Are you ready?

Most of what I am about to tell you is contrary to what you might have been taught or stoneshave come to believe in. I have to share this with you because it’s just too good not to and because it’s something that we need to place more emphasis on. It began with that one word, the one that sometimes we’re even afraid to say. Are you ready?

Self-Esteem… and it needs to evolve.

I know, our idea of self can be loaded with comparison and fraught with disappointment. If we’re feeling low, our self-esteem says, ‘I’m not good enough’ and if we’re feeling great, we’re arrogant. Then there’s the ego-based conversation. The one that suggests you leave the ego at the door and all will be well. If you don’t (or can’t), it only opens the door to more comparison and disappointment.

It implies that you need to work on that (negative aspect of yourself) to get to this (ideal comparison).

So what I’d like to tell you today is this:

All you “need” is a practice of self-compassion.

Dr. Kristin Neff spoke brilliantly at the recent Business and Compassion Conference. She addressed how our global evaluation of self-worth breeds an internal negative dialogue of, ‘Am I good enough?’. She says that this sets us up for social comparison and nasty social dynamics. It breeds the idea that we need to be ‘special’ or ‘above average’ in order to be acceptable—not to mention what it’s done to further instill narcissism, which appears to be on the rise.

And what happens when we fail? This concept of self-esteem is contingent upon our success. We are ‘not allowed’ to fail. Well, I’m here to share with you that it doesn’t have to be this way…

Enter self-compassion.

Self-compassion is the alternate approach. It is, quite simply, our kindness, love, nurturing, and care of ourselves. It’s the theory that we are (and should be) our own best cheerleaders.

Kristin shared three components to practicing self-compassion:

  1. Treat yourself with kindness instead of judgement. Actively sooth and comfort yourself. Ask yourself, if this how you would treat your best friend. Then act from there.
  2. We are all interconnected. By seeing yourself as a part of a larger human experience, you no longer operate in isolation. Remember, life is imperfect, but every moment has some perfection within it.
  3. Be mindful. Mindfulness cultivates self-compassion and acts as a platform for your needs and your ability do something about it—in kind, compassionate ways, by accepting things non-judgmentally.

There is a belief that some of what we’re talking about is considered to be weak, but the greatest, most powerful leaders of our time used self-compassion and lived with the message that suffering is not okay or necessary.

Natural Rhythms…a compassionate practice

I recently had a conversation with an old colleague who has moved on from the corporate world and is enjoying life as an entrepreneur. He’s enjoying the work and working, when he “feels like it”. As far as I’m concerned, he’s working the way we were meant to work, to his natural rhythm. Nurturing your natural rhythms is an act of self-compassion. Honouring your body-mind-soul, acknowledging your needs on any given day or in any given moment, expressing yourself with care and love, these are all acts of self-compassion.

Another colleague mentioned she had spent a day at the office and didn’t “do anything but talk to other colleagues”. She felt unproductive. What she didn’t realize was how valuable she was on that day, to take the time to listen, nurture, and connect with colleagues. Isn’t that an element that we need to foster in the workplace? After all, the workplace is also about human connection and collaboration; it’s not all ‘bottom line’ and ‘results-driven’, contrary to what we’ve been taught.

I find the best way for me to work is to my own natural rhythm. What this means for me might mean something different to you, but what I have discovered that my natural rhythm is influenced by nature and the cosmos—what’s happening in the planets. I tuned into this at a retreat with Donna Farhi in New Zealand. One of the days we were practicing was stifling hot and as we entered into the room, looking overheated and tired, she astutely picked up on everyone’s energy and changed her original plan of indoor yoga asanas to a walk down to the ocean for a swim, to cool off and enjoy the radiant beauty of the day we were blessed with. It wasn’t a day to be inside. Donna saw she needed to flow with the rhythm of the day and acted accordingly.

When I respect and follow my own natural cadence, it has a great impact on my productivity, creativity, and innovation. If I were to spend my time in a 9-5 office situation, it would kill my creativity (and soul). I’ve been there and know that the freedom of working the way I do produces results unlike any office schedule. But here’s the thing, a certain level of trust (a trust in the process) must happen. We must let go of our old ways of working, the rules we impose on ourselves and the rules imposed by others.

Shortly after I exited the 9-5 world, I felt guilt ridden on the days I felt unproductive. Now I have come to appreciate that the days I once thought were unproductive are days of ‘inaction’, days that are designed to refuel and rejuvenate. When I respect these days, I come back stronger, refreshed, and filled with innovation, creativity, and passion. I trust that what I need to do will get done in ‘perfect time’ and you know what? It always does. With this approach comes a natural flow and ease with my work. I no longer feel as if I’m ‘trying to push water uphill’.

Self-compassion is strongly linked to our wellbeing. It increases life satisfaction, happiness, connectedness, self confidence, positivity, and optimism. It’s not associated with social comparisons but social connectedness, cultivating a world where we’re all ONE.

I’m suggesting a return to a primordial language.
One that exists as the deepest knowledge and expression that humanity knows.
It pre-dates spoken language, it has its roots in the emergence of awe.
It is present in everyone, as an elemental music and reflection of
molecular and stellar movement.
It is a genetic design built into leaf patterns and the bobbing of sea horses.
It is eminently present to children, we have educated it out of them.
But it is the story of our place in the universe and we must begin to tell that story again.
What we are losing is our ability to speak to the whole.
The songs of celebration, the poetry of praise.

~ author unknown (via Donna Farhi, Quote of the Week)

Is your current schedule working for you? How could you add more self-compassion? I would love to hear in the comments below or feel free to connect.

Love and light,

Paula

 

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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The Power of the Practice

When we work on ourselves in ways that connect and care for our overall wellbeing, when we get to ‘know thyself’, and look on ourselves in kind and compassionate ways, the positive effects have the capacity to ‘ripple out’ to the world.

