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Spirituality today (work & kiddos)

Spirituality can really light up some people’s debate side! Especially when we talk about it in the work or school sense. It does happen to be one of the known factors that help keep adults and youth grounded to others and feeling connected rather than isolated.

So how do we look at spirituality in a light that does not isolate or offend people who see differently than we do? The philosopher Socrates taught his students how to develop their own conclusions on some matters that were less tangible as he could not teach what he didn’t accept himself, so in allowing his students to develop their own conclusions, they were freely thinking and in turn, helping to develop further thoughts on his own conclusions. This is what we hope to see our employees and team members doing in an ideal situation, no matter the topic, however we typically lack the facilitation skills to allow this to come to fruition in most cases.

Spirituality is anything that lifts your spirit or makes you feel connected to something bigger than yourself. Also known as mindfulness, meditation, prayer, gratitude, even rituals. Where is a place you feel spiritual? What lifts your spirit? Do you have a gratitude journal practice? Studies show that gratitude or thankfulness changes the chemical makeup of our brains. Joining in a 21-day gratitude practice with our family, peers, or teams can make an actual change in our bodily makeup. For students, studies show that test scores improve when the first question on the test is to list something they are grateful for or thankful for. The reasoning behind which because you cannot be anxious and thankful at the same time. Our brains cannot process both simultaneously. So, can you challenge the thought that all parts of the spectrum of life are equally spiritual?

Today, the separation of spirituality is much more drastic than it was even when I was brought up. However, as I coach more and more today, I think that the real division is the acknowledgment of how each of us views spirituality. The separation of secular (human/ common) and sacred (spiritual) isn’t as far of a stretch as many believe it is. Many people are working today to be more present in the moment. More present with their family, more present in their work, more present in their relationships. They are seeking more community than ever before. They are seeking a harmony between the things in life that bring them peace and the ability to breathe deeper. That doesn’t mean there is a deity that is the same for everyone, it means a grace and connection among others to strive for better.

In business, we can connect this back to our mission statement. If you reflect on the mission statement of the business you own, or work for, can you say that you lead to those values? I have heard companies want to revamp mission statements (and sometimes they need to be) but in a lot of cases, especially generational companies, those mission statements need to be revisited and discussed to see why the company has strayed or what has changed so drastically that you would need a new mission statement completely. What about a family mission statement? Do you have one? Do you need one? My kids and I always pick a word for the year…. When things get rough, we go back to the word and regroup. For younger adolescent kids, this was a great idea given to me because it was always a new view, they could express pertaining to what was important to their current experiences. More importantly, we took a negative message and turned it into a positive one, even when the negative message was easier to say and hear.

We have a generation of workers that is coming into the workforce with a less materialistic outlook on life. While some may say that the materialistic things in life lack dignity and cause clutter, others may say they are seeking satisfaction in a different way. They are more ok with a stillness and calmness that many people can’t say they know how to find or seek for themselves. Dr Dwayne Dryer says “The muddiest water clears as it is stilled. And out of stillness, life arises.”

How do you find a spirituality for yourself that gives you calm? Maybe it is in your church and religion. Maybe it is on a yoga mat or sitting under a waterfall. Cuddling with your dog or in a saddle on a horse. Reflection and inner calm is something that we must be able to find and hear in order to do our best, authentic work. To be ok with ourselves and our work is a journey. We do our best to show up for others, professionally and personally, when we know how to be still and quiet with ourselves first.

*For questions about facilitating open employee discussions or coaching on presence please reach out to an OCG coach via our contact form.


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