Author, Aspen Chapel Minister Nicholas Vesey
Nicholas Vesey has been working as a spiritual teacher for 30 years. He has studied many of the ‘Wisdom Traditions’, and is as much at home with the Tao Te Ching or the Upanishads as he is with the 4 Gospels.
Before taking this path, Nicholas worked as a ranch hand on a sheep and cattle station in Australia, in advertising ending up at Saatchi and Saatchi, as a political consultant and campaign director for a UK General Election Party, as a self-awareness trainer, as a marketing consultant and as a broadcaster.
Formerly an Anglican Priest in Norwich, England, he is now the Minister at the Aspen Chapel.
Nicholas will be part of the conversation at our next Aspen Business Connect event on October 11th, 5-6:30pm at The Aspen Chapel, along with Yogarupa Rod Stryker and Neshama Center Aspen’s Rabbi Itzhak Vardy. The conversation will be moderated by Lead with Love Founder, Gina Murdock.
You know the interesting thing about spirituality is that it is like gravity, it affects you whether you like it or not. When you step off the roof of a building you do not have to decide whether you believe in gravity or not. The fact that you are on the ground with a broken leg tells you all you need to know. The same is true for spirituality in business. It is there whether you choose to believe in it or not. And if you do not deal with it, you will find yourself on the floor in one form or another.
Because Spirituality is primarily concerned with the human spirit, and whether or not you want to include anything in that about the divine, you all know that the human spirit is affecting your business whether you like it or not. If there is a lack of spirit around the place, you soon know it, and if there is an abundance of spirit, well you see it on the bottom line. So any talk about spirituality is really about managing something that is already at work, whether you like it or not. If you do not take responsibility for the spirit in your business, then it will come back to bite you. So spirituality in business is a fact. How greater context you make for it is the real question.
There are plenty of books written about team spirit and creating a success culture and I am sure we are all familiar with that stuff. Where it gets interesting from my perspective is where you push the understanding about the context of spirituality. Now I’m not here to convert you to believing in anything. Well, actually I am, that is what I am paid for here at Aspen Chapel! But let’s just say that I am not here to argue the existential nature of being and its relationship with a greater force, that will be covered in my Developing Consciousness course, Thursdays 1.30 – 3pm beginning September 27th. But setting a context for spirituality in business that is greater than team spirit is one of the key facets of corporate success.
[su_box title=”Developing Consciousness”]The course is based on the book “Developing Consciousness: A Roadmap to the Journey of Enlightenment” by Nicholas Vesey. Each week participants are given tools to navigate the journey to “modern” enlightenment through discussions, shared experiences, and exercises. While this course covers eight weeks of topics, each class can be taken as a stand alone.[/su_box]
I used to work for a lookalike of the EST seminar. We did trainings in human potential. That was in the 70s. As a result of that we set up a marketing company with people that had been through the seminar. At its peak we employed about 350 people. And the context that we were able to set with them was that their work was, in fact, an context of social transformation. On the biggest level that meant that they understood that the energy they put into their work somehow affected everything around them – their clients, their suppliers, even their families. We created a metaphysic about it that bordered on theology, however at the next level down it also created an expanded sense of community, and that in turn created a culture of loyalty, of commitment to each other, of a willingness to go the extra mile, and the learning of communication skills that we ended up training others in.
Much of the work done in the area of human potential has ended up in corporate training programs run today and, whether or not they call it spirituality, that is what it is. Taking responsibility for the human spirit we are dealing with beyond just esprit de corps and team building into more traditionally religious themes such as the creation of a community, of the idea of a higher and nobler cause, of the idea that work has meaning. That the idea of work is greater than just a job, but is a contribution to the greater whole.
To really have a workplace transcend the ordinary, you have to have people see work in that spiritual perspective. To see there being an inner aspect to their contribution, which, if engaged will transform their effectiveness, and the effectiveness of those around them.
Einstein said that none of his great ideas came from rational thinking, there was a leap made beyond the rational. And that is what you strive for when you place work within that spiritual context. Because the question is not how do we bring spirituality into work? but rather how do we discover work as being a part of a greater spiritual context. That transforms things. And it brings up all sorts of other questions around how we do our business. Honesty, commitment, loyalty. The idea of sabbath……England. All of which makes people feel valued and a part of something that is actually making a difference to society.
So for me the main message is that spirituality is already there, in your work, in the people, in what they think and how they behave.
Our task is to manage that and use it to create a context that will serve the community we call our business.