This week’s article is provided by Paul Gibbons, academic advisor and author. The article is an excerpt from his new book The Spirituality of Work and Leadership: Finding Meaning, Joy, and Purpose in What You Do. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Finding Meaning, Joy, and Purpose in What You Do that aired on Tuesday, September 7th.
VOCATION AND SPIRITUAL FIT
“Most people’s jobs are too small for their spirits.” ~Studs Terkel, from Working
People spend nearly half their waking lives at work, perhaps 100,000 hours in a lifetime. In the previous chapter, we argued that the time one spends working should be joyfully and purposefully spent, contributions should be a source of meaning and fulfillment, and social interactions should be a significant source of community and connectedness.
In this chapter, we start with questions about vocation and mindset: Which matters more: what you do, or how you do it? Can you bring a spiritual mindset, say of gratitude or service, to any job? How much responsibility for the worker’s experience lies with the worker, and how much with the employer?
CHOOSING WORK – BALANCING SECULAR AND SPIRITUAL
“Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess.” ~ Father Thomas Merton
One workplace spirituality “killer-app” is vocation choice, sometimes called fulfilling your purpose in life, finding your calling, or “following your bliss.” This subject has birthed hundreds of books. A few, such as Connections between Spirit and Work in Career Development, are academic in approach. Others are more inspirational and practical, such as True Work, The Purpose Driven Life, The Leaders Way, The Work We Were Born To Do, and The Art of Work.
The above books rightly say that the feeling of being called may be immensely powerful. For the called, it may provide motivation to make drastic life changes. Calling provides a narrative for work that can help you soar in the good times and transcend the bad times. It helps leaders lead with greater passion and charisma—indeed, many leadership development programs help leaders create a powerful career narrative about their highs and lows and the learning from those that has shaped who they are. In my programs, leaders used to explore this by creating a timeline of life and leadership experiences that had shaped their vision and values and that shape what is unique about them and what they stand for as a leader.
There is a question of whether calling comes from “out there,” the Universe, a Higher Power, God, or whether (as existentialists would have it) there is no purpose “out there,” but we are liberated to choose for ourselves. Different strokes.
For the existentialists or people without a deity, this freedom of choice, of accepting responsibility for those choices, and of doing the work of creating meaning can be hard. In the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, “Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”
When reflecting upon your calling, using one of the many guides available, you want first to focus on the spiritual, the meaning derived from work, and on intrinsic satisfaction rather than on skills, interests, job opportunities, financial rewards, and traditional views of success. Secular concerns press upon us all the time, so we give priority to the less urgent but more important. There are various tools career coaches use to help with this: narratives, dreams, symbols, poetry, visualization, and insights from the past.
Once you’ve used these “spiritual tools,” you balance spiritual with secular concerns.
One simple tool, the Ikigai (“reason to live” in Japanese), helps readers think through the tension between the secular and spiritual worlds53.
Diagram V-1: The Ikigai career purpose tool
To use this tool, spend about an hour thinking about each of the petals and the tensions between them. Ask yourself which petal is most or least fulfilling in your current role. (I have formalized this process with a questionnaire and in workshops, but the do-it-yourself approach works well if you dedicate the time to it.)
Where some books on calling are wrong
“If you’re having work problems, I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but meaning ain’t one.” ~99 PROBLEMS, JAY-Z , paraphrase
Coaches and self-help gurus sometimes draw a distinction between societal and parental influences, the tangible pressures of living (paying rent), and what the “inner-self” or “real you” or “true self” is called to do.
This distinction is false and unhelpful because there is no “you” bereft of any historical or cultural influences – your likes and dislikes, talents and shortfalls, personality, and values were shaped from an early age by dozens of influences. You can’t untangle the threads and find a “pure you” in there. Humans have many scripts running – you just get to choose which you pay attention to. You also get to choose to set some influences aside and give more weight to others.
