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Catherine Bell Keynote at REAP’s Down to Earth Week Festival on April 15

Catherine Bell Keynote at REAP’s Down to Earth Week Festival on April 15 1854 2029 Catherine Bell

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I am super excited to be the keynote presenter at REAP’s 8th annual Down to Earth Week Festival in Calgary on April 15. Join me at this event from 5:30-8:30 pm at Civic on Third (130 – 3 Ave SE) for an inspiring evening that showcases what it means to be an Awakened Company.

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to find out more about the festival.

REAP Business Association, which stands for Respect for the Earth and All People, is a Calgary-based not-for-profit association for locally owned businesses that care about the community and the environment.

This festival is for social entrepreneurs and business leaders of all industries who are looking to take the next step in their sustainability journey. Come to network and support your fellow Albertans who are working hard to launch and/or grow their business, shape our local community and make a positive impact for people and the planet.

In my keynote presentation, I will make the business case for an awakened approach and a new economic model. Then five entrepreneurs, who are either starting or growing local businesses, will pitch their crowd funding campaigns on the BoostR Stage. You decide which of the presenters will get a boost of $1,000 from ATB Financial.

Dozens of displays will help you connect with local partners who can help you to advance your business for greater prosperity and community benefit. Your ticket only costs $56.28 and includes:

  • My keynote presentation
  • A copy of my best-selling book, The Awakened Company (Namaste Publishing 2015)
  • 5 pitches from social entrepreneurs running an Alberta BoostR crowd funding campaign
  • 4 judges who will give candid feedback to the entrepreneurs pitching
  • A vote for which pitch will receive a $1,000 boost from ATB Financial
  • Networking with 300 of Alberta’s brightest business leaders and social entrepreneurs
  • A seasonal, locally sourced dinner and cash bar

I hope to see you there!

#AwakenedCompany

Paris Peace

Peace – A Response to Terrorist Attacks

Peace – A Response to Terrorist Attacks 1180 664 Catherine Bell

Peace. The very reason for awakened companies is to create a more meaningful life rich with experiences and a harmonious world.   Almost everything that is produced, developed, served, orchestrated and actioned is in some form of organization.  Many of you know that an awakened company relies on awakened individuals to guide, reshape and build this evolved organization.  We must look at our unconscious bias too in this type of organization, such as similar to me effect.  Please see this article on Beirut and Paris and its compelling discussion on why we must feel empathy for all.

We are deeply saddened on many levels by the terrorist attacks.  Our book launch in Vancouver had many moments of silence to heal our world.

The recent terrorists attacks are a human concocted problem and are reflective of a worldwide system that needs a reset.  We need to foster human values across the world.  Values to be included are:

Relaxed groundedness

Energetic engagement

Natural Integrity and authenticity

Acceptance

Compassion

Kindness

Openness

Truth seeking

Intentional awareness/focus

Connection and unity

Humility

We need to systematically be bringing these into our everyday lives for ourselves, relationships, family, organizations and society. We need a systemic, subtle reset to how we organize to allow for all to flourish.

We cannot awaken, however, without being deeply familiar with the peace and relaxed groundedness of the present moment. The following is some timely guidance from The Awakened Company‘s collaborator Christopher Papadopoulos:

LET IT BEGIN WITH ME

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me exhorts the traditional Christian hymn. These words take on a greater importance during these days after the recent international terrorist attacks, when we are most vulnerable to slipping into our darker nature. The hurt and shock many are experiencing is a natural response. Even anger can be a natural response: there is a build-up of energy to make the body take action, to change things, to protect. Too much anger however, disconnects us from a deeper awareness and compassion. This has us flirting close to the same kind of destructive energy that flows through those who commit acts of extreme violence and cruelty. We can thus unintentionally move ourselves away from the peace we seek and create an atmosphere that enables others to continue their violent ways. We wish to release some of this pressure so that anger doesn’t lead to impulsive thoughts and reactions based in rage and xenophobia.

