Flowing in the Workplace
by Lawrence Vijay Girard
We live in exciting times. There has never been more opportunity for personal and professional success at any time in recorded history. Not only do we have more variety of choices in what we can do to provide food, shelter and amenities for ourselves and our families, but there is more potential for financial advancement than ever before. While our society isn’t anywhere near perfect, our freedom to choose and strive for the dreams that we ourselves create is unprecedented.
Yet strangely, there is a greater unrest and dissatisfaction than ever before with the success that our society can provide. Those who have climbed the ladder of material wealth are finding that the outward trappings of a big home, a new car and improved social standing are not by themselves a guarantee of a fulfilling life. Alcoholism, drug addiction and even suicide are as prevalent in the outwardly successful as in the poor. Just as disturbing is the high rate of divorce and broken families in all strata of society.
This trend toward greater dissatisfaction rather than increasing fulfillment is still growing. It is essential that we take the time to understand what it is that we can do to make sure that we, our families, co-workers and communities, don’t buy into the idea that we can’t live a personally fulfilling life and be successful in our chosen profession at the same time.
Even though the times of unregulated workhouses and indentured servants are supposed to have past in America, more and more people are becoming slaves to runaway credit card debt and the feeling of helplessness that comes when a person looses any semblance of control over their life. The pressure to keep up with the latest gadgets, music, movies and clothing is driving families to the brink of emotional and financial disaster. Add to this the challenges of healthcare, housing, car expenses and higher education for our children, and we can understand the frustration of people who are making more money than ever before and still finding it difficult to keep their lives on an even keel.
In order to come to grips with the totality of our lives we need to back up from the specifics of each challenge and realize that all of life is one integrated whole. When we try to compartmentalize life and think that our lives as individuals are separate from our family, that family is separate from business, that community is separate from family, that our nation is separate from the world, that humanity is separate from life itself, we are not taking into account how life actually works.
The information age in which we live is bringing the whole world into our living rooms. The ups and downs – be they natural disasters, wars, breakthroughs in science or the personal success/tragedy of an individual – in any part of the world has a ripple effect all around the globe. This is also true for life in our communities. The success or failure of our children or our neighbor’s children has an effect on all of us. We can no longer rest in the false illusion that each person or family is an island. At the same time we must accept that we need to help ourselves in order to help others. We can’t expect the government, our employers or even our family to lift us up. We must each take personal responsibility for improving our lives. We can hope that others will help, but if we put off lifting ourselves up because others haven’t reached out to help us, we may drown unnecessarily.
It is easy to look at the upheaval in our society and blame it on the times in which we live. Certainly we live during a unique time in history, but the interesting thing about life is that no matter how things change outwardly, on the inside life stays the same. Let me explain what I mean by this because it is central to understanding the solution to dealing with both our personal and professional lives.
There are certain basic underlying principles upon which life works regardless of the passage of time. By observing that there is continuity in how life works regardless of the times in which we live, we can develop a strategy for working with life’s underlying forces rather than being thrown off balance by the changes that take place on the surface of each day and year.
On the physical level: We all breathe air and eat food. The air might be dirtier than it was in the past and our food may be more processed and less nutritious, but the biological process is still the same. We may have new illnesses like HIV and AIDS instead of polio and small pox, but the bottom line is that while the names of disease may change, their place in our lives is the same. Eating less and exercising more has always been the solution to weight loss for most people, the passage of time hasn’t changed that. The fanciest penthouse is still only a form of shelter. Air and rocket travel are still just different modes of transportation. A vacation to the far points of the earth or to the next town is still a vacation. Birth, death, accidents, illness, success, failure, friends, family, these are all constant parts of life.
On the mental level: The number of people and the size of civilization has grown dramatically in the last two hundred years. The mental anxiety of dealing with the stresses of life has in many ways intensified because of the sheer volume of society. But the basic process of dealing with life’s challenges is the same. The mental tension of financial or marital problems hasn’t changed. The frustration of going to a job that you hate hasn’t changed. Dealing with office politics or national politics hasn’t changed. The challenge of trying to raise children in the best possible way is still the same.
