290: Does Spirituality Belong at Work?

12 Minutes Read

If you've ever had a deep spiritual experience, then you know how disorienting it can be to return to "the real world" of business and meetings and money. 

How are we supposed to reconcile these seemingly distant parts of our lives, where one feels so sublime, inspired, and loving and the other can seem so harsh and cold at times?

We dive into this important question and more on this week's episode of the podcast. You will discover:

  • Why you don't have to leave your spiritual beliefs at the door and how to connect with them in a way that works for any situation
  • A question that can make your business more of a spiritual practice without needing to talk directly about spiritual things at work
  • How to use your company's vision and values to connect with your deepest convictions about life and the impact you want to have


To join a community of spiritually-minded business owners and leaders where you can let your hair down and connect authentically, join the Superabound Life membership here.

If you want support aligning your spiritual inspiration with your work in the world, we have openings for new VIP one-to-one clients. Learn more and book a consultation here.

Listen to this week's episode on Apple Podcasts here

Listen to it on Spotify here

Watch the video here

Full Transcript

Steve Haase  0:01  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase, where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You are listening to episode number 290. Does spirituality belong at work? Yes, folks, we are taking a bit of a different path. On the podcast today. We're diving into spiritual experience spiritual conviction, and what that looks like in work. What are some ways to bring it to work that are, as we talked about, in the episode, situationally appropriate, that means that this part of your life that is central, perhaps so important, or that you wish were more important, or were more present in your business actually plays a role there in a way that doesn't turn people off, but actually brings more of your energy, your spirit, to your life and to your work, hopefully, kind of bridging that divide that many of us have, between who we are in our quiet, still focused moments, and who we show up as when we are leading, when we are growing our business, the Community, the place where you can explore all of these ideas and get support with those questions and practices and ways to be more of yourself at your work is in the Superabound life community, we have created a very special place with classes, courses and community to support you, in this most important quest, this journey of self attunement, self unfolding, you can learn more and join us there at besuperabound.com/life. Let's dive in. We're going to talk about

Erin Aquin  2:04  
bringing your whole self to every situation, bringing your your spiritual life everywhere you go, not compartmentalizing it, and how to do that as a professional.

Steve Haase  2:22  
Because sometimes it's not appropriate, the full expression of all your inner beliefs, sometimes you just gotta be there to do the work. And a lot of people get hung up thinking, Well, I have to leave everything that's important to me at the door, when I sit down to do my work for most of my day, right? Most of my waking days is going to be spent doing something that's not aligned with who I actually am. That's a big problem, and we're going to

Erin Aquin  2:49  
solve it today, we're gonna solve it, we're gonna do our best. Okay, how about this, how about, we're gonna give you some things to consider. And then you can decide what is appropriate for you and your life. Because if you're new to especially if you're new to Superabound into the work that we do, nothing is here is ever meant to be prescriptive. We don't know your particular situation. We don't know what feels safe for you, what's aligned for you what the rules and regulations of your particular business or industry might be. So we can only offer you our perspective from our own lives from the lives of our clients. And hope that it gives you something to think about, especially if you are feeling like you really have to compartmentalize or you've maybe chosen the path of total authenticity, and it's not going your way. Which I've seen both. Okay, let's maybe talk about the first one. There was a period in my business where I was coaching, a lot of professionals, I may still coach a lot professionals, but a lot of entrepreneurs when I started to sort of transition the business out of pure relationship coaching and into working with entrepreneurs and business leaders. And you came on board. I went through this period of a couple of weeks where I would get on the phone with a client who you know, very impressive, had all of the, you know, awards and activations and that were the credit agencies citations. They're smarter than me. Clients are all very, very smart. But what was happening is one by one, not every single person but most of them. Were telling me that there was this kind of spiritual piece that they wanted to let in to their business. And I remember one one person I was working with a psychologist. She was very the leap into astrology. And she said, I want to bring this into a piece of my business, maybe not my mental health work, but like the business leadership work that I do, I want to, like allow this to be a piece. And I know not everybody's going to be into that. But like, I know there are people who are secretly buried deep into it. And she was so nervous about what that would look like, in her professional worlds and what people weren't going to think about her. And then the next person and the next person and the next person, we're all very afraid of the perception, in their, in their circles and in their worlds. And the funny thing for me witnessing, it was like, every single one of these people across all of these different industries is struggling with the same thing. Because they have been taught and sometimes for very good reason that their spiritual life should not have anything to do with their professional life.

Steve Haase  6:04  
Which I think is a disservice. Because the the mindset that you bring is split. Your spiritual experiences are often the most energizing, empowering, connecting affirming ones of your life. And to say that somehow, when you open the lid of your computer, as many of us do to start our day, or you show up in the office, that those need to be under the scenes being behind the scenes under the surface. It just feels suffocating. It feels the opposite of life affirming, it feels life denying to do that. And so I think the what we want to explore here and open up with you is how do you let those things shine through in a way that is situationally appropriate.

