To be clear, I don’t have a huge problem with vision boards or other elements of modernity that support pre-modern practices of magical thinking and childlike wonder. Such practices and perspectives can be helpful. And for individuals that are visually oriented, creating a picture of goals can be a useful practice. Vision boards aren’t all bad, and the views and practices surrounding them can be detrimental to living a conscious proactive life of depth and fulfillment.
There are two specific elements to the reality we humans experience: the interior and the exterior.
The challenges that those in the yoga and consciousness driven culture experience in the external world is rooted deeply in the ancient story of humanity’s drive towards greater consciousness. To make a broad and sweeping generalization, all activities and cultures of deepening consciousness place a preference in the internal. If you’re reading this blog right now, you probably have a preference for the internal.
Yoga and its related family of spiritual pursuits values internal development and internal goals above all else. Yogis give themselves to this with reckless abandon spiriting towards enlightenment and bliss. In this pursuit, preferences and practices towards success and stability in the external world are rejected for movement and growth in the internal world.
Make no mistake, based on my experience, contentment, abundance, and satisfaction does not always translate to the external equivalent of the same. In fact, it can be detrimental to the external. As an example, here’s a comment from Broke Teacher I:
In rejection of the external for the internal, attaching to the ideal that as long as I feel abundant I am in fact abundant personal interior and exterior development is arrested and the world suffers. Reality rears its ferocious head gnawing towards the truth that something is wrong – income drops, and in the least we’re not living the life we truly want and in the worst bills stack up. The stress and pressure of reality that gives no mind or license to the internal perspective over the external (in reality, both are one) starts to press. In the yogi’s desperate attempt to hold to the beliefs of their interior oriented perspectives the increased production of vision boards, Lakshmi chants, and the cultivation of feelings of abundance root them more deeply in their own delusion.
In a reality that is one, there are two fundamental perspectives and experiences – the inside and the outside. When one side is liberated, though both are indeed ultimately one, both do not become liberated, because both are different. Their difference requires different practices and approaches.
Personally, I pursued life differently than most. Early on, I rejected the world, the exterior, for pursuits of the interior. Most take an opposite approach driven by culture to pursue the exterior and eventually turn to the interior because they are not whole and satisfied. For me, gaining success in the interior was deeply satisfying, and reality eventually reared its head poking and prodding until I realized that I was missing something. Though deeply content and abundant to the max on the interior, the interior did not translate to the exterior and I struggled.
The biggest obstacle to teachers and yogis of business is the value towards the interior and the fallacy of contentment. I believe that the sophistication of modern humanity and the evolution of enlightenment requires that we are fluid, balanced, and whole in both experiences of reality.
The biggest obstacle to waking-up and being truly free is the rejection of the external. In certain terms, contentment is the problem. Abundance practices are the problem. Vision boards and their embedded lineage of magical thinking is the problem.
To be free, to be truly free, the teacher and conscious business person must understand that the internal is different than the external and that both need cultivation and practice. If your practice focuses solely on internal contentment and abundance to the detriment of the external you are living an illusion.
External practice, by the way, isn’t a physical practice of abundance consciousness – we don’t need more Lakshmi pujas. External practice is rolling up your sleeves, learning how to engage in business, and pushing yourself hard until you create the life and business you want.
When I say business will save the world, I am serious. We are at a time in human evolution and development that demands the entirety of the human spiritual experience, which has remained for the most part an internal, subjective experience, to be made equally external. And yogis, teachers, and conscious business people must begin cultivating the exterior as much as the interior. We must practice the exterior. Business must be our yoga. If we are indeed abundant, content, and free on the inside, than we must also work to cultivate externally expansion.
Business is the new yoga. We must be successful to be free.