What’s Love got to do with business? The right answer is… Everything! The new standard in business demands a new standard in leadership consciousness. We are cultivating organisational cultures able to adapt and evolve during unceasing transformation in ways that create a flourishing for all. Humanity is at the breaking dawn of recognising Love as the new transformational intelligence. When your connection to a mission or idea is so strong that it inspires you to take risks, your organisation will soar, and your customers will reap benefits. Infusing your business with love produces another type of ROI “reciprocity on investment.” When you do what you love in the service of people, most of them will give that love right back to you with loyalty and support.
In spite of surmounting challenges, the cascading effects from the plandemic are leading us toward an evolutionary leap in consciousness, as we redesign all aspects of our society. Inspired by a shift in awareness of how we experience life and how we relate to ourselves (self-awareness) as well as to the living systems we interact with (systemic awareness) on a regular basis. Here’s the thing: the massive challenges humanity now faces are systemic – they are interwoven, created by a system-wide flaw. That flaw stems from the disparity between the way life on our planet actually works and the way we currently manage and organise our for-profit or non-profit value-creating ventures. The outdated thinking of yesterday’s logic is one that sets humans apart from each other and from the rest of Nature because it is viewed through the lens of competition, control, separateness and rationalism. It is this flawed logic that is at the heart of all our crises – world poverty, corruption, biodiversity loss, social inequality, and endless war.
All over the world, Conscious Leaders are rising. We are demonstrating our ability to respond by choosing to conduct business on a solid foundation of Love and Trust. This new model is actually as ancient as it is fresh. It is the logic of Nature which can be found within and all around us if we so choose to perceive life beyond the devastating illusion of scarcity and separation. Conscious Leadership reawakens the sacred through a deeper understanding and attunement of Nature. By attending to life beyond the illusion of separation, we allow for a culture of reverence to form, as our inner-outer connection attunes to the love and wisdom flowing through every single moment. In this way, we experience the sacredness of life beyond the corrupting confines of capitalism, materialism, and rationalism. This sacred understanding allows us to recognise the reciprocity within and throughout Nature. It is a complete fabrication that nature is dog-eat-dog competition. Rather, interrelationship, co-creativity and fluid reciprocity is the true business of Nature.
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their
fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t
live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough.
Nothing else really counts at all.”
Love in The Future of Business
In business, as in Nature, everything works through relationships. Trust is the soil from which healthy vibrant relationships take root. Relationships of any kind struggle to survive for very long without trust. Trust requires mutual respect and understanding, an empathic reaching out beyond oneself that allows for reciprocation. In this way, we can see that the true nature of business is the business of Nature. Deep respect for ourselves, each other and for Nature is not some luxury add-on that can be dispensed with in times of economic downturn. It is foundational to who we truly are. Without it we become rudderless, tossed this way and that by inauthentic egotistic whims – distracted, diseased and deluded. It is through the simple (yet not always easy) shift in our way of attending to life that we may open up to the inherent wisdom of Nature and move beyond the fragmenting dichotomies of yesterday’s logic. Business can offer a rich diverse (often windswept and turbulent yet co-creative) participatory ocean for spawning right thought, word and deed.
Being accountable to the truth must prevail in all forms of leadership if we are to move humanity forward along the highest positive timeline. The great thing about business is that it follows in the wake of what is demanded of it, otherwise all we have is busy-ness for busyness sake – motion over productivity. Decades of programming has heightened our culture’s infatuation with stuff, fuelled by an egotistic incessant grasping and wanting due to our sense of separation and severance from Nature. Conscious Leaders choose to cultivate the creative potential and entrepreneurial flair of business minds in the wake of demand for the pursuit of true happiness, love, and heartfelt attunement within the wisdom of life. This is the power of love in sacred business and it is at the heart of any new society. It’s no coincidence that Pure Element 5 literally means Pure Love. At our core, love is what drives us all: a feeling of connection to a mission or idea that is so strong that it inspires you to take risks and put yourself on the line and gives you the courage to create something from the ground up. Love has been called the greatest force in the universe, and researchers are now describing it as an advanced mode of intelligence because a great deal of human intelligence is heart intelligence.
