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HCI Webinar: Soul Retrieval At Work, with Cari Jacobs-Crovetto

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Cari Jacobs-Crovetto about soul retrieval at work. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:


Quick recap


Cari Jacobs-Crovetto and Jonathan H. Westover had a conversation about the significance of soul retrieval in the workplace. They highlighted the importance of self-reflection, mindfulness, and the expression of one's true self at work. They also discussed the advantages of practicing meditation, the shift in what used to be known as a midlife crisis, and the role of an executive coach in facilitating this process.


Soul Retrieval and Mindfulness at Work


Jonathan and Cari explored the concept of soul retrieval at work, which they connected to mindfulness, self-reflective practices, and the idea of bringing one's whole self to work. Cari, an executive coach, emphasized that the first step is understanding oneself deeply and then learning how to fully express that self in the workplace. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the challenges of bringing one's whole self to work if one doesn't fully understand oneself and the importance of creating a safe, psychologically safe work environment.


Meditation's Impact on Career and Self-Understanding


Cari shared her personal experiences with meditation, which she began practicing rigorously in her mid-thirties, as a method to better understand herself. She explained how this practice has been a significant influence in her career progression, including her role as a chief marketing officer in several startups and her current position teaching at Stanford. She emphasized the importance of knowing oneself, contrasting the idea of conjuring up notions of leadership from a discombobulated state of self versus practicing meditation to achieve a grounded understanding of oneself. She recounted a moment of self-reflection at 39, which led her to quit her job at a prestigious ad agency, questioning her true happiness.


Self-Discovery and Existential Crisis


Cari shared her personal journey of self-discovery, which involved selling her condo, reducing her possessions, and traveling to India for deep work. She emphasized the importance of knowing oneself and having the courage to ask life-changing questions. Jonathan H. Westover related Cari's experience to his own existential midlife crisis, questioning the motives behind his actions. Cari suggested that everyone can start the process of self-discovery by leaning into discomfort and practicing self-reflection.


Shift in Midlife Crisis: Younger Generations and Mindfulness


Cari discussed the shift in what used to be known as a midlife crisis, noting that it is now happening to younger generations, including millennials and Gen Z. She suggested that this may be due to societal advancements or factors like the pandemic and social media. Cari emphasized that this crisis is not just about questioning one's purpose but also about the broader systemic issues. She suggested that practicing mindfulness and meditation can help individuals answer questions about their identity and happiness, as she experienced during a personal journey. However, she stressed that finding meaningful work was not the only solution and that inner change was more impactful than external changes.


Self-Discovery and Leadership Development


Cari discussed the importance of self-discovery, noting that it can be a challenging but rewarding process. She emphasized that self-reflection and mindfulness practices can lead to a better understanding of oneself, which in turn can improve leadership skills. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the potential for individuals of all ages to reassess their values and priorities. He suggested that leaders can create an environment where people feel comfortable and supported to engage in self-discovery, which could lead to greater job satisfaction, engagement, and a sense of purpose.


Mindful Leadership: A Conversation on Presence


Cari and Jonathan discussed the importance of mindfulness in leadership. Jonathan shared his experience of being more present with his team when in a mindful state, which allows him to have meaningful conversations rather than just putting out fires. Cari emphasized the importance of presence and allowing others to breathe and not worry about what's next, which creates a safer environment for open communication.


Creating Inner Space for Happiness and Success


Cari discussed the importance of creating inner space and the ability to receive both external and internal signals. She used the analogy of two CEOs, one who is constantly anxious and the other who is grounded and receptive, to illustrate her point. Cari emphasized that this ability to receive from oneself leads to powerful results and is often the key to happiness. She also mentioned her work at Stanford, where she helps MBA students reconnect with their inner selves. Towards the end, Jonathan H. Westover noted the time and indicated that he needed to end the conversation.


Self-Reflection and Mindfulness in Workplace


Jonathan and Cari discussed the importance of self-reflection and mindfulness in the workplace. Jonathan emphasized how understanding one's values and priorities can improve work performance and create more meaning. Cari added that practicing mindfulness and meditation can help individuals find more purpose and value in their work. They both agreed on the importance of creating a supportive environment where individuals can bring their whole selves to work.


Listen to the webinar here:




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