Corporate by day, a hippie carrying crystals and doing moon ceremonies by night. Why does it have to be one or the other?
People are often surprised when they find out about some of my more ‘woo woo’ beliefs. It’s as if they can’t reconcile my corporate job and how I look on the outside, with the fact that I believe in things like psychics, universal guidance, numerology and karma.
For a while this made me feel guilty (I’m an anxious perfectionist, so this isn’t unusual!). I felt like a spiritual fraudster knowing that really the corporate world is all made up, but I wanted to be a part of it anyway. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised these two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We all have many facets of our personality and certain elements can be dialed up or down depending on the context. It’s not like I’m walking through the office dousing all my colleagues with a sage brush and trying to burn incense at the water cooler, (although I do have a crystal on my desk, nobody seems to have noticed). After all, without my corporate job I couldn’t afford to attend meditation retreats, go to yoga classes or shop in Whole Foods.
Ironically, the more in touch I have gotten with the spiritual side of my personality, the more successful I have been in my career. There are many benefits we get from being more in touch with the universe that actually help us in the corporate world. Here are just a few:
I used to get overwhelmed with deadlines and suffer from insomnia because I’d be worried about a presentation or a task I had to finish. Nowadays I have a much stronger feeling that everything happens for a reason and I’m on the right path, even if it doesn’t feel like it. This greater level of reassurance means I’m calmer, better under pressure and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Empathy and understanding of others
Those who know me know how impatient I am. I plough through tasks at the speed of light and used to get frustrated when others couldn’t keep up or didn’t do things how I wanted them done. Yoga has taught me much more empathy for others and that everyone has different strengths. I’m also fascinated with the accuracy of numerology in explaining our personalities. The more I understand my team, the better I can manage and motivate them.
Increased clarity and creativity
The more I’m able to switch my monkey mind off, the better it seems to work when I want to turn it on. I have to admit that I really struggle with meditation, so I switch off by absorbing myself completely in tasks that I enjoy such as cooking, dancing or making things. The less ‘background noise’ in my mind, the easier I find making business decisions and coming up with new ideas.
Less time off
It goes without saying that eating well and doing yoga regularly helps with our physical, as well as our mental well being. This results in less time off sick and better productivity. So the companies we work for benefit just as much as us (probably why so many companies are introducing yoga into the work place!)
If nothing else, spiritual beliefs make us interesting. I like being quirky and love talking to people with beliefs and stories even more far fetched than mine. It sounds like a cliché but it’s true that there’s nobody else in the world with exactly the same interests as us – so we shouldn’t need to hide them or worry that we can’t carry crystals in our designer handbags. It’s just now I know that the designer handbag won’t make me happy….