Empowering Women, Empowering the World…

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“The future depends on what you do today.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

It was more than a day of Building Personal Brands; it was an uplifting experience with an amazing group of women connecting and collaborating in community to elevate and inspire.

“My thoughts were directed, my confidence restored, and my journey to the understanding of self was renewed. Paula Pyne, through her powerful teaching of self-compassion, directive to always come from a place of love rather than fear, and guidance in building a plan encompassing true personal values and attributes, led this group of women on the journey of a lifetime. The end purpose was the same, that we would develop and hone in on the tools necessary to equip ourselves to promote our brand, promote who we are as women, as contributors to our society and most importantly as leaders to those around us.”

~ Elizabeth Castellucio, workshop participant

Building Your Personal Brand

When the asked me to teach the course, Building Your Personal Brand, it occurred to me that I had already been sharing my own learning with my clients for some time. I had the good fortune of being able to bring together these experiences, along with some of the latest research, and what started as an honour became a complete joy to deliver.

The best laid plans

On Sunday, I felt fine as I boarded the train from Ottawa to Toronto. As our journey began, the rail car I was in seemed especially bumpy.

We were moving from side to side so much that at one point I thought we might fly right off the tracks. Feeling a bit banged around inside, I decided to pull out my work to prepare once more for the following day, to polish things up. All of a sudden, I felt queasy, not myself, hot sweats and all. Oh no! I’ve either eaten something that’s not staying with me or I’ve caught a bug! It all came as a surprise. I couldn’t get off the train fast enough and to be honest, I was very disheartened by the lack of compassion by train-mates and staff. All but one (after having flagged a few down) ignored my requests for assistance. One of the train staff, a kind man, moved me closer to the front of the train, brought me a pillow and a drink and told me, “We’re here for you”. For a sick person, his words were like a warm blanket.

I arrived at my hotel room and snuggled in for the night but couldn’t rest. I pulled out all my tools: breathing, meditation, and soft, healing music. Instead of getting upset, I surrendered to it all, and finally drifted off to a short sleep. I was good to go in the morning (at least as good as got on this day) and placed my entire attention and focus on caring for myself, doing the best with what I had in each moment—practicing what I preach, so to speak.

By the time I entered the classroom that morning, I felt as though I had arrived. I was in a good place. I remembered my dear friend, Pavi Mehta, delivering her talk at Wisdom in NYC where she shared some words she had received from a wise woman in the audience before going on stage. She said, ‘speak from your heart…all that you have to share is already there; it’s not in your notes or your slides’.

The biggest part of expressing your personal brand is being vulnerable…the very feelings close to your heart. The final workshop participant entered the room after we had started the session and she introduced herself with an apology and a light-hearted explanation. In that moment, everyone could relate to that vulnerability. This was my opening, a window of light to share where I was coming from…so I did. In retrospect, I think it was this very window, where we expressed our being Human, that set the stage for a day that was filled with compassion, wonder, light, laughter and connection.

So being under the weather the day before turned out to be not so bad after all!

It just goes to remind us that although we do not have control over our situations, we do have a choice…if we’re honest with who we are and how we are feeling and express ourselves in mindful, positive ways.

“We often wonder what to do about negativity or certain troubling emotions. In the spaciousness of meditation, you can view your thoughts and emotions with a totally unbiased attitude. When your attitude changes, then the whole atmosphere of your mind changes, even the very nature of your thoughts and emotions. When you become more agreeable, then they do; if you have no difficulty with them, they will have no difficulty with you either.”

~ Sogyal Rinpoche

We began the day in true Uplift style

Mindfulness moments, connection with breath, and short meditations were interweaved throughout the day. These were strengthened by setting strong intentions on how we wanted to be with Uplift’s guiding principles:

  • We’re all human; we’re in this together
  • Let’s lead from higher self – a place of clarity, wisdom, insight, relaxed, calm, and open; leave no room for ‘ego’
  • Building an authentic brand is a process. Trust it
  • Commitment to be fully present and engaged (no electronics, just body-mind)
  • Honest, open dialogue, and feedback
  • Get curious and explore. You’re not going to have all of the answers; view it like an experiment
  • Let’s have FUN

The room and facilities at Queen’s School of Business in Toronto were breathtaking. IMG_0537 Having such beautiful surroundings made it an easy place to be and the learning relaxed. Just outside the room, the sun was beaming into the hallways through windows that boast a spectacular water-view that left everyone feeling connected to nature.

Refreshing and renewed take

Throughout the day, there were many aha! moments brought to us by stillness and deep listening. When we quieted our minds and entered into a relaxed state, we showed up in our authentic selves and tapped into our own infinite wisdom and internal GPS – intuition. Often times in our work and especially in the corporate realm, we forget about our other intelligence centres: our heart and belly. So we experimented with this throughout the day and talked much about how it feels to ‘Be You’, how it feels to be Your Brand.

“Building a brand is about so much more than external numbers; it’s about personal commitment, connection to Self, and a deeper awareness of true value. This workshop furnished me with the tools I need to further develop my own brand, in life and in my business.”

~ Helen Tremethick, The Communications Distillery

But what was very different about this workshop was our community. It brought things alive and the learning really took a direction of its own, a direction that was led by the participants. One woman said, “You know, the last exercise you had us do? My partner and I kind of just put it aside and chatted about other things that were important in that moment”. There’s great value in this, in following our own learning.

After all, learning isn’t integrated by a talking head or a laundry list of slides that go on forever and a day. Best learning comes from rich dialogue and a willingness to participate in the exchange of stories. At the very essence of our brand is a great story to be told.

“Thank you for fostering openness in me – you created such a safe environment for sharing, support, and collaboration. It was invaluable.”

~ Lindsay Swanson, National Account Manager, KPMG

This work is about making choices that drive our brand and our commitment to it. So what if you chose to see and celebrate your own very nature—the dark and the light—and accept where you are, then take it one step further to celebrate the gifts you see in other human beings?

When you do this everyone is empowered…and it is contagious. This celebration of Being IMG_0545Human helps us elevate, uplift, and rise. We can’t do it without the support of each other; our brands naturally rise up by the nature of our community.

Elevating your brand by building community

I sensed the community that was coming together behind the scenes was going to be really powerful. The women that came together for the workshop were just that and more. We place such great emphasis on getting things done fast to reach targets and goals. We’re supposed to work together but instead we end up with a void in our relationships; we end up feeling disconnected from who we are, our roles, and the work we do. As one participant said, “I feel like I’ve been put it in a box, and people expect me to be like this, when truly in my heart of hearts, that’s not who I am. In fact, I’m so much more than this”. Part of building your personal brand is exploring, sewing, and piecing together the pieces of the puzzle that are a reflection of who you are and how you wish to be known. As the famous Dirty Dancing quote goes, “nobody puts Baby in a corner”.

What we fostered in that room was a willingness to be open from our hearts and to share IMG_0546our authentic selves in an environment where we were allowed to be daring. Magical things happened, proving that even in a diverse group of entrepreneurs and corporate executives, our brand is only as solid as our community.

The way we learn is shifting. Traditional lecturing has value, but I find that shared experience is invaluable and feeling supported to speak deep truths has far greater worth than a series of slides.

