Corporate Wellness Programs

Corporate Wellness Programs that Boost Productivity & Happiness

A Corporate Wellness Program that Works

Here’s an approach to corporate wellness programs that works. It is based on the understanding that each human is a unique expression of the universe. It starts with seeing that we seem to have two selves: 1) True Self and 2) Fictional Avatar Self.

TRUE SELF: We are all born psychologically free, creative, resilient and happy as the activity of life. Life and wisdom flow through us, guiding us to know what to do in every moment. This True Self is always present and grounded in this eternal now. 

FICTIONAL INSECURE AVATAR: Then cultural conditioning puts layer upon layer of psychological dysfunction on top of us. We develop a fictional identity (Avatar) that blocks our happiness, peace, and genius. My Avatar is named Caprice. 

Most corporate wellness approaches focus solely on the fictional avatar and how to make Avatars more secure and productive. This doesn’t work because you cannot secure a fictional self. Wellness approaches that focus on behavior and states of mind are only working at the superficial level and not getting to the root of anxiety or low engagement. Physical fitness and nutrition programs, stress management, and other psychological interventions might help in the short term, but results don’t last. 

80-90% of physical illness is caused by stress. The source of this stress is the false Avatar. Most wellness programs ignoring the True Self who is supposed to be running the show because they fear this is too woo-woo or spiritual. It only is if you buy into the myth of materialism which I discuss below. 

Why This is Important

Robust wellness programs built around an understanding of true human nature unleash the creative and imaginative capacity of people. 

Eckhart Tolle points us to this Truth when he says: “It is exciting to consider that human beings can fully realize their creative power—which is as vast and unlimited as the universal creative power, because you and the universe are not separate. You are an aspect of the universe. You are the universe, expressing itself as this form.”

Creative, resilient, happy people are a company’s most valued asset. People are most productive when they are happy and thriving. People don’t job hop when they are thriving. But most people are not thriving. 

75% of people who quit their jobs do so because of conflict with their immediate boss. Corporate bullying is widespread and most bullies have psychopathic traits. That might be a shocking statement and it is true. 

70% of employees are disengaged at work. These people are letting their false Avatars run the show. They are not operating from their True Self.

An untrained Avatar will ALWAYS be full of anxiety, insecurity, and self-doubt. We can stop feeding it and start training it. This blueprint for Corporate Wellness Programs empowers the True Self to run the show and trains the fictional Avatar to be an agent of the True Self.

We are undoing thousands of years of cultural conditioning. This is important work. And it will give your company a huge competitive advantage. (Note: I’m presenting this in steps. In a full corporate wellness program, each step would involve a training and coaching component.)

Step 1: Shift from Materialism to a Consciousness-First Understanding

Don’t worry. We are not going to venture into any religious territory. This is not the land of dogma or belief. 

We have known for over 100 years that matter is energy appearing as solid. It turns out that intelligent energy is all that there is. Intelligent energy powers life. Plants are made of this intelligent energy. So are all animals and life forms. 

There is only one infinite consciousness. There cannot, by definition, be more. You are a unique expression of infinite consciousness and you have been given an Avatar, a body-mind, to act in this realm. There are 7.8 billion expressions of consciousness on this planet and we all share the same BEING. 

Your essential being is pure consciousness (also known as a True Self, Innate Wisdom, or Consciousness). By consciousness I mean the intelligent energy that powers all life. Intelligent energy (consciousness) grew you from a single cell into your physical body and runs all of your bodily functions and your mind. Consciousness opens roses, grows grass, and spins the planets. If you tried to grow a baby, you wouldn’t have the first clue. 

Everything is made of consciousness, appears in consciousness, and is known by consciousness. Consciousness is the ONLY experience you have. 

We are going against thousands of years of cultural conditioning as we shift from materialism to a consciousness-only understanding. Rupert Spira compares this cultural transformation to the gradual realization that the universe doesn’t revolve around the earth and the shift from a flat earth to a spherical earth model. 

This is how important this societal transition truly is. We will look back at a Society based on materialism as completely misguided. Materialism falsely says that only matter exists and consciousness arises from grey matter. This is absurd and has never been experienced or proven. 

Curious to learn more? Read Rupert Sheldrake’s paper Setting Science Free of Materialism. Rupert Sheldrake has done brilliant research on animal powers, telepathy, and prayer and eloquently points out the fallacies of materialism.  Every company that wants to unleash the genius of its people would be wise to host study groups around consciousness research. It will blow your mind!

Step 2: Understand the Fictional Nature of Your Identity

You have crafted a highly sophisticated fiction about who you are and what you can do. I call this identity-personality your Avatar. It started from a young age when you began to master language and the concepts of me, mine, others, and objects. 