We gain information about the world of work as we mature. Sometimes I advise young people that early jobs are as much about finding out what you dislike as what you like. Choosing a career is always a balancing act of dozens of factors including some fairly prosaic geographical ones such as where you prefer to live, where your spouse prefers to live, where the schools are good, where parents, friends, and relatives live, as well as all the different factors covered by the Ikigai.
Another faulty assumption of many spiritually oriented career counselors and coaches is that the practical matters of earning a living, developing skills, and finding a job will “unfold” once finding a calling unlocks the passion and commitment that lie within you. I don’t think this is helpful or true. There is a certain kind of spirituality, usually New Age, that holds that once you find your calling and put your career intentions “out there,” the Universe will provide a living.
Well, as they say in the Middle East, “…trust Allah but tether your camel.” Even though the Universe is on your team, put the hard work in. Circumstances, opportunity, luck, the economic environment, and your job-hunting skills will play a part in the realization of your calling. Adults need to balance passion and practicalities in the world of work – and (again) need to balance secular and spiritual concerns. (There is a 12-Step expression: “God does the steerin’, I do the rowin.’” For Humanists, it might be, “the purpose I’ve created does the steerin’, and I do the rowin.’”)
Another faulty assumption of some spiritual approaches to calling is that finding your calling and doing it is necessarily a source of great joy. Maybe. Life stories of great saints suggest that not everyone who is “called” finds it easy. It sometimes demands great change and sacrifice. You might be called to earn a quarter of what you do now. Or are you ready to uproot your family? Are you ready to go back to school? Do you want to be called to sacrifice? Do organizations want their workers to be called? Typically, in the 21st century, we want the “goodies” from calling or vocation without the sacrifice.
Coaching people out the door
“They attain perfection when they find joy in their work.” ~The Bhagavad Gita
Finally, coaches focus on worker self-actualization for (or so they should even if they are performance coaching), but many times when I’ve coached a mid-career executive on career matters (paid for by the company), they decide to go self-actualize somewhere else. When my firm ran a leadership development program for a few dozen senior investment bankers (partners in a big firm), we talked about choice, self-expression, joy, balance, work-family, and goal setting. Five of our initial group of 12 were gone within a year (retired, began independent consulting, or moved to another firm).
In the long run, empowering self-actualization that leads to someone quitting may benefit the business, creating an opening for someone whose passions may be more aligned. (After all, you should prefer employees who are passionate about being there.) The employee’s departure increases the amount of big-picture happiness in the world—you’ve done a good thing. In the short run, though, it looks like financial folly—investing in executive coaching to watch your employees leave and then incurring the cost of losing and rehiring a worker.
The challenge for businesses is how to improve their recruiting and interviewing processes to better identify those who are truly called to work for them. How can organizations best hone and express their mission so prospective employees can discern whether they should be working there?
There is a bigger challenge we get to later which is how businesses can they make sure their insides live up to the glossy outsides of recruitment pitches.
THE SPIRITUAL FIT
“…you are someone who has a particular passion or a particular personal philosophy, and you’re able to turn work into an instrument of realizing the deeper meaning in pursuing your personal philosophy or passion.” ~Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Satya is talking about what I call the “spiritual fit” how well one’s purpose and values fit with the specific mission of our employer. However, a courtship might produce a fit and result in two people deciding to marry but working on the fit does not stop there. Even if you find a job in the Ikigai sweet spot – that is:
- Work that the world needs,
- Work we are passionate about,
- Work that tests us and uses our skills,
- Work that remunerates us well.
… the “marriage” demands work on both sides. For firms, the fit isn’t just about hiring workers who fit, it is about helping new workers onboard.
Back in the day, even at my blue-chip former employers, the boss “onboarded” new hires, thus: “there is your desk, the bathroom is down the hall, and the coffee machine a bit further.” That is it. There was zero effort to help new hires fit – to help them make sense of the values of their new firm, and how their skills might contribute to their passion and purpose. Our connection to purpose, if it happened, was left to chance.
