When it comes to Sacred Foundations I always think of a majestic oak tree. For me it symbolises strength, wisdom and beauty. I love that the roots of an oak tree can spread up to 3 to 7 times the diameter of the tree’s crown.
If you google the spiritual significance of the oak tree you’ll discover:
- It’s a symbol of strength, morale, resistance and knowledge.
- It is considered a cosmic storehouse of wisdom embodied in its towering strength.
- It grows slowly, but surely at its own rate.
- It is often associated with honour, nobility, and wisdom thanks to its size and longevity.
- The oak tree was regarded by the Celts as providing protection to leaders and warriors. They saw it as the ultimate of in hospitality and safety as well as a mystical symbol of truth and bravery.
- To the Celts the oak tree stood as a firm reminder that humankind has the ability to overcome all odds as well as a tremendous capacity for kindness – something we need more than ever currently.
But how does the oak tree relate to business?
I think the quote by Napoleon Hill sums it up:
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.”
Often when we think about our dream future we envisage a life free from stress and struggle. We dream of having:
- plenty of time to do all the things we love
- all the money we need to thrive
- a business that goes from strength to strength
- loving and nurturing relationships that light us up
- having fun and living life to the max
We think that when we have time and money we will no longer struggle. That when we’ve got our external circumstances just right we’ll live “Happily Ever After”.
At some level we see the success of our business as the key to our happiness.
How often do we stop and ask “Will this truly give me joy”, especially when society equates success with happiness.
When we do think about what gives us the greatest joy it’s the simplest things:
- Watching someone we love sleeping peacefully
- A cup of tea
- Sunshine warming our face
- New-born lambs bouncing in the field
- The view from the top of a landmark
How often are you putting the things you love on hold to focus on your business – believing that it will all be worth it as you’ll reap the rewards in the future?
Having Sacred Foundations transforms this.
We build a business that nourishes and serves us from day one (whether you’re starting out or have been in business for years).
We create a business that gives us we want NOW – not next week or next year but now. That might mean daily pockets of time for hobbies or leisure, a 4-day working week, setting aside a percentage of income for mentoring and growth. The beauty of having our own business is we get to build it in way that nourishes us – as well as serves our clients in the best possible way.
Putting Sacred Foundations in place means we never become a slave to our business (or we’re quick to spot it and shift our behaviour when we do). That means that when something as unprecedented as Coronavirus strikes we take it in our stride, adapting and seeing new opportunities and ways we can serve clients.
Our root system is strong – just like the oak tree, so we continue to grow. Growth might slow down or stop for a period but not long term.
So what are the strong Sacred Foundations we need?
There are three key ones:
1. Step forward in faith
Whatever we do in life has risk associated with it. We could be walking down the road and a freak accident could take place. We could be playing rugby and a tackle could go wrong. In truth the only thing certain in life is death. When faced with death we learn to appreciate life. None of us know when our time will be up. So we must live it to the full whilst we are here. Never take our breath for granted. Take a moment today, stand outside or open a window and breathe in life. Appreciate the moment. Now more than ever we need faith and gratitude. Take necessary precautions but don’t let fear paralyse you.
A great question to journal on if you’re feeling stuck is:
“What would I do if I weren’t afraid?”
2. Connect with you
Learn how to tune in to your own wisdom. Take up whatever practice connects you back to you. I do this through writing and walking in nature. You might journal, meditate, do yoga, qigong, swim, sit and look at nature – whatever it is that fills you with peace and a sense of connection. If you’re unsure, experiment – try different things out and see what you love most.
3. Know you are part of a bigger whole
We only ever see the world through a tiny lens – through our life experiences, our beliefs, our opinions. When we scrutinise and question these with an open-hearted curiosity – we notice that these are not absolute truths – but merely our experience of life. And as soon as we do this, our experience of life shifts. We can see there is a much bigger story unfolding on the worldwide stage. Maybe one day we’ll understand the bigger picture – maybe it will always be a mystery – like so much of life.
We might judge others and criticize them for their action (or lack of action) but each and every one of us is serving a greater whole in ways we will never know.
I am reminded of the following quote from the beautiful film Hugo:
“Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains takes you to places. I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine… I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”
I’d love to hear what specific foundations you have in place to stay grounded – please do share in the comments.