The Congregation of Inspiration
I was lucky enough to be able to get to The Congregation of Inspiration which was held at Syon Park last Friday the 28th September. It was run by Holly Tucker (who founded Not on the High Street) and her Holly and Co team. There had been a long build up to the event and it looked like it was going to be amazing, and knowing how creative the Holly and Co Workshop always looks, I was excited!
From the first steps into the event I had a massive smile on my face, so much colour and thought and imagination had gone into making the venue feel inspiring, before anyone even uttered a word I was inspired! My only regret is I didn’t take enough photos because I was too busy talking and listening! (You can search the hashtag #congregationofinspiration though and get a good idea.) Having attended many business events over my 20 year career, full of grey men in suits who don’t really want to chat about anything fun, and made up of dull talks, with not a spark of creativity, I just felt so happy that this was where I was at now, this was WORK!!!!!
So the day was full of talks and panels from Holly and a load of inspiring business people. Holly kicked it off, talking about ‘Good Life Businesses’….this quote from Holly sums it up
‘True sense of success and fulfilment comes from being able to be your true self as your job. If you can get up everyday and do what you love as your career and you can sustain life this way - this is true success. This is the Good Life.’
So within what was probably the first half an hour of being at the event I had a massive revelation, I’d been playing down my response when people ask me how my business is going. I mainly say ‘yeah its great, i'm really enjoying it, i could be making a bit more money but you know….’ when what I should be saying is - ‘its going really well, I am happier than I have ever been and feel totally fulfilled and like I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing’. Full stop. I am managing to sustain this life! And yes, I am planning on making more money than I am now, but I know that’s going to come in time. ’happy is the new rich’ I’m getting excited just writing this now.
At one point in the day Holly showed us a clip all about how we’ve maybe got it wrong if we think life is a journey with a destination that we are slaving away to get too…it’s more like a dance or a song, meant for enjoying at every stage, not tied down or reduced by the need to get somewhere else, or a mythical end point that might never come, it’s about enjoying now! I’ve found the clip here.
So another big thing my eyes were opened to was the spiritual element of work/business, whatever it is that you do. So the whole event was kind of a play on a religious meeting, the congregation in the title, the business bible we were given to write notes in, the gospel choir singing us in and out of the event, this is so full of meaning, because, as one of my favourite people in the whole world, Rob Bell says ‘Everything is spiritual’ ! Running a business, finding your passion and purpose, helping other people while doing it, if this is what you were born to do then finding that out and finding it’s working out, and keeping going doing it, is a really spiritual thing!
Over the last year of running my own business, full time, not having to work another job and fake that I’m interested in it, has been one of the happiest years of my life, I exaggerate not, even though I am prone to exaggeration. I have never felt closer to God!; because I’m fulfilling every part of who I am and i can’t tell you how flipping blessed I feel to be able to say that.
So I really believe you can’t sustain this happiness, or a flourishing business unless you are connecting spiritually with it. I’d been thinking about this whole thing anyway because the book I’m listening too at the moment, ‘How to be a Badass’ by Jen Sincero talks a lot about this…about the need to connect to ‘source energy’, the importance of meditation every day, even just 5 minutes, to centre yourself, remind yourself of the important things in life and why you do what you do. Side note, this book is one of the best things I’ve heard in a while, please read it, its life changing. I love the universal language that Jen uses, personally after growing up in the church with sometimes quite exclusive language, the inclusive way Jen talks about life is massively refreshing, it’s for everyone, the universe wants you to be happy!
So I’ll wrap this brain dump up! It was just a brilliant day, I had some macro and some micro revelation, I feel like I’ve found my tribe, and had my life calling confirmed - there are other people out there like me! On a practical level I’ve realised I need to build a team around me to help me move forward, so I’m actioning that this week, and on a macro level I need to understand that the business is not just about going through the motions, achieving bigger and better, it’s about bringing something to the world that is uniquely me, that good for the world and good for me.
So, I’m off to practice my meditation skills!