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Love: A New Business Paradigm
Love is a much-misunderstood and misused word. We live in a culture high on lust yet lacking love. Rudolf Steiner set about synthesising what it means to practice living with love. His concepts have since been applied in education, agriculture, and also in medicine. For Steiner, the discipline of living with love is attained through the direct perception of the heart, where our soul (the aperture to our authentic being within Spirit) opens up allowing a deeper, more authentic, passionate and compassionate attentiveness to become embodied by us through our ways of being and doing. In the book Rudolf Steiner’s Vision of Love, Bernard Nesfield-Cookson lucidly explores Steiner’s spiritual science. He notes that Steiner warns against intellectual speculations which can divert us from the path of living with love. Steiner points to artistic introspective quiet contemplation as the best preliminary condition for this path. When in this state of contemplative presence, we may feel love emanating from the heart.
It is this Love that then permeates our entirety, enlightening our ego for right thought and right action. Through gentle stillness and introspection, we allow an opening of our heart which can then infuse each interaction as we go about our daily activities. Only in this way, is Love made manifest into the world at large. It is here that our organisations and communities become the embodiment of this wisdom in practice. Conscious Leaders know this is the beginning of truly sacred, regenerative business – where real value (beyond the abstraction of short-term shareholder value) is realised through purposeful, intentional undertakings in service of life. It is a sense of place and purpose, built on trust, humility and service where fears, envies, vanities and self-absorptions simply fall away. Together we can achieve this personal mastery through communal service and co-create a place of being and doing where the barriers to love are consciously permeated and life is celebrated.
“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”
The Collective Connection
Inside each one of us – regardless of our education, background, class, creed, colour, or sexual orientation – is a deep longing to reconnect with the rapture of reality. It is this deep longing that we need to tap into, or our responses to our world in crisis will continue to be superficial and miss the whole point of what these crises are here to awaken us to. Those of us who are alive at this momentous time play a critical role in dreaming a new dream. We are here to re-think / re-imagine / re-enliven the structure of reality as we know it, and to anchor in new, revolutionary belief systems. Becoming a Conscious Leader in these intense times is both extraordinarily challenging and a most noble undertaking for everyone involved. Understanding the process in which you are immersed opens you up to the support of existence, which, if you happen to notice, is completely, totally, and gracefully sustaining you. Choose to pay greater attention to the untold realities that can be constructed as alternative possibilities for an eminently meaningful life. You live in a world where everything is connected. It is no longer possible to think in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’ when it comes to the consequences of the way you live. We, humanity, are one. We are the Collective.
These times are astounding – riveting, climactic, and outrageously filled with the opportunity of many lifetimes – and the greatest challenge you have is to eradicate fear from your life. Fear is the opposite of Love. The fear-based, low vibrations from human drama and trauma have been sustaining non-physical entities with loosh for eons. Conscious Leaders learn to value the dynamics of creation rather than fall prey to the parasitic mind-management projects which characterise these times. The choice everyone faces comes down to the selection in frequency of either fear or love. Love is the highest vibration, and your greatest gift to the world is your version of the love frequency. Adding heart to your business translates into increased care and genuine connection with others and harmonises the resistance between your own head and heart. The full ROI you receive by adding more love into business may be beyond comprehension.
“Believe in what you say. Then, live what you say.
There is no greater credibility than conviction in action.”
The Power of Heart Coherence
As collective consciousness increases, this will eventually reveal that love is an advanced mode of intelligent living. Humanity is just scratching the surface of awareness regarding the focused power of love and its capacity to create a heart-based environment; one where individuals can transcend fear and what it brings, while manifesting their undiscovered gifts and fulfilment. The Institute of HeartMath advises an active approach to achieving greater love. The tools and technologies they have developed over the years ultimately aim at creating more love – personally, in our families, workplaces and communities and globally as well. One of the best examples of this is the Heart Lock-In Technique. Try this before meetings, at the beginning of the day, before presentations, and important phone calls. You’ll be amazed at the results!
Heart Lock-In Technique
Step 1. Focus your attention on your heart space. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.
Step 2. Think of something you love! Activate and sustain that feeling of love, appreciation, gratitude or compassion.
Step 3. Expand that loving feeling out to yourself and others.