In the 1990s, PwC offered new employees a whole day onboarding! That whole day was then seen as indulgent by some but would seem ridiculously short to today’s HR professionals – and today PwC’s process is six months long. Leading firms take onboarding very seriously: Google also devotes six months to it, kicking off with an intensive two-week immersion into “being Googly” (the culture) but also the structure and strategy of the business and the architecture of the platform.
Hiring and onboarding help with internal fit. One could recommend companies look more deeply into values and purpose at the recruitment stage, but as values questions become more personal, they may veer into off-limits territory or may be potentially discriminatory. Fits won’t be perfect or permanent – some employees don’t know what job they want until they see it – and at 25, you ain’t seen much. Some jobs look juicy from the outside but don’t feel right once you are in them. (And sometimes, as the song says, “you don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”.)
Choosing the right profession and the right company to work for can be a long journey. You have to constantly reassess your priorities, values, fit with your employer, and whether the path you are on is one you value and admire. Mormon, Steven Covey said cleverly, “there is no use racing up the ladder of success if it is leaning against the wrong wall.”
However, I recommend strongly against daily or even monthly questioning of values and fit and purpose in life. I think that is a recipe for misery. Rumination, experts say, is among the unhealthiest psychological habits. The question “Is this the right job or profession for me” is one to be taken seriously, but only periodically – semi-annually, or annually. Once you commit, you stop asking the question for another six or twelve months – when it pops into your head, you set it aside.
Having said that, you should put your values, fit, and purpose to work in daily life – questioning yourself hard on whether you are living up to them. That is the spiritual challenge – not to get too comfortable with yourself, but also having a depth of self-compassion for your stumbles. Few of us can walk in and say “take this job and shove it” without consequences. Daily, you recommit to where you are and to the sorts of attitudes that make you happier and make you a nicer person to work with.
This, clearly, speaks to the necessity of making time for annual (or so) reflection upon your purpose and values – again not ruminating daily, but when the time that you set aside comes, engaging in purposeful life-design (or re-design.) Once, you commit to change, it will still take a long while to enact your new vision or profession. When I coached mid- or late-career people who desired or were approaching a major career transition, I used to advise that such transitions take a year to envision, plan, and execute. If you are retiring from a 40-year career, I suggest (unless your only goal is the hammock) that it takes five years to build up a portfolio of stimulating, enriching service and commercial opportunities.
A final source of misery is people who suffer at work, decide to change, and who fail to take action. They wake up each day with “I need to change jobs” for months or years without acting – getting a little unhappier and a weakening sense of their own power and agency. Usually, they need support in planning and being held accountable for taking the baby steps to realize the change.
This discussion has mostly been about fitting the job to yourself, that is finding work that aligns with your purpose and calling. However, there is another spiritual job alluded to above, fitting yourself to the job with the right mindset.
IT AIN’T WHAT YOU DO, IT’S THE WAY THAT YOU DO IT54
“For works do not sanctify us, but we should sanctify the works.” ~Meister Eckhart
While vocation choice concerns itself with “doing the work you love,” the alternative is “loving the work you do.” In other words, how do you “get your head right”? Which work attitudes and beliefs affect your experience of work? For example, if work is approached as a place of service or giving, rather than a place of being served or getting, would one enjoy it more? Was St. Francis right in saying, “It is better to understand than to be understood, to comfort than to be comforted, to love than to be loved, better to give than to receive”? Is the secret of happiness not doing what one likes, but liking what one does? At one spiritual retreat I spent time with a Benedictine Abbott and even though 25 years ago, I remember his questions: How is life treating you, Paul? More to the point though, how are you treating life?
“Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.” ~Marcus Aurelius
Ancient spiritual texts and modern writers on humanism suggest that taking personal responsibility for meaning “creates the work reality.” Viktor Frankl was able to find meaning in a concentration camp. In the yogic spiritual tradition, the concept of Karma Yoga suggests that working with love and enthusiasm can turn a chore into a spiritually enriching experience. The Buddhist spiritual path (bodhisattva) recommends going forth for the welfare and benefit of the world to prevent suffering. In Hinduism, the concept of right livelihood affects one’s karma, one’s inheritance in the next life. Christian monks maintained “laborare est orare” (to work is to pray). These views suggest that enjoyment of work is “an inside job”—if you can bring the right attitude and actions to work, you can transform your experience of it.
