I am, and hopefully always will be, shamelessly passionate about researching information and inspiration, then sharing it with others.
The tips, tools and resources for this website were born in 1992, after I postponed my dream of building a business based on research into our natural visionary potential. My husband was then out of work. Three family members across the country and our cat in Oakland were dying.
I took a legal secretary job in a large firm because it would not require my mind and commitment after the end of the workday, as writing, teaching or admin work would. I usually came home exhausted, even if I hadn’t done overtime to pay for flights to see family while they were still alive.
I despaired as my vocational dreams slipped further away. Then one day, my inner voice spoke clearly. Immediately I realized it was the same voice that had led me to recognize John Sullivan as my soul mate, the master’s program as a perfect challenge, and other key paths in life. But I didn’t like what my voice said.
“Pat, you’ve got to treat this job as if it were your calling.”
Silently, in the midst of law firm noise, I argued with this guidance. My inner guide ignored my complaints. When I finally stopped kvetching, she reminded me of a quote by Meister Eckhart, “If the only prayer you can say is ‘thank you,’ that is enough.”
That prayer rattled me. Even in my anger I could truthfully say, “I am grateful for the clarity about how miserable I am here,” then “I am grateful for years of practice in stress release and dealing with anger.” Soon I was awestruck by the guidance and wisdom that flowed easily, right there at my overloaded, noisy desk.
I began a practice of starting and ending the day with gratitude. Then, I created a simple workplace oasis filled with reminders of who I really am and what matters most to me.
Getting creative, my repertoire of tips and resources for connecting spirit with work rapidly increased as I discovered how to slip meditation, visualization and stress release practices into break time or in moments like waiting for the copier.
Regular Spiritual Practices at Work Changed Everything.
I used my imagination to release stress or burnout, even under highly stressful situations. As a result, I became efficient enough to avoid three rounds of downsizing in the firm.
Often I came home with more energy and vitality than I had when I left for work in the morning.
Those practices prepared me for the miracle in 1993, when John’s new job as Research Director for Spirit of Health’s Spirit and Work Resource Guide connected me to the spirit and work field, starting with Judi Neal, founder of the Association for Spirit and Work and a thought leader in conscious business.
Discovering a World of Spirit and Work Colleagues
Judi connected me to Steve Keeva, a journalist at the American Bar Association and author of the ABA best-seller Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life. Steve connected me to J. Kim Wright and her connections to creative, spiritual, and transformative lawyers.
I was soon writing columns for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Career Section on spirit at work. My beat covered spiritual practices from any faith (plus atheism), in any type of job. Longtime friend and colleague Stewart Levine invited me to a visioning retreat for the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section. While there, I met a book scout who invited me to submit a book proposal on what became Work with Meaning, Work with Joy: Bringing Your Spirit to Any Job.
The book led to writing many articles on spirit, work and money, and chapters in textbooks for managers including Praeger’s A Handbook of Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace. Continuing connections with Kim Wright led me to contribute to what became the movement of integrative law. A column I wrote on workplace altars for the Chronicle was re-published in her first best-seller for the ABA, Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law!
Who could have imagined or planned this?
Money Joins the Spirit and Work Equation
By the time I saw this cartoon from Harvard Business Review, reports of integration of sound business and financial practices with spirit were exploding.
John and I have had serious challenges with money. At 19, John took religious poverty vows which have been hard to release outside the monastery. I’ve taken unconscious poverty vows when I’ve gone over-board with self-funded research and writing at the expense of steady income.
Blessings to you from a life and work in progress.
At 75+, I am growing and learning every day. I love the reality that the same river of wisdom I discovered in the stressful law firm still flows today, and that it’s connected to other streams of wisdom around the world.
I’m here to help you also discover how best to bring more meaning and joy into all your work. May you enjoy all the blog posts and articles here.
Then, if and when it’s right for you, let’s connect and go deeper.
Pat McHenry Sullivan
All contents © copyright 2018 Pat McHenry Sullivan t/a Visionary Resources.