The Thought of Losing your Job

The Thought of Losing your Job

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By Dr. Pedro Cortina, Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute

In our work with many organizations and leaders, we’ve noticed that there is probably no more corrosive and damaging thought to ourselves and to our teams than the thought “I will lose my job”.

When we ask leaders and team members how much time and energy they willingly (and unwillingly) invest in this thought, as well as in the other countless thoughts that naturally come with it, we tend to always get a consistent figure above 30%.

If 30% or more of our energy is invested in anticipating, projecting, evading, dreading and hoping not to lose our jobs, as well as the consequences around this (homelessness, mortgage, family, job market, reputation, etc.), then this means that we are only really there for ourselves and for the organization at 2/3 of our capacity.

How would our lives and our organizations look like if we were able to notice and transform this tendency to worry about losing our job into clarity, honesty, connection, commitment, and opportunities? Yes! We would suddenly find ourselves with an incredible and untapped productivity potential.

“Oh! Wait a minute!” You might say. “Thinking I could lose my job, or the fact that my employees think that they could lose their jobs is a good thing!” Well, really?

We may believe that supporting or entertaining the thought “I will lose my job” will somehow keep people doing their best and striving for their goals. We may also think that not entertaining the thought “I will lose my job” will result in lack of responsibility and chaos. On the contrary! We have already hired the best people we can find! We have already invested in them and we trust them! We all know that everyone will generally try to do the best they can because they matter to themselves, and the organization is an extension of that understanding. Of course, we will always have individuals that do not fit or perform at the level expected (3 to 5%), yet, should we sacrifice 30% of the potential, talent, and energy of the remaining 95% because of this? No math or model could support this.

The important question then is: How is it that we actually do it?

How do we reclaim the fear, apprehension, doubt, anxiety, loss of time, defensiveness, and doubt behind the thought ‘I will lose my job’? Well, we do so by allowing each of the members of your team to own and realize the actual cost of living with this fear through a method we call The Work ® . Would you like to learn more? We will be happy to share! Stop by at innerland.com and connect with us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is the CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com. He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

ABOUT THE INNERLAND INSTITUTE

In an age of intense business model disruption, our ability to consistently, reliably, or radically reframe our perceptional, organizational, and business assumptions is crucial to our continued success. This is what we do.

We specialize in working within the grounding realm of individuals, teams and organizations. This is the space where intangible internal impediments such as defeating beliefs, assumptions, mindset, preconceptions and blind spots can seriously get in the way of our passion, purpose, and direction. 

Visit innerland.com to learn more

ZERO LACKING

Why is it that we experience ourselves as incomplete? Why is it that we feel as if something is missing? It’s not because there is actually something inherently lacking or unavailable that we would need to go get or fix in order to feel complete. Rather, we feel this way because we are internally misaligned.

We are internally misaligned when our bodies are ‘here’ and our minds are ‘there’ (wherever ‘there’ is). We are internally misaligned when we are in other’s people’s business wanting from them the things that they do not naturally offer. We are internally misaligned when we are in the ‘want’ or ‘need’ mind that labels everything as something that should be either “fabricated”, "fixed", or “dealt with”.

When we realize, with every cell of our body, that we are already complete… When we realize that what has been misaligned is not lost… When we realize that ABSOLUTELY nothing is inherently missing… We are then able to sit back, breathe, and relax in a way in which we gently, compassionately, and kindly embody and become the freshness, the crispness, the aliveness, and the wholeness of this exact simple moment.

But how do we realize, with every cell of our body, that we are already complete? How do we experience this at such profound level that we then naturally and effortlessly merge with ourselves? In my experience, we do not realize this from more reading, exploring, conceptualizing or attempting to fix others or ourselves. Everything has already been said a million times! Rather, we actually realize this through a sustained, deep, committed, still, and profound daily practice in inquiry. A practice where we go deep, deep inside our Heart and ask: Who am I without the fabricated story of me? And then, just wait and see ✨✨✨

Are you ready to come home?

Dr. Pedro Cortina

The Power of The Work of Byron Katie

The Power of The Work of Byron Katie

By Dr. Pedro Cortina, Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute
Originally published in Linkedin Publications

The Work of Byron Katie is, in my experience, one of the most profound and efficient transformational methodologies I have ever encountered. I learned about Byron Kathleen Mitchell and her Work in the early 00s’ through a friend’s suggestion, and in retrospect, I can say, without any room for doubt, that The Work has been an extraordinary catalyst for me throughout more than 10 years of practicing this method.

