Success and Spirit: A Manifesto

by | Mar 20, 2011

Last week I was honored to be among the women Evelyn Kalinosky interviewed for her upcoming podcast, Moving from Success to Significance. Before we talked, I did a lot of thinking about what success means to me.
For me, success means continually waking up to Reality, growing in wisdom and grace. It also means participating in the act of creation wholeheartedly.
Wisdom means knowing what is truly important. Being able to penetrate and appreciate the deep meaning and significance of even the smallest things.
Grace is living in the awareness that everything you have is freely given to you. Gratis.
And participating in the act of creation means envisioning and making things. A work of art. A home. A living. It means giving form to an idea or possibility.
Even as a little girl I wanted wisdom above all things. Back then I thought wisdom was something you could attain. That when you got to a certain point, you would be wise. Now I see that wisdom is a path, not a destination. That every awakening is a new beginning.
I also used to see spiritual and material success as mutually exclusive. Now I aspire to create material well being, comfort, and opportunities as an expression of the fundamental creative impulse.
Success is a lifelong practice
In seeking success, my lifelong practice has been self-observation and reflection. I joke that I’ve always been fascinated with myself. By that, I mean I’ve been fascinated with the operations of my mind and emotions. How what I think and feel affects what I perceive and how that affects possibilities and behavior. I love it when attachment to a thought or belief dissolves and I enter a new world.
My greatest life lesson was realizing that I was an alcoholic and drug addict and entering into recovery. That taught me the meaning and practice of surrender. From where I sit, surrender is the ground of all spiritual practice.
My work has always been about self-employment as a path of personal transformation. I feel that the personal and business challenges that arise when you work for yourself are perfectly tailored to promote self-awareness and spiritual growth.
One place that is most relevant and important is healing the gap between authenticity and marketing. So many of my clients find conventional marketing to be formulaic and manipulative.
I believe in infusing marketing with the sincere desire to connect with what I call your just-right clients. When you deeply understand who your just-right client is and how the world looks from behind her eyes, your work becomes aligned with her wants and needs in a sacred way. Everything you do to promote and sell your work is part of that sacred connection.
From that place, your livelihood is based on the well being of your clients. There is no manipulation or force, only mutual benefit.
I call that real success.