Moving your body vigorously (e.g. shaking your limbs, exercise, dance etc.) can help to dissipate some of this excess energy that has built up in the body. So can inhaling, tensing every muscle in the body for a few seconds and then releasing with a big exhale through the mouth (try this 5 times). Less pressure is a good start but given the apparent magnitude of the world’s problems a feeling of powerlessness can also set in. And yet you have more power than you can imagine to protect and to change things. You hold in your hands the key to personal peace and world peace. In fact peace can only begin with you, with each of us.

The most important thing you can do is something you have complete control over, to feel your body. Right now notice that your body is safe. Take a few full breaths feeling the expansion and contraction in your torso. This movement has been going on since you were born and noticing it is as important as anything you will ever do. Feel your body. No one else can do this vital work for you. There is no imminent threat. There is just you. Here. Now. After a few more deep breaths take a moment and notice your body moving and breathing all by itself.

Let’s go deeper to find more subtle levels of tension in the body. Any extra tension in the body is used by the mind as fuel to keep chattering and reacting and our goal is to quiet the mind. Unclench your jaw and solar plexus, drop your shoulders, and loosen your hands and feet. How deeply can you relax each body part? Relax your body as much as possible and feel your body move with each deep breath you take.

By fully feeling the body—which can only be felt now—you begin to enter the present moment.  This quiets a mind which is designed to stand back from the concrete reality of now so that it can reflect and judge and plan from the abstract realm of thought. Soon you will realize that the mind is a valuable tool…that needs to be put down often. Beneath the typical flood of mental activity which distorts our experience of reality and numbs our experience of our deepest self, you will begin to notice a vibrant stillness, a transcendent peace. This peace is intelligent and comes with the information that it has always been here, waiting for you to notice it. It also comes with another surprising revelation: Peace is not something that we can create; it is a fundamental characteristic of who we are and inherent in all of life.

Your body, the room you are in—and indeed the entire world— is saturated with peace. By noticing the peace that we are beneath the turmoil of our thoughts and emotions we can also perceive the peace that is all around us. Now we know that all life is indeed sacred and interconnected. When we experience our peace-filled nature, dormant yet omnipresent peace becomes ‘activated’ and can now resonate across the planet. Peace-inspired behavior naturally follows from our new and fuller experience of reality.

The world needs you to experience your true nature. This will lead others to discover theirs. And yes, the perpetrators of horrific acts are also peace in their essence—a peace they have no contact with. They “know not what they do” because they don’t know who they themselves are. It is being lost in our thoughts and emotional reactions that can lead to greater fear and rage. This blocks awareness of our interconnectedness and the sacredness of all life. This distorted and incomplete awareness leads to indifference, selfishness, violence and cruelty. So do not stray too far into fear and anger because the world needs you to be fulfilled: the fulfillment of experiencing the peace of your true nature.

~ Christopher Papadopoulos

#AwakenedCompany

fearlessly truthful

Awakened Companies Are Fearlessly Truthful

Awakened Companies Are Fearlessly Truthful 2000 1000 Catherine Bell

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Christopher Papadopoulos is a collaborator on The Awakened Company and is the author of PEACE and Where to Find It.  Here are some of his comments, which reflect the truth of The Awakened Company.  Enjoy!

Personal awakening involves a fearless search for the truth of who we are beyond the roles we play and the things we believe. It is the essential work that everyone is born to do. One of the most important realizations we have on the path to awakening is that there is no part of our lives that can remain hidden in the shadows and unevolved for too long. We may be quite composed and graceful in one part of our lives but lament that another part of our lives is a “train wreck”, suffocating us, and bringing out our worst behavior.

A business person who is growing in self-awareness knows that there is a point that a kind of spiritual stagnation can set in unless this fearless quest for authenticity and truth includes all aspects of their life including their business life.

A fundamental feature of awakening is the palpable sense that all of life is sacred and that we are all interconnected. It is from this felt realization that we begin to expand our definition of ‘self’ to include more people, more living things of every sort and even objects. Correspondingly, we begin to see the organizations we are involved with as living and sacred entities as well.

