Table of Contents
1. Beyond Patriarchy
When I used to work in Corporate Sustainability Strategy, we acutely recognised that there was a bit of an oxymoron inherent within the work we used to do with our clients. So long as corporate success is reduced to share value and the world economy preaches a free market (built on perpetual biased power dynamics of neo-colonialism and exploitative neoliberal policies) – all other values remain marginalised. Corporate image will of course be addressed to manage key stakeholders like media and customers (and keep sales growing), but underneath this guise, power – equated as efficiency, domination over competition and material accumulation – is prioritised at all costs to achieve continual and uncapped growth.
Change is attempted, courageously and bravely by individuals from every position, from those with innovation and sustainability posts inside departments of big companies, to those pushing for radical policy reforms inside government bodies, to the NGOs that fill in the gaps to the public protestors that march the streets. To where I sat – as the negotiator between all parts, diplomat of sorts.
But, despite best attempts, the big machine of capitalism kept/keeps on turning, like a train about to run off its tracks, no stopping its momentum.
Of course, many have tried to retro-actively build in metrics to add value for people and planet into the global accounting systems in, to shift from a ‘single bottom line’ to a ‘triple bottom line’ – as we see with the carbon market and environmental, social and corporate governance metrics (ESG).
But the fact remains – trying to build in values into a system that does not intrinsically and inherently value them, can only ever allow for marginal improvements at best and at worse, create lip service and green washing. Because the system was born on the rotten foundations of patriarchy and colonial exploitation of the earth, her resources and her indigenous peoples.
This is neoliberal capitalism. This is white supremacy. This is the patriarchal programme.
And the thing is, like all programmes that become embedded within our culture over time, they become embedded within us to.
I left the world of corporate sustainability five years ago, and sometimes as I watch what is happening in the world from a distance, I wonder if I made the right choice.
Then I remember, the world changes its fastest when we do. As our consciousness raises, as our commitment to our values becomes more clear and our sense of responsibility more comprehensive – shifts happen fast. A good example is the rise in veganism in response to increased awareness and transparency about the terrible environmental impact and hideous animal rights standards that the meat industry perpetuates.
So, as we live through the Great Resignation initiated during Covid – with millions of people leaving corporate jobs for the freedom of entrepreneurship, we must be aware of what we are bringing with us from the old and into the new.
2. “Why Are You Saying All This?”
I hear you ask
“Don’t you normally write about spirituality, soul-led business and healing?”
Yes, I do and there is a big link. Let me explain:
For a long time, I have been living the question and asking spirit, “what the link is between my ten years in the world of Corporate Sustainability and the work I do now?”
It wasn’t until I was on a call with my mentor this past week that I saw it more clearly than ever before.
And it comes back to one of our foundational laws: “As within, so without.”
Everything that I was studying, tracking, analysing and delving deeper to understand “out there” in the world during my corporate sustainability days, IS THE TRUTH of what is going on within each of us. Me included!
Only – out there, when you look at global trends and statistics, it’s much bigger, it’s much more ‘gross. It’s tangible. And, even with the colossal attempts to present a good “green” image – we can’t shy away from the metrics – of plastic pollution, of deforestation, of raising sea temperature and level etc. All driven by scarcity, fear and a greed for power.
The world we see is a reflection of the more primitive part of our brain – survival thinking. It is the product of devaluing the feminine (by which I mean not just women, but mother earth and all forms and qualities of the divine feminine).
The ecological “wasteland” we see ourselves in at present, is also a reflection of spiritual poverty – an externalisation of our attention and a disconnection from the source of our power that lies within us. A failure to tend or respect our own inner garden and spiritual sanctuary.
Add in generations of repressed, suppressed and denied trauma and voila – we have the “hungry ghosts” that Gabor Maté refers to as what drives each of our addictive habits and tendencies. Advertising’s genius neuro-linguistic programming paired with media’s fear mongering, keeps us operating in this fear based scarcity. But the external can and never will fill the hold within in.
Only love can do that.
And yes, we are all addicts to different degrees – so long as we “need” something out there to feel a certain way.
This is the source of our collective disempowerment.
It looks like a material issue, but really it is a spiritual malaise.
And here’s where I bring it back to my usual subject matter of spirituality.
