Whether you have a job, a career or a vocation, and whether you are employed, self-employed or own a business, there are ways to maximize both the level of your fulfilment from it and the value of your contribution.
To confine spirituality to a place of worship or the hour of contemplation, and think of it as a separate part of life, makes life look and feel fragmented, which means that only a small part of our psyche shows up in each area of life: we are kind in church, synagogue or mosque; we are engaged and skilled at work; we are creative in our leisure time and we are passionate with a partner. Integration allows us to become kind, engaged, skilled, creative and passionate in church, at work, at leisure and in relationships, living fully our humanity, and showing up to our fullest capacity in the world.
Here are three easy to apply tips, or practices, for integrating spirituality (that which is of ultimate concern) with your work (that which puts bread and butter on your table). I use the term “God” to name that which is loving-kind, wise, powerful, and has no beginning and no end, is infinite and eternal, and I do not use this term to refer to a mythical “God” – but if you prefer other name, you are welcome to replace “God” with “Always, Already”, “Big Mind”, “All-That-Is”, or any name that resonates with you. My purpose is to bring you to the integration of the Absolute and the Relative.
1. God as the object, “It”.
Before you start your work day, look around in your office or workplace, and quietly remind yourself that everything you see, hear, smell, taste and touch, are external manifestation of the infinite. The computer, desk, co-workers, clients, phone, office plants – all are finite objects arising from the infinite; they are form emanating from the formless. God, or Spirit is everywhere, and has appeared as everything: computer, desk, co-workers, clients, phone, office plants.
2. A relational God: “We”
God is Love, and Love is infinite, wise, and powerful; Love seeks to know itself as itself through relationships, and thus, all exchanges and transactions are potentially expressions of love. Look, or imagine you are sitting across from your co-workers or clients, and silently imagine that the person facing you is a symbol of this infinite Love, and you are developing a relationship with them. Quietly bless the other, and silently tell them: “I recognize you for the Divine Being that You Are. I care for you: how can I serve you best? What do you need from me?” Imagine or sense the flow of love filling the space between self and other, the “We-space”. This practice alone will transform the quality of your work relationships, and of your service or enterprise.
3. God in first person: I work as the embodiment of Kindness.
As you face your co-worker or client, imagine that the boundaries between Self and Other blur, and all that is left in the “We-Space” between you and him or her, is pure Love. Love is wise and powerful and you are all that. Affirm quietly in your mind: “I Am at one with Love, Wisdom and Power. I work and serve as the embodiment of Love, Wisdom and Power: what is the kind, appropriate and empowering way to approach my work today?” If you are experienced at your job, my guess is that you already have skill; this practice will pair your skill with the kindness, wisdom and power which is the very essence of your true Being.