When we open in this way, we truly shine a bright light into the world. So, continue to shine! The more authentic you become, the higher the energy and success of all your projects!

“I felt so encompassed in happiness and positive energy from all the amazing women in the room. I was honoured to contribute and to truly feel a part of the powerful tribe!”

~ Michelle Bancroft, Wellness Consultant, Tri-Fit

At the heart of branding is self-compassion

What does self-compassion have to do with Building Your Personal Brand? It has everything to do with it! How are others going to appreciate and love your very nature, if you don’t?

Thoughts of ‘getting this’ or ‘getting there’ to ‘be this’ can be really daunting. Let me be clear…all you need to do is Be. You need to be who you are and celebrate your uniqueness. You have to remember that when you are not using your ‘genius’ (your innate gifts and talents) and not sharing your stories and dreams, you are doing a disservice to yourself, your community, and the world.

It’s imperative that we all step away from the games of self-comparison and build on self-compassion. Standing in your power and truth, reclaiming your authentic brand and building it can be really quite effortless; it’s the groundwork involved that takes courage and patience. Everyone in that room was in a different place on their own personal journey but we focused on planting seeds to build towards the future we’re longing for, and at the same time, recognizing the best part of it was arising from the ‘now’. We focused on how appreciating the ‘Now’ fosters happiness and contentment (not meaning complacency of course, but a feeling that things are perfect just the way are). It’s in these moments that we find a deeper connection to the world and ourselves.

We also talked about the need to support one another with acts of kindness. Kindness, compassion, and gratitude are fuel to your personal brand. We need kindness and compassion more than ever and as I always say, we’re in this together so let’s help each other. Staying true to your values and being honest, standing up for what you believe in: these are what inspires others and will help others do the same. By this very nature, it’s why others begin to follow you, simply by you being the very nature of you. Don’t go messing with a good thing.

This is no star-struck one-hit wonder here. The hope is that we all have our lifetime to work on it and with each day, we get wiser. It’s what our planet and our human race needs. Once you find your place, I call this place ‘home’, the rest miraculously falls into place. Because when we live in our truth, using our innate gifts and talents, allowing our Higher Self to lead the way, we catch a tail wind. The right opportunities, the right people, and the right places are there to support you. Simply waiting for you to arrive.

I am so grateful for all of the women who brilliantly came together on this day and I’m already looking forward to the next one!

In gratitude,

Paula Pyne

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Wisdom: It’s the New Business Paradigm, Part 2

This is Part 2 of the conclusion to the series, ‘Disseminating the New Business Paradigm’. brownstones

Recently, I had the great opportunity to immerse myself in a room filled with inspired leaders. The Wisdom 2.0 Business conference was about connection and creation; it was about bringing together like minds to discuss mindfulness and deeper wisdom in the workplace and how we can work together to fuel conversations, ideas, and actions around a new style of business.

My parents always said, “when faced with a tough decision, ‘do the right thing’ –a part of this meant that I needed to listen to my heart and my Higher Self. I fundamentally believe that this is how we are meant to work…and how we are meant to live.

When you give space for your voice to be heard, a raw honesty awakens in you and with it, a sense of curiosity and courage to do what’s right.

At the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference, I experienced this raw honesty over and over. It was truly moving. At one point, there were over 200 diverse people, coming from various backgrounds, chanting OM together then revering the silence that came after. It wasn’t our titles or egos or the performance of our last quarter that brought us together. It was our true natures that resonated in that room. You see, your title—whether CEO of a top Fortune company or Stay-at-home-Mom—doesn’t define who you are. What’s more important is how you are in this world, how you show up, and your intention to live mindfully, in peace and harmony. It’s this way of being that is going to be the game changer. Arianna Huffington writes eloquently about this in her LinkedIn post ‘Are You Living Your Eulogy or Your Resume?’ When Huffpost Germany was launched, she and other leaders lit the torch on what’s being coined the Third Metric, “redefining success beyond the first two metrics of money and power to include well-being, wisdom, wonder, compassion, and giving.”

I was delighted to hear Arianna refer to the rise of Shakti (the divine feminine energy). She radiated as she spoke about how there’s no room for anger in business and how we need to transform the old, worn out, judgmental and destructive patriarchal ways. Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna and enlightened leader and yogi, told us his team must lead mindfully by working in ways that support wellbeing of others. Further, he spoke of profit as only 50% of the end goal; the other 50% whether you behaved appropriately to get it done. Mark’s methods focus on the ‘how’ of doing business. He referenced the ancient wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita and these wise words came to mind:

“Though the unwise cling to their actions, watching for results, the wise are free of attachments, and act for the well-being of the whole world.” ~ 3.25, Bhagavad Gita

It’s clear there is a real shift happening.

Another moving speaker, Pavithra Krishnan Mehta, author of Infinite Wisdom, shared these beautiful words:

“On Friday, I had the privilege of sharing Dr. V and Aravind’s work at the beautiful Wisdom 2.0 conference hosted in NYC. At the end, this diverse audience of business execs, wisdom practitioners, change-makers, and entrepreneurs rose to their feet, saluting the spirit and heart of this story with a standing ovation that moved me deeply. I hadn’t slept *at all* the night before thanks to a strange sort of jetlag, a certain inner momentum, AND the insistent nightclub music emanating from the depths of my hotel. Suffice it to say, it was an interesting night. Public speaking even when I’m well rested makes me nervous. I could feel the fog in my head as I tried rehearsing in my room. Simple words eluded me. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to manage a succession of coherent sentences on stage. As it turned out, a few minutes before I went on, a dear elder in the audience, a woman I hardly knew, happened to share a little story with me, the punch-line of which, was: ‘You won’t know, until you arrive in the moment, what is asked of you. Don’t bother reading or rehearsing the script. There is no script.’ It was the perfect reminder. Sharing this story is sharing a part of my heart. The only thing I had to do was show up. The rest would take care of itself. And it did.

I encourage you to watch her talk on and ask yourself the question, Why not?

When I met my dear husband after the two-day conference, I shared with him this most moving story. There were so many moments like this, moments that moved me to tears, moments of such raw honesty, and with this, was a feeling, that we could open and heal.

Mike Robbins facilitated an exercise on authentic conversations. The condition of the exercise was to keep the conversation private and for this reason I am not mentioning any names but acknowledge the permission received to publish my experience. Thank you. You know who you are.

The exercise, ‘If you knew me right now, this is what you would know’ required the other person to sit quietly and actively listening from the heart. So with a deep breath and without even thinking, I let out what was in my heart:

If you knew me right now, this is what you would know about me…

It’s my birthday today.

 If you knew me right now, this is what you would know about me…

You would know that I have a thing for numbers and pay attention to them and 13 is one of my favorite numbers.

 If you knew me right now, this is what you would know about me…

Numbers connect me with the angel realm and they help to guide me on my path.

Right then, my partner with wide eyes said, I need to talk with you. This is what they said,

 “My father passed away a few months ago and after his death, I had a dream. This angel appeared in my dream, and his name was Raphael. Raphael told me that everything was fine and to let love lead the way. Archangel Raphael is translated to ‘It is God who heals’.”

I felt honored in the moment to be in the presence of the power of interconnection.

Since then, I’ve been sharing this story with colleagues and to my surprise, I’ve been hearing their stories…  moments of awakening, the whispers of a greater force, the feeling of being guided and supported. I’m always honored and touched by the willingness of people to share the profound experiences that have changed their lives.