The Work is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all your stress, doubt, insecurity, confusion, and suffering. These are the same thoughts that currently are (or that may eventually become) important perceptional obstacles for ourselves or for the people around us. The only prerequisite to doing The Work, in the words of its founder, is “having an open mind” (Katie, 2003) making this method extraordinarily accessible to all who may be interested. The Work is comprised of four questions and three turnarounds that we present ourselves as an invitation to inquire into our internal experience.

With The Work we allow ourselves and our teams to see and access internal options and possibilities that we might have never imagined in our original stressful and rigid state of mind

The Work can be practiced in the form of self-inquiry or as a guided facilitation with the support of someone else. The Work can also be practiced by individuals, teams and organizations alike. In essence, and in my experience, The Work uses our current manifesting thoughts, emotions, or perceptional obstacles to eventually notice how the opposite (the turnaround) can actually be as true as the initial charged thought.

As we notice, in a state of deep inquiry, that two thoughts that appear to be contradictory can actually and paradoxically be both true at the same time, the experience of separation consumes itself and the duality of polarization ends. Also, while dissolving and unifying the initial polarization, we further allow ourselves to see and access internal options and possibilities that we might have never imagined in our original stressful and rigid state of mind. As we practice and integrate The Work in our lives, our visiting internal stories, dramas and obstacles tend to gently fade from our lives giving way to that infinite internal space where integrity, compassion, understanding, action, and connection naturally and effortlessly arise.

In my experience, the scope of The Work is incredibly vast and its applicability seems to be basically limitless. I have personally been able to apply and bring The Work of Byron Katie into incredibly difficult situations in the realms of counselling, coaching, leadership development, education, innovation, organizational development as well as core business practices such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, production, distribution, etc. Other practitioners have also been quite successful in bringing The Work into the realms of healthcare, psychology, rehabilitation, law practice, reconciliation, stigma, and many more.

The results of an honest ongoing individual practice in The Work, or its profound integration within a team or organization can produce truly extraordinary results.

Theorizing and talking about The Work has its complications in the same way it is difficult to use language to communicate the art of Being. In my experience, The Work is about practice, integration and depth. The results of an honest ongoing practice in The Work tend to be truly extraordinary.

To learn more about The Work of Byron Katie please visit www.thework.com where you will find everything you need to get started. You can also visit The Institute for The Work -www.instituteforthework.com – which is the only organization authorized by Byron Katie to offer official worldwide certification status for practitioners of this modality. The Institute’s website also has a worldwide directory of certified facilitators as well as a free international Helpline for The Work where trained facilitators are ready to support you in your inquiry. You can also visit our website at innerland.com. If you are interested in bringing The Work into your organization as a leadership development tool or as a clarifying methodology to address individual foundation obstacles and team perceptional limitations, please feel free to get in touch with us at contact@innerland.com

Katie, Byron (2003). Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. New York: Three Rivers Press.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is the Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com. He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

ABOUT THE INNERLAND INSTITUTE

We specialize in working within the grounding realm of individuals, teams and organizations. This is the space where intangible internal impediments such as defeating beliefs, assumptions, mindset, preconceptions and blind spots can seriously get in the way of our passion, purpose, and direction. 

Our approach is tailored considering the nature and complexity of each situation. Our methodologies are based on profoundly effective and proven approaches of inquiry and facilitation such as The Work of Byron Katie and Philosophical Counseling. Our objective is to transform any impediment into a clear opportunity, with a clear course of action.

The Beauty of Giving Up

The Beauty of Giving Up

By Dr. Pedro Cortina, Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute
Originally published in Linkedin Publications

We have been socialized to be constantly on the go: movin’, shakin’, achievin’ and fixin’ anything and everything we can. For what purpose? Well, of course we could say for ourselves, for our families, for the world, even for the future. We may also say we do this in order to succeed, to be happy, to feel alive, or even to achieve inner congruency. Also, when we engage in this goal-reaching frenzy, we would generally tend to agree that giving up is basically unimaginable and is generally associated with defeat, depression, annihilation or even suicide.

It is important to scrutinize how this movin’, shakin’, achievin’ and fixin’ approach has actually served us so far. Are we there yet? Has it worked for you? Maybe you are one of the very few that can count themselves in a really selective and highly inaccessible club comprised of that 5 or even 10% of the entire human population that actually, and (way more importantly) honestly feel that things are really great, or that they have realized their true potential after all the hard work. Nevertheless, if you are part of the sincere remaining 90% who are still looking to find a way, please, allow me to present an alternative approach.

Surprisingly enough, “giving up” is actually not about defeat, depression, annihilation or suicide. When we trulycompletely, and profoundly give up, we give up all payoff (and therefore there is no defeat), we give up all quarrel with life (and therefore there is no depression), we give up all defense (and therefore there is no fear of annihilation), and we give up all self-doubt (and therefore there is also no need to consider suicide).