On an emotional level: The hopelessness that people feel as the result of the challenges in their lives has been the same throughout history. Wars and feuds both large and small have torn at the hearts of all generations. The waxing and waning of wealth and power have always taxed the equilibrium of society. Man’s unnecessary injustice to man is one of this world’s most painfully reoccurring themes. The apparent lack of mankind’s ability to embrace love, joy and harmony – which are the soul’s natural state – is the most powerful force that breaks down the emotional well-being of each individual.
On a spiritual level: The interesting thing about the history of religion and the spiritual well-being of each individual is that spiritual fulfillment is independent of organized religion. Organized religion can help the individual to cultivate a spiritual life, but it can also hinder those efforts if the organization gets off track spiritually – which they often do! True spirituality is now and has always been based on each individual’s real and personal relationship with God/Life/Nature or whatever you want to call the universal source of life, truth, love and joy. We all have within us a connection to Spirit that animates our lives. If we cultivate an awareness of that connection we will discover and be fulfilled by that relationship. If we choose not to explore that inner connection then we will wander alone in this world no matter who we travel with or what group we join. This basic reality has been the same since the beginning of mankind’s sojourn.
The great dilemma today is not really physical or political in nature, it is spiritual. As a society we have incredible wealth, yet we aren’t happy. We have lost touch with the source of true happiness – the heart’s connection to Spirit/God/Life. When outward success doesn’t include a full and expanding heart for oneself, others and life in general, true fulfillment cannot be found.
One of the things that we can learn from the past is that life is a flow. History isn’t a bunch of static points on a timeline; it is a constantly moving forward flow of energy. The power that moves life forward comes from the central storehouse of universal potential. No matter how you describe or name the Creator of Life or the Creation itself, it is from that Eternal Truth that all life proceeds. In the deepest sense, life is not just a flow of physical realities, but it is a flow of consciousness that activates those physical forces. In the grand scheme of things it is the consciousness of God that runs life. From the perspective of our individual lives, it appears that our own thoughts and actions activate life around us, in reality we are all part of the flow of life itself – which some call God. It is in working with the underlying flows of energy and consciousness in life that we will find the key to our success.
It is essential that we understand that the secrets for success in life and in business are the same, there is no separation. If we try to separate them we will fail in both. Oh, you may make a lot of money with a closed heart, but you won’t be happy! And an open heart alone doesn’t put food on the table. We need to embrace our daily work with an attitude and understanding that will fulfill our spirit’s need for enthusiasm and harmony while we also create practical success in the workplace.
The solution to every life challenge can be found in a source of infinitely creative understanding that we each have deep within our own selves. This inner reservoir of solutions is at the core of life itself. And we each have a personal link to that source that we can access if we choose to. Just like a dancer or a gifted athlete, if we cultivate an inner point of strength and balance, we will be able to adjust quickly and successfully to the specific challenges of our lives. The key is to understand the process, utilize the techniques for increasing our chances of success and practice, practice, practice.
One of the challenges to explaining how this works is that I can only share one idea at a time. We will be exploring various aspects of the way life works and how to tap into our own personal connection to life for solutions to all life challenges. Even though we will talk about different aspects of the process individually, remember that with practice you will be able to experience the process as one simultaneous whole.
This book is meant to be a practical guide for how you can understand and work with the challenges of life in the workplace. I encourage you not to take my word for the veracity of the ideas that we explore. Experiment for yourself, in your own life, to determine if there is truth to these ideas. It is only through the actual application of these concepts in our own lives that we can determine their value. Keep in mind that truth is not dependent on our opinion of it. The principles upon which life is based do not need our personal seal of approval to operate. We must take it upon ourselves to discover the laws of life and decide how we will relate to them.
Ultimately life is about choice. Do we choose to consciously participate, or do we by default, choose to be passive and let life lead us where it will, entering into the negative state of “victim consciousness”? It is essential to understand that we can choose what kind of person we want to be, we can choose what kind of work we will do, and most importantly we can choose how happy and fulfilled we will be with the totality of our lives. Flowing in the Workplace is about integrating all of life into an opportunity to grow our inner awareness of the Love and Joy of Spirit. And how by bringing that inner experience into every moment of our daily existence, we will discover the solutions that we need for outward success. This process will provide practical ideas and inspirations that are the keys to true success, not only in the workplace, but in all of life.