THE BLOG

Great Leaders Inspire

10/15/2013 09:18 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

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.

Much love and light,

Paula Pyne