Contrary to what we generally may believe,giving up, in the most essential of its expressions, actually leaves us open and in contact with the exquisite and always unique present moment.

Truly giving up is a process by which we profoundly surrender to life as it is happening every instant. When we do this, there is absolutely no expectation of something happening that is actually not already happening. Period. This is a truly profound, exciting, peaceful, active and engaging model by which to live our human existence. Interestingly enough, as we actually “give up”, our options counter-intuitively widen instead of narrow, we become more connected instead of more absent, we naturally become compassionate and understanding as well as inclusivegroundedactive and wholeheartedly driven.

In order to do this though, we need to gently realize that our source of suffering in life does not originate from outside phenomena (even if we are really convinced about this some times), but rather, that suffering in our life actually originates from our own interpretation of these exact same phenomena.

In essence, if we look at it deeply enough we will clearly realize that suffering is an inside job.

We also need to understand that absolutely all attempts to fix, transform, improve, or conquer our internal suffering through manipulating our internal experience will definitely not work. They may certainly improve things for a while or get our juices going. We may certainly get some of the results we want, or achieve some of the goals we set up for a while, nevertheless, sooner or later this profoundly innocent and well-intended effort will end up crumbling in front of our very eyes. Why? Simply because as we fight our internal negative experiences with internal positive experiences, we are actually inadvertently strengthening a future relapse of the same negative experiences we are fighting without even noticing we are doing so.

A good analogy for this phenomenon is to imagine our internal world as if it were a full-fledged 3D virtual reality video game. In this video game you would be able to find the traditional “good guys” (presented in this case as happiness, joy, contentment, growth, or trust) in a constant battle and struggle against the usual “bad guys” (sorrow, sadness, dissatisfaction, stagnation and doubt). The very peculiar and strangely interesting part of this analogical video game model is that in this virtual space, the more the good guys fight the bad guys, the stronger the bad guys become and vice versa. In this virtual reality, this constant fighting ends up generating an apparently endless pendular cycle of happiness conquering suffering just for suffering to come back and conquer happiness once again. This seemingly endless pendular loop is also generally experienced as a continuum accompanied by insecurity, apprehension and affliction with highlights of fleeting joy and contentment, counterbalanced with periods of suffering and uncertainty throughout our life. Sounds familiar?

We also seem to be convinced of the need to finally achieve a truly hopeful and definitive positive outcome “the next time around”. We do this based on the premise that if we try really, really hard the next time, if we finally discover the hidden secret to defeat our suffering for good, then this next fight will certainly be the last one. The fight to end all fights! It would be the fight that decisively conquers and attains this elusive sense of peace and understanding that we have been longing for. Sadly, the result is that while enduring this sincere and tenacious effort to conquer our own internal pain, the legions of doubt, resentment and insecurity inadvertently and unsuspectedly become enhanced and fuelled as a result of this same fight. Oh such paradox!

A way to resolve this profound existential conundrum is to gently and compassionately “give up” and open up to what would be essentially counter-intuitive in this regard: instead of fighting, allowing; instead of defending, surrendering; instead of constructing, deconstructing; instead of strategizing; trusting; instead of fixing, appreciating things as they are; and instead of wanting what we do not have, actually and honestly finding the exquisite beauty that is already there for us. 

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As we move along in our quest towards “giving up” it is paramount to understand that this tendency to “fix” our own internal experience as well as to “fix” the internal experience of others is a profoundly innocent and deeply ingrained part of our identity or our sense of self.

It is also truly important to understand that this process needs as much patience, compassion and understanding on our part as humanly possible.

In my experience, the best possible way to move forward is through engaging with a truly precise, effective and transformational methodology. A methodology designed to engage in a process of questioning and reframing the thoughts that are the source of this apparently endless and contradictory cycle of suffering. A methodology that would allow us to gently but consistently move from rigidity and tension towards openness, clarity and understanding. For me, this methodology, without a single doubt, is The Work of Byron Katie.

The Work of Byron Katie is indeed a simple yet profoundly effective and razor-sharp method of inquiry that allows ourselves to address the thoughts that cause and strengthen our reiterative cycles of suffering. When we practice The Work of Byron Katie we do four basic things:

1.    We inquire: We invite ourselves to seriously and genuinely question the validity and reliability of the premises and thoughts that cause our suffering.