Recall the parable of the stonecutters. The third stonecutter’s narrative was: “I’m creating a magnificent cathedral.” We get to decide which cathedrals we are building by creating our own narratives. This illustrates, again, that meaning isn’t “out there” but is created; it’s created in this case by—the why of our work. Sadly, the prevalent and contrary view in society is that what happens determines what we feel and do: “He made me furious” or, “Work is killing me.” If one’s mood is determined by context, then it will ebb and flow with the fortunes of life. If the actions of others determine one’s response, then there is no freedom, only reaction. Many spiritual orientations make you more responsible for your feelings and actions:
- “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” (Marcus Aurelius)
- “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- “Look at the word ‘responsibility’ – “response-ability” – the ability to choose your response.” (Steven Covey)
- “Man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked.” (Viktor Frankl)
- “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” (HH the Dalai Lama)
Their essential message is that our perception of the world, and our reaction to it, are a matter of choice. And right attitudes and right actions manifest themselves not only in an improved internal experience, but also in relationships with others, including our relationship to the world. This deeper connection to self, others, and world was part of our definition of spirituality, the practical face of the spiritual journey.
What do “real people” say gives their working life meaning. In a survey from US consulting firm BetterUp55 conducted in 2018, today’s workers report that they find most meaning:
- “… where I’m trying to make other people’s lives better…”
- “…when I’m working to help others grow and see their potential…”
- “…when I am able to push my abilities to the utmost is the most fulfilling…”
- “…when my work revolves around helping others especially the disadvantaged and needy…”
This leads to a paradoxical situation. On one hand, meaning happens between our ears—and ultimately, only we can be responsible for the meaning we create. On the other hand, the employer, culture, work environment, job, and leadership can make it hard or easy to find meaning in a given job. Does the idea of personal responsibility for meaning-making give employers a free pass? Is it all “on you?” Of course not.
Here we find one of the most incisive criticisms of the whole idea of spirituality and business – the idea that finding meaning and purpose at work can be found if the individual works hard enough at it – no matter how oppressive the circumstances may be.
We saw that meaning and purpose can be found in the humblest of jobs: humans can reshape their narratives to a great extent. But, leaving all the spiritual heavy lifting to workers isn’t right—for them to enjoy a shitty job, they would have to become spiritual giants, master meaning-makers. There is also something deeply cynical about expecting someone who earns ten times less than you to get with the program and find the right attitude to make “loading 16 tons”56 meaningful.
The attitude of gratitude
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
One attitude, though not by any means a uniquely spiritual one, is gratitude.57 Gratitude means being thankful, not just for specifics, as when a colleague does you a kindness, but generally, toward life, toward the people in it, and for circumstances (even those that seem harsh). As the saying goes, “Happiness isn’t getting what you want; it is wanting what you got.”
But like most valuable things in life, the attitude of gratitude takes practice and cultivation. The general “attitude of gratitude” creates an other- rather than self-orientation—an appreciation for what one has, rather than entitlement and grasping for what one lacks. As British author G.K. Chesterton said, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
Another way that the gratitude mindset is expressed is a “get to” rather than “have to” orientation. “Have to” people see a world with little choice, one whether they comply (grudgingly) with demands put upon them. “Get to” people may be doing the same thing, but with a different narrative—I “get to” do what I’m doing. This simple shift in narrative can be transformative.
Nietzsche, of course, had an even deeper take on gratitude. He suggested that true gratitude was being willing to live your life, just as it has happened, over and over again in eternal recurrence. (One of his signature ideas.) Only then, said he, when you accept all that has been, and are willing to live as such over and over, will peace and gratitude be found. “And then you will find every pain and every pleasure, every friend and every enemy, every hope and every error, every blade of grass and every ray of sunshine once more, and the whole fabric of things which make up your life.”58
One of the biggest obstacles to having attitudes at work (and in life) that create a better experience is the intrusion of negative thoughts. Everybody “knows” they should be grateful, everybody “knows” that they are the author of their own experience – but that “knowledge” can be of little use when the sniveling shipwreck of a human being in the next cubicle tries to take credit for your work, or you have to work past 9PM for the third time this week.
