After my yoga class yesterday I did the usual: I dropped my towel and mat in the bins for cleaning, entered the locker room, searched briefly for my locker (as I almost always forget which one is exactly mine since they all look alike with digipads rather than individual locks), changed and went outside to unlock my bike. There was a girl on her phone with her back to me while I was minding my own business looking up the address to the New Movement Theater and getting out my lock keys.
"Hi!" she exclaimed enthusiastically with a bright smile, "I'm J - I was helping out in class today. How did you like class?"
"Oh, hey!" I returned and I thanked her for her assists.
The instructor had given a metaphor about his flowers looking kind of sad at home and how his mom told him he should just talk to his flowers to perk them up a bit. Like Masaru Emoto spoke to water, she suggested he speak to his plants.
He told us also to 'talk to ourselves like a person who loved themselves would'. He said the conversation made him wonder, what would a person who loved themselves do, how would that person behave, what would that person say?
I wondered also.
J told me she was going to find out about a dream job that she was possibly going to get soon. She said she had also started a nonprofit with youthful contagious enthusiasm and a toothy grin. I couldn't help but be happy for her. She seemed to have everything all laid out and disappointment's shadow had never been cast over her doorstep. I envied the idea of ease in life. I could just cast my long arm and fingertips over the landscape magically and all altruistic quests would be fully funded, socratic conversations would lead to critical thought from many without private motive and a singular solution would arise for each problem at hand like a piercing diamond. I visualized this clarity for a moment, then I said, "What is your (read: "a") 'dream job' (anyway)?"
She went on to explain all which sounded very impressive to me and I wished her good luck and we went our separate ways with a warm farewell. I rolled my bike down the ramp on the 4th street sidewalk to the corner, threw my leg over the saddle and took a right turn up the street. I thought about this sense of clarity and how good it feels to have it. It is like an underground spring of our being that is connected to the whole universe that we can choose to tap into - or not. It has the answers. More to the exactness of the subject, we have the answers.
Years ago, I and a dozen some odd other yoga students were assigned to read a book on self talk. I had never given a name for the words and thoughts and questions that I could sense so viscerally. Was it in my mind? Was it in the collective consciousness? Was it this spring of which I could tap into the flow of to find clarity? It was undeveloped, yet I knew it was there. I read the overly repetitive text and listened to the classroom conversation surrounding it. I came to no conclusions and left the idea open for myself for further discovery like a tool in the toolbox of uncovering my own truth.
And that's the hitch, isn't it? There are as many different truths as there are selves. It is the tale of the blind men and the elephant:
"What does it look like?" someone asks.
"Why, it is long and snake like," one blind man answers.
"No, it is round and bulbous," another blind man chimes in.
"You are both wrong!" the third blind man exclaims. "It is skinny and has tassels on the end of it!"
Well, what does life look like? What is the perfect balance between being in control and going with the flow? What is the dream job?
Tapping into our own truth and being in alignment with our personal set of values that we have discerned and pulled and plucked from this pond of values and morality and ethics in our cultural society and our family and our peers is exactly what will guide us to that which is 'living the dream'. I know, I know ... you have no idea what that is yet, do you? I mean, you can fantasize about private jets or tropical islands or being appreciated or saving the polar bears, but you have not yet nailed down 'happy' and 'self love'.
As a matter of fact, I used to disdain such jargon myself and found it to be fuel for several self deprecating jokes about everything that is wrong with me, wrong with them, wrong with society or just wrong in general. These days, it seems, self help-y nonsense just is to be a way for people to make a lot of money (thank you Tony Robbins and Joel Osteen). HOWEVER, I will not give up on the dream just yet.
When I went to church many-a-years ago one thing that was stressed was having a relationship with God. My favorite nun divined that I mostly related to God himself over the son or Holy Ghost and I admit I reveled in unraveling "the mysteries".
Now I ask, how about a relationship with my SELF? How often we find ourselves lost or just finding means to distraction? How often do we just sit in our silence? How many of you have tried and failed at "meditating"? How about coming up with a personal mantra? (Wait, you mean I have to have just ONE?)
The thing is, like in any relationship and especially when cultivating self awareness as well as empathy for others, it takes work. 'Happy' takes work. 'Self love' takes work. It all starts with an intention - an intention to be happy, to live your dream or ideal self - because that is ultimately what will create that contagious sense of happiness. So, you have to ask yourself, are you putting in the work? If you are, then you know you are in fact on the path to what it is that is known as the dream job.
And if you are reading this, you know these are just clues to your own mystery and you will divine from it what is meant to be yours.
Bon chance, friends. More to come!