I continue to be blown away by the healing power of the personal practice.sunshine

I’ve experienced this power within my own relationships. With my daily practice, these relationships have transformed from sometimes failing mediocrity to bloom into a field of flowers, each radiating with light. But that’s not all…it just keeps getting better. I have seen how this positivity has then rippled out from there and how people in my life have transformed their relationships.

What we are talking about is an energetic practice. We lead and model by example and when we put ourselves out to the world in a positive way, this has an incredibly huge impact. I recently had an experience that blew my previous understanding of the healing power of a daily practice out of the water. We are interconnected and when we come to the world with a calm and grounded energy, so that energy is reflected onto others…and subsequently the people they come into contact with.

This is the power of the practice.  A fundamental part of the path, this life-long apprenticeship is cultivating kindness and (self) compassion.

I no longer believe this discipline is optional.

The more we do things that support self-care and compassion whether that be meditation, mindfulness, yoga, gratitude, or connecting with nature, the better off we make this world.

So when people tell me they can’t fit it in, that they’re too busy (my own ego tells me this everyday)…I say, what’s the alternative? Unhappy, stressed, suffering and fatigued.  This goes against the very grain of our nature and what is intended for us…to be Happy and at Peace.  Why are we fighting this? I believe we have no other alternative but to do things differently and get out of this crazy bubble.

In a previous blog post, I referenced a statistic about how many people are undergoing personal transformation. At Uplift, I’ve been blown away by the number of people who, through their transformations, are experiencing the surfacing of deep truths. There are great shifts happening right now and with them come high levels of intensity. I do believe that we are all supported in what we need to do…but it does takes work.

If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.

~ Dalai Lama

This path we are choosing is not an easy one; it takes great courage and I have great admiration for those who do choose it. A big part of the equation to ending suffering is to open our own hearts and connect with the body’s innate capacity to heal. I think the most courageous thing we can do in our lifetime is open our hearts to each other, to love and bring life into all of our relationships, including ourselves.

With this great act comes much vulnerability. It is the most tender piece of the work we do. The vulnerability comes out from every cell in the body, a force much larger than we know it in the physical realm. This is being human…and it is this that will have the capacity to elevate and transform our human race.

Dr. David Frawley puts it eloquently, “healing our relationships is most important for our spiritual growth and wellbeing. Recognize, relate to, and nurture the presence of every moment of love and light in our lives through our relationships. Let this be a day to remind ourselves to make sacred our worldly existence through rituals, nurturing, and communicating the power of graciousness through love, compassion, and caring.”

I was delighted to sit in on Deval Premal’s Global Meditation (May 13, 2013) to the Gayatri Mantra, one of my favourites and the mother of all mantras.

“Gayatri is a prayer as well as a mantra. As a mantra, it is a set of sounds used by practitioners to realize a higher state of consciousness—a state symbolized by the sun. As a prayer, it petitions God for guidance. ‘Direct my mind’, it asks.

We all wish that selflessness, love, and humility would characterize our thoughts and actions, but they often slip away. Ego problems are a disturbing complication—anger, fear, and desire cloud our thinking. So we wangle our way through life, hoping all the while to outgrow these limitations.

But within each of us is a natural desire to bare our inner life, exposing it to higher wisdom, and the Gayatri mantra does this for us. It gives us a prayer through which we may address our predicaments in the privacy of our heart, and by so doing it fulfills a deep need. It returns us regularly to our inner aims. And when our actions do not support those aims, the mantra has the capacity to lead us from contrition and remorse to self-acceptance and, finally, forgiveness.

Contained in the prayer is an elaborate exposition of spiritual philosophy. The Gayatri describes the bhargah (the pure solar spirit), who is the essence of Savitri (the divine solar being), who is yet the inner identity of Surya (the sun). The Gayatri as a prayer is a petition to tat (that) which is the infinite light of pure consciousness.

But what really is that consciousness? And what does the Gayatri, as a prayer, have to do with yoga? The Vedas explain that pure consciousness, dwelling in the highest heaven (and thereby pervading all), is also that which dwells in every human being (the Self): ‘Now, the light which shines above in heaven—pervading all the spaces, pervading everywhere, both below and in the farthest reaches of the worlds—this indeed is that same light which shines within man’.(Chhandogya Upanishad 3.13.7)

The place from which this light emerges is the heart—a word that connotes the most refined awareness possible. The heart is the place in which we make our decisions and act on our intentions; it is the place where intuition arises and the Self is ultimately realized. Thus in its role as a prayer the Gayatri mantra simultaneously addresses both cosmic consciousness and the finest forces of our own being. It acknowledges that these two aspects of universal consciousness are one.”

~Source: Himalayan Institute.

I have been leading a meditation group this year where we’ve worked with the Gayatri to great success. With all of the good work happening over the world, we’re getting there, one step, one breath, and one conscious, kind, compassionate thought a day.

I pray daily, “May All Beings Be At Peace”. I hope you will join me and I hope you find    386409_325073027517765_2032036934_npeace on this journey. We need this practice, now more than ever.

Through money or power you cannot solve all problems. The problem in the human heart must be solved first.

~ Dalai Lama

If you would like to talk some of this over, join us in meditation, or Uplift your team, write to me. I’d be glad to hear from you.

Love and light,

Paula

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Business and Compassion

“I truly believe compassion provides the basis of human survival, the real value of life, without that there is a basic piece missing. We essay writing services cannot be happy ourselves without thinking about the happiness of others.”  ~ His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama.

I just returned from The San Francisco Bay area where I attended the inaugural Business events-science-of-compassion-conference-thumb2and Compassion Conference at Stanford University, School of Medicine. It was hosted by CCARE, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and facilitated by Dr. James Doty, Director and Founder of CCARE and Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery, and his team. I was so excited to be in the same space with professionals who are working with the same hope and inspiration that drives Uplift.

