Leadership and Spirituality
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5 Reasons Why Most People Never Discover Their Purpose

5 Reasons Why Most People Never Discover Their Purpose | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Living and working with purpose is a process of self-discovery--and one most of us never let ourselves undergo.

Via Don Cloud
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

The idea that we need to turn inward to find our purpose is both interesting and accurate.

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John Michel's curator insight, October 5, 2013 2:27 PM

Our society has reduced success to a list of boxes to be checked: graduate from school, partner up, have kids, settle into a well-defined career path, and hang on until retirement checks can be collected.

This well-worn path pushes people in the direction of conformity, not purpose.

Don Cloud's comment, October 5, 2013 9:21 PM
Ivon, I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, am trying to help my daughter through this process (she graduates high school this year). But it's tough ... society has already put all the "checkboxes" in place.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's comment, October 5, 2013 9:24 PM
It is Don. We lose a lot of kids and adults due to the check box approach.
Leadership and Spirituality
What role does spirituality play in leadership? It makes the leader whole and fill the hole in the whole of the organization
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Are You Culturally Appropriating Buddhism? – The Establishment

Are You Culturally Appropriating Buddhism? – The Establishment | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
White American religious traditions have always been respected more than Asian ones. Here’s how you may be culturally appropriating Buddhism and what to do.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is a wonderful and thought-provoking article.
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What Happens When a Taoist Feels Sad? – The Rabbit Is In

What Happens When a Taoist Feels Sad? – The Rabbit Is In | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
We have often heard it said that if we cannot first love ourselves, then we will not be able to love someone else. But what does it mean to love ourselves? Perhaps, like I sometimes do, you may try…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
We come to understand the world is big enough for good and bad days. We have company.
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EMPATHY: All About Empathy: A portal for information: articles, definitions, links, videos, etc. about Empathy and Compassion

EMPATHY: All About Empathy: A portal for information: articles, definitions, links, videos, etc. about Empathy and Compassion | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
All About Empathy: A portal for information, resources, articles, definitions, videos, etc. about Empathy and Compassion

Via Jose Baldaia
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is an interesting idea.
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Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have
become increasingly popular, but to date little is known about neural mechanisms associated
with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most
widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects
on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here,
we report a controlled longitudinal study to investigate pre–post changes in brain
gray matter concentration attributable to participation in an MBSR program.

Via Suzanne Izzard
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The more research we have into the impacts of mindfulness and meditative practices the more they may become part of our daily living. Hopefully, this does not mean a formulaic way of meditating and being mindful
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The key to jobs in the future is not college but compassion 

The key to jobs in the future is not college but compassion  | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

Via Stefano Principato, Dean J. Fusto
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Teaching children soft skills in schools is essential to their future world. In a world of digital tools and social media, the human touch and human relationships are essential.
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The Spirit of Mindfulness and the Spirit of Science Are More Similar Than You Think

The Spirit of Mindfulness and the Spirit of Science Are More Similar Than You Think | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
We’re so close to Earth that sometimes we forget how beautiful it is. Seen from space, our blue planet is remarkably alive — a living paradise suspended in a vast and hostile cosmos. On the first…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's The Art of Living. The gerund, rather than the noun, is essential.
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Mindful in Middle School

Mindful in Middle School | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
One teacher’s experience incorporating mindfulness into her middle school curriculum.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used a dialogue circle to create time to meditate. It took less explaining and seemed less controversial. It allowed for moments of silence and being present. At other times, students talked and shared.

There is research evidence as to the benefits of meditation and how it can positively impact the brain.
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How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to improve our mental health.

Via Stefano Principato, massimo facchinetti, malek
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Research has been helpful in areas such as meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude. Being present is one way to show one's gratitude.
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The Ancient Poem That Will Put Your Life in Perspective

The Ancient Poem That Will Put Your Life in Perspective | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
You don’t have to be a depressed celebrity to find solace in one of the Sufi mystic Rumi’s most unforgettable poems.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Rumi and his poem The Guesthouse are favourites of mine. The point of the article is the message is a counter narrative to a highly materialistic and consumerist world. To be present in the world is a way to counter what we call capitalism. What we have to remember is Adam Smith was a moral philosopher.

