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The Importance Of Making Compassionate Corporations

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Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus and a former chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville, a visiting professor of Management at Gatton College of Business & Economics at University of Kentucky and founder, president and CEO of Louisville-based Six Stigma and Advanced Controls, Inc. (SAC).

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He has done some important research that has compassion, love, cooperation and understanding as the core for world transformation. He recently reached out to Collective Evolution and we agreed to share his work with the world, so check it out: Internal Excellence Boosts Business Performance.

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At the conclusion of his first interview with the New York Times (21 February 2014), Satya Nadella, the newly appointed CEO of Microsoft remarked, “One of the things I am fascinated about generally is the rise and fall of everything, from civilizations, to families, to companies. We all know the mortality of companies is less than human beings. There are few examples of even 100-year old companies. For us to be a 100- year-old company where people find meaning at work, that is the quest”.

The scientific framework for individual, organizational, national, and world transformation this author has developed in recent years is the path forward to realize Mr. Nadella’s vision. Rise and decline of civilizations follow certain natural laws the author articulated over two decades ago. However, there is nothing in these laws to suggest that with deliberate intent, emerging nations such as India cannot rise faster, or nations currently in decline such as Greece cannot change direction, or for that matter, developed nations such as the United States cannot keep decline at bay longer. Furthermore, these laws apply to populations at large placing no limit whatsoever on an individual aspiring to rise to the highest level possible for a human being regardless of where on the rise and decline curve his or her civilization happens to be. These ideas extend to companies as well.

Excellence comprises of two components: Excellence of the external and excellence of the internal (the definitions are at the end of the article). It is essential for companies aspiring for long term excellence to embrace both. One without the other is insufficient. The US-developed six sigma framework is the wherewithal for the excellence of the external while ancient Indian wisdom is the home of the excellence of the internal. So powerful is the phenomenon of rise and decline that the very culture who has understood it for millennia, is unable escape its effects.

Until recently, the author had maintained six sigma was the only way for individuals, organizations, and nations to emerge as their best. This assertion is only partly correct. Strong evidence has become available which suggests that in the absence of internal excellence, six sigma performs (for that matter, any other quality initiative be it TQM, Kaizen, Lean, CMM Level 5, Balanced Score Card, etc.) will fall far short of expectations. Put it another way, in the presence of internal excellence, six sigma programs will lead to exemplary performance. By extension, the absence of both components of excellence is an invitation of disaster.

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In the following paragraphs three examples are presented to substantiate the claim of a strong link of internal excellence to exemplary performance: (1) Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs, (2) The 2013 Kumbh Mela, and (3) Gamarra Businesses of Lima, Peru.

1. Mumbai’s Dabbawallahs. They are an internationally-renowned group of 5,000 lunchbox delivery boys reportedly with an average eighth grade education who deliver some 150,000 lunch boxes a day in Mumbai, India. Each day, the lunch boxes containing home-cooked meals are picked up from the residences of customers who commute into Mumbai and delivered to their offices throughout the city. The lunch boxes are picked up from customers’ homes long after they have gone to work. After lunch, the process is reversed. Lunch box delivery time is 12:30 PM and the empty boxes are picked up at 1:30 PM for the return journey and delivered before the customers return. The Dabbawallahs know that customer satisfaction issues arise if a customer receives someone else’s lunch box or if it does not arrive on time.

These Dabbawallah    reportedly make one mistake every two months or so. That’s an error rate of one in 8 million deliveries. So impressed was Britain’s Prince Charles that he paid them a personal visit to witness their operations. The price for this exemplary service, $3 per month. In the 1998 article, Forbes expressed their feelings this way: Superb service and charity too. Can anyone ask for more? The Dabbawallahs themselves believe, Work is worship. The author has been taking up this case study in his six sigma training programs for over a decade challenging students that such a great performance is possible when six sigma practices are followed. There is no doubt the performance is outstanding and that the process is six sigma compliant but the claim now is that such performance is impossible without a sufficiently high S component.

2. The 2013 Kumbh Mela. Kumbh Mela, believed to be the largest religious gathering of humans on earth is held at in the city of Allahabad in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India every twelve years on the banks of the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. Most recently the Mela was celebrated during the first quarter of 2013. The Financial Times carried an interesting article on March 1, 2013 written by Victor Mallet titled, “Pop-up Mega City is a Lesson in Logistics for India.”