2.    We allow: We permit ourselves to examine the far-reaching implications and the huge personal cost that is derived from holding these thoughts as consistently and inflexibly real. We do this not with the aim to attack our thoughts, transform them, attempt to dispose of them, or to win over them. Rather, we allow ourselves to explore these thoughts with the aim of offering a space to hold them while we bequest them with our deep understanding.

3.    We open up: We sincerely explore the possibilities that would genuinely arise when experiencing life without the particular limiting beliefs that bind us and that we are now questioning.

4.    We act: We engage, connect and participate in this world with clarity, insight and spontaneity. We do so in new and unforeseen ways that were previously not available to us and that now are true, wholehearted, peaceful, inclusive, compassionate and life-giving. 

As we practice The Work of Byron Katie we actually “give up” in a way where we genuinely, wholeheartedly, and honestly stop working against ourselves. We finally end the self-sustainment and self-enhancement of our own suffering. This “giving up” is a giving up that allows for profound space to manifest in our lives. An exquisite space that finally allows for life, clarity, compassion, spontaneity, efficiency, action, connection and understanding to now become the natural radiating essence of our minds. In this way, we can slowly and gently continue to “give up” in a way in which our apparent darkness will end up becoming the same space where infinite light naturally and spontaneously joins who we truly are. 

To learn more about The Work of Byron Katie, please visit thework.com or visit our website at innerland.com. If you are interested in bringing The Work into your organization as a leadership development tool or as a clarifying methodology to address foundation obstacles and team perceptional limitations, please feel free to get in touch with us at contact@innerland.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is the Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com. He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

ABOUT THE INNERLAND INSTITUTE

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We specialize in working within the grounding realm of individuals, teams and organizations. This is the space where intangible internal impediments such as defeating beliefs, assumptions, mindset, preconceptions and blind spots can seriously get in the way of our passion, purpose, and direction. 

Our approach is tailored considering the nature and complexity of each situation. Our methodologies are based on profoundly effective and proven approaches of inquiry and facilitation such as The Work of Byron Katie and Philosophical Counseling. Our objective is to transform any impediment into a clear opportunity, with a clear course of action.

THE QUINTESSENTIAL PARADOX

THE QUINTESSENTIAL PARADOX

The word “paradox” is just a label that our mind uses to tag that which apparently cannot logically exist, yet it somehow actually does. It is a strategy used by our constructed identity in order to be able to deal with the apparently impossible. 

When the line between two seemingly naturally opposing principles dissolves and these two forces begin not only to integrate with each other, but also to feed and co-exist with one another, they completely harmonize into a paradoxical whole.

For example, when two clearly opposing thoughts are allowed to exist simultaneously, and are also allowed to integrate into one another, they both end up giving birth to ONE profoundly peaceful, and all-receiving inner experience. In other words, as we can see in the practice of The Work of Byron Katie (www.thework.com), when we "turn around" any thought into its opposite and then explore how this opposite thought would be AS TRUE as its original thought, we integrate two apparently contradictory principles into one harmonious living whole.

This integration further transforms into a form of energy that nurtures, flows and also consumes itself at the same time. It is an integration of energy that cannot be named, where there is no separation, no strategy, no expectation, and no strife. There is no winner, no loser, no better, and no worse. This is what we call a living paradox, and this paradox would be far from being unreal. Rather, as this integration happens, is becomes a palpable, living, harmonious, compassionate, and self-sustaining union of opposites.

As a representation of this phenomenon, if you were to spin a Yin-Yang symbol on its centre as fast as possible what would you see? You would not see the traditional black and white petals chasing each other with a dot in the centre. Rather, as the circle speeds up you would eventually see a fully integrated flow of ONE SAME COLOUR, or ONE SAME ENERGY. You would see a sort of overall grey, and you would not see any individual black or white. You would see the perfect combination of both opposing principles achieved by the integration of the two initial opposing colours into one.

Furthermore, you may imagine that if you were to spin a yin-yang on its centre to the point where the black and the white integrate into a continuous grey, then you would just have a grey blob with no movement or action, and hence a form of passive or stagnant energy. Nevertheless, if you look closer at the spinning yin-yang (please see video attached below), an exquisite and apparently “illogical” movement still prevails as the petals are now both in grey and they synchronize themselves in a beautiful, decisive and quaintly phased flow of action and integration that sustains BOTH energies at the same time without any form of conflict, achieving full integration whilst also maintaining continuous action! Behold the paradox!

Nowadays we often misinterpret the wonderful Yin-Yang symbol gifted to us by the original Taoists almost 25 centuries ago. The Yin-Yang was intended to actually show CONSTANT MOVEMENT until it would reach a point where it would finally, and naturally, embody the state that Taoists used to call “quiescence” (or quietude) as a result of that same movement and of the full integration of its opposing forces. Today, we often depict the Yin-Yang as a static, single-frame representation of two opposing colours. Unfortunately, this representation lacks the inherent assumption of continuous movement that accompanies this principle and therefore loses this clearly important component for its profound understanding.

