Why a new Centre / Network / Community?
It's great to talk about "spirit at work." But how do we actually make it real, in our own work?
That's the focus of our new network/community: To help each other actually do it.
That means talking about the work WE do (or want to), exploring the challenges, sharing what works, the "how-to's" & what blocks us, supporting & encouraging each other...
Read more about our new vision/direction for the Centre below...
(posted last month)
Re-Birth of the Centre: Creating Something New
In June 2014, the Centre for Spirituality at Work was closed down in its old form, due to low energy and participation. It was simply not serving the people in our network/community (i.e. you ). Over the past year, we’ve been discerning whether or not to continue, while also testing new ways of operating.
What we’ve found is that there IS a desire and need for an organization to support “spirit at work.” But it needs to do things differently. So this newsletter is to announce the re-birth of the Centre – with a new vision, form, focus and direction, to more fully serve each of us and our whole community.
Some of the Highlights
Many people now know about “spirituality at work” – i.e. growing a new consciousness in what they do, or connecting their work with who they are. However, relatively few are able to sustain viable businesses doing it, or bring it successfully into their own work or organizations. For many, it is even still hard to talk about openly.
For this “work” to grow, it needs to be alive and grounded in each of us. We also need to support each other in making it practical and sustainable, in whatever we do. And this is what our new ‘Centre’ will be about.
Here are some of the highlights about what this will look like. (Psst, please remember we’re still just an ‘infant,’ learning how to crawl, let alone walk – so these will change as we grow...)
1) New Goal: Supporting people who want to grow their spirit + their work -- and in so doing, transform our professional lives, our relationships and our world.
Some of the ways we can do this include:
a) deepening our spiritual connection and/or conscious awareness
b) growing the work we are here to do, and serving more people through it
c) taking risks to bring more "spirit" into what we do – and expressing it in the world
d) learning from, collaborating with, and helping each other in doing this.
2) A New Form: Instead of a “centre in Toronto,” we will now be a network/community/association that supports and involves people wherever you are located.
3) Our New Focus will be to:
a) Share and promote what ALL of us are doing (in our 700-800 person network), rather than focusing exclusively on “Centre” programs, services and news
b) Create a safe place to express our truths, challenges, hearts & souls, ideas, skills & experiences
c) Explore the practical issues of how to grow our ‘spirit + work’ more successfully.
4) New Ways of Operating, such as:
a) Working with members to organize workshops, initiate events, share information, etc.
(Our Soul's Journey meditations, and the new Soul Purpose workshop series, are examples of this.)
b) Provide more opportunities to connect, get to know & share with each other
c) Create/use shared resources to do this, e.g. newsletter, online Bulletin Board, meeting space, and more.
5) New Leadership: We are currently shifting from “one-person” to shared leadership, so that more people are involved in creating, hosting and guiding what we do. This will include both people in Toronto and those ‘at a distance’ (i.e. "local and global").
a) A new Leadership circle, of approximately 6-8 people, will guide our work. (*Note: We are still looking for 2-3 more people (Toronto-area and distant) to join us – so if you feel passionate about getting involved, read An Invitation to "Lead", which you will find here - and send us an email!)
b) We'll also be inviting new volunteers, ideas, prayers and insights to carry us forward. (Let us know if you’d like to help in these areas too.)
6) A New Name: In the coming months, we’ll likely be changing our name as well, to reflect this new sense of ‘who we are.’
A New Way of Seeing “the Centre”
This may be the biggest shift of all.
Currently, most people see the Centre as something separate from what they are doing. We want to change that… so you start to see it as something you are part of and helping to create, with whatever you are doing.
What we want to create is a community – a collaborative venture – a community of practice – which helps all of us to grow our own spirit-based work, our love/passion/joy in what we do, while at the same time growing this field called “spirit at work”.
What We Want to Continue
For the past 15 years, the Centre has been a place where ‘spirit’ can be spoken of in any language: religious, spiritual, consciousness, corporate, healing, scientific, new age, etc. We want that to continue.
We want it to continue to be a safe place – where we feel able (and encouraged) to speak up, talk about difficult issues, share our successes and challenges, our joys and our brokenness; a place where we can be heard, accepted and more fully ourselves.
We also want to grow through Spirit’s direction and shared discovery, rather than just strategy or 'business as usual.' Encouraging each person to listen to their wisdom and their call. Supporting each other to take that ‘next step.’ And growing this network/community by attraction and the power of demonstration. If what we're doing really works, then we need to able see it in our results.
From a Personal Perspective
As someone who works daily with integrating “spirit” and work, this is what I’ve found and want for myself:
1) I want and need people to talk to, who understand what this ‘work’ is all about.
2) I want and need people to work with, learn from & share with. I can’t do it on my own.
3) I also want/need support – to help me grow, change, operate in new ways - and I love giving this to others.
4) My spirit is not just sustained through my inner practice and work -- but through relationships, collaboration and community as well.
I believe that we are in the midst of a ‘revolution’ in how we approach our work/life. It has many facets, which include: Coming from collective wisdom, instead of individual ego. Helping one another, instead of just competing. Being guided through mindfulness and listening to intuition. Treating others with deeper respect, understanding and compassion. And facing our fears and challenges - but with less self criticism and aggression, and more self love and forgiveness.
This is not easy work. I am continually faced with spirit & work challenges such as: speaking up, offering new programs or services, knowing what to do and how to do it, when/where to express spiritual (or consciousness) language, connecting with what I love or feel called to do... to say nothing of dealing with money issues, marketing in more conscious ways, finding new clients/customers, meeting their needs (and my own), and making a real contribution in the world.
I need you, to help me, to do this.
And I think we need each other – so all of us succeed, prosper, and grow spirit/consciousness in whatever we do.
If this sounds like the kind of 'Centre' (or community) you would like to be part of, I invite you to join us in growing it.
Please share your thoughts, ideas, prayers or support below... or email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for considering!
All the best,
Director, Centre for Spirituality at Work
(and on behalf of our fledgling Leadership Circle!)