In the business workplace, the concept of employee engagement is an important topic. As my corporate clients reach out to me to discuss this, I have a secondary question in my mind: "Who is measuring the engagement and how?"
If you’re being evaluated by a boss on this attribute (or if you are a coach with clients who are evaluated), it’s important that you understand how the boss defines and measures engagement. Is your (or your client’s) boss looking for specific activities and/or volume of movement of things and/or style?
Engagement has a very discernible vibration. For example, a few people (really very few) can multitask and be fully engaged in the multiple tasks at the same time. However, for most people, multitasking scatters their energy making, it easy for others to be confused wether they are engaged in one task or another.
Telephone conference calls are ripe for multitasking because others do not have visual clues to additional activities. But those who are tuned in energetically will know when someone is shifting attention from the conversation to other things. I always know when my clients or friends are distracted. Sometimes I call attention to it ("Do you have to attend to something else?") and other times I do not.
To me, "engagement" means being involved, being present, caring. I’m sure that many other words can also help to define the word and/or concept. I don’t think there is only one dynamic or element. I think many dynamics work together.
So, I’ll tell you a story out of school … When I was very young, I learned the importance of "looking" engaged at school. My farther was a college professor so I had good training on that one. There were times that I was totally bored but looked engaged because I knew the body gestures and facial expressions. (I wanted to maintain my status as a favorite student.)
Most of the time, I really was interested in school subjects. A fascinating dynamic happened as a result of this occasional facade. I found that when I put out those "fully engaged" signals, I soon moved from thinking about other things to actually being fully engaged. Sometimes I tuned into the subject from a totally different perspective and learned at a deeper level.
So, in fact, I ended up being even more engaged, and differently engaged.
So, you can LOOK engaged or you can BE engaged. How engaged are YOU?
Usually I focus on positive self talk. Every once in a while it’s helpful to bring to conscious awareness the negative talk that might be sabotaging you.
What do you say to yourself that is negative that keeps you from manifesting what you want in your life? Do you know the words? Do you know how often you say the words to yourself? Do you say them out loud to others?
One of the things I love to do is to help people to transform their language from negative to positive. Of course, the thoughts behind the words need to be changed, as well, but sometimes the language itself is like a key to unlock those negative unconscious thoughts and bring them into conscious awareness. And, once unlocked, the thoughts can more easily be transformed.
To identify your statements of negative self talk, focus in on any subject, but here are a few suggestions to prime the pump.
Health: Do you talk to yourself or others about an illness or affliction you have? For example, "I’m tired of being sick." Or, "My knee is still hurting me."
Money: Do you have disempowering thoughts and chatter about money? For example, "We can’t afford that." Or, "I don’t have enough money." Or, "This economy is really getting me down."
Career: Do you get into conversations with yourself or others about your job or career? For example, "I don’t feel confident in my job." Or, "I don’t seem to be getting anywhere in my career."
And, on and on. You know what a negative statement is, especially when you hear others say one. When you’re paying attention, you hear it in yourself, also. However, sometimes when the statement is yours, you may find that it has become so familiar that you believe the words are the truth. You may even be able to "prove" they are true.
Those negative statements can be an avenue to making a simple change that set you on the path to creating what you want in your life.
I invite you to read and follow the process in a Self Development Technique called Self Empowerment by Transforming a Phrase.
I consider that the purpose of meditation is to achieve a state of consciousness, to realize your oneness with Spirit or your concept of the Divine. One of the best ways I know to get to this realization is to rest your mind, to slow down the chatter. I like to use the breath as a resting place.
While it’s possible to experience a meditative state while speaking and interacting with others, usually the practice of meditation involves quietness, even stillness. The minds of many people in their ordinary consciousness are filled with chatter, conflicting thoughts, imaginings of the future, memories of the past, and limiting beliefs.
Meditation is an opportunity rest the mind or to give it a new focus of attention.
It’s popular for meditators and meditation teachers to say that the goal of meditation is to have "no thought." In my opinion, this is not the goal of meditation, nor is it a desirable goal for those who have never achieved it. My experience is that some of those who achieve "no thought" are in a state of unconsciousness.
Others do achieve a beautiful state of consciousness that they call "no thought" or "Nirvana." This state of consciousness is one without active contemplation or mindless inner chatter. It is clarity. It is peacefulness.
