ADD STRENGTH TRAINING TO YOUR DAILY LEADERSHIP WORKOUT
When we think of stretching and strength training, we typically think of getting our bodies in shape. It’s really important to be in good physical shape, and now there is another sense of urgency—
Now is the time to wake up and get our minds into shape.
We are well into an information age. What does that mean for us? We are no longer working with our hands. That is, we are not taking physical action by plowing fields, picking cotton, working in a factory, or growing our own food. We literally don’t have to sew our own clothes or milk cows. Machines take care of most of this work for us, and what few jobs remain in factories will be replaced by technology.
This is a good thing – and a new phenomenon is here to meet it. The demand that we stretch ourselves and begin to relate with great skill. This takes strength training and an ability to call bull#^%$ on our minds through self-inquiry.
THE CORE WORKOUT OF STRENGTH TRAINING - THE BIG THREE
Strength of Mind – is to know when you are in a thought or a direct experience.
Strength of Character – is to commit to relentless truth-telling, no matter what!
Strength of Biology – is to become a master of navigating your nervous system.
We must first have Strength of Mind. Strength of mind means knowing that a thought is a thought or when there is some insight that is true intelligence.
With time on our hands from not having to sew, pick cotton, milk cows, etc., we now get lost and addicted to our thoughts in order to fill the space in time where we used to move physically. They are something for us to do rather than be still and tap into pure intelligence. With strength of mind, we can turn our attention away from busy thoughts to our deeper wisdom.
In this age we are in, we must have Strength of Character, which means existing in such a way that we have relentless allegiance to truth and integrity.
This requires the courage to investigate by asking ourselves: Do I tell the truth and welcome the truth in myself and others, no matter the consequences? And when others tell the truth, do I judge, blame, or shame them for their actions when they took the risk of telling the truth to expose something they’ve done?
Finally, to be a master of your nervous system is to have Strength of Biology. Our nervous systems are organisms whose sole purpose is to survive. Learning how to navigate your nervous system is a real skill that is required in an information age. No longer are we hunters and gatherers, with our survival depending on going out to kill or forage our daily meal.
We can learn about our biology, how fear works, and how survival mode works so that we don’t exist in a bubble of fear. Because in the absence of knowing these, survival mode will take over and hijack our brain, and this biochemical event that has overcome you will affect others.
ALL THREE STRENGTHS MATTER
If we don’t have strength of mind, then we are in our thought narrative versus reality. A thought can create a biochemical event in our nervous system (our biology), which, in turn, we experience as responding to life from survival mode.
If we have strength of character and tell the truth – which can be frightening, because the truth can be very inconvenient – then, again, we are creating a biological event in our nervous system.
And even if we have strength of mind and character, we have to override the conditioning of our muscle memory. If we’ve had any kind of trauma or terrible experiences, our nervous system remembers it. We have to learn to recognize when we are hijacked by fear. We have to be masters of letting this life force energy move through us.
WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE?
“What if I screw up this project?” – no strength of mind; instead, allegiance to mind chatter
“I’m such an imposter.” – lack of character by lying to self
The biology: shallow breathing, prefrontal cortex bypass, sympathetic nervous system in charge.
“What if I screw up this project?" - wow, there’s that thought again
“I’m such an imposter.” - I’m really following my thoughts right now. I need to stop and see via self-inquiry if any of it is true. I want to exhale to get my parasympathetic nervous system engaged, and for this one, I need to move a little to loosen the grip of fear. As the CEO I am about to deliver an important message at an all hands meeting.
What do these three aspects of existence equal? An awakened, conscious human being and an exceptional leader AND all three aspects cultivate resilience.
This quote from my teacher, Gangaji, says it all:
Inquiry is not a coping mechanism. It is a stretching mechanism. It calls on the mind to stretch beyond its known frontiers, and it is support for the maturation and evolution of the soul.
To learn more about the skills to be a masterful conscious leader, pick up a copy of my book, Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age.
And you can learn more about my teacher by going to www.gangaji.org and/or download her app for free by searching for Gangaji on your mobile device.
My book Evolution Revolution: Conscious Leadership for an Information Age is your handbook on conscious leadership. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 16 – The Power of Breath and Movement:
“Throughout your day, breathing deeply into your belly is highly important. This is a paradigm shift; we’re taught to wear tight clothing and suck our stomachs in. This is detrimental to our well-being. It’s important to relax your belly so that your diaphragm can do its job. You want all the oxygen you can get into your body and brain to fuel yourself into your highest level of activity. When you slow your breathing, you are breathing consciously and allowing your nervous system to sustain your activities.” ~Abigail Stason, Evolution Revolution.