Spirituality and entrepreneurship: Five takeaways
Despite being baptized and raised Catholic in the early years of my life, I’ve never been a particularly religious person. However, I’ve always been relatively spiritual and believe that there’s something larger out there—God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it.
Back in 2012 I was struggling with one of these largest decisions I’d ever make, and I was literally agonizing over it for months. I was so confused and all I wanted was clarity. I finally got to a point one night where I just laid in bed sobbing, asking the Universe for a sign. To provide some clarity. To make something happen that would put me on the right path.
Two days later, an answer came. The decision was made for me through the actions of someone else and, while it wasn’t necessarily “my decision,” I ultimately felt relief that the Universe had responded and that the internal conflict was over. It was the first time I really believed that asking the Universe for help works.
Last year, I was suffering from indecision and confusion about how I could use my creativity. I knew that I wanted to do something outside of my 9-5 writing job but could not seem to find something I was passionate enough to stick with. Again, one night lying in bed, I begged for the Universe to help guide the way. I was so tired of feeling confused and defeated when I didn’t stick with something. I can’t remember exactly how long after it was, but soon I was drawn to flowers. I’ve always loved flowers but never thought of them as an art form or career path. I felt compelled to help other people enjoy flowers and was driven to send an email to a shop owner asking if I could host a workshop. Literally minutes later, she responded saying yes. I moved full steam ahead, hosting the workshop and going on to host others and then getting into the wedding industry.
I recently listened to Oprah’s podcast series with Eckhart Tolle, the author of A New Earth, and started reading his book. I’m always jumping around with books and also found Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein in the tiny library by our house, so I picked it up and started reading that, too.
There are bits and pieces of each that really resonate with me, so in an effort to solidify some of the lessons I’m learning and hopefully share some helpful nuggets with you, here are some of my biggest takeaways and things I’m going to continue to practice:
Don’t try manifesting things out of unhappiness
If you’re trying to manifest something out of unhappiness with your life, it’s not going to work. You have to at least accept, if not be grateful for, where you’re at before you can get the outcome you desire. An example from the podcast is being stuck in mud. Obviously, you wouldn’t be grateful for being stuck in the mud, but if you are angry and cursing and flailing around trying to get out of the mud, you’ll only get in deeper. On the other hand, if you accept that you’re stuck and it is what it is and now you must find a way out, you’ll make your way out of the mud.
There’s no such thing as the future
The future is some ambiguous place in our minds. It literally never comes because we’re always in the present moment. So, to waste our time living in anything other than the present moment is futile because that’s all there ever is. By living in the past or trying to get to the future, you rob yourself of the only thing that really exists: the present moment. As an entrepreneur this can be difficult to understand because you may think, “well, to accomplish anything I have to plan for it.” It’s true that we do need to execute tasks to make things happen, but we shouldn’t waste time *thinking* about these things. Do them as they arise and need to be taken care of, then release from your mind so you can be present in the moment.
Don’t idolize people or things
It can be difficult not to idolize entrepreneurs or celebrities or whoever you look up to for whatever they have. But if you remember that we are, at the core, all the same—part of one Universe—you realize that they are literally no more special or better than you are. It’s just your ego that perceives them as being better than you. Once you realize this, you can get out of the comparison trap that many of us fall into.
Ask the Universe to use you
Rather than you trying to figure out what you’re meant to be or what you should do, ask the Universe to use you for whatever purpose is best. Surrender to the Universe and tell it that you’re open to following whatever path it opens up for you. Ask to be a vessel to carry out whatever it is you can provide the world. It may take time and may not hit you like a ton of bricks, but trust that it’ll guide you in the right direction at the right time.
Don’t act out of ego
If you want to be an entrepreneur because of the money or fame or to “be cool” or any other egotistical reason, the Universe will see through it. Extrinsic factors aren’t the catalyst for success and it’s actually been proven by studies that being driven by these actually leads to less success. So, for each of your goals, think about WHY you want to achieve them. Is it ultimately for an egotistical reason? Intrinsic reasons mean they are personally rewarding and worth doing just for the sake of doing them, not for money or any other external reason.
Hopefully some of these takeaways resonate with you! I’m looking forward to doing more exploring to see how spirituality can help me grow a better business and live a better life.
Til next time!