“Do not let arrogance go to your head and despair to your heart; do not let compliments go to your head and criticisms to your heart; do not let success go to your head and failure to your heart.”
Why Heart Coherence is the Key to High Performance
Most of us have been taught that the heart is constantly responding to “orders” sent by the brain in the form of neural signals. However, it is not as commonly known that the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart! These heart signals have a significant effect on our brain function by influencing emotional processing, as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. In other words, not only does the heart respond to the brain, but the brain continuously responds to the heart.
HeartMath research has demonstrated that different emotional states have distinct effects on our cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions which is why we may act impulsively, and without ‘thinking’, when we’re under stress. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect – it facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability. This means that learning to generate increased heart coherence, by sustaining positive emotions, not only benefits the entire body, but also profoundly affects how we perceive, think, feel, and perform.
“Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe. Love is a lot of things, but “safe” isn’t one of them.”
Anahata – The Heart Centre
The heart centre, or fourth chakra, is located at the midpoint in the physical body and balances all the chakras above and below it with lessons concerning emotional intelligence. In this centre, you can shut life down or completely blossom with compassion. This is the place of connection where you can know another being as a version of yourself. Compassion is a sophisticated emotional achievement that opens your body to connect with the cosmos on a profound spiritual level. Sometimes opening the heart can be a frightening experience as you can feel out of control when your heart is wide open and you are inundated with empathetic information. This centre for great knowing can provide both daunting and exhilarating experiences. Love rules the heart. The real test that Earth School offers is the opportunity to pass all you encounter through your heart chakra, acknowledging the wondrous variety of life without judgments. So often, the heart centre is blocked off because of a cultivated fear that has conditioned you to be wary of this potent psychic connection. When the heart is closed down, it is easier to create harm or attempt to deceive others because your connection to all life is disabled. An appreciation for the beauty of life is especially important for opening the heart centre.
The heart chakra energy centre corresponds to the heart, cardiac plexus, thymus gland, lungs, and breasts. It also rules the lymphatic system. The Sanskrit word for the fourth chakra is Anahata, which means “unhurt.” The name implies that beneath the hurts and grievances of past experiences lies a place of Pure Love where no hurt exists. When your heart chakra is open, you are achieving heart coherence, flowing with love and compassion. You are quick to forgive and you accept others and yourself in the moment. A closed heart chakra can give way to grief, anger, jealousy, fear of betrayal, and hatred toward yourself and others.
How to Identify if you have a Blocked Heart Centre
Common signs of a blocked heart chakra are feeling disconnected from your emotions, lack of intimacy, and shallow relationships. Other common signs of heart chakra blockage include:
- Lack of empathy
- Problematic or draining relationships
- Needing validation for fulfilment
- Jealousy and judgement
- Insincerity and expecting to be rewarded for giving love
- Low self-worth
- Being critical or controlling
- Suspiciousness or feeling possessive
- Being afraid to let go of emotional hurt
- Defensiveness and distrust
- Fearing a loss of independence if you give love
- Fear of commitment
- Dwelling on the past.
- You are either emotionally unavailable or attract emotionally unavailable people.
“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.”
Stages of Heart Opening
Heart opening refers to the conscious effort to stimulate the Heart Chakra, be it through physical movement, words, or actions. You are multidimensional which means you can achieve heart opening initially though your physical heart, your emotional heart, or through your spiritual heart. There are many heart-opening yoga poses – asanas that expand your chest and rib cage, lengthen your spine and improve your posture. They allow your thoracic soft tissue to gently stretch, opening your heart space. However, opening the heart is more than a deep thoracic cavity stretch. You can only begin to remove pain and suffering from being stored in your heart when your innermost heart is unveiled to yourself. This tends to happen in 6 stages:
- Unhappy, Empty and Lost
This is a time of confusion, disconnection, alienation, depression, and great unhappiness with life. You begin to feel unsupported or frustrated by life or those around you. It dawns on you that your life, as it stands, isn’t enough. Something deeper is missing. You become increasingly aware that the conversations you are having with people are shallow. Your work no longer satisfies you. You withdraw from people, and you may even feel apathetic. Life isn’t tempting for you anymore… you may question: is this all there is?
