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December 13, 2017

Going Deeper with The 15 Commitments: Is Consciousness The Thing or a Means to The Thing?

Going deeper means to grow in self-awareness and to meet that self-awareness with more self-acceptance. Notice and welcome; that’s really the whole game. If you grow in self-awareness without self-acceptance you become self-critical. If you accept yourself without becoming more self-aware you get complacent and lose your edge.

As you continue on the journey, it’s wise to consider what the “thing” is for you. What do you most want? When you boil it all down what are you really up to? What is your deepest why?

As I move through the world teaching conscious leadership I see that for some people consciousness is the thing. But for most people consciousness is a means to the thing. These are two totally different experiences.

For many people the thing is money, power, fame, success, or survival. These people view consciousness as a means to the end of getting the thing. For example, they know, both from experience and the research, that meditation increases the probability of being more creative, less stressed, more intuitive, having more energy and getting more done. They meditate because they want money, power and success, and they don’t want to fry themselves while getting there.

They practice the 15 commitments of conscious leadership because they experience that doing so with their team creates less drama, more alignment, more engagement, and attracts and retains better talent; all of which is useful, maybe necessary, for getting the thing.

For others the thing is relationship; either relationship with their significant other or with their children, friends and family. They practice consciousness as a means to having better relationships. If they end blame, take responsibility, and live in appreciation vs. resentment the relationship works better. They experience more connection and intimacy.

People with these goals practice consciousness as long as it is useful for getting the thing. Consciousness is the handmaid in service of the thing. In my experience this is the relationship that the vast majority of leaders have with conscious leadership. That’s great. It works.

For some people at some point along the journey the means becomes the end, the handmaid becomes maiden, and consciousness becomes the thing. When this happens the world changes. Now everything is in service of waking up, of seeing reality, of being fully conscious.

From this orientation, if you lose a key customer it’s a gift to show you your attachments, fears, and wants. It’s in service of learning, seeing, becoming more self-aware and self-accepting. If your partner is unfaithful or your teenager uses drugs it’s an invitation to wake the fuck up, to see what you’re not seeing, to become even more conscious, experience more of reality. All of life’s experiences are in service of you evolving into the most conscious manifestation of yourself.

So pause and ask, “For me, what is the thing?”

Some ponderings to help you get clear:

  • When you have a busy day do you drop your meditation practice or make sure to include or even lengthen it?
  • When your business is going through tough times do you cut the budget for conscious leadership training or deepen in your willingness to learn?
  • When your partner gets angry do you try to resolve things as quickly as possible and put it behind you, or (eventually) welcome it as a gift to show you how you are still attached to getting approval from the outside?

If how you invest your energy (money, time, thoughts) tells the truth about what your thing is, what is it? What consciousness can get you or consciousness itself?

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Jim Dethmer
Co-Founder
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