3. From the Most Gross to the Most Subtle
For me, my life can has been determined by moments that created memorable paradigm shifts in my perception and how I lived my life.
One of those moments was in the beautiful wooden Yoga Barn Balinese studio right back somewhere around 2014. Our teacher, the beautiful Emiily Kusser had said this line:
“It is the most subtle that is the most gross.”
What she meant by this – as our awareness was exploring the tiny adjustments into alignment of our physical asana postures – was this:
It’s a paradox: we think we need to make all these huge, big, gross shifts to affect change. But we don’t. Instead, it’s the subtlest of changes in perspectives that alter everything the fastest. In one moment, we can quantum jump into a completely different reality and paradigm. These are the miracles that occur when we are willing to see things differently, as we are willing to see the truth.
In that moment it meant shifting from fighting my body, from forcing, efforting and striving to get somewhere further and deeper than I was able, to reach some externalised notion of uniform successful shape and appearance of the pose. And instead, surrendering, honouring where I was at, loving it even, smiling and softening around the tension, the tightness and the struggle. Allowing my breath to bring me relief and steadiness and then allowing the pose to unfold into whatever it was going to be in that moment.
When it comes to what lies and drives us from our subconscious, those patriarchal programmes exist on some real subtle levels. It’s so normalised, the patriarchy that lives within us. And it can be so hard to spot.
Wow…this was the journey that I realised I was now going on within my business.
I hadn’t realised how internalised my own patriarchal programme had become.
I want to caveat that – everything has its stage in the journey. Nothing is wrong or right. Striving to build wealth, prosperity and to impact more people positively are all valiant and commendable goals and drivers…and it gets to go deeper, to align more subtly with our soul. To ensure it is the soul that is leading and not the unconscious patriarchal programmes of lack, fear, impatience, greed etc.
4. You Work for Spirit
So looping this back to soul-led business – if we understand it not just as “conscious business” but as the vessel for which we get to be a conduit to higher consciousness – then there is some vital nuances we need to understand.
Spirit works in mysterious ways. There are contracts made before this life, agreements with all the souls you will help and those that will help you, and at what stage in both your journeys is divinely right for you to play this out. Honouring this is your Soul’s Path. Your most spiritually optimal and aligned trajectory and timeline.
The conscious mind and the ego, who is trying desperately to keep you safe and paying your bills, cannot and does not have visibility of this higher path. It doesn’t not make sense to ego – in fact it will feel very ‘out-of-control’ – because it is, it is out of the control of the ego and in the hands of the much more trustworthy and spiritually resources and reliable Soul!
Geeze, but that doesn’t mean the Soul’s path is going to be the fastest or easiest necessarily, in human terms of time and space.
A word of warning, the higher path could mean ruin and heartbreak before it means love and prosperity (and on a healer’s path, it often does) because, we must shed our skins, we must walk through the fire, we must learn the lessons to crack open our heart to create the empathy, the embodied wisdom and the integrity that can be learnt no other way.
The Soul prepares us to have what our heart deeply desires.
It prepares us to handle what we want without ruining it, or making mistakes we’ve made in the past (in this lifetime or others).
The Soul takes us on a path to clear out subtly misaligned programmes running in our subconscious and uses challenges to help polish and clarify our own inner light and alignment with our highest values.
5. The Ego vs. The Soul
The realm of ego IS what lies between us and embodying our Higher Selves.
It is the realm of fear that Edges God Out. This is not about bashing ego or banishing it, but rather re-orientating to let Spirit and your Soul lead the way.
In the way the world currently looks…that may seem like reckless insanity. Let me give you some examples.
Ego says: “I want to make six figures – I want 10 people in my course – I want a 10k month – I need more followers.”
Soul says: “Surrender. Face your fears. Confront your demons. Go deeper within. Let go of control. Align. Listen. Wait. Trust. Be willing. You don’t need to know.”
Ego believes it needs to provide for itself. Survival at all costs. Fear of scarcity, lack, death, rejection, abandonment. Fear. False Evidence Appearing Real.
Soul relaxes, knowing sources provides for all your needs. Even through life’s challenges we can be grateful knowing it’s all a gift, here to help you evolve. Empowered in the truth that each challenge, at a higher level you willfully chose. Resting in the comfort that you will never be alone and that it is safe to surrender and let go.”
