‘Approaching Work with Soul’ by noula diamantopoulos
I have been contemplating the idea of our soul (is it different to our spirit?) and wondering what it means and what value it might have if we were to access and nurture this non material, non matter, ‘something’ which we call a Soul.
Without knowing what Soul is, as I cannot define it – but then again I cannot define Mind and Mind is as nebulous as Soul, and Mind exists, I’m sure, because it functions through the brain to create and express our thoughts. It seems at this point that mind has a voice (or a least is connected to one) and that the Soul is expressed through another mode of communication.
And then I come across Benyus, who says that we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine – and I began to sense my Soul as the nature in me that ignites the desire to be connected or perhaps reconnected with that that has shaped me and you and all of us.
This is my Souls journey. What if I intentionally brought my Souls desire to connect to the workplace? If I did, perhaps it would look like a great desire to be part of something more than the gifts I bring to a workplace. Perhaps it would look like a collaboration between team members and peers and everyone we encountered that together we can create more than we could have anticipated or imagined simply because 1+1= way more than the next number. This idea takes us beyond our unique contribution we can make as an individual and suggests that working together we truly grow exponentially as an individual and as a team, community etc.
I have a yearning to be seen and connected and not just witnessed and measured in the workplace by processes. These processes were designed to support our workflows to allow us more time to engage in acts of creativity in the workplace. Yet we spend more time designing, implementing and correcting ‘work processes’ than we do in engaging the human spirit to innovate and even less time for the Soul to connect.
And we do the same to our bodies. We push our body to meet the demands we place on her/him to be on time (therefore we eat fast foods) and to work long hours (therefore we deprive ourselves of the healing benefits of sleep).
Conscious Living by Dr Gay Hendricks has given five required lessons of the Soul journey. They are:
1. Feel All Your Feelings Deeply
“Always and in every moment, embrace what is real inside yourself and focus on what is real outside yourself.”
This alone allows you to reconnect with your body and to stop and listen to her/his wisdom. Your arse is smart too you know!
2. Seek Your True Self
“Get your priorities straight. Focus first on who you are, then let your actions flow from this place of deep self-knowledge.”
The day you begin to contemplate, regularly, on the question of ‘who’ you are “ is the beginning of a new awareness that only you and no degrees or life experiences can give you. This is your essence and your essence is sourced from your soul.
3. Let Go of the Uncontrollable
“The secret of happiness is knowing that there are some things you can control and some things you cannot.”
Handy to reflect on!
4. We Are All Made of the Same Thing
“When we go deeply enough into who we are and who others are, we will find our organic connection with divinity and theirs.”
And we are back to the yearning for reconnection.
5. Life Is Fullest When We’re Most True to Ourselves
“If you express what needs to be expressed within you, you will be happy and fulfilled. If you don’t, you won’t.”
Could true to yourself refer to your Soul?
Appearing in this Article
Janine M. Benyus – Connecting and nourishing our networks with her thoughts – a champion of biomimicry
Dr Gay Hendricks – Psychologist and body/mind therapist – of course!
Robert Pirsig – Oh you didn’t see him? He wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. There’s a relevant story there pertaining to arithmetic and the meaning of Soul. A son asks his father if he, the father, believes in ghosts. The father answers abruptly and quickly with “Of course, not!” Then, he thinks about it and he explains to his son that maybe he does believe in ghosts because he believes in the number system and it is a ghost. A ghost is non-concrete, can’t be touched nor felt, no weight, no mass. What are numbers? They are symbols with meaning attached to them… and, for some, connecting the symbols with the actual counting process is very abstract. When we look at ancient Egyptian numbers, they are meaningless symbols to us unless we have taken the time to study and connect the symbol with its intended meaning.
Buddha? What do you think?