Said the Financial Times, To somebody who does projects, the tent city is like a mega-refugee camp that comes up overnight and gets sustained and managed for two months with people filtering in and out at a rate of millions a day. It’s managed by the Uttar Pradesh State government. If somehow we could translate that capacity to day-to-day business, you could transform UP. It’s really a powerful thought.” Uttar Pradesh is often seen as the epitome of all that is wrong with India. With a population of over 200 million – larger than Brazil’s – the state is notoriously corrupt and inefficient. Take sanitation. In the decade to 2011, the UP government reported steadily rising construction of latrines in rural areas with the help of $600 million in public funds. But the 2011 census showed that almost no toilets had actually been built. Most of the money was stolen, leaving tens of thousands of children to die each year as a result of diarrhea spread by what one aid worker called “appalling” sanitation. There are few such problems at the Kumbh Mela, however.

Mr. Onno Ruhl, Head of the World Bank in India, who visited the Kumbh Mela was so moved by the operations that he decided to bathe in the Ganges himself. He called it an incredible logistical operation.

Said Mr. Ruhl in the Financial Times article, “The city on the sandbanks, soon to be dismantled before the river floods, “has water, sanitation, power, and solid-waste management, everything, actually, that many Indian cities lack”

Harvard researchers described it as “a pop-up mega city”. The bureaucrats and workers from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous and one of the poorest states took less than three months to build a tent city for 2 million residents complete with hard roads, toilets, running water, electricity, food shops, garbage collection, and well-manned police stations. This year’s event attracted millions of pilgrims from across India who came to wash away their sins in the Ganges at its confluence with the Yamuna. Over its two months to mid-March, the Mela attracted 80 -100 million visitors, with up to 30 million attempting to bathe in the river on February 10 alone, officials say. Precise numbers are hard to come by but the devotees and foreign visitors are generally full of praise for the organizers of what is arguably the largest gathering of humans on earth. Apart from a February 10 stampede at the nearby Allahabad railway station in which 36 were killed, the Kumbh Mela itself has so far gone off smoothly. Fresh water comes out of the taps, toilets are disinfected, trained police carefully shepherd the crowds to the bathing areas, and the lights come on at night. Devesh Chaturvedi, Divisional commissioner of Allahabad is proud of the “huge task” that he and perhaps 100,000 workers completed in organizing the festival. He mentions 165 km of roads on the sand made of steel plates, 18 pontoon bridges, 560 km of water supply lines, 670 km of electricity lines, 22,500 street lights and 200,000 electricity connections, as well as 275 food shops for essential supplies such as flour, rice, milk and cooking gas. Mr. Chaturvedi agrees there is a contrast between the successful provision of these services and the way life continues in the rest of the state, and has two explanations. First, the authorities ensure that all those working on the project are accountable for their actions and the money they spend. Second, those involved are highly motivated. “They feel it’s a real service to all these pilgrims who have come here, the sadhus

[holy men] and the seers, so it’s a sort of mission which motivates them to work extra, despite difficult working conditions.”

In the concluding thoughts on the article, Victor writes, a question on the minds of both Indians and foreigners is: How? Why? Or rather: if the authorities can build infrastructure so efficiently for this short but very large festival and its instant city, why can they not do the same for permanent villages and towns? We trust the answer is clear to the readers of this article. This level of performance would have been impossible in the absence of a sufficiently high level of consciousness on the part of both the workers and devotees.

3. Gamarra Businesses of Lima Peru. Gamarra businesses span 34 blocks around Hipólito Unanue and Agustín Gamarra streets in La Victoria region of Lima, Peru. Gamarra has 25,000 businesses that employ 100,000 workers, generating $1.2 billion in revenue annually. These businesses import textiles from several countries at competitive prices. Depending on the size, individual entrepreneurs are set up to handle a certain volume of business. However, agreements with other entrepreneurs allow them to handle orders of any size up to the total capacity of all entrepreneurs in Gamarra. This arrangement assures B-to-B customers of not only high quality and low cost but also a quick turnaround.

Depending on season, anywhere between 150,000 and 600,000 visit Gamarra every day. Seventy percent of visitors reportedly purchase something or the other. Gamarra entrepreneurs are renowned and widely respected among both business customers and end-use consumers. Their textile products are known for high quality and low cost.

The author visited Gamarra in 2008 with his former doctoral student, Dr. Roberto Z. Tantalean to study their operations from a lean six sigma perspective. Like their counterparts in Mumbai, they are not a highly educated workforce either. That theirs is a lean six sigma operation is absolutely clear; nothing goes to waste and there is very high level of customer satisfaction. A clue to their higher S component is their motto, Compete but cooperate!

