We’re undergoing a radical shift in our thinking and approach as we move through the 21st century.
During the 20th century, the Eastern world opened up to and embraced many of the ideas and beliefs held within Western consciousness. In contrast in the 21st century, I foresee that Western thinking will open up to and embrace Eastern consciousness. Nowhere will this be more apparent than in the business world, where businesses and the staff employed within them will benefit from the ideas Eastern philosophies can give them.
With the growth of small to medium sized businesses over the past decade, many run by women, greater importance is already being placed on Eastern values. Many people are putting a stronger emphasis on what the non-physical senses can perceive. As Westerners, our mind traditionally focuses on what can be seen, heard, felt and touched by the physical senses; we place much store on what seems logical, rational, realistic and the “right thing” to do within our businesses. For example, when setting up a business we are encouraged to see where there is a gap in the market that we could fill and then create a business that exploits that gap. We have learnt that this is the realistic thing to do. But how far has this really got us?
It appears that through the economic downturn, it is the businesses that are focused on higher values and making a genuine difference for their staff and clients, that have best weathered this downturn. Why is this? And how can our own innate sense of “Spiritual Intelligence” help us help our businesses to flourish?
One of the key aspects of Spiritual Intelligence is that of being “inner directed”.
For me Spiritual Intelligence within business is allowing every aspect of your business, and every decision you take pertaining to that business, to come from within you; your innate sense of intuition and inspiration. This means that everything, from the initial set up of your business, it’s development, expansion and change over time and all the decisions you take, including hiring staff, finding the right premises, and your sales and marketing approach come from a sense of being guided from within.
Lao Tzu, the 6th century BC Chinese philosopher, who is credited as being the founder of Taoism talks of “leaders as followers”. Lao Tzu, in fact was referring to political leaders, but his term is relevant to leaders in business as well. This is a key aspect of Spiritual Intelligence. It is allowing a Higher Power, which you may call God, Jesus, Buddha, Allah, the Angels, Universal energies or your Higher Self, to guide you moment to moment in all that you do. So you become quite literally a “follower” of the guidance you receive from your sense of a Higher Power. You may think of it as having your own Inner Guide that tells you when to act, when to do nothing, what to do in every situation and gives you the answers to every decision that you have to take. Your Inner Guide knows all your skills, talents and abilities and is able to draw on them to mould and shape you in all that you do in your business life, in alignment with the Higher Plan for your life.
So how do we work with this Inner Guide and follow its guidance when we have been brought up and encouraged to be logical, rational, analytical and critical in our thinking? How can we get past that part of our mind that tells us only to do things that seem safe and sensible?
Here are four suggestions:
1. Be Willing
We have to be willing to surrender what the logical mind tells us is the right thing to do in every situation. We have to be willing to go within and allow our intuitive nature to guide us. Think of it this way: when you pray, or even when you set intentions, the answer will come to you through your intuition. So the more you can develop a relationship with your Inner Guide, the more your intuitive nature will grow. Like any skill, the more you practice it, the more it will develop. Taoist philosophies talk of the balance between the Yin and the Yang. Within us, that is seen as the balance between the masculine or Yang part of our natures and the feminine Yin part. The masculine Yang energy is the part of us that takes action, but this action must be based upon the intuitive and creative guidance that the Yin part of your nature receives. The Yang energy shouldn’t just act, as is so common in the Western world. It should base all the actions it takes on the guidance it receives from the inner Yin energies. This is how we balance our Yin and Yang and act in ways that are Spiritually Intelligent and in alignment with our Higher path.
2. Daily Meditation Practice
A habit of daily mediation practice is essential to becoming Spiritually Intelligent. Just five minutes spent every morning connecting with your inner being, perhaps simply by focusing on your breath and quieting your mind, will help you as you go through your day.
Ideally spend longer and follow a specific meditation practice, of any sort, that involves quieting what the Buddhists call “the monkey mind”. Whether you use a mantra, listen to a meditation CD or sit and just observe your inner thoughts, it does not matter. What is important is the slowing of your brain wave frequencies and that sense of withdrawing from the outer world and connecting within.
