Most people these days are on a spiritual journey. We read multitudes of articles and self help books and are gradually beginning to live in a higher consciousness. We are becoming more tolerant of each other and are starting to forgive more. We are becoming an enlightened society. However, I think we bring these beautiful concepts to our home life and not so much to our work life. For some reason, when we get to work, that mindset goes right out the door. We get to our office and revert back into a goal-driven, competitive, fear-based mentality.
Let me ask you a question…what do you think your workplace would be like if everyone actually took the time to listen to one another? To show compassion and empathy? To bring the concepts of peace and love to work? Do you think that it might make for a more meaningful and productive life, both at work and at home? I believe deep down we all want to make a difference and ultimately, we can do that right from our desks at work.
As a business women in the not-so-spiritual world of banking, I've learned that it is possible to lead through love, not fear. I've incorporated my learnings from years of reading self-help books into my daily coaching sessions with my employees. We have started each day with "putting it out in the universe!" and lunch breaks are sometimes filled with angel card readings. However, it wasn't until I watched a video by New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker Gabby Bernstein, that I realized what my true purpose was. She talked about a friend of hers who was a banker who was feeling unfulfilled. She gave him inspiration by telling him "Your job is not to be the best banker, or have the best spreadsheets. Your job is to go to work and be the light and bring forth your positive attitude. When we come to work with that intention, we allow others to light up and awaken to their authentic selves." It finally dawned on me what my calling was here on earth. My true purpose is to help light up my co-workers and lead them to become the best version of themselves, which is what I've been doing for the past 15 years.
A true leader taps into the power of the heart and engages his or her coworkers, employees and customers through compassion and a true desire to be of service. A true leader knows that acting from the heart is not weak. It's fierce. And remember, we don't need a title in order to be a leader. If you are on a spiritual journey and find it challenging at times to stay on at work, there are many ways to incorporate spirituality into the workplace. One of the most important questions to ask ourselves is this:
What am I being at work?
There's a difference between being and doing. Doing is your profession or title. Being is what energy am I bringing to the present moment. Here are some questions to ponder:
How am I leading?
What words am I using?
Do I check for clarity?
Do I engage, versus dictate?
Let's examine three "being" skills and break them down into how we can apply them to the workplace.
1. Empathy. Putting ourselves in other people's shoes and being able to identify with them. Let's ask ourselves this: Do I try and see things from a coworker's point of view? When we do, we'll realize other people aren't intentionally being unreasonable. They're probably just reacting to a situation based on the knowledge they have. Once we see why they are coming from that standpoint, acknowledge it. Remember, acknowledgment doesn't always mean we are in agreement. Sometimes it means agreeing to disagree. Next, examine our attitude about the situation. Are we more concerned with being right and winning the argument rather than finding a solution to a problem? We're all looking for attention, recognition and happiness…even at work.
2. Approachable. In other words, being warm and inviting. Some ways to be approachable is to watch our posture and be aware of what energy we are bringing to work and to our morning meetings. Do we turn to face our coworkers when they are talking and do we make eye contact? Or are we multi-tasking and not giving our coworkers the attention they deserve. In addition, if we are in a leadership position, make sure we are out and about and available to our team. Being shut behind an office door, tapping away on the computer is not in your employees best interest. Most employees are self-sufficient and just want to know they can count on their supervisor to be available if needed.
3. Mindfulness. Paying attention in a particular way, on purpose. In the present moment, and non-judgmentally. Meditating daily is the answer to being mindful. Setting aside 15-20 minutes in the morning to meditate will set us up for a productive day. We will be able to hear ourselves think, be less stressed and be open to new ideas. And guess what? We can meditate during the day as well. Five minutes is all that's necessary. It's like rebooting the computer. Shut down and come back stronger. We'll be ready to tackle whatever the job throws at us! Meditation allows our mind to become calmer and more focused, which leads to inner peace and balance. This will have a direct effect on our employees, coworkers and customers, as we will project positive energy towards others and it will gradually transform them.
Of course, we'll get caught up in the constant distractions of work. That's a given. The trick is to come back from the distractions and use our "being" skills. During the course of my career, I've incorporated these lessons into my daily plan, and I've noticed a visible shift in the vibrations at work, as well as an improvement in my own life. I've become calmer at work, able to take on challenges with ease, and fell generally at peace with myself. Next time you go to your bank, look around and see if you see a hippiebanker ready to take your deposit!
Let's keep our hearts open as we approach people and challenges at work. Let's try and resist the urge to go into judgment or to go into our egos and separate ourselves from others. Let's look into our coworkers eyes and see the light that shines brightly in all of us. It's there. We just have to open our hearts and look for it. Let's ask ourselves this: Is my workplace better because I showed up today?
In the end, our job is not to just climb the corporate ladder and become the CEO. Our job is not to be the top dog or get the most trophies. Our job is to come to work and "Be the Light." Be the person that others look to for guidance, for inspiration, for hope. Before you know it, you'll become a spiritual activist in your little corner of the world.
We Are All One.