Many men and now women who are highly successful in business today made it to the top by being bullies. Demanding, fighting, manipulating. The belief this created is that the only way to get ahead is by being tough at all costs.
And so we find a culture of arrogant, abusive men and women who have forgotten the qualities we ask our children to strive for: integrity, honesty and compassion. When we glamorize the benefits of success regardless of the means to achieve it, the message we send is that you must forfeit your true nature -- of respecting others -- and become like the "Dragons" who once ruled the land. The choice is clear -- and if you don't play the game the way it's set up, you lose.
Doe, or Dragon? In Croatia there is a saying that many women in the business world are either one or the other. They are playing by the rules they believe they must and have lost their sense of self, or they have become so subservient their ability to be powerful in their field has all but disappeared.
Is there any other way to negotiate the pitfalls of business, without feeling you are being taken advantage of? Yes, there is. The new weapon of choice is called Stillness.
Several years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I wasn't clear which way to turn, but what was certain was the distress I felt. Have you noticed that often when we experience anxiety, anger, or fear we feel cornered, and a knee-jerk response is right there, waiting to be taken?
I was selling my home, which was also a highly sought after commercial property, and was in escrow with a group of extremely successful businessmen. I was out of my league, and they were making every move they knew to strong-arm me into bringing the price down, even though we were already in a consensual contract.
My broker had enough on this particular day and had reached me in my car, angry at their newest demands. I could feel my blood rising as I picked up on the anger she felt. But I have learned that it doesn't serve me to make any moves when I am in this unresourceful state of being.
I do what I know will shift how I feel, so I can access the inspiration that will bring me a more enlightened course of action. I sat in the car and began to breathe deep. I knew I had to release the emotions that had begun to build. Slowly, I could feel the peace that connecting with Stillness always offers me; it flooded my body with a sense of 'everything is going to be all right.' Soon after, inspiration began to arise -- of what steps to take next.
When I make decisions from my highest intentions, to honor and value others, rather than from a reaction when I'm in resistance, the 'success' rate is remarkable. This is where the world of possibility exists, you just never know what can happen as it's unexpected. You have created new rules by which to play the game.
If we recognize that we create our own destiny by the way we think, act and feel, then we know the importance of taking our actions from inspiration, which is what we access in Stillness. The actions I was guided to take were clear, honest and without judgment; I didn't have to make this man wrong for what he was doing. I didn't even need to be angry; he was just doing what he thought was his best move.
My guess is that if I had fired back an angry response or called my attorney who might have said a few specially chosen words in my defense, then the energy of that reaction would have brought me a response I might not have been happy with. Instead I made my points clearly, with a willingness to walk away from the deal, stating the facts, that there were others lined up behind him if he chose not to take it.
My broker called me back within the hour: "He hopes you are not offended and will have the contract on your desk in the morning."
Sometimes people think you will become a namby-pamby person if you are someone who practices connecting to your highest self -- that suddenly you will start wearing flowers in your hair and be the carpet everyone loves to step on.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. You gain clarity of win-win that allows you to honor others as well as yourself; you make moves that require an inner strength that doesn't come from outer demonstrations of force, rather from the power that has existed for eons: pure love.
At the end of the escrow, because of challenges in getting in my new property, I asked this man if I could possibly stay a few more days. My advisers told me he would never agree to this request and just to get a hotel room. The phone went silent ... and then he said, "I want you to feel safe. Keep the keys; we can exchange them on Friday. Will that be enough time?"
This group of prominent businessmen had given me all the time I needed and had been incredibly honorable in making sure I felt safe during my last days in my home, by allowing me to keep possession of the property, even though I no longer owned it.
Doe or Dragon, none one of us, on either side. Once the rules of the game changed, everyone came to play in a way that was perceptive and discerning, while maintaining a respect for one another.
It is possible to completely shift human behavior. Imagine ... new ways of being, that support doing business consciously in the 21st century. Stillness can lead the way.