Making money is a challenge that faces everyone these days - we must have a job, or a business to earn a livelihood, and in so many cases this makes us lose track of our deeper, spiritual, or conscious approach to life. Business done in a conscious, spiritual manner is very important. We all spend so much of our time in work and business that only when we can make this truly a part of our spiritual life can we really live in a spiritual way. Only then can the whole of our life be about happiness, and connection and love.
I did not find this challenge easy - I was not naturally good at work or business, in fact i was naturally quite bad at it, but I am naturally good at spirituality and oneness, and I have spent some time exploring methods of applying spiritual wisdom to this problem. The conclusion i have come to is 3 basic principles of conscious business that allow us to be successful through sharing, and helping each other, not through competition and selfishness.
Principle 1: Centring
In ordinary business people talk about motivation - getting up in the morning with energy to start the day. People motivate themselves in different ways, many times through desire, ambition - feelings that take us away from our deep inner peace. To do this in a conscious way we need to find how our inner peace can motivate us, how we can be so at peace and in joy - so deep in the spiritual experience of love that it makes us bounce out of bed, and into action. This is indeed possible, and there are many people who find this kind of inspired, way of living, and some times it can be seen in a very simple way - where do you find that inner peace? that joy and connection to the divine? To many this will be obvious and natural, but there are many others who have trouble finding this and need a little guidance on the path.
One of the difficulties is that different people find it in different ways, so that what works for one may not work for another, and so advice and guidance is often not very useful. What i have found is that an easy way to find your centre is to look through the 7 energy centres of the body - the chakras as they are known in yoga, or the plexii as they are known in the west. They are not necessarily anything strange or esoteric - they are just the places in the body where we feel different feelings - love in the heart, fire in the belly, confusion in the head etc. If you look through these centres can you find one where you find peace? One which leads you to being relaxed, and open. Other centres may have more going on in them, but this one will always contain peace and love and connection.
This experience of centring fills us with joy, because it is through this centre that we find our connection to the divine - in different ways - from the top of the head we connect to the divine in a way that feels like prayer and faith, from the heart in a way that feels like compassion and contentment, from the belly in a way that feels like ecstatic love - each in their own way creating a divine loving experience. These different centres have led to the development of the many different spiritual traditions and religions - each tradition approaching divine love in a different way. And because this truly is a feeling of love that flows through us, it also begins to connect us up to the other people around us in loving relationships, and this is leads to the development of positive, supportive relationships - people who will gladly help you in your journey.
Principle 2 - Flow
Now that you have found your inner joy this may help you to get up in the morning with motivation, but it doesn't guide you what to do during the day - how do we know what activities are going to help us and move us forward to worldly success, and which activities are not? We can be strategic about it - create a brilliant plan and follow it, but here again we often lose track of our inner spirit and spiritual connection in the process, and sell out to greed and commercialism. We want something more - a way that is more in line with the spirit of loving joyous service. This way is called "flow". Flow is what happens when you put your inner spiritual love and joy into action - you serve others in a way that is easy, inspiring, joyous, that communicates that love and joy while you do your work.
Now this kind of flowing action is not always easy to find - it is not always the most sensible practical thing we can do - it is the thing that our souls call out to do, and may take some soul searching to find. Look for the joy in action, try things out until you find how you express in that way.
Some people need a more detailed, practical way of finding their flow, and so another approach is to get to know your personality type - how extroverted you are, how introverted, and to understand from that the kind of actions that would keep you in flow. This can be useful and i hope to write some more about it later on, but the basic principle is to find that flowing joyous action, and if you truly look for it you will find it.
This flow has several benefits. It keeps you joyous and motivated, it energises you so that you can do a lot of work without tiring, and because your spiritual connection is flowing through that action it is also inspiring for others - it touches the people around you, and thus whatever you do has far more impact, and is far more inspiring and interesting for others. When you have found your flow you naturally create a lot of value for others - you help in ways that are highly appreciated, and so it is natural for you to be able to get better jobs, and to get paid well for your work, but it is still not enough to create a truly flourishing business.
Principle 3 - Collaboration
If you were not to think about spirituality and consciousness, but just to think about money then at this point you would be thinking of how to sell your service, marketing, strategy etc. Now it is not wrong to think about these things, but if we are to truly express our spiritual potential to serve and love others then these are not the first things that come to mind, and the focus will start somewhere else - which is building community. And the first and most important aspect of community for your business is finding your team - By yourself you have some skills and some weaknesses - you may be good at producing beautiful things, but not at selling them, you may be good at making things popular, but not at keeping things organised etc. I once met someone who was amazingly good at finding jobs - she could get a new job in a day or at the most 2, but she could never keep the jobs - she was surrounded by people who were good at keeping jobs, but not at finding them. It is unfortunate that she did not find jobs for other people - that would have avoided the problem altogether.
In this same way everyone finds that there are elements of their business that they are good at, and elements that they are not - so in order to really go places you need a team, a good team to start with is 5 people - you and 4 others who believe in the same goals that you believe in and want to see each other succeed - this can be people with their own similar businesses, or people who want to build a business together, or people who come from the same village and want to see their village prosper, or even 5 people who want similar jobs. Whatever it is the power of this group is to help each other to be greater than any individual is by themselves.
Forming the team is only the beginning of course - the team needs to operate as a team, to cooperate and help each other, to build a sense of common vision. To learn to cooperate and to build things together, and gradually your team will grow - there will be more people who want to help, and there will be your customers, the people that you serve, and each of those will be part of your business in some way - connected and supporting it to grow, and so the business now becomes a community. As you can strengthen the partnerships, collaborations and teamwork and community your business will flourish in ways that you individually never could have created.
More to come
In this article i have introduced three basic principles for conscious business - I hope to write some more detail about each of these principles so that you can put them into practice, and perhaps we can get more into depth with further principles that can help with the development of your business community.