Workaholism : Spiritual Tips to Step Away From Your Desk

Is workaholism a real problem? Why does it happen in the first place? And how can we overcome our addiction to work? Here’s my story, tips & insight.

It’s ironic that when I worked in the corporate, I was NOT a workaholic. I was proud of myself, for maintaining a strong work-life balance. It wasn’t until I became passionate about something, that my passion became an obsession. And that obsession became workaholism.

I remember that one year, back in the summer (of sixty nine?), I was walking with my friend, along the peripheral of her apartments. Giving her, Deepti, a healthy dose of right and wrong. As good friends should, eh?

friends, chit chat, conversation, car pulled over, relax, vacation, long drive, coffee

Her entire focus throughout the day, was work. It was beginning to effect her physical and mental health. And it made no sense to me because there was much, MUCH more to life.

Then how was it, that 3 years later, I was in the same boat, unable to see anything beyond my work, my blog?

The next irony was that the very thing that I preached about being wary of, spiritual vices, became a hidden one for me too. I became addicted to writing about Spirituality, finding countless ways to bring the truth to readers.

But when did it all begin? And, why?

And more importantly, how can you and I outgrow our workaholism tendencies? Let’s address this together.

How Workaholism Grows

One theory is that wherever you put your attention, your energy begins to harness in that direction.

Seems true when I reflect on it. Because as soon as I start writing, my thoughts jump from one idea to the next. I end up saving draft after draft, of what I’ll share at ‘some point’.

The more I take Julia Cameron’s advice to “show up and just write“, the more my mind runs. It has become a machine of countless creative ideas!

ideas, workaholism, write, notes, post its, brainstorm, brain dump

It took me a while (and then another while) to realize that I only have a dedicated reserve of energy every single day. And I was beginning to spend it all on one chakra alone – my sacral.

As the ideas churned out, I felt satiated with the satisfaction of being able to do what I love.

But now, I noticed how little time I had for friends. Or family. Or to make a phone call to my husband without still being on the laptop, half-distracted, doing something.

I felt guilty about it. But not guilty enough to stop.

Those were my defining moments. Workaholism was the choice I was making.

Is Workaholism Even A Real Problem?

When all the energy and time is consumed in one task, there’s little room for anything else. That’s the obvious statement. But think about this.

When we stay in that same zone day after day, month after month, our energy stops moving to the other spaces of our existence.

Our neurons begin to rewire themselves. They get retrained to do something that only serves the space they’re confined to.

So, scarily enough, even if we do make time for friends, family and leisure, our mind still makes it all about work.

You might think that isn’t the case for you – but read these examples.

If you’re a housewife, you’re no longer able to sit and talk when somebody comes over. Because you’re either making your loved ones the next snack with their coffee, or you’re cleaning the aftermath.

As a businessman, you look at even the most irrelevant interactions as a “great sales pitch”. Or as an inspiration, maybe some lesson, that you can take back to work tomorrow.

workaholism, men working together, friends, coffee table

Or if you work in an IT job, then every argument reminds you of the karmic battle with your boss. And you either classify your relationships as “this relationship is like the one with my boss”, or that “this one is thankfully so different”.

If you’re a social media influencer, artist or writer, you start seeing everything as inspiration for your next post.

Guilty? I know. Me too. But the guilt isn’t enough to make us choose otherwise.

We’ve been in that zone for so long that we find nothing seriously wrong with it. Our trade-offs can’t be that bad, can they? And that’s when we know that workaholism is a real problem.

Everything becomes transactional, or is pushed to adjust itself around work.

So, we forget how to love without checking our phone.
We forget how to eat without talking to someone on the other line.

We forget to be where we are, because we bring our ‘zone’ with us, wherever we go.

What Now?

It’s not a quick fix. I’ve been aware of my tendencies since over a year, and I’m still working on it. Just like every other karmic impression, this vasana too is tough to overcome.

But there must be a way. And I’m trying to find it. So far, this is what I could come up with based on what has made workaholism a little less predominant in my life.

#1 – The Essentialism Approach

When I first read case studies from CEOs and highly successful businessman that talked about how relieved they were to do less, it felt counterintuitive.

