August 14, 2015

“It’s Just Business” & Other Lies: The Yoga of Good Business.

love or money business carrot

Warning: adult language below! 


So I got a Cosmic smack in the ass recently.

After a week of what I perceived to be “testy” and rude emails from a business contact, I requested that we communicate in an easeful and light way. This prompted an immediate phone call where I was told that “it was just business” so I should not be so sensitive.


Clearly I triggered something in them and in turn was triggered, but I also appreciate the revelation that this exchange brought. (Thank you Venus Retrograde for bringing it all to the surface!) The universe gave me a smack to wake up to clear out my business relationships that aren’t working anymore too.

“It’s Just Business” is BS.

For the past two years I have investigated, researched, wrote about and played with the idea that our intimate relationship must be integrated into the whole of our life and elevated as a source of power, joy and energy. But I also realized with even more clarity and purpose, that our “business” life also feeds our intimate life. That is, our business relationships can feed or take away from our own life energy and we need to be clear on who we are in relationship in this realm too.

It gives us permission to operate from another set of “business” rules that allows for abruptness, meanness, mistrust and conniving; and at a deeper level allows for the theft of ideas and goods, ruthless greed, the appropriation of huge tracks of land and the destruction of animals and people living within it.

Just as I expect my husband to talk to me with kindness and respect, I expect the same of those I am in business with. Yet the business world often permits bad behaviour and trots out the worn out mantra: “It’s just business.” It gives us permission to operate from another set of “business” rules that allows for abruptness, meanness, mistrust and conniving; and at a deeper level allows for the theft of ideas and goods, ruthless greed, the appropriation of huge tracks of land and the destruction of animals and people living within it as we see happening in Brazil right now.

Maybe “it’s just business” is a way to validate our bad behaviour so we don’t have to take ownership for our own shadow issues as individuals and as a collective. Greed, not-enough-ness, unworthiness, overwhelm and fear are perhaps a natural part of the human experience but one I believe we need to investigate and heal or we will keep perpetuating abuse to each other, our world and ultimately our own spirit.

The hungry ghost will never be fed if that hunger is not arrested and seen for what it is—a lie.

Why is it that kindness, responsibility, accountability, balance and sensitivity is “fluffy” and not a super power and one we are holding up as the model? Perhaps this suggests a huge disconnect with our own life essence, our fear that we will be “eaten alive” if we are not tough as nails or “taking care of my own.”

Yet, we are all in relationship with each other and planet. There is no “my own.”

We are in this journey together, and it’s time we change the way we relate.

Fire the Bullies. 

And we can do this quite simply.

We send a powerful message when we “fire” the bullies, choose businesses and teachers that support our own values, and even give soft but clear feedback on how we wish to be treated. I truly trust “the flow” and am willing to let go of resources in my life that are not in the same value equation as me.

I don’t have it all figured out. I get testy, especially when I am hungry, but I want to hold myself accountable and not just roll out excuses for my bad behaviour. I want to feel full, abundant, easeful, giving and happy—everywhere.

And I want to play with peeps who want the same.

Be a Professional, Yogi.

Conversely, as the owner of a large Yoga studio and an international speaker I also see a lot of unprofessional behaviour in the wellness and yoga world. Although we are in a helping and spiritual profession this does not excuse us from acting with respect, appropriateness and integrity—in short, being a professional!

I have seen Yoga teachers talk about their coke addiction, show up 15 minutes late with bedhead, bad mouth the “competition,” not respond to emails or other forms of communication except with a snippy one-liner, and demonstrate levels of entitlement that would leave a two-year-old with a sugar addiction blushing.

We are told that Yoga values are at odds with business values, but I disagree. Where does it say anywhere that we as Yoga teachers cannot have financial success? The “poverty as spiritual” concept has got to go. Everyone can be successful in business and in the Yoga exchange including the teacher.

I teach because I love it and I love seeing students light up with potential, happiness and power.

I also understand that the basis of exchange in our modern culture is money. Money is just a tool, so we need to get over it already! I also believe that my students want me to keep teaching, want me to pay my mortgage, and want me to live a great life.

Why do we think our students want us to suffer? And if they do, then we need to let them go and upgrade our following.

The truth is that when our students are successful, we are as teachers too. When we teach a great class it means students will come back, tell more people, make change in their life, maybe change their community which in turn changes consciousness as a whole which is good for everyone, and hey, guess what you helped do that and you should live a great life too.

Value yourself. I don’t teach for the money but I also appreciate the money that comes that allows me to demonstrate a life of success to my students.

We are poised as a Yoga community to lead the way to a new way of business that includes compassionate conduct, kind communication, transparency, integrity and even fun! This requires however, that we change our view of “business” and our sense of self-worth. On the one side we need to shift the current hard core commercial values that I outlined at the start that permits really bad behavior all for the sake of profit, and on the other side as Yoga professionals we need to take ourselves and our jobs seriously, demonstrate our credibility by acting like adults, and understanding that “business” is a Yogic relationship too and get over our own money blocks and unworthiness.

It’s All Relationship.

It really is all about relationships. And the first relationship—though this is going to sound like a cliché—is to you.

How we feel about ourselves, our worth, our service and creative intentions will determine whom we do business with, how we conduct ourselves, how we allow others to treat us, whom we attract as employers, students and support staff, what feels like a good exchange and even your faith in the “flow of the universe.”

When I feel good I am able to have fun, attract like-minded service and success focused people, speak what’s most powerful and ensure win-win offerings so I parted ways with this “not-so-fluffy” person this morning, and on a high note for even parting can be done with respect and grace.

I celebrate that a piece of this super-cool life journey just got clearer.

Thanks for the smack, Universe!





Author: Shasta Townsend

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: opensource.com at Flickr Commons 

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