Genuine Contact Summer Academy: Extraordinary Leadership

 

Expanding your Awareness

An excerpt from the book The Genuine Contact Way

In all of our work, we emphasize that a key to leadership is to be in genuine contact with oneself and another key is to have a daily discipline that assists in expanding awareness. For some, this can be achieved with meditation, yoga, jogging, walking, dancing, or sitting in silence. While doing any of these for the purpose of expanding awareness, it is important to focus attention on the breath. One of my favorite ways to work on expansion of my consciousness is to do a noticing exercise. Following is an excerpt from the segment about noticing in my book The Genuine Contact Way.

“A key to being in genuine contact with yourself is to shift your consciousness to notice things more, to notice what is happening around you. You end up getting in touch with how limiting your ordinary perceptual filters are, and how much better it feels to allow yourself to be in your non-ordinary reality of an expanded viewpoint. This non-ordinary reality is very much part of you that you don’t usually recognize. There are different spiritual practices within which there is a stage of the student being set the task of sitting quietly and writing down everything that she[1] notices, in the same spot, day after day. At first, this can seem boring. Yet, as the days progress, she discovers that from the same seat, there is more and more to notice. The ordinary reality around her isn’t what changes. There is something inside of her that changes from the exercise of noticing. Initially, she notices from the perceptual filter that she usually applies to how she observes life. As she carries out her task, day after day, she notices more and more because she starts to observe the same reality from additional perceptual filters that allow her to notice differently what has been there all along. She now notices from her non-ordinary reality, making greater genuine contact with herself.”

It seems almost too easy and too much fun to expand awareness through noticing. And yet, after just a few days of doing a noticing exercise for between fifteen and thirty minutes, a real difference in awareness occurs. For those who are interested in developing themselves as leaders, this exercise enhances the capacity for leadership that includes noticing what needs to be noticed before making a choice.


[1]Within this book, we have chosen to use the feminine form (her/she) for consistency and clarity.

 

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Noticing by R. D. Laing

 

The range of what we see and do

 

Is limited by what we fail to notice.

 

And because we fail to notice

 

That we fail to notice,

 

There is little we can do

 

To change

 

Until we notice

 

How failing to notice

 

Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

 

 

Poem contributed by Marianne Gerber of Switzerland, a previous participant in the GC Summer Academy and herself a trainer in the Genuine Contact program