You, dear reader, have all the resources, love, and support you need within you. Right at this moment. There is no thing or degree that stands between you and you being ready or worthy enough to move forward in life.
That’s what is at the core of what I’m about to share: Spirituality as a business strategy.
If you find yourself getting triggered by staff or partners, taking feedback as a personal attack on your character, feeling no love within yourself while working tirelessly on a team to build a loving community, or holding grievances and judgments that keep you from going BIG in business (or in life), read on.
Now, although I’ve read Eat. Pray. Love. more times than I dare to admit, I am not speaking from a place of expertise. Instead, I am committed to becoming an expert on herself in order to make the largest impact in the most fulfilling and sustainable way possible. I am someone who has found spirituality.
I’ll first set the context by sharing how I first came across spirituality (you’ll never guess!) and what it has done for me. Then, I’ll share what I believe spirituality is not before sharing four concrete practices that allow you to begin incorporating into your leadership style — both in life and business — this beautiful world and way of living out your truest self.
Feeling good on the inside allows for stronger work relationships. A positive work environment yields a greater sense of accomplishment.
Spirit — Where Is It To Be Found?
The word ‘spirit’ comes from the Latin word spiral which means to breathe and to live. Spirituality, then, is the action of getting in touch with yourself: To breathe life. Or to experience the breath of life. Or, as written by Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat. Pray. Love.: “God dwells within in. As you.”
If you don’t resonate with the word God, read this instead: “Spirit dwells within you. As you.” Or: “Love dwells within you. As you.”
Spirituality shows us that we are all one and that you as the leader are no different from your staff. We all come from, and are, stardust. And so, your plight is my plight. My love is your love. And their misery is our misery. In business, a spiritual path not only influences your strategy and how to come into touch with clients, but it also significantly affects your leadership style.
It is important as a leader to have strong relationships with your team and feel confident in your work. Incorporating spirituality allows for your team to be effective and show up when needed.
Enter Spirit …From Anywhere
Spirituality, more often than not, comes rushing into our life as the anchor we desperately need once we’ve hit rock-bottom. After it’s swooped in to save the day, it can become a new, more fulfilling, and sustainable way of life. Not even spirit itself, though, can do more than lead a horse to water.
That was my experience. After a particularly heart-wrenching incident one night, two decades of feeling torn apart by my parent’s divorce, numbing out my feelings, and isolated by the sense that belonging was a feeling reserved for others, I hit my rock-bottom.
Not wanting to feel anything—not the relief, not the anger, not the guilt or shame—I looked for a vice to numb myself. Cigarette in hand, I decided to create a Tinder profile. A few nights later, I found myself sitting across the table from a guy who spoke a whole new language. We spoke about the law of attraction, forgiveness, the Universe, Spirit, mediation, and how we are all one. I couldn’t stop listening. And just like that, Spirit had come to me through a dating app. Not quite the vice I was looking for, but certainly the introduction I needed at that time.
Spiritual Pathway as Love
Since that date, I’ve been on a spiritual path both in life and in business, continuously waking up to myself. I’ve read the books, learned from Masters, engaged my own Pranic energy healer as part of my business growth, and started to structure my travels around spiritual gains.
Spirituality, to me, is the act of choosing love, It is to learn and deeply understand that you are Love, Loving, Loved, and Lovable.
When we do business from that place, a fall-out with a client becomes a learning opportunity, marketing becomes a chance to build a community, and pitching new ideas becomes a service. Goals become an investigation into the person you need to become so that you can have the capacity for that goal when it arrives.
Before we go any further, however, in a world of Instagram happiness and toxic positivity, we have got to establish for ourselves what spirituality is not.
Finding a spiritual path alleviates any negative thoughts and allows for love, exploration, and growth.
Spirit Versus “Woo-Woo”
Spirituality can be what you make of it. The presence of Spirit and Love inside, isn’t determined by what I do or where or how, but by who I’m being. And that looks different for everyone.
In searching for fulfillment, we risk approaching spirituality in a superficial, “quick-fix” way. In the writings, this is called spiritual bypassing. The following examples aim to illustrate how the word “spirituality” sometimes becomes synonymous with the term “woo-woo,” creating the possibility of spiritual bypassing.
Spiritual bypassing example #1: “All I have to do is meditate and Spirit will take care of me.” Likely reality: Good luck paying bills. The universe rewards intentional action, not mediation.
Example #2: “I’m manifesting. I don’t have to work.” But remember: Manifestation is a literal action—one that is authentic, purposeful, and intentional. The universe rewards action, not laziness.
Example #3: “Spirit hasn’t revealed my purpose to me yet.” Wait a second: Look within. Again, the universe rewards intentional action, not victim mindset.
Example #4: “But I’ve done this process exactly by the book and I STILL don’t see the numbers in my bank account change.” Don’t forget: Spirituality is a way of life and being in life, not a process to blame. And the universe rewards intentional action, not a process.
Example #5: “All I have to do is see the positive side to it and I’ll be fine! I’m SOO spiritual.” Hold up: By invalidating your feelings, you’re robbing yourself of the chance to grieve and to feel. The universe rewards intentional action, not a fake-happy-face.
The examples above exhibit spiritual bypassing – you’re using a process, mediation, nice affirmations, etc. – to attempt to ignore your feelings and your blocks. That’s the “Woo-woo” stuff. Spirituality, on the other hand, is a path to engage and partner with yourself, for Spirit lives within you. As you. It’s science. It’s action. It’s intention. It’s love.
