The least eight years of my life had been spent as the owner of a healing arts practice, working with clients in a treatment setting, as well as teaching healing arts workshops and massage therapy, surrounding myself with those of a like-minded, "spiritual" nature, and those with creative entrepreneurial business skills. This year, however, I wanted to see how my spiritual evolution, which had so far been spent of the fringe of the mainstream in healing arts workshops and the personal growth arena, would meld within a normal mainstream American business context.
I decided to teach massage therapy at a business-related college in Los Angeles.
I felt some apprehension about involving myself within a mainstream business environment, albeit at a medical arts college. I don’t like to admit this, but I also felt a certain amount of spiritual superiority with the idea of being in a cubicle-style work environment (which I’d managed to avoid up to now) to teach massage therapy, where I would have the space I wanted to teach classes. I had thoughts prior to my working at the college that maybe the people there wouldn’t understand my ideas or would find my spiritual ideas too strange for their everyday business setting, even though the college is rooted in health-care training and methods. I thought I would find people with limiting ideas, and surface conversations, while the company plowed forward with its eye on monetary rewards as the bottom line for decision making and policies.
I was wrong.
When I began mingling with my new co-workers and fellow teachers, I found a great percentage of the people wanting to talk about spirituality and health-related topics, sometimes on an extremely profound level. While some of the Los Angelenos found my Midwest emotion and willingness to share details of my life a bit disconcerting, compared to the headier and body centered culture of the West Coast, some felt this aspect of my personality to be refreshing. New friendships formed and colleagues found time for breakroom discussions on everything from Reiki and alternative healing, to God and the nature of the universe and psychic energies.
So much of our culture, and life, has been permeated by spiritual books, tapes, philosophy and healing techniques, not to mention the major shifts in mass consciousness regarding spirituality and healing, that I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to carry on meaningful discussions between classes, and on break times, with every department of the staff. At company meetings where all teaching staff would be gathered, along with the other more business-centered employees in the sales and marketing arenas, I found many discussions to be linked to a caring attitude towards the environment and socially responsible commentary on college policies and how they would not only affect the student population, but also how they would effect the surrounding community and city on a macro level.
Could it be that the mass shift in spiritual consciousness so predicted by the leaders of the spiritual movement has indeed already happened? Could it be that society, on a whole, is already in the midst of major paradigm shifts where money is not the only or primary concern, where socially responsible values and ideas gel to create an organically altered business consciousness for certain sectors of business?
I found the answer, gratefully, to be yes. I was happy that the answer was yes! The remainder of my teaching at this business college was spent with nearly no separation in language, ideas or attitude from anyone at the college, which also was surprising to my more "spiritually gifted" colleagues and friends.
Now that topics like "karma" and "abundance mentality" have become part of some of the best business books of our time, business has melted into a more harmonious co-existence with the spiritual seekers and socially responsible thinkers on this planet than I think our negatively fed media culture lets on.
Let’s celebrate the new year with a positive outlook. Let our thinking be directed towards a seamlessly linked connection between high-minded business and high-minded spirituality, and a connection for all other business, which may be lagging a bit behind, to be inspired by and to rally the call for social mindedness.