Erin Aquin  7:06  
Thank you for saying that. Because that is what I'm sitting over here kind of twitching in my seat about I have been on the receiving end, you know, as someone who's not part of a mainstream major religion, I have been on the receiving end of like, people kind of forcing their beliefs on me in situations where I didn't feel it was appropriate. And I think that that has probably caused a lot of us to not want to share those parts of ourselves because it felt really rude, insensitive. I think what you said even about like drinking of the, of the beverages on a, on a client call, it felt to me, you know, I, I am a witch I'm of the pagan faiths. I do consider myself religious but not in a way where I think that my religious beliefs should apply to everyone. I we don't, we're not like a religion where we try to convert people because it's actually really hard to be a witch, it's a lot of personal responsibility. We have I practice the religious part. So there's a lot of rituals and festivals, and it's a lot of work, beautiful practices, but it is not like a show up once a week and have someone say something motivating and inspiring and, you know, get your wafer and you're good. There's a lot of, there's a lot of work involved. But one of the tenants that I do really appreciate about most pagan religions I can't speak for everybody is that it's really something that people kind of come to on their own. And therefore, I don't think about my beliefs as the ultimate truth that I have to educate everybody else about. I think about them as the things that give me comfort and the beliefs that are most supportive to me in my life. And it's actually been really a beautiful asset to my business because I can see the perspective of other people with different spiritual beliefs with different religious beliefs. I get to be sort of a really open, often ignorant person who's not going to try to apply rules that I don't have in my life to other people. So it's actually been a really helpful and positive thing for me. But that doesn't mean that when people get on the phone for a coaching call that I'm over here saying Okay, well let's light your candle and your do your incense and call the spirits to our to our session today. Because there are people that were that would be very uncomfortable for them and That's not what they're asking me to do. Now, have I done protection meditations with clients at different times? When they've asked me? Yes, have I done? Use utilize different magical practices to like, help shift a pattern with people, when they've asked me? Yes. But it isn't something that I just come out and say, you know, we should just do some more of hunting today on you, like, let's not do the mindset work. Here, let's not do the strategy, I think what you need to be successful is a green candle and some frankincense. Let's just do that. Because that is not the context that wouldn't be situationally appropriate. So, having kind of been on the receiving end of some inappropriate, kind of forceful spiritual beliefs in a workplace, I am probably much more sensitive to not try to push my spiritual or religious beliefs on people even, you know, we have a membership called Superabound life, and I do teach some aspects of ritual and spiritual practice. And we do meditations from from the yoga world yoga practice, I know that those practices are not for everybody, but I make them available for the people who are interested in engaging with it, because I know that it's hard to sometimes find teachers,

Steve Haase  11:32  
one of our values and one of our like, core beliefs is that business is a spiritual practice. And so your work in the world, there is a perspective in which the sending of emails and the pitching of your services is an expression of your purpose of your true self. And I think the more you can kind of line up those esoteric insights, those transcendent realizations are practices that you do outside of work with how you show up at work, the more powerful you will be, the more empowered you will feel. And the more connected to your business as a spiritual practice, you will be one of the big problems for so many people is, you know, when you're at work, you're dealing with challenges, you're dealing with problems, whether it's people problems, or, you know, all business problems, in the end usually come down to people problems, but so many people will fly off the handle or, you know, let their emotions kind of drive the ship when in, if they took a step back, they want to do it a different way. And I think this idea of letting your spiritual life really infuse your business life. Not in a, hey, let's start this meeting with a prayer kind of way.

Erin Aquin  13:07  
But in a non imposing way. Yeah. But

Steve Haase  13:11  
in a How can these principles that animate me that that really call me to my highest expression of self, be where I come from as a leader, how I engage with people, how I treat others, treat employees treat customers? I think that's where the real magic of spiritual insight comes into the day to day of the dollars and cents that you're earning as a business owner and leader.

Erin Aquin  13:42  
Yeah, and I mean a way to, to do that and make sure it does feel situationally appropriate to you and all the people that you're interacting with, is to connect your own spiritual life and your spiritual practice to that vision of what you are doing when you're at work. So we start every meeting, we could start with a pagan prayer, we could start with a call to the spirits and the gods, we totally could, because it's just us when we when we have our founder meetings. More importantly, when we talk about our business, it is what are we here to do today? What we're here to do today is to help people realize the life universe is trading for them. That, to me is so deeply spiritual. And it doesn't require me to apply my beliefs to anyone else. It requires me to be open and receptive and bring my tools to the table in a way that situationally appropriate for my clients and what they need.

