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The Yin of Inner Leadership - 喜 yoroko

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Spirit/e—The Tao of Personal Leadership

2007. 2. 26.



The Yin of Inner Leadership



literally, "the female principle"




6. Joy





literally, "joy," "to rejoice," "to be glad" 

 The rippling energies of laughter

and the clarifying energies of joy

cleanse and renew our spirits.



Treasure this knowledge:

The Tao leader

Wears common clothing

And precious jade

Close to the heart.


(Tao, 70)




The Energy of Joy



Keep smiling.

Tao leaders deal with challenge and change without succumbing to exhaustion.

The energy of joy sustains them.



Dealing with stress



Stress sets off an elaborate chain reaction in our bodies.

A part of the brain, called the hypothalamus,

sends a chemical signal to the pituitary gland,

causing it to release large amounts of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)

into our bloodstreams.

The ACTH travels to the adrenal glands,

causing them to secrete epinephrine (adrenaline)

and norepinephrine, which prepare our bodies for fight or flight.

Our hearts beat faster,

our muscles tense up,

our lungs expand,

our pupils dilate,

and our sweat glands become more active.

To meet the immediate threat,

our digestive and immune systems temporarily shut down.



The Power of Positive Emotions


“Is it possible that love, hope, faith, laughter, confidence,

and the will to live have therapeutic value?”



Misogi (cleansing practice: polishing their swords): Rituals of joy and Renewal



The truth is often paradoxical.


(Tao, 78)




—such as running, swimming, dancing, playing tennis,

or training in the martial arts

—can produce a dramatic decrease

in anxiety and depression.


Exercise releases tension,

counteracting the negative effects of stress

with healthy physical exertion,

relaxing our bodies,

lifting our spirits,

and sharpening our minds.


 We can remain centered in the midst of challenging circumstances

if we perform the misogi of regular physical exercise.



“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


(Tao, 64)



Adrenaline Addiction



Too many people today are addicted to excitement,

one after the other, until they got burned out from all the stress.



The Healing Power of Tranquility



The traveler is drawn

To good music and food

But the Tao is much more subtle.

Looked for, it cannot be seen,

Listened to, it cannot be heard,

Yet its power is inexhaustible.


(Tao, 35)



The Misogi of Meditation



The Tao leader practices detachment:

While others are colleting things,

I alone have nothing,

In their eyes a fool.

While they are clever, confident,

I appear indifferent,

Drifting at sea

Without a compass.

They march forward with purpose

While I remain detached,

Delighted by distant harmonies,

Nourished by the source.


(Tao, 20)



The Relaxation Response



Close the door,

Focus your senses,

Untangle the problems,

Balance sunlight and shadow,

Blend with the path.

This is the way of Tao.


(Tao, 56)



The Power of Attitude



Through detachment,

we see the larger patterns.

Through compassion, we perceive the particulars.

Their source is the same, Though they differ in name,

The mystery of life,

The infinite Tao.


(Tao, 1)



Coping with change: Challenge or Catastrophe?



The ability to cope,

the sense of being in charge of our lives,

 releases norepinephrine into our systems,

creating optimism, euphoria,

and a sense of well-being.



Optimism and Health



When people perceive negative events,

do not perceive personally

(feeling guilty and responsible)

but externally

(recognizing external causes).


When people see the consequences,

do not see as pervasive

(ruining their lives)

but specific

(having more limited consequences).


When people consider the time frame,

do not consider as permanent

(feeling “this always happens to me”)

but temporary

(as a single incident).



The Healing Power of Joy



The Tao of Laughter


Without laughter,

There could be no Tao.


(Tao, 41)



Enduring Joy: The Power of social Support



All leaders need someone to whom they can bare their souls,

someone with whom they can share life’s frustrations and celebrations.

Remember the importance of companionship

as you face your many leadership challenges.


Meditation, exercise, and developing a personal support system take time.

Smiling can be done anywhere, any time—right now.


The smile is a universal symbol, common to all cultures.

Smiling sends a message to our brains to stimulate positive emotions.

Furthermore, smiles are contagious,

beginning a whole new cycle of positive emotions.

Whether you are smiling, laughing, or feeling enthusiasm or quiet serenity,

The energy of joy is the most powerful motivator there is.



Joy calls us to live more fully,

to follow the Tao and walk the “path with heart,”

making of life not a task, not a duty,

but a glorious adventure.










Dreher, Diane. The Tao of Personal Leadership. Harper Collins Publishers. New York. 1997.








 to be continued...