Integrating 'Soul Based' into the Professional Space
Have you ever been interested in areas you feel don’t fit neatly into the professional world? Where if you talk to people about these areas, you might get a few odd looks? This has felt true for me. For clarity, when I say professional, I’m using this term in the context of the corporate or organisational space. In truth, I am now questioning whether my interests really don’t fit, or if this has been an assumption on my behalf. I think it may actually be the latter.
Let me explain. I have always been very interested in holistic, or integrated approaches to personal and professional development and wellbeing. This includes spaces of energetic healing, soul, or spiritual approaches to development, what I jokingly refer to as the space of ‘woo’. Like many, I’m not religious, but I am very interested in spirituality, purpose, connection and belonging, actually all very well researched areas. To date, I have usually tried to keep more ‘soul based’, spiritual approaches out of work, or integrated them more subtly, not talking to them explicitly for fear of not being taken seriously. I talk about my university qualifications, my professional certifications, and my professional experience, but less about my exploration and interest in less ‘Western’ approaches.
I value and I am guided in my work by evidence-based approaches. I have, and continue to study these approaches. I also appreciate approaches that aren’t as easily ‘evidenced,’ or evidenced by more traditional measures. I feel the ‘lived experience’ in these spaces does provide evidence for efficacy, but not always in the way approaches such as cognitive behavioural approaches, or positive psychology might.
So back to my assumptions. At university, I loved tie dye, crystals, essential oils, energy-based healing and delving into ‘spiritual’ approaches (to be clear, many are very much evidence based and grounded). I still do, except I’m a bit less drawn to tie dye these days. However, as I moved into the professional world, I felt the need to keep this separate from my ‘professional persona’ for fear of being seen as unprofessional, as a bit ‘out there’ and for fear of not being taken seriously. And yet, increasingly my professional clients are also seeking meaning, belonging, connection and purpose, and this has opened up conversations, suggesting that even if the professional world may not be open to a bit of ‘woo’, the people working in the professional world definitely are, and are already exploring these spaces. They are just often doing this, like I was, without the overlap into their professional worlds.
So why does this matter? Well, it means we may not be bringing all of ourselves to work. It means we might be missing opportunities for conversations and approaches that allow us to explore areas that can be integrated into supporting our search for meaning, connection, purpose and in guiding our self-awareness, development, and growth. I think this is important and I welcome opportunities to open up and normalise conversations in this space, conversations guided by curiosity and without judgement.
I recently achieved certification as a ‘Soul realignment® Practitioner’, a modality based on accessing the Akashic records to understand who we are at soul level. I am about to embark on further studies in hypnotherapy (obviously very evidence based), energy healing (also evidence based) and spiritual healing. I am keen to formally study new areas, adding to those I am already familiar with. This will allow me to support the development of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of the people I work with in new ways, adding to the toolkit I already reach into to support my clients in their personal and professional development and wellbeing. I’m keen to continue bringing this language and these approaches into discussions with people working in the professional world.
I’m curious, what have your experiences been when incorporating ‘soul based/spiritual’ practices into professional discussions? Have you made any assumptions around what modalities for development are ok and not ok to talk about at work? I’m choosing to challenge my own assumptions in the space and welcome the discussion and exploration, as a I do the opportunity to more opening apply a very integrated approach into my practice.
Executive, Leadership, Personal & Professional Development Coach (PCC), Facilitator and Consultant.
0413 776 564
Laurenne Di Salvo offers services in coaching, facilitation, and holistic approaches to development, enabling individuals and groups to develop the personal and professional capabilities, self-awareness, skills and confidence they require to navigate their current and future roles, lives and wellbeing.
Laurenne Di Salvo