When I started going deeper into my own spiritual journey, I felt like such a weirdo. Spiritual Me also felt like a super strange juxtaposition to my “corporate persona”. I kept things super separate, and basically hid my woo woo-ness away for a hot minute. I was so embarrassed and anxious the first time I told my boss that I led moon circles I could have puked.
Have you ever felt this split of having two different “versions” of you?
Can You Really Be a Spiritual Professional?
This seems like a million years ago now, because my spiritual practice is such a core part of who I am. But at the time, I felt like it was one more thing that made me a weirdo outcast who was never going to fit in. (spoiler alert: in some ways it does and now I really really like that!)
Getting really solid in my spiritual practice and WHO I am has actually made me an even better leader. I’m excited to share that HOW with you! 🙂
What is a Spiritual Practice?
But first, I want to clarify what I mean when I say “Spiritual practice” I do NOT mean religion. I actually find in my world, people are typically pretty comfortable sharing their Anglo religions all over the workplace lol. This ain’t that.
What I mean when I say spiritual practice is a deeper connection to myself, and also the energy of the universe, love, or the divine. Whatever you want to call it. For me, it’s channeled through meditations, guided journeys, divine downloads, tarot cards, etc…for you, it could look different! This isn’t the titles you use or the performative shit we do to show each other how pious we are. (BTW I don’t use titles in my spiritual practice, but you do you). This is the magic, the deepening, the WOO that happens in the quiet moments. That’s the part that was scary and awkward for me to own and talk about.
Are you saying I should talk about religion at work?
I’m not suggesting you need to go share your whole spiritual practice with everyone at work, I don’t. I’m saying that being comfortable with this part of me, sharing when it felt good, or rather, not hiding it, felt really good and aligned for me. AND I’ve seen it pay off in some unexpected and brilliant ways in my corporate and entrepreneurial work.
What I do share is things that excite me like moon cycles, meditation practices, etc. that have really helped me. I may talk about an activity that I’m doing (hosting a circle) or if asked for advice, I may share a practice that has worked for me. I don’t try to preach or convert (this isn’t that kind of spirituality anyway ;)), but I do enjoy the freedom to talk about all the sides of me without feeling like I need to “hide the woo” lol.
If you want more advice on navigating religion in the workplace I really enjoyed this article from Forbes. I especially like it because it talks about a new way of looking at things instead of just a yes vs no. And it gives great advice on setting boundaries!
How my owning my spiritual self has helped me:
- I became more confident and grounded in myself.
- When I was more open about being an individual and having my own “thing”, it let others ask questions and opened their eyes to me as a whole person. Not just a 2D robot doing someone else’s bidding in a workplace lol.
- In my own work, I was SO much more ME…I would speak, act, and lead as ME, instead of trying to fit a mold that was so not me. (Spoiler alert: this made me a better leader and way more impactful in all the work I do).
- I felt happier and better able to navigate the tough days. By finding my own spiritual landing place and having acknowledged this as a core part of me, I knew I always had a safe harbor to go back to. And that made me better able to navigate tough situations and difficult people as well as finding balance when really good things happened. I had a grounding space and it made me better able to navigate EVERYTHING.
- I didn’t seek external validation as much. When I started to be more open about who I was, I no longer needed the same level of validation from other people. They just weren’t on my level. I don’t mean this condescendingly, but we truly were not having the same experience, so their approval was not necessary to me anymore. Also, to be super clear, it can be difficult to be this open and “unique” in a competitive corporate environment. Not everyone loved this about me, but it FELT way better. And, it helped me lead from a place of truth and alignment instead of performing for that elusive validation.
- I brought my whole self to work. Instead of living half in the broom closet, I was comfortable just being me. And it’s not that I was walking around flying my Woo Flag in everyone’s face, but more that if and when those convos came out, it was no big deal to just speak openly about my “stuff” :). Thing about how a kid acts when they’re hiding something…they’re not themselves, and when I felt like I needed to hide part of me, the deeper work I was doing and the person I was becoming, I showed up as a shell of myself. TLDR: It feels good to be out and proud in this way.
- Secretly (not so secretly lol) it was more fun…I liked being the weird woo witchy one. I enjoyed saying things that were a little off the wall and got other people thinking differently.
- AND lastly…it’s allowed my friends (many of whom are from work) to know me better. AND I’ve seen so clearly how much they love me for me. When your friends (who range from not at all woo, to woo curious, to even religious) start speaking your language and even buy crystals, moon calendars, and altar decor as gifts, it feels really freeing and magical. I felt like I was being totally seen for the first time. They weren’t just hearing it and being OK, they were actively supporting me and honoring the way that I was showing up. That shit felt amazing and brought tears to my eyes more than once.
So these are just a few of the ways proudly owning my spiritual side has helped me. I hope that this inspires you to tune into the deeper parts of you and to not be afraid to show up as your full self. It’s OK to be weird, it’s great to be different, and above all, it’s IMPORTANT to be YOU.
Sending big love XO