[This reading is from Vania McBean, Assistant Director of Information Technology for University Recreation and Wellness at the University of Maryland - College Park. She is a recent MOR program alum. Vania may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
From time to time, as leaders we have to stop and press the pause button. MOR practice requirements remind us that presence is reflected in the energy you generate and the attitude you demonstrate. No matter your location, you can immediately improve your leadership presence. How? Look out of your window and reflect on how bejeweled our world is with daily reminders of the power of goodness.
Contemplate the abundance and the diversity of the trees and birds. Muse and meditate on natural wonders as you drink the awesomeness of the universe on a starry night. Think carefully, no two sunrises are ever exactly alike. Each time you look up at the clouds the feeling you will experience is a refreshment of the soul. The sound of birds singing will reset the ears.
We experience a bit of joy when we connect with nature, it helps to discharge anxiety and bring attention to something safe. We tend to experience something outside ourselves which helps us to accept certain situations and reassure us that we are part of something larger and immensely important.
Gratitude helps us feel good because it inspires us to do good. A grateful spirit will make you more loving, more forgiving and empathetic. Pause and reflect on how even under stay at home restrictions, most folks are naturally inclined to take a few moments to say a kind greeting to our neighbors and local service workers.
Open your hearts to the gifts around you. Let gratefulness flow from the inside out to others. Pause and reflect on why you should make the effort to open your remarks with an encouraging word during your next secular video conference session.
Gratitude is the ability to experience life, not just as a test, but as a gift. It will impact every relationship that you have in your family plus at work. You will be in a much better position to make a real difference in the lives of others. It will liberate you from the prison of self-preoccupation and it will replace an overly critical spirit with a sense of appreciation.
Pause and reflect on what your hope is giving you. That positive energy will infuse your leadership presence. As soon as you finish this reading, give the digital world a break. Take a walk outside and perceive the goodness around you. You will find it easier to cope with the trials and the stresses of life. We are never more than one grateful thought away from increased peace of mind and greater peace of heart. Just remember, to pause and reflect...
This reflection was featured in a MOR Tuesday Reading of Alumni reflections on valuing the gifts of others.