Mindfulness, Hiring, Org Dev & Cool Stuff
Hello Dear Friends, 
 
In his transformative Book, Sky Above Earth Below, ecologist, educator and meditation teacher, John P. Milton asserts a fundamental truth: “All forms are interconnected, constantly change, and continuously arise from and return to primordial Source.”
 
Having contemplated this sentence for some time now, I feel strongly that the meaning behind the words IS fundamental and directly applicable to leadership. So let’s take a deeper dive into this meaning. 
 
“All forms are interconnected.” At the most basic level everything is made up of the same four element, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Remove any of these elements and life ceases. All of life rises up from the Earth, and all life will return to the Earth. The plants of the Earth produce oxygen, the very air that sustains life. Because of the fire element we maintain a body temperature of 98.6 degrees. And our bodies are about 60% water. The unique interconnectivity of these elements produces life. 
 
Everything needs everything else to survive and thrive. And when one element is out of balance, the entire ecosystem is threatened. Think about it. If your best friend, coworker, child, mother or partner is suffering, you are suffering. This point doesn’t mean that we have to be emotionally or physically wrecked anytime someone in our ecosystem is hurting, but it does mean we will be impacted. The same is true of communities, cities, governments, countries, and perhaps most importantly, our planet. In short, as we look more deeply, we will begin to see that the happiness and suffering of others is not separate from our own happiness and suffering. 
 
Because of interconnectivity, everything we have can also be experienced as a gift. Even our bodies and minds are a gift of the great mystery that came through our parents which came from their parents, which came from their parents. On and on the interconnected cycle of life goes. So much of our talent, intelligence, motivation and accomplishments are gifts from others. We can recognize these gifts and give thanks. Breathing in, I know my body and mind are a gift, and breathing out, I can be thankful for what my body and mind can do. 
 
As leaders, I feel we have a sacred obligation to contemplate interconnectivity and profoundly realize that our actions impact others. So we obviously want this impact to be positive. We must learn to adopt that which is wholesome (good for you, good for me, sustainable), and avoid that which is not. This is the only way to be a truly effective leader. And a great place to start is taking the time to reflect on interconnectivity. 
 
“All forms constantly change.” Think of yourself as a 5 year old child. Now, as an adult, do you think the same thoughts, have the same desires, play the same games, have the same friends, or eat the same foods? Probably not. Our minds change, our bodies change. Nothing, absolutely nothing, stays the same. This point alone, is a good reason to embrace change. 
 
Even the beautiful Sandia Mountains of central New Mexico, which are in front of me as I write this lesson, will change. There was a time long ago when they were not here, and there will be a time when even they will return to where they came, primordial source. 
 
And the last part of John’s fundamental truth: “All forms continuously arise from and return to primordial Source.” The reality is that we all have a life cycle. We arrive on the Earth. We grow up. We age. Our bodies will decline, and we will die. These facts are not meant to depress us at all, but rather, they are intended to sober us up, to get us thinking and acting on what really matters. Life matters, and helping others matters. As leaders, these are wonderful ways to direct our attention and energy. 
 
Quoting John, “At the deepest level, all forms, including ourselves, are a magical display of the boundless formless source that is our true nature. We have the choice of either resisting this fundamental truth, and suffering; or surrendering into this truth, and dancing in the flow.” -John P. Milton 
-Rick Breden, CEO
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