I am often asked what I mean when I refer to spirituality or the soul in the context of life at work, at home, at play, or in relationship. This is what I mean.
For me, soul or spirit (and I will use them interchangeably from now on) describes the Essential, Innate Force or Energy that lives within each human being. Being soulful or spiritual, then, means living one’s life according to a deeper meaning that results from a lifelong practice of self-reflection, inquiry, and exploration.
Nobody, to my knowledge, lives life spiritually 24/7/365. However, many spiritual people experience moments of joy, communion, connection, love, compassion, gratitude, silence, etc. in which they “transcend” their ego self-personality. In this spiritual place, these people experience a kind of “knowledge”, a kind of “connection” with the entire Universe where they access a “wisdom”, where they really “see” life from this dimension or broader perspective, where all ego-based “masks” and false appearances fall away. These moments are not “mental”. These moments are more like being “in the zone” where we know how to do, be, and have, but not from a “mind” driven perspective. In this place, we are “out of our mind”.
Spirituality in the “real world”
Experiencing the soul or spirituality in the real world, at 9:00 on Monday morning, means treating others with dignity and respect, kindness and compassion. It means that we respect the world and everything in it, its abundance of plant and animal life, by not polluting, destroying or degrading the planet’s flora or fauna with our daily decisions about how we live and work. Spirituality means telling the truth, being self-responsible, responsible and direct with all those with whom we deal, at work, at home, at play and in relationships, acting with total transparency and honesty.
Soulfulness means coming from a place of balance and harmony, a balance or alignment between what we think, feel, say and do. And taking an Inner Focus to prioritize our lives – work life, family life, personal life – in search of activities that nurture and enrich every aspect of our lives. That we honestly, sincerely and self-responsibly choose to focus on the well-being of our mind, body and spirit.
Spirituality means that we choose to live life as stewards of the planet, that we come from a place of “we”, not “me”, and continually reflect and then act on what “we” want and need, how “we”. ” we want to be recognized and appreciated, and how “we” can contribute to the well-being of all of us. As delegates, we explore how we can make a difference for the common good and how we serve to improve the well-being of others.
Passion and purpose are hallmarks of the soul: our heart drives us and gives us direction. When we live from a heart-based place, we are direct, honest, sincere, and with integrity at work, at home, at play, and in relationships, without dishonesty, shortcuts, collusion, deception, or deception. We live from a place of joy, enthusiasm, appreciation, collaboration and community.
Ingenuity, inventiveness, imagination, discovery, creativity and innovation are moving and spiritual engines. We seek new ways of doing and being. We exude audacity and initiative. We are open to new ideas and are lifelong learners. Continuous self-awareness is paramount.
Finally, the soul and spirituality have to do with being aware, in our thoughts, words and actions. We seek a growing awareness of our motives and values. We are intentional at all times. We see the “truth” of what is happening and we know the difference between the “truth” and our projections and fantasies that we make believe to be the truth. Mindfulness is the lifelong process of increasing self-awareness about “who I am”, “how I am” and “what I am here to do with my life”, always seeking to bring our unconscious selves into consciousness.
My belief is that our lives at work, at home, at play, and in relationships are more honest and truly rewarding when we focus on the ethics, values, integrity, and principles that emanate from this place of soul or spirit.
So, some questions for self-reflection are:
- Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how does your spirituality manifest in your life at work, at home, at play, and in relationships?
- Have you ever felt like you want to make a difference? If so, what would that difference look like?
- Do you feel like your self-esteem is defined by your net worth?
- What do you feel the planet demands of you?
- Are you a change maker? How is that?
- How do you nourish your mind, body and spirit?
- Does your life reflect harmony?
- What don’t you know about yourself?
- Do you ever reflect on your spiritual nature?
- What is necessary for your spiritual growth and development?
- Have you ever felt guilty for not doing the things necessary for your spiritual growth?
- How much time do you spend on self-reflection?
- How was your experience around spirituality (ie not religion or theology) as a child?
- Can you imagine a world where people’s motives and intentions are based on the spiritual?