Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Awakening to Your Life Work

I'm coming off a workshop high. I just gave the "Awakening Your Writing" workshop to a group of people in Pennsylvania, and it was phenomenal. I feel so blessed to create the container for people to be and discover themselves. That's really the big piece to writing: be yourself. If you try to fight yourself and stop yourself from writing something, your writing instantly sucks. It's just a fact. Trust me. I fought myself for long enough that now I just stop and go with the flow of it. Into every dark crevice and every beautiful sunset, I follow this stream of consciousness.

And so here I am, and appropriately, I'm writing about how to awaken to your work. Spiritual teaching is my work. It's part of my soul's purpose, and in every way that I align with this and service this, I feel more alive and more amazing than at any other point of my life. Nothing is even close. Maybe a few top of the peak moments here and there can compare (one in college during an initiation is still way up there), but on a daily basis, the way I feel about what I do is precious. It's the reason that I want to be here, and it is the reason that I am here.


Powerful Work for Powerful People
Because of the terrible misalignment of societies around the world, there are a lot of powerful people manifesting in the world right now. They're waking up and saying, "Hey why am I in accounting? I don't even like numbers." They're saying lots of other things too. They're really upset and confused. After having established a means for taking care of your living, this next moment is really the "oh shit" moment. This is when you need to start healing things. This may not actually be the awakening to your life work part. This is where you start to re-structure the fundamentals of your life. Because if you're an accountant and you're much more drawn to singing (but everyone always told you that was impractical, so you didn't do it), then you've got to do a lot of work to bring the singing into a practical, embodied state. That means stuff like finding a voice coach and singing lessons for starters. You can see how this may take a little time (or it may not--it depends on your life path). You may not yet be able to move into a line of work that is as awakened as you'd hope it to be. So perhaps, part of healing your life work is letting go of accounting and finding a bridge job--something to span the gaps while you prepare yourself for your real work.

And of course, when I say powerful work, it's not in the same way that power has been traditionally used. An awakened singer may influence only a couple hundred people (not everyone is a greatly televised superstar, nor should they be). But the quality and resonance of that influence is where that power is. And with that influence on those people, they influence others. It ripples out. It shifts everything, and the new earth that Eckhart Tolle talks about starts to take place because people realize who they really are.

Awakening to Your Life Work Step 2: Don't Try So Hard
There are probably many ways where you've been attracted to do something very naturally. You've been doing it very easily for most of your life. You may have been dismissing it as unimportant or impractical. You may also notice that you've been playing certain roles. You may be a connector, communicator, community organizer, leader, healer, or teacher. These archetypal roles have a lot of power behind them. I remember listening to a free talk about how using these will help you align to the right work that you need to do. As I've aligned more deeply to my archetypes (crap, I think I have all six of the ones I mentioned--you can see why I've had to do a ton of work), the more things flow to me.

The flow is important. While you will have to work to clear your issues and to be a clear conduit for the divine to do the work that you're supposed to do, there's always a quality of effortlessness to it. When I'm giving a workshop, I am working, but it is also effortless. I don't have to try and figure stuff out in the way that I might have in an earlier job. Along with that, people are so giving. It shows me that I'm being met and reflected in the situation, which replenishes and enhances my energy. This shows the co-creation process. Whenever that reflection starts to disappear, it's a sign that I've fallen out of alignment and am doing something that is not right or not ready to happen.

Staying Humble
In all of this, it's important to stay humble. If you're destined to help protect the environment, the ego likes to step in with its self-righteous sword to wave about. It says, "Hey look how great I am! I'm saving the world!" Yeah...that's not what this is about. It's not about self-glorification. The world will save itself when we save ourselves. The most important life work to do always starts with us. If we don't learn why we've chosen the jobs that we've chosen, then we just keep going into similar work situations over and over again. And if we don't experiment and play with different types of work, we never really see how broad our talents are or see what different things can awaken in ourselves outside our patterned roles and actions within a given sphere of work. Humility helps us stay open to the bigger things that are possible for us and kind to others who don't understand what awakened work is yet. In many ways, humility helps us to play large, which is in direct contrast to how the ego thinks it needs to shout from the rooftops. If you don't believe me that humility lets you play large, just think of Mother Teresa.

Tips to Finding Awakened Work
It's important to realize that any work can be awakened work. The aforementioned accounting job can be awakened work. For some people, they come alive with numbers and balancing things out. That's beautiful. Awakening to your work is an inner quality. So it doesn't necessarily look like anything special to the world at large. Awakened work is a deep integrity to who you are, and through that deep integrity, you're in alignment and integrity with the people and environment around you. It wouldn't work very well to be an accountant at a company destroying the environment or exploiting people, but it could work amazingly well to be an accountant at a yoga studio or a solar power company or a country school district. Who knows? It's up to you to use your inner knowing to know what's right.

Intuition and the Heart Point the Way
If you still feel uncertain, you're probably thinking too much. Your intuition and your heart are both here to help you. You probably know what you enjoy most. If not, exploration, experimentation, and volunteerism are great ways to discover more. If you do know, you have to face the "but I can't do that because..." part. That's the problem. The problem is that you don't think you can because of some mental concept. There are so many amazing stories of people creating things that never existed or making amazing leaps of faith into new things. You can be that type of story too. You don't need to feel like you're amazing. You just need to have faith and heart and hope.

Next blog: Awakening to Your Sexuality
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