The purpose of the conference was to present cutting-edge research and create dialogue around best practices in compassion and business by field experts as well as business leaders who have successfully implemented compassion-based programs in their organizations. It was uplifting, inspiring, and enlightening…with this clear message:

We all have something to contribute in a world of peace, kindness, and compassion…and, business has an important role to play.

The room felt grounded and energized. It was a space that created room for authentic camaraderie, a place to be yourself with zero room for ego or ‘what’s in it for me’ or any form of competitiveness. The energy throughout the conference was united and geared toward working together. There were nothing but welcoming smiles filled with joy, gratitude, and sense of purpose. As you can imagine, this is still a rare experience (unless it’s a yoga class or retreat), especially in the business world.

For me, this conference fired up a passion to get out there and do more.

Imagine…

Imagine if we could create workplaces like this?

The good news is we can!

Uplift is here to help you and your organization create team unity, passion and compassion in the workplace, and a greater sense of purpose throughout. At Uplift, we help individuals and organizations fuel mindful positive growth by integrating yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into life and workplace practices. The tools we share fuel great clarity, innovation, peace, kindness, compassion, self-awareness, self-management, and deeper wisdom.

Moreover, it works. Similar programs have boosted employee engagement and organizational well-being while improving bottom line. Do compassionate practices in the workplace payoff financially? Every one of the presenters at the conference gave a resounding, “yes!”.

Emma Seppala, Associate Director at CCARE, talks about this new field of research, “which suggests that when organizations promote an ethic of compassion rather than a culture of stress, they may not only see a happier workplace but also an improved bottom line”.  It’s a different way of working and one that is being welcomed in all industries.

The research shows that instilling a culture of compassion is not only the right thing to do, but it’s good for business. The most influential world leaders are driven by compassion: Mother Theresa, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandala, to name a few. The common theme throughout the conference was the promotion of self-awareness as a means to greater change. You see, outer compassion begins with inner compassion. So why aren’t more leaders, organizations, and individuals catching on? Chip Conley said it well, “the most neglected fact in business is that we’re all human”.

We need a different approach to business.

Everyone I speak to wants it or they’re getting prepared to leave companies to find it. What is being suggested is new. We’re pioneers of this movement. But it’s a different approach and like anything new, it takes time. People, for the most part, don’t like change and let’s face it, we’re not talking simple, straightforward change but transformational change.

The Business and Compassion Conference assured me that though we need to move forward with a sense of urgency, we’re supported in creating the steps necessary to make it happen. I need you to believe this and I hope that you will reach out and invite us to support you along the way. We can create a business world that supports and rejuvenates us all by collaborating to making this world a better place for all.

As I settle into the week, I will be continuing with the New Business Paradigm Series, supporting Uplift clients, getting prepared to speak at a business event, working to support acts of kindness and compassion, and sharing more wisdom along the way. I hope you will stay tuned.

Looking forward to collaborating and supporting you on your path.

With much kindness and compassion.

Love and light,

Paula

Photosource: Stanford Univeristy, CCARE

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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It’s Everybody’s Business – Being human

Humbled, moved by and compelled to share the words of the Dalai Lama and B.K.S forestIyengar. Inspired to continue to lead my life as meaningful as possible and to use my God-given talents. I too hope you are moved to do the same.

“With my two hands joined, I appeal to you, the reader, to ensure that you make the rest of your life as meaningful as possible.  Do this by engaging in spiritual practice if you can.  As I hope I have made clear, there is nothing mysterious in this.  It consists in nothing more than acting out of concern for others.  And provided you undertake this practice sincerely and with persistence, little by little, step by step, you will gradually be able to re-order your habits and attitudes so that you think less about your own narrow concerns and more of others.  In doing so, you will find that you enjoy peace and happiness yourself.

Relinquish your envy, let go your desire to triumph over others.  Instead try to benefit them.  With kindness, with courage and confident that in doing so you are sure to meet with success, welcome others with a smile.  Be straightforward.  And try to be impartial.  Treat everyone as if they were a close friend.  I say this neither as the Dalai Lama nor as someone who has special powers of ability.  Of these I have none.  I speak as a human being, one who like yourself wishes to be happy and not to suffer.  If you cannot for whatever reason be of help to others, at least don’t harm them. “

What lies ahead, are opportunities waiting to be explored and discovered.  We’re at a turning point.  For many, it’s a yearning and calling, to move and take action… don’t wait, the time is ripe for change and transformation.

“We all receive God-given talents and it is our duty to develop them energetically to realize our full potential, otherwise it is as if we are turning our nose up at the gifts of life”. B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life, The Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom

Wishing you much love and light on your path.

Paula

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm Part 5—Open to Giving & Receiving and Much More Wisdom

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Part 5—Open to Giving & Receiving and Much More Wisdom  brownstones

This is the fifth in an 8-part series examining the new style of business leadership being championed by Uplift Consulting and shared by spiritual/professional thought-leaders worldwide.

Last week, we touched on changing our perspective from an ego-based “what’s in it for me?” to one of “how may I serve?” and how that simple shift can alter our experiences in both our personal lives and in our businesses. In this post, I would like to extend the idea of “how may I serve?” into a fundamental way of being, a way of ‘showing up’ in the world. We’ll look at how opening to change and embracing transition can have a driving force not only on your internal state but on how you approach and explore your day-to-day lives. This directly leads to mindful positive growth.

What I mean by ‘showing up’ is not simply arriving at work on time. What I mean is, are you consciously aware and fully present to what is arising, open to receiving what’s before you? Are you connected at the core?

Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation practices teach us to stay connected to an unwavering place; they keep us grounded. Deepak Chopra mentions how critical it is for leaders to develop these skills in a recent post. It’s needed more than ever before. Especially in light of the world’s tragic events, we all have a part to play.