One of the participants in the audience said it well, “What has been created here restores great faith and hope”. Soren, the founder of Wisdom 2.0, then invited us to hold hands, close our eyes, and in silence, breathing and being, sending loving energy to each and everyone in the room, vibrating out into the world as we prepared to say our goodbyes.

I’m grateful beyond words to have witnessed such an unfolding and new beginning to help pave the way for all of us.

Business is changing. Business is transforming.  We all have a role to play.

What is being asked of all of us is that we ‘come home’ to who we are and lead from a place of honesty, integrity, and wisdom. It’s a tall order. But what I do know is that it’s much lighter and brighter when you come to the other side. I believe it’s possible for all of us.

Right now, the greater question asks, what can you do today to take a step toward this new business paradigm, toward a brighter world and higher, happier, peaceful Self?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Discover yourself. Find a practice that works for you and do it every day. Make sure this practice allows you the space to listen to your heart. This is where you have access to your deeper wisdom and Higher Self.
  • Connect with a teacher or guide to support and nurture during the process. This is essential so you are always supported through these positive life changes. Connect with and allow yourself to be supported by a community of like minds. They will help you rise to your potential. Allow this to happen.
  • Continue to learn. Learn about things that fuel and drive your life purpose and connect this to the work you do. It’s possible to find joy and happiness in our daily work. No more excuses; all the conditions are ripe for you to say, ‘I can’. Own your barriers, learn from them, and take accountability.
  • Nourish your soul with good things, things that make your heart sing and make you smile. Question your choices and ask Why not?
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others. Every day.
  • Slow down and rest. Get closer to nature. It’s a busy world and it’s all too easy to put this one off.
  • Practice gratitude. With gratitude comes contentment, happiness, and wellbeing.
  • Be willing to begin again, as many times as necessary.

Create the space for your practice on a daily basis, journal your progress, then report back to me. It’s no longer optional; and though difficult in the beginning, a practice like this becomes much like brushing your teeth. Tell me how your life shifts and how we can better facilitate mindful, positive change in your life and in your organization.

The New Business Paradigm begins with all of us taking a step toward mindfulness and compassion, allowing our deeper wisdom to rise up. May we all be supported in our lives to ‘come out of the closet’ and become who we are truly meant to be. We can make this world a better place for all of us. It’s an evolution.

Essentially, what I speak of is a collaborative methodology, one that sees a leader in each individual and one that supports personal growth in a professional sphere that empowers change. This collaboration places an emphasis on wellbeing, compassion, care, love, and kindness and restores balance back into the equation. What I have been suggesting here needs great commitment and a lot of work; it needs support, action, and a team of like-minded people; it needs a coming-together to make it happen and to help create a new system that supports these very ideas. Uplift is playing a role in ways that guide, educate, and create awareness around practices and ideas that can be collaborated upon and implemented.

It takes leadership, support and community to do this. If you are a like-minded leader, grounded in practices of mindfulness and compassion and looking to join the movement, please connect with me.

Wisdom in business; wisdom is everybody’s business.

Much love and light,

Paula Pyne

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Wrapping Up the Business Paradigm with Wisdom

Coming Home, Part 1.

Wrapping Up the Business Paradigm

For those of you who have been reading my series on Disseminating the New Business brownstonesParadigm, thank you for following me down this path. I have been holding off on the conclusion. I needed to cultivate some curiosity, patience, and space for it to arise. After all, we live our experiences on divine timing. So, I’m excited to close off with this last post and to add some final thoughts about how Uplift is participating, advocating, and playing a role in leading the way. I also want to address what you can do today to make our world a better place. After all, we all have a very important role to play in this.

Even though this is meant to be a conclusion, I feel this last post is very much the beginning. We’re really just getting started and I hope you will help to spread the word and join in this movement.

A coming home with each breath. We’ll get there. 

The new business paradigm is here. There’s a movement in the world, an increase in mindfulness, a world interconnected by love, peace, and happiness, an accumulation of people who are driven to make this world a better to place for all of us. I am honoured to do this work and share it with the world.

We know that providing conditions of peace creates success. We have seen the positive effects of introducing mindfulness and wellbeing-based programming into business environments. 24% of Corporate America has already stepped up and I’m interested to see where Corporate Canada is at.

We need a higher perspective.

Our wellbeing has a place in business, in education, and in government. We know that when people are given the space and the nurturing to do what they are here to do, they naturally become more positive, joyous, and compassionate…and it’s out of this place that innovation arises.

This was my experience at Wisdom 2.0 Business last week at the Google New York campus. I left with great optimism and incentive to play a much larger role in bringing wisdom and compassion to business in Canada.

Before registering for the conference, I didn’t know who was on the speaker’s list. Typically, that’s the draw, right? Well, for me, I was called to attend, to meet with like-minded leaders, and to address how to integrate wisdom in business. I personally have big questions about how to boost wisdom, compassion and mindfulness in the Canadian business sector.

We began to dive into these questions over the course of two days. The attendees came together with presence, mindfulness, and an opening of hearts. There were no hidden agendas, just a fostering of individuality, and an acceptance of what needed to be voiced. It was such a delight to witness business and open hearts in the same room. I know I wasn’t the only one moved into inspiration and hope.

The New Voice of Business.

The speakers and attendees were diverse but the voice was the same and the environment, refreshing. Loving speech and deep listening created a foundation for innovation. The speakers were vulnerable, open, and honest in their dialogue. We bonded over interconnecting ideas, a sharing of wisdom, and the great possibility to bring mindfulness and wisdom into our everyday life–into our work. We, as business leaders, created a space and nurturing environment to do exactly that.

There was a great sharing of stories often centred around the idea of ‘coming home’. Funny, many mentioned that they felt as if they were ‘coming out of the closet’ as if to recognize the pride they feel in allowing themselves to be as they are despite societal/corporate expectation. Even poking fun at the question, ‘this is a wisdom event and it’s business event so how we are expected to dress?’  It seems as in the 70’s when the bras were burned, we’re now in the millennial burning of ties and traditional business attire. This is so exciting for me, this show-up-as-you-are mentality, since I’ve been politely told what not to wear (and how not to be) many times in business.

When we share our stories, we not only give great hope but we inspire others to do the same. You see, along the way, I’ve learned that we do a great disservice to others and ourselves when we don’t share our stories. The things that lie dormant in our hearts, that we’re afraid to speak of, that Mike Robbins refers to as ‘lying beneath the tip of the iceberg’…these are where we connect. Our vulnerability is our connection. And connection is good for our wellbeing, our soul, and our humanity. I get it. It takes vulnerability, courage, and strength to ‘come out and be who you are’. We’ve been living in a world that doesn’t cherish our innate natures, that doesn’t celebrate creativity or service. I’m sure you’ve also experienced moments when you’ve felt struck down by expectation or have felt squeezed into a business model. It’s not easy, especially when the one size does not fit all.

I remember when I launched my business; many asked me whether there would actually be interest in Uplift, in my style of offering.

They would say, “Paula, can you actually say words like ‘we’re going to close our eyes and breathe’ in a meeting?”