So, how does a company aspiring to replicate such exemplary performance proceed? There are two approaches: A conscious approach wherein one watches over their S, R, T components to be sure that S stays up and nudges higher and R, T stay low and nudge lower. The second approach is a process whose side-effect is a rise in the S component. Meditation is one such process. Investigators have shown that meditation leads to more compassion and evidence is emerging that profits at compassionate companies are far higher than those at other companies. In his papers on a scientific framework for world transformation, the author explains these concepts in detail. In his author’s view this is the way to sustain excellence in the long term that Mr. Nadella was referring to, there is no other way.

Definitions and Note.

  •   Rising level of Internal Excellence equates to higher S, R, T Level of Consciousness
  •   S: Truthfulness, honesty, steadfastness, equanimity; study
  •   R: Attachment, bravery, ego, ambition, greed, desire to live;
  •   T: Lying, cheating, causing injury in words or deeds, sleep.
  •   Minimum S, R, T required for life.
  •   S component strongly correlates with positive emotions (Unconditioned love, kindness, empathy, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, etc.)
  •   Excessive R, T components strongly correlate with negative emotions (Anger, hostility, hatred, irritation, sorrow, fear).
  •   External Excellence refers to the wherewithal of doing all that we do from wake up time to bedtime including all that we do at work in the best possible manner.

Further Reading

  1. [1]  Deshpande, P. B., Internal Excellence Boosts Business Performance, 2014.
  2. [2]  Deshpande, P. B., Aroskar, S. A., Bhavsar, S. N., and Kulkarni, B. D., Mind Over Matter: Investigation of Materialization of Intentions, Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research, 5, 2, February 2014.
  3. [3]  Deshpande, P. B., Can the excellence of the Internal be Measured, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 4, 11, November 2013.
  4. [4]  Deshpande, P. B., Scientific Framework for Individual, Organizational, National, and Global Transformation, 17th Annual Conference on Science, Information, and Consciousness, St. Petersburg, Russia, July 6 8, 2013.
  5. [5]  Deshpande, P. B., Compassion, Performance, and Programs of Excellence, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 4, 4, April 2013.
  6. [6]  Deshpande, P. B., Science of Compassion, Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research, 3, 9, October

     

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Consciousness

New Moon In Aries: Taking Bold Action

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We are having a New Moon in Aries during the later hours of April 11th in the Americas and on the 12th everywhere else in the world. This is initiating a 29.5 day lunar cycle and new wave of energy for the coming month; however, the astrological configurations mentioned throughout this article will be more prominent over the following two weeks. This cycle will include a Full Moon in Scorpio on April 26th/27th.

Aries season began at the Equinox (on March 20th globally this year) as it always does, as per the framework of the Tropical Zodiac. Being the first of twelve signs, and initiator of a transitional season, it begins the Astrological New Year. However with this New Moon actually occurring in Aries as well, it will crank up the energies of this sign even more so in comparison to the previous weeks that were part of a lunar cycle initiated by a New Moon in Pisces.

Aries is the domain of self, independence, and individual needs. As a Cardinal Fire sign ruled by Mars, it is assertive, courageous, direct, pioneering, and leading. It is initiating, quick, bold, energetic, and warrior-like. Negatively, this energy can be inconsiderate, selfish,  hot tempered, combative, restless, impatient, aggressive, and overly competitive. Aries lacks thoroughness due to its quick forward energy.

New Moon Conjunct Mercury & Venus In Aries

This New Moon is close to both Mercury and Venus. This can reflect a period in which our social interactions and engagement with others can be more lively. Both Mercury and Aries have a busy moving type of energy and we may feel more active, physically and/or mentally, as a result.

The conjunction of both of these planets with this New Moon also means it is tied into cycles that each of those planets have with the Sun. Venus recently joined the Sun in the last week of March and it is now travelling ahead of it in zodiacal position.

In recent weeks this has been a time in which we experienced shifts, developments, endings, beginnings, or more clarity around Venus areas of friends, love, social dynamics, values, worth, or financial matters in some cases. This New Moon and the weeks following can continue this process, especially when it comes to beginnings or newer ways of expressing ourselves in these areas.

