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Oct 11
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Happier at Work

A review of Gayle Van Gils’ new book

by Sarah Lipton

“There are a growing number of companies that list love or caring among their explicit management principles,” says Gayle Van Gils in her outstanding new book titled “Happier at Work.” Gayle goes on to explain how and why love has the power to transform our experience in the workplace.

Clearly, this book is not explicitly written for Shambhala readers, as the topics within are the fundamental fodder of the Shambhala path. It is, however, a wonderful summation of the Shambhala journey framed for leaders, executives and employees of companies that are struggling to find a way to express kindness in their workplace culture.
Gayle reaches across the aisle to the corporate sector in her writing. By including the neuroscience of mindfulness, percentages showing the benefits of incorporating mindfulness into the workplace, and practical exercises to engage these practices, she shows how numerous companies are making the leap to embrace mindfulness and compassion. One such story elucidates how the CEO of Room 214, a digital marketing agency, embraced a new approach they called “Creating Valuable Relationships,” which completely upended their stagnant workplace and transformed it into a company that is improving the lives of its employees and customers. How do they do this? By “engaging with empathy and compassion,” which “leads to greater success, fulfillment, health and joy for employees and customers alike.”

Structurally, the book takes readers on a complete journey. Gayle instructs her readers through engaging description and practice segments on how to work with oneself through the practices of meditation and slowing down. She emphasizes the importance of feeling, creating space and finding ways to “un-stress” the workday. She guides leaders through the process of transforming fear in the workplace, and teaches them how to communicate from curiosity and intuition. These practices set the stage for working with the deeper psychology of consciousness at both a personal and organizational level which in turn form the bridge to rousing first self-compassion to extending loving kindness to others.

“When you are mindful and aware of a situation,” she says, there is “this feeling of interconnectedness,” which, “leads to a sense of well-being” that allows you to “influence your happiness through practicing kindness.” This is the “ripple effect” of happiness at work – that we take care of ourselves from the inside out so that we create a happier workplace that is sustainable and genuine.

Gayle teaches leaders how to radiate unconditional confidence – no small feat – and encourages communication beyond hope and fear. Again, she does so by using many tangible examples from companies that are already doing this. The message is clear – these teachings are needed right now and there is always room to incorporate these teachings, no matter the size of your business, or the specific mission of the business. If a company is willing to embrace mindfulness to engage and thrive, the benefits to the employees and customers alike will be obvious.

Gayle has certainly turned the flower out in this accessible, engaging book. I highly recommend it for anyone seeking to bring the grounding principles of Shambhala into their everyday life, and in particular that you share it with loved ones who need a way to embrace these principles in their hectic, busy work lives.


“Happier at Work” can be found online or at your local bookstores. Look for Gayle coming to a location near you:

Happier at Work Book Signings:
November 7: Shambhala Meditation Center, Orange County, Los Angeles (click here)

November 8: Shambhala Meditation Center, Mar Vista, Los Angeles (click here)

November 9: Shambhala Meditation Center, Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (click here)

December 5: Trident Bookstore, Boston, MA (click here)

Full Day Program: Happier at Work: A Program to Energize your Life
November 11: Shambhala Meditation Center, West Side, Los Angeles (click here)

December 9: Boston Shambhala Center, Boston, MA (info coming soon)


Sarah Lipton, founder of The Presence Point, is hard at work supporting leaders manifest with embodied presence. After leaving The Shambhala Times in 2015, she hired Gayle Van Gils for a wonderful year of coaching as she was learning to launch her business. Sarah is currently hard at work on two books of her own, a new podcast to be released soon called Genuine, an online course soon to be available on Shambhala Online called “Embodying Leadership,” and is available for leadership mentoring to individuals and organizations who want to transform themselves from the inside out. She lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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1 response to “ Happier at Work ”
  1. Shambhala Los Angeles is hosting a special one-day program with Gayle Van Gils on November 11th.
    http://happieratwork.eventbrite.com/


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