"Rumi stands as an inspiring source for contemporary quests for spirituality.”
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The Art of Admiring: A Mindful Lesson from a Toy Camera - Mindful

The Art of Admiring: A Mindful Lesson from a Toy Camera - Mindful | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
How one photo-addicted mom found mindfulness in her daughter's toy camera. Plus, a simple noticing practice for non-judgemental awareness.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"While perusing through Mindful.org, I came across an article about the slow-photography movement—a mini-rebellion against the tendency to photograph every detail of every moment"

When we live in ways that try to remove the mystery from life, we miss a lot. When I began teaching more mindfully, I was more aware of what was essential to my teaching: my relationships with students, parents, and colleagues.
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How to Show Empathy

Listen. Listening is one of the most effective ways you can demonstrate empathy to other people. When you are practicing active listening, you are listening with purpose.[1] You aren't fiddling about on your phone, or thinking about what you're going to make for dinner tonight, you're really taking in what the other person is saying.


If you're listening to someone and you get distracted by thinking about dinner or whatever it is you want to say next in the conversation, bring yourself back to the present by saying "I was just thinking about ___(last thing you remember them saying)__ and I was wondering if you could repeat what you just said so that I don't miss anything."


Look the speaker in the eye (don't stare, but try to maintain eye contact), and sit facing the person. Don't let your gaze drift all over the place, because it will look as though you aren't paying attention and that you don't care what this person has to say.
Active listening requires three things.[2] First, paraphrase what the person said to show that you understood the content.

 


Via Edwin Rutsch, june holley
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The article is indepth. It focuses on being attentive, being present, and being mindful to the other person. It also speaks about imagining what it might be like to be in the other person's situation.

Teachers can play a role by modeling these skills.
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What Does Spiritual Growth Have To Do With Life Success?

What Does Spiritual Growth Have To Do With Life Success? | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
The traditional tertiary and professional education largely involves developing intellect, in particular the skills of reasoning, analysis, problem-solving and memory. It trains us to see ourselves…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"Spiritual growth helps create a vision of our highest purpose. It provides tools to raise our energy frequency, move away from ego and move towards the truth."

Ron Malhotra draws on William James, a pragmatist, in pointing towards spiritual growth's practical benefits. I don't mean we become more productive in our jobs, but brings a certain calmness to living.

When I began meditating and walking, I discovered many insights in these practices. They helped me be a better teacher, to be present to the person who spoke to me, and led to a calmness that had not been there before. It also led me away from the profession.
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These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell

These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Over three trillion trees live on planet Earth, and yet we know so few of their stories. Of course all trees play an important role—purifying the air, hosting the feathered and the furry, teaching kids (and kids at heart) how to climb—but some have spent more time doing these things than others. Quiver trees, for […]

Via Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Each part of nature, large and small, has a story to tell. Mountains tell a geologic story, trees an ecological one, and humans human stories. They are stores of surviving, thriving, and living.

Deep ecology looks for depth and richness in these stories that are not always evident. Deep pedagogy would be similar in many ways. Teaching becomes looking for what is not readily evident to the teacher. It is about learning through being sensitive to the students we meet each day.
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What the super survivors can teach us about resilience

What the super survivors can teach us about resilience | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Nothing can prepare us for the adversity life can throw at us.

We can't be sure whether our spirit would beam with resilience in the face of adversity or it would end up irreparably broken until we experience such situation.

So what makes a story of resilience successful? For one, it can be keeping on going and living a decent life after a tragedy. For another, it is to keep an attitude of enough even when homeless.

When we look adversity into its gaping mouth and walk through it without giving up, it's a great success in itself.

Every day millions of ordinary people face extraordinary hardships.

And sometimes these people grow into someone extraordinary.

You know them. You've heard of them!

They don't just survive.

They thrive and soar.

Their immense adversity sets them on fire. A fire burning with freedom and as if they no longer fear getting burned, they get back up in whatever manner imaginable and contribute to the world in remarkable ways.

They share heartbreaking and inspiring stories.

