Change, Dancing, Depression, Exhibit A, Fear, good luck fairies, grasping, inner yogi, lila, Meditation, nothing is wrong, Panic, perceived indestructibility, preferences, Sanskrit, thin-cold fingers, uncertain, unemployment, winter solstice, wrongness, Yoga
Middle of the year and all, only days from the winter solstice (in the southern hemisphere!) and there’s a heck of a lot of shifting going on.
In fact, there always is, right? It’s just that we tend not to notice so much when it doesn’t affect us personally.
Unless of course, you take up yoga, meditation or dancing or some other kind of activity that helps us uncover our sensitivity and connection to the world. Even then, it can be a little hit and miss, depending on how self-involved we are on any given day.
And even then, only if we learn to divest ourselves of attachments to this interaction of interconnected energies. The thing we call life. Because it’s the attachment to emotions, the rules of the game, our form and/or how we perceive others are perceiving us (for example), that keep us tethered to the rule book.
In Sanskrit, the word lila is used to describe life, but it actually translates back into English as ‘play’. The play of life.
Been getting a little freaked out in the last couple of weeks because the contract job I’m doing right now is finishing up at the end of the month. On the 25th to be exact. No extensions are being offered because the company is itself, going through a bunch of transformations.
Like unwelcome acupressure applied directly to the heart, I can taste just a hint of panic rising as the days of June tick by.
My freak out isn’t so much about things ending, as the reasonable possibility that I’ll be out of a job. Again. With two weeks to go, I still don’t have a job, or any interviews lined up. And yes, I’ve been doing everything I can!
And the soul-crippling depression and fear I experienced last year during four months of unemployment is attempting to creep its way back into the pit of my stomach like thin-cold fingers of smoke, grasping at my throat and whispering horror stories from back then.
Of course, I’m talking to a bunch of recruiters and have a several leads to follow up. But nothing is definite yet. Although, as I said to a recruiter I spoke to the other day – when is any job ever definite or secure?
Regardless, a dozen plans have taken up residence in my mind, attempting to allay any potential panic but actually, has led to a great deal of thrashing around as a result. Not so helpful!
But I’m waging a war against such uncertainties, because certainty really is so entirely uncertain. Is it not? We’d like to pretend otherwise, but our fragility and mortality are much closer to the edge of our perceived indestructibility than we think.
Clarity came again one night about a week ago as I took in a sweeping panoramic view of my life as it stands. I calculated how quickly I’ll run out of money this time around (really soon!) if I don’t get a job in a hurry. And considered how I might possibly avoid falling into the same black pit as last time.
But all of these thoughts were based on the premise that something in my life was wrong. Until that moment, I was pretty convinced of the wrongness of not having a job, wielding last year’s experience as Exhibit A. Those four months of unemployment were bad, according to the judgemental little voice in my mind.
Luckily, that judge-voice isn’t the only one speaking provocative ideas inside my head! The next question (proposed I think, by my inner yogi self) was: But what if nothing is really wrong at all?
It went on: The upset we feel when things go “wrong” is often more disturbing than the perceived wrongness itself. And we combine it with the situation we’ve proclaimed as wrong or bad, creating a seemingly insurmountable wall of stress. But really, is anything actually wrong?
For now, I’ve come down on the side of my inner yogi.
Nothing is inherently wrong, regardless of my preferences. Even if I don’t get a job again for months, and even if that means I can’t go on retreat in October (as per my current plans). Even if I have to get a flatmate or move out of my current place and sell most of my possessions. Even if I end up homeless, there’s still not actually anything wrong. It’s just life in action, and my response to those things is something I’m in charge of.
That doesn’t mean I won’t do everything I can to get a job. Of course I will!
My inner yogi wanted to know this, too: Can I apply this idea to any situation? To the BP oil spill? To the death of a child? To natural disasters? To the two year old child in Indonesia addicted to smoking?
Perhaps. I think it’s more truthful to admit that I’m not there yet, but working on it!
To say that nothing is inherently wrong doesn’t mean we don’t care when life gets shitty. We don’t stop participating in life. But we do learn to see the greater interplay of existence. The flow and play of life.
And this blog post represents my attempt to relax into that flow and accept whatever is coming my way, responding appropriately but doing everything I can to avoid falling into a pit of despair should life not go the way I want it to…
P.S. If you find any good luck fairies, please send them my way, stat!