THE BLOG

The Seventh Secret of Change

04/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Finding your Spirit where tranquility, ideas and wisdom live.

People who successfully navigate change know they are connected to something bigger than themselves.

When everything around you is changing, look for that part of yourself that doesn't change, the part that is calm, centered and always there.

You can tell people who have Spirit. You can also tell companies that have Spirit. Nothing religious going on here, its just a sense of aliveness, of joy, of doing something that matters, that makes a difference, that helps. It's a commitment to going beyond the material, the rules, what's expected and going with a different form of guidance. Often it's inner guidance, a nudge, a knowing of the right thing to do next, a strong intuition. We all put far greater value on intellect, on the mind, we cling to being clever, on knowing. Finding your spiritual side is about being open to not knowing, to being empty so that a new idea, direction, person can come into your life. It's about finding a different sense of peace, tranquility that doesn't depend on getting a deal, making the money or any form of external marker.

All great leaders, heroes, athletes, regular people who have touched us in some way believe in something greater. They don't all define it the same way, or have the same word for it, but everyone I have interviewed eventually says some version of "something bigger was going on." All types of change, whether it is personal or professional at some stage make us go looking on the inside. We find ourselves reconnecting to our intuition, our heart, our faith, our connection with another part of our self, perhaps our "higher self" that we have so often forgotten.

Infusing life and our work or business with spirit is about going with our intuitions, that part of us that is connected to a different, unnamable source of wisdom. It's about a different intention that goes beyond "getting something" but is about "giving something," helping, serving, contributing to our fellow human beings. It's about bringing the energy of kindness, care, love if that doesn't scare us, to everything we do and everyone we interact with. As Plato said "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." What the world and business need now is a lot more gentleness, gentleness starting even in our communication, emails we send to people, how we interact with the world. We need gentleness with ourselves, stopping the disapproval energy that runs our lives! It's about stopping the "perfection" cycle and giving ourselves permission to be human.

How do we do this? We start with being comfortable with silence, going inside, taking some time to check in with how something is feeling. Does the deal feel right? Does the website design feel in line with our intuitions? Does this person we want to hire feel right? We feel OK doing nothing, allowing ideas, insights to come through when our minds are not overly busy. We find moments of taking away the incessant noise all around us. Yes, some people call that meditation but that word is also loaded with connotations of sitting in a lotus position chanting. Meditation is only about being with ourselves, away from any distractions, getting back in touch with different parts of ourselves, hearing our deeper truths, re-aligning some aspects of our lives. Infusing our lives and work with Spirit is also about finding our intentions for why we are doing what we are doing. What guides our choices and really our lives? Is it about wanting more or giving more? Power moves through those who serve, not those who are out to get more. Ironically, when we don't focus on getting approval, or money or fame, that's often the time when it comes to you in spades.

Finding our spiritual side is about a bigger sense of meaning as to what we have come here to experience. The best advertisement for the spiritual path isn't about doing a yoga class once a week, wearing a spiritual piece of jewelry or even going to church. The best ad is about being kinder, more compassionate to others, finding any which way to help. We need to ask ourselves, who needs our help today? We are loaded with gifts, ideas, connections that can help others do something good in the world.

I ask myself that question everyday and in so doing, it's remarkable how many of my challenges, hurdles also get taken care of in parallel. My quiet silent time to be with Spirit, is what I call a "non-negotiable" (together with my health). This means no one and nothing touches this. I don't start the day before attending to these. They come above everything for me and ensure that I'm effective in all areas of my life.

What are your non-negotiables? How much spirit is alive in your organization or family or job? What feels right as something to get started on to reconnect with this part of yourself that runs through you whether you acknowledge it or not? If you find your spiritual side, the part of you that never changes, is always there, detached from any drama, then life on the outside will become calmer. You will then be plugged into a different source of energy, not only the "little me" trying to keep everything under control, but the bigger source that powers life and nature, that part you may not fully understand, that source where anything is possible and you are not limited by disempowering thoughts or beliefs. Nurture that relationship.