I was recently asked about my career move to work in the spiritual development space and whether it was worth throwing away my legal career for something so unpredictable.
In short, yes. I spent years developing my listening and problem-solving skills as a legal analyst; on the outside, I gave the impression that I was successful, but I was yearning for more. After assessing all the moving parts and providing a detailed and thorough review of the problem I was solving, I felt satisfied. The onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, as tricky as it was, my ability to remain calm during this time of crisis was the perfect environment for me to use those skills to a new level of creative execution. My gifts for introspection had the opportunity to merge with my gifts for intuitive insights. The idea of supporting others in finding their purpose and sense of self-lit me up from the inside, and suddenly, life made sense; I was no longer a follower but a leader of my mission, and that is my purpose; I don't think I gave anything up, I evolved and recognized my timing and catalyst for growth were present, and I moved on that opportunity.
"Why do most of us skip out on deep introspection? "
How Conditioning plays into our emotional immaturity
I think we are conditioned out of our feelings early on in life; we are taught that they are weak and unnecessary. As a result of this mindset, many don't know how to process and connect with their emotions on a positive level. The irony is that I often meet parents who refuse to express their feelings, yet they highly emphasize to their children the need to communicate their emotions.
Those same adults stress the need for forgiveness and apologizing, yet they don't do that with their siblings. There is a disconnect between how we teach emotions and how we process them for ourselves; introspection and deep compassion have not been activated. These parts of the emotional person are immature and form the basis of their personality and how they experience the world.
Why safe spaces at work can seem contradictory
Expressing feelings, especially at work, is seen as a weakness and not a catalyst for future growth opportunities. Many of us hold back because there aren't safe spaces to share emotions, and if there are, those spaces are likely performative obligations; to begin with, the person in charge of holding that space may not even want to be in that role. Being a keeper of safe spaces requires a deep level of compassion and empathy to understand how to creatively move low-mood problems into a creative solution for the organization. Companies purporting safe space should also be prepared to be flexible and have resources and solutions accessible to help meet their objectives. Safe spaces are not just venting chambers; they are spaces where one expects to be listened to; there is an underlying hope that the employer will take some action. If there isn't any measure, the safe space model is just performative and ends up causing a more detrimental effect on the individual seeking support.
How can western society turn the page on this disconnect from the emotional and spiritual body?
Western society is busy and chaotic, and it's been cracking and erupting; this way of living is not sustainable; with burnout and depression in sight and mind, more people are looking into learning about introspection and finding purpose and joy in life because they realize how fragile and unpredictable it is, those that have the introspection piece resolved to understand that everything that is playing out in our world is intentional to prepare us for new infrastructure to build a life that sustains our energy.
Western culture is also changed, we are holding onto old patriarchial values and systems of oppression, and those outdated transactional ways of doing life and business don't align with the new world we are shaping. Western society is merging and shifting at a radical speed. The influences anchoring peoples' ability to sustain all this change is their greater sense of purpose and hope outside of what is materially tangible at the moment. We are rebuilding frameworks incorporating more emotional intelligence and a more holistic worldview. We are slowly accepting the multidimensional reality of life and getting that we cannot structure life with the hierarchical thought culture of the past.
As Latin American immigrants, our daily reality was a struggle and survival, and we didn't just silently push through it; my parents were very transparent about the difficulties they were facing. We were raised to be aware of the world's circumstances and given the freedom to play within that awareness. As a child, I was not nurtured for my talents or encouraged for my gifts; I was forced to respond to survival; the environment I lived in taught me how to be resilient and creative with my resources. A Lot of the time, there wasn't any material evidence that things would improve, but our faith, heart and mind pulled us through as a family. Suffering taught me the gift of introspection and the importance of knowing myself above anything else. Suffering showed me the path towards authenticity and truth. I know the positive impact having this wisdom makes, and I lead with that by knowing every day. I model introspection, and I build a business for it.