Permanente, EFactor and other notable companies—our nationally recognized programs and practices help people and organizations make positive changes. Please call for a free consultation at (818) 512-4371 or contact us via email.