By showing up from a grounded, heartfelt place, staying centred at our core and ‘bringing down the walls’ (or our own personal protective barriers), we allow ourselves to give and receive with openness. On the contrary, when we are closed off, disconnected, rigid, and protective, it leads to anxiety, stress and an unstable mind and body. By being fully embodied in the present moment, we experience freely what lies before us, moment by moment, breath by breath, accepting things just as they are. As conscious breath expands within our body and with it a relaxed sense of being, it creates space for curiosity and inquiry. Each beloved breath is a unique experience; each moment is a gift. Being open to this fluidity of giving and receiving of life prepares us for the little unexpected moments—the moments where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary—and allows us to embrace change with gratitude and grace.

Here’s the caveat with change. You see, rarely do things pan out the way you imagine. Often times, our grand designs are even foiled by ‘set-backs’, leaving us flustered and wanting. Here’s what I believe: there are no set-backs in life…ever. Every situation we are dealt is an opportunity to grow; every circumstance has the potential to become, in us, Deep Wisdom. No longer are we living with the ‘should, would, could’ or the blaming stories we so frequently tell ourselves because we are in the present moment.

I’ve come to a place, both in my personal life and in business, where I can see the interconnectedness—a beautifully woven tapestry where my intention is to experience everything as it arises. At least, this is what I practice. The good, and also the uncomfortable, moments have allowed me to discover a dynamic ground within me, a connection to a larger life, a healthy mature ego, and above all the ability to move with courage and ‘the wisdom to let go’. I didn’t coin this phrase but have been inspired daily by one of my yoga teachers.

 ‘May we all have the courage to continue on our path and the Wisdom to Let Go.’

On Being Open, Leaning In, and Letting Go.

Sheryl Sandberg recently released a new book entitled, ‘Lean In‘. What caught my eye was the title of the book, followed by the media response. For me, to lean into a work life is to be ready, grounded and open to embrace the unexpected. From what I’ve seen in the media, Lean In has rattled more than a few minds, but I am quite taken with the comments arising from the Huffington Post:

“Lean In has unleashed multiple conversations. For me, the most interesting is the one about the nature of the world women are leaning into. This is a great moment for all of us—women and men—to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women, and it’s not working for men, either.

 For everybody, stress has gone up—in the last 30 years, self-reported stress has gone up 25% for men and 18% for women. And we’re surrounded by stressed-out leaders—in politics, in business, in media—making terrible decisions. What they lack is not smarts but wisdom. And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty.”

~ Arianna Huffington

If you, or anyone, is seeking a less stressful way to work and live, you need to develop an inner wisdom before you ‘hit the Titanic’. We need to lead and work from a place where we first:

 STOP . PAUSE . BREATHE

 We need to ask ourselves how we got to this place and what we as individuals can do to move ahead in a mindful, positive way. We need to ask ourselves:

 What Am I doing? Why Am I doing it?

Here’s how to find the answer: Stop your ‘scheduled busyness’, limit the stuff that creates the hectic feeling, and avoid the distractions. This is a frightening proposition for many. Some have equated the busyness and materialism of our culture as a measure of self importance. I invite you to open up to a different idea and get curious with yourself. Go inside, lean into your body by way of the breath, and truly listen.

“The tasks we face in pursuing a work life more often have to do with intangibles, with what cannot yet be touched or spoken, and very often with the great intangibles of our unhappiness. In a good work day you are more often than not trying to make other people happy; in a good work life you are trying to make yourself happy. In a work life we must treat the intangibles as seriously and as practically as we treat the touchable, doable tasks of a given day. To do this we must use a different language and a different imagination from what we might use at a desk or a workbench; we must locate a form of current different from the one that powers our laptops or our power tools, an internal current inside the imagination, inside the body that is determined to flow out around all external obstacles and find its way home.”

~ David Whyte, The Three Marriages

This idea of leaning into a new world of business is part of the new business paradigm I’ve been writing about in this series, a focus on grounded, wise, and centred ways, the creation of foundations that empower, inspire, and engage people. This is about showing up to life and bringing your whole Self to work. We are placing more awareness on a heart-mind mindset so that we can embrace transformational change from a dynamic ground—creating a world that’s a better place to live in by working on ourselves first, a world where we make discerning choices that support our wellbeing. We can’t enter these new times or solve these challenges with the same mindset that created them.

Support is needed; we’re undergoing a period of intense transformation. According to Conscious Media, 55% of Americans (Canada is not far behind) are undergoing a major life transition and are open to the idea of personal transformation. Personal transformation must be part of the change and it must be supported by innovative personal growth programs pioneered by progressive leaders. It requires courage and openness and much more. Being open to the greater conversation of self-inquiry is what leads us to appreciate the unexpected and subsequently, the natures of each other. As you can imagine, this conversation isn’t frequently attended in the boardrooms…yet.

So as we lean in/let go/open up, we naturally create space for the new to emerge and with it, if we continue to explore and practice, Wisdom, Compassion, Insight, Strength, Resilience, and Vitality. We learn to open up and breakdown barriers, extend our limitations, and see things differently—with a kinder, compassionate lens. Only from this refreshed, renewed perspective, we can move into and beyond our limitations.

The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.

~ Pema Chodron

Expecting the Unexpected.

Michael Washburn, Transpersonal Psychologist, coined the term ‘Dynamic Ground’ – I think many of us are searching for this ‘grounding’. As discussed in this audio talk with another revered Yoga Teacher, Donna Farhi, we are all looking for the ability to stay connected to the Source. This connection is essential to the times we live in. The idea of ‘Dynamic Ground’ can be compared to the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi. He says, “going to the cinema, sitting in a theater, screen is blank, fire appears, but the screen doesn’t get burned. Ocean appears, but the screen doesn’t get wet. Dynamic Ground is the screen.” It is steadfast, open, and able to stay true regardless of its surrounding circumstances.

