Professor Paul Stewart
Academic Coach-Monarch Business School, Switzerland
Professor Stewart is passionate about people living their dreams, evolving their understandings of what works for them and acknowledging and practicing the art of deliberate creation. At Monarch, Professor Stewart guides Candidates to be the very best version of themselves by actively providing life coaching that impacts their personal, professional and academic lives.
The third in the series, this essay provides practical tools that empower you the CEO, from the perspective of being the driver of your own life. Part One of the series explored the concept of being the CEO of your own life and discussed the function and possibilities of belief. It highlighted the power we have to explore and change beliefs in an open sense of adventure and that this would produce outcomes from feelings to physical manifestations. Part Two shone light on the importance of personal alignment, the effectiveness and productivity of acknowledging ones natural strengths and the potential and reality of living a fulfilling life. By reading these ideas, the thinking mind opens and the internal wisdom can be felt as the individual listens to his or her own responses to the perspectives offered. It is wise to have some tools that promote personal alignment and empowerment, to be conscious of them and, to use them regularly. There is no need to wait for internal and external conflict, major challenge or otherwise to promote and enhance personal energy. The following tools and understandings, if they resonate with you, can be built into your daily practices and routines.
Allowing For Time With No Thought
It could be said that there are two types of thoughts. Those that we think and those that we receive. The thinking mind is useful and important. We apply our thought to direct an experience, to organize details and to interact in ways with others and our world. However, the thinking of thoughts, if over used in isolation, may create feelings of strain or stress. A type of paranoia can develop because the thinking mind was not designed to manage life alone. It is simply a part of the whole. In isolation it goes from being a part, to feeling apart. This is experienced by people daily and expressed in their life.
The other type of thought, the received thought, requires listening. It is powerful to make time each day to slow down the thinking mind and experience a new level of receptivity. This can be called inspired thought, though it is not necessary to attribute it to an entity or such. After all, it is all life. You are the receiver of it and the interpreter of it. The following exercise is useful in developing, experiencing and fine-tuning your receptivity.
Sit comfortably in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes gently and begin to feel your breathing as it is. Feel it come in and out in its present rhythm. Notice how your body feels and where you have tension and just allow it to let go. Actually feel it letting go without the pressure of expectation or need. Allow time and continue feeling the breath coming and going. When ready, let go of the focus on the breath and of the body and just sit in the stillness. Perhaps twenty minutes is enough but if you are concerned about the time due to other commitments, set a soft alarm so that you know your time is taken care of. When finished, take a few refreshing breaths and open your eyes.
The power of thought from a focused and aligned individual creates in a way what some might call magical or phenomenal. A short time of focused thought is enough to change a life despite hours and hours of basic or patterned thought repeating itself daily. Just like one light bulb can banish all the darkness from a large room, a single thought can set up a chain of events or completely alter a personal or collective experience in real time.
Choose a word or phrase and repeat it to yourself while sitting undisturbed. This can be called an affirmation. The affirmation should be speaking in the present tense and can be felt in the body as if happening. This is like programming yourself and is an act of deliberate creation. The process of repetition also allows for other ideas related to that which you are repeating to come to mind in a snowball effect. These ideas can later be recorded and used. An example of a phrase could be, “Good things are coming to me.” Or, “Things are always working out for me.” Initially we might think that things should be a certain way that we like and this is our hope, but with practice we find that we can interpret all that is in our life in ways that serve us. Some people find it easy to practice affirmations at various times throughout the day and this is also very helpful.
Through experience and conscious practice, we understand deep mechanisms that are all within the design of who we are. There is no limit to what we can create as we establish our power and direct our focus. We have already been doing this, though often we have done so as a reactor to what is rather than a creator of what can be.
Meditation is perhaps the easiest way to integrate your whole self. It comes in many forms but essentially it brings it all together. Meditation can be guided or self-directed. It can be based on breathing, stillness or movement. Guided meditations are perhaps most useful for those choosing to establish a practice, as the mind is directed giving it something useful to do. The meditation unfolds from there and is an individual and unique experience each time. People are often meditative without realizing it. Sitting at home in the quiet, at a café or even doing a simple task, the mind becomes still and a harmony can be felt.
Sitting quietly, imagine the center of the earth that you are sitting on. Imagine yourself like a powerful tree. See roots going down from the base of your spine and entering a ball of light in the earth’s center. Imagine that light coming up the roots and gradually filling your body from toes to the top of your head. Then imagine that light expanding around you like a bubble. See that expand out beyond your room, the city, the country, and the planet. Imagine it going out as far as you can. Sit quietly in that expanded feeling. When ready, reverse that expansion until you’re back in the room and when ready, open your eyes.
Emptying Out Stress And Accumulated Emotions
I once worked with a client who told me he was bringing work stress home and he felt that it was affecting his ability to be the father he wanted to be. I suggested he find a place to sit for fifteen minutes on the way home and allow for any processing of thoughts and releasing of emotions from the workday. He would arrive home a bit later but the increased quality of interactions would be appreciated. He informed me later that indeed, it made a significant difference.
Whether we are moving from one role to another, changing tasks or simply finishing our day, we can easily empty ourselves of all that has accumulated through the day in our mind, body and spirit. We can create a phrase, a visualization or hold the intention and let it fall away. We enter into the new fresh and clear without carrying the past around like unnecessary baggage.
Daily Nourishment Of Mind, Body And Spirit
It is a potential for every person to promote themselves each day on all levels of mind, body and spirit in ways that resonate with them. Mind can include reading inspirational material, up-skilling work knowledge, affirmations or expansive understandings. Body could be exercise, nutrition and practical daily tasks. Spirit could be meditation, conscious expansion, contemplations, time in nature, art, prayer or other formal practices. We can also identify what makes our soul sing and choose to do these things more often. This light feeling can then infiltrate all our endeavours from business to family, health and much more.
Life As A Spiritual Practice
Contemplate life as a spiritual practice. In its many forms and choices, we all experience life in unique ways and appropriate ways for who we say we are. It also stimulates us constantly about new possibilities and ways to enrich what is. All of life is interconnected and interwoven. Though we don’t often see it, we can sense it and we do know it. If we can remember this as we go into our office, enter the home, or generally participate in life, it will influence our choices and promote meaningful insights and outcomes. There will be fulfillment. It is a simple concept and well worth exploring.