Business Grounding and Ethics through Yoga's Yamas

Hope your all doing well. I am so happy and thankful that the last post about finding balance in your business life struck a cord with you. Now I am going to speak straight about grounding oneself while running a business with yogic lifestyle as the teacher. I understand this may not be for everyone and in no way am I pushing any way of life on you. I offer this post from the heart and personal experience and realizations I had that helped me root myself ethically in running INK+WIT and in life.

As many of you may know I have a yoga practice. Not one that is only on the mat but one that is my life. I searched for a long time through my teen years and college to find a philosophy and way of life that resonated with me. A guide if you will that had compassionate answers about how to live in peace with the ultimate emphasis on being fair and kind to all beings including animals.

I never felt as grounded (steady and joyful) with my business, finances, ethics, and outlook as I do now after having a yogic way of life for seven years. More so, in the last two years since meeting my teacher Dharma Mittra. Some of us may find our guide and starry light in our parents, the Buddha, Jesus, or whomever helps you feel one with all in the universe. For me, something hit home when I applied the yogic teachings of Yama and Niyama to my business life. Similar to how you purify your diet and home, you purify your business ethics and intentions. The Yamas and Niyamas are the ethical rules of Yoga. The Yamas are how we act in the external world and stated below is how they filter into my business and life off the yoga mat. The Niyamas, which I will not cover here, are how we interact with ourselves and internal world.

Ahimsa is the practice of non violence.
Business Grounding application: Do not harbor any ill will, jealously, or negative thoughts towards others, be good to yourself and pat yourself on the back - running a business can wear you down and out and you must remember how much work you are doing and not let your mind go into dark spaces thus creating noise creating ill feelings towards yourself or others

Satya is truthfulness.
Business Grounding application: This is a big one! You can not only lie to your highest self but lie to clients, colleagues, and you may not even think that you lied. I know we all bend the truth a little here and there but instead of really bending it perhaps set the intention to be kind in your mind and be silent or just be honest in the best way. For example, if someone says do you like my haircut? You might say, yes, but I really love you with long hair. When, maybe you are thinking, BAD hair! We can easily let people know how we feel simply by our energy and if your words do not match your energy and expression you look like a liar and often the person feels worse because you sugarcoated it. As a business owner I like to be honest with everyone about the process of their designs and if they really work. I do not lie for money, never have, never will, and I feel that it is commonplace these days to take someone's hard earned cash in exchange for less. Watch your intentions behind why you are doing a project. Are you doing it for the lower self or the higher self. Yes, you must earn money but are there ethics and can you stay honest? A great client relationship is based on trust. And trust is based in honesty.

Asteya is non-stealing.
Business Grounding application: We often think stealing is shoplifting or taking something from someone in material form. However, interrupting someone when speaking is stealing the conversation. Finishing someone's sentence (unless it is your beloved on a romantic evening) is stealing someone's thoughts. Overcharging for what you know will take very little time and energy is stealing. And, when someone is happy be happy. When you are down you steal their moment and time to shine. Also, ideas. We recycle ideas all the time but in a huge Internet pool now where we can access everyone's work be careful how close you come to someone's style and words. Be inspired but do not copy. I remember seeing an illustrator who completely ripped off illustrator Ralph Steadman's work. It was exact. Be as original as you can. it takes time to develop a style but try to introduce your own color palette, line quality, shapes, and concept. If birch trees are in vogue apply your own style and run with the hot trend. But, be different. That is what will give you longevity as a business owner anyway. be yourself, be unique and keep it clean.

Brahmacharya is moderation.
Business Grounding application: It is also celibacy but let's not touch that here as we are talking work business not very intimate personal business. Moderation is key to maintaining your energy in business life. If you overwork yourself you will crash. If you are lazy nothing gets done. Enough said.

non-possessiveness and non-attachment.
Business Grounding application: If the goal is to always have more and when you get it you are attached to it, when it leaves you sadness and anger may present itself. Do not be attached to any praise, following, rank, twitter following, press, fame, or fortune. Embrace it, honor it and those who take the time to buy your work or work with you, but do not let it become an attachment. Life has ups and downs and sometimes the waves are huge. Sometimes waters are dull and shallow. There are times when work floods in the doors and when it is dry and you are waiting for the ship to come in. Remember business life should be nurtured like any other part of life. Plant good seeds and weed out what is not serving you. When you do you will be less attached to the material plane knowing it can disappear at any time. This helps when jobs fall through. This helps when not everyone likes your work. This helps when your hot and your not. Being a business owner can become competitive (if you let it) and really, what do you own, nothing, only your spiritual insight and personal experiences. So, when things fall away be grounded in all that has been given to you even when it fades. Do not be attached. Just accept the good with bad and be neutral. Do what you are doing for the greater good. Make people happy. You will be happy and stay grounded in pure intentions.

Stay humble, kind,
open minded, and remember how you started, where you started, and be fair to everyone. Listen well, speak with clear intention, be moderate in your daily grind, and live simply. Your business will grow and be planted in good intentions. When the seasons change you will have a toolbox to stay planted, steady, and keep it real.