(Quantum Nudge #5)Note. This is the last in the series of Quantum Nudge (QN). If you would like a PDF file of the entire series, (and our color QN poster) please click the link (poster image) at the bottom of this article.
"If we don't start talking to one another, nothing will change. Conversation is the way we discover how to change our world, together" ~~ Margaret J. Wheatley (Turning to One Another)
The idea that a healthy culture can emerge from a single action seems naive, idealistic, even radical. We think health and well-being only happen through a series of commitments. But we can make Each- Single-Action-Count!; especially when done with heart, strength, intimacy, or mindfulness (see previous posts). Imagine bringing full presence, clear intention, and flow to our clients. We can move squarely into the moment. We can "get out of our heads" about what works or doesn't work, about the past or the future. We can make actions in THIS moment have potentially large ripple effects. And this brings us to the last of the five quantum nudge qualities: soulful time. I previously defined a soulful capacity as the deep ability to just be with what is happening in the moment as our relationship with another unfolds, changes, grows, declines, and transforms. As leaders in business relationships, this means working with challenges, showing up and being fully present, remaining psychologically flexible, and finding or cultivating moments of real connection. You can develop these four soulful capacities (see resources below). How much do you bring your own soulful nature to your working in the moment with clients? (see "Four Soulful Capacities" sidebar).
The Four Soulful Capacities
Acceptance is an attitude, a willingness, and an ability to let go of preconceptions, misgivings, regrets, strong expectations, and judgments about oneself or others. It is most difficult in situations of betrayal, fear, abuse, violated trusts and agreements, or expected outcomes. Acceptance brings us into the moment as impartial but kind observers of events and people. Failure to do so can hurt connections, especially when we try to get our way, impose our will, or take ourselves too seriously.
Presence is our determination and capacity to keep returning fully (in mind, emotion, and spirit) to the moment; especially when confronting a major challenge; especially after a distraction, interruption, or any thought that diverts us from our purpose or passion. Presence is most challenging in a multi-tasking, workaholic, media-saturated culture; especially when we are using multiple communication devices or channels. We recognize presence in others who give us their full attention and are responsive to emotional nuance. Present people "get" us. We know when we are not being listened to. We know when we are not giving it our all.
Flow conveys an absorption into an activity, conversation, or relationship where we can lose our sense of self and merge, often joyfully, into the activity. Through the efforts of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, there has been more research on flow than the other soulful capacities, but here I ask you to apply it to your business relationships. Flow is most challenging when we over-think situations, ruminate, worry, or hold an image of how things are supposed to go. Flow is relevant to work settings because of its relationship to performance. High levels of performance can have a flow quality to them.
Synchronicity reminds us of the quantum phenomena labeled "entanglement" and occurs when there is a meaningful co-incidence, co-occurrence, or "meeting" that defies easy explanation. One classic example is dialing the phone number of someone who you have not talked to in a long while and realizing they are dialing you at that very same moment. But synchronicity happens a great deal more than we realize. Like the other soulful capacities, synchronicity is not something that only happens to you. It is something that can be cultivated. Yes, there is "being in the right place at the right time" but as we grow in wisdom we start to see that many seemingly random life events were meant to be. Our life story--our career--becomes increasingly coherent.
Conclusion on the Quantum Nudge
I hope that the concept of a quantum nudge gives you hope that you can have a positive impact within and through your vocation in workplace well-being. Unlike other health professions, workplace wellness involves us working with clients who are embedded in a system, a social network, a community, and who possibly (because of their own presence or position) have their own tremendous impact on others. Whenever you feel daunted by the challenge or inspired by the privilege of this work, please draw on some small aspect of the five qualities of the quantum nudge. I have created a poster-a meditation guide--to help. Access a full color version of the poster by clicking below.
Brief Resources on Soulful Capacities Note: Many types of workshops, approaches, and spiritual disciplines have practices that support the cultivation of these four qualities. The list below is not intended to represent an endorsement of any one approach.
- Acceptance (Wikipedia Reference)
- The Happiness Trap (book by Dr. Russ Harris)
- Radical Acceptance (book Tara Brach)
- The Path to Unconditional Self-Acceptance (blog in Psychology Today, Leon F. Seltzer)
- Be Here Now (book by Ram Dass)
- Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future (book by Peter M. Senge C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers); See the related Presencing Institute
- Give the Best Present: The Gift of your Presence (blog by Celia Alario)
- Full Body Presence: Learning to Listen to Your Body's Wisdom (book by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana)
- Flow (Wikipedia Reference)
- Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning (book by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
- The Creative 'Flow': How to Enter That Mysterious State of Oneness (blog by Scott Barry Kaufmann)
- Synchronicity (Wikipedia Reference)
- The Magic of Synchronicities: Learn the Magic, Value and Meanings of Synchronicities (article in Psychology Today by Judith Orloff)
- There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives (book by Robert H. Hopcke)
- Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership (book by Joseph Jaworski & Peter M Senge)