Living Mindfully

Living Mindfully

Living Mindfully 1068 439 Paul Ward

Ten behaviors of aspiring conscious leaders who are Living Mindfully, noticing what is going on.

Conscious leaders live their lives mindfully. Mindfulness is a state of being aware of ourselves, other people, and our environment. We can remind ourselves to be mindful with a regular morning meditation practice or moments of mindfulness during the day or at the beginning of meetings, but conscious leaders aspire to live their whole lives mindfully. Living mindfully means being in the moment; it is about being as well as doing, about how we show up in the world, our character and presence, and leading from the inside out. It is about avoiding the drama triangle, practicing mindfulness, and living mindfully every day.

Living mindfully is the third of three practices for noticing what is going on described in the book, The Inner Journey to Conscious Leadership.

Being attentive to our character and presence is one of the ways we can live mindfully. Simply stated, character is who we are, and presence is how we show up in the world. In other words, presence is a reflection of our character.

Our character is comprised of many features that may be considered either commendable or undesirable characteristics. The more commendable characteristics might include a passion for honesty and truthfulness, a commitment to service, or other values such as loyalty, integrity, or fairness, or more spiritual, philosophical dimensions. Undesirable characteristics might include being self-centered, manipulative, egocentric, narcissistic, or lacking empathy or compassion. Character is our true essence and changes slowly, but being aware and mindful of our character, our true nature, allows us to be more aware of how we show up in the world.

We have all experienced a time of being in the presence of someone who is important and influential in our lives, or someone we look up to as a great leader. While writing the book, I had the privilege of meeting a Tibetan lama, the eighth Phakyab Rinpoche, founder and spiritual director of the Vision Healing Buddha Foundation and the narrator and coauthor of Meditation Saved My Life.

Rinpoche’s story of growing up in the Himalayan mountains, imprisonment in China, arrival in New York with what turned out to be gangrene and tuberculosis, and his three years with the healing power of meditation in a small Brooklyn studio apartment is powerful enough, but to be with him was an incredible experience. His energy field was palpable. I knew I was in the presence of a very special human being and will treasure the memory in my mind as well as the photograph someone kindly took of the two of us together.

Being attentive to who we are and how we show up, our character and presence, is only one of the ways we can practice living mindfully. As aspiring conscious leaders living mindfully, noticing what is going on, we are likely to be found:

  • Practicing mindfulness every day
  • Being fully present to the current situation
  • Being attentive to who we are and how we show up—our character and presence
  • Finding our voice, performing authentically, being the best we can be
  • Living mindfully in the moment, not replaying the past or anticipating the future
  • Closing the gap between simple awareness and living mindfully
  • Leading from above the line
  • Shifting out of the drama triangle
  • Practicing the purposeful pause
  • Honoring opportunities for rest and renewal

Which of these behaviors are you already practicing? Which of the behaviors do you need to work on to become a better leader? Select one of these behaviors to practice today. Set an hourly reminder and take a purposeful pause to reflect on your experiences and set an intention for your practice. Send me a message via the contact page if you would like to share your experiences.

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