When the news of the referendum result broke on June 24th apart from initial shock I felt myself going into mourning. I had been one of the first Brits to go work in Europe in 1973 without the rigmarole of a work permit. Later I set up a business serving clients in Germany, France, Scandinavia and Spain and travelled regularly across the whole EU. I view myself as a Brit first and foremost, but also a European.
As of today, we face huge uncertainties. The decisions we take over the next few weeks and months will determine whether or not we make a success of Post Brexit UK or whether we drift towards disintegration and obscurity.
So how do we live with such turmoil? How do people in business ensure they make the best decisions they can when there is so much confusion at the very top of government?
- Resist blaming others
Whilst it might be tempting to blame those who voted ‘Leave’ for anything that goes wrong from now on, it will serve no purpose. Such responses are debilitating because we effectively relinquish control and give away our power to respond. Blaming others justifies inactivity. It is the coward’s way of avoiding stepping up and taking responsibility.
It is by asking ourselves honestly and sincerely what exactly it is we need to learn from what has happened and where we are now, that we move forward. There are no challenges that do not bring potential new opportunities. Disasters occur only when we close down and block the learning that the ‘problem’ is asking us to embrace.
- Time to turn inwards
When we feel confused, overwhelmed, pulled in one direction and then another it is tempting to switch off and do nothing, and ultimately that can be devastating. At such times, answers are not to be found in the world around us. Instead we need to connect and listen to our own Higher Self, that place within all of us which is all knowing, compassionate and the truth of who we really are. It is by seeking direction from our own inner guide that we find solutions beyond the cacophony of all that is happening around us.
For me the best way to connect with my Higher Self is through mediation. It calms my mind, lessens the degree to which I get distracted by fear-based thoughts and makes a significant difference to my ability to live in the present. I get a sense of what is actually important, and where my priorities lie. Completely fresh ideas and new solutions emerge during this practice. I am able to see where I need to focus, and I avoid getting involved in distracting and wasteful effort.
There are many forms of meditation. My own preference is to sit quietly for twenty minutes as soon as I am out of bed and dressed. I calmly observe my breathing, and let my thoughts go. Such letting go is not easy, but with practice it becomes more natural. As I quiet my thinking I sense relief and observe myself becoming calmer and more present. My breathing imperceptibly slows down, and I experience a sense of peace. The thoughts do not stop, but they become less frequent.
- Follow your intuition
Intuition is the voice of our Higher Self. It comes to us spontaneously with an uplifting feeling, or voice and nudges us forward in our lives. It enables us to see behind statistics and forecasts, and make useful predictions in spite of incomplete information. It is never manipulative and leads us to original decisions that bring about win-win solutions. It unlocks creativity, makes life smoother, more fun, and sometimes defies logic, at least initially.
As with all skills, the more you tune in to your intuition, the better you get at recognising it and the more confident you become in following it. We nurture our intuition by regularly absorbing ourselves in activities that take us completely away from our routine thinking, out of our heads, and into our bodies. For me, this is through walking in nature, for others it might be running, horse riding or dancing to music. The main criterion is that it be pleasurable and regular.
- Ask specific questions
During meditation fresh ideas and new ways of seeing situations come spontaneously. There are times however when we need answers to specific questions. In such cases it is important to take a couple of deep breaths, close our eyes, and step back from any immediate emotional ties to the issue. Our inner voice is best at addressing questions that require a clear yes or no. Hence, we get the best results by formulating our inquiry in such a way that a yes or a no will give clarity. The right answer will always carry more vitality and enthusiasm and the first answer is usually the best one. Anything that comes later risks being influenced by our customary limiting beliefs.
By John Reynard, author of the ‘Spiritual Route to Entrepreneurial Success – From Harassed Sole Trader to Visionary CEO’