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Contemplative Leadership

Contemplative Leadership

Contemplation Leadership is the practice of knowing by reflection, meditation, listening and connecting with one’s inner voice to a universal. It is a portal to awareness of the present and to the stirrings of the spirit within us and around us.  It is trusting our own deeper knowing.

 

In contemplation we hear beyond where the rational mind operates. It does not though disregard the rational mind. More so, our rational mind when developed, supports the contemplative mind.

 

It is a process of awakening, of developing habits of noticing, of experience ourselves as part of a larger whole; and while contemplation includes silence and even solitude, it is in our poetry, music, art, and dance.

 

It provide the means of expressing beyond that which we can imagine. It is the path to knowing our heart’s desires, which if neglected lapses from a sense of loss.

 

“Contemplation is the highest expression of man’s intellectual and spiritual life.  It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. …It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that source.”

- Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

 

The first step to beginning a contemplative practice is stopping of doing what you do, do, do. Pausing, paying attention-to and acknowledging what you have been doing in your personal life and at work, while resting your body and mind. 

Pausing from your daily activities gives-way to reflection, to pondering your actions, thoughts, experiences, and feelings of the day. This reflecting on your experiences – daily and major helps us delve into their deeper meaning. Reflecting back, what actions did you take during the day, and how did you make the decisions you did? What did you learn from your experiences? What might the universe be telling you through your reflections? 

The key here is letting your contemplations and reflections inform you how you will approach your work or your relationships when you return to them. Perhaps you discover the need for more rest time or that you need to focus more on a particular relationship. Or maybe you find that the activity you’ve been up to has become dissatisfying. 

This reflection allows us to renew our active lives (work, play, relationships) so that all we do does not become mindless action but rather glorifies the Spirit and nourishes the Soul.

Your activity leads you again into a time of stopping, resting, reflecting, and then returning to activity with greater zeal and purpose. Being a contemplative in action means that your active life feeds your contemplative life and your contemplative life informs your active life, and the cycle repeats.