You walk into a cold, poorly lit building, start fumbling with your keys, kombucha in hand, and the 28 million papers you're carrying to the office are slipping out of your grasp.
That's the moment you realize that you can't just be the ashram-loving, psychic-intuitive, deeply spiritual girl on the weekends and then be someone else during the workweek.
It just doesn't feel right.
For years, I was stuck in that cycle of wanting to bring my spiritual and intuitive side into my day-to-day life, and then putting it off because I was afraid it would hurt my career.
There's nothing quite like listening to a "dog-eat-dog" presentation to make you think, "Hmm, maybe it's time for me to come out of the spiritual closet."
In a world where we're all striving for authenticity and the right to show up as our brightest and best selves, we're doing ourselves and everyone else a disservice if we don't show up that way in every circumstance. Not just sometimes.
While that doesn't necessarily mean that the transition will be smooth sailing, here are five things that can make embracing and honoring your spirituality in the office a little easier:
1. Start with one person.
Much like every other way of declaring an expression of self, start with one person and go from there. Find a work friend or a colleague that you trust and open a conversation about it. Frame it in the context that you like and respect them so much that you want to share this part of yourself with them. Your friends will generally be supportive and even flattered that you've decided to open up about it. And, in my experience, it can build intimacy and make your friends more open to learning about your beliefs.
Self-identification is key. When you tell someone that you're spiritual, they don't necessarily want to press for information, but that is an ambiguous term. For instance, I'm spiritual but not religious. I let co-workers know this. They know that I can help them if they're interested in crystals or in tapping into and trusting their intuition, but I can't help them unravel the ins and outs of a specific religion.
3. Be prepared for questions. A lot of questions.
When you do talk about your spirituality, it opens you up to participating in conversations in a different way. For instance, if your colleague is having a mini-meltdown about money in the staff room, it's a great opportunity for you to provide a different perspective on money and to help them see that while things are stressful now, if they focus on the stress and the worry, they're just going to attract more stress and worry.
But when you do that, it usually opens you up to questions: a lot of questions.
Remember, especially if your form of spirituality involves any "woo woo" concepts, it's important to educate and to invite people into the possibility of using just some of what you practice in their lives. Never force or push any of your beliefs down their throats, but if they come to you, be a mentor. Point them to resources and give as freely as you feel comfortable with—it always comes back to you, after all.
4. Bring small objects that represent your spiritual side into your space if you can.
Whether it's a carrel desk at the library or a cubicle in your office building, if there aren't any rules around it, then bring in some objects from your home that you feel could support you in these environments. Some of your friends or coworkers may ask about them, but it's an unobtrusive way of declaring your spirituality without having to "come out of the spiritual closet." And they can help you feel safe, protected, and energized in an environment that may not totally align with your values.
5. Don't be afraid to dispel myths.
When you tell someone you're spiritual, chances are that most people are going to be supportive and not even really care that much. In fact, I promise it's a much bigger deal to you than it is to anybody else.
But there are inevitably going to be those people who are going to make fun of your spirituality or start spewing myths about it. Maintaining your energetic boundaries is essential, so don't be afraid to stand up to the bullies and dispel any myths. More than likely, they'll never mention it again and you'll have probably made them at least a little bit wiser, which the world in general will thank you for!
Most importantly, there's nothing to fear. You have the right to be who you are. If other people don't like it, that's not on you. Just because you're in an environment that isn't openly spiritual (and sometimes appears to look down upon those who are), that's not a reason for you to stay in the shadows.
Let your spiritual flag fly, and wave it proudly in the air!