There’s a great many people who suffer from spiritufobia. Tonight, for example, we had friends over, and we started talking about the AA’s 12-step program, which, when you look at it, is pretty darn spiritual in nature. “That’s not for us”, was the instinctive reaction.
And when I tell some friends and family members about what I do and mention the spiritual angle, and how your startup should be aligned with the purpose of your life, they get visibly uncomfortable and start talking about more practical matters.
There seems to be some spiritufobia going on.
And I can totally relate to that. In fact, I suffered from spiritufobia myself for a very long time. Part of it was that my spiritual role models growing up were all pretty unhappy, so I had equated spirituality with being unhappy. I didn’t have Steve Jobs, Dalai Lama, og Mahatma Gandhi as my role models then.
But the biggest part, probably, was that I had no idea what it meant, other than it sounded pretty “out there”.
Now I know, and now I wear it as a badge, because it’s a great conversation starter. It parts the waters. Some people love it, and some people hate it, but it always gets a reaction.
Spirituality, at its core, means the understanding that we’re all connected. That we’re not little separate selves, but we’re all part of the one life, the one consciousness or awareness.
At a more practical level, it means noticing what is, being the awareness that notices thoughts, feelings, and personality, without being those. That simple but not necessarily easy little trick holds the key to all freedom.
When I first learned this by direct experience, which is the only way to experience it, I knew I’d found the key. In coaching, we tend to look at each belief individually, and do all this work to get to the truth about it, so we can reinforce that truth. Yes, the worst that can happen if you asked your boss for a raise is that he says no. Yes you are okay.
Noticing is a meta-instrument that can kill all limiting beliefs, all negative patterns. Not all at once, but in larger chunks, and with much deeper and more lasting effect.
Spirituality described sounds weird to a modern western ear. Spirituality experienced makes complete and obvious sense. There’s nothing to be fobic about.
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