And I would graciously respond, “By the very act of working with me, you are going to get that anyway”. Still, for years I was selective with my clients, feeling tentative about what I was introducing. Now I meet people where they are on their path, with or without meditation. In the end, it was about planting very important seeds, with hope that they would sprout mindful, positive change in the collective conscious.

 It begins with me and it begins with you. It begins with the breath, the fuel which ignites our life force. The breath is our starting point. We come back to this beginning again and again. The breath embodies our peace and our ability to remain present. Through our breath, every thought, word, and action joins into the collective consciousness.

~ Paula Pyne

But here’s the thing: imagine if we all ‘came out’ and stepped into our true being, allowing our Higher Self to lead the way. Imagine if we revered the potential in each other, that we connected with our deeper wisdom. How would the world change if given a chance? When we give ourselves a chance, when we cultivate a sense of curiosity for what is possible, we become limitless.

There was a lot of light in that room. The energy radiated in the attendees and the speakers whether Goldie Hawn or Congressman Tim Ryan, whether Arianna Huffington or Mark Bertolini.

The conference left me feeling like I was on top the world. I was in my element and all of the signs I received throughout the two days were lighting up my path, reassuring me that I need to play a larger role. When Don Morrison, former COO of Blackberry, highlighted ‘getting right with yourself’ and ‘coming home to this better Self’—the very foundations of Uplift—I knew I was in the right place. After all, that’s the very essence of what we do here: we get grounded and we fuel mindfulness in each other and ourselves, which results in positive changes for the world.

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll share a few stories of the conference and suggest ways that you can bring wisdom, compassion and mindfulness to your workplace.

With Love and Light,

Paula

 

 

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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It’s Just the Way…Of Transition.

I hope you all had a lovely season filled with ‘summer fun’ with lots of time off to rest, it-is-now-300x224relax, and recharge for the Autumn ahead.

Here we are in the throws of yet another transition. It seemed like yesterday that we were approaching the blossoms of summertime, fresh and light, and now here we are with the leaves beginning to change, the evenings much cooler, and the days getting shorter; Autumn is right around the corner. About this time, you’re probably well entrenched in your routine, whatever that might look like for you, whether it be back to school or work, or embarking on a new learning path or perhaps a new career or business venture.

Autumn is also a time of celebration, celebrating our harvest, and giving great appreciation to the things and people in our life.

Aside from the season changing, we’re in the midst of another transition. I’ve been speaking with many people in my network, whether friends, business colleagues, or family, and they all agree: there are some big things happening around us. Financial crises and political upheaval aside, the good news in all of this is the world is a happier place than it was five years ago. I was delighted to hear this and I am fully confident that this increase in happiness is connected to the fact that mindfulness, meditation, and yoga and spiritual practices are also on the rise.

The human race is transforming.

We’re in the heart of it—transformational change as a human race. In my mind, we have no choice but to go about our lives differently. We need to approach our lives at a slower pace, with compassion and care for the world around us. We need to live mindfully – to show up.

We all want connection, but we can’t connect with others when we are disconnected from ourselves. Love yourself, then share your ‪love.~ Margaret Paul, PhD

The problem is, in our everyday, we’re not educated to ‘be mindful’. Mindfulness requires a slowing down in a world that just seems to keep speeding up with the next greatest gadget or quick fix solution designed to distract us from our Higher Self. Yet this mindfulness is needed more than ever; we need to come back to our true natures and be an active part of the solution.

Becoming mindful in our society takes great courage. To be aware of who you are, good and bad. Mindfulness means facing the quirks and shadows, the darker side of your soul. You see, it’s out of the dark that we can see the light.

“No mud. No lotus”, as Thich Nhat Hanh would say.

It’s tricky. Right when I think I’ve got it, that I’m centred, mindful and connected, it’s gone. So the learning continues and I go deeper, peeling back the layers of my being. It’s not easy work, by any means…but what keeps me coming back to practice and this sacred space, is that I arise feeling a renewed sense of calm and equanimity in my life—one that emanates into the world. I hope for a peaceful world so I continue to practice. It’s the small part I’m playing in this world, helping others to do the same.

The energy around me lately has been intense. I have witnessed and experienced on a few occasions moments when I have found myself responding to forces of great resistance. It seems to be all around us, whether I tune into the news or am out shopping for groceries hearing a woman scream at another in the parking lot. It’s disconcerting to say the least but I try to maintain the awareness that each person has experiences we know nothing about. This is why it’s important to not rage back, even though it’s so easy to get caught up in it all. Emotions and feelings are contagion, especially when they’re close to you. In these moments, what we need is compassion.  And, to stop, breathe and feel.

We need to step away from the situation, go inside ourselves, and get grounded.

As many of you know, I am a follower of Vedic astrology. I fundamentally believe that we’re connected to the planets and have much to learn from this ancient science and its wisdom. So according to the recent forecasts, there is much movement happening in the planets that is impacting our lives. It’s just that simple.

Jyotisha provides an interesting map of the karmic forces active in our lives and provides deeper insights into the cosmic mind and collective consciousness.

Yogini Shambhavi Shakti Dharma says in her report,

“These are times for great clarity, caution, and discrimination personally and politically. Astuteness, awareness, and calm can bring about transformation at a deeper level spiritually. Deepening one’s sadhana with spiritual practices, mantra yoga, calming yoga asana and meditation will help manifest peace and harmony.”

Essentially, we need grounding now more than ever before.  I continue to lead a monthly meditation in service and teach weekly restorative yoga and meditation classes at Metta Massage and Yoga Clinic.

You’ll also be hearing my voice on Huffington Post, from time to time.  Looking forward to connecting with you there.

If you’re in the Ottawa area, please join me.

Love and light,

Paula Pyne

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Insights on Compassion

Compassion is the desire to relieve all suffering.

As defined by the Greater Good Science BuddhaCenter, “compassion literally means ‘to suffer together’. Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.” To suffer is to experience a state of duress on the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual planes. This state is prevalent in our world and it’s evolution though I don’t believe the absence of suffering to be the end goal but more the absence of suffering to be a result of a state of acceptance.

It’s the idea that we’re all interconnected—what one person is feeling, so too is another—that brings us to a place where we can begin to understand each other because if you are suffering, then so too am I. Compassion is not a place where we are expected to join in another’s misery, but more an understanding through sensing and feeling, the opportunity to choose to be present for what is arising in ways that are supportive, and create space for each other to Be who we are.

At our cores, all of us are good. When we create positive conditions for people to rise up, they begin to heal their own suffering. We only need what Mother Nature intended for us…a nurturing place to hold and care deeply for one another. Having compassion or relieving someone’s pain is not about trying to change their circumstances but the desire to lead them back to their center, to a sort of internal meeting place.

I think when we arrive here, in this meeting place, we find the space we need to grow and evolve, to create pathways to relieve our own suffering. Our role as compassionate people is to stay present with our emotions and those of others, not trying to change anything, but meeting at this place with an attitude of accepting what is.

There is definitely motivation to help relieve the suffering of other but it’s not a quick fix. It’s about creating opportunities and conditions for all beings to be at peace. After all, peace is a divine birthright and everyone on the planet has a role to play. So the question is, how can we bring about awareness and lead from this place?

