In her book The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary, cultural anthropologist Dr. Angeles Arrien identified 4 immutable laws of spirit:
- Show up and choose to be fully present
- Pay attention to what has heart and meaning
- Tell the truth without blame or judgment
- Be open to outcome, not attached to outcome
Each of the 4 immutable laws of spirit is a personal practice that could last a lifetime. Showing up and choosing to be fully present is no exception. At its core, it’s about consciously and intentionally choosing where you want to spend your time and how you want to spend your energy. And once you’ve made the choice of where to spend your time and energy, to choose to be fully present in the moment.
Showing Up and Being Fully Present At Work
In working the Genuine Contact way, we sometimes will put these 4 laws on a poster in a meeting room. It creates an invitation to the participants to work with these laws during our time together. Two common meeting facilitation methods used in our work are Open Space Technology and Whole Person Process Facilitation.
In Open Space Technology, the four principles of open space and the law of mobility create a container within which people can be invited to follow these four immutable laws of spirit.
In Whole Person Process facilitation, there is both an invitation to follow the 4 laws, and processes that create the opportunity for people who have chosen to show up to be able to be fully present.
Showing up and being fully present doesn’t mean only being present if you are happy, well-rested, have nothing going on in your personal life that might be distracting your thinking, or other business tasks busy in the back of your mind. Being fully present doesn’t say “be fully present, leaving your baggage at the door.”
Being fully present means showing up with the fullness of who you are. That includes all of the “bad” stuff, the distracting stuff, the parts of ourselves we normally never voice in these business meetings. It means acknowledging that all of this exists within you as a whole, complete and complex being, and still being present to the moment.
Meeting facilitation processes that invite the whole person to show up and be fully present offer an opportunity not just for each individual, but also for the collective of people as a whole to be fully present together. In a well done Whole Person Process Facilitated meeting, participants experience an opening that is designed to invite the whole person to be fully present.
Through activities that tap into intuition, right and left brain, and emotion – all aspects of a whole human being – participants have the opportunity to express their full selves. In expressing their full selves, they can express to the whole group “here is what I am experiencing outside of this meeting that is impacting how I am showing up today.” In expressing this experience, it supports participants to now be present to participating with the content of the meeting in a way that wasn’t possible before.