What a weekend.
In my last post I wrote about having gone to Cafe Gratitude for dinner. When we received our bill there was an attached flyer for a conference taking place in LA over the weekend called Leaders Causing Leaders. Seeing the environment of love and openness at the Cafe, I knew deep down that any chance I had to interact with the owners of the Cafe & soak up some of their knowledge would be beneficial.
So, I signed up and spent an incredible two days with leaders from all different backgrounds getting psyched about owning our gifts and sharing them with the world. I have lots to share, so buckle up!
First of all – the whole idea of “awakening” being the focus of a workplace has always seemed like it’s true purpose. But seeing it in action is a whole new understanding of what it means to be in “working relationship” with others. Matthew & Terces and their sons offer workshops teaching others their systems by asking questions like:
“What if conflicts in your work community were acknowledged as a chance to heal collective wounds? What if the mission of your business was to usher in a sustainable, spiritually fulfilling society?” They have written a book called Sacred Commerce, about the practice of having the Eternal present in a commercial environment. WOW. I mean, for one person to practice that, yes, I’ve seen that. But a whole restaurant, all the staff, with a spiritual focus of SERVICE & seeing the exchange of goods as a sacrament?
I suppose most restaurants are bound as a team, focusing their core more on making money and providing a sustainable business for their community, without really allowing as much room for the . From my personal experience owning and running a restaurant for two and a half years now, I have seen that management of people and the conflicts that arise among very different people working together is a serious challenge.
But it is also a serious opportunity for personal, group, and community growth through communication. I have often found myself in a mediation role, or taken it on, wanting everyone to “get along.” I can empathize with both parties, because that is my nature. It’s also been my nature to “take on” people’s energy, to absorb their pain, and that only ends suffocating me, making them a victim, and not offering them the tools of empowerment. My goal on this trip has been to empower myself, and I’m finding that in doing that it is my DUTY to speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts or how uncomfortable it is. And once we dig underneath some uncomfortable layers of aches and pains there comes a release, an adjustment, a re-alignment.
I got the opportunity to do a workshop with Deepak Chopra’s daughter, Mallika, who spoke about meditation and its power to realign us with the truth that we CREATE our very experiences – we choose to see the world in the ways that we do, to go the places we go, to be the people who we are. Her new website intent.com offers a chance for people to post their intentions for the day, and share their with the world, offering each other support.
It may sound hokey, all this intention setting and affirmations, but it’s important to realize that there is an incredible power our thoughts. Marianne Williamson, renowned author of Return to Love and A Course in Miracles talked about another great leader who recently passed, Steve Jobbs. She mentioned that he was a vegan and Buddhist which was news to me. A man who ran such an efficient creative corporation, offering products that increased world-wide communication, sharing, art, and innovative ideas was both a profound leader and a seeking soul. Because of his lifestyle, his clarity of thought and direct communication, Steve Jobbs was able to be a great leader, to share his gifts with the world.
Things are shifting, before our very eyes. Shariff Abdullah spoke about how the paradigm we live in is changing. When the Founding Fathers of our country sat down to write the Constitution they were RADICAL. There were slaves at that time and they were writing that “We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal.” WHOA, that was a HUGE deal. He spoke about the Occupy Wall Street protests that are going on in New York City right now and noted how the sense of unity was created around what we DON’T want. But now it’s time for us to come together to decide what we DO want. He said that asked people all over the world “What do you want in the world” they would all argue, and fight, but when he asked them “What is the nature of the society that you want to create for your grandchildren” they would all seem to come to agreements. He wrote his book Creating A World that Works for All on this subject. He mentioned that this includes all sentient beings, supports ALL of life. What if our new constitution (formation, establishment, composition of our LIVES) was based on this: “We have found this truth to be self-evident that all life is sacred, is conscious and deserves respect and honor.”
Respect starts with honor ourselves. Honoring our bodies, our thoughts, our spirit. It’s not about changing others but coming into a deeper alignment with our selves. As Matthew & Terces Englehart, the Cafe Gratitude owners, said “others are playing a role for our enlightenment.” Click on their names to see a video of them discussing their concept of conscious business.
To conclude, spreading the leadership causing on to whomever is reading this, I want to share what a lot of the speakers stressed: Surrender NOW, while you’re still a mess. Make ourselves available – the form of ministry doesn’t matter, just put yourself out there to be of service. Marianne Williamson said if anyone asks “Who do you think you are? God’s gift to the world? Say yes, and mean it.”
“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, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make 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 own 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.”
– Marianne Williamson
“Become the change you wish to see in the world.”