And yet, isn’t that what we’re ultimately aiming for in our spiritual journey too? Less doing, more being?
To stop chasing the external, and to go within?
To uncover our true nature through self-reflection?

Ofcourse, as long as we are alive, we cannot stop action (karma) altogether. But it’s becoming apparent to me through my own problem, that workaholism is just one of many ways in which our karma is becoming futile.
workaholism, shocked, surprised, working hard, laptop

What is essentialism? It’s a specialization for what our modern generation calls minimalism. It’s about doing less. And how can you put essentialism into practice? Here are my tips:

  • Have a fixed set of tasks for the day. And DON’T add more to your list before you tick everything off first.
  • Use a planner or journal to monitor and maintain your progress. When we are able to visually see how much work we’ve done, we feel contentment and appreciation for how far we’ve come. Versus chasing more.
  • Reprioritize your tasks to always do what’s the most essential first. If something isn’t important enough, find a way to get it off your plate. That’s where the term essentialism comes from.
  • Spend less time making it perfect, and focus on getting the task done. In other words, strive for quick wins by breaking down each task in many small tasks.
And most importantly, have a planned day off. Make it a habit to unplug, and to NOT always be in the zone!

This not only makes you more effective (because now, you only work 6 days a week), you’re able to refresh and reprioritize your tasks better.

I’ve adopted the concepts of essentialism from the author Greg McKeown, from his work Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

#2 – The Mind-Body-Spirit Approach

I recently talked about the 5 metaphysical layers of our body, and it holds relevance in today’s post.

When we are work-oriented, we are using our physical or gross body, and mental plane or a part of the subtle body, to achieve outcome.

man at work, stress free, work life balance

Now, I’m not saying renounce work altogether. But in what ways can you nourish the workspace by nourishing your other layers?

  • For instance, if you practice mindful breathing (pranamaya kosha) everyday, you won’t feel so anxious and worked up when work got stressful.
  • If you create a small Meditation ritual (vijnanamaya kosha) before work, you’ll have the chance to quiet down and receive more wisdom from within. Versus hitting your head for solutions. You’ll even be able to trust your instincts more and get yourself out of tricky situations faster.
  • And if you work with awareness of your 3 gunas (rajas, tamas, satvik), you can change the actions which were of ill-intent to produce action of higher karma.

The purpose is to identify blocks in every layer, every kosha. And then to target those spaces through a simple spiritual practice. See if you’re able to identify your blocks and find a few practices worth incorporating in your life?

Ofcourse, as a workaholic, it can seem difficult to make time for anything else. You might wonder how you’ll bring more on your plate.

Well, remember point #1? If you practice essentialism the right way, you will actually have a lot more time. And many things you can do, that aren’t about work.

#3 – Redirecting Your Energy Into Other Spaces Of Life

While briefly talking about the reality of workaholism, I hinted at energy being restricted in my sacral chakra.

For other people, your reason to work could be different.

You might get a sense of accomplishment and want to consistently chase that feeling (solar plexus). Or you might be money-oriented (root chakra) and be seeking affluence.

No reason is better or worse. They’re all bad, because they’re all in excess.

workaholism, workaholic, achievement, success, goal-oriented

So my third suggestion is another application of the Chakra System in daily life. Here are some tips you can follow, to push your energy into other spaces of life.

  • Identify what chakra gets fueled the most when you’re working. It could be one single Chakra, like some of the examples I listed above. Or you may notice a combination of these and others.
  • See what Chakras need your attention, and how you can balance them outside the space of work. This series is a good starting point for tips.
  • While at work, be aware of the energetic “high” you’re experiencing and investigate deeper as to why you always seek this high. How? Try journaling or meditation.

Investigate your life through the energy centers of your energy body, and you will find that most of your blocks will automatically free away. Consequently, freeing you and empowering you to live a more balanced life.

Concluding Thoughts

Workaholism is one form of escapism that so many of us are dealing with. Using the solutions above, I’m hoping you can conclude with me that,

  • One, we need to be mindful of what we work on each day,
  • Two, we need to challenge our need to work so much by investigating deeper through our subtle body’s blocks,
  • And three, we need to redirect our energy to flow across every dimension of life, without letting it revolve around the very thing we’re taking a break from. Work!

