The Business of Spirituality

Wide Open Spaces of the Field.

Wide Open Fields.

We wake up to discover we are sheep, following the herd, following old conditioning, old belief systems, old behaviour patterns. We wake up from this sheep dream through a variety of ways: an accident or illness, a dark night of the soul, a group meditation or class. We discover energy healing or art, journaling morning pages or yoga. We listen to the teachings of others who seem to have found joy, happiness and healing. We leap from our pen and are so excited by the leap, impressed by our courage to make the jump, our willingness to change ourselves and our lives, that we don’t look where we leap.

We fail to notice we have leapt from one pen into another. It may have “awakening” engraved on the sign on the gate and perhaps the sheep are bright and shiny, fluffier than the last pen, but they are still sheep and still penned.

When we recover our joy, our happiness, and our feeling of freedom, particularly from a specific method – yoga, meditation, energy healing – we are delighted to claim we have found our purpose.

“I am a healer!” we exclaim. And take off on our journey of healing others the same way we healed ourselves. Some soar with this journey while others struggle to make a go of it, finding less fulfillment than hoped and little ability to pay the bills. We end up with a large sector of work in the healing arts when perhaps that was never supposed to be the outcome.

We can’t have everyone wake up and ditch their existing industries to become healers, competing with one another for business and trying to make ends meet after leaving a job that they may well have been skilled at.

Spiritualize the industry you’re in. If an unhappy accountant finds happiness, health and vitality through qigong, continue the qigong, tell others about it, and share that vitality with the accounting industry and with your clients. We need happy, healthy, whole accountants.

If yoga brings you more grace, peace, ease, flexibility – both in body and thought – bring that state into your work. If meditation heals your grief and allows you to find compassion for others, don’t pull that quality from the place you are in.

We are talking about those who wake up to discover there are intangible forces and who choose to connect with these forces for greater healing, creativity, and happiness. We don’t all need to suddenly start a business of reiki, yoga, or angel readings. Perhaps these same avenues that bring us wellness also awaken talents, interests, and gifts we had in childhood: a desire to teach, or design buildings, or cook for others.

Perhaps we connect with these intangible forces in meditation and see great blueprints for new designs. Or in qigong, and make nourishing meals for others. Or through yoga, and teach school and inspire young minds. Perhaps we simply connect in the home, nurturing ourselves and our families.

Jumping out of a mindset is one thing. Jumping into believing you have to now make that jump a business, your work, or the way to support your family, is quite another. And there is a large pen of sheep following a model that says this is what they are meant to do. This is the right way to do spirituality.

Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water. ~ Zen Proverb

In fact there is an entire industry, the Business of Spirituality, that has laid out steps to make you a successful healer, coach, self-help guru. Be careful here. Step with awareness, or you may step into a steaming pile of… And be careful you are not the one serving up that pile. It is not that the intent is malicious, but that we were too excited by the jump that we forgot to land with awareness. We thought the work was done, we’d found our purpose. We were on our way. No more wood-chopping for us. The buzz words are there, the lure of altruistic work, receiving abundance from our well-invested efforts. It is another pen. It has become yet another industry that requires evolution.

Use your spirituality to feed you, to nourish you and those around you. You don’t need a 10-step program to learn how to market it. If you want one and enjoy it, carry on. If, however, selling these services creates substantial struggle in your life, or you have convinced yourself you need to build a business out of it, perhaps you are captive in another pen. Give yourself permission to consider your place in the tribe and what feels right for you. Spirituality is a being not a doing. It is a quality you bring to everything you do.

Take your new-found wholeness, freedom, happiness, creativity, sense of purpose, and share it in ways that gently evolve the industry you are in. That ripple out into your life, your family, your community in a way that nourishes everyone.

Of course if practicing yoga daily also happens to awaken your immense gift for painting, go with it. Perhaps you make your living from it, perhaps it simply brings you further joy, creativity and health.

Be a patient practitioner of peace. In whatever industry you find yourself. Merge your new openings with your existing training and expertise. Create new pathways to do your best work and inspire others to do theirs. Be a healing force in whatever you do. In this way we create a world of compassionate industry, evolutionary business, and healthy work places.

There is a growing number merging their newly discovered talents with their existing training or work, creating new fields or simply offering the best of what they have to give.

Perhaps we need not take so big a leap from the pen, but only lift our heads and find the gate, leaving it open for others to venture if they choose.

Marianne Williamson opened the gate wide and walked out onto the scarred pasture of politics. Into an industry in desperate need of spiritualization. Of compassion, elevation, and evolution. She takes her connection with the intangible into an arena that needs a connection to new creativity, new information, transformation.

John Henry in the movie Moneyball says how the first guy through the wall always gets a little bloody. If you like what you do and you believe in who you are, then don’t run from a job you like, don’t hide out among fluffier, whiter sheep. Don’t be afraid to use your healing practices to support you in the evolution of your own industry. And don’t feel you need to get bloody going through the wall. Lift your head and look for the gate.

You can be a healer. And an accountant. How happy your clients will be to have both a bright mind and spirit helping them with their financial struggles and successes.

If you do not know where to start – although I suspect a voice inside is already whispering to you – begin by asking the question, “Where is the gate? Show me the gate.”

I’ll see you in the field.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.”

~ Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi 



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