May 25, 2009

Laughing in the Face of Resistance.

Life has taken some interesting turns lately.  I didn’t anticipate living with my mom again.  I didn’t think I’d end up taking a minimum wage job, either!  The last time I made $8 an hour was in 1996 when I worked as a teller in a bank!  I think it was $8.50, actually.  Back then, it was a lot of money.  Now, it doesn’t stretch nearly as far.

I pride myself on my courage.  Working my way through fear is not a new thing.  It’s something that I do on a continuous basis.  Sometimes, however, I find myself throwing a spiritual temper tantrum, which inevitably makes whatever I’m resisting even more powerful.  “What you resist persists” has long been on my list of mantras.

A few months ago, while getting ready for my first day at the new gig, I was in a really pissy mood!  I charge good money for my services and it frankly sucked being in a position that made me feel so low.  I was complaining to myself, and my mom, about all sorts of things.  Where had my sense of courage and adventure gone?

I was so worked up that I almost called to say I wasn’t going.  If I was experiencing so much resistance, it obviously wasn’t something I should spend my time on, right?  Wasn’t my intuition telling me not to go?  Not to waste my time on this piddly job?

In the end, I decided to give it a chance.  I got myself to the bus and had fifteen minutes to wait.  In that time, I got out my pen and paper and starting listing my grievances.  Soon enough, I was laughing at the amount of things I’d done to say “no” to this job already.  But it kept coming back my way!  For example, on the day of the group interviews, I was just about ready to leave since it was going later than I anticipated and I had somewhere else to be.  Then my group was called!  I thought the interviewer was annoyed with my questions, and then she offered me a job because I stood out and reminded her of herself!  I missed the orientation and she offered to meet up with me outside of her normal hours .

I began to laugh in the face of my own resistance!  What a powerful thing that was!  I thought, I can at least go and check it out and if I hate it, I’ll quit.  If I don’t go, I’ll be giving my power to the voice that likes to tell me I can’t do things.  I’ve challenged that voice many times with a resounding “oh yeah, watch me!”  I’d like to say that I’ve lived my life with a “bring it on” kind of attitude whenever challenged by someone else.  But, it’s my own voice saying “I can’t I can’t I can’t” that’s the most crippling.

I love that our new President’s slogan is “yes we can”.  It does give me hope.  And I’ve been telling myself lately, “yes I can”.  Yes I can take a minimum wage job because it’s been offered to me.  I know that it’s not the end of my rainbow, but at least it’s a beginning.  Yes, I can stretch myself in ways that I didn’t know were possible.  Yes I can tackle a cleaning job, a seemingly insurmountable organizing job, and whatever else is handed to me.

You know what?  I really enjoyed the job!  Yes, there were parts that made me uncomfortable, such as standing on my feet for six hours, but once I let go of my resistance and decided to really “be” there, with my full awareness, I really got into it.  Plus, I got to hear live music at a major concert.  How cool is that?  I couldn’t afford to otherwise.  I went with the hope that one small thing could lead to other things.  The lady that gave me a ride home might really need my help with her home, and I wouldn’t have met her otherwise!

Even if this gig doesn’t bring other fruitful opportunities,  I’ve already gotten a lot out of it.  Just being able to find amusement in the face of my own resistance was awesome.  I know I won’t be in this financial position forever, but the lessons that it’s taught me have been very powerful. And the next time I hear myself saying “I can’t”, I’ll respond with a firm “yes I can!”

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