Those stories put our lives into perspective, but they are not to be compared or competed with instead we can learn from them and get inspired.

How did the super resilient get through adversity and thrive? What can we learn from them? And most importantly can we change our lives by enhancing and adapting some of the skills the super survivors possess?

Let's dive in and see what a resilient person is made of.

Via Sharrock
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
When I saw the title, I thought of Viktor Frankl and a search for meaning in life.
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Corporate Mindfulness is Bullsh*t

Corporate Mindfulness is Bullsh*t | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

Mindfulness matters, but make no mistake: Corporations are co-opting the idea to disguise the ways they kill us.


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Any time we co-opt a word and process, we excise them of their deepest meanings. Being mindful is a way of living and being. It is not to enhance one's financial bottom line.
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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, August 3, 6:04 AM

Is the mindfulness boom really a revolution? If it is, what exactly has been overturned or radically transformed to garner such grand status?

 

Wall Street and corporations are still conducting business as usual, special interests and political corruption goes unchallenged.

 

As Nicole Ashoff points out in “The New Prophets of Capital,” “people must willingly participate in and reproduce its structures and norms,” and in times of crisis, “capitalism must draw upon cultural ideas that exist outside of the circuits of profit-making.”  Mindfulness is one such new cultural idea serving this purpose.

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, August 3, 5:06 PM

What do you think?

Ian Berry's curator insight, August 4, 7:07 PM
Like this contrarian view. This doesn't mean that we as individuals don't notice (mindfulness) and take action to rid the world of arguably our greatest problem - inequality
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Practices From the Inside Out: The Stillness Between Words

Practices From the Inside Out: The Stillness Between Words | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Discerning. Monastic Strategy. Spiritual Practices.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I write and read poetry. It is the stillness and space between words that draws me to poetry. I discovered that being still and present in my teaching was essential to growing as a teacher and reaching out to my students.
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It can be hard, but reflection is a powerful exercise

It can be hard, but reflection is a powerful exercise | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Sometimes looking back is painful. Sometimes the memories of what has happened are not at all comfortable, not at all pleasant. It’s hard, so we lock it up deep in our minds and throw away the key…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
It is hard to reflect, in part because the objective is to critically self-reflect on who you are and what you are doing. I think the other challenge is finding a method that works for each person. It is somewhat idiosyncratic.
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The Science Behind What Really Drives Performance (It's Going to Surprise You)

The DDI report reveals a dire need for leaders with the skill of empathy. Only four out of 10 frontline leaders assessed in their massive study were proficient or strong on empathy.

Richard S. Wellins, senior vice president of DDI and one of the authors of the High-Resolution Leadership report, had this to say in a Forbes interview a year ago:

We feel [empathy] is in serious decline. More concerning, a study of college students by University of Michigan researchers showed a 34 percent to 48 percent decline in empathic skills over an eight-year period. These students are our future leaders!

We feel there are two reasons that account for this decline. Organizations have heaped more and more on the plates of leaders, forcing them to limit face-to-face conversations. Again, DDI research revealed that leaders spend more time managing than they do "interacting." They wish they could double their time spent interacting with others. The second reason falls squarely on the shoulders of technology, especially mobile smart devices. These devices have become the de rigueur for human interactions. Sherry Turkle, in her book, Reclaiming Conversation, calls them "sips of conversations."

Via David Hain, Roy Sheneman, PhD
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Empathy and emotional intelligence are essential to leading and performing. Central to these are face-to-face conversations with people and providing people with time for conversations, instead of relying on digital tools and social media. Sherry Turkle refers to those as "sips of conversation."
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David Hain's curator insight, June 22, 6:15 AM

The state of empathy in leadership - and it's not healthy!

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 26, 1:41 AM

We are human so empathy must be part of our leadership style or we are nothing but robots.

Bay Jordan's curator insight, June 26, 6:18 AM
Really useful insights here for anyone who relies on others to deliver performance - which is most of us! 
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The Flighty Nature of Attention - Mindful

The Flighty Nature of Attention - Mindful | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
How meditation allows us to stumble upon something we've always wanted: a settled, stable mind in the midst of the chaos of life.

