I’ve recently been promoted to multi-site branch manager, which means I am now managing two branches for a large financial institution. While I’m extremely excited about this new venture, I’ve been struggling with maintaining my practice of mindfulness in the workplace. My thinking has been scattered and I feel myself not being grounded or tuned in to the present moment. I decided I should meditate on this. During my morning meditation, it came to me: This is a test! This is a test to see if I can maintain my mission of bringing peace, love and spirituality to the workplace when more and more tasks are asked of me, when I have more employees to lead, when I have more goals to meet.
I was guided to re-read my first book, “Hippiebanker” to see if it still holds up; to see if the principles and tools that I write about are still viable. I read Chapter Eight and Whoa! It hit the nail on the head. I’ll be practicing the concepts this week and also the three intentions I outline in it.
I thought I would share with you this chapter, as I’m sure we all need to be reminded of this beautiful concept. It comes from the “Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age” and if you’ve never heard this term, here’s a short summary:
Yogi Bhajan, Spiritual Teacher and Master of Kundalini Yoga, shared five principles called The Five Sutras of the Aquarian Age. Sutras are spiritual concepts reduced to one sentence which are simple, yet deep and profound. They are literally words to live by.
FIRST SUTRA OF THE AQUARIAN AGE
RECOGNIZE THAT THE OTHER PERSON IS YOU
So what does “recognize that the other person is you” mean, and how can you apply it to your workplace? I believe it means that when you find yourself in a situation where you don’t see eye to eye with someone else at work – whether it be your co-worker, your boss or your employee – recognize that person is you. What you don’t like about a situation or a person is actually a reflection of you, and has nothing to do with them. Before you get angry with that person, stop and meditate on the situation. Ask your inner guide, the Universe, why this situation came into being. People and situations come into your life as assignments. They are here to teach us and help us grow.
When we are in conflict with a situation or a person, it’s usually an area which we are still working on. We think we have it resolved; however, when we see it in another person, it brings to light the fact that it is still unresolved within ourselves. Whenever you decide to act on a fear-based impulse of not agreeing with a co-worker or causing a conflict, you are differentiating yourself from the other person and creating a separation.
So what does “creating a separation” mean? When we think we are special or above someone, or think someone else is special or above us, we have created a division between us and them. We have put ourselves or someone else on a pedestal, when really we are all the same. We are actually each other’s mirrors. The other person actually reflects the shadow parts of our self.
When we can begin to grasp this concept and embrace it, we can then move into oneness. We can shine the Light on the situation and move forward. We are no longer better or worse than our co-workers, our peers, our supervisor. We are all equal. Once we recognize this equality – this oneness – we can move from the mentality of “it’s all about me” and start moving towards “we are all one.” It’s more than just trying to see the other person’s point of view; it’s actually looking deeper and recognizing that the other person IS you. When we can embrace this concept, all defenses come down. The walls between each other crumble and we can come from a place of love. It certainly is a much better work environment and the tension in the air dissipates. Now, mind you, not everyone is going to come to this realization quickly. Most people are used to conflict at work and have dealt with it for years in their own way.
If you want change, you are going to have to start with yourself. As Gandhi said, “Be the change.” Start a new way of thinking. It begins with you.
It’s time to look in the mirror and be open to non-judgmental self-reflection.
It’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself in order to better yourself so you can help others…and that’s what we are here to do if we have committed to being a spiritual activist at work.
OUR INTENTIONS THIS WEEK
1. When a situation arises where you don’t see eye to eye with a co-worker, try and remove yourself from the situation and go to quiet place.
Before you allow your ego to take control, do a meditation or affirmation on clearing your throat chakra. We each have seven chakras, which simply put are energy centers in our bodies through which energy flows. Your throat chakra is the center that governs your speech and expression. Ask the universe to clear the way to allow you to speak your truth with ease in a loving manner. Ask why is this situation coming into being and what am I here to learn? Ask how can I become one with this person? Your inner guide will lead you to the answer. Breathe and come from a place of Love.
2. Begin the process of moving from a “me” mentality to a “we” mentality.
Reflect on why we put others on a pedestal or why we think we are above others. What qualities do they have that are lacking in you? Why do we think we are special? Begin to perceive others as our sisters and brothers who are on the same journey to enlightenment as we are. Some are farther along the path and some are struggling to catch up. We are all ultimately headed in the same direction and to the same place. Just because some of us are farther along doesn’t make that person better or worse. It’s not a race. If you were struggling, I’m sure you would want someone to pick you up and help you on the path. A true leader stops to help those around them that have fallen and gets them back on their feet again.
3. Hold Some Space.
Recently I’ve read about the practice of “holding space” for someone. It’s sitting with someone while they are going through a rough time and not trying to fix the problem, give advice or control the outcome. It’s about allowing that person to be vulnerable and weak without fear of being judged. Thus, we open our hearts and offer unconditional love and support without judgment. As for me, it’s about time I learn this beautiful concept and try holding space for the people in my life that I truly care about, whether it be my family or my co-workers. I encourage you to read more about this concept and practice holding space this week.
While you practice being non-judgmental with your co-workers this week, don’t forget to accept yourself for who you are. Be open and don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. We are all spiritual teachers in some form or another. We each have a unique story to tell and if we can truly recognize the imperfections in each other and rise above them, we will begin to change the world. Take time this week to really reflect on the First Sutra.
Don’t lower your vibration when an unpleasant situation arises at work. Remember to let your love send off so much positive energy that it shifts the vibrations in the room.
I’ll leave you with this quote from, of all things, a very profound walrus…”I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together”
We are all one. Namaste.
If you would like to practice with me, comment below and let me know how it goes this week