Your Avatar (often known as an ego, personality, or separate person) is a fictional being. Your Avatar is an agent of Consciousness. The problem comes in the self-identification with your personal avatar. It starts with the naming of our Avatar. My avatar is named Caprice. 

You think this is who you are. This is not you. It is just your agent. You are not just this body, this clump of matter. You are the consciousness in which thoughts about the body-mind arise. 

When you shift your focus to your impersonal awareness you notice all experience arising within you. From this vantage point, you can watch the drama of the Avatar unfold with wisdom and understanding. You don’t get sucked into the drama. Until we do this, our thinking and beliefs cover up our essential nature and block wellness. 

It’s like you are a character in the play called Life. Cultural conditioning has veiled the truth that this is a play. Once you see the play for what it is, then you have more control over your character, your Avatar.  Own your AVATAR but don’t let it be your master. 

Performance coach Scott Galloway refers to the one interfering with our performance and peace of mind as Self 1. (Self 2 is your True Self.) I don’t agree with his distinction between an “inner” self and “outer” self because it implies separation. And his description of his personal journey is enlightening. “Unsure from early childhood of my nature, I compensated by pursuing what I was told was good, including being good at what I put my mind to, including, tennis, golf, grades, status, and even girl friends – anything that would serve to prove I wasn’t as “bad” as some feeling or lack of feeling, convinced me I was.”

This is where psychology really gets it wrong. We spend all of our time and energy trying to prop up our Avatars – our egos, personalities, and ideas of self that are, by definition, an elaborate fiction. Do I have a personality? Yes indeed. Am I my personality? Absolutely not. Do I have insecure thoughts about my fictional self? Yes, but I am not my insecure thoughts and I do not need to take them seriously. 

Most of us are exhausted and scared. We spend our waking hours trying to perfect and prop up a self that is an illusion. Like Gallwey says, we try to achieve our way to feeling okay. This is an endless, losing game. 

Our egoic shadow self, our Avatar, is not real. How do I know? Your thoughts about your Avatar self appear and disappear within your True Genius Self. Sometimes you think you are awesome. Often you think you’re a mess. 70% of our thoughts are negative. Your Avatar is mainly made of insecure thoughts. Thought appears and a new you appears and then it dissolves. 

This is the end of self-improvement. The end of psychology. The beginning of a life of fulfillment, happiness, and ease.

Step 3: Connect with your True Self

We have all been conditioned to believe that we are just these bodies and that our consciousness comes from our brains. This is simply not true. Step two extends the exploration in step one to make friends with your True Self.

Start to notice where your experience of life is coming from. Who is it that is experiencing sensations, emotions, thinking, ideas, and beliefs?  If you start paying attention, you notice that it is the True “I” in which all thoughts and feeling appear. You have no control over this process, yet you spend most of your waking time trying to control it. 

Thought is the tool, the mechanism that consciousness uses to create the appearance of us. When thought dissolves there is just love. No separation. This is not something to be believed. It is something that you can experience directly. 

To unleash your unlimited Genius, you must explore your consciousness and then see what happens, where it takes you. Your Avatar is powered by Consciousness but is not in charge of it. 

Exploring your BEING is a continual practice. The only thing that you can know for sure is that you are aware. You are conscious. Quantum physicists, biologists, and spiritual teachers unite around the understanding that the world is a mental universe and matter emerges in consciousness. Think about that. It is mind blowing! It changes every idea that you have about life. 

I don’t want you to believe me. You can explore this for yourself and this is what corporate wellness programs need to offer. Corporate learning programs can help their people explore this understanding through guided direct experiences. 

Several times a week, I block off time to do a non-duality meditation by Rupert Spira. One of my favorites is Nothing Can Make You Happy. I also read passages from the excellent book, Perfume of Silence. I have a regular practice because cultural conditioning is seductive and sticky. It hooks you back into the illusion of your separate being. 

Step 4: Use Personality Science to Understand your Avatar

To regain wellness you need to deeply understand the Avatar you have been given. It would be foolish to pretend that your personality doesn’t exist. Of course it does. But it is an agent of your Genius, not its master. 

You can use personality science to deeply understand your AVATAR so that you can use it as a tool. One of my favorite tools is the HEXACO personality inventory because it is an instrument that assesses the six major dimensions of personality (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, eXtraversion, Agreeableness (versus Anger), Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience. We can teach people to explore their personality and make friends with their strengths while becoming aware of their vulnerabilities. I prefer this instrument because it includes the honesty-humility dimension which is highly correlated to the dark triad personality disorders (see Step 7). 

