Monthly Archives: November 2009

Prayer for a Workday Monday Morning

When everything works right with work, clarity of purpose meets will to follow guidance on how to fulfill said purpose.  It’s easier to sort out which tasks which are mine to do and those that are not.  It’s routine almost to bless my challenges and those of others, then just do my paid work while doing the work of simply living.  Thus, tasks mundane and profound get done simply and well, with a spirit of kindness and compassion.

And then there are days like today.  Days like this Monday morning after Thanksgiving that came way too early. Days when it’s so unclear about what to do first and how to stop wasting time and energy in stewing and fretting. Days that call not for dramatic breakthrough wisdom but for the smaller, moment-to-moment acts of protecting what I know to be true from such threats as perfectionism or wanting to avoid doing something that just must be done.

Days when the only prayer I can say is “God Guide me,” when I haven’t the foggiest notion of who or what God is.

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Got Discipline Problems for Spirit, Work or Money?

The need for discipline shows up in everything we do around money, work or spiritual practice.  People who are disciplined can persist steadily, day by day, following whatever vision calls them at the moment.

Which means they don’t get sidetracked for long by things like doubt or gossip or malted milk balls, as so many of us do.  Like a kid learning to walk, they just pick themselves up after each setback and get back to the business of keeping on keeping on.

I am not one of those disciplined people, and you may not be either. Continue reading

When Work or Money Prospects Are Lousy

Sometimes, your best efforts just won’t bear fruit.  No matter how hard you pray, how persistently you network, how creatively you market, the right job or client just isn’t there.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a job or client, sometimes things just don’t work out in myriad painful ways.

St. John of the Cross called times like this “the dark night of the soul.”  However the challenge manifests, there’s a sense that you’re at the end of your road.  Whatever spiritual practices worked in the past don’t work now.  Just when you need clear guidance, you’re more clueless than you may dare to admit.

That, as St. John wrote, is as it should be.  Sometimes, the only way to deal with pain is to stop trying to understand it, and simply experience it.  It’s as if we’ve taken all our spiritual wisdom to its edge, and the only way to find our next step is to go past all we think we know, into the darkness of unknowing.  Only then can we see the faint light in our own heart, guiding us to whatever wisdom we need next. Continue reading

Kindness: the Best Workplace Spirituality Practice Ever

If you really want to bring more integrity, purpose and joy to work, follow the Dalai Lama, who often has said, “My religion is kindness.”

Kindness includes so many wonderful things, like friendliness, pleasantness, generosity, and understanding.  Where kindness is practiced at work, there’s cooperation, not power tripping.  … Respectful teamwork, not bullying or harassment.  … Welcoming of differences, not hostility or favoritism.

All this makes for a workplace where people are more likely to be excited about going to work than dreading it.  At the end of the day, there’s a spring to their step and time for a rich life, not exhaustion or the urge to escape.

All this means that kindness also is a benefit to the financial bottom line.

As Jodi RR Smith, director of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Marblehead, MA says, “People’s discomfort chills the workplace dynamic. When people feel respected, they are more likely to be fully present and engaged, ready to roll up their sleeves for effective work.” Continue reading

“How to Thrive at Work without Selling Your Soul”

You want all your work and financial dealings to be done with integrity.  You want to thrive at work, not just stagger through stressful days, then limp home to the TV or other drug of choice.  You want all the ways you earn, spend, or invest money to be purposeful –engaging your talents and serving others.  You want a world where others get a fair shake, and their concerns also matter.

So how do you do this in a world where fraud, waste or abuse seem to be the norm?  Where it seems that, in order to earn your paycheck or have a thriving business, you’ve got to give up your need for a life, your values, your sense of purpose or your integrity.

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