You might also enjoy reading 5 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance.

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no added cost to you, every purchase you make through these links brings a small commission to my blog. This helps support my work. Thank you for your consideration!


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5 Ways Your Logical Mind Can Sabotage Your Spiritual Growth

In what ways does the logical mind misguide us in our spiritual evolution? How can we retrain our mind to see the magic of the Universe?

When my spiritual journey began in 2017, I was a left-brain dominant personality. I would operate by logic, and I looked for reasoning in day-to-day life. While living practically is important so that we’re not taken over by emotions, there’s a lot that happens in the spiritual realms, which may not necessarily be explained by our logical mind.

Whether you’re new to the world of spirituality, or you’ve been around for a while, the logical mind will continue challenging your faith, holding you back ever so often. This creates mind blocks that can prevent us from progressing on our spiritual journey.

What kind of thoughts can be detrimental in your spiritual growth? Here’s a list of some of the most common ones. 

Note : I’ve been guilty of these at some point or the other. No judging!

#1 – Don’t trust the unseen.

The ego mind, the left-brain centric thoughts compel us to figure everything out, so that we can avoid surprises. Change makes us uncomfortable, and can even become numbing when we’re forced to think through unfamiliar situations as they confront us. But why? 

It can be scary to step out of our comfort zone. Especially when surrounded by chaos, it might even feel impossible to imagine a better reality. It takes courage. But we don’t need to know the whole journey – we just need to be able to take the next step. And then the next. And then, the next.

Think of it like a Rubik’s cube – where even though at first the colors seem complicated, with a few twists and turns, they begin to fall into alignment.

rubik's cube, alignment, logical mind, puzzle

It is delusional to think that things will remain the same, in a universe where change is the only constant! Then, it becomes imperative to trust this universe, as it reveals its unpredictable yet magical self to us. 

My takeaway is that we need to learn to believe in the unseen, and allow ourselves to embrace the feeling of being uncomfortable, as one change after the other enters our life. Resisting life or denying the power of the unseen will not get us anywhere, but only enhance our suffering.

#2 – It’s all a coincidence.

I’ve worked with countless individuals, who in the initial stages of their spiritual awakening have told me things like, “maybe it was a coincidence”. Or that they “got lucky”, that one time something good happen to them.

The good in our life, the grace, is not a miracle, nor a coincidence. It is Divine Intervention.

dreamcatcher, divine intervention, spiritual healing, sacred space

The Universe is always there to take care of us. And the magic is at play whether our logical mind can successfully spot its presence or not. But when you’re undergoing the initial stages of a spiritual awakening, it can be difficult to wrap your head around the idea that you really are being divinely guided. 

And yet, the sooner you can embrace this magic, the easier it will become for you to work with this mystical energy and bring lasting change. So, take a moment to acknowledge the divine in your life. Slow down and observe the many wonders that life has to offer. 

My takeaway is that the Universe is always speaking to us, if only we could listen. So, we need to give ourselves the permission to talk to the Universe, asking it to reveal itself to us in our daily life. Infact, we should expect it. Demand for it to happen. And then watch how the Universe shows up for you every single time!

#3 – There’s a right or wrong way to be spiritual.

This is a trap we all fall into, and perhaps the most recurring one. 

The logical mind is used to categorizing and compartmentalizing life, to make things predictable and easier to process. And in that, some things are categorized as spiritual, whereas others are not.

So when someone acts outside our definition of spirituality, we blast them with our judgement.

ego, right or wrong, boundaries, opinion, judgmental, logical mind

Everything that has happened, and that will happen is a part of spirituality. How? Because we are spiritual beings, here to have a human experience. We are meant to make mistakes. So many times, it’s a part of our soul contracts to hurt someone, or to be hurt by someone.

It is all a part of the grand scheme of things. And if you can’t see how, step back and look from farther away.

My takeaway is that sometimes even the wisest souls can mask their progress and sign up to give us a tough time. But our journeys are much more intricate than our human mind can perceive. We must learn to look for the lessons in every interaction, and practice non-judgement towards those that don’t fit our idea of how life should be lived. On the other side of this journey, we are all One. Beings of Love and Light.

