In April I had the opportunity to meet Saskia and speak with her about her innovative project..
‘Expedition Highly Conscious’: an intriguing blogging documentary by Saskia op de Weegh,
What follows is a summary translated in English with some elaboration.
” Enhanced or higher consciousness is about paying attention to your inner life, learning to discern your way to go”, according to Jeroen van Lawick.
“I like to work in the domain of profound innovation and change, and particularly working at the very heart of it: ourselves, human beings, through addressing meaning, purpose and engagement. And this is where consciousness gets important. If we ourselves are prepared to transform from within, – the mind, the heart and the will-, breakthrough performance, profound change and innovation can occur.”
Such transformations require innovative or alternative approaches. One of them: ‘being’ or ‘not-doing’, prior to moving into action. This state of ‘not-doing or being’ is by no means a state of inertia or passive rest. It allows for open non-judging observation and listening, being actively present to the other, for deep inner reflection and connection to the self, the other and to the bigger emerging picture.
And to adopt this state appears to be hard, certainly in the reality of our work. The perceived meaning of work is ‘doing something, being busy and deliver’ and this is valued over ‘being’. Furthermore we tend to swap between two states: doing something [busy at work] and on the other hand relapsing into doing nothing [unproductive, tired, ‘lazy’]. The intermediate state of ‘not-doing’ or ‘actively being’ is easily neglected and consequently its fine qualities get inhibited or lost.
What is helpful? “For me, a contemplative life style: build in some routines and discipline: e.g. 50 minutes work and 10 min rest, time for silence and short meditations or prayer e.g. by means of internet applications. Also, during or at the end of the day, I try to do the ‘examen’: I look back and explore what made me grateful or where I encountered inner resistance.”
These practices may seem a bit distant or hard to accomplish during the day. But Jeroen has experienced that the more you do, the more they surface in a natural way and get integrated. Such routines are small steps in a life of ‘reflection in action’. It is about successfully integrating the daily reality and the real inner life, which adds to finding direction, performance and joy in a complex and challenging world!
Reflection in Action has already proved successful in Zijn Werkt! workshops e.g. on transformative CSR, innovation or personal leadership. ”I am truly looking forward to elaborate on this way of working for breakthrough with my customers e.g. through expansion of in-company programmes! ”