Archive for Spirituality in Business

In the last post I invited you to take a look at your  inner self-talk.   How is that going?  Did  you discover anything new or surprising about how you think and speak about yourself?     Most people are quite  hard on themselves and may not consciously realize they are immersed in a stream of self-criticism all day long.

If you are one of those people–don’t add another layer of negativity by beating yourself up about being self critical!    That’s just wrong, my friend.

Here’s a  technique that’s been  helpful for me and for my clients.   One of my trainings was in Gestalt Therapy (the Wildflowers Center for Compassionate Body Centered Gestalt therapy in New Jersey).   We  learned how to  dialogue with different parts of ourselves—the hurt child, the inner wise adult, the rebellious teenager, and with our   “shadow”—fears, angers and other parts of ourselves that we disown.

Each “part” or aspect of our self needs to be included and validated.   Each part has a voice with a message, telling us what we need.   If we don’t listen to the voice, eventually it will either get very loud and take over, or go underground and turn into an illness, a depression or some other kind of negative experience.   The bottom line is that when we reject a part of ourselves, sooner or later it will cause a problem.

This can show up  in almost any way, but common signs are  procrastination, avoiding putting yourself out there, being unwilling to set limits with a client, depression, irritability, mood swings or some other form of resistance (pick your favorite flavor!).

Where are you in resistance or struggling? What task, or part of your business is more difficult for you?   Chances are there’s at least one, and possibly several parts of yourself that are stuck and need to be heard.

I can, and would love to help you.   Feel free to contact me to learn more about how I could assist you.

Meantime, try these  ideas for working on your own with your critical voices and shadow parts.   An excellent book is called  Embracing Your Inner Critic, by Hal and Sidra Stone. It will teach you  how to work with your Inner Critic, your judging voices AND other voices that also want to be heard.  Another great resource is  a guided meditation called Overcoming the Self -Destruct, by Sanaya Roman.  (www.orindaben.com). In this meditation you imagine sitting at the center of an “inner council” meeting where all your parts get to speak, and then you explore how they can all work together towards a common goal or desire.

Be forewarned that this work is not comfortable and can be challenging, especially if you tend to be self critical.   Go gently with yourself.  In a culture of perfectionism and “you are not enough” it’s quite a stretch to learn to  be this welcoming and accepting of yourself.   If this kind of work is new for you, or you want to go deeper and need the right support,  I suggest finding an experienced guide–me, another coach, therapist or healer.    Besides working with you with these issues, I’d love to empower you by showing how to  do this work on your own.

Jump in and experiment.   Have  fun meeting your parts and dialoguing with them, and let me know how it goes.

An easy way to  do this is by asking yourself when you get up, or during the day if you are getting stuck or bogged down, “What do I need right now? What part of me needs attention, and what does she   (this part) need?”.   Enjoy the discovery and the healing, and don’t hesitate to ask if you need additional support!

 

Humility—Could It be a Key to Your Prosperity?

The dominant model of success—which is fortunately beginning to shift in the age of the conscious entrepreneur – is about getting attention, standing out, and dominating in the marketplace.     It says we will succeed only by tooting our own horn and the louder the better!     What could be less humble than that?

On the other hand, the root of the word  humility is  â€humble.”   In its traditional meaning, which we associate with Christianity and other religious teachings, being humble implies modesty and being unassuming, or even the  kind of self-debasement where we make ourselves less than others.   How on earth could a quality like that be part of creating abundance and prosperity for yourself?

I propose a fresh look at humility to see how this quality actually supports our prosperity and well being, from the perspective of yoga teachings and the Sufi tradition.

On the yoga path, a key teaching is “You are not the doer”.   That means that while you may act and serve in various ways, you are a conduit through which Source energy is flowing and expressing itself.   You are not the ultimate cause of what happens, yet you are also responsible for your part in things.   Your  results come from a blend of self effort and grace.

With humility we can   take credit for our achievements and our failures too, while staying   aware that we are also actors on the cosmic stage of life, playing a part in larger trends and   in our individual and collective destinies.   So we can relax and surrender to the fact that  we aren’t completely in charge.   From there we can see that everything is  part of an interconnected web that takes into account  the greatest good for all souls–not just our personal needs and desires.

In the Sufi way, humility is actually a quality of the Divine, and it has to do with accepting a larger, unknowable destiny or grand scheme of life.   When someone has a great shift after you work with them, you may stand in awe and amazement, you may even feel humbled by the wisdom and resilience within the client, or by the power of the work itself—but you don’t take all the credit.   In the same way if you say something to a client that you realize later wasn’t so skillful, or that you haven’t been doing well with your marketing, that this is part of our journey and our learning, these seeming failures or disappointments, and we can correct our course at any time.

As a business owner, humility might mean looking closely at what is and isn’t working, and perhaps acknowledging where there are knowledge gaps about marketing or accounting, or even in your skills a as a practitioner.   Humility helps us see when it’s time to get help from a mentor, coach, friend or healer, learning program or an office assistant. It helps us to be compassionate when things take longer than we expect them to, and to accept that we are imperfect and don’t always know what to do.   We can step back from time to time and ask “is it time to change course here, or what else is needed.

In terms of money and prosperity, humility can help us to be at peace with what is.   We learn to accept what our current situation is and flow with it, even though we may prefer and work towards more prosperity.   Humility here helps us to acknowledge when there appears to be a defeat or setback, that there is a bigger picture, even if we can’t see what it is in the moment, and also to ask for help to change what we can change, and accept and live with what can’t be changed—the serenity prayer.

So for your peace of mind AND prosperity, try a little dose of humility.   You might be surprised!