I believe that we need to get right with ourselves first. As taught by the Dalai Lama, we need to heal our own hearts before we can heal the hearts of others. We can foster compassion and loving kindness in the world while we learn the teachings of self-compassion. Simply by changing our attitudes and opening our hearts to others and all beings, we create conditions for peace and harmony in the world. I truly believe that to relieve the suffering of the world, all we need to do is support one another and ourselves with pure intention. This compassion is enough to make a difference and change our current course of direction.

Love and light,

Paula Pyne

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Fuelling Mindful Positive Change

Uplift is honoured to lead mindful positive change in individuals as well as organizations. It becomes even more an honour to do this work when we get to experience our clients using the ancient wisdom and transformational tools we teach in their own lives.

One of our clients, Kelli Davy from , in Ottawa, Canada, wanted to write about her work on self-mastery and professional development; this exercise led to a speech on Happiness for a recent Toastmasters meeting. Of course, we weren’t surprised that the account was written from the soul, both heartwarming and inspirational. Kelli is just one of the clients at Uplift who is transforming her life in beautiful, positive, and uplifting ways. The Uplift journey may not be an easy one but as Kelli can attest to, it’s worth it in the end.

It’s incredible to see people like Kelli leading the way with courage and wisdom, not only in her life but in her relationships and in her work at Halogen Software.

Thank you, Kelli for sharing your wisdom and light. Continue to Shine.

Here’s an adapted version of her speech from August 30th, 2013:

Once upon a time, I found myself in a state of affairs that lead to daily vexation.  And it KelliDavey-2was not the right state.

I imagine we all find ourselves in that state of affairs from time to time. I tell you this only as the starting point for the journey that led me to speak to you today about happiness.

It’s a soft, squishy topic, and it might not be one that you would choose to speak on, and that’s just fine.  But I’m going to go ahead and go for it, kind of like I did in the sixth grade, when I stood up in front of my class and gave a speech on  Responsibility (it’s a big word, isn’t it?).  Probably needless to say, I didn’t win that particular speaking competition, in part I suspect, because it was voted on by my peers and not my teachers.  Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time around.

I’m going to start with some background on the topic, then I’m going to share a little bit about some things I’ve learned on my journey, and finally wrap up with some tools that you might be able to use in your own life, if you are so inspired.

Merriam Webster defines happiness as a state of

well-being and contentment; joy.

Let me ask you:

Do you always recognize when you’re happy? Do you take the time to relish it when it occurs?

There’s a lot of rhetoric around the concept of “stopping to smell the roses”.  We’ve all heard it, right?  But who has time for all that?  And what does it mean beyond wasting some of your precious time in front of your neighbor’s garden?

Here’s another word you can use for that tired phrase: mindfulness.

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose; in the present moment, and without judgement.

Let’s try something.

What do you feel, I mean physically feel, when you’re happy? I imagine most of us don’t really think about that too much.  We just know when we’re happy, right?

I’d like to invite you to try something else, if you’re so inclined.  The next time you’re happy, just take a moment and observe what it feels like.  That’s mindfulness.  It’s also stopping to smell the roses.  And I happen to think that if you know what it feels like to be happy, you’re more likely to notice it when it occurs.

I was paraphrasing Goethe a moment ago, when I was talking about daily vexations.

“A state of affairs which leads to daily vexation is not the right state.” – Goethe

Reading that quote was kind of a “Duh” moment for me. And for some reason, it’s stuck with me ever since.

Of course it’s not the right state of affairs.

But what can you do about that when it occurs?  How much control to do you really have over those daily vexations?  Probably not a lot.  Sometimes none at all.

But what you can control are your responses to them.

So if we take that a step further, does that mean we can just choose to be happy in spite of the daily vexations?  It turns out it can be just that simple.

That sixth grade teacher I mentioned earlier had a saying that I HATED.  We all did.  And he said it all the time.

It’s your choice.

Now maybe I’m a slow learner, but I’ve finally figured out that Mr. Fosnick was right.  It is always my choice.

Realizing the truth in this simple statement is really quite liberating. It takes the power away from those daily vexations, and gives it back to me. It’s my choice to be happy.

So what have I learned on my journey thus far about being happy?

I’ve learned that I’m happier when I take the time to surround myself with the things that make me feel good.  When I take the time to celebrate milestones, or at least acknowledge them before I move on to the next big thing.

I’m happier when I occasionally just stop and breathe.  When I stop to notice the beauty around me.  And I’m happier when I when I stop to notice the good things that are happening around me.

Its my choice to be mindful.  And its my choice to be happy.

Simple, right?  Well, not so fast.

For one thing, you have to learn how to stop.

And for someone like me: driven, task oriented, loves her to do lists, this is no easy feat. And you might have noticed that I’m probably not the warmest, fuzziest person in this room.

So how does someone like me learn how to be mindful?

Well, it’s not easy. And it takes practice.

It might surprise you to know that I meditate.  I don’t spend a lot of time doing it, but I do it regularly. I practice traditional meditation.  And I practice something called Yoga Nidra. Both of these things allow me to practice being mindful. And I find that the more that I practice the easier it is for me to apply mindfulness to my everyday life.

I keep a gratitude journal.  Every morning, I take the time to write three to four bullet points about things that I’m grateful for over the last 24 hours. On days that aren’t going quite the way I’d like, I write more bullet points.  And I find that sometimes it changes my perspective just enough.

It turns out that being grateful and being happy are very closely related.

I also read a lot.  I follow some authors and practitioners online and I read books and articles that remind me to be mindful and give me new and different ideas about ways I can practice.

So have I achieved supreme happiness? Am I happy all the time?  Heck no!

Am I happier than I used to be? I think so.  Or maybe it’s just that I’m noticing more happiness in my life.  Either way, I think the people around me would concur. But I work at it.  I practice. A lot.

And there are days that I know I need to practice more.  There are days when I feel like a complete fraud because I’m not walking this talk. Eventually though, I realize that I’m not practicing one of the basic tenants of mindfulness: without judgement. After all, calling yourself a fraud is pretty judgemental.

And I’m motivated to continue, or maybe start again, because I have seen more happiness in my life.

To err is human.  I’m going to fall down. The most important thing is that I get back up with grace. In many regards I’m still at the beginning of this journey.

There are a lot more tools and ideas out there than I’ve talked about today, and I will try more of them over time.  But meditation, journaling, and reading have been a great starting point for me.  Maybe they can be for you, too.

It’s my choice to be happy.  Thanks Mr. Fosnick!

Kelli Davy

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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The Possibility of Peace – "The Present Moment: Wisdom for Global Peace and Happiness"

 

First, let’s connect with our breath:

On a deep inhalation repeat silently:

“Breathing in, I know I am breathing in”

On a deep exhale:

“Breathing out, I know I am breathing out”   Thich Nhat Hanh Peace In Oneself Peace In The World

It begins with me and it begins with you. It begins with the breath, the fuel which ignites our life force. The breath is our starting point. We come back to this beginning again and again. The breath embodies our peace and our ability to remain present. Through our breath, every thought, word, and action joins into the collective consciousness.

Imagine the good we could bring about if our thoughts were driven by peace and fuelled by love?

My heart was warmed by the recent visit of Thich (Thay) Nhat Hanh.  Zen Master and spiritual leader, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling works on the art of ‘mindfulness’. His presence this past weekend at the Sony Centre in Toronto lifted and enlightened many; it certainly lifted me, in a very peaceful, quiet way. I’m honoured to share with you some of my insights.