#4 – You deserved better.

In the face of adversity, our pain is at its peak. And it makes sense to be angry, to feel helpless and want something better for ourselves.

But don’t let your adversity define you. Don’t let yourself believe that the reason something bad is happening to you, is because you are unworthy. Neither let yourself get into an inner conflict, that if you’re a good person, why would something bad happen to you.

And most importantly, don’t fall for the victimhood archetype. Its the very thing that prevents us from being accountable and truly making the changes we desire.

logical mind, sad, upset, deserve better, emotional man sitting on bench

It can be tough to grasp this, but there’s nothing personal here. It’s all a part of the process, and everything that is happening is needed for the collective consciousness’ evolution.

We all signed up for this, whether we remember it now or not. Infact, not remembering was also a part of this process. It’s what makes this journey so exciting!

And as a soul, we can never die or be born. We can’t be hurt. Nothing can be taken away from us, because we are everything, and we are everywhere. But as humans, we undergo such a wide range of events and emotions in order to experience different expressions of reality. 

My takeaway is that we must always remember that we have a choice. Whether you choose to undergo life’s experiences as a victim or as a warrior, life will happen. We have very little control. So choose the thoughts and actions that empower you, and strengthen you to see the bigger picture. 

#5 – The universe doesn’t want the suffering to stop.

The idea that we must suffer through our life because we’re reaping what we sow, is outdated. What about all the good that happens to us?

It’s in our heads, to either negate the positive, or acknowledge it and let that become our focal point of attention. 

angry man, logical mind, acceptance, surrender

And suffering? It comes from the unceasing train of thoughts, of how things should have been. That life should have given us more money, less heartbreak, better health, a nicer family, a bigger house, and then some. 

For instance, if you don’t like the rain and it rains, you might feel like your entire day is ruined. Or you could just accept that it’s raining, and get on with your day, without taking it so personally.

My takeaway is that it’s all in your head. Whether you choose to see things for what they are, or form your opinion of how they should have been, is a choice you get to make. If you practice acceptance, you transcend the misery, into a joyous way of living.

Concluding Thoughts

It’s important to get out of our own way. To stop being overly cautious and listening to every single thought the logical mind feeds us.

We need to stop micromanaging life, and to simply BE.

The spiritual journey asks us to step out of our cocoon and really look at the world, and ourselves, for what it is, for what we are. But we can’t do that, until we change our mindset, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable as life unfolds for us. 

So my question to you is, are you willing to let go of these negative thoughts and become more satiated in your path to self-realization?


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Oracle Cards: How to Use Them For A Life Transformation, by Anja Ferk

What are oracle cards? How can they help you in your spiritual journey? And what are the steps, tricks & tips to use them effectively? Read to learn more.

Oracle cards found me when I was looking for guidance. Life was not easy, it was full of struggle. And the pain I felt inside me – I did not know how much more I could take it. I was lost and I knew it. I had to change something, yet I had no idea where to begin.

After signing up for an online woman transformation program, life got better. But real transformation for me happened after the author of the program organized a card reading for attendees.

And the magic happened. There was so much truth in her words – even if she never personally interacted with me before. She was talking about my path, about how much I am struggling and judging myself. 

I could identify with every word she was saying. Up to the point where she told me I am on an adventure, and I can either take it and enjoy my transformation I am going through, or fight it and feel more and more pain.

I cried while she was talking to me through the screen, typing back to her to say thank you for her message and encouragement and my body was shaking. And after that call, I started noticing changes in my life – in moments of struggle I remembered her words and started to take action.

That short 5 minutes cards opening had a big impact on my life. And soon enough, I bought my first deck of cards and started using them myself.

Since then, I own many tarot and oracle card decks, and I am trying to find time to ask for guidance and take a moment for yourself as often as I can.

What are oracle cards?

There are many card decks out there. The first thing to know is that there is a difference between oracle and tarot cards.