Everybody has thoughts that are not in the interest of the thinker. Everybody has impulses to do the wrong thing. Most of us ruminate a downward spiral of worry, fantasy, and resentment at least sometimes. How do we overcome negative thoughts, sometimes called the “itty bitty shitty committee” in your head? Let’s look at mindfulness.
53 You can find the ikigai and dozens of tools on purpose and calling in Reboot Your Career, a workbook that I co-authored with career coaching specialist Tim Ragan in 2016.
54 From poppy one-hit wonder group Bananarama and Fun Boy Three in the 1980s. Try to get that earworm out of your head now.
56 “You load 16 tons, and whaddya get? Another day older and deeper in debt. St. Peter don’t you call me, ‘cos I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.” (Folk song from 1947.)
57 Sometimes spiritual writers use the terms spirituality as if “all that good stuff” – humility, integrity, gratitude, passion, and conscience were uniquely spiritual. You can arrive at those attitudes through Humanistic psychology or many other ways. (No psychologist would take exception to the mentioned goodies.) We should not pretend that only spirituality, or only our own version of it is the only path to desirable human qualities – although our position is that the word “umbrellas” inner and outer work and includes those virtues and an ethical stance on life..
58 From The Gay Science, published in 1882.
Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.
About the Authors
Paul Gibbons keynotes on five continents on the future of business, particularly on humanizing business, culture change, ethics, and the future of work. He is currently an academic advisor to Deloitte’s Human Capital practice – creating the future of change management He has authored five books, most prominently The Science of Successful Organizational Change and Impact, and he runs the popular philosophy podcast, Think Bigger Think Better. Those books are category best-sellers on Amazon in organizational change, decision-making, and leadership. After eight years as a consultant at PwC, Gibbons founded Future Considerations, a consulting firm that advises major corporations, including Shell, BP, Barclays, and HSBC, on leadership, strategy, and culture change. From 2015 to 2018, he was an adjunct professor of business ethics at the University of Denver. Paul is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a hyperpolyglot, has been named a “top-20 culture guru,” and one of the UK’s top two CEO “super coaches” by CEO magazine. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and lives in the Denver area with his two sons and enjoys competing internationally at mindsports such as poker, bridge, MOBA, and chess.
Who or what are you creating your life for? Do you choose based on what lights you up and expands your world or do you choose from the expectations and desires of others? Are you actually included anywhere in the creation of your life?
Often we are creating our lives for our families or for our friends and employers or even what fits into the expectations of the society we live in.
What if the choices you make everyday rather than making other people happy could ignite and inspire you?
Like the mother on the airplane that is encouraged to put her oxygen mask on first so she may look after her children, what would occur if we including ourselves in our creations?
When we choose to create from the space that make our bodies sing and be radiantly alive, our joy is such an inspiration for others to choose more in their own lives. Often far beyond what they may even know was possible for them to choose.
When we include ourselves in the creation of our lives we are creating from the Kingdom of We, we are then acutely aware of what is the highest choice for everyone.
Come join Heather Nichols for this juicy, dynamic conversation on creation, choice, potency and joy of living fully alive.
Some days it is harder for me to make the “turn” to the light than others.I get sucked in sometimes by the fear and what could happen down the road.If I allow it to grow, my fear becomes anxiety and rules my life affecting my relationships, my parenting, how I feel inside, my self-care and more. So I make a conscious effort to be aware of the dark side and even befriend it. Weird, I know. Yet somehow when I befriend it using energy healing and meditation, the powerful combination buoys me to move forward. NO it is not always comfortable. Yes sometimes I cry (though I cry expressing many of my feelings). Does it always get better? YES. If you want help, just ask.
