Up until that point, those two elements of my life didn’t quite gel. I always felt like they were competing for my time and effort. If I wanted to do things like yoga, or try meditation or practicing mindfulness, it felt like that came at the expense of wanting to succeed in my career or getting ahead financially. This push-pull dynamic was always present, always holding me back.
Rather than allowing myself to go forth and pursue both of these elements of my life, I felt like I had to choose one, at the expense of the other. It could never be both. I could never seem to cultivate mindfulness and awareness, while pursuing success in more commercial aspects of my life.
But one day, as I was scrolling through the ABC News app on my Apple TV, I came across a series of podcasts by Dan Harris called ‘10% Happier’. In them, Dan – a self-described “fidgety, nervous guy” examines issues such as mindfulness, awareness, meditation not from a spiritual angle, but rather with a healthy scepticism, underpinned by a hopefulness that these things actually do work and produce a better quality of life, and even a bit more happiness. Even just 10% more.
I feel like I came across this at just the right point in my life. I feel like I am approaching a crossroads in terms of what I’d like to focus my attention and energy on. And again, approaching this crossroads, I felt a familiar sense of apprehension that the choice would once again boil down to be spiritually fulfilled, or successful – but not both.
Now I see that not only can both of these elements co-exist side by side in harmony, but more than that – the success that I want to achieve in my life can actually be propelled by having a strong spiritual (for lack of a better term) foundation. So instead of seeing it as an either/or proposition, it’s actually a both/and situation. I can be both spiritually focused as well as financially/success orientated.
Even as I write this now, I’m thinking to myself, “What part of this has taken you almost 36 years to understand dummy? It’s not that complicated!” But for whatever reason, this was a block for me. But now, slowly, the clouds are parting and I’m seeing a clear path through.
These thoughts are still in their very early stages, but I feel hopeful that I will start to find a way of cultivating both internal spiritual and external commercial success and happiness in my life.
I’ll keep you posted!