Excerpt from Chapter 11 of Hippiebanker: Bringing Peace, Love and Spirituality to the Workplace.
(Note: In the last five chapters I apply the Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age to the workplace. Sutras are spiritual concepts, reduced to one sentence, which are simple, yet deep and profound. They are literally words to live by and these sutras were taught by Yogi Bhajan, spiritual teacher and master of Kundalini Yoga.)
THE FOURTH SUTRA OF THE AQUARIAN AGE:
UNDERSTAND THROUGH COMPASSION OR YOU WILL MISUNDERSTAND THE TIMES
What is compassion and how can we apply this sutra to the workplace? Compassion means to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion is opening our hearts to the feelings of others without judgment. How do we do this? By acting from the heart. Now, compassion does not mean we overlook the mistakes made by our coworkers. It means we have sympathy and understanding for their difficulties and know we are not different from them. There are many reasons we get upset with our coworkers. We may feel we work harder than another person, or we think our solution to a problem is the best and only solution. Maybe we don’t have patience with our coworkers. Sometimes, when we move up the corporate ladder, it’s easy to forget where we came from. We forget struggling to get to the next wrung, and what it felt like when a coworker or boss didn’t show compassion when we had to call out sick, or when it took a little longer to understand a new policy or procedure. We only remember where we are now, and forget who and what got us to the next level.
It’s ingrained in us to be logical and to hide our emotions in the workplace. The mind is held in higher regard than the heart. By tapping into the power of your heart, you will discover your ability to be compassionate. At first, your ego will resist it. The ego will bring up many reasons why someone doesn’t deserve your compassion. It will also try and tell you that you are a weak leader if you live from your heart (Believe me, your ego will be relentless on this advice.) In addition, your ego will start judging others. Judgment will keep you small. Judgment is that nasty little trick the ego uses to separate ourselves from others. How do you feel when you judge someone? I feel tense and disconnected. It doesn’t feel natural. Try to not give in to your fear-based ego. Instead of honoring your mind, live from your heart.
When we are compassionate, we shift from a me mentality to a we mentality. And isn’t that what the workplace is – A team effort? As someone who has continuously lead through love instead of fear, I will tell you this: Your heart will always lead you to a better outcome. And you know what? In return, you’ll be a fierce leader!
OUR INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
This week, when you have a situation at work and are struggling to understand another’s point of view, try this exercise. It’s from the book, Resurfacing Techniques by Harry Palmer. Start with one individual. You can use this exercise for a coworker, your boss, your mentor or even a customer. Say these steps to yourself discreetly and use the person’s name for each one:
1. Step 1: “Just like me, this person is seeking happiness in his/her life.”
2. Step 2: “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.”
3. Step 3: “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness & despair.”
4. Step 4: “Just like me, this person is seeking to fill his/her needs.”
5. Step 5: “Just like me, this person is learning about life.”
Afterwards, give yourself a temperature check. Now how are you feeling? Do you feel your heart opening up? Do you feel connected with that person? Step outside yourself and witness your thoughts.
To me, the Fourth Sutra is an experience of oneness. It’s about speaking and feeling from your heart and connecting with your coworkers on a soul level. It’s forgetting our differences and recognizing what we have in common. We all crave attention, recognition and happiness. It’s not always someone else we must show compassion for. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We need to let ourselves off the hook and not be so judgmental and ready to put ourselves down. Easier said than done, you may say; but if we practice this week, starting with one person (or ourselves) and continue throughout the week, it will become easier to experience oneness through compassion.
This week, keep your heart open as you approach people and challenges. Try and resist the urge to go into judgment or to go into your ego and separate yourself from others. Remember to look into your coworkers eyes and see the light that shines brightly in all of us. It’s there. All that you need to develop compassion lies within you. Start your practice today. The payoff is enormous.
Remember, We are all One.