This is the natural progression from personal awakening to fostering an awakened company. Awakening executives know their personal evolution, their personal quest for peace and fulfillment, cannot advance unless they include their companies as a whole in the awakening journey. And just as the awakening executive relentlessly and honestly looks into every shadowy corner of their own life, the awakened company must be equally relentless and fearless in facing the truth about how humane and evolved it is.

The feeling of sacred connection that emerges with greater awareness contains some very familiar sentiments: gratitude, reverence, joy and love. Does your corporate culture and workspace reflect these sentiments? Do you revere, and yes, love your coworkers? Do you appreciate your employees and clients not just as “resources” or “assets” but as human beings? Is joy a priority?

Are you unabashedly honest about your marketing and advertising strategies? That is, do your campaigns showcase your products and services without deceiving and manipulating your target audience?

Can you say with confidence that your products and services are developed without exploiting vulnerable people or polluting the environment?

Is the company aware of its symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community and planet and does it resist using its power to lobby governments to neutralize the voice of citizens?

If you are earnest in your quest for organizational awareness answering “No” to any of the above is not a sign of failure but of success. To fearlessly question all of a company’s practices no matter what the truth is means the process of awakening has begun.

Mindful Culture

The Importance of Mindful Culture for Start Ups

The Importance of Mindful Culture for Start Ups 300 168 Catherine Bell

 

Paul Zelizer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wisdompreneurs shares lessons learnt about corporate culture for The Awakened Company.

One of the biggest trends of the past decade in the start up space is the Lean Start Up movement. Through a combination of careful observation and research, leaders like Eric Reis and Steve Blank have helped map out an approach to launching an enterprise that increases success and decreases the time spent flailing around.   I think that’s a great thing – unless you LIKE failing around. J
This is a huge service to the startup world. We now have a road map to better organizing the conversations and iterations that lead to a profitable company.

And yet, much of the conversation in the start up world reminds me of the culture at Google that Search Inside Yourself author Meng Tan describes. Meng talks about how Google and other tech companies were constantly “looking outside ourselves” for increased effectiveness and profitability.   As someone with a lifelong interest in awareness practices, Meng couldn’t help but wonder what kind of benefits would be available to companies if they would consider the research about “searching inside ourselves first”.

For instance, research done by TalentSmart when they placed emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs.

Because of results like these, the conversation about self-awareness and emotional intelligence in larger business settings are rapidly growing. Google has Search Inside Yourself. LinkedIn has it’s Compassion in Business project. Arianna Huffington has launched GPS for the Soul.

Yet the conversation in the startup world about the importance of awareness and Emotional Intelligence practices seem to be lagging behind.

Business leaders like Arianna Huffington and Seth Godin have begun the conversation about the importance of mindful attention to the cultures we create in start up.   However, on the front lines of the organizations teaching and mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs – incubators, accelerators, entrepreneurship programs at universities and the like – practices like Emotional Intelligence are rarely mentioned. How many programs do you know where start up leaders are taught that Emotional Intelligence and similar practices are among the single biggest factors about whether a start up fails or thrives?

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said:

Daily mindfulness and compassion will make you a healthier, more productive person. Additionally, the people you work with are going to respond better and do better work. The outcome is going to be a superior product or service, a happier user or client, and in the best case—a positive global impact.

A positive global impact. That’s the vision of the startup community that I serve. And in order to take the next step towards that, I believe it’s essential for the start world to make it a priority to deepen our commitment to and awareness of creating more mindful culture in start ups. It’s something I’m saying yes to with every cell in my body.

Bio: Paul Zelizer runs a global business as a business and marketing coach for wisdom/awareness based entrepreneurs.   He is also the co-founder and CEO of Wisdompreneurs, a start up that brings easy to implement mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence practices to the entrepreneurial world as well as more entrepreneurial skills to transformational leaders.   Paul’s website is www.paulzelizer.com and Wisdompreneurs is at www.wisdompreneurs.com