Tony Bond, MBA, MPOD
& Kristen Barney, MA, MSOD
Deepening our earlier conversation about our own practices supporting personal reinvention, in support of our consulting and coaching practices – and of your reinvention needs, we now explore the theme of creating space in the heart to allow for transformation.
TB: It’s hard to bring about transformation while living in the head. Transformation happens when attention is centered in the heart. A few years ago I participated in a transformative retreat with Father Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. It changed my life, and every day I still connect with the experience and Father Rohr’s teachings.
During this men’s retreat, which was a modern initiation process based on ancient practices, we were asked to not refer to anything outside ourselves: not even our jobs, spouses, or children. For the entire week, we did not know the profession or status of our fellow participants. We could only identify ourselves as who we were at the core. The best part: this stripped away the identities I carried. It was basically me. At first, we were apprehensive. Not really knowing what to expect from the experience (letting go of control) and not being able to rely on the false identities we normally think of as our true selves, we felt vulnerable.
Once the ego is put in check and the focus is directed inside, there is room for growth and true transformation. This is what took place for all who were a part of the experience. There are leadership lessons to be drawn from this type of experience. Accepting the fact that we really cannot control most things, and being intentional in developing a high level of self-awareness can have a positive impact on others and the organization as a whole.
– Practice 3: Explore on the internet for a teacher or speaker who offers daily messages of inspiration, reflection, or inquiry, and subscribe to his or her list. Or choose a book of daily meditations from your bookstore or library. Commit to spending 10 minutes a day reading and journaling about what comes up for you during the reading. Spend an extra 3 minutes writing about how the reading and reflection changes your state of mind or the place of your attention. Keep it up for 30 days, and write a final reflection about what you learned and what you noticed about yourself. This might be about three pages long. If you choose, you can renew your commitment for another 30 days. Here are links to two teachers who offer emails and other resources for meditation: Father Richard Rohr and Tara Brach.