Via Bobby Dillard
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used a variety of minfulness methods to be more present. I meditated on my own, attended weekend events, attended intensive meditation events, etc. Using various ways to help me meditate benefited my mindfulness in the classroom and life in general.
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Want to Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks 

Want to Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks  | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

Should you begin doing less, in order to accomplish more?

 

Via donhornsby
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Take time and listen to your spirit.
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Andrea Ross's curator insight, June 8, 8:37 PM

""Taking a break every 90 minutes - yes please""

Paulette Dotson's curator insight, June 9, 11:47 AM
Who knew that taking more breaks would lead to more productivity?  It gives us a chance to unwind and come back and see things with a new perspective.
Jerry Busone's curator insight, June 23, 7:43 AM

A lot of truth to this ....

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Happiness Begins When You Stop Seeking ‘Balance’ – Thrive Global

Happiness Begins When You Stop Seeking ‘Balance’ – Thrive Global | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Trying to work your 9–5, start your business, go to school, clean your home, eat healthy, workout, be the perfect friend/siblings/child/spouse/parent, etc is just down right tiring. When I started my…
Via Pavel Barta
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Balance is unattainable. What we can seek is being mindful of our daily living. I experienced a significant shift when I began to meditate and focus on the present moment. I was able to be present for students, parents, colleagues, and myself.
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How to Play With Words (and Find Your Voice)

How to Play With Words (and Find Your Voice) | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Is your word choice a tad staid? This tutorial helps you play with words so your writing stands out. Includes various examples plus a word choice exercise.

Via Penelope
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used poetry with students to help them play with and find words. Poetry writing is a way to discover and express who we are through our voice.

The points at the end of the article are insightful. It reads more like a know your audience list, as opposed to a do and don't do list.
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Penelope's curator insight, May 23, 8:50 PM
Cat got your tongue when it comes to putting words to paper? Well, kick out the cat and keep silent no more! Henneke enchants us yet again with her magical formula to find our voice. Cough out that fur ball and be silent no more!

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"*** 
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How a Positive Outlook Helps Mindful Leaders Thrive

How a Positive Outlook Helps Mindful Leaders Thrive | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
A leader is identified as having the Positive Outlook EI Competency if they have a dominant belief that the future holds better potentia

Via Pavel Barta
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Mindful people have a postive outlook on life. Being in the moment and understanding "this too shall pass" is essential.

Leading is part of educating and pedagogy. Teaching in mindful ways seems essential.
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How Silence Rewires Your Brain to Make You More Intelligent — MyScienceAcademy

How Silence Rewires Your Brain to Make You More Intelligent — MyScienceAcademy | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

In 2011, the Finish tourism board decided to run a campaign promoting the “silence” you can get by visiting the beautiful country. Along with photos of awe-inspiring landscapes, they used the slogan “Silence, Please”.


Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Andreas Christodoulou, Wilfried Andral, malek
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Just to be is essential. I discovered that meditation and silence helped me as a teacher in unpredictable ways.
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Tom Wojick's curator insight, May 29, 12:24 PM

The sounds of silence are indeed important. Learning to befriend silence in a world that is constantly bombarding us with noise requires practice.

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Is mindfulness meditation good for kids? Here’s what the science actually says.

Is mindfulness meditation good for kids? Here’s what the science actually says. | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
I read more than a dozen studies — including systematic meta-reviews, which account for thousands of other papers — analyzing the best available research on mindfulness (in both students and adults) and talked to researchers and advocates involved in the work. I asked these experts what questions and concerns parents should have when they hear mindfulness is coming to their schools. (Scroll down for those questions.)

The short of it: The relatively few studies we have on mindfulness in schools suggest a generally positive effect on decreasing anxiety and increasing cognitive performance. But the hype around mindfulness also seems to be outpacing the science, especially when it comes to teaching these practices to children.

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

Appears to be quite a comprehensive synthesis of the available research.


Via Jim Lerman, Lars-Göran Hedström
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Meditation and mindfulness are not cure-alls. They offer benefits, but we need to make sure they are not treated as fix-its.
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