So how do we find the Dynamic Ground in each of us? How do we connect and stay open to what lies before us, to receive the gifts with grace?

“Living in this dynamic ground of being, we become more, not less, of who we are. We do not become watered-down versions of our former self, a bland monotone. Rather, this radical process called Yoga asks us to live without solidifying our viewpoint or fixing our point of reference. ” ~ Donna Farhi, Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living

What I have come to realize is no matter what is presented on my path, after having time in silence or time to digest, I am able see it as all quite good, even if things didn’t play out as I thought they might. I find the more I practice, the more I see the dynamic ground beneath me and I feel fully and naturally supported.

By remaining open, I understand that things are happening for ‘good reason’ and my life is unfolding perfectly, just as it should. I truly believe when we allow and invite ourselves to lean into our lives this way, we open ourselves up to a level of wisdom and insight perhaps not available to us before. But first it requires letting go…letting go of control, letting go of expectations, and letting go of how things ‘should be’.

A client recently shared this inspirational poem in one of our meetings, on letting go.

To let go does not mean to stop caring. It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to put myself off. It is the realization I can’t control another.
To let go is not enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another. It is to make the most of myself.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To let go is not to be protective. It is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny, but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To let go is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more.

~ Author Unknown

Imagine, if we all took moments to ‘let go’…

Finding Your Own Ground.

In order to open and receive wholeheartedly, we must clear the space around us, both externally through distractions and internally by letting go of expectations and attachments. When we let go, we create a natural pathway to our own Dynamic Ground. As we reflect on what we receive with grace and gratitude, it also opens the pathway to giving wholeheartedly (How May I Serve)—so it becomes a constant flow of giving and receiving that impacts our overall wellbeing. Experience it for yourself and begin with this practice:

As you prepare to let go, find a quiet space in your home, clear the floor, and make space to lie on your back comfortably. Prepare for Relaxation (Savasana)—a personal paradise.

Close your eyes, feet splayed out to the sides and legs apart, arms away from your sides, palms facing up, pillow underneath your head to support your neck aligned with your spine, a bolster or stacked blanket underneath your knees. Allow your entire body to surrender to the weight of gravity, inviting every single cell and muscle fibre, all tension to relax and melt away into the Earth.

Now repeat to yourself, “With an open mind, I direct my attention inward, ready for what is yet to unfold. I am letting go of my expectations and remaining open and present to the gifts that lie before me”. Then rest in silence or surround yourself in meditative music, listening to the natural rhythm of your breath and whisperings of the soul for the next 20 minutes.

I leave you with much gratitude and admiration for those who are choosing to lead and live with courage. May you have wisdom to Open, Let Go and Lean In!  Celebrate the beauty.

Over the remaining posts, we’ll take a better look at this fresh approach to business and how it’s taking shape. I’ll also continue to share some resources I find inspiring and show you how Uplift is helping to lead the way.

Love and light,

Paula

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm Part 4—How May I Serve

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Part 4—How May I Serve

This is the fourth in an 8-part series examining the new style of business leadership being brownstoneschampioned by Uplift Consulting and shared by spiritual/professional thought-leaders worldwide.

For many years, marketing experts were taught to create language around, “What’s in it for Me?” in order to better sell to consumers. This language has permeated our workplaces and our personal lives. Fortunately for all of us, this perspective is evolving.

The gift of service can be one of our best allies. When we are fully present with an intention of service, a shift happens from rigidity and closed-mindedness to authenticity and heart-mindedness. This shift can have a profound impact not only on the person who has the mindset of ‘being of service’ but on the people around them as well.

Now here’s the trick, we need to let go of the outcome—the ‘what’s in it for me’ part—and it’s not as easy as you’d think. We’ve been taught to carpe diem enough that often times, our Ego steps in the way with a myriad of racing, conspiracy theory type thoughts on why you might not want to make that decision or take that action. Well, we need to reprogram.

This is where self-development—and the work of Uplift—steps in. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the primary text on yoga philosophy, says that true non-attachment stems from the awareness of Purusha (soul, the Self, pure consciousness) and that we cultivate contentment by directing our attention inward. This inner work then changes the way we think, communicate, and behave.

Growing up, I received great advice from one of my best teachers—my wise Mother. When times were challenging, she said, “Paula, be of service. Use your time, even when you think you don’t have it, to get out of your head, go out, and help people.”

When we show up to a situation and ask ‘How May Help?’ or ‘How May I be of Service?’, from a genuine, heartfelt place, we immediately begin to separate ourselves from our Ego and create a feeling of belonging. It’s human nature to want to belong and ultimately harness that power to arrive with enlightened, refreshing choices for all involved. Our practices at Uplift do just this.

Google, through their Search Inside Yourself program, encouraged employees to volunteer inspiring great work that made a difference. It had a profound impact on their employees as well as their local communities. This TED talk explains how.

You see, being of service is good for business; it’s even profitable.

In this era of sustainability, the ‘what’s in it for me’ pitch is becoming less attractive to many of us. ‘We’re in this together’ is the new approach, where our exchanges are not so much about fame and fortune as authenticity and integrity. The recently released book, Can’t Buy Me Like, refreshingly speaks to the importance of creating relationships with authenticity. The authors dare to ask the question ‘why do I need to care?’.

 “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”

~ Desmond Tutu (via ‘Can’t Buy Me Like’)

From a leadership perspective, the same approach to creating relationships holds true. Let me explain. Your choice to move into a Leadership role needs to be for the right reasons, not solely for your own gain. I mean that ‘personal gain’ goals are driven by, for the most part, pure Ego. Choosing a Leadership role can’t come from ‘what it’s in it for me’ or ‘what am I going to get out of this’ (for example, title, status, shares, control, power, or other fortune). The choice needs to come from a preparedness to lead—because you care, and your ability to lead fuels the greater good.

