Spirituality and business – do they mix?
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Recently we encountered a delightful New York native who has a penchant for all things Cali – a journalist by trade who once wrote a book on relationships and the struggle between men and women and what’s behind all of that. The book is entitled “Kaliening on the Road to Happiness” – self-published back in the 90s before the days of crowd-funding and eBooks, and it happens to have a lot to do with spirituality – a subject that draws Adrianne Murchison even to this day, so much so that it led her to start and host the “Let’s Start Healing Podcast.” Adrianne and I had an enlightening conversation on her podcast this week which prompted the question: does or can spirituality and business mix?
Personally, I think you can’t separate the two. Though we have separation of “church and state” through our government, generally talking about religion is taboo in the business world and Sundays are still “the most segregated day in America,” we are all still spiritual beings at the end of the day and we carry our spirit with us wherever we go. We don’t stop being spiritual beings just because we’re at work or pitching a client. And that goes for whatever you happen to think of the word “spirit” or “spiritual.” However you happen to regard it, there’s no denying that we all have it and are it. As Adrianne puts it in our YouTube interview of her, you may not call any such higher force in your life “God” per se, maybe you call Him Allah, Yaweh or Jehovah. Maybe you feel God is a woman, or black, or white, or devoid of color or ethnicity all together (as I tend to think). You may not even believe in God at all. But perhaps you commune with nature, or you feel you are a “spiritual person.” Maybe you don’t pray or you consider yourself agnostic or atheist – but you recognize there’s something that connects all of us. Call it the Universe as some say. Whatever it is and however you may label or not label it, I find it hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t acknowledge that Something is there – in, around, through all of us – and our soul is real.
Because we cannot separate ourselves from our spiritual being – because we are spiritual beings – we are ourselves wherever we go. We can’t help it. And that has a spillover into how we conduct business. How we lead teams, how we interact with and treat our clients. How we prioritize our day. Our spirituality – whether we embrace it, welcome it, shun it, attempt to hide it or ignore it all together – is still a part of us. And though we may not engage (nor should we, necessarily) in the practice of openly sharing our thoughts about it in the business world, how we regard it and the role it plays in our lives can show up undeniably for us with those we interact with.
For several weeks now, we’ve been reading “The Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs” by Hal Elrod and Cameron Herold – a book that is centered around practicing the “Life S.A.V.E.R.S.” acronym every morning. SAVERS stands for: Stillness, Affirmations, Vision, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. Sounds like a heck of a lot to do each morning – and it is – which is why the book is about becoming a morning person (i.e. waking up earlier) to be able to start your day in this way. The SAVERS can be done in as little as 6 minutes in a pinch (1 minute for each component) or in a full 60 minutes. So far, when I can get up early enough to devote an hour to the practice, I like about 20-25 minutes for meditation (i.e. stillness), 5 minutes for reading through my affirmations (ones I created specific to myself), 5 minutes to consider my lifelong vision and how that connects with the visualization for my day today, 5 minutes for some quick exercise, 20 minutes for reading and 10-20 minutes for “scribing” (i.e. writing). So it is a little bit over an hour on a perfect morning, but I LOVE it. I never have a bad day when I have a Miracle Morning. Combined with my Grateful Journal at night, I’m having the best days of my life – no matter what happens to me or what my current circumstances are.
The “stillness” portion of the SAVERS acronym has been particularly beneficial. This is totally spiritual and centering. Emptying and clearing your mind completely has something powerful in it. It gives you peace for your day. Writing in my Grateful Journal makes me mindful of all the things to be grateful for throughout the day – so that even getting caught in typical ATL gridlock on the way to a meeting becomes an exercise of peace and joy. Bad attitudes from others becomes an opportunity to practice grace, acceptance, even enlightenment or healing. Perhaps, even, the chance to bring joy to someone else’s day.
Adrianne and I chat further about how spirituality also effects the book I’m currently writing – #TheScotlandBook – as well as my business, The ADS Agency. I’d love for you to listen to her podcast interview of me and also my interview of her on YouTube. And let me know your comments below: what place, if any, do you feel spirituality has in business?
Andrea D. Smith