Tarot cards have a specific structure, termed as major & minor arcanas. And to read those, you will need deeper knowledge about tarot reading to really unlock the potential of the cards.

difference between tarot and oracle cards
Oracle cards are freer in their structure and allow for more intuitive work. Which means anyone – no matter how much experience – can get guidance by them.

Oracle cards can be used to recognize patterns, connect with your spiritual guides and ancestors, connect with your higher self. You can use them as affirmations, or for daily focus.

What exactly you get out of them depends on your interest and the purpose for which the oracle cards were created.

There are multiple decks you can buy, each coming with a specific intention behind them, and usually coming with a booklet that can help you familiarize yourself with the cards.

How to Use Oracle Cards

Here’s a 7-step process to find an oracle deck that works best for you.

1.     Find the right deck for you

As there are multiple card decks out there, you will need to find the deck that resonates with you.

Even if you are interested in getting into oracle readings for yourself (and others). The more aligned you are with the messages of the oracles, the better experience you will have with it.

For your first purchase, try going to a book store or any place where you can buy the cards so that you can look through the pictures and read the text on the cards, feel them and decide to take home the deck that you feel most drawn too.

bookstore, purchase oracle cards in person

2.     Get to know your deck

After you get the deck, make sure to take time before the first use. Read through the booklet that is added to most of the decks. And also take time to go through all the cards.

take time to read the guide for how to use oracle cards

Observe the pictures, read the messages and pay attention to everything you can see and feel while browsing through the cards. Familiarize yourself with the deck.

3.     Set the environment & select the time carefully

Do reading when you feel calm, and you have enough time at your hands.

Set the environment by lighting a candle, put on calm music and maybe burn some scent. Create a ritual about using the cards and taking that moment to really connect with yourself. Make it a treat for yourself.

woman meditating with candles and incense

4.     Set intention & question(s) and decide on a spread

When using cards, always think of an intention.

What information are you seeking for? Is it a daily inspiration? Maybe something that you need to focus on for the next few weeks. Prepare a question or inquiry that can help you move forward.

thoughtful woman writing in notebook at home

A little word of caution here: Oracle cards are not intended to tell you the future. Future is of your own making.

So, if your question is starting with: “ Will I get married/got a job etc…” the answer will probably be very confusing. The real answer to this is something that you are actively creating every day and it actually depends more on your decision.

For best reading experiences you should ask open-ended questions on what you can do to overcome something, or what you need to pay attention to.  

Depending on what kind of question you are dealing with, you will also pick a spread. Most common spreads are 1 card pick, or 3 card picks on past-present-future. For more information, check your oracle booklet.

5.     Shuffle and pick

Then it is time to shuffle and pick cards.

shuffle oracle cards before use
Shuffle in any way you want, while repeating the question in your mind. Sometimes some cards “jump” out of the deck. If those are 1 or 2 cards put them aside, and interpret them alongside the cards you will pick.

When you feel cards are shuffled, pick as many cards as you need for your spread by taking a deep breath and selecting the cards you are drawn to.

6.     Interpretation

And as you lay down the cards in front of you, observe them.

And observe your thoughts. If needed, write them down. Refresh your mind with interpretations from the book, or follow your intuition based on what the cards are telling you.

note down your thoughts when you interpret the meaning of your oracle cards
Take time to notice the similarities in the messages if you pick more than 1 card.

Quick note: Some of the card decks differentiate between upward & downward turned cards. Upward card (turned towards you) usually reinforces the message, and downward turned card (turned away from you) makes the meaning opposite.

Refer to your oracle deck booklet when in doubt.

7.     Say thanks

After you got the message and you are concluding the oracle reading, do not forget to say thanks!

thank you signage

Say thank you to yourself for taking that time, and say thank you for the guidance you have been given.

Concluding Thoughts

The biggest advice I can give you on working with oracle cards is to have fun and follow your feelings and intuition.

You just read about the 7 guidelines for the best experience, but if something of this does not resonate with you – change it and make it yours.  You can’t go wrong as long as you listen to yourself!

Anja Ferk
Anja Ferk

Anja is a spiritual blogger and psychologist, finding the answers to curious questions and inspiring you to live intentionally. Check out her blog Weaving Life’s Web!