Today I’m very excited to share with you an interview I did with Tami Simon, the founder and CEO of the publishing company Sounds True, (which publishes many of my favorite authors and teachers). Tami is a great inspiration and model of someone who brings the wisdom of contemplative practice to her very successful business life, and I’m really delighted to share her wisdom and her vision of a more integrated world.
I’m writing this now from a friend’s house in Maine, looking out over a lake. This summer I’ve been very lucky to have restorative time in a number of beautiful places with friends and family, and I’ve been writing recently about the importance of inward reflection and attention to the self.
But how do we balance this inward attention and private life with our outer demands and aspirations?
Can we attend to our inner life and our deep knowing—of ourselves, of the value of nature, of the value of conscious communication and relationship—and still be in the “real” world of work?
Sounds True was one of the very first conscious companies—even before there was a name for such a thing. Tami founded the company with the self promise that she wouldn’t compromise her inner values for her company’s financial bottom line. Today, the great success of the company, a major publisher of spiritual wisdom with over 100 employees, shows that there need not be a dichotomy between our inner values and our outward success.
This is a deeply powerful and inspirational lesson.
I grew up thinking that there was an unsolvable dichotomy between the values of the private and public realms. From almost every side, I got the message, both explicitly and implicitly, that if you wanted to be successful in the public world, you’d need to compromise on the values of the private world.
But I didn’t want to live with a dichotomy. I wanted to bring the integrity and authenticity—and love—that I could access in my inner life to the public realm and to my work life. I wanted to bring my full authentic self to my work life. Because what kind of world are we living in if we need to compromise on our values to be successful? What kind of world are our children going to inherit?
Tami speaks eloquently about her own mission to bring her true self to the business world, and she is a wonderful example of the success that can come when people do that. I hope you’ll enjoy my interview with Tami as much as I enjoyed conducting it!
The tools that we develop to listen to ourselves and to come into our true self can make not only our private world richer, but also can lead to greater success in our work life, our public life, in all our relationships and in everything we build in the world.
As always, reach out to say hi or with any questions. And I’d love to see you at any of my upcoming events or in any of my classes—in person or online.
I blog about creativity, writing, yoga, meditation, justice, women, the environment and integrated well being for the individual and society