If we bring this principle of integration into our own internal experience through the practice of inquiry and meditation, we could see that if we were to allow all internal phenomena that we label as “negative” to integrate and become ONE with all internal phenomena that we label as “positive”, our inner sense of separation and isolation would cease, followed by a profound experience of flow, integration, acceptance, compassion and peace. The internal war would be over! This is the quintessential paradox!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com. He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

Origins

Origins

I was visited by death early on in my life. When I was 6 years old, our car was hit head on by a passenger bus while my mother was driving from the cabin to the city after a weekend of sun, water, and fun. The impact killed her instantly along with my very young 2 year old brother. I survived the crash but at that point, my life changed considerably.

As sometimes happens when you are presented with deep and intense experiences at a young age, my perception of life would now include a profound need to make sense of existence. My philosophical drive was certainly more intense than that of the average person would at my age; and my need for understanding was simply unquenchable. My mind was inundated early on with deep existential questions and concerns, as well as with a profound need to figure out things at the designer level.

During my early 20s, I would engage in serious explorations of the exciting realms of Shamanic traditions. I would also become fully absorbed in the study and active practice of Tibetan Tantra. I further became intensely immersed in the Mahamudra, Dzogchen, and Advaita traditions of non-dual philosophy.

I also finished a degree in Western Philosophy from an exemplary Jesuit University. I further finished masters and doctoral degrees specializing in consciousness-based education and leadership from the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary.

One particular afternoon, as I sat with friends, I suddenly began to feel the signs of what would be an intense panic attack. My pulse raided my body, I broke out in an intense cold sweat and my breath became extremely shallow. I clenched my hands together in an attempt to anchor myself. My heart felt as if it was going to explode. There was a form of silence in the background that appeared to be the most inhospitable element in the universe.

Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being
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By Dr Pedro Cortina

Interestingly enough, as I was experiencing this, I somehow decided to internally let go completely. There was nothing to defend and nothing to hold on to...  and so, still in that room, I suddenly experienced that I was somehow staring directly at myself from myself, with no form, no distractions, no thoughts, no wants, no needs, no expectations, and no hope clouding this direct and extraordinary experience. I was living a form of profound self-recognition of the infinite and indescribable space that supports everything. An exquisite, boundless, and completely held state of Being that needs absolutely nothing on our part to be sustained.

Immediately behind our human experience of internal separation and suffering, there is a vast and open space of understanding, connection and compassion, where we become fully alive and at peace with existence and with ourselves. 

~ We can get there ~

 

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How Our Mental Stories Get in the Way of Our Success

So how much of what we think gets in the way of our success? 

Our internal perceptional landscape does tremendous damage when we are deeply convinced that what we perceive as obstacles are true, solid and real.

How many times have we avoided a particular conversation, proposal, pitch, or interaction with someone because we were “sure” it was not going to work out? Hundreds of thousands maybe? And then, in those rare cases when we actually end up having that conversation or interaction, how many times have we noticed that either it wasn’t that bad, or that it was absolutely nothing like we imagined, or even that we ended up actually getting what we wanted in the end?

The fact is that we build our own world, in silence, and in our heads.We build our own perceptional obstacles and operate from countless assumptions around what we should or shouldn’t do, what we should or shouldn’t say or what we should or shouldn’t consider. These assumptions are so quick to manifest in our minds and so solid in appearance that we end up innocently limiting our own life and possibilities tremendously. Not only that, more importantly, we end up making decisions and operating from those same limitations every day generating considerable suffering and confusion for others as well.

Now consider this, who would you be if you were able to: 

  1. Notice and identify your perceptional obstacles.
  2. Actually see how these obstacles get in the way of your success.
  3. Transform these obstacles into clear opportunities. 
  4. Apply these opportunities in your life with clear and measurable results.


Life would be extraordinary!  We would be able to clear our mental clogs, get rid of our indecision, let go of our apprehensiveness, and it would also allow us to clearly see and understand what is actually out there and what is next in our life.

At the Innerland Institute we take you there. We support individuals, leaders, and organizations in identifying and transforming perceptional barriers to success. We live and work everyday helping people and teams locally and internationally to reach extraordinary goals and to meet face to face with their true potential. For more than 20 years, we have witnessed profound personal and organizational transformation and there is one thing we have learned:  
It starts with you. 

For a sample of our work or a free consultation please get in touch with me at pedro@innerland.com To learn more about our programs, please visit www.innerland.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institutewww.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

3 Things to Know About Keeping a Clear Mind

Clarity.  It's priceless (really).  So easy to loose, so hard to find, so hard to keep. We have all dreamed of having the power to see into the future; or to be able to say or do what is needed, when it is needed. Well, a clear mind is as close as we are going to get to that.

We are generally all able to recognize the difference between being stressed and mentally clear. We can feel it in our body; we notice it in the thoughts we are having; and we can sense it in the conversations we are engaging in. Recognizing mental clarity is not the problem.  The issue is that clarity generally doesn't manifest when we need it to manifest.

So, can we summon mental clarity at our own will?  With some training, yes.
These are three things to know about keeping a clear mind:

1.  This is where your best "you" lives.  When our mind is clear and relaxed, we communicate more effectively; we see potential reactions more clearly; we are more aware and transparent about what we need; and we understand others and the world better. We know that this is a precious place to be in and it is truly worthwhile to get there.

2.  We can get there on our own.  Clarity is attainable through our own work and dedication. We can enhance our ability to seek, sustain and summon a clear mind when it is not around.  We can learn this through simple self-inquiry and mindfulness methods that can eventually allow us to notice and come back to clarity when needed.

3.  We can loose clarity by actually looking for it.  Well, think about it, if we feel we need clarity in a particular situation and we cannot find it, what would happen?  There is a high probability we would actually get stressed because we cannot access clarity when we need it.  This is a very important mechanism to be aware of.  The more we look for mental clarity directly, the more it moves away from us.  We can call this the rainbow effect.

The process of getting to know who we are and how we work when it comes to our internal world is unique to our own situation, conditions, and interests. The methods that we can use to develop our ability to access and maintain a clear mind also need to be adapted to these same particular needs.  Nevertheless, the main goal is not to seek for clarity itself, rather, to achieve clarity we can begin by actually noticing what actually gets in the way of clarity and then focus on transforming these obstacles into opportunities.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.

At the Innerland Institute we live and work everyday supporting individuals and organizations locally and internationally to reach extraordinary goals and to meet face to face with their true potential through identifying and transforming inner barriers to success. 

Getting Real: Its Our Job

Are you getting real with your team?
Is your team getting real with you?

As a leader you are living on the edge between representing authority on the one hand and serving your team in order for each of your team members to reach their particular goals. If this is not complicated enough in and of itself, you also know that you really need to know what is going on under the surface.

Sadly you don’t get to know what is going on at that level just by the nature of your position. Authority is useless when it comes to this level of awareness and communication. You get to know what is going on only if you are able to build, sustain and foster a space that not only makes your team feel comfortable, but also a space where your team actually WANTS and is LOOKING FORWARD to honestly sharing the important things with you.

When I say “the important things” I am not referring to your sales targets or your achieved or unachieved goals. Everyone should know these. When I say “the important things” I am referring to team morale, culture, unseen dynamics, subtle communication, levels of commitment and ownership, to namefew.  This is what will make or break your team. Being able to foster open, honest conversations where teams can actually get real has been one of the greatest challenges I have seen in 20 years of leading and supporting organizations.

Fostering open, honest, and real conversations that lead to sustained high levels of trust are true signs of a leader.
The challenge is doing so without getting defensive and without taking things personally, while at the same time being able to summon all the richness that criticism and doubt can distill.

Generally, this learning curve takes decades.  Additionally, we would often need to go through several difficult situations along the way. Nevertheless, if we move away from learning through trial and error, and commit to building and sustaining trust through coaching and mentorship early on, it will not only save us several unpleasant situations but also allow us to achieve a long, inspiring and highly successful careers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, life and executive coach, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment. Curflexion is sold through amazon.com

Sorting the Rubble: 5 Steps to Getting Things Right When Things Go Wrong

It happens. We make mistakes or miss the mark sometimes. Whatever the case, when things go wrong, there is only one reasonable way to proceed: to make them right – or at least, do our best to make them right. Sadly, this is really not that easy because making things right is often counter-intuitive. Our fight or flight response sometimes gets in the way. So to make things right, consider the following:

  1. Take 100% Responsibility. Taking responsibility is a personal ownership process and has nothing to do with what others would prefer, want, or ask that we take responsibility for. At the same time, taking responsibility demands that we do take ownership of what we did do. One of the most difficult positions to be in is when there is dissonance between our internal and external positions, in other words, when we know we actually did something and we say we didn’t do it.
  2. Communicate the issue. Advise everyone that should know in an appropriate and reasonable manner, and as soon as possible. Taking a few days before sharing or skipping a few meetings without adequate disclosure communicates lack of honesty and integrity, which would only complicate things more than they already are. Also, as we communicate the issue with the appropriate individuals, it is very important to offer a clear plan of action on how to fix the situation.
  3. Address the issue. So far you have shared what happened, and your plan to make it right. Now, let’s get to it! It is very important to follow what you said you would do to fix the situation. Also, follow up if you have any questions, or if the situation changes in any way. Our greatest mistake at this point is to keep distant or wanting to fix things on our own. Stakeholders have already invested their time into the situation and they would generally prefer to keep in close communication rather than not.
  4. Learn and move on. Sometimes when things go wrong, our life situation ends up changing as a result. From moving to another department to even being let go. Learning and moving on is a key element of this process regardless of the final outcome. Dwelling in the past is a waste of time. There is absolutely nothing we can do to change what happened, and we have already done what we needed to do to address the issue. Wallowing in misfortune, guilt and discontent has no purpose and drains our energy completely.
  5. Expand and reconnect with greatness. What happened has already happened. That’s it. At this point, you have taken responsibility, communicated the issue, addressed the issue, learned from the issue and you have moved on. There is no reason why you would not be able to expand and reconnect with greatness again, no matter what the situation was. In this way, we own our past, we acknowledge what happened, we grow from it, and we reconnect with our purpose. As we do this, the new situation we are in, will necessarily present interesting and wonderful adventures accompanied by growth and opportunity.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment. Curflexion is sold through amazon.com

Mindfulness at Work: Developing Creativity, Presence and Engagement

As human beings, we seem to be having a constant, ongoing, and sometimes quite distracting internal conversation with ourselves.  At times it may feel like our own endless, private, social media feed extravaganza: ideas, quotes, pictures, concerns, worries, hopes, fears, and so on and so forth. In essence, we seem to be constantly assessing threat, opportunity, fear, potential, danger, success, or failure from different angles and from seemingly contradicting internal positions as a result of some form of innate survivalist tendency.

This wonderful brain of ours has done an extraordinary job projecting and anticipating survival issues when it comes to our evolution and has successfully brought us this far. Nevertheless, some of us are now wondering if this innate, hardwired survivalist inclination is still relevant considering our existing situation. It is easy to see that when we are concerned, worried, anxious, and apprehensive, much of the energy we can offer our work and those around us ends up being consumed by these same internal survivalist processes rather than being used to fully engage in the task at hand.

You don't need to sign your team up for meditation or yoga retreats. Developing mindfulness can be achieved through simple methods that resonate with your unique organizational culture and style

Shifting our energy and internal resources from a survivalist/projective mode into a mindful, creative, present, and engaged mode does not come with the flick of a switch, but then again it may be easier than you think.  You don't need to sign your team up for long meditation or yoga retreats; developing mindfulness - understood as our ability to first notice our internal experience and then choose creativity, presence and engagement instead of projection, anticipation and anxiety - can be achieved through simple dedication and practice in the workplace using methods that actually resonate with and support your unique organizational style or preferences.

Teams that acknowledge, validate, and cultivate mindfulness, creativity, presence and engagement soar when it comes to clarity, communication, trust, and goal achievement

Teams that allow for survivalist/projective behaviors to permeate their culture are generally plagued by distrust, doubt, reactionary tendencies and a short-term gain mentality.

As an example on how to develop mindfulness at work you can follow these 3 steps the next time your team is tackling a particular challenge:

  1. Make a list or do a whiteboard exercise where your team answers the questions below. These questions will help us differentiate between grounded issues and unfounded projections and concerns.
      a.  What do we actually know? (Facts)
      b.  What are we assuming? (Conjectures)
      c.  What do we need to know? (To Do’s)
      d.  What are we afraid of? (Projections)
      e.  What do we prefer that happens? (Hopes)
  1. Have an open, honest, team conversation on how is this issue relevant to each of the individuals in the team, to the team itself and to the organization in general. This allows for ownership, clarity and responsibility to manifest.
  1. Identify at least three strategies for each of the questions below.
      a.  How are we going to get creative to address this issue? (Specifics)
      b.  How are we going to be present and show up as a team? (Descriptors)
      c.  How are we going to engage, and with whom to address the issue?     (Strategies)

If you would like to learn more about bringing mindfulness to work in ways that support your organization’s unique culture and style, feel free to get in touch.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment. Curflexion is sold through amazon.com

5 Reasons Why Passion is Overrated and Purpose is Understated

1. We have oversold Passion.  Since I can remember, we have been kindly assured that one of the most important accomplishments in life is to be able to discover our passion. The idea generally follows to say that once we have achieved this, all else will come as an effect of this discovery. In other words, finding our passion generally assumes it will bring the energy, clarity, understanding, and the direction that we will need to be personally successful and of benefit to the people around us.

2.  Passion changes.  We don’t need to venture too much into modern neuroscience to bump into the very interesting idea that our sense of self (in other words, who we experience to be) is more of a shifting and transitional phenomenon rather than a solid and grounded one. In other words, we now know that our sense of self, and hence our passion can change throughout the span of our lives, or the span of a year, or even a month, sometimes slightly and sometimes substantially. So our passion tends to be much less reliable that we would hope.

3.  Purpose as reason for our existence.  Purpose can be defined as the reason for which something is done, created, or for which something exists. Purpose is much more accessible, easy to find, reliable and consistent than passion; especially if we define it in a way that it becomes essential and grounded. Purpose is actually one of the very few things that can survive our passion waning, changing or disappearing.

4.  Purpose has a best friend: Focus.  Ask yourself what are you here for? What is the only thing that you would continue to do even if you were to loose everything you had (career, work, family, friends, money, etc.). What would you still seek, look for, or want to find a way to do in this world? Who would you still be? This is the kind of focus that would actually show us what is reliable within.

5.  Purpose is always accessible.  In contrast with passion, the beauty of focused purpose is that it is always available. We can always jump into our inner world and seek for this grounding. We just need to stop for a moment and ask ourselves: What am I here for? What would I continue to do even if I were to loose everything? What is the most important thing I have learned to be worthwhile for me to do in this world?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Pedro Cortina is CEO & Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute www.innerland.com.  He is an author, speaker, counselor, coach, facilitator, trainer, transformation specialist and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment. Curflexion is sold through amazon.com

What is "All-Terrain" Leadership?

In my years working in leadership roles as well as in supporting leaders in different organizations, I have noticed a common tendency to assume that we can only get to be the best leaders we can be when the circumstances around us allow for that to happen.

If we were asked the question “what do you need to be the best leader you can be?” we might probably answer by saying something like “I am the best leader I can be when I work in small teams” or “when my boss acknowledges my work” or “when I am able to have open, honest conversations” or “when the goals and expectations are clear”, etc. Interestingly enough, in all these cases, we somehow appear to be waiting for something to happen before we are able to be the best leaders we can be.

The problem with this approach is that throughout our careers, we might actually only see ourselves in one or maybe two situations where the environment fully supports us this way. Given this, today I would like to propose the idea of the “All-Terrain” Leader (ATL). ATLs are leaders that thrive precisely because they don’t have the perfect setting or enjoy the ideal circumstances to be the best persons they can be. ATL’s have some of these characteristics:

  1. They acknowledge that full control is elusive and highly improbable and therefore do not even hope to achieve it.
  2. They are not hung up on what should not be happening, but rather on what can be done considering what is actually happening.
  3. They allow, get to know, and anticipate the environment.
  4. They thrive in not knowing rather than knowing. They keep flexible.
  5. They do not offer cookie-cutter solutions; rather, their approach is fresh, relevant, and sensitive to the situation.
  6. They listen deeply. Not out of politeness or strategy. They listen because they genuinely know that every single conversation has the potential to solve or even revolutionize the issue at hand.

So in order to become an ATL we need to begin by acknowledging that nothing needs to actually change before we can be the best leaders we can be. On the contrary, we have precisely what we need in front of us every second of every day.

Do you open up in difficult situations?

Of course, change is inevitable. We seem to prefer the safety and permanence of continuity.  This preference may very possibly derive from an intrinsic awareness of our basic needs; maybe from our inherent vulnerability; or maybe, it comes as the result of learned behaviors or expectations.  What is crucial to acknowledge is that in the end, when it comes to change, what is actually painful is not change itself but our resistance to change.

Resistance can be defined as our basic unwillingness to open up, let go, and immerse in what is now happening.  It is defending ourselves from what is being presented to us as “next” in our lives. We resist what may be happening for various reasons, but mainly we resist an event, a thought or a situation because we believe that what is happening should simply not be happening regardless of the normative or axiological framework we could be using to assess the situation.

Addressing and overcoming resistance can be learned.  If we are in a situation that is changing, the fact of the matter is that IT IS changing, leaving us with two basic options: to either resist or open up to the phenomenon. Interestingly enough, resisting contrives our awareness of the situation and naturally limits our options and understanding of what is happening, further complicating things for us. If, on the contrary, we open up –even if we do not prefer what is happening - our options expand, our understanding of the situation increases, and our ability to do something about it transforms dramatically.

Do you open up in difficult situations?