Mercury is now approaching the Sun as they will make their conjunction on April 18th/19th. At that time we may experience developments, which may be significant, connected to what has transpired during its previous retrograde in February and how things have unfolded since then. From there, these things may develop further with a better perception, or circumstances may indicate lack of sufficiency, not what was anticipated, or that something needs to change.

Planets In Aries Square Pluto & Sextile Mars Trine Jupiter

This New Moon, along with Venus and Mercury, are in a square with Pluto and sextile with Mars and Jupiter. Pluto combined with Aries and Mars energy can reflect a period of intensity. However, it can also play out as issues around power, control, manipulation, jealousy, insubordination, or subversion.  It can also be revealing, psychological, compulsive, transforming, and purging.

The sextile with Mars in Gemini adds to the lively, assertive, instinctual, and energetic expressions of Aries. The Aries’ planets sextile to Jupiter, which is also trine Mars, can be good for applying ourselves in a way that is expansive, optimistic, educational, philosophical, explorative, freedom seeking, or centered around beliefs. New doors may open up and it can even be lucky for some people.

Uranus square Saturn (mentioned here in a previous article) is still in the backdrop as it will be throughout the year. Although it’s not in one of its strong periods, themes of ‘freedom/rebellion/revolution being at odds restrictions/limitations/traditions are still playing out. This may get activated in different ways by this new lunar cycle and the Aries energy that has already been present over the previous weeks following the Astrological New Year.

Making Intentions & Things To Consider

How would you like to grow and expand and what do you need to change to get there? In what areas do you need to be more bold or courageous? What have your relationships shown you in recent weeks? What is important for your individuality? What are your personal needs? What do you stand for and should you be fighting for it? Do you need to be a leader in any aspects of your life? Are there any new things that you want to explore?

These are just some examples of what to consider or focus your intentions on at this time. However, it is good to reflect on anything else that is coming up for you. It is generally best to make any intentions within the first 24 hours following a New Moon. The exact moment it will occur is 2:31am Universal Time on April 12th. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

A Symbiosis of Humans & Technology – Changing The Conversation

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Have you ever noticed that discussions about transhumanism tend to focus on technology more than humanism? The journey to reaching our highest potential as a species is usually focused externally on the technology rather than internally on our conscious evolution. This is probably because people assume that conscious evolution is more about spirituality whereas technology is more having to do with the things humans create. The two paths are interdependent so we need more conversations between experts in each of these fields. It will only be through a recognition of the symbiotic nature between humans, their technology, and the environment that we will avert self-destruction.

trans·hu·man·ism (n.) 1. A belief that humans should strive to transcend the physical limitations of the mind and body by technological means. 2. A movement of people who espouse such a belief.

Standing at a Crossroads: The influence that technology has on society and culture is called, technodeterminism. Most of us carry mini supercomputers in our pockets called smartphones. These devices act as external brains which seamlessly integrate into most aspects of our life. Most of us are completely dependent on them for travel, work, communication, entertainment, and beyond. Take a moment to consider the future implications of augmented reality, artificial intelligence, machine-learning, mass surveillance, automation, genome editing, nanotechnology, and their potential influences on society, culture, and our environment.

When I think about these things, I can’t help but ask:

Why aren’t people like the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Andrew Weil conversing more with people like Ray Kurzweil, Elon Musk, and Steve Mann?

Ancient Futures: It will become increasingly imperative for our most advanced technologies to be informed by the natural ethos of indigenous people blended with the emotional-intelligence of our enlightened spiritual masters. We must remember that the first humans who captured fire to light their cave, stay warm on a cold night, or cook their food were using technology. Anthropologists proudly call us humans “tool-makers” as one of the attributes that make us distinct from most species.

Paradigm Shift: Conscious evolution will require a concerted effort to communicate across silos and disciplines. Cooperation and collaboration towards collective goals will need to take the place of competition for personal gain. What are we hoping to accomplish, and at what cost? We are a risk-taking species and that drives us to exceed all our limitations. Let’s make these be calculated risks because with our technology also comes a great responsibility.

Start Within: Even our most sophisticated technology does not possess the complexities of organic systems. Computers and machines can do many things for us but they will never be able to feel for us. The realm of emotion is central and unique to our human experience yet it is only now starting to be recognized as a valuable form of intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize one’s own and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.” -Andrew Coleman A Dictionary of Psychology

Research in multiple fields of study shows that curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking, and empathy are skills that will redefine traditional beliefs about intelligence. The ability to accommodate new information requires a certain level of mental flexibility, humility, and ultimately character. It is through our ability to feel and process our emotions that our higher intelligence flourishes.