“The Present Moment: Wisdom for Global Peace and Happiness”

Before Thay came on stage, the sold-out Sony Centre came together in silence with an it-is-now-300x224energetic vibrating presence. Together by way of the breath, we built a warm energy in the room, creating space to receive what was yet to unfold. Listening to Tibetan bells and bowls, a soft soothing voice led us through a mindfulness meditation to connect with the present moment. Imagine.

 “Breathing in, I follow my in breath all the way through”

“Breathing out, I follow my out breath all the way through”

“Breathing in, I know I am alive”

“Breathing out, I celebrate that I am alive”

Thay’s message is simple and powerful. It’s a caring request of us very similar to that of the Dalai Lama. Come back home to your body. Stop running.

What are we running from? It’s almost as if we are afraid of ourselves, afraid of finding out what’s underneath the covers, afraid of what happens when we do stop, afraid of the possibility of discomfort, dis-ease, anxiety, and fear. So we run, we get busy, we keep doing. We run to consume more power, money, titles, television, work, social media, shopping, and on and on.

Thay’s message is that we need to stop. We need to stop masking our pain and suffering to engage in the beauty of the present moment. As we learn through the practice of mindfulness, this is where life happens. It happens in every moment, in every breath and mindfulness is what helps us unravel our own beauty and touch the very essence of life.

 “Breathing in, I’m aware of my body”

“Breathing out, I celebrate my body”

“Breathing in, I feel calm in my body”

“Breathing out, I release the tension in my body”

There is a great invitation for us to do this now, to come back home to our bodies, to reconcile with who we are and heal our past hurts, to heal our wounded hearts and to let go of what no longer serves us. This needs to happen on an individual level as well as a global one. The world  needs healing in a similar way. How we are living isn’t working for us, or mother earth. So what’s the alternative? We need to approach life in a different way, in a caring way.

 “Just like the Lotus, we too have the ability to rise from the mud, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.”

~ Unknown Author

For us to experience and live compassionate, peaceful lives, a part of it is, to understand our own suffering, learn how to be with our pain in healthy and constructive ways and to stop trying to mask our hurts and learn to accept that these nuances are part of being human. Suffering and struggle are part of our nature, stemming from of our parents and that of our ancestors. When we learn to accept our hurts, we can stop running and hiding from them.

The way out is to go within, using the tools of mindfulness practice. Thay painted a beautiful picture of how to hold onto and be with our pain through mindfulness. By paying attention to your breath as it enters and leaves your body then without judgement, accept things just the way they are. Mindfulness becomes our mother, wrapping her arms around the pain in us, nurturing our wounds, our hearts. In the vast auditorium, at that very moment, I felt a wave of warmth and peace. I felt peace, a quiet calm that enveloped the room.

Thay and his monastics travel the world offering mindfulness retreats. I have witnessed the gifts of mindfulness through my own experiences and the Uplift clientele, but yet again, touched by his stories.  At one of the retreats in Germany, after 5 days of mindfulness training, several men, shared with Thay a reconciliation with their father who they had not spoken to in many years.  The conversation began with the courage to call their Father with a calm sense, deep listening and loving speech and it went something like this:

“Dad, I know you have suffered and that I have contributed to your suffering – I didn’t know how to help and I want you to know that I’m here to help. I’m here to listen to your pain, and your story, because I love you.”  His Dad wept like a child, on the other line.  The man said to Thay, the first thing I’m going to do after the retreat, is to go and see my Father in person.

A big part of my own journey has been to get up close and personal with my shadows – pain, anger, fear — and learn how to love myself through acceptance, self-compassion, and kindness.  Mindfulness has helped me discover the road to calm, peace, and happiness.

We don’t have time for anger in today’s fragile world.

The necessary elements here are forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion and loving kindness with ourselves and others, and the creation of space to let go so that we can arrive in the present moment, reconnect with the breath, and BE.

Please join me:

 I breathe in, I’m present in my body

I breathe out, I release the past, the future and the projects

As a practice, mindfulness continues to evolve and grow. As you get through each layer and begin to feel anew, you broach new territory. Each time, you learn to greet this newness with grace, building resilience within yourself and creating the capacity to be there for others. It is work but simply put, we don’t need to hold onto baggage. By releasing and letting go of what we have stored in our bodies — mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually — we give ourselves the permission to feel again, but this time in a different way.

Thay went on to say that this pain is not only your own pain and suffering, it’s that of your parents, your family, and your ancestors. Not long into his talk, he invited us to participate in a chant – to be with and release suffering. I felt as though he created this space in his Thich-Nhat-Hanh-calligraphy-001heart to hold us, nurturing like a mother holding her child. I imagined a soft voice whispering “it’s okay, darling, to feel what you are feeling, and it’s okay, darling, I know you have suffered, it’s okay to cry”. As each tear ran down my cheek, I mindfully released what needed to leave my body.

These tears were not only mine but the tears of my father, my mother, my sister, my brothers, my husband, my ancestors and perhaps even, the person beside me, in front of me, and behind me. The room was still, filled with a lower energy of pain, yet I felt embraced by voice, by beautiful music, and by the sacred space we had all created.

I am humbled by experiences like this. I am grateful for the practice of mindfulness and reinvigorated with the work that I’m doing through Uplift. I am moved by the peace, serenity, and joy it has brought to my life and honoured to witness the impact it has on others. I am excited by the possibilities of peace that mindfulness brings…and I am thankful for this gift called life.

May all Beings Be at Peace.

Paula

Photo source: 

A dear friend, Jenn Hicks, also wrote about the experience –  please see Jenn’s post for a summary and other great links and learning from the event.  Thank you Jenn!

 

 

 

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Transitions

The Summer Solstice is upon us. This is a powerful and auspicious time, a time to  sunshinecelebrate…after all we’re in full bloom and the things we set in motion earlier in the year are ripening in our lives. It’s also a time of transition. During the Solstices we are encouraged to finish things that need completing before we enter into the quieter months of summertime where typically things seem to slow down on the work front, and we take time off to play and enjoy the beautiful season. For me, this means spending time outdoors, being on or close to water, spending time with family and friends, traveling, writing, and refining my internal message.

I am inspired by these changes.

Life is, transition, is life. I believe they’re synonymous. They go hand in hand, “like peas and carrots”, as Forest Gump used to say to Jenny. I have been witness to this transition in my own life as ideas continue to evolve and grow. I am in the ‘chaos’ stage of writing my book; I am pioneering the new business paradigm; I’ve applied to part-time studies at Stanford University, The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education; I’m working with clients who are undergoing rich transformation, from job changes to job loss, from major life transitions to downsizing organizations. Underlying all of this, I find many are asking some big questions and there appears to be a greater focus and willingness to dive in to the question of Spirituality.

How can I get connected and closer to my Spirit or my joie de vivre?

The key word here is ‘connection’. As part of my weekly yoga class and the work I do at Uplift, I lead students and clients through a meditation that helps them to identify and tap into this connection. What I mean by this is Self-Inquiry. When you tune into your spiritual body, do you feel connected or disconnected? Are you connected to your life, your higher self, your community, a greater force other than yourself (the Divine, God, Nature, whatever that means for you) or do you feel isolated and alone?