True Leaders are challenged with leading from an inspired, authentic, conscious, and heartfelt place. In a time where the pace is fast and noisy, where the traffic distracts many from their own brilliance, Leaders need to be self-aware and understand the impact of their actions on others and their businesses. They need to lead with inspired intention, with great respect, clarity, kindness, and compassion.

Leaders of the new business paradigm ask:

  • Who am I?
  • How may I serve?
  • Are my actions aligned with my intentions?
  • Is the pulse of the organization grounded and focused?
  • Are people genuinely happy and at ease or is there a sense of distress, anxiety, and fear?

 “Leading from the soul means that you take responsibility for more than the group’s needs. You have a concern for everyone’s person growth. This responsibility begins with your own evolution. In eight areas of your life you have the power to be guided by your soul: thoughts, emotions, perception, personal relationships, social role, environment, speech, and the body. In all of these areas your behavior affects the people you lead. If you evolve, so will they.”

~ Deepak Chopra

Now is the time to set the stage for a new and refreshed way of working. When we drive a culture asking ‘How May I Serve?’, we show up in ways that support each and everyone of us.

I often tell my clients at Uplift that when it appears work has gone off the rails, when stress is high, and perhaps we’re not seeing the bigger or driving force behind why we’re doing what we’re doing, we need to get out of our heads and into hearts. When we allow our walls to come down and we get to know ourselves much better, we can move into a place where we can be of service—not only to ourselves but to everyone else in our lives. This work is about being aware of our limited storyline and skillfully creating conditions to move beyond, instead asking how we can help.

Are my actions in my day to day helpful to myself and others?

A big piece of ‘How May I Serve?’ is how you understand yourself and your connection to the rest of the world. After all, we are in this together.

When clients find themselves in places of transition, they’re often struggling with those internal pointed questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? We become so attached to the title, the status, the material goods, that when we strip it all away, we feel very raw and vulnerable. The transition is regularly experienced as a loss of self, a loss of identity, but it is so important to recognize the gift being offered.

Transition is an opportunity to ask the greater questions of ourselves. 

Yoga teaches us that when we strip down to our essence, over time and with skillful practice,  we get a glimpse of Who We Truly Are. This fundamental goodness is a force much larger than the titles past and this goodness is the key to happiness and success. From this strong and grounded place, we can ask how we can best be of service and know that the answer is true.

I connect so greatly to this poem attributed to the Chinese sage Wu Wei Wu, from Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society:

 

Why are you so unhappy?

Because ninety-nine percent of what you think,

And everything you do,

Is for your self,

And, there isn’t one.

At Uplift, we’re playing a big role in the new business paradigm. We can help you find solid ground, so that you’re in a better position to step and rise up into the Leadership role you were made for. Let’s support one another. No matter our role in business, we’re all human and we all have a role to play.

In the next post, we’ll look at how opening to change and embracing transition, makes for a better you and therefore, better business. Then over the next several posts, we’ll take a better look at this refreshed approach and how it might take shape. I’ll also share some resources I find inspiring and show you how Uplift is helping to lead the way.

Love and Light,

Paula

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm – Part 3

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Part 3

This is the third in an 8-part series examining the new style of business leadership being beigestoneschampioned by Uplift Consulting and shared by spiritual/professional thought-leaders worldwide.

In recent years, I have seen an increasing need and intense pressure arising in the corporate world for people to be supported in ways that help them heal, to come back to a place of peace and calm, grounded and centred. We’ve been armoured and protectionist for too long; it’s almost as if the walls are finally coming down. I’ve seen a refreshed and renewed way of professional development build resilience while creating a depth of kindness and compassion. One of my colleagues said recently, “I admire what you are doing at Uplift, launching a business that stays true and consistent with your values”. In the busyness of day to day life, it’s easy to get caught up in the next great thing. We aren’t taught to maintain our sense of who we truly are as an adult and moreover, how to nurture that Self in our workplace.

The fact is, staying connected with our natural rhythms is an integral piece to staying grounded through times of transition.

In this Wisdom 2.0 video, Bill Ford, the executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, talks about the harrowing experience he went through when Ford nearly declared bankruptcy several years ago. For him, taking time to meditate and check in with himself each day was critical. “The practice of mindfulness kept me going during the darkest days,” he says. He also took time each morning to “set the intention” to deal with whatever arose that day with a sense of compassion and kindness.

In that video, this strong leadership question really sticks out for me. Jack Cornfield asks Bill Ford, for the next generation of leaders, “how do you keep true to your Vision when the world around you criticizes and undermines you?” Well what about this? We will always be faced with the ‘naysayers’, but we can use the knowledge of that to figure out how we can play our part and support and uplift each other on that journey.

Like Bill, my sense of wellbeing and my greater connection to life through spirituality is dependent upon the time I set aside to listen to my own natural rhythms. This daily practice allows me to identify and paying attention to my needs, really hear what my body is telling me, and set intentions for my day. Practices like gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga teach us how to do just that. These practices are at the centre of the new business paradigm.

Michael Stone, from his radio show Conversations, Are We Listening, calls for awareness and action.  There are greater conversations that need to happen:

 “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life-forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.” ~ The Earth Charter

I would take one step further and say that in order to “declare our responsibility to one another”, we need to declare our responsibility to our true selves. We need to be accountable for our actions, our needs, and our intentions. If we face our lives with a wholly compassionate perspective, so we are in a better place to “bring forth a sustainable global society”.

“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

I am really proud of what Uplift is and it continues to evolve—we’re helping more and more people, front-line workers to professional executives.

