Spirituality + Entrepreneurship = AWAKEN

By Johanes Soetanto, an EO Indonesia member and president of Allure Aluminio

“As entrepreneurs, we tend to measure our success with tangible results and quantifiable figures. Yet, at times those successes come at a great cost of losing ourselves and a sense of wonder that there is more to life than this.” – Cindy Gozali

Somehow when the word “spirituality” comes up, the most vivid image that I have in mind is a monk sitting on top of the Himalayas doing nothing but meditating and contemplating with whatever thread-bare robe and empty bowl that he has. Certainly not the kind of life that I as an entrepreneur aspire to have. If it is said that we loose ourselves in our journey as entrepreneurs by focusing on the performance metrics of ourselves and our companies, wouldn’t practicing spirituality 100% also means that we will have to sacrifice our family that we have built and our companies that we have sweat and bleed for? What is spirituality in the first place? awaken3

These are the kinds of question that we are interested in to dwell further into. So what would be a better outlet to explore these themes and ideas than an EO organized retreat aptly titled AWAKEN Bali 2015 held in Ubud, the spiritual heartland of the island of the Gods?

From 8-10 April 2015, EO members from various chapters such as EO Berlin, EO Netherlands, EO UAE, EO South Australia, EO Japan, EO Singapore, EO Malaysia and of course as host, EO Indonesia, gathered to immerse ourselves in this retreat. In partnership with MyEO, we also organized MyEO Diving over Tulamben and MyEO Trekking to see Mount Batur at sunrise. Over three days, we learned and covered topics such as the Art of Energy Management for Entrepreneurs, Law of Attraction: The Art of Leveraging Universe for Entrepreneurs, and Social Entrepreneurship.awaken2

The highlight of AWAKEN was the private dinner hosted by the royal prince of Ubud, held at his private quarters, and the final night dinner held at the first ever Karma Kitchen in Bali. Karma Kitchen is a volunteer-driven experiment in generosity whereby you go to a restaurant, have a nice meal, but when you ask for the bill, the volunteer-waiter presents you with a bill amounting to zero because your meal has been paid forward by the person before you. To complete the full circle of giving and to sustain this experiment, guests make contributions in the form of pay-it-forward to the next guests. Quite a number of AWAKEN participants volunteer as servers, bartenders and greeters while the rest dine as guests. The result? Success is beyond measure; the return (contributions minus costs) for the night is to the north of 150% and most importantly, we planted a seed of change and generosity for future Karma Kitchen events.

The journey of AWAKEN Bali is not exactly smooth. But what is smooth in life? The tenacity and persistence of the committee, especially the President of EO Indonesia, Cindy Gozali, made what seemed to be an abstract, never-heard-of EO spiritual focused retreat into a reality; a pretty impactful one that hopefully acts as a catalyst for realignment and inspiration to others.

Categories: Inspirational international


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