During my time working at an automotive delivery parts store I would often meditate sitting on a box of motor oil amidst rows of shelves stacked with brake drums, tires, and the like in the back of the warehouse. It may not have seemed conducive but it was my little hiding spot to tune out all the daily noise at work; in between delivering parts, I would sneak in a few minutes of quiet time when no one was around. During one of my meditation sessions, a co-worker came out back to get some parts off the shelf; I could hear them poking around, so I opened my eyes. Staring at me intently, they asked, “What were you doing?” I replied, “I was meditating.” Their response was not what I expected when they stated, “I had wondered. You looked peaceful. I’ve always wanted to learn how to do that. Can you teach me sometime?” Stunned, I replied, “Sure.”
Having a meditation space at our place of employment may require some creative license and ingenuity, since it’s not our usual go to or ideal location when seeking inspiration and revitalization.
For instance, a meditation space at work could mean a storage room or even sitting in your car in the parking lot during your break or lunch where you can take time to gather your thoughts, ground yourself, and meditate. Depending on your work environment, there may be all sorts of nooks that you can use (an opening under some stairs or a loft/attic). When all else fails, we have used the restroom and locked ourselves inside – it may not seem very spiritual, but it gives you permission to have a moment of spiritual reprieve.
We just need to be honest with our boss and co-workers by stating that when we choose to go off in private that it’s not about disrespecting anyone but our need to take time for our spiritual wellbeing during the work day. By being open with others, we’re not hiding what we’re doing or having to explain ourselves. Just like my encounter, they may surprise you and want to know more. We can then maybe take it a step further and ask the company/organization to create a spiritual space for everyone’s benefit.
Spirituality isn’t meant to be rigid because it’s about constant expansion, hence when we think of having a meditation space we may end up limiting our experience(s) based on inflexible ideas. In other words, it’s about being open to what constitutes as being “sacred” even in the most atypical, unconventional places.