We are literally changing the world, one person at a time. We all need support and guidance (just as Bill Ford found in Jack Cornfield). Uplift is here to guide you along your path.

Please join me in this meditation.

I invite you to find a quiet place. Sit back, take a deep inhalation, and let your breath leave your body fully. Just for one moment, allow everything in your body to dissolve: your thoughts, any physical tension, your emotions. Just let go. Continue to breath deeply, until you feel a connection with your breath. Allow this connection to grow stronger and deeper. Breathe like this for a few minutes, allowing your body and mind to quiet and calm.

Now imagine, imagine if we all got right with ourselves, out of our limited storyline. Imagine who you can Be if you let go of your criticism, your personal barriers, your limiting beliefs. Imagine what you can contribute, what we can all do for humanity and Mother Earth. Know that everything you do, matters.

Continue to follow and be with your breath.  Expanding and creating space for what is yet to arrive, welcoming with kind eyes and open heart.

This is your natural rhythm.

Now set an intention for your day. Bring this intention into your life and your business or place of work. You see, business has a big role to play, and it begins with You.

In the next post, we’ll look at how the gift of service and the dissolution of ego can be our best allies. Then over the next several posts, we’ll take a better look at this refreshed approach and how it might take shape. I’ll also share some resources I find inspiring and show you how Uplift is helping to lead the way.

Love & Light,

Paula Pyne

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Patience and Potential

This post is not so much about patience and potential as it is about pussy-willow-branchesinterconnectedness. A series of interconnected events embedded with a nature theme brought me to this piece. I hope by sharing my own story, you too can find the moments of interconnectedness on your own journey.

The final days of winter are the perfect time to observe nature.

Through the sheer beauty of golden rays of sunshine, of snow sparkling, of birds in full song, she offers us the reminder that a time of Transition is around the corner.

Are you ready?

Spring is a time of change and renewal, integral to setting the pace for our three other sister seasons. Earlier in the day I had an interesting conversation with a client, who mentioned how she would love to skip Spring altogether. It was a poignant statement that brought to mind the card from Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle Card deck I pulled that morning. It was ‘Patience’.

Archangel Jophiel: “Your dreams are blooming more rapidly than you realize. Still, they need nurturing and patience.

It takes time for a seedling to push through the ground and mature into a flower-bearing plant. Yet each moment of a plant’s lifecycle can bring joy to those who notice its beauty. In the same way, enjoy the process of realizing your dreams. Slow down and feel gratitude, as each step brings your manifestation into tangible form. Notice the lessons and love that spring from every moment that you engage in acting upon your dreams.”

I’ve pulled this card a few times lately and love the reminder to relax and settle into the change that abounds.

So as I later found myself surrounded by nature, enjoying a beautiful hike, I couldn’t help but admire the intense beauty of this time of year: the fresh smells of new growth, the whispers of nature reawakening. I couldn’t possibly imagine skipping a day, let alone an entire season!

Each and every day there are blessings to be counted.

I love the warm weather and the heat of the summer, believe me. In fact I’ve gone MIA the last two winters for extended breaks to ensconce myself in warm climates and beautiful cultures. But this winter has been different. Instead of nurturing my love for travel, I am giving the love and attention to my business, Uplift Consulting and the warmth of my ‘internal fire’.

For the first time in a few years, I have been able to experience the full depths of the Canadian winter and it has rekindled in me my love for the seasons and the transitions that evolve from them.

Earlier in the week, we finally received the service call from our telecommunications company. He was walking into a time-bomb, as our internet connection has been down sporadically for the better part of a month <talk about an exercise in patience and living yoga>!  As he was putting on those awkward galoshes over his boots, he said about the winter, “I will be glad when this is over”. It struck me as sad, rushing time, this very precious life.

As he left, he said, “everything is in good working order here”, to which I smiled, “thank you, you made my day”. He paused a moment and said, “why thank you”, as if this was something he didn’t hear very often. In this moment, we were connected; this connection is one of the gifts of being human. When we rush or disconnect, we miss so many of blessings that are meant for us, blessings that connect us to a place of happiness and peace and belonging.

We’re all interconnected.

We tend to rush into almost everything in life, especially when things are not comfortable. For some of us, that might be the bone-chilling, dark days of winter that call us to go inside, to rest, to discover, to explore our own great depths. I observe this impatience, often in others: ‘once I get the new job…’ or ‘once I meet this goal or that objective…’ or ‘when I retire…’, and so on.  I think, what is meant, ‘then life will begin’. But here’s the thing, and what I continue to remind myself and others of: we are surrounded with light, beauty, and little miracles every day. That’s life…but only if we choose to look at and cultivate the bright side.  And, trust in the process.

The question is, what do we glean from each step we take…even during the uncomfortable periods? Do we run away or immerse ourselves in the richness of life? It’s the subtle moments that often go unnoticed…because we were rushing things in search for the perfect job, in search of the perfect relationship, in search of the perfect life. Meanwhile, the perfect life is staring us right in the face in each and every moment. Now that’s a wake up call!

This is what winter is all about…for us to get nestled into the darkness, cuddle up under the covers, and get some good constructive rest. We go inside to renew, so that as we come into Spring, we are refreshed and ready to take on the next season and perhaps something much more profound or larger than ourselves. As a society, we’re so disconnected with this idea. We’ve lost our connection to the natural rhythms of nature that support us in our own evolution. We’ve lost our connection to our pure potential. This is what’s calling us back to rediscover, as we say in Yoga, this place called ‘home’.

We can awaken to our true potential.

“Waking up is one of the most important themes of our time. It’s seeking us as much as we are seeking it.”~ The Wake Up Festival

For me, these are the gifts that daily gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practice bring,  all of which connect us to nature, her rhythms, and something much larger however you may define this for you. It fosters a high radar, a tuning into things that otherwise might be missed. Often we catch glimpses…

Next time you do, pause for a moment to revel in it. Try to enjoy these moments of happiness in your heart.

