As long as I can remember, I've had two very distinct personalities. I started meditating when I was 13 (an old book about yoga found in my grandfather’s library was my first teacher), then I started studying energy healing. At the same time, I was a highly driven, powerful young woman, who believed she could have everything she wanted. I secured my two corporate jobs with just one interview. For two years, I worked full time while studying for my Ph.D. in sociology of medicine.
Being a spiritual woman in a corporate world—and practicing meditation on a daily basis—has taught me certain things about how to survive and thrive in today's modern workplace. Here's what I've learned over the years and my advice on how to use mindfulness to your personal and professional advantage:
Everything is temporary.
Everything can change. Anytime. No need to waste your time, energy, and emotions on becoming too attached to unimportant aspects of your work. Most of the things you worry about right now will be completely meaningless two years from now. In other words, relax and don't sweat the small stuff—like the annoying habits of your colleagues.
You can detach from your colleagues’ stress.
The corporate world is a busy environment, with ad hoc projects, tight deadlines, and challenging goals. I used to work on teams where the pressures we felt had, in fact, very little to do with our “real” work. People react differently to tight deadlines, so don’t let your colleagues’ stress affect you. You are not responsible for their stress or anxiety. You are responsible only for yourself.
Being fully present equals being a better decision maker.
The more concentrated you are on here and now, the less stress and pressure you feel. Why? Because stress and anxiety come from our projections about scenarios of failure. When your mind starts projecting possible future events, you are very likely to feel more pressure on your shoulders. Concentrate on doing that one thing you are supposed to do right now, and disconnect from the rest. That’s how you can maintain clarity in your mind.
Stay calm, and they will assume you have a solution.
At first it surprised me how my colleagues reacted to me staying calm even in the most stressful situations. They automatically assumed I must have had an answer to their problems. Staying calm with your mind sharp and clear will help you become a leader in challenging situations (if you wish to, of course).
Creativity will keep you balanced.
The corporate world is a very specific environment filled with masculine energy of doing, fighting, pushing. Often, the main reason corporate women start feeling exhausted and drained from our energy is the lack of balance we’re allowed to create inside ourselves. The masculine energy of doing starts to dominate the feminine energy of receiving. You can restore the inner balance by nourishing your feminine side—your intuition, creativity, feminine body. When was the last time you spent time drawing? Painting? Making DIY cosmetics? Writing a handwritten letter to a friend? Photographing? There are a thousand and one ways you can create something.
The smile on your face is your private job.
Nobody can take away happiness from you once you have it. Nobody can give you happiness either. It may sound like a cliché, but honestly, happiness is your inner job. If you are unsatisfied with your current work, check in with yourself about how other areas of your life look at the moment. What is really missing in your life right now? Love? Presence? Self-esteem? Self-love? It’s rarely the work itself, but it may be what the work represents and what ultimately needs to change.