Humanity stands at the edge of a knife. We humans have led to the extinction of more than 25,000 species on earth with our selfish ways. If humanity is to stand a chance at true survival, we are going to need a deep and profound transformation. When we place our heart at the center of all our endeavors, especially business, we naturally care about all our relations, humanity, and the earth. The Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS) is one way to place the heart at the center of business and simultaneously save humanity.
The Human Race Is Attempting Suicide
When we turn our attention to all the mass shootings, which have run rampant in the USA (the energetic capital of the decadent culture of our lost world), we can see clearly the way the shooters’ actions parallel climate change’s elimination of all of humanity. Before we take ourselves out though, we have been pointing a metaphorical gun at all the other species on earth. We are killing as many as we can, which is murdering not only the planet but also ourselves. Increased catastrophic fires, superstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis ravage our lands in ways we have never seen before on this planet. The spread of narcissism and decadent greed is making the human race anything other than the noble, loving beings we are capable of becoming. Where is the humanity in our world? Where has our heart gone? We are on the edge of the death of our very soul which likely leads to our obliteration as a species. Fortunately, the earth will go on and cast us off if she needs to.
However, I don’t believe our time has come just yet. One day humanity will die, yes – as everything has a birth and a death cycle. But I believe our time is not yet here. If we want to make it so that we actually survive, we must learn to work together with a kind of harmony and love that has never before been seen on earth. We need to prepare for the generations to come and set them up for future success, rather than continue passing the buck and hoping someone comes to save us later. We must turn this all around now!
Let’s Bring Love Into the Mix
When we open our hearts in love with each other, we are naturally moved to forge a world that works for everyone. As we care about our fellow sisters, brothers, and non-binary others, we open to the heart of humanity. We transcend the ego’s absorption with self-aggrandizement. Our hearts are meant to be the great unifier or bridge for these dark times. When we shine the light of heart onto the problems and ills in society, we can help address these problems in the most compassionate way possible.
Let’s Make the Heart Central to All Human Endeavors
We naturally care about all our relations and the earth’s human and non-human inhabitants when we place our heart at the center of all we do. In this way, everyone who touches your business becomes one of your relations in business. When we realize that we are inextricably connected with each other, we naturally work for the good of all.
I’ve been cultivating this heart-centered way of being in business, and operating from the heart, throughout my entire professional career. I’ve been practicing it in action the past nine and a half years at Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services, in Sonoma County, California. We are a company specializing in work with austic and developmentally disabled kids and adults, supporting them in realizing their potential. We’ve become a company valued at over one million dollars, while grossing over two million dollars per year. And, we are all doing what we love, playing for a living, and having as much outrageous fun as possible.
What makes us distinctly unique is not the amount of money we have, but the amount of joy, heart, and unique community sense we have cultivated. We’ve done this through running the Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS) as a company-wide practice for nearly 10 years. We’ve been refining and honing HCOS and it’s time to share it with you. It is our hope to inspire more businesses to have heart and take a stand for true human values. Business runs our world. When businesses band together to do powerful good in the world, then business will realize its rightful place in the grand scheme of things as the altruistic generator to connect all of humanity.
The Heart-Centered Operating System Is the Saving Grace
All the ails of business come from disconnection. When we place heart at the center of everything, the whole business endeavor becomes connected. The single-minded focus on quarterly profits often drives bad decisions. By looking out for the connected whole, we can serve the whole business in a way that is much more profoundly loving than coming from greed or individual self-interest. Any leader who embraces the principles of heart-centeredness will experience the whole company conforming to the goodness of their own heart. The leader liberates everyone in their charge from the conditioning toward division and sculpts the whole company out of a system that honors the heart, joy and freedom, which reign supreme in the workplace. There’s a spirit of play and freedom, which permeates every action. Innovations abound! People start to wonder if they are even at work.
An Antidote For the Ills of Heartless Living
The Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS) is specifically designed to restore connection to our individual heart and the heart of all of humanity. It came out of a radical trial-by-fire discovery process in my work as a business owner over the last years at Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services. To develop HCOS, I synthesized the teachings of those who inspire me with what I learned from building and running a business, teaching, and learning from my autistic and developmentally disabled clients. This includes the inspiration I get from coaching neurotypical adults in deep emotional healing, an essential component of HCOS.
My great teachers and inspirations include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Amanda Baggs, Alanis Morissette, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, William Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, William Blake, Lao Tzu, Terry Tempest Williams, J.R.R. Tolkein, Douglas Adams, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandella, Frank Herbert, Carl Jung, B.F. Skinner, Albert Einstein, T.S. Elliot, and so many others. The teachings and inspiration of these authors, poets, musicians, scientists, and spiritual leaders formed the foundation of what would become HCOS.
HCOS In Action at Bridging Worlds
HCOS helped me to build a million dollar company within the first four years of business. It also allowed me to attract like-minded leaders who are ready to take on the world’s problems with me in a profound way. It has not always been a straightforward path to success though. In following my heart, I’ve needed to change course sometimes and make tough decisions which have led the company through hard times financially as well.