So together, let’s welcome the Spring Equinox, greeting her with a sense of belonging and vitality and spring in your step. It’s right around the corner. As we let go and shed the slumber of winter and wake up to the potential in these fresh new days, I look forward to what lies ahead…

Love and light,

Paula

Photo source: Flohaus

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm – Part 2

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm  brownstones

Part 2

This is the second in an 8-part series examining the new style of business leadership being championed by Uplift Consulting and shared by spiritual/professional thought-leaders worldwide.

Leadership is at the very core of any business. If the leadership is strong yet flexible to change, so the company will grow to reflect that ideology. Similarly, if the leadership is overly controlling or focused simply on the bottom line, the company may grow initially but will be unsustainable in the long-term.

The Uplift business model promotes conscious heart-centred leadership first. It’s a People Matter approach (as opposed to a Profit First attitude).

Many of my clients are from the corporate world. In fact, this is where I spent much of my career, learning how the system and the big giants work. I really understand this climate and the current attitude on how to ‘survive’.

It’s the core perspective on ‘survival’ that is at the heart of the issue. It seems that in order to be a ‘good leader’ (at least from a traditional standpoint), one needs to be in survival mode—something we equate with aggression, closed-mindedness, and ego. So the question that Uplift poses is, what if we changed the attitude from survival to revival?

Revitalizing, energizing, and uplifting each other so that our businesses will prosper.

Now I find myself re-entering the corporate world with a much wider perspective. The work we do at Uplift leads people to ‘wake up’, to experience life and work from a more grounded place, a place with a refreshed lens, a place where one feels connected and engaged, a place that is expansive, limitless, and supported by love, kindness, and compassion. Fear is no longer part of the equation. The trick is, this methodology requires that we get right with ourselves first, that we get grounded and ‘get to know thyself’.

I met with a small business owner this weekend and I feel compelled to share his words, simple, yet so powerful, “we help each other be successful in business”. In his voice, there was no concern about survival or competition. This business owner doesn’t advertise. He built a business on work he loves to do (and does exceptionally well) and he is booked months in advance and takes the summer months off for leisure. There is just so much Wisdom and Inspiration to glean from this entrepreneurial spirit.

More and more, we are seeing businesses embrace the importance of self- development, wellbeing, and transformation. Tony Swartz, from The Energy Project, highlighted this in a recent blogpost, How to Be Mindful in an ‘Unmanageable’ World:

 Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, talked about how compassion has become a centrepiece of his management style. More specifically, he described how compassion requires slowing down and taking the time to truly listen to others. It means understanding where they’re coming from, caring about the struggles they’re facing, and the baggage they’re carrying.”

It’s good [for] business.

The 2012 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study (of 50 companies and 30,000 people) looked at how employee engagement was connected to overall productivity. What they found was low-engaged companies produced at a 10% operating margin, traditionally-engaged companies produced at a 14% operation margin while sustainable engaged companies produced at a 27% operating margin.

The financial case is proven: when organizations focus on their people, they see results. As the wise yogis say, ‘What We Focus on Grows’. Financials are important but more so is that we place even greater emphasis on People and Transformation, awakening to our greater heart-centred potential.

To increase sustainable engagement, leaders of organizations need to support ‘Wellbeing’ in ways that engage the whole person—Mental, Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.

The Towers Watson study also looked at What Matters to People. Here’s what they found:

  • Wellbeing
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Balance across life and work
  • Values
  • Flexibility
  • Enough people to do the work right

This is how we lead at Uplift and we’re here to teach you how to do the same, whether you are the head honcho at a large company or the CEO of a small one.

For further inspiration, I invite you to read Tony’s post and explore the Wisdom 2.0 videos for more on the new wave of leadership.

Over the next several posts, we’ll take a better look at this refreshed approach and how it might take shape. I’ll also share some resources I find inspiring and show you how Uplift is helping to lead the way.

Love & Light,

Paula

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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Disseminating the New Business Paradigm

Disseminating the New Business Paradigm   brownstones

Part 1

We’re living in intense times, times of change and transition. Balancing the pressures of life, work, and relationships is challenging…and this fast pace is certainly not what was intended. We know that the way we are living is not working; people and businesses are breaking down from the expectations our system has created. We also know there is a great need to live and work in a different way. This new way will require us to slow down and get grounded—grounded within ourselves then back to the lives we are meant to be living; lives that instill a sense of happiness, compassion, and calm.

Why it Matters

What we are doing is NOT sustainable. The world needs us, Mother Earth needs us to show up whole-heartedly and bring ourselves fully to everything we do.

We need to create safe and nurturing environments for each of us to grow…and for all that to happen, we need to change.

Welcome the New Business Paradigm.

With a focus on grounding, wise, and centred progress, this structure empowers, inspires, and engages people instead of alienating. It’s about showing up to life and bringing your whole Self to work.

See how it differs from the traditional style of business:

New Business Foundations

Traditional Business

Conscious heart-centred leadership – People Matter

Fear-based, control-centred leadership – Profit First

Natural rhythms support productivity & innovation

Resistance to change, intuition, and flow

How may I serve?

What’s in it for me?

Open to giving and receiving

Closed and limiting

Entrepreneurial, service-oriented, connected to purpose and value

Top-down hierarchy, titles, disconnected, disengaged

Collaboration & Interconnection (One)

Ego-driven (I, Me)

Abundance

Scarcity

We’ve tipped so far over on the scales, we need to work together to bring everything back into balance.

Over the next several posts, we’ll take a better look at this refreshed approach and how it might take shape. I’ll also share some resources I find inspiring and show you how Uplift is helping to lead the way.

Love & Light,

Paula

 

© 2013-2019 Paula Pyne. All rights reserved.
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