You know one of my favorites topics is the Big Love – the vast compassion that extends far beyond personal relationships. Ultimately, this Big Compassion is not separate from work, even though we tend to think of the business world as the realm of the intellect.
However, I’ve noticed that when we attempt to create compassionate work environments, despite our best intentions, it suddenly gets sticky, co-dependent, and confusing. Many times I’ve seen businesses unconsciously institutionalize dysfunctional behavior under the guise of wanting everyone to feel “good” and create a “loving” work environment. So what goes wrong in those situations?
It’s all about balance; you can’t have love without wisdom, truth, intellect, and good common sense. The Big Love doesn’t necessarily mean too “nice,” touchy-feely, or woo-woo. In fact, I beg you – please don’t let it go to that extreme! The Big Love At Work is NOT about protecting egos – it goes hand in hand with Truth, Wisdom, and Clarity.
What are healthy ways to engage Big Love at work, then? I could talk about this for days, but here are a few points to start:
· Be The Love You Seek. This is the #1 most profound way to be aware of the Big Love at work. BE the Love you Seek sincerely – don’t try to act lovingly, give lovingly, or “try” to be loving. Remember the Big Love within you, which starts inside your own heart and connects out to the universe. Staying in that awareness will naturally affect your perception and therefore your actions in a very authentic, natural (and not co-dependent!) way. You won’t have to “effort” to be loving – it will just happen, often in surprising ways.
· Be Kind to Yourself. You are imperfect. You make mistakes. Me too. That’s the human game. If you have patience with yourself and give yourself room to make mistakes, you are more likely to learn and grow. If you give yourself that space and compassion, you will give it to others naturally.
· Know and Speak the Truth. When we hold ourselves back from the truth – either knowing it or speaking it – we actually block the flow of love. It’s more loving to be honest, if you are called in truth to be honest, than it is to lie and pretend to spare someone’s feelings. Of course, it’s important to find ways to speak our truths that are compassionate, fair, and non-judgmental – just impartial and honest. That can take some practice, but I’ve found that if you follow all three of these points, and you deeply investigate “what’s really true,” the words can come more effortlessly.
Being Love at Work is a grand discovery and an experiment. Remember that being love is for YOU FIRST – giving love to everyone else happens naturally. Give yourself permission to enjoy and steep in that love!
Explore more about the journey of awakening while fully engaging in a career – join us for the Buddha At Work Seminar Series, starting February 23, 2011.
Did you find this post helpful? Did you already know all this? Did it raise questions for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences – post a comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance! Blessings!