As the saying goes, if you don’t have twenty minutes to practice meditation, practice for an hour.
Being mindful means that we must feel every emotion we experience in every moment, without disengaging and letting our emotions manage us.
This post highlights a written interview with Keren Tsuk, Ph.D. I sent her a few questions and she’s been kind enough to send me the responses. It’s my honor to bring forth her experiences in this short post. I’ve absolutely loved her answers which feel meditative to me.
Keren Tsuk, Ph.D., is a keynote speaker, consultant, and thought leader in 21st-century leadership sought-after speaker, As the founder and CEO of consulting firm Wisdom To Lead, she specializes in the development of senior management teams and corporate leadership. Tsuk guides companies and senior management teams to reach their full potential using various techniques in the field of mindfulness. She is also the author of Mindfully Wise Leadership: The Secret of Today’s Leaders.
Please enjoy this conversation with Karen!
Nishant: What books—or even movies and documentaries—would you recommend to someone who wants to live a meaningful life? What books have you gifted the most, and why?
Keren: One book that had a deep impact on me was The Alchemist, about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who consults a Gypsy fortune-teller about the meaning of a recurring dream. The fortune-teller interprets the dream as a prophecy, telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. After Santiago sets out, he meets various people on his journey. From everyone, he learns something about the world, and, in particular, he learns how to realize his true self from a wise alchemist. As he progresses, his challenges increase. He needs to believe in himself and in the journey. The story demonstrates that to fulfill our calling in the world, we need to search within ourselves, while also being open and curious to the signs outside that help us find our path.
I truly believe that each of us has wisdom, and nobody can know about ourselves more than we each do. This is the reason I called my company Wisdom To Lead: In order to lead, we need to connect to the wisdom within ourselves.
What touched me most from this book is that even on our challenging paths, everyone has a present to bring to the world. This present is our unique quality and calling in the world.
In order to fulfill your calling, you will also need to find your unique path. While you move forward in life, and people around you will show you the way, give you signs, open doors for you, and connect you to the people you need to meet to fulfill yourself. They will teach you what you need to learn along the journey. And as you go in your path, you need to connect deeper to your inner self and overcome fears and distractions. And as we get closer to our treasure and fulfillment, the challenges get bigger and we may have to face our fears. However, this is a sign that we are on the right path. We need to dare to get out of our comfort zones to experience the meaningful lives we wish for ourselves.
Another meaningful book is: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron, which teaches us how to handle uncertainty and adversity. When I read the book, it gave me a wider perspective on challenging situations and how to handle them. Each and every one of us goes through tough times especially today under pandemic conditions that are transforming the world. We are experiencing uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity. It looks like the uncertainty is here to stay. This is why being present and being able to navigate in uncertain and challenging times is a crucial skill that we need to embrace and nourish.
At the beginning of her book, Chodron shares a difficult experience she went through when her husband divorced her and her life fell apart. She felt a lot of anger and fear. However, this turning point brought her closer to her mission in life, as she encountered Buddhism and went on a path to become a teacher. In the end, she was thankful for the experience, and that is a major theme of the book—the idea that life is all beginnings and endings. Moreover, she talks about becoming familiar with fear and looking it right in the eye so that we can really come to terms with what we feel that we cannot address. This resonated with me so much; this is what being mindful truly means. Being mindful is to feel our various emotions without disconnecting from them, and choosing freely how to react instead of being managed by our own feelings and emotions. So, if I feel fearful right now, I will accept that — that part of me feels scared right now but I won’t let this fear paralyze me. Acknowledging fear allows us to keep on going toward our goals.Continue reading “Dr. Keren Tsuk — Wisdom To Lead”