In any given moment, you may be experiencing subtle transitions where you feel completely connected with our source and other times a great fatigue. These tiny ebbs and flows of energy  are important to observe so you can give yourself space for what’s arising in that moment, then with great compassion and kindness, be with it in a way that naturally gives rise to what needs to happen. This attention allows you the freedom to move forward in a mindful positive way.

 “It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is situational, transition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.”

~ William Bridges

Any time we’re hit with a major life transition, it may appear on the surface as ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘negative’. This is a natural response but I believe that we need to look at how we are being impacted, give ourselves the time and space for it to happen, and allow ourselves to go through the countless emotions that come along with any change.

The relevant question is not ‘How do I protect myself from change?’, whether it be job loss or the myriad life circumstances, but ‘How do I become more resilient? How do I strengthen my overall wellbeing?’

Change is the only constant so how do we become resilient in the moments of transition, when things get cloudy, when things aren’t clear, when the light seems to be dim? How do you pull yourself out of the muck?

Uplift teaches people to do just this. The practices we teach pave the way to greater resiliency in your life and work so that when those changes do come into your life, you are better prepared to face them, accept them, and move forward, mindfully and positively.

In celebration of the Solstice and the changing seasons, take some time tomorrow or this weekend to give yourself the space to, as my puts it, ‘let things unfurl’.

Take stock…

We’re halfway through the year. Where are you with your goals? Are you doing what you set out to do in your work and life? How does it feel? What can you do (within your control, of course) to refine those goals?

Before you take action on any of these answers…Let Go.

Let go of the old to make way for the new to emerge. Let the unfurling begin, let it all unfold. Get out of the way and let it happen. Let your intuition lead the way and create the path to your own brilliance.

Enjoy this guided relaxation where I invite you to come into a place of peace and calm. Then see how everything feels. Everything may actually seem very different from when you started.

Of course, I’m here to support and guide you along the way. It only gets better from here and let me tell you, when you take the road less traveled, it can be scary at first but it’s beautiful and it’s worth it.

Time is precious. Remember this…

 If you want to awaken all of humanity,

Then awaken all of yourself.

If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world,

Then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.

Truly the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.

 ~ Lao Tao

Trust in the process…you are well supported.

Love and Light,

Paula

PS – I received this post as a gift and it’s my gift to you. After my morning ritual of gratitude, journaling, and connecting with Spirit over a pot of tea, I opened up a few things on my Macbook and was reminded by my Yoga teacher about our morning meditation in celebration of Summer Solstice. I opened up a blank page and was inspired to write. These words graciously flowed without much thought at all, with ease and an effortlessness. I’m grateful for these moments and grateful to my writing spirit.

PPS – Uplift is hosting a Summer Solstice Full Moon Crystal Bowl meditation with Jeremy Sills on Sunday evening. I would encourage you to tune in from a distance or if you are in Ottawa Canada, please join us.

The idea of freedom has come up a lot lately too. Freedom; it’s such a powerful word. Isn’t that what we all want? To be free? Our spirits long for this idea of freedom—freedom from worry, freedom from self doubt, freedom from negative self-talk, freedom from Fear, freedom to live the life that was meant for us. To experience freedom within, you need to give yourself permission to be happy. This summer, welcome happiness into your heart and your life and do at least one thing that makes your heart sing. Your soul will love you for it.

 

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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No Hiding From the Light

sunshineOver the last few weeks, I have been tested. My values, actions, and how I manage and lead in this new business paradigm are all being put to the test. Whenever I encounter any opposition, temptation, or challenge, it becomes that much more important that I get crystal clear with my intentions. It’s only through grounding that I can then identify the non-negotiables in my life and in my work, my ‘mission critical’ things and my priorities, all of which are directly aligned with my values. In the busy-ness of life, it’s far too easy to get off track.

When you can see clearly if the opportunities presented to you are aligned with your value system, it makes the often difficult and complex job of decision-making easy and effortless. Yes, I have been dazzled by the ‘you can make multi-millions’ and ‘exclusivity’ pitches but higher perspective tells me that those paths are not for me.

For me, the process of creating this higher perspective has been interesting and I have regularly been quite surprised by who and what has showed up on my doorstep. I believe we are the co-creators of our life and work but sometimes I wonder whether I looked like a naïve target waiting to be preyed upon. As always, I come back to my meditation and mindfulness tools and my gratitude for the opportunity to think about my values, about Uplift and the values of this entity I have created. Uplift stands for Honesty and Transparency at the forefront of business practices and when I see a lack of these values in any interaction, it saddens me.

Too many of us are hiding our Truth.

When you hide your truth (and your voice for that matter), it’s not only a disservice to yourself but also to others. By hiding behind a mask of dishonesty, you create a foundation for indirect communication and disrespect. By not allowing others to experience all that you have to offer, you are telling the world that your voice does not matter. I assure you, your voice matters.

I think we can all learn from experiences where our values are questioned or challenged. When this happens, I invite you to take a step back to look within yourself.

  •  What do you believe in?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • Is it for the greater good of this world?
  • Who are you serving?
  • Are you giving or taking?
  • What impact does your work/voice/actions have on others?
  • Are you contributing to the wellbeing of others?
  • How are you adding to the power, spark, joie de vivre, or self worth of others?

It’s not always easy to see, especially in the exact moment it’s unfolding, but your strong intuitive force will guide you in the right direction. Personally, I can feel it, sense it, before I see it. Often I ignore the first signal thinking I will give the benefit of the doubt but eventually it hits me in the heart or my radar goes up. We are all a work in progress. The important part is that we take mindful steps forward.

 “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Finding your Truth takes much uncovering and courage. You pull back layers, take off each mask one by one to eventually get to the core of your values. The fact is, we don’t know what we don’t know but with work, everything becomes clear. One step at a time, with each experience, we learn, pick back up, and try again. This is working with the intention of being with the Truth.

You see, much of what I am talking about here goes back to your thoughts. The ego is very convincing and manipulative. It will do everything possible to take you off the path or steer you in a particular direction that is invariably misaligned with your soul and your heart. The stories it feeds you are usually quite convenient but be careful; it’s the very culprit that feeds your fear and leads to whole host of other things detrimental to your wellbeing. When you practice and do the inner work on yourself, you begin to see things clearly and as they really are…

You stand in your Truth.

 

 “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Part of this involves being true to who you are, getting clear on what you believe in, and speaking up when you have something to say.

Follow your heart, not your chequebook.

I truly believe that when we lead from this place, the money follows. I live this truth with many others by my side.

One thing that is clear to me is that there is no hiding from the Truth. At the heart of the matter, we all want to be honest and transparent. These are the lessons we learned growing up. We need them in everything we do. When they go by the wayside, in a business or life interaction, I take on that of a Dragon’s hat and say, “I’m Out. I’m following the light and staying true to my values. Honesty and transparency are right at the top, neither of which can be compromised”.

“It has often occurred to me that a seeker after TRUTH has to be silent.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Love and light,

Paula

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm Part 6—Breaking the Hierarchy and Moving toward Collaboration

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Part 6—Breaking the Hierarchy and Moving toward Collaborationbrownstones

Breaking the Hierarchy

For those of you who have been reading the New Business Paradigm series, I want to thank you for being here, for spreading the idea, working with it, and embracing it. I’ve heard from many of you with comments such as,

“Paula, this is it. We need this in our organization. I’m going to walk this into the office of [the President].”

