Spirituality in the Workplace: Nova Scotia Businesses Bring Their Whole Self to Work

Businesses like Claussen Walters Realtors, Plovers the Environmental Store, and Capital Health to name a few, are not shy about their commitment to balancing financial viability with personal growth. It is not unusual in advertising these days to see yogis, monks and spiritual teachers promoting everything from computers to tea. The inference being if you use this product or service you are on your way to enlightenment, or at least, a more balanced life. We all want balance in our life. We want work and play, health and wealth, family and freedom.It is estimated that 60% of our waking hours are spent at work. More employers are recognizing that providing a good work environment means less stress and greater productivity. Spirituality in the workplace is not the practice of promoting religious beliefs on the jobsite. In fact, this practice is generally discouraged. Although difficult to clearly define, the literature on the topic offers this definition. ‘Spirituality in the Workplace is about individuals and organizations seeing work as a spiritual path, as an opportunity to grow and to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It is about care, compassion and support of others; about integrity and people being true to them selves and others. It means individuals and organizations attempting to live their values more fully in the work they do’. – Dr. Jonathan Smith and John Rayment Saint Mary’s University in Halifax is a world leader in this cause. It is the first Canadian University to establish a Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace.The Centre (established in 2004) is the first academic-based centre for spirituality and work in...

The Hive at HB Studios: Creative, Busy and Sweet

Picture a hive of bees. Each one knows its purpose, works independently and yet moves with the swarm as one unit. They are buzzing about, seemingly chaotic at moments, but their sweet product reveals great skill and order.They know when to work hard and when to rest, or whatever bees do when they are just be-ing. This is a pretty apt analogy...

The Seamless Weave of Work, Life and Spirit

For Armand de Grenier, psychotherapist and Susan Morrison, Massage Therapist and Homeopath, there is very little distinction between their work and their spiritual path. Their work is a seamless connection to who they are in the rest of their lives. Susan and Armand started Nova Quest Health Associates in 1989. Associates are like-minded practitioners, who also share a commitment to personal growth. At Nova Quest clients are seen as whole people; physical, emotional, and spiritual beings. They are also their history, their culture, their family, economic beings, educated beings and so on. All factors enter the healing domain so clients are not just treated symptomatically. Susan and Armand assist others to get in touch with their own spiritual healing essence. Likewise at Nova Quest it is not just the individual who is assisted. Sometimes the whole family and their community are involved coming for counseling and massage. Armand and Susan are conscious of the positive impact their work has had over time. In the native tradition, one thinks about effecting change over 7 generations. High-level wellness is about raising consciousness. One may have an illness and yet be well emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. Both Armand and Susan see many people with work related stress, physical or otherwise.When people can go to work and be themselves they are absent less, more effective, higher functioning, resilient to stress, and so on. For Armand and Susan, spirituality is a way of being in the world that recognizes a sense of interdependence, interconnectedness, inclusiveness of all nature; human and animal, across time and history. It is a level of consciousness...

A Whole New Spin on the Bottom Line

A Whole New Spin on the Bottom Line   Jim and Margaret Drescher own and operate Windhorse Farm on Wentzell’s Lake in western NS. I can tell you from first hand experience exploring the hardwood forest it is a magical place. Back to magic shortly. There are a lot of things happening on the farm. Eco forestry, a wood shop, organic gardening, a plant nursery, retreat cabins for solo or group retreats, seminars on a variety of topics and group meditation every morning. I encourage you to visit the web site but better still the farm itself for a first hand experience. http://www.windhorsefarm.org Jim tells me, “We attract people who are committed to evolving. The population changes seasonally. People come for relatively short periods of time from diverse backgrounds. They want to connect with the natural energy of the place. All groups who come here want to do a contemplative practice in the forest. It is the key to what happens.” We all know what the bottom line means. Black ink, cash in the bank, being debt free, making a profit and so on. For decades economics has dominated the way to do business. In more recent years corporate social responsibility (CSR) has emerged and with it the triple bottom line. Businesses practicing social responsibility are paying attention not only to economics but also being socially and environmentally responsible. That’s a good thing, right? We could probably agree that if everyone was taking better care of each other socially and leaving zero imprint the earth and its citizens would be in a greater state of balance. However this is...

Getting Closer at Colour

‘Getting Closer’ at Colour   A run through the ‘news’ page on Colour’s website (www.colour.ca) will quickly reveal a business playing full out and succeeding in the advertising world. They are a co-creative company with a conscience. I am interested in the intention Colour, and in particular, President, Chris Keevill, brings to his employees, his clients and his community. Is this a business manifesting some form of spirituality in the workplace? It didn’t take long for me to answer in the affirmative. Chris is a genuine human being. He is able and willing to share his experience. He listens with care and curiosity, and responds thoughtfully. He is generous with his time and energy. I immediately felt comfortable in his presence I think what I experienced first hand, is the approach Colour uses with their clients. They call it, ‘getting closer’. This approach requires one person to be fully present to another. There are many kinds of distractions competing for our attention all the time. The ‘getting closer’ approach requires that one skillfully filter distractions by consciously setting a priority in one’s mind and heart to be present. Not a rigid form of attention. More like a wine taster, using all their senses. Being fully present requires the heart, mind and body be all in one place, at the same time. An authentic inquiry. How inspiring to find a business, particularly in the media, that senses the public’s need and the desire to be heard. This can only be accomplished when we slow down and take the time to listen. I don’t know if it is a factor of...