Spirituality vs. Religion at Work

Sections of this topic

    Many people shy away from speaking about spirituality with their colleagues because of concerns of crossing that touchy line of religion (or politics) at work.

    In Chapter 4 of my book, “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” I address this issue head-on. I frequently start my workshops on spirituality at work by asking people to list words that describe how they feel when they feel spiritual.

    People usually share words such as :

    > Peaceful, serene, content, centered

    > Mindful, present, aware, intentional

    > Loving, kind, compassionate, caring, heart-centered

    > Whole, authentic, complete

    > Energized, inspired, excited, exuberant

    > Joyful, non-judgmental, accepting, playful

    > Connected to God, greater Source, Higher Power, the great mystery

    After we complete our list, I ask people to look over the 40-50 words generated. Then I ask them, “How would you like to feel this way every day at work?” Every one gestures, claps, or shouts out- Yes!

    I then ask them, “Don’t you think your work would flow easier, and people would get along better if this describe your workplace?” Again, everyone agrees.

    So why is it that we are so afraid to be spiritual at work or talk about spirituality?Breathe it all in.  Love it all out.

    Invitation to be more Spiritual

    Being spiritual is as much a part of human experience as breathing. You don’t need permission from anyone- not your boss, your division VP, your colleagues to be spiritual.

    And if you think you do need permission, then I hereby proclaim you have a right (if not a duty) to be _________ [fill in the words to describe what it means to you to be ‘spiritual’ ].

    You’ll find that you’ll be more energized, more open, more at peace when you intentionally focus on being spiritual at work.

    Worries and stress can come and go more easily, you don’t hang on to them as long. In the midst or crisis or conflicts, you’ll more likely stay open, accepting of what needs to unfold without criticizing, attacking, or defending so much. From this calmer, peaceful place you can figure out next steps to address the challenge at hand much easier.

    I invite you this week to spend each day finding one situation or activity to bring more of your spirituality and see what happens. Leave a comment here to share the results when you do this.

    Bright Blessings.


    Linda J. Ferguson, Ph.D. is author of two books on spirituality for everyday living. Buy “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” and share it with a friend or colleague. Available from Amazon, iStore, and B&N.

    Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service