originally posted on Mala Collective
Q: When did you first experience meditation/mindfulness?
I had been practicing yoga for about a decade and studying alternative medicine and healing practices for a few years when I had the opportunity to see Jon Kabat-Zinn speak.
He taught about mindfulness practice as day-to-day living; as the solution to healing our emotional, mental and energetic turmoil and the definitive methodology to heal our physical pain.
It moved me to take action. Or should I say it moved me to practice stillness and commit—in a way that I had never committed before—to being still and present mentally and physically.
Q: What impact did that first encounter have on you?
I realized the profound impact a mindfulness practice had in my life beyond my sitting meditation.
Mindfulness had me experience freedom in my body and created a greater awareness of myself, my communication, the people around me and the impact of my choices and decisions. This was so profound for me because I was always in a leadership role surrounded by people counting on me to show up.
"Mindfulness had me experience freedom in my body and created a greater awareness of myself."
Q: What changes/effects did you see in your life?
I realized there was a way to fill the gap that was the emptiness of focusing solely on the bottom-line and productivity of a business or team.
We could change the way the world leads business by driving results and simultaneously empowering human beings to be fulfilled, inspired and creative. The key was to be connected to the present moment, to the whole person, to meaningful visions and goals that matter, and for us all to contribute our unique strengths. In fact, this mindful people-focused approach to create conscious cultures and business was the essential ingredient to create change and world-class results - it was the only way.
Q: How did you deepen your practice?
The key for me was a deepening around mindfulness in the realm of leading people. Knowing people, being with them, understanding them, seeing them, listening to them, partnering with them. I focused on being present with myself first, doing my own work and then the people around me: understanding who people are, what makes them who they are, what they value, what makes them come alive, what doesn’t. I discovered what support they needed in order to thrive, stood for the goals they wanted to accomplish and became relentlessly committed to their integrity and their success.
A mindfulness-based people practice in our leadership has the ability to shift the way the world does business.