There are many difficulties on this beautiful journey called life. One of the many is the ability to maintain a positive outlook and perspective through a seemingly difficult experience, especially one where you do not get what you want, despite all the focus, effort, hard work and maintenance of a positive outlook.
About a month ago a friend emailed me a job posting for an education coordinator. It had all of the perfect elements to it, especially the giggly excited feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was like the Universe posted the perfect job to help me on my journey to re-defining my life and starting something new. It was also the perfect job to plug a drain so to speak. The drain being my line of credit. The plug being the part-time job so that the debt load would not continue to accumulate quite so quickly.
For the first time in a long while, I felt excited about a job. I felt excited about the new challenges and the possibilities to be a part of forward thinking education, a part of a forward thinking team. I felt excited about creating feeling-centred curriculum that would involve experiential learning that leaves an impression and inspires imagination. I felt more than qualified for the job posting and I happily wrote a resumé and cover letter, tasks I ordinarily avoid.
I practiced what I have learned in Spiritual books on meditating, visioning and focusing all my energy on believing I had the job. I pictured myself working there. I visioned ahead to how this job would help me financially. I meditated on ideas I could present when I got called for an interview. And I knew I would get an interview. I honestly believed I would get the job, despite my brain cautioning me not to “count my chickens before they hatched.”
I even realized that cautionary expressions like that crush exuberance and enthusiasm. Why not count chickens before they hatch? So what if they don’t all hatch like you expect. Isn’t that a way to avoid the pain of disappointment? What if you need to experience the disappointment to learn something that puts you on a more beneficial path? What if being cautionary means you avoid taking the very risk necessary to find your joy?
As you may have guessed, I got an interview, but I didn’t get the job. The interview went extremely well. I rocked it. So when I got the call telling me that the position was offered to another, I felt extremely disappointed despite the fact that I was told that the interview was excellent. There was nothing that I could have done differently to get me the job. The interview panel decided to go with the applicant with more content-based knowledge. Fair enough. That still left me feeling extreme disappointment. That still left me feeling afraid financially. That still left me to manage my brain that was screaming: “See!!! I told you not to count your chickens! What about all of that visioning and meditating that you did?? What about that “feeling” that you had? You can’t trust your feelings! The fact that you didn’t get the job just proves that spiritual stuff and positive thinking is not true. You need to listen to me and accept that you must go back to work in the fall.”
Fortunately, I have been developing a mental practice and method to temper my brain and turn down the volume with which it yells in my head. Yes on the one hand it was right. I did count my chickens. I did hope to have a visionary job. I did vision and meditate. I did focus on believing in me and trusting my feelings. And I did experience disappointment and an inability, in that moment, to give “evidence” to my brain that everything would be alright.
On the day that I was told I did not get the position I felt sad. I felt disappointed. I felt worried and concerned for my financial situation. I felt uncertain. But underneath it all, I knew it happened for a reason. I just didn’t know the reason at that time. I also knew that I may never know the reason, but that something more in line with what I really want is coming. I just needed to have faith in me, faith in the Universe, faith. And faith is difficult to have in a society where we are supposed to know ahead of time.
So I did what I always do. What I do every day. Where I find my place of understanding and return to my inner calm. I wrote. In my writings I realized that I need to re-evaluate what I really want. What am I afraid of? Why don’t I believe? In my writings I reminded myself that I wanted to set myself up freelance and not have to work under someone else. I am afraid I won’t make money and I don’t believe in my abilities to make money because I was educated to follow a narrow specific charted path.
It was actually an assignment that I helped my daughter with over the holidays where I found the analogy I required to help me return to my calm. The project was on John Cabot and the early explorers, the ones who set out to cross the seas in search of lands they believed were there, but they had no proof. I imagined there had to have been moments, out in the middle of the ocean, when the food stores were running low, that they questioned their beliefs and experienced extreme doubts. But they were out there and they had travelled too far to go back.
So I realized that I am simply in the middle of the ocean. I am taking a risk to believe that it is possible to live joy, follow your dreams, chart one’s own path through uncharted waters, and discover “life-work harmony”. I believe I will arrive to a place where I will create and facilitate forward thinking positivity. A place where I lead people in risk and show a joy in being alive as we follow our passions and give back to people and the planet. A happy person spreads joy and joy can be contagious.
Some might consider my beliefs a touch idealistic, but since it is a choice to believe, I prefer to believe in the possibility than the alternative. Why would I choose to believe that you cannot live your dreams and live your joy? Does that leave me out in the middle of the ocean in unchartered waters uncertain, but alive? Yes. Gratefully, yes, because I am moving towards something that feels infinitely better – the pure belief in me, no matter what, and that alone is the blessing in disguise.
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