- Curiousness Shifts Your Perspective
You become aware of your programming and start to perceive reality in a totally different way. You begin seeing through the lies and delusions propagated by society. You no longer see life as you once did in your previous state of complacent unawareness. This is usually where you start binging on information about anything and everything and your mind expands. In this stage, you’re asking all the deep questions. You are in search of your life purpose, spiritual destiny, and the meaning of life itself.
- Heart Chakra Awakening
There is usually a trigger for your heart chakra awakening to take place. This stage either emerges spontaneously through a person or place or due to a life crisis (e.g. breakup, divorce, death, trauma, illness, major life change). Often trauma will do it. Suddenly, your heart cracks open, and you are flooded with sensations of love, joy, and bliss. This is not something you can see coming. The power of unconditional love and sensations of bliss engulf you. It is feeling deeper than you have ever felt before.
Although there is no going back from this point, if you don’t actively work with this energy, you’ll not utilise its full potential. It may even feel like your heart chakra is closing down again even though you’re a changed person. If this is your case at the moment, then it is beneficial to redirect the energy of unconditional love back into yourself and use it to heal any emotional wounds and limiting beliefs. At the end of the day, even though you may feel bursting love for every living being, it’s all about you. The heart chakra awakening happens for YOU to heal and clear out the old templates of belief systems. Only then can you be in service of others without even trying. It occurs naturally when you’re ready.
- The Physical Symptoms
There are physical symptoms related to the heart chakra awakening, and we’re going to be honest – they are not pretty. Please see a medical professional if you have any concerns. Some of these symptoms are:
- Heart palpitations (thymus gland fluttering)
- Heat and hot flashes coming up in unexpected waves
- Pain or heaviness in your chest
- Excessive sweating
- Acute pain in the breastbone like a steel bar being forced into your chest
- A sensation of your head pulsing.
Everything is energy and energy is everything. The reason for these sensations is that your body is getting used to the high frequencies of what we understand as unconditional love (or Source energy). New structures of light need to be created in and around your physical body, and you may feel the related pain or uneasiness. Know that it is only temporary until the energy creates new pathways. Grounding the energy by walking barefoot on the grass or sand will help.
- Shift in Consciousness
The heart chakra awakening is also a spiritual awakening. Hence your personality is changing, and you’re becoming a new person – a better, upgraded version of yourself. Interestingly, you may start to look different, younger and more vibrant. You become a seeker of deeper truth. Changes that used to scare you become exciting. The life as you knew it crumbles, and you need to rebuild it from the ashes of your previous existence. During the heart chakra awakening, you release the old programs running the show in your mind and replace them with a new, better operating system.
- Body and Cellular Changes
Other awakening symptoms happen at the physical level. You’ll notice that your eating habits change. Without trying, you slowly incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. You’ll also be drawn to natural products and notice that your body is cleansing toxins. Your energies run high as a result. Being in your body will become a joyful experience and you’ll feel more love and acceptance toward your body.
According to the Vedanta, there are only two signs of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you. The first sign is that you stop worrying. Things no longer bother you and you become light-hearted and full of joy. The second sign is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. These synchronicities then accelerate to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
Synchronicities, those times when an outer event resonates mysteriously and powerfully with what’s happening inside, are more numerous during great shifts and upheavals. If you pay attention and approach them as symbolic and revelatory, they will often illuminate a way for you. When you stop existing and you start truly living, each moment of the day comes alive with the wonder and synchronicity. Synchronicity is the language that the universe uses for communicating with you. This is called Divine guidance!
At the very beginning of your Heart chakra awakening you are more likely to feel confused because often the coincidences that arrive are not logical. Initially, most people feel resistance. Your challenge is to honour what is being invited. This might mean changing or leaving your comfort zone, so it’s an exercise in learning to trust. In the point of rest at your heart centre, you encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each person a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses.
“Your frequency is what you frequently see. Pay attention to synchronicity as there are valuable lessons to be learned in the repetition of your reality.”