“These are such important ideas, Paula. We need this and things need to change.”

“I continue to be inspired by your words. They give me hope.”

I’m so grateful for your support. All of this energy, good, good energy, is motivational and inspiring. Isn’t that the way it’s meant to be? Inspiring and supporting each other to do great things? A big ‘Yes’ to that!

At Uplift headquarters, I’m leading teams on how to shift corporate cultures to compassion-based workplaces. I have been witness to audiences filled with leaders and managers of organizations who have ignited a spark, coming together to support each other in their reengagement with work and life.

It’s been an incredible honor- this is the work I’m here to do and it gives me great pleasure to lead and support change in this way.  As I always say when we get to the heart of the matter, everything re-awakens and comes alive to something larger, a place where Possibility and Potential prosper.

So far in this series, we’ve talked about possibilities, ideas, and intentions around creating places to work (and live) with greater respect, kindness, and compassion. We’ve addressed how important it is to acknowledge that we’re all human and that we’re all in this together.

The next step in the new business paradigm is entrepreneurial in nature. By moving from a top-down business model to one that is service-oriented, we diminish the power of traditional workplace hierarchies. With our How May I Serve? attitude, we engage and empower employees ultimately, re-visioning the way our corporate culture behaves. This approach focuses on what each individual can offer. Seth Godin outlines this idea so well in this interview.

Perhaps the current corporate model had its place in time (although I find this hard to believe or wrap my head around), but it is crumbling before our very eyes…

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a dismantling of it through rapid and aggressive downsizing. We’ve seen workers disengaging from their workplaces and entrepreneurial endeavours on the rise.  It’s breaking on its on own accord and in good time. The way we are working and the system that supports our behaviours hasn’t changed much at all since the Industrialized Revolution. Over time, our processes have stagnated and become a barrier to human evolution, potential, and possibility.

Moving toward Collaboration

Here’s the thing, our leaders need to wake up to the idea that motivating in ways that support, inspire, and draw out the wisdom of themselves as well as others is profitable. It ignites the spark of productivity and paves the way with light, and for that matter, love. Love…it’s not a word you hear in business, unless it’s a love for an actual ‘thing’ like a service or product, but in compassion-based cultures, love is a foundational force.

The thought begins with us; it begins with you. Once you take the first step toward self-compassion, you can start being of service to the world and become connected to a deeper, happier self. This is what I am talking about and it’s a wonderful starting point.

I believe we are all natural born leaders

What we’re talking about is Self-directed leadership, knowing and connecting with your deeper purpose and offering your leadership from there. When you live from the heart, doing the work you love, act from a place of ‘How May I Serve?’, you rise up…and it’s from that place where you begin to operate and lead from your Higher Self. This Higher Self is connected, engaged, motivated, inspired, and filled with vitality. Here, there is a deeper wisdom and there’s not a lot of room for the ego, let alone darkness, negativity, or dismay.

Many of us have trouble accepting the premise that we are all leaders in our own ways.  In essence, we are in charge and are leaders of our own evolution

“We all evolve, whether we like it or not. Some of us evolve more and sooner than others, but the choice for each of us is whether we evolve positively or negatively, and whether we direct our evolution or not.” ~Lance Secretan

How do you reclaim your inner leader?

You tap into your ‘soft-skills’ or better yet, ‘right-skills’. I think it’s important here to debunk the myths of ‘right-skills’ so we can each begin to embrace our inner leaders and move into our rightful position in the New Business Paradigm. Here’s a little quiz for you. Just answer true or false, then look for the answers at the end of the post and see how you did:

  • Soft skills are perceived as a weakness in the workplace.
  • A ‘command and control’ (versus ‘Self-directed’) management style is the best way to get results. It’s good for bottom line.
  •  Displaying your ‘true feelings and emotions ‘ is a sign of failure.
  •  Putting pressure on employees will increase performance.
  •  Investing in your own personal growth and development is a sign of ‘selfishness’.
  • Individuals thrive in an environment with decreased fear, a feeling of safety, a sense of control, meaningful work, and where their actions contribute to a greater good.

 

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

~ Aristotle

This might appear a bit maverick but it’s such a brilliant example of how acknowledging and celebrating the inner leader in all of us is good for the bottom line. When Genentech launched the Personal Excellence Program, employees chose what they wanted to work on (instead of being told what to do). The result was employees were more motivated and felt a real sense of purpose in the future of the company. As humans, we need to feel that we’re connected to something much larger than us in order to be inspired and engaged.

What is your Greater Why?

What do you love? What feeds and fuels your energy?

Your creativity? What uplifts your spirit?

The answers to these questions will guide you toward your Greater Why (as coined by Simon Sinek).  In his book ‘Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us‘, Daniel Pink describes “intrinsic motivation” as the key to fuelling sustained passion and meaning. This motivation is another way of saying that when we understand why do we do what we do, we connect to something much larger than ourselves and our desire to contribute is increased.

By increasing our level of collaboration, both at home and in the workplace, we become happier, more engaged, and more inspired toward the greater good. When organizations nurture these feelings in their employees, the business invariably thrives – research supports it.

An easy way to bring this connection to your days is through a series of simple reminders:

  • We are all human and we’re in this together
  • Lead from Higher Self, a calm sense of clarity and insight
  • Trust in and be open to the process – your own and others
  • Commit to being fully present and engaged with other (no electronics, just body-mind)
  • Engage in honest, open dialogue and feedback
  • Get curious and explore. You are not going to have all of the answers so view this as an experiment toward long-term growth
  • Be grateful for the very gifts of life

 “Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

~ Walt Disney

Friends, we are breaking down the barriers and we are moving into a place where we are speaking a different language, a language of the heart with all its vulnerability, compassion, and transparency. This is how we are showing up in the world, how we are communicating, right down to the very words we use. The way we present ourselves has a huge impact in the world and as we evolve, we evolve into a place of collaboration and interconnection – ONE…and that, is good for business.

I look forward to helping you through this transition and helping to the lead the way.

 We are never truly alone. We touch every person we come in contact with and leave a part of us inside of them even if it is just a small portion of our identity. Our lives are the summation of everyone who came before us. Their hopes and dreams reach out to us through time and space connected by family, friendship, and love. When we die, we are not alone as the pessimists and self appointed realists would have us think.

Every kindness, every act of compassion and empathy becomes a part of us and in the times of doubt and fear we can feel the footprints they leave in the sands of our mind carrying us where gods dare not tread. We are all a part of each other and though we die, the impact we leave behind becomes a part of those who continue our journey and we carry them as they carry us along the cosmic shoreline to a future as bright as we choose to make it.

Live well. Love and be loved. This is the highest form of worship. -Timothy Havener

***

Did you take the quiz? Here are the answer to debunking the myths of our current business world.

  • False
  • False
  • False
  • False (What it does increase is stress)
  • False
  • True

In the final posts, we’ll look at Uplift’s vision on how the new business paradigm might unfold and some of the great work we’ve been doing that’s headed in this great direction!

Love and light,

Paula

© 2013-2018 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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