My perspective of spirituality in the workplace has changed over the years. I used to view it solely as integrating my spirituality at the workplace. Now more than ever, I look at is as putting my spirituality at work, wherever I’m working, with whoever I’m working with, doing whatever kind of work. This new perspective has widen my reach and broadened my perspective for how I approach this topic.
While I’ve been co-writing for a year with this blog, it’s fun for me to think about how I would describe the case study for my spirituality at work.
I remember almost 10 years ago when I first emerged as wanting to have a business focusing on spirituality in the workplace (which I promoted at the time as spirit in work/life), it was a cutting edge thing to do and very misunderstood topic. One networking meeting I attended a woman blatantly accused me in front of all the attendees of wanting to promote my religious beliefs after just hearing me say the word “spirit”. After the session, another woman gently shared her apologies for how I was treated and introduced me to the word inspiration. She explained how it’s rooted in spirit, which might be a better word to help me to promote what I’m doing more easily for people to understand. So for the past 10 years my sole purpose has been to inspire others. I’ve helped to create inspired workplaces, hosted inspired women’s retreats, and wrote a couple of inspirational, illustrated books.
Over the years my prayer life has tremendously increased. The power of praying is an integral part of how I practice my spirituality. Sometimes I say memorized prayers or I memorize other prayers I would like to learn. Others times I’ll just dialogue in a conversation with God regarding my prayers or prayers for other people. A couple of examples of how I’ve put my prayers to work is that I’ll actually take time at the moment someone is requesting a prayer to actually pray. I used to say “I’ll pray for you” and I’m not sure if I ever followed up on that request. Before my training classes or presentations, I’ll pray for the group that I’m working with. I’ll ask God to speak through me in order to best serve the group I’m connecting with. I’ve been doing this for the past couple of years and it has helped me connect more deeply with the audiences I’m blessed to work with. Before I write, I’ll say a prayer for divine inspiration and for the words to flow out of me that will best help others. When I’m done writing, I say a prayer as I send it off that those who need to read it will find it.
We are not meant to experience life alone. The power of having a like-minded group in which you can share your faith with has been something that I have sought and created. After college I didn’t want to lose the spiritual path that I had been on, so I worked with a couple of other friends to form a women’s spirituality group. We named our group WINGS (Women In Nourishing Groups for the Soul). This spiritual friendship that we’ve formed has allowed the three of us to grow in tremendous ways that we all attribute to the work we’ve done through WINGS. Another group that I help co-found is a small group marriage ministry at our church called Couples in Christ. This allows couples to meet together in a small group to focus on their faith and marriage. This ministry has helped my husband and I grow more deeply in our lives together as well as the other 20+ couples involved int he ministry. I’m also part of a women’s Bible study at our church. We have a small group that we share intimately with and I’ve learned so much about my religion as being part of this group.
If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that gratitude is a way of life for me. Giving gratitude and practicing gratitude is a wonderful example of how I’ve put my spirituality to work. Whenever I connect with someone, whether it’s a stranger or one of my closest friends, I’m always thinking about how I can show my gratitude for them. Learning to be grateful and feeling grateful is what actually brings more things in our lives to be grateful about. For example, I was listening to a christian radio station of a speaker that I like. I was giving gratitude for his talk and all that I learned in the 15 of listening to him. He then announced that he was having a free MP3 event of all of this presentations. So I went to the site and not only was I able to download for free the series I was listening to, but many other great presentations. Because I was grateful for the little, I was given a lot to be grateful for. Again, for more on what I believe about gratitude, you can go to Project GratOtude.
I read a ton! Most of my books have a spiritual focus. I start out the morning with a daily devotional and continue to read whenever I can throughout the day. All the support groups that I’m a part of have a book that we study with the intent of growing my spirituality. I’ve noticed that my spirituality philosophy is shaped by the authors that I read. I tend to connect with some concepts that are introducing, try them out and eventually have the opportunity to teach it.
The best way to really learn and internalize something is to teach it. I’m so grateful that formally through my writing, speaking and training business I’m able to do that. Informally, I share with friends what I’m learning which is another way of teaching. My three sons (and husband) are also great students for me. One way I’m teaching them about their spirituality is by doing a devotional and gratitude journal before they go to school in the mornings. Thank you for the opportunity in this blog to teach what I’m learning regarding spirituality at work.
For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.
Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.