Integrate Love With Work (and beyond)

“Work is love made visible.”
—Kahlil Gibran

Workplace Cultures of Love Thrive Together

The most successful, lasting and fulfilling organizational cultures invite people to be full expressions of themselves, which radiates out from individual self love. The world has plenty of ways to develop thought leaders. We’re here to empower heart leaders to integrate challenge and support through a lens of absolute appreciation. An integrated heart leader is able to bring love to all areas of life. Why should work be any different? We call this integral love.

It takes courage for a company to invite people’s uniqueness rather than control them. Conscious businesses led from love nurture cultures that liberate people from pretending they are something they are not. The surplus energy most people waste hiding their full selves at work is invested back into your company’s productivity and their own fulfillment.

I credit Mark Silver from Heart of Business for helping me formulate a belief that we humans do not manufacture love. It is a greater force, or in his Sufi teachings a “divine quality,” that we are able to channel by emptying ourselves of constraint and fear against it.

In Mark’s Sufi remembrance practice, he asks this essential question, “Is love available even here?” It’s a powerful way to remember our way back to the source of love, which is always available to us no matter how much despair life seems to present. We are always able to choose love if we can open ourselves completely to our current reality.

Love and Work

It has become clear to me through my own entrepreneurship and now as a coach and consultant to CEOs and leaders that nothing less than love will create the balance that we need to create a truly sustainable world for generations to come. This stands in stark contrast to the extractive capitalism that dominates our world currently. While capitalism has lifted billions of people out of poverty, the ultimate cost may be too high for any of us to pay.

First we’ll need to develop an appreciation for the more subtle energies of existence that drive most of our behavior whether we know it or not. This is the hard work of love, which may be the hardest work of all, and also the most rewarding.

My Integral Love model (above) is inspired by Sufi teachings, but is not meant to represent them directly. The Sufis articulate four layers of the heart, which I encourage you to explore on your own.

Love is not zero sum. It holds seemingly contradictory realities at once. Integrating love requires us to practice building the muscle of welcoming a full view of reality, which always means being humble enough to seek other perspectives from a place of curiosity rather than judgment.

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