Feeding your soul is powerful, similar to embracing positive affirmations. Find your spirit that lives within you.
Spirit in the Spotlight!
Spirituality is a way of life wherein you lead and act from a place of love. In that process, you both go after what you want for yourself and trust that you’ll be taken care of. It’s the collaboration of Self and Spirit. At the core of everything that holds us back, behind every story we make up about our situation, is one core belief: I am not enough.
Spirit helps us reveal the lovability—the enough-ness—within ourselves.
To that end, the following are some of the practices I utilize every day in life and business that are rooted in this collaboration. I also share these principles with my clients, leaders of non-profits, production companies, and coaches. These practices are what grow your capacity as a leader so that, when your goals begin to manifest, you’re ready for them.
Find your spiritual path and embrace it. Take care of yourself and know nothing is holding you back.
Practice #1: Authenticity and integrity: Curiously, I first came in touch with spirit when I’d distanced myself from it the most. Through meditation, journaling, energy healing, or something else,, you can come in touch with yourself and understand what it is you really want. Do this in the absence of the daily chatter of well-meaning mentors and social media. Authenticity, then, is the act of being true to yourself and acting upon it. No book, article, conversation, or guru will be able to tell you what is true for yourself. Conversing with yourself will.
An easy way to understand or get to authenticity is to ask yourself: Is this what I really want? If I could do anything and could be certain I wouldn’t be judged for it, what would I do?
Spirituality offers us this way to slow down and fall into introspection, radical honesty, and intentional actions that result and are in alignment with what you’ve learned about yourself. Acting in integrity with your Self is an act of Self-love. And when you relate lovingly to yourself, your staff and clients will thank you for it.
Practice #2: Alignment and purpose: Aligned action is what follows. Once you come from your authentic self, the outside world, as said in The Alchemist, “will conspire to help you achieve your innermost desire”. But not only will the Universe, God, Buddha, Allah, or Spirit conspire in your favor, you, too, can now take action and create the context within your life that is aligned with what you really want: You create purposeful action.
Think: What resources or support do you need right now to feel safe in your decision? What support will you need long-term to achieve your dream? Which relationships no longer serve your authentic self and purpose?
Ultimately, in business lingo, this introduces the shift from hustle and burn-out into sustainability. And once again, it is the act of choosing to see love and come from love within yourself that will provide your business with the type of leader that won’t suddenly need to step away to recuperate from chronic overwork.
Practice #3: And then there is the ominous word, Forgiveness: Forgiveness, in Robert Holden’s words in his book, Lovability, is “what sees all communication as either an expression of love or a call for love…and as a decision, you make to have a loving relationship with yourself”.
Through forgiveness, you can learn that You are not your Actions, that You are not your Past, that You are not the Parents that “have happened” to you, and that You are not your Grievances. Let me be clear: forgiveness is not a sacrifice, nor is it the act of forgetting.
Forgiveness is the choice to see and become aware of love in any situation. Ultimately, when you feel lovable, business competition no longer attacks you, staff no longer makes silly mistakes, and you can begin to truly and deeply respond to this question: What does this business have to provide me with so that I can be my best self?
This is because when you love yourself, you can extend that same care, loving kindness, and communication wherein love is being expressed to your team.
Practice #4: Slowing down. I work with a lot of start-ups and leaders that are within their first 3 years of the new business. Hustling could be the name of the game. When we run, chasing the next success, maybe even running away from something, the hustle inside ourselves clouds Spirit and leads to burn-out on the outside. Before that, it leads us to overlook the best solutions and forgo opportunities as we rush past them. Hustle is not sustainable and love can’t come forth when we run. And anyway, what form of Being in life are you running towards?
Are you going to run into your own grave one day?!
While there will absolutely be times of working long hours in any career, slowing down allows for all of the aforementioned to come forth: intention, authenticity, forgiveness. And when you slow down, you can speed up your growth exponentially. It is when you say: hold up, what is this situation/person/email really trying to say? Where are they coming from? And how can I be of service here? It’s when you make the decision to forgo a funder’s money because, truthfully, your values aren’t aligned. Slowing down allows you to come from your goal; a process of Being first who you strive to become through all the doing. (I’ve outlined that process here in detail.)
Steve Chandler, sweetly referred to as the Godfather of Coaching, beautifully describes this as “Focused Leadership.” A focused leader won’t multitask — instead, they will focus on one thing, person, or email at a time, and give this their full attention. We’ve all seen the level of anxiety rising when the leader in the office tries to hold five conversations at the same time. (It ain’t working.) Focused leadership is what comes from loving yourself, acting from love, knowing that you and everyone around you is love and lovable, and therefore deserve your full, authentic, and undivided loving kindness.
Taking the time to slow down and appreciate your wellbeing is extremely important. Slowing down allows us to recharge and be more productive.
And true self-love is what Spirituality can help us find within ourselves.
And that, dear reader, is spirituality applied as a business principle: How you relate to yourself becomes how you relate to your business and the people in it.
Start by loving yourself deeply and unconditionally through these practices and you might just see a shift in how people relate to you throughout your life. So, as you build your business into this flourishing creation, I invite you to ask yourself:
Who do you need to become to be able to hold capacity for the bigness and magnitude of your future?
Slow down, be authentic, and act in integrity and aligned purpose…and wonder at the miracles that might just begin to show up in your life.
Spirit dwells within you, as you.
Love dwells within you, as you.
God dwells within you, as you.
Love and peace,
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