What am I going to write about? The time I struggled and showed my ass by behaving like I’d lost my mind? There are moments I feel like I’m part of the circus or better yet starring in a sit-com. My life is far from always being full of laughter though we laugh a lot in our family.
I get tired of taking everything so seriously. So I put on a pair of “TV glasses” and see what each situation I’m worried about, frustrated with, pissed about, and enjoying would like through the camera of a sit-com.
I discovered this solution when Eli was an infant. I was alone and changing his diaper. He stuck one foot in poop, then another, then his hand. Somehow it got on my hands too. I was by myself at home. And as a new mom, I began to panic. How do I figure this out? How do I get my son and myself clean without getting poop everywhere. Every idea I thought of resulted in me seeing my son ending up falling to the floor. All the tools I needed were in other rooms, The thought of carrying poop from room to room with a dog and three cats standing by to enter the fray filled me with more anxiety. My body tensed and tightened. And then Eli began to cry. Big surprise, right? And then as he wriggled in more poop, for a split second I imagined my reaction if I was watching this on TV. What was the big deal? And I began to laugh. And as I laughed and my body loosened, Eli calmed and smiled. I have no idea how, but somehow I cleaned us both pretty quickly and easily. And from then on, I pulled out my “TV Glasses” during life situations. Any caregivers out there ever experience similar situations?
Which brings me to a few days ago when again I was struggling, frustrated and a little scared. Instead of picturing the sitcom, I cried. I disagreed with my producer for my upcoming radio show and participated in unnecessary arguing drama. I was not fit for human consumption and I felt it in my body. I reflected on all my “life plates” I keep spinning, my to dos. Are these life or death “plates”? Nope. What will happen if I don’t get EVERYTHING done? Nothing. What am I afraid of?
Truth? Falling on my face which is FAILING. Yet even as I say that most of me is not afraid. I know in the deepest part of me, even if I fall on my face there is a reason. I know the experience will provide me with an opportunity. Now truth be told. It isn’t comfortable to fail. So I don’t know of anyone who runs out and says Yes, I’ll choose Failure. What I know is if I don’t choose change, which comes with risks, and pushing out of what is comfortable, I stay stuck.
Complacency becomes another word for stuck. Don’t make waves. Status quo. Don’t ask a tough question because of what might happen. Did you know stuck means you don’t get to experience the fantabulous either?
Self-esteem plays a huge role in your willingness to embrace change. Change can have ALOT of unknown and unfamiliar feelings and factors. So of course complacency will feel better in some aspects because you know it. And you know your outcomes even if they are painful.
So here I go taking another leap: 1) I premiered my radio show heard globally 2) I stopped part of my business marketing which I believed until recently was the largest draw for meeting new clients. I do not know what I’m doing next to grow my community. I trust it will be revealed soon (there was a bit of GULP the first time I said that) 3) I am continuing to lovingly detach as a parent (more on this in future articles). Providing my son opportunities to grow and fail (as safely as I can) 4) I am visibly emerging with live videos on social media, radio, joint ventures with other healers 5) I am learning how to do my radio show from my computer and all the mechanics and marketing (there are at least 10 things here I don’t know) 6) I am allowing in my relationship with Marc instead of listening to the voice telling me to “drive the train”. With more leaping each week and sometimes daily.
And while some days it feels harder and some days I fail. I am still happy everyday. And more and more consistently, I feel an ease and a joy. I feel a freedom like I did as a kid riding my bike super fast with the wind blowing my hair kicking my feet out as I went down a huge hill and yelling WHEEEEEEE!!!
With Love and Gratitude,
Do you wake up feeling great and head out into your day only to find after a work meeting or a run to a store you feel off, cranky, sad, etc.?
Does any room in your house or does your car feel off, cold or darker? If you are answering yes about any part of you or your space feeling off, you need energetic cleansing. I want to help you and share some of my favorite rituals.