Step 5: Design a Wellness Program for Thriving, not just Surviving

People thrive when their True Self takes full responsibility for their work and lives. But most people don’t know how to do this. This is not their fault. The majority of people have been over-schooled and under-educated. We spend the first 18-26 years of our lives doing two things: 1) developing a false identity (Avatar) and 2) passively following orders so that we get approval. We let our performance and appearance form our identity. We wait for someone to tell us what to do and how to do it. We seek approval and validation of our identity based on our performance. 

This is why I have dedicated my career to two parallel paths: 1) Organizational Effectiveness: leadership coaching, crafting healthy corporate cultures, and weeding out dark personalities; and 2) Self-Directed Education: building K-12  schools, communities. and learning programs. At first, these two endeavors seem to have little in common. Stay with me. 

Young people are marched through standardized curriculum and forced to memorize random, disconnected facts. Their worth is measured by the amount of information they process. They lose their love of learning by the 3rd grade. Most people don’t get the opportunity to learn how to learn. And they never figure out what their unique gifts and talents are. 

The schooling process produces dis-empowered, fearful people who seek approval because their self-agency has been stripped from them and most of them have been bullied. Our society has yet to realize that most bullies are psychopaths. People enter the workforce without owning their limitless creativity and intelligence. They are disengaged. And they are fearful. 

When young people do have the opportunity to self-direct their learning, they learn to learn. These people never lose the love of learning. They grow into adults with self-agency who self-direct their lives. They bring their full power, genius and creativity to the workplace. They are not checked out or disengaged.

Once we realize that most people have been diminished by their schooling and cultural conditioning, we can strip away these psychological layers. As we do this, people see that they are designed to thrive. It is their birthright. It is experiential not theoretical. 

Participants are simply guided to experience their BEING to unleash creativity and wisdom. Their AVATAR becomes the agent not the master. 

Step 6: Train Your Avatar to Obey Your True Self

As you go through life, situations and people will trigger your Avatar. The trigger is always a fear. The fear could look like anger, disappointment, frustration, or plain fear. It feels heavy and serious. In this moment, you have a choice to be reactive or responsive. If you can dissociate from your Avatar for a split second, you will turn your fear into power. Power feels light and expansive. Fear feels heavy. You can notice, “Caprice is feeling angry. I wonder why?” By not resisting or acting out of anger, you let it fully express and dissolve. The next time you encounter a similar experience the trigger will be weaker or non-existent. 

Another fun and powerful way to turn fear into power is to engage in a conversation between your True Self and your egoic Avatar self. You speak out loud in a commanding no-nonsense voice that is void of any anger or resentment and tell your Avatar the Truth. Your True Self is in charge. Your Conscious Awareness is running the show. The small, fearful egoic Avatar is but a culturally conditioned fiction. Your True Self doesn’t need anyone’s approval. All well-being and power is already present in infinite consciousness. 

This might sound a bit flaky. I admit that it felt a bit weird the first time I tried this. But I always feel lighter, brighter, and full of creative energy when I finish my Truth talk. 

Step 7: Weed Out the Dark Triad

In this cultural and societal transformation, we must acknowledge that 20% of our members operate with dark personality disorders (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism). The majority of the chaos and conflict that we see in the world is being wrought by this dark triad. It has been estimated that there are 4 times as many dark personalities in the corporate world as there are in the general population. 

Corporate boards and CEOs need to know if there are any dark, disordered personalities in their companies. Dark personalities hide in plain sight and are often respected for their aggression, charisma, and risk taking. But they always wreak havoc and destroy companies. Always. The only way to minimize the damage is to identify dark personalities and get them out of your company. 

For the other 80% of people with ordered, functional personalities, they can develop self-agency by gaining a deeper understanding of their personality along these six dimensions. They can then use their personality-avatar as the agent of their consciousness. 

Putting it All Together: A Fresh Approach to Corporate Wellness

We need a new approach to corporate wellness programs that is focused on fostering self-agency. Self-agency is being 100% responsible for your life, including your actions, decisions, and the results. You have self-agency when your True Self is calling the shots and your Avatar is used as the agent of consciousness. 

This is the opposite of victim mentality. It doesn’t mean that you are responsible for all of the outcomes in your life or work, but you are responsible for how you view and handle them. It means that you are connected to your wisdom and genius and can make wise choices and take right action. 

Why would the CEO of a company want employees to operate with self-agency? Wouldn’t it be easier to control people if they are obedient and deferential? Not really. That approach is not working out well. It results in workplace bullying and competition. Nobody likes to be managed and most people leave a company because they dislike their immediate boss. 

This approach calls for a shift in consciousness.  We have an urgent need for it right now. Companies have the resources to implement corporate wellness programs based on this ancient and timely understanding of how life operates. There is no time to waste. 

If you would like to discuss creating a customized corporate wellness program for your company, start here

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