SuperHumans: Any sports fan knows that there are individuals who possess superhuman gifts. Think of popular sports stars like Michael Jordan, or any of the various extreme sports heroes who somehow manage the seemingly impossible. We also have the various musical or art prodigies who express the skills of a master before the age of 10. We have seen humans walk on red-hot coals with bare feet, walk a tightrope between skyscrapers, and exhibit mind-boggling feats of mental-focus, and will-power. Did you know that Wim Hof ran a half marathon barefoot on ice and snow, with a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 34 seconds? Humans are capable of amazing things when they channel discipline, practice, creative brilliance, fearlessness and focus. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible!

Global Meditation: This simple practice of quieting the mind, and bringing presence to one’s breathing has a long list of documented benefits that include enhanced neural connections, deep feelings of connection and well-being, as well as a strengthened immune system. When we compound this focused intention to include tens of thousands of people all over the world, we begin to literally shift planetary magnetic resonance. The science does not lie, we are potent electrical beings with the ability to focus consciousness and create beyond our wildest imaginations.

Everything technology offers is a reflection of the technology that we, as humans are. Learning to laugh at ourselves a little while delving into our emotions and to make room for possibilities beyond our currently held beliefs is essential for this journey. In order for us to create technology that is aligned with all of life and our planet, we must first become aligned with ourselves and each other. Global meditation is where we practice together!

We can no longer claim that a technology is advanced if it is destroying our skies and rivers or perpetuating harmful practices like war and domination. These are examples of misguided technologies. Our DNA has been informed by countless generations of evolution. It is time that we focus our consciousness towards the natural wisdom kept by indigenous people, while embracing the presence of enlightened spiritual masters. This will allow us to infuse our science and highest technological advancements with ecological and emotional intelligence for the benefit of all life.

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Consciousness

A Proven Technique To Neutralize Draining Emotional Reactions

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We'll explore a simple scientifically proven technique to help neutralize emotional reactions that often drain our energy and reduce our ability to think clearly and make effective decisions.

  • Reflect On:

    How often do you check in to how you're are feeling? Do you feel you are able to self regulate your emotions easily?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Do you notice that you sometimes feel tired or fatigued but are not sure why? Maybe you can have a restful sleep and still wake up having a sense that your energy is not quite there? Maybe you notice yourself being reactive, having a short fuse and feeling unclear about what decisions to make? Maybe you say things to friends, family or people online that you later regret or didn’t truly mean. Much of this can have a lot to do with how we’re feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Emotions that are happening just a touch outside our conscious awareness.

Let’s just do a very quick check in to see what I mean. If you stop a take a moment right now to ask “how am I feeling?” What do you notice? Are you feeling good? Energized? Do you have a background tension? Are you a bit stressed? Annoyed? Are you relaxed and calm? Are you perhaps relaxed yet feeling blah? When we do these check ins we bring awareness to how we might be feeling. This is something we typically don’t do that often and thus are simply not consciously aware of how we feel. If we were a bit more consciously aware of how we felt, we’d have a greater understanding of what we could do to feel better as we know where we’re at.

Energy Loss

This is important because one of the greatest unrecognized sources of prolonged stress, fatigue and physical wear and tear on our bodies comes from living our day to day lives in a state where we consciously or subconsciously experience what we might call ‘draining emotions.’ These are emotions like worry, fear, anger, resentment, or sadness etc.

For each of us, we’re likely going to experience these emotions at some point in life, and this is normal. Typically when we experience these emotions, we’re getting an insight into ourselves. Since what triggers these emotions can often be subjective, we can learn something about our current self by paying attention to these emotions. For example, someone might cut us off while we’re driving on the freeway. On one hand, one person might react aggressively and become very angry, while another might simply see it as a mistake on the part of the other driver and move on with their day.

Why some of us react and others don’t typically comes down the the story we’re telling ourselves about why that person cut you off. Perhaps they take it personally, perhaps they see it as an attack in some way – who knows? You. Only you know, and you can get closer to knowing what that is so you don’t harbour that draining emotion for the rest of the day, and even remove the trigger to begin with so you don’t necessarily have to go down that angry road every time something small like this happens.

