Business is a spiritual practice.
There, I said it.
Business is a spiritual practice, requiring as much devotion, faith, hope, love & doubt as my belief in God. (Sometimes more.)
Even though my first memory of being moved by the divine happened at age eight. I wept in front of the Eucharist, deeply and self-consciously, in the third pew of a quiet Catholic church.
Even though I’ve responded to altar calls throughout my teens, being saved and saved and SAVED.
Even though I’ve read plenty of books about Judaism and Buddhism.
Even though I’ve rejected religion wholesale for over a decade, only to be broken open all over again at 32.
Even though I’ve found my inner guides, my spirit animals, and my psychic abilities, too.
Even though I’m seeking and seeking and growing and shaping my spiritual beliefs into little sculptures of light that keep me going every day.
Business is still the most spiritual thing I do.
When I wake up in the morning, I have to believe someone cares about what I’m doing. And why I’m doing it.
When I’m dreaming up new projects, I have to have tremendous faith in the process of bringing each one to life.
When I don’t feel like creating, I have to trust that the inspiration will come when I engage in the discipline of doing.
When I answer e-mails, I have to practice devotion to kindness, grace, and patience.
When money is tight, I have to trust that it will come.
When money is abundant, I have to remain focused enough to stay the course. To keep working and building and growing.
I have to have faith that this — all of this, every minute of this business thing — is worth it. Is building to something higher, stronger, better, deeper.
Spirituality and spiritual practices, religious rituals and devotion to God are unquestionably spiritual.
But consider, for a moment, that the practice of bringing your greatest talents to the world — and being rewarded for doing so — is the most spiritual work you can do.
(It’s so much easier to float on the surface. To do the busy work, to distract ourselves from our greatest gifts, isn’t it?)
When I say business, here, I’m not talking about dreaming up a three dollar product that you have manufactured in China and that you don’t give a shit about, bringing it to a worldwide audience to make a small fortune and retire to Fiji.
I’m talking about building a business by mining the depths of your soul.
Building an enterprise by waking up, showing up, and chipping away at your life’s work.
Though high tide, low tide, and all manner of life circumstances. Through waves of creativity and those days when you don’t feel you have an ounce left to give.
Business is a spiritual practice.
That’s why it’s so crucial to ask questions. Hard ones, deep ones, ones that hit you right in the gut.
If you’re having trouble earning, where are you fearful of letting others see your talents?
If you’re giving your work away for free, where and why do you fail to value what you do?
If you fail to celebrate your achievements, where do you need to cultivate gratitude? (And quiet?)
If your business doesn’t feel the slightest bit fulfilling any longer, what needs to shift?
If your devotion to your business is waning, which changes need to happen?
Which mental furniture needs to be moved around, refreshed, or donated in order to keep mining way down there, in the deepest darkest depths of yourself?
You already know the answers.
WE already know the answers, each one of us.
Our only job is to admit the answers to ourselves.
To get quiet, to let truths fall like atom bombs on the paths we’re walking.
And to take the next step. Into the mystery, with faith and hope and love and our ears tilted toward the divine for a whisper.
Because, contrary to popular belief, business is a spiritual practice.
Pssst! This very post inspired my book entitled Calling to the Deep: business as a spiritual practice. Check it out here.