Humanness in the Corporate World

When we describe something as being very ‘corporate’ the last thing we think of is human kindness. However those of us who work in the corporate world know all too well that corporate business is really all about people. Robots haven’t taken over yet!

Sometimes in the office we can feel negative towards or just disconnected from the people around us. We are busy doing our job; those around us are busy with their jobs. It can be easy to forget that we are all complex, diverse, multi dimensional, amazing people. No person can be otherwise because all human beings have had a kaleidoscope of varied experiences. What I do sometimes to nurture the human connection is actively find things to appreciate about others. All it takes is to look at them with fresh eyes and acknowledging something about them that I like… even if overall they are not my cup of tea!

I may see the guy who is annoyingly loud, and notice that he is usually very upbeat and positive too.

I may notice the lovely gentle energy of the quite guy who seems almost invisible in the office hustle and bustle.

I may see someone light up when she talks about her kids, or find out that she loves architecture & thinks London is the best place in the world to live.

There is a lot of ‘blending in’ in the office, look how much grey, navy and white is worn!. Yet when we get curious we can start to see people’s uniqueness. We are so much more than our job titles, how well we do our job or where we are in the corporation’s hierarchy. When we broaden our view, maybe taking 30 seconds to notice someone or to engage in conversation at the water machine, seeing more dimensions of our colleagues then we start to enjoy more things about them. They don’t have to be our new bestie but they don’t need to be invisible or an annoyance.

How would your week be different if you set yourself a task to look at three colleagues with fresh eyes? Find something to appreciate in them that you haven’t seen or realized before. Be open and curious to whatever that may be. Maybe you will share something about yourself too that is totally unrelated to work. As you open more to others know that you are opening up to more generosity of spirit within yourself too. You are instigating more human connection, and after all corporations are really all about the people.

Silent Purpose

At one time it seemed as though my life flowed in two parallel streams – in one I was the Gina who could thrive in the main stream corporate world, and in the other I was the alternative, hippy, spiritual Gina. They just didn’t seem to gel together. I thought they were destined never to integrate so I switched continuously from one stream to another. Monday to Friday I was immersed in the adrenaline fuelled chaos of an investment bank, which had a level of excitement and fulfilment but still left me lacking. During weekends I was often on soul connection retreats, being guided to know my true essence, perhaps with some peaceful OM chants thrown in. There I’d reach a level of inner connectedness and fulfilment that didn’t seem possible in my working life. I certainly straddled different worlds!

Eventually I discovered that I could indeed integrate those apparently opposing sides of me. I didn’t need to start a meeting by chanting three OMs or ask my colleagues to tune into their higher guidance! But that same part of me that I connected to when on retreats, could be integrated into my working life, most effectively by me simply being kinder to myself. The more often I let benevolence permeate my actions, my words, my thoughts and my feelings, the more meaning and contentment I felt at work. My day flowed better.

The integration process was complete by me recognising the contribution I was making to my surroundings just by having a gentler inner voice. I can so clearly recall a colleague one day saying, to my surprise, that she felt so calm just sitting beside me! Over time other colleagues made similar comments.

Our internal voice effects the people around us, just as much and sometimes more than our spoken words.

I grew in awareness of how my more loving internal world could enriched those around me, and it was a game changer. That is what gave my working life a deeper level of satisfaction and meaning. I enjoyed my working day in a new way, I was happier and others seemed to feel good around me. Beyond the job I was being paid to do, I felt like I had a secret mission! For the first time in my corporate job, just by being my best self, I felt purposeful.

No doubt I’ll still search for bigger and deeper ways to make a positive impact on the the world, because its in human nature to want to grow and expand. But it feels good to know that when I tune in to my most loving self and move beyond my fears, doubts and frustrations, that that is perhaps the most wonderful contribution I can make to life.

Where the Magic Lives

I have a tendency every now and then to throw my life into the chaos and uncertainty of the unknown. This I see as a healthy thing, its part of how I grow.

When I first went backpacking around the world as a bright eyed 23 year old, it was the ‘not knowing’ what was next and the potential for adventure around every corner that was my biggest thrill. I felt so alive and ready for anything.

If only threading a new path were always so thrilling and easy! Fast forward many years and I’m trying to create a life that feeds my soul, a place I belong, doing work that’s truly fulfilling. A cacophony of doubts arise ‘Where is my life going? How will my hopes and dreams come to life? What step do I take next?’. Sometimes it’s like I’m stumbling in the dark with a narrow set of options before me. And yet…

I know this darkness is actually more akin to a dark night sky strewn with glistening stars. Each one of those stars holds the light of potential – for joy, fulfilment, connection, love, harmony, learning, purpose, abundance. Magic lives in the unknown, it’s where unlimited potential awaits us. Just because you can’t see what the upcoming opportunities might be, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. When the stars are hidden from your eye, they are still there.

And I know that it’s not just when travelling in exotic locations that life is ripe with possibilities. Every day, every hour, every minute, no matter where we are, we are stepping into the unknown. It’s beyond what we can control. It’s beyond what we can imagine.

I’m finding that when I chose to believe in possibilities and potential instead of limitations that a little bit of magic seems to happen.
A chance connection, an unexpected opportunity, a fun filled day. When I remember that, the excitement of a 23 year old backpacker resurfaces and I wonder with a smile ‘Where is my life going? How will my hopes and dreams come to life? What step will I take next?’.

On the Up

Connecting to the joyful flow of our heart and soul requires stepping into our light, and moving beyond what is limiting our joy of life.

Joy can seem a long way away when we are fed up of miserable weather, overwhelmed by responsibility, disillusioned by setbacks, doubting that our hopes and dreams will manifest or nagging worries about money keep tugging at us.

It’s a downward spiral and the ‘if only’ game repeating in our heads pushes us further down. While we do need to be aware of what is triggering these emotions, sometime what we most need is to push the dark cloud away and get back to our center.

Setting ourselves on a different track with forced optimism can seem quite hollow, and genuine enthusiasm can seem like a leap too far.

So here’s a gentler approach… seeking a little contentment.

It’s a very small shift from being ‘fed up’ to recognising that right now, in this moment, ‘life is ok’.

Quite clearly a ‘life is not so bad really’ statement isn’t going to win any motivational awards. It certainly doesn’t rock my world and propel me into ecstatic joy. But what that minuscule shift does do is take us off the downward spiral, onto the upward spiral.

Some days the thought that life is all right is actually enough to realign you, stop you wallowing and set you back on the right track. Other days it’s only bringing you to the very bottom of the upward spiral, just barely touching contentment. Settle there a bit, no need to push yourself higher nor let your mind drag you down lower.

So maybe the dreaded X will happen and the desired Y never will – but such thoughts keep your mind in an imagined future, they are not reality. When you ground yourself back in the present moment you are actually in a much stronger position to handle what life throws at you. From here you can begin leaving behind the pain of resistance to what life is presenting you with and start to embrace acceptance and surrender to what is. Allowing in thoughts of gratitude for simple pleasures and kindnesses, and that light can begins to colour your day, naturally outshining the earlier gloom.

And then it’s a very natural rise to a brighter place. You are on the up.