6. Purification and Transformation
This year we are walking through those fires of transformation. For those at the vanguard, there is a deep purging.
We cannot create more of what we are moving out from.
We must be humbled, we must be purified, we must let go.
And that is scary as fuck for our ego.
We get to step up – become our own leaders, mothers, fathers and tend to all the parts that are arising within us to be acknowledged, witnessed, loved and released back to the love our hearts.
All the thousands of years of trauma must be felt and cleared so we can settle and finally ground into our being.
And this is beginning to happen in the coaching industry.
The subtle differences between what is leading and being created from in people’s being is beginning to be visible with those ready to see.
Beware of those that lead with money goals first – that is capitalism and ego in spiritual guise, that so many of us have fallen for.
It is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
If you are working for spirit, it is about service and impact that comes first.
It is about getting really settled into releasing all the targets and goals of ego, and saying “I don’t know, but I trust and I’m willing.”
And that’s not to say wild prosperity in all forms can’t come too.
But it is more that our focus in on answering the call of our soul to serve in whichever way each day is required.
It is about saying – I want to do this because it lights a fire in my soul, it is my joy and dharma and I will do whatever is required to keep being this light, no matter what. Even if I don’t get recognised in this lifetime, or if I become a millionaire this year, it doesn’t matter. I commit to the process, I commit to the becoming and the being my Soul’s light and expressing that in the form of my greatest joy for the service of all.
Sometimes, ironically, that will be not to serve others at all, but to do deeper within as you shed layers, alchemise energies and bring love to all parts that have been left in lovelessness. So you can serve from a place of authenticity, alignment and integrity.
Sometimes, it will be to say “I see my shadow and I take ownership of it, let me step back and tend to what needs my attention. Let me not speak, let me not create until I feel myself back aligned with spirit.”
7. Changing From The Inside Out
And I say all of this, because this has been my path so far this summer. It has been a humbling in sooo many ways as spirit ripped away all the things I was falsely attached to and illuminated all the aspects hidden within my being.
All the ways I attached my worth to external metrics like money or success. All the ways my safety was anchored independent hustle. All the ways my feminine power was not fully being owned within me.
It enabled me to face some of my deepest buried fears, take ownership for some of my core wounds of victimhood and integrate more of my shadow.
It has and continues to be a reclamation of my feminine power. Because…as within so without!
If there were two words to sum it all up, they would be humility and integrity.
I am still within this chrysalis, that goo of transformation. but I wanted to share with you today, to help give words and illuminate what some of you might be feeling.
We can keep looking to everything outside of us to help us shine a light on what still may need some love within.
And, quelling the ego by reminding ourselves, it’s okay to slow down on the physical level, it may even mean a speeding up overall and spiritually.
8. Celebrate Each Step
Every step is perfect, every stage celebrated. I was not a worse person before some of these shedding of skins – there was not something wrong with me and there is not something wrong with you.
We’ve just bringing our awareness to more and more subtle levels.
We’re learning how to BE more OUR truth, rather than the false truth the world fed us.
And we’re doing it, we’re quantum shifting paradigms, we’re creating a new way, from the inside out!
So – It’s okay not to know if you don’t know the next step quite yet.
It’s okay to feel like you’ve picked up one foot off old familiar ground and not yet have clarity on where it is landing.
As I experienced in that beautiful moment in yoga – let the next step be shown, let it unfold, allow it to be given to you. Rest into remembering you get to receive rather strive and struggle.
You’re not in a different position, it’s just the perspective that shifts.
And within the shift, we move from pain to a kind of surrendered serenity.
We begin to embody the peace of our Souls.
We come back to the present.
We come back to our place of true power.
Letting our Soul lead.
So my love, if this is you, if you are going through your own inner healing journey and allowing yourself to be born anew (as the world is) then be so gentle with yourself. You’re doing such a good job.
And in the meantime, don’t forget to allow yourself room to take it lightly. To play in the space that is available – the power that is your creative mind and imagination as you feel into all the wonderous future energies that light you up and that you are creating space within you being to receive and anchor.
All is coming. You are so loved. You are so celebrated.
Keep shining bright! X