When Work is a Place to Become MORE Yourself

Things are changing and edge-pushing entrepreneurs are asking, can business welcome all of who you are? Can entrepreneurs be vulnerable, human and successful? Can we be our authentic selves with teammates and thrive together?

Ohad Pele, Relationship & Intimacy Expert

Part of the world’s awakening and shift towards better wellbeing for people and the planet has to do with the way we do “work”. Until recently, it was almost obvious that people worked to earn a living and sharpen themselves professionally. Solely. For 40-60 hours a week, it was normal to present an acceptable persona to our colleagues and clients and save the rest of our humanness for when we leave the office. Our authentic self (including things like emotion, the body, politics, big questions about life, spirituality, and eros) simply wasn’t welcome.

Things are changing and edge-pushing entrepreneurs have asked, can business welcome all of who you are? Can entrepreneurs be vulnerable, human and successful? Can we be our authentic selves with teammates and thrive together?

At Lua, we see work as a place to become more yourself, not less. Work is a place to be authentic and grow professionally and personally.

This is not about installing a few hallmarks of trendy contemporary companies (enter colorful couches and ping pong tables beside a fridge full of soda). Of course it’s a delight to be in work places that nurture creativity, but can we go deeper than superficial trends?

Lua’s purpose is deepening intimacy, connecting people to Love. Our first product is a dating app for conscious communities. Supporting authentic intimacy is not only our focus for our users — it also matters for us as a company. You could say that love is part of our DNA as a tech company and we design our team meetings, cadence and culture according to this.

What does it look like?

We recognize everyone in the company as human and we care about each person equally. Whether we’re employees, managers or founders, we are all humans. We support a working environment where coming to work means “taking off masks,” not putting them on. Working at Lua means your emotions and anything that you're going through has a place. No one is expected to just be a ‘screw in a machine’ so the engine runs, but to show up with their full body, mind, creativity, and emotions (we also acknowledge sexuality and prefer it not to be relegated to the shadows).

What does it mean practically? 

It means that we open the fortnightly team meeting with a sharing circle, where everyone has some minutes to authentically share what is going on for them in their private life. Joy, tears, confusion, celebrations and realness are welcome.

We begin weekly team meetings with meditation. Everyone by now knows the value of breathing in stillness for a few moments, especially together…

We also have “dark feedback” circles, especially among the founders, where we give constructive feedback to each other. It doesn’t involve petting egos and all feedback is said with love and kindness.

We also respect the female body and its cycles. Denying the body, patriarchal business and society have preferred to forget that monthly cycles exist. In truth, the first day of bleeding for a female (moon day) is intense and the choice of rest on this day can support better mental, emotional and physical health. At Lua, female bodies are welcome to take rest on these days instead of pushing it under the rug and showing up to work as if nothing was happening.

In an awakening world that’s moving toward genuine wellbeing for people and the planet, work should not be a place you go to because you have to, but because you love to! Why? Because this place is helping you be the best you and it’s aligned with what really matters to you.

What are your visions for a workplace that really welcomes the full human? How would you design work and life?

Ohad Pele, Relationship & Intimacy Expert

Ohad Pele is a Lead Facilitator with the International School of Temple Arts and has been teaching Kabbalah, Sacred Sexuality and Conscious Relating for more than 30 years. He is a world-renowned mystic, published author, artist, musician and creator of the 'Shadow Animal Cards'.

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