Yesterday Wind and I held our first Mindful Leadership workshop, here in Cambodia with the staff of a wonderful NGO called Let Us Create. We were excited as these dedicated leaders came together and took some time from their very busy days to see what they could learn.
Our small group of six gathered together in a nearby cafe. School had just ended for the day, and so the place was full of noisy young people, giggling and talking loudly, and drinking their sweet milk teas. Amazingly, just before we began our meeting, the cafe cleared out and our group was left with a peaceful, nearly silent space within minutes.
We began the meeting by explaining the importance of mindfulness in our daily lives, and that meditation can bring you back to center. Knowing your center, we explained, is important in leadership as it makes you more dependable, focused, and even more productive. “Productivity is the bottom line in almost any business” Wind explained, “and without having a center, most people just run around with no clear direction.” To clearly show this, we began a five minute group meditation.
Group meditations are so powerful. The collective intention created an energetic shift that was instantly tangible. Five minutes passed quickly, and we all opened our eyes when our phone alarm signaled time was up. One person in the group, however, kept his eyes suit tightly, and we had to gently let him know we were done. Explaining his delay, the young man said, “I couldn’t find my center.”
What a profound statement! And it perfectly explained what we were trying to teach: if you can’t find your center right now, sitting still, you also can’t find it during a busy day, and then you are doing your job from a place of imbalance.
There are numerous studies that show that meditation can make you more productive (like this post) and our friend, with his question, perfectly explained why. When we come to a task that needs to be done, are we actually present? Can we hear what is needed, or are we distracted by the hundreds of other things on our minds? Are we giving so much of ourselves that we are constantly projecting our energy forward, and never moving from a balanced place?
Making peace of mind a priority gives us a center to launch from. When we are centered, we are calm, and things fall into place with less running around. We don’t waste as much time and energy and therefore, we stress less. We can be more productive, we can prioritize. And we can take care of ourselves first, knowing that when we are in good shape, we can truly serve at full capacity.
How can you make peace of mind your #1 priority today?