Inspiring You to Lead~Transform~Perform!

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Can you hear me now? Listen to yourself and others to be connected to the creative principle.

How often do we spend time reflecting and listening to our own inner thoughts in order to connect with our authentic self?  I have spent a great deal of time in India for business and pleasure. On an extended visit, I spent time at the Art of Living Foundation, an ashram led by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The Foundation engages in a wide array of educational and humanitarian programs that uplift individuals, make a difference in local communities, and foster global change. Art of Living also offers courses focused on breathing, meditation and yoga to assist in alleviating stress, gaining insight and exercising the body.

I learned a great deal about myself, including the fact that I need a cushioned mat if I am going to spend hours sitting cross-legged on the floor – who knew sitting could be so exhausting!  One of the revelations came in the recognition that often when I set out to do something that seems simple, I find, when I am immersed in it, that it is not so simple after all.

Part of the advanced Art of Living course includes silent meditation for more than two days. I found this very challenging. When someone would talk to me, I would instinctively want to respond — sometimes I would open my mouth without even thinking and then catch myself. What ended up being profound during this silence was that even when outside interactions ceased, the dialogue in my mind carried on. I gained clarity simply because when I went quiet on the outside, it gave me the space and time for my inner thoughts to develop and grow.

When we strive to be authentic we need to begin with the idea of self. Knowing who you are, what is important to you and how you want to show up in the world is the first step in the journey of becoming your authentic self.

For me, it was the silence that brought on the deepest learning during the ashram stay. Why?  Because it highlighted the fact that I don’t need to talk to understand others or have them understand me. When you are practicing silence, you perceive so many things that you would not otherwise notice when you are in the habit of talking. Silence forces you to listen — not only to others but to yourself.

Andrew Cohen, founder of EnlightenNext, a popular business retreat leader, said: “The authentic self is the best part of a human being. It’s the part of you that already cares, that is already passionate about evolution. When your authentic self miraculously awakens and becomes stronger than your ego, then you will truly begin to make a difference in this world. You will literally enter into a partnership with the creative principle.”

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