I want to be clear here, we’re not looking to avoid emotions or never experience them, we’re looking to gain awareness around why they come, and ultimately have the choice over what gets us bothered and what might be better to simply let go. There is a difference between momentarily feeling an emotion like this, and letting it become a ‘background state’ of being that slowly begins to shape our attitude towards unhealthy and draining tendencies.

We can likely go on all day about where we should ‘honor’ some emotions in some situations or stand up for ourselves in others – I’ll let you decide that within yourself for each situation, but what the focus here in this piece is to simply look at how we can neutralize an emotional experience so we can stop it from draining all our energy and gain greater clarity on why it might be happening.

The exercise below is geared towards improving our self awareness around situations and how we feel, so we can learn to self-regulate emotions at anytime, as well as turn off triggers that might not really be the greatest to have to begin with.

Remember, we’re going to stick with a situation where we are cut off in traffic, but you can use these steps for anything. Maybe you realize you are fearful about a situation. Maybe you notice ongoing worry about something that’s happening or may happen – whatever it may be, the steps can be applied.

A Quick 3 Minute Exercise

We’ll go through the steps, this might seem long at first but it’s actually very short once you get the hang of it. This method is based on decades of scientific researching involving the heart and the benefits of creating coherence through good heart rate variability. You can learn more about that here under the section “Coherence & Optimal Function.”

1. The first step is becoming aware of the fact you’re having the emotional experience. What we’re doing here is by reading this we’re setting up a bit of an increased self awareness in our minds that can help us remember to check in when we next have an emotional reaction to something. Perhaps the car cuts us off while driving, and we react, but then shortly after we remember that we want to have a closer look at that emotional reaction and perhaps choose a different response instead of going down an energy draining rabbit hole. So the first thing we want to do is become aware that the experience is happening.

2. The next step is accepting the experience that’s happening. What this means is, if the person in front of us cuts us off while driving and we get angry and realize we’re angry, bring to your awareness that this is OK. We’re not looking to create a judgement about what happened or what we’re experiencing, instead we simply want to see it for what it is, an experience that happened and we’re now aware of and sitting as an observer of it. What this does is it empowers us to be able to look a little more closely at what we’re feeling and why. After we become aware, take note of the emotion you’re experiencing and name it. Is it anger? Is it worry? Is it fear?

As a small kicker to this, just imagine that the intention here is to turn down the intensity of the emotion so we can go in a take a look at what’s going on in the same way that a firefighter will spray water onto a burning house to stop the fire and cool it enough to go in and assess what the source of that fire was.

3. Next we’re going to take a moment and place our hand or a couple fingers over the areas of our chest, around where your heart is, and use the placement of your hand as something to focus on. With your eyes open, take some comfortable yet slightly deeper breaths. Feel your breath moving in and out of the area of your heart (where you hand is). To do this, don’t worry too much about how perfect the breathing is or whether it’s exactly going in and our of your heart area, just sit with a gentle focus that your breath is moving in and out of the area of your heart. Our goal here is to bring awareness to the physical heart and begin to influence its rhythms ever so slightly. Breath into your heart for about 30 seconds.

4. Next we want to continue our heart focused breathing while also imagining the feeling of calm or ease enter into our bodies. Spend the next 2 minutes or so breathing in the feeling of calm or ease into your heart with comfortable breaths. Notice the calm and ease come over your mind and body. What this stage does is it shows us that we have the ability to produce our own emotional regulation by creating a physiological state that is more synchronized and favorable for introspection and clarity.

After step 4 you should feel a lot more neutral in your feeling, but it may be possible you’re still annoyed or upset about the situation, this is great and in many ways the point of the exercise. Remember the firefighter analogy.

If it’s a really small situation, this awareness might already help us choose to simply let it go. If it’s a larger situation, this exercise helps us reduce the intensity so we can gain a bit more clarity about what’s going on and stop us from simply circling the experience over and over again in our minds, potentially increasing our anger and draining our energy.

Now as a final step, you can take a moment to just assess, what is the story you have been telling yourself about the situation? What might be a more effective way to approach or think about the situation? In the case of getting cut off in the car, was it really personal? If so, how do you know? If it was a mistake, is anger helping you or just providing an undesirable experience? If you had the freedom, would you choose anger at the other driver or to just let it go and maintain better health?

The point here is that with awareness we get clearer on who we are and how we function. This inevitably gives us a choice in how we choose to react.

For more information on this and to build a bit of a deeper practice, you can check out a short course I produced in our members area called CETV. The course is called Improving Daily Self Awareness, Presence & Connection. 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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