Uncoupling – The Secret to Spirituality in Work Life

We are complete. Nothing is missing. This is an important discovery. We are complete, nothing needs to be added or subtracted. Nothing is ever missing. Sure we can want a new car, that’s missing but really, we already have the bus, a taxi, a rent car if necessary. Really, we’ve got what we need it’s just that we perceive that it’s just not good enough so we want better.

Wanting better, more, larger, smarter is good. That’s evolving. So, how do we keep on evolving without becoming so obsessed with more and more that it drives stress through the roof and turns us inside out?

The answer is by the introduction of spirituality.

My spirituality isn’t in a room, mine goes with me everywhere. It’s a commitment to a certain head/heart space and a tool kit (I call it “tool kit for the soul”) that comes with me to make it happen.

To understand this a little better – although we are complete on the inside, we rarely feel complete on the outside. Because of this we are always evolving between enough and never enough. We want More.

We want more relief for Nepal, more health for kids more safety for 3rd World women and children. We want more (even when we say we want less it means more of its opposite). And more is good. Nature wants more too. So, wanting more is as spiritual as wanting nothing. You see, my definition of being spiritual is “owning” what it’s like to be human rather than false expectations of yourself.

We all want more. And we all want a certain feeling about life. My favourite feeling about life is kindness, but everybody has a different favourite. So, the spiritual question becomes “can you cause yourself to a) want more, and b) feel your favourite feeling both at the same time?

In my coaching I encourage people to define that favourite feeling with three difference feelings because it’s rarely one that nails it completely. This feeling is often referred to as “intrinsic values” but that’s so mechanical. It’s deeper than that. Actually that favourite feeling is your life’s purpose.

We spend the first twenty or thirty years of our lives trying to feel these certain feelings,  experiencing our core group of emotions by simply trusting life – we go out and have fun, achieve things and enjoy life. At some point, the flow of those three feelings gets interrupted and we move into the Give to Get space. We become conscious of wanting more of those feelings and very much aware of ways to cause them in others (we give others what we most value ourselves) – with this shift comes career choices, relationships and lifestyles.

So, there’s a transition. Instead of going out and getting what what we want to feel, we start exchanging – we give people what they want in order to get what we want (those core feelings). And so begins a really complex math. We start working or studying or loving – not because it gives us those three core feelings we value, but because, an employer, partner or society rewards us for it.

It’s complex because we only want those three feelings, those three emotions, but now we start thinking the “when I” model. We say “when I get my degree in biotech, I will then feel those three feelings again” – in simple language we couple the feelings that cause us to be inspired in life with something we can achieve in the future. We delay feeling those three feelings on a daily basis in order to achieve “More” of something. More money, more car, more love, more fame and then we can really get complicated.

You see, we can’t live without those three “core feelings” they are our real motive, our joy, our spirit and when they get delayed, we’re basically saying that the best way to achieve something is to put our inner self aside until we get the outcome – result we want. Now, with this choice, we need substitutes: we need synthetic process to help us feel those three feelings, and food, alcohol, drugs, sex, greed and “spirituality in the form of religion” start to play a major role in our lives.

Then, maybe we forget how important those three core feelings are, or we give up trying to feel them and go looking for someone to cause them for us. Someone who will “take care of all that,” we couple our core feelings to one person. We give them what they want and they give us what we want. Very often this works perfectly, but if the other person becomes bored or dissatisfied and turns off the supply, we can find ourselves in both a job we hate and a relationship that’s not nourishing.

Giving to get is exhausting. Eventually, even if it takes twenty, thirty or forty years, a person will ask “how do I get to feel what I want to feel, while I do what I want to do?” What they are asking is “how do I un-couple how I feel from what I do?” Which in essence translates to “how do I live on purpose in my life?”

To be on purpose means uncoupling. You feel those three feelings irrespective of what you’re doing. When you feel those three feelings you are transmitting those three feelings through whatever you do, and therefore, the three most important aspects of your inner workings, automatically get woven into the things you do.

Once you uncouple – means to find those three feelings before you start work, before you start loving your partner or kids and return to them all day every day, then wanting more and more is good because you are coming from a good space – a “satisfied” space – not a desperate craving space.

Which leads me to the topic of this post. Uncoupling.

Uncoupling does not mean divorce. It means taking acute and enjoyable responsibility for those three emotions, those three feelings you’ve now come to know as your life purpose. Your life purpose isn’t to build another Taj Mahal, but it might be to “feel the love and joy” or “celebrate the beauty of life” – basically you’re saying that this is what you want to feel, and uncoupling that from anything that goes on around you. It’s your purpose because you’ll give what you value most. Those three feelings are the intangible definition of it. The rest is just mechanics.

So, grab a note pad and scribble the three feelings you’ve never read about in the Dalai Lama’s Happiness book or the Eckhart Tolle’ Power of Now. Dump the “should feel” and ask “what do I really love to feel” – and that’s what you commit to feeling, using my “first aid kit for the soul.”

You’ll lose it and get it back and lose it and get it back, that’s called evolving. But more important than that is to remember “you can’t give what you haven’t got” and if you get the most out of life by giving people those three feelings you value, then it’s highly practical that you get those three feelings on board first.