“Emotions are the strongest force in people, even those who think they are intellectual” – Sadghuru
Western society has held intelligence in high regard for a long time. For many years the best universities and top companies have coveted those with the highest grades. However, this has come at a cost. Your employment contract essentially says “you will behave like this, you will fit this box and in return we will give you money, a title, a pension and holidays”. It does not entitle you to training or to progression or to feel empowered. It almost certainly demands that you make decisions without bringing emotion into it.
Despite the fancy slogans many business environments peddle, they are just that – slogans not behaviours. For many, working environments are unsafe places, where staff are not encouraged to speak their truth, or say how they really feel and there is no space for a spiritual perspective (not all working environments, I hasten to add, fortunately I work in an empowered environment). These are environments are fear based and they require individuals to repress and ‘freeze’ emotions within.
It is ironic that so many businesses are now trying to introduce wellbeing programmes and yoga to the office. But are they really helping?
It is a misconception that humans think first and then feel. We feel first then we think.
True yoga does not force you to put away your feelings. Indeed, each pose is designed to evoke an emotion. It’s when we deal with what arises within, accept it for what it is, that we naturally elevate our minds and body to a better place and more positive emotions become available. This is because we are raising our awareness by becoming fully present. By being present we can recognise the emotions and manage them before responding.
It logically follows then that in repressing our emotions, we are creating dis-ease within ourselves. If we are harming ourselves, how is it possible to a create positive external environments for others?? How is it possible to work from a positive and empowering place if we are not well to begin with??
Empirical studies have now found what yogis have known all along, that a consistent yoga practice of more than six months improves emotional intelligence, and reduces perceived stress. This can only be good for the individual and good for business. However, it’s no good paying lip service to ‘wellbeing’ and banding around the ‘mental health’ slogans if this is not an ethical stance as a business that is embedded into office culture.
My point: Empowerment lies with individuals. We are all responsible for our own wellbeing. Don’t leave it to the corporations to impose their definition of wellbeing on you. Find your edge, explore your potential. Change your inner world and your outer world will rise to meet you.