I energetically cleanse myself and my home, often if not daily. Whether you are an open channel or just unaware, it is easy to pick up other people’s energy unknowingly not only in your own energetic field but also in your home, your car, or any space you visit. If you wouldn’t want to share someone else’s underwear, why wear their energy?
So what do you do to feel better?
First begin by becoming more aware of how you feel so you notice when your feelings (physical, mental and emotional) change. I begin my day doing a quick scan of me. How do I feel: emotionally, physically, energetically. If you don’t know the answers to all of them, it is okay. It will come with practice. Daily consistency is key.
Second cleanse your self.
Why? Clearing a space without clearing yourself is like mopping your floor wearing dirty shoes.
There are many approaches for cleansing yourself.
Here is a short list. You may like one or a couple; use them separately or together. There are no rules.,, feel what feels good to you. When you finish check in and see how you feel. Don’t make this hard or complicated.
1- begin with water in the body;
Program a glass of water by holding it and setting an intention
Think and drink
Create an image or a ritual of the mind that as you picture it, you cleanse. You ask for anything not yours to be released for your highest good and cleansed off of you.
Ask in prayer for energetic cleansing
4 sage or palo santo:
Light either of these, set an intention to cleanse your self and douse yourself in their fumes
Sing, play or dance choosing music that lifts you up and soothes your soul (this is subjective)
Use crystal healing to cleanse your energetic field
Walk, run, bike, etc feel the earth beneath you and feel your vibes raise higher.
8- Water over the body:
Shower, bathe and as the water runs over you or you submerge your body in water, know you are cleansing
Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Cycling, Running, Basketball, etc. Any form where you are moving continuously or close to continuously
laughter heals your soul;
The goal is to clear your vibes and begin moving your vibration higher. All you must do is believe it is possible to succeed.
Just as weather changes daily, the approach appealing to you can shift or change. The methods you choose can also change as you learn, heal and grow, especially when you choose an extensive letting go healing like Kahuna healing. What I do today is different than what I did years ago. I try news things and adapt my own rituals. So don’t be afraid to try something new.
Once you cleanse you, space cleansing can begin. And you use many of the same approaches. Scan your space first. How does each room feel? This is super personal. My personal fave is white sage. It is powerful and grabs most unwanted energy. I set a stage for myself. I love music and play music throughout my cleansing time. I set intentions for my space and visualize the cleansing and protection of it. And then I walk and dance throughout my space focused on my intentions.
Now there are times I receive intuitive messages to choose another approach or I hear I need to meditate first and I pick up some nuance to incorporate. When I go to a client’s home, each space is cleansed uniquely. While I may bring sage, there may be other tools I hear to help including meditations and even bubbles. And sometimes, if there is a darker energy or a spirit to cross over, that certainly brings additional alternatives to my choices.
When you finish, scan your space again. And notice the difference. You may not be able to describe it right away. It could be it just feels better. And then yes, you’ve done it.
As we begin this new year of 2017, I encourage you to cleanse your self, cleanse your space and look for opportunities for healing yourself and letting go of what you don’t wish to carry with you any longer. Letting go can cleanse your soul.
If you want to know more about this, join me and Nami for Kahuna Healing as the first New Moon of 2017 approaches (information below).
With Love & Gratitude,
December 21: A Life Full of Joy: Every Moment Counts
When you are really here, not lost in your plans or worries about the future, or tangled up in thoughts about what you would have, could have or should have done, then your life becomes vibrant. You perceive your body, your environment and the people around you in a profound way and life transforms into an exciting adventure in which every moment counts. Tune into Being Here and have this holiday time turn into a life full of joy where EVERY moment counts.
Listen Live this Wednesday, December 21st at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.
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Iâve been having conversations recently with a friend. He truly wants to find and enjoy a long term committed relationship. His relationship experience is dotted with disappointment and hurt. He recently met someone new and they clicked.
In one breath, he tells me about their amazing connection. They enjoy spending time together, talking, intimacy, just hanging out. They’re very attracted to each other, yet it’s much more than physical. He spends a lot of time telling me about their connection in some detail. They have similar values, think similarly, yet they also have some differences.