Steve Haase  14:57  
And we venture into some potentially dangerous territory and ask the question, what is spirituality in the end? Some common threads that emerge are connection, even service in a certain sense, bringing something higher into, you know, this this world of, of grows matter, right? Just the stuff of life, we can try to shape it into something more orderly, more beautiful, more coherent, those would be some of the themes that come through. And I don't even remember where I was going with this, but the idea of spiritual work, so what is spirituality? Connecting with those principles, as a business owner, can help you take even if it's, you know, we're gonna bring fish to our local area. Why? Why does that matter, but we want to nourish the people, we want to be part of the community, these are some of the principles that you can bring to even your practice. So that's where we have the best stuff, we have the best customer service, we have the the friendliest staff. And the reason, yes, it will help us make more money, but also it will be spiritual feel spiritually fulfilling, across these common elements of what makes it great to be alive.

Erin Aquin  16:33  
I think about you know, you don't have to have a defined spiritual practice or a religion to be living a spiritual life, I think it really is about doing whatever you can do, in a conscious way to live your values and live in alignment with your vision, whatever that is. And I don't think it matters what religion you have, or what religion you don't have to be able to do that. First of all, it is something you can absolutely do at all times, without having to ever make it explicit to other people.

Steve Haase  17:19  
So I think when it comes to the question of bringing your spirituality to work, it's more about the question than it is any particular answer. Like, what is it that matters most to you? When you're dealing with employees, when you're creating new products? Why are you building your business? And how does that connect to these deeper realizations that you had in your life? There is a connection there, there's an answer there. And rather than telling you that we know what that is, I think just supporting you in that quest, that desire to connect something that might be very esoteric, very all encompassing, to something as concrete as a client conversation, as concrete as a product or design decision. That's why we spend a lot of time with leaders on what are you what is your vision? What are your values, these things that are very, you know, nebulous, even sometimes, you know, not even real, like the way that a lot of businesses treat them. It's like, whatever, we just have to have some values to keep our HR people happy. Those values can be powerful drivers of how you actually work and live in your business. And they can be informed by your deepest spiritual experiences.

Erin Aquin  18:46  
Yeah. And it's sometimes also helpful to have a community of other people that are grappling with this question. I realized when you know, when my clients one by one started to kind of bring this to me, I was like, you know, think we'd better do like a group call or a group retreat where we can talk about, it was kind of where the whole business as a spiritual practice that that idea came out, was, yeah, of course. It feels weird to compartmentalize part of yourself and feel like that doesn't belong in my Uber professional life. Well, yeah, maybe teaching people about your your faith does not belong. I agree. In most cases, unless that's your job. That's probably not really going to be situationally appropriate in most cases. But it doesn't mean you can't embody your values. It doesn't mean that your spiritual practice ends when the meditation Gong goes at the end of your practice. It does not have to be so compartmentalised who you are, if you will allow yourself to be who you are. It's just a beautiful, it's a beautiful thing, and people will feel that depth, even if they can't quite put their finger on on it. So, we have a community where we play with these types of things in a very non rigid non dogmatic way, I will teach you everything I know about yoga, meditation, we've both been meditating for many years, Steve actually much longer than me, he's older, meditating longer. So we're gonna be talking this month, if you're listening to this live about the magic of the lower self, the nonverbal part of you, and how to use symbolism, and different forms of like art and creativity to really speak to that part of you, and connect with that and bring into being or to manifest what you want in your your world. Steve is going to be teaching transformational, journaling, journaling,

Steve Haase  20:54  
journaling. What is that, Steve? Well, it's the power of the pen, the power of your ideas put in front of you, the questions that you ask and your approach to answering them with the most wide open heart with the most free ranging mind. So that you can take what might be just on the tip of your tongue and actually make it conscious, bring some of these ideas into kind of a consistent first step, right? First, they're in your mind, then you're there on paper, and then they become part of your life, and they become real in the world. So that's the idea with transformational journaling. And all of that is happening in the Superabound life membership, which we invite you to join it's at, besuperabound.com/life. It's $29 a month as of right now, as of right now, and you can cancel at any time. But it is a place to come together so that you can do this work of deepening your spiritual experiences deepening those spiritual connections. So that it can infuse the work that you do in the world and just the life that you live as a whole.

Erin Aquin  22:08  
So maybe you'll pick up some things that you can support yourself with, in in one of these practices, classes, workshops, and we would love to help support you to do that. And the community aspect is just so magical for kind of normalizing these like things we may not be sharing because there is no other place, and maybe it's not appropriate at work. So hope to see you in there. This is

Steve Haase  22:44  
a space where it is appropriate, where we can share all of those things that are going on and really support each other in bringing more spirit to the workplace, always in situationally appropriate ways. But really making room for this part of life to not be fringe or off to the side when it is so central. So, hope to see you there. Thank you for listening. We'll see you next time.