June was career month on my feng shui resolutions chart.
By career, I mean more than a J.O.B. I mean your life's calling, your life's purpose. We all have one. Or more than one. Some of us connect with our purpose sooner than others. And some of us may never consciously connect with it. That's ok, too.
Many people in the world get stuck in cycles of complaint and resentment towards their work. Work can be stressful, so they begin to bring a heavy feeling of dread towards it, making life miserable not only for themselves but also for the people around them. You know the old saying: misery loves company.
But what if you were challenged to actually enjoy the work that you may currently be dreading? That's not to say that your work situation will be perfect by any means. Annoyances will still exist. Difficult co-workers may still be around you. Overbearing bosses may still be there demanding what they may demand. Clients may still be pressing you. But you, my friend, would be in a state of enough detachment that these problems just wouldn't affect you so much. Furthermore, you would view all of these difficulties as growth opportunities. At some point, you might even thank these difficult circumstances in your life for bringing you so much growth and clarity!
This is not crazy. This is possible! When we reshape the way we view work and on a grander scheme, life, we can bring so much more joy to ourselves and those around us.
This is also not to say that you'll be perfect in this journey. You, like the rest of us, are a human being. Feelings are feelings. You'll falter in this journey but with enough determination and will power, you'll get back on track. You will know that you have more power than you think to shape your circumstances and the way people treat you at work with just your attitude alone.
In keeping with this month's commitment to career focus and objectives, I read the book entitled "Work" by Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is largely about mindfulness in the workplace. I like what Thich Nhat Hanh has to say about bringing joy to the workplace:
"We spend so much time at work; we need to make sure we enjoy it. Any job can be enjoyable if we do it in the right spirit, with mindfulness, with awareness, and with the aim of helping living beings. Whether we work in a factory, in a restaurant, or in an office, whether we're in a helping profession or not, if we practice mindfulness our work can be enjoyable and can bring great benefit to ourselves and to others."
That's right. I'm going to go against many people's common sense about work and say that work should be a joyful thing. And why not? Life should be a joyful thing! For all you weekend warriors out there, do whatever you have to do to break out of the Monday to Friday 9-5 mindset. That doesn't necessarily mean leaving the lifestyle if that's not your choice. It means leaving the mindset. Every day is a potential day for joy, growth, and expansion. Joy is not limited to happening after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays.
What about when our work environment is truly so toxic that we can't bear it anymore? Move on to a new job. Find the appropriate time to leave one environment and enter another. This is not always an easy process, but with patience, it can become easier.
Some other gems of advice on work from Thich Nhat Hanh:
"Use the time waiting at the bus stop or train station as an opportunity to practice sitting meditation or slow walking meditation, following your breathing and enjoying having nowhere to go and nothing to do."
"At lunchtime, eat only your food and not your fears or worries."
"Change your work environment to make it a more peaceful and joyful environment by creating moments and spaces of calm, by working collaboratively with others, and by creating a sense of a working community."
"Before going to a meeting, visualize someone very peaceful, mindful, and skillful going with you to the meeting. Take refuge in this person- even if only an imaginary figure- to help you stay calm and peaceful during the meeting."
"Practice looking at your boss, your superiors, your colleagues, or your subordinates as your allies and not as your enemies. Recognize that working collaboratively brings more satisfaction and joy than working alone. Wherever possible, work in a team. Know that the success and happiness of everyone is your own success and happiness."
"Practice looking for the positive things in your work and in your colleagues. Express your gratitude and appreciation to them regularly for their positive qualities and good actions. This will transform the whole work environment, making it much more harmonious and pleasant for everyone."
Remember that when we pay attention to the nine areas of our lives, we create balance and harmony in our environment. We're more in tune with ourselves; we know our priorities; we act with conviction; and we take care of the people and things around us. This, of course, creates a strong resonance in our surroundings that in turn, comes back to us. Through the process of resonant synchronicity or entrainment, we all feed off of each other's energy. Just one person's positive resonance, if the person is strong enough, can drastically change an environment.
I hope that you'll try these tips at your work, even just a little bit and see what effect it has.
Work with heart.
Good luck, friends.