January 11, 2014

Sure I Agree With the Buddha, But How Do I Pay the Bills?


2013 was a year of spiritual growth.

Without any purposeful practice, without any real effort, doors opened.

Much of this transition came through experiences surrounding relationships and intimacy, but this was only a part of a bigger picture change: