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Written by: Anuka Gazara

Bravery in Action

As a regular mindfulness practitioner for over twenty years, I have found that my practice has helped me cultivate an openness and curiosity especially during times when I have faced major setbacks.

In the last few years, all over the globe, we have witnessed so much change in local and global politics, in our interpersonal relationships, how we think about and engage social-justice and global climate change, just to name a few. All while trying to navigate the impact of these concerns as we engage in our jobs, passions and roles. When reflecting on any of these global areas of change, I think of the sage advice given by psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman in the Harvard Business Review article “Building Resilience.” 

“Talk to yourself. Give yourself a cognitive intervention and counter defeatist thinking with an optimistic attitude. Challenge your downbeat thinking and replace it with a positive outlook.

But what if we can’t talk to ourselves? 

I would argue, sometimes it takes a certain bravery to confront our realities. Wherever we find ourselves in the world, we may be able to access teachings from culture or heritage that offer us ease and resilience to overcome imminent challenges. In my experience, however, when we connect with our hearts and minds we are allowing ourselves to trust in our emotional intelligence

It can be hard to face a difficulty in our life and know what to trust in order to get through. I would argue we all have the capacity for a loving self-awareness, and if we can trust that – we can actually live and act from that place.  Resilience practices offer us the ability to liberate our mindset from past, comfortable, old habits and shift to behaviors that promote personal adaptability and growth mindsets amongst teams and organizations. 

Connection & Motivation

In my experience, especially during Covid, I found myself instinctively wanting to connect virtually and offer free mindfulness sessions with my local community, especially the elderly populations and those who were experiencing  immune deficiency and could not access the outdoors. It felt important to me to be able to ‘hold hands’ even when we couldn’t, to remind each other that we are in this together

It is easy to feel disconnected and lose motivation if we feel alone and excluded. Yet, when we are cultivating resilience, by exploring connections and intentionally behaving in ways that support our environment, we can learn  to adapt to changes in our lives and workplaces when facing adversity. Historically, when we reflect on the beginnings of ‘the workplace’ from industrial times, traditional industrial employers looked at employees in the workplace as bodies to hire to accomplish a laborious task. Employees were placed in limited situations.

Yet, when we allow ourselves to explore consciousness in the workplace today …we begin to bring an awareness and alertness into our work. Exploring self-awareness is a tool that can help us manage our ego, discover our purpose and  learn to release any stress or conflict we may be feeling in the workplace.

We will begin to connect with an openness and curiosity which allows us to sync with a conscious flow within our work. We learn to transcend our ego and experience a deep presence and alignment with our work.

Feeling overwhelmed and lacking motivation is real, and can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. If you need a little support, consider attending one of SIYLI’s virtual and online programs where we teach practical skills that you can integrate into your daily life and work culture.