Mindful Careers: An Exercise in Love

Reflecting on the role love plays in our professional and personal lives is not easy. It is essential, however, to form the foundation of your mindful career.

Here’s an exercise that may help:

Make a list of your most significant relationships by category. Name up to ten people for each:

Family Relationships: Kinships with people who come from a blood or a soul-related bond.

Romantic Relationships: Partners that connect to that special part of your heart reserved for romance.

Friend Relationships: Commitments with people you respect and trust. This may include co-workers.

Community Relationships: Connections to people who have common interests. This may include neighbors and co-workers.

Mentors: Relationships with influential role models such as teachers, leaders, spiritual advisers, human resource specialists, coaches, mentors and therapists. This may also include co-workers.

Vision Thieves: Significant hurtful relationships that fall outside of the other categories. Vision Thieves are often wounded people who lash out at others because of their own low self-esteem or fears. They usually put a lot of energy into criticizing others, and can sometimes be very subtle or devious in doing so.

Now, answer these questions based on your work:

  • Of these relationships, name up to three who are supporting you in your attempts to find and follow your soul work.
  • Of these relationships, name those that are challenging you in your attempts to find and follow your soul work.
  • Which of these relationships, if healed or improved, would leave you with more energy for your soul work? For each of these people, list an action you are willing to take in healing or revitalizing the relationship.
  • How can you best nurture your significant relationships on and off the job as you move forward in your career?

If you find it difficult to answer (or even consider) these questions, you’re doing something right. Tending to your career – treating it as an integral part of your life, your make-up – is challenging work if you’ve only ever considered it from the “have to do” or the “it’s just a paycheck” mindset. Wanting more from your career for yourself, for those who occupy the inner sanctum of your relationship circle, is a normal desire. What’s more, it’s a valid quest. Keep going!

You’re doing great work!