Life can be difficult. You feel like you are being pulled in a million directions at once and you are left wondering how you can fit everything into your life. Most of the time we walk through life creating “what we perceive as” neat little boxes for everything, to keep it separate. Oftentimes, this ends up leaving you feeling like you are neglecting something. Spirituality and life are hard enough to balance, can we find a way to combine our spirituality to ensure our success?
Spirituality and Success
You are probably sitting there thinking that there is no way that work and your spirituality can coexist in the same place. You work your 8-12 hour day, you are too tired when you come home to want to go to yoga class or you may fall asleep when you try to meditate. By the time you get home, it is time to cook and eat dinner and from there it’s only a matter of moments till you need to get ready for bed. The sad part is that you cannot seem to key down because of all that has gone on in the day. Does that sound familiar?
The other side is that you probably think that your spirituality has no place in your work life. Work should be professional and devoid of beliefs and the like, correct? Look at it through a different lens. You use your spirituality in how you approach the world. It is the basis for how you interact with people and perceive the world at large. Is work not a part of those dynamics? You have people you have to interact with and your values will always flavor your choices. You cannot divest yourself of that side easily, but yet you try to compartmentalize them and keep them separate.
Being able to work them together can be done and is possible for you to produce better results and be happier.
Many people think that spirituality needs to be separate. After all, it is about being concerned with the human spirit/soul and not the material or physical things in life. But it is more than that, it is also a sense that there is something greater than yourself, something more to being human and the sensory experience behind it. When you start to look at it that way, is work really that far removed? After all, it is a given that your job touches people in some way. Your job is a small part of a much larger plan, it is all connected.
Once, a man hosted a spiritual leader in his home who was giving a conference in the area. The man told the spiritual leader that his day only began when he got him from work and meditated in his room. The spiritual leader looked confused and simply replied “that’s a shame.” The man seemed confused and asked for clarity. The spiritual leader smiled softly and replied that it was a waste of his entire day. He should start to find ways to integrate his spiritual life into his work so that it is always an act of meditation.
Meditation at work seems like a direct juxtaposition, right? Wrong. Work can be viewed as a form of active meditation. The flip of that is actual meditation is more of a passive or inward service.
Active vs. Passive Meditation
Let’s break it down a bit. You may be thinking that active meditation is simply the act of meditating. While that is partly true, it is not the whole aspect. Active meditation refers to focusing on a task at hand and bringing a sense of mindful meditation to it. It is about connecting to the here and now while going about your daily chores.
On the flip side, passive mediation is the actual act of sitting down to meditation. This involves closing your eyes, breath work, and a visualization process. This act is designed to help you shift the way you think, act, and communicate with the world, at large. Focusing on your inner self as a means of scanning for the things you want to actively shift to a different mode.
If you are looking for a great tool for passive meditation, try the Energy Clearing Tool.
How to actively meditate
At first thought, this may seem like a huge ask. After all, work requires thought to stay focused and now you have to tie in a meditation with it? How can that even happen? It is a bit easier than it sounds.
The first step is to simply focus on what is happening in your body while you are working. This allows you the start to become present and self-aware. Here are a couple tips that can help.
While preparing dinner, bring your focus to your five senses. Observe your sensation without any form of judgment. If you are chopping vegetables, notice how the knife feels in your hand. Is it cold? Is it heavy or light? Listen to the sounds the knife makes while using it. How does it sound cutting through the vegetables? Is there a rhythm to how the knife sounds as it strikes the cutting board? What are you feeling while doing this?
Maybe you are taking a walk on your lunch break, Bring your attention to your feet striking the ground. Feel your leg muscles as your legs move back and forth. How does the air feel, is it warm or cool? What noises do you hear? How does the sun feel caressing your skin?
Meditation can take place anywhere and at any time. It doesn’t need to be reserved to a special place or time.
5 Times to bring more spirituality to your work
There are some easy ways to start to bring your spirituality to your work and to help strike a better balance in your life.
1. Reuse the time before, between, and after work
There are plenty of times during our day where we aren’t as focused on what’s at hand. Many times we fill these with grabbing our phones and doom scrolling some social media app. Instead, leave it in your pocket. If you are driving, try listening to something that can help you relax – soft, gentle music. Stop tuning into talk shows or podcasts. Instead, check in with yourself, unplug for a bit.
2. Incorporate subconscious work into your day.
What is subconscious work? It is the act of giving the mind higher levels of thoughts instead of just the mundane, day-to-day ones. If you find quotes online that speak to you, save them to your phone or write them down, then every morning you can read them without hitting the trusty internet. Try saying these quotes in the mirror to help you visualize them more.
What can you do while sitting at your desk? How about a mental reboot? Close your eyes for about 30 – 60 seconds. Imagine yourself surrounded by a warm and comforting light, whatever color feels right for you. Allow your stress to fall away from you. You can even use some light music like a chill-hop or lo-if to help set the mood. Maybe you feel awkward closing your eyes at your desk, how about using the 5-4-3-2-1 method.
Take a moment to focus on your breathing. Slow it down and take a couple deep breaths. Once you get to a slow steady breath, use the steps below.
- Acknowledge 5 things that you see around you. Whatever is on your desk or close. A pen, sticky notes, spots on the wall, and etc.
- Acknowledge 4 things you can touch. Maybe its your hair, the desk, or the floor
- Acknowledge 3 things you can hear. Maybe its your coworkers, the phones ringing, or simply your breath.
- Acknowledge 2 things you can smell. Is someone making coffee or lunch? Maybe its your neighbor’s cologne.
- Acknowledge one thing you can taste. Maybe it the mint you just had or the taste of coffee on your lips
This is a great exercise if anxiety gets the best of you throughout the day. It can also help you create a focus on the moment and be mindful of what’s going on around you. A perfect act of active meditation.
3. Using a passive approach to create balance at work
In our present world, we are highly active and driven. We want to do/accomplish so much, the bad thing is that we are rarely appreciative of how far we’ve come. (I know I am that way in my life, especially the progress I have made in my health and weight loss.) Start taking stock of the efforts more. Maybe that means reflecting on what you have done throughout the day and congratulating yourself for what you achieved instead of beating yourself up for what you missed. If they were bigger goals, reward yourself for the accomplishment, maybe that is to take some time off work. PTO isn’t just for being sick.
Create a habit of giving yourself some “me” time, even if it is just for ten minutes at a time. This allows you to approach the day on your terms and can leave you feeling more nurtured in the process.
Set up better work boundaries. Don’t start work until you are actually at work or at the start time. With iPhones, you can set up a focus mode to start at a specific time that will allow you to focus on work, or whatever, when you are ready. Not every email, text, or reminder is a fire that needs immediate attention.
4. Practice your spiritual philosophies while at work
First, remember not to confuse spirituality with religion. Don’t come to work and preach to others about what you do, simply approach each event in your day as you would anything else spiritually. Those ideals shape how you view and interact with the world at large, those same ideals can help you at work.
Surrender yourself when things are getting stressful. This doesn’t mean give up, it means to walk away from the situation and take a short break. Remove yourself from the situation to look at it from a different perspective. The problem isn’t going anywhere and a reply done in haste can do more damage than taking a moment to think.
Making use of minimalism can be advantageous and isn’t just for monks. How do you do that at work? Start by cleaning up your desk, maybe organize your calendar, and reflect on your work attire. Maybe there are things that can be removed because they do not serve a purpose. Streamline and reduce the clutter to help focus on what’s important.
5. Work consciously in all things
- Be more mindful and less of acting on autopilot. Focusing on each part will help remove needless mistakes.
- Instead of reacting to a situation, respond to it. That may seem confusing as they are similar, but responding requires thought, not just action. Consider your words and actions before delivering them.
- Think outside of the box instead of being a conformist. Sometimes a new approach to an old problem will find better ways to do many things. This approach can also have the benefit of making you stand out from your peers.
- Embrace fears and work beyond them. Fear is a part of life but it shouldn’t control us. Use it as a means of looking at the situation differently, even if it means expressing an unpopular opinion,
Is a healthy balance possible
For years, in this country, we have been taught to separate all aspects of our lives from the other parts. We were told this will allow us to focus on the needs when it is needed but in reality it has driven a wedge in our life. Spirituality can be a part of your work life, as much as it is separate. It allows us to mindfully approach people and situations in a way to create a more healthy interaction. It allows us to follow our principles more in our daily lives and allows us to see what is healthy and not in our lives.
It isn’t as easy as turning on a faucet, but with time and practice you can start bringing the two worlds together. Do you already practice spirituality in your workplace to achieve balance? Let me know some of your techniques below. Maybe others will find your practice helpful in theirs.