What does your life depend on? What is feeding and sustaining your soul?
This question came from reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s Altars in the World. It is so thought provoking. My first reaction was on some days pain killers, caffeine and sugar are what keeps me functioning. But that isn’t the question. What is SAVING my life? For me right now, it’s meditation and prayer. It’s times of quiet reflection and meaningful conversations with like-minded lovers of God. The answer will be different for you – and that is as it should be. The answer will be different for me next week. But the question is one worth considering again and again. What are we holding on to? What feeds our spirit? How are we Taking Care?
[Excerpted from Your Belief Quotient: 7 Beliefs that Sabotage or Support Your Success]
Abundance is the belief that there is more than enough. In an abundant universe, you have plenty of time, money, health, energy and wisdom. Abundance is the knowledge that you can give it all away and there will still be enough for yourself. Abundance expands with heartfelt gratitude and humility. At its core, an abundance mentality springs from a healthy sense of personal worth and builds on one’s personal and spiritual values. Dr. Stephen Covey coined the phrase “abundance mindset” in his best-seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. According to Covey, an abundance mentality is “a paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody.”1
Nature gives us wonderful examples of abundance, particularly in the growth cycle of trees and flowers. After a period of dormancy, a fruit tree bursts into blooms and is covered in an abundance of flowers. Wind and rain might buffet the tree and destroy many of the flowers. An average of 75% of the flowers will fall, but those buds remaining will eventually grow into fruit. A fruit tree is not designed to have every flower pollinate and grow into fruit. The tree does not have the resources to sustain every flower. The larger and stronger the tree’s branches and internal supports, the greater the capacity it will have to bear more fruit. Once the tree bears fruit, every piece of fruit contains seeds, and every seed contains an incalculable number of trees and fruit. This is abundance!
This illustration fits the human experience of abundance well. We also go through periods of dormancy. These periods are times of quiet growth and strengthening. During dormancy, a fruit tree rests and its sap slows. It is the perfect time to prune away dead branches and treat any disease. As humans, we need time to pull back and reflect on what needs pruned away. We need time to heal and refresh. The end of dormancy comes after the tree has been exposed to chilling temperatures and the weather begins to warm. People awaken and grow as they warm up to new ideas and opportunities. Tree growth during the spring is dependent upon the quality and quantity of sunlight, water, and soil. Our growth as individuals is equally dependent on how we feed ourselves: body, mind and spirit. Abundance requires preparation. Once those flowers begin to emerge from the branches, only the most resilient survive to become fruit. The initial beauty of the petals fall away as the fruit emerges and ripens. The intoxicating sweetness of fully matured fruit arrives after being warmed by the summer sunlight. Wind, rain, and heat are metaphors for the challenges we must face to grow and be prepared for abundance. Once we begin to bear fruit in our lives, we witness firsthand the ever expanding cycle of abundance.
I go into the detail of the growth cycle of fruit trees for a purpose: Abundance does not magically appear. There are myths circulating that we can engage in wishful thinking and expect abundance to appear. This is simply not true. That is not to say that abundance, when it occurs is not surprising. Manifesting abundance can seem magical, but it is always the result of a cycle of preparation. It is my intention to help you understand how to be ready to receive abundance in your life. Your beliefs about abundance are crucial to your success in life and business.
For years, it was considered impolite to discuss religious views or politics over dinner, and it was inappropriate to talk about personal or spiritual values at work. But people are ready for change!! There is a strong trend toward “consciousness”. Consciousness, according to Webster’s, is the capacity to observe, choose, and act in accord with your values. And “conscious business” means applying your personal and spiritual values at every level of your work: in being aware of the needs of others and expressing your own—in seeing the hidden emotional obstacles that may be holding your team back—in making good decisions under pressure—and even in delving into such “spiritual” questions as “Who am I?” and “What is my real purpose here?”
In researching companies for his book, A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America, business professor Ian I. Mitroff found that “Spirituality could be the ultimate competitive advantage.” A study reported in MIT’s Sloan Management Review concluded that, “People are hungry for ways in which to practice their spirituality in the workplace without offending their co-workers or causing acrimony.” The word “spirituality” is used generically and seems to emphasize how one’s beliefs are applied day to day, rather than “religion”, which can invoke fears of dogmatism, exclusivity and proselytizing in the workplace. Rather than compartmentalizing your beliefs apart from your day to day practices, you are able to be a fully integrated, fully expressed human being.
Becoming more conscious in business requires courage and an open mind. If you’re ready to make that leap—and start turning your work into something that cultivates your intelligence, creativity, and integrity — a Conscious Business Coach might be just what you need!