For those with busy minds, the well known Hindu mantra Om Nameh Shivaya, said to yourself with great mindfulness and concentration as Om-Nam-eh-Shi-vay-a, ideally in time with your breathing, is lovely to use. Type Om Nameh Shivaya (Peaceful) into You Tube and listen to the calming effect of this mantra. It connects you with that Source or God within you. Quite literally it means I honour Shiva (my Inner Self or God) within me. As you repeat it, do so with full awareness of its meaning.
The more you make this connection to your Inner Guide, the Source within you, the easier it is to receive guidance in the moment, whenever you need it.
3. Take Action On Your Guidance
Your Inner Guide speaks to you always through the quiet inner world of your thoughts and feelings. It communicates with you through your inner hunches, your gut feelings, those “pop-up” ideas that you suddenly have and the coincidences and synchronicities in your life. It does not speak to you in loud orders; that is the voice of your ego. It speaks to you in quietness, stillness and receptivity. You cannot make it happen. Your Inner Guide speaks to you at exactly the right time and in exactly the right way and its guidance is always loving, empowering and repetitive. Your inner guidance will keep coming to you over and over again…until you get it!
However, what can so often happen is that our logical mind can over-ride our inner guidance. For example, we’re given an idea through our intuition about developing our business into a new area that really feels right to us. Then our fearful ego mind steps in and gives us a whole host of reasons why this would not be a sensible thing for us to do at this time, and so we ignore our intuitive impulse and continue with our business as before.
The more we act based on our inner guidance, the more we grow to trust it. There are always situations where initially we feel that we don’t know what to do, and, as yet, our Inner Guide hasn’t given us clarity. In those situations we have to wait, in the absolute knowledge that at the right time we will be guided, and we will act, and that action will be supported by Higher Energies. Anytime you act in total alignment with your intuition you will be “in the flow” and you will receive all the motivation and inspiration and help necessary to take that action. You are in alignment with the Tao, the natural way.
Another aspect of Spiritual Intelligence is the Buddhist principle of non-attachment. This principle refers to our ability to let go of our preconceived ideas about the situations and events in our lives and how we think things should work out. This principle is perhaps the most challenging for the Western mind which likes to control, to know what is going to happen and wants very much to influence the situations, events and people in our lives, so they are how we want them to be.
The more we are willing to let go of control and allow the Higher Power to operate in our lives, and be in alignment with the Tao, the natural way, the easier things are for us.
If we can accept that things are the way that they are, even though we do not understand them, and that there is a Higher plan at work that is for our higher good and greatest joy, then we’re able to flow through life so much more easily. Letting go of our attachments, which is a huge thing for us, leads us to a place of peace. The more we can be non-attached to everything in our lives, (and yes we can still love people and possessions dearly) the easier we are able to let things go and allow in what is really for us. This will be ever changing as we grow and develop through time.
The more we can trust that the power that creates planets and turns embryos into babies can guide us to the very best for us, the easier things become. Everything, including every aspect of your business, should be put into the hands of the Creator, and let go of. For with this power inside you, why does your ego think it needs to do everything and organise and control every area of your life? The reality of Spiritual Intelligence is that it doesn’t!
The truth of Spiritual Intelligence is that the more we embrace our Yin nature and allow our receiving, nurturing, creative and intuitive natures to develop to the full, the more we can sit back and allow circumstances to be handled for us. The more we develop this Yin power, the more magnetic we become to our Higher good and the easier things become as we do less and less.
We do not need to put our time and energy into circumstances that are not right for us; we don’t need to take “massive action” unless we are guided to do so; we simply allow what is for us to well-up inside us and then based on that vision and sense of inspiration, carry things out as and when we are guided. Added to that, if there is anything we need help with, we can ask that Source of all creation to help us every step of the way and release from us all the beliefs and attitudes that are preventing us from acting in alignment with the Higher will.
It is said that the spiritualisation process is a feminisation process; a process of becoming more and more centred in our feminine Yin energies within our business and personal lives. I believe that this process of spiritualisation and feminisation is also part of our maturation process as we move from the demanding child that wants a whole list of goodies, to receptive adult that graciously receives from Divine Will exactly what is meant for it.