HCOS is specifically designed to help any business owner or leader run a company in a way that is consistent with their own heart. HCOS comes from the same principles and practices that I live my life from– the principles of the heart. Anyone with a good heart, and the intent to live from it, can use this system as a guide to support you in finding a heart-centered way of being, both in your business and in your life as a whole. Since these principles apply universally, they are equally good to bring to your life and your family as they are to bring to your work. This series of articles (and, of course, the forthcoming HCOS book) is focused on how to apply HCOS to your business.
Heart-Centered Operating System (HCOS) is modeled after the real human heart. The physical heart operates in connection with all the other organs, veins, arteries, and body parts. When the heart beats, it pumps blood to every other part of the body, oxygenating the blood and enriching it. When there’s no heartbeat there’s no life. A Heart-Centered Operating System sends blood and life in the form of attention and energy to every other “organ,” or part of the organization. Every system that we create is a reflection of the human being. When we create a living system for a company, the heart is at the center.
The term “field” is a metaphor for the energy that exists between all of us within a given context. Like stars in the sky, each person in a family system or a company impacts the others. When we look at the stars in the sky, there are many constellations. In a sense, each star is in relationship to the other stars in the constellation, and also the other stars in the sky as a whole.
At Bridging Worlds there is a single large field consisting of the staff, clients, funding sources (the regional center and insurance providers), and everyone connected with the clients and work. If we want to feel the whole field of the company, it is quite large. By feeling into specific, smaller fields (just the staff or just the funders, for example), we can better know what’s happening in those groups. When we specifically feel the energy of the field, and open up to what’s in the field, we have the lifeblood of our loving attention flowing to every part of our creation. Similarly, I believe the heart feels every other part of the body in order to pump blood to it. On an intuitive level, the heart senses where the blood needs to go and pumps, cleanses, and oxygenates to serve life. All blood goes out from the heart and returns to the heart, as does our loving attention in the field.
This practice of “heart focus” is the medicine needed most for our times. Like a good leader, the heart senses what is needed and responds instinctively. It nurtures and allows the flow of life to pour out and back to support the whole system. When every action flows out of our loving heart, we naturally evolve ourselves, and all those we come into contact with, in a way that serves all our relations.
Those Who Helped HCOS Come Together
The HCOS system was birthed out of profound collaboration between me and my dear friend, work-life partner, and bandmate – Samantha Cullity. She is the CEO of Bridging Worlds, a harmonizing visionary of this whole endeavor, and the first exemplar of HCOS, other than me. Samantha instills a faith in humanity and has been my inspiration and chief support through all the hard times and good times. I trust her with my life and my company. I will follow her wherever she wholeheartedly leads. Without her, I would not have made it to where I stand today. Also, Jahn Ballard, a great friend and master financial and cultural architect, who skillfully opened his heart to HCOS, while weaving Management Operating System (MOS) into it all. He intelligently designs contexts or meta-environments that I’m too intuitive to have had any way of fathoming without his wizardry and vision.
The love and empathy components of HCOS, these were born straight from the autistic and developmentally disabled youth and adults we’ve worked with over the years. Additionally, their parents have helped shape and sculpt this system. To all the Bridging Worlds staff over all the years, thank you for your dedication and service. Thank you also to all the Heart-Centered Revolutions team as well, for helping to codify and nail down this system.
To the many enemies I’ve had along the way, I particularly want to extend my gratitude to this group of the people who betrayed my trust. Over the years, you showed me how to create clearer boundaries and embody strong leadership. All of your unconsciousness and poison were powerful alchemical gifts, which helped me sculpt myself and this system into what it is today. I truly thank you for the gift of your evil to butt up against, find my courage, and help me learn to grow up, take a stand for what I truly believe and meet life with the grace, dignity and fierceness necessary to fulfill my life’s purpose.
Turning Conflict and Adversity into Growth
Leading has been a trial by fire. I’m grateful to have suffered the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Shakespeare’s character, Hamlet, calls them. Through my experience of enduring great adversity, I have come through to have formed such a beautiful system. Or more accurately, I have found there was already a system that was in place and perfectly formed in my heart. The conflict and turmoil that came into our company was a reflection of the issues in all our society. We’ve needed to go through hell and back to find our heart and live from love, faith, hope, and generosity, even in the face of great cruelty and ugliness. When I learned to turn the conflicts in the company into rocket fuel for my own and our collective growth, the company became a real juggernaut. We’ve learned to hold to our heart-centered values so we can be an unstoppable force for change in this world and a saving grace for humanity.
Check out the Bridging Worlds Behavioral Services website for more information on our company run by these values of heart and truth.
Also, to catch a bigger vision and more fully apply these principles to the world, visit Heart-Centered Revolutions, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to forging a world that works for everyone. We can’t do it alone – we need you! We offer HCOS consulting for you and your company as well.
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Continue your exploration of heart-centered principles with a new article on our blog every weekday. For more on how to bring heart-centered principles into your everyday life, we have a collection of books covering an assortment of topics. We also offer in-person workshops. Register for them here.