Leading With Love
So your heart is now open… what can you do with all this love? The single most important factor that differentiates a good leader from a great leader is love. The best leaders want to love and be loved. They want openness from others. They want to be understood, appreciated, and communicated with. When you lead with love, success simply follows. Here’s the thing: you don’t love someone because of who they are; you love them because of the way they make you feel. This applies to your leadership, your business, and your personal relationships. When you show love; when you demonstrate appreciation, it is reflected back to you. We will work harder and more effectively for the person we love. We will be more loyal and dedicated to them, and it will be in direct proportion to how they make us feel.
To lead from love is to understand at a deeper level how to bring out the best in people. It’s how to empower them to perform at a much greater level than anyone believes possible.
People will meet you and mirror you.
If you are open, they will be open.
If you are closed, they will be closed.
If you are vulnerable, they will be vulnerable.
“Knowledge without love inflates the ego and deceives the mind.”
4 Ways You Can Lead With Love
When we say “love,” our minds tend to go immediately to intimate, personal/familial, warmth-and-butterflies kinds of feelings. Yet, the type of love we are referring to in this article is much broader, less gushy, and far more powerful. The love we are referring to is AGAPE LOVE – the selfless, unconditional love, expressed without sexual implications, that is more spiritual in nature. Finding ways to practice love in the workplace is not that hard, nor does it have to be uncomfortable for anyone. Here are four ways you can lead with love:
1. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care:
Market knowledge and strategy matter, but they are overrated as the essential leadership capabilities to drive growth and high performance.
2. Be responsible for the energy you bring into the “virtual” room:
Another way to think about love is as the most productive energy on the planet. Next time you are in a meeting, take a minute to notice what happens to productivity when the energy feels good (love) and when it doesn’t (anger/frustration/fear). The fact that our meetings are now often virtual makes it that much more important to create an emotional connection with people that positively raises the energy.
3. Time and attention are the most powerful ways to show love:
We continuously talk about time management; time is one thing no one seems to have enough of, especially if you are a leader today facing the relentless barrage of unpredictable business challenges. We have convinced ourselves that having limited time is the problem when, in reality, limited time is simply a universal truth that affects us all. This “problem” could instead be considered an opportunity to choose how we spend our most precious resource. When we consider prioritisation as the challenge, how we invest our hours must pay significant returns. People know that your time and attention are your most valuable resource, so when you take the time out of your busy schedule to reach out and check in with people, they NOTICE. That builds loyalty and commitment, and it says, “I care” more clearly than anything else you could do.
4. Ask people how they’re feeling rather than how they are doing.
This may sound like splitting hairs, but it’s not. When you ask people how they’re doing, they tend to say, “I’m fine, thanks” or even, “I’m so busy!” They report what they are up to, what they are doing. When you ask someone how they feel, it’s more personal and lets them know you care. You also tend to get more honest answers, not autopilot responses. Unfortunately, in our society, people feel ashamed or embarrassed to share that they are feeling unconnected. A wise leader assumes that people struggle in our current work environments, then takes the time to make it safe to say so. Start by asking.
“When we limit ourselves by being the person we “should” be, we limit our aliveness. We may achieve success but not fulfillment because we are not living out all the important truths about ourselves, truths we need to slow down to excavate.”
Be the Person Who Exudes Love at your Work
We have to stop hiding from one another at the office if we want to engage in life-changing work. Love is the next evolution of the culture conversation. When we share our truth with stakeholders, we create opportunities for deep connection – and those heartfelt stories will drive sales because trust drives sales. And trust is changing – you cannot manufacture it anymore. You have to earn it by listening, by being present, and by leading with love.
Starting today, put in place a foundation for love as part of the workplace business model. Build in the extra time for people to connect with each other. Look around and find ways to humanise the interactions around you. Not just meetings, but check-ins on people’s attitudes and how they’re feeling. Not just memos, but sincere interest in hearing an honest response. Let impatience fall to the sidelines and invest (it’s not a waste) the time you need and the time your people need to be more involved. Be the Conscious Leader who loves their work, from the company that loves its mission, and you will find you are a step closer to leading the company that people love to give their business to. The path of love is true abundance. Together we rise!
“When you can truly understand how others experience your behavior, without defending or judging, you then have the ability to produce a breakthrough in your leadership and team. Everything starts with your self-awareness. You cannot take charge without taking accountability, and you cannot take accountability without understanding how you avoid it.”