Since the purpose of the mind is to process thoughts, I consider it’s more appropriate to select a focus for the mind than to try to shut the mind off. The breath can be such a focus, because it has movement, rhythm, sound, texture, and many attributes that can engage the mind with little or no stress or resistance. Such gentle engagement rests the mind and promotes balance and alignment.
For some people, it does take practice to let the focus on the breath fully. But, if you choose to practice, there are many long-term benefits. And, incidentally, there are no nifty excuses not to, because it’s free, always with you, and easy to practice unobserved even if someone is watching. Your breath is always with you.
How do you rest your mind — either instead of meditation or to help you to achieve a meditative state? I welcome your comments.
Finding the Balance in Your Breath
gives you the relaxing break you need
to regain your balance and
enhance your personal development and success.
You will discover how, with practice, you can find your balance,
especially in your breath. You can learn through experience how it
feels to lift yourself up or calm yourself down by focusing fully on
your breath. When you listen to this guided meditation regularly,
you’ll more easily and naturally experience balance, peace,
strength, and fulfillment throughout your daily life.
This guided meditation is available at my web site in mp3 format,
and in CD format at Amazon.com.
These days, size by some measure is often factored into personal appearance, jobs, salaries or finances, houses, relationships, time, self-esteem, and, well, practically everything.
Advertisers aim at those who are discontent with their physical size, offering products that enlarge, elongate, plump up or slim down body parts. The key is the discontent, rather than the actual size. Advertisers know this. And I’m sure you do, too.
When you measure your happiness by your size, or any other condition, you disempower yourself. It’s easy to notice the disdain from others, as well, especially when you are disempowered. But the real key is to come to peace with how or what you are now, which is also known as loving yourself as you are.
Change is ALWAYS happening. Always. And if you’re happy in this present moment — regardless of any conditions — then as you change, you will naturally change into what you want or like or prefer.
The above paragraph is worth repeating in different words — it’s so important. Be happy, now. If you are unhappy with what/who/where/how you are, you will be unhappy when you change into something else. Change is always happening. Honor where you are, be happy, and take a step forward.
The real truth about size is that you are magnificently large in consciousness! Regardless of your physical size or the size of your bank account, you are large in consciousness beyond ordinary human understanding. Your thoughts create your life, and so when you are mindful of your thinking, you are more likely to be naturally happy.
Worthy of reading, re-reading, and reminding yourself often are the wonderful words of Marianne Williamson from "A Return to Love," pages 190-91 of the 1992 edition. This piece is often attributed to Nelson Mandela who quoted it in his 1994 Inaugural Speech.
This is especially powerful if you read it out loud.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
"Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking so that
Other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Imagery works. It works when the images are positive; it works when the images are negative. Imagery is working for you all the time.
When you truly embody this concept, it is powerful in understanding how you create your life to be the way it is.
When you understand that you have the power to create what you want, you must also accept side-by-side that you have the power to create what you do not want.
Reflect on that last statement for a moment; it is very important.
Most people experience some of what they want and some of what they do not want. Because of this, most people conclude that “that’s just how life is” or that something is “meant to be.” Actually, the reason that people have a mixture of what they do want and what they do not want is because they give their attention to both wanted and not-wanted things. The ratio of wanted and not-wanted experiences is in direct proportion to the focus of attention on wanted and not-wanted thoughts.
At the basis of everything in your life is thought — YOUR thought, or thoughts. Associated with thoughts are images. You use your mind to create thoughts and images. Some of these thoughts and images you find pleasing; some of these thoughts and images you find not-pleasing. Sometimes you may find yourself shifting back and forth.
Our perceptions form our reality. This is one of the rich aspects of the human experience: many opposing perceptions co-exist. These differing views are found among people, as well as within each person. Life is so much more satisfying when you use your power of thought and imagination to focus on the positive aspects and desired conditions of situations. That is being mindiful; this is mindful information.
When you use the power of your mind to envision harmony and laughter and prosperity, you live harmony and laughter and prosperity. When you use the power of your mind to envision disaster or worry or doubt, you live these types of experiences.
How do you want your life to be? What are the images that remind you what you want?
What dynamics help you to feel successful? What imagery supports the dynamics of your success?
Do the images you hold in your mind reflect how you want your life to be?