Like any aspect of your life, your business is a mirror through which you can experience both the things you love and the things you don’t – your cravings and aversions, the natural unfolding of your joy… and the things that thwart it.
I was fascinated to read a blog post in Ode Magazine today about how “the biggest spiritual challenge of your life is opening a business“. I 100% agree with the author, Luca, that business can be a powerful part of our spiritual journey.
Like Luca, I’ve experienced challenges and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth in many facets of my business life. Here’s one issue that I got thinking about today:
Knowing that the best businesses are those aligned with a higher purpose, I would always meditate deeply around the inception of a project. So I would often have what I felt was a “divinely inspired idea”… It was true to my heart, true to my soul… a business idea that would surely help make the world a better place.
Conceived, as it was, in that meditative atmosphere… I always intended that the entire thing would unfold in a graceful manner – from conception to planning to implementation… I would let every action arise from the same effortless place that the original idea arose from… There would be challenges, sure, but if I stayed in alignment, I truly believed that the whole project, even the challenges, could have a deeper sense of “ease” within them.
But a few months down the track I would catch myself out.
Crap! Done it again! I would find myself struggling in a mire of stuff and “efforting” like crazy. Despite my promise to myself at the conception of the project that I would be true to the effortless action throughout. (Please get that I have no problem with effort – but I’m speaking here of a particular kind of effort which is doing, doing, doing… without ever really stopping to connect with your heart.)
Have you ever experienced this? Ever wondered why something started out so magical, easy and blessed… then turned into such a struggle?
I certianly have. Looking back, here’s what I think happened:
My “small self“… my thinking mind or my ego, you could call it (the part of me that thinks it knows everything and is fine thanks and no, I don’t need to deal with any emotions about this thank-you-very-much!) would, at the first sight of some challenge in the project, decide that this was its opportunity to shine in the spotlight and “rescue me” from my own grace-born plan.
Because challenges in business are so often tied up with core survival issues about putting food on the table , my “ego” must have felt the need to co-opt these divinely inspired ideas in order to protect me from the pain of facing those survival fears head on.
Despite that the same spiritual essence that has given birth to all things, gave birth to this idea… the ego somehow felt that it was responsible for carrying the idea out. For manifesting it. As if it didn’t trust that same graceful presence that had the idea to follow it through.
I can’t say I am completely free of this pattern. In truth, my ego is a sneaky bugger, and it seems to be addicted to trying to take control of my life. But I can say I see it more clearly now when it attempts to take over. And I believe I catch it sooner too. I can also say that witnessing these meddlesome ego games is sorta entertaining (when it’s not devastating).
Holding the mirror to your business: Who’s in control?
I remember the beautiful words of Osho: “See god opening millions of flowers every day, without ever forcing the buds.” Wouldn’t it be exquisite to be able to trust your business to flower like that…
Here’s some ideas for a spiritual audit of your business right now… Remember – it’s very important to read and answer these questions with compassion for yourself, and for the world 🙂
- Are you leaning on the higher power, the infinite intelligence, the creator and sustainer of all life – whatever it may be – when you’re needing inspiration? Or do you go looking for it in your own head?
- Are you asking the source for help with your marketing? Or are you ticking boxes on a dead-and-boring marketing plan template you donwloaded from somewhere?
- Are you seeing the face of god in your clients, customers and colleagues – no matter what kind of a day they are having? Or do you sometimes feel like “if only I didn’t have to do this, then I could spend more time in spiritual reflection”?
- When things get stressful at work, does your spiritual practice grind to a halt, or pick up the pace?
- You probably have transcendental moments when you are in service to your clients, but do you ever have them while doing your tax? HAs it ever occured to you that if everything is divine, that means the tax system is too?
… That’s a start, and perhaps you could think of some others….?
Does any of this hit a nerve or ring a bell?
I look forward to reading your answers.