Then he says âshe is a unicornâ. By definition a unicorn is a fantasy, âa mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.â He follows this up saying âshe seems perfect for me. There must be something Iâm not seeing. I keep looking for what’s wrong with her. She is too good to be true.â
Have you ever met someone amazing and thought that very same thing? âToo Good to Be True?â It could be with a relationship, a friendship, a job, the way your life is flowing. Anything.
I had a time when I felt this way too. It wasnât when I met and dated my husband. It was later AFTER we married. Weird, I know.
When you say âitâs too good to be true,â You’re questioning what is coming into your life because of your own lack of or limited belief in self-love, self-worth. You feel self-doubt which causes you to resist change, looking for “the other shoe to drop” effect, instead of embracing change.
Your limiting belief is two-fold (or more):
1) You’re missing some of the enjoyment of your relationship by focusing on some unforeseen problem (fear, anxiety) that may not ever happen. That is creating fear in you and causes you to âping pongâ. Yes, I am in. No, I am afraid. Yes, I am in. No, I am afraid. The ping ponging changes the magnetic energy around you as well as your behavior and it can feel confusing to someone else without them understanding why.
For my friend, it comes out in his relationship when they discuss their relationship histories. He wants to know, he doesnât want to know. Then he hears something that concerns him and thinks he may have found âthe other shoeâ, but he doesnât really want to find the other shoe. And then these feelings drape themselves over his girlfriend and she becomes sensitive and upset. Meanwhile he doesnât understand why she is upset. This can lead to drama, unnecessary drama, instead of enjoying each moment and the now.
2) What are you truly afraid of? Why do you feel you do not deserve this happiness and love? He has been hurt in the past. Does that sound familiar? He says maybe he isnât meant to be with someone. Which is as close to saying âmaybe I donât deserve to be with someoneâ, âmaybe Iâm not loveableâ. My friend has a harder time going to this place. That is so common. Who wants to sit in feelings of âIâm not worthyâ and âIâm not loveableâ. And yet, even not addressing them, they take hold in your life. And they can decimate your relationships if you engage or speak from lack.
When you have full love and belief in yourself, you stop resisting, surrender and embrace change. Then you move past the âis this really happening?; Is this real?; Is this something I deserve? And you just say…YES.
If you feel âit is too good to be true?â or you wait for the âother shoe to dropâ? What do you do about it? Do you do anything about it or silently suffer?
You can put an end to these silent and shared conversations. You can quiet your fear. It is so possible. I didnât always believe it. Through my own healing and the support and guidance I share with and teach to my clients, Iâve seen and experienced it.
And if you are ready to look at your life from a possibility of: anything is possible and life has many possibilities. I invite you to a complimentary call with me Touching Your Inner Guidance. Just click the link below and weâll talk about what you are done with and ready to leave behind; what you want for yourself and can so have; and how what I do can support and guide you to those extraordinary possibilities.
July 20: Are We Having Fun Yet? â Part II
âPlay is the highest form of researchâ – Albert Einstein
When you are seriously trying to get somewhere you stop having fun. In this delightful episode of Being Here discover how fun is not a diversion from succeeding, but rather a pathway to fully living. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!
Listen Live this Wednesday, July 20th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.
After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.
You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!
June 8, 2016: Thou Shalt Not Schlepp
To Schlepp: A tedious or difficult journey; to haul or carry (something heavy or awkward). For example, âShe schlepped her groceries home.â
Are there ever days when you find yourself âschleppingâ through life? Ready to step lively again? Tune in to Being Here and reclaim the spring in your step even if lifeâs circumstances seem to be weighing you down. Callers welcome at Tel# 1-866-472-5795!
Listen Live this Wednesday, June 8th at 9am PST / 12pm EST on the VoiceAmerica 7th Wave Channel.
After this Wednesday, you can stream or download this episode and over 400 episodes on a wide variety of topics from our archives here.
You can also subscribe to BEING HERE on iTunes!