By: Larry Markson, DC
I am writing this article, just as dawn breaks, in the middle of the recent Masters Circle event held in the famous Red Rock country in Sedona, Arizona. The splendor of the landscape defies description.
At the moment, I am on the back deck of a creek-side lodge, which is part of a wonderful hotel called, “L’Auberge de Sedona.” I am captivated by the sparkling surface of the rushing water caused by the reflection of the sun. The rays seem to bounce off the water of the creek in harmony with the sounds of morning that fill the air. It is peaceful here!
I’ve learned long ago, that when you take time to commune with nature, you put balance and perspective back in your life. Negative influences from the outside world seem to melt away and a window opens, allowing in the fresh air of creative, not restrictive, thought.
Now, after a break for a great cup of morning java, I walk up the hill from creek-side, and after walking only far enough to be above tree line I turn around and find myself stunned by the majesty, sheer beauty and power of the Red Rocks of Sedona. One moment I am observing the peace and tranquility of a running creek, and the next the incredible power of the Red Rocks… all part of the delicate balance of a universal ecosystem.
I am grateful to be here, sharing this experience with other members of The Masters Circle. We are here to learn “Leadership Lessons for Professional and Personal Mastery” from Robin Sharma, author of some wonderful books (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and Who Will Cry When You Die?) and also, to explore the traditions, histories, and understandings of ancient Yoga principles. Additionally, we will learn the secrets of the “Medicine Wheel (Circle)” used for centuries in ritualistic ceremony by Native American tribes.
Finally, our long awaited excursion to the most special of the Red Rocks, called “Pacific Vortexes” because, although not measurable or quantifiable, they are said to be “energy fields” of a spiritual nature. We are excited to begin this long-awaited journey.
It is now three days later and we are on the plane traveling back home after experiencing what many have described as the most amazing event. Every part of us was touched in a way that is hard to describe. I’d like to share some highlights with you.
Robin Sharma was our facilitator on day one, and based upon the story of his personal transformation (The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari), and the incredible leadership information we received from him, most of us could have gone home right then. We were a turned-on group, because his presentation caused us to know that our practices and our personal lives are just waiting for a leader (us) to show up, before exploding into greatness.
It is with the permission of our new friend, Robin Sharma, that I reproduce some of his material from another of his books, Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. They are “The 8 Rituals of Visionary Leaders.”
- Link Paycheck to Purpose. Purpose is the greatest motivator in the world. One of the deepest human hungers is the need to contribute and make a difference. Show your people how the work they are doing touches and improves lives.
- Manage by Mind, Lead by Heart. Visionary leaders let their humanity shine at work. They know that great leadership precedes great fellowship and do whatever it takes to engage the trust and loyalty of their team.
- Reward Routinely, Recognize Relentlessly. People who feel great about themselves do great work. Effective leaders relentlessly reward superior performance. They understand that praise is free and have the wisdom to know that behavior that is rewarded is behavior that will be repeated.
- Surrender to Change. Rather than resisting change, understand that change is essential to growth and embrace it. Change precedes all progress. Open your eyes to the boundless opportunities that change presents and become part of it.
- Focus on the Worthy. Spending all your time only on those high-yield activities that deliver the results you need to see for success is the secret of personal effectiveness. Remember, if you don’t act on life, life will act on you.
- Leader Lead Thyself. Success on the outside begins within. You cannot do great things if you do not think great thoughts, and you cannot manage a team unless you first learn how to manage yourself.
- See What All See, Think What None Think. In this day and age, ideas are the commodity of success. See the world through the eyes of a child. Become a possibilitarian. Get creative and innovative.
- Connect Leadership to Legacy. Concentrate on contribution and creating something great for those who will follow you. As the sages of the East used to say, “When you were born, you cried while the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world cries while you rejoice.”
Day two was a real treat for me, because I love to learn about other cultures and then apply what I learn to my own life. Anyhow, a wonderful woman named Johanna (Maheshvari) Mosca, Ph.D. (Maheshvari being her Indian name) took us to the base of one of the vortexes, where, under the influence of the indescribable surroundings, she guided us through the ancient eastern teachings of Yoga philosophy. There were 10 practical elements that could be integrated into daily life. I will speak about the two that moved me the most.
The first was called Santosha, which means “contentment.” It is a willingness to accept whatever Fate may bring with balance, gratitude and joy. (Easy to say and hard to do. I guess that’s why it intrigued me.) In practicing Santosha we learn to detach from our daily experience and become the objective witness, observing ourselves as if we are impartial viewers, sitting in the stands, watching ourselves play out our lives on the court.
Santosha does not mean that we will never experience dissatisfaction or guarantee that we will never get frustrated or become emotionally upset. It means that we learn to maintain our balance in the presence of life’s ups and downs. No matter what happens, we maintain a state of peace and emotional evenness. We have faith that everything happens for a reason, and that it is somehow ultimately for the highest good.
The second element and my favorite was Svadhyaya. “Sva” means “self” and “adhyaya” means “going into; study.” Svadhyaya, in the larger sense, means “study to understand the self” – study of that which will educate or draw out the best in one’s self, which of course sounds like our own Identity-Based principles. This principle entails studying and reflecting upon “Who you are” and “What is your purpose in life.”
A second feature of Svadhyaya involves associating with like-minded people in gatherings called satsangas (meetings in truth). That is what The Masters Circle is all about!
A third aspect of Svadhyaya is japa, the development of repetition of a personal mantra (affirmation will do) or the chanting of the universal sacred syllable “aum” to remove obstacles and become liberated.
In practicing Svadhyaya, we study every facet of being human and anything that will help us understand and transcend the self. Through Svadhyaya, we come to understand our nature and balance with the universe.
Svadhyaya is our life-long quest as developing beings to keep learning, growing and contributing the best we have to give.
Experiences such as that in Sedona only reinforces for me, that all the successes we achieve in our practices, personal and financial lives, stem from the growth that we experience as individuals. When we change the way we think, when we change the actions we take, when we change inside our own skin, then and only then, will we find our outside lives rushing to harmonize with those changes. And, likewise, if we continue to think and feel as we do now, the results will also be in harmony with those thoughts and feelings, the end result being frustration and no change in your outside circumstances.
Our intent is to help MVP and Circle members learn how to take charge of their futures and to head confidently in the direction of their dreams, leaving negativity, fear and mediocrity behind forever. Simply stated, we want to awaken an inner power that will help you cultivate a dynamic and positive mental attitude and develop your creative and intuitive potential.
We intend to spend the balance of the year showering you with concepts, visions and procedures that, if followed, will lead you to a more fulfilling practice and personal life abundant with the monetary rewards you will have earned as the end result of your higher level of expression.
And, based on the incredible results our doctors have been achieving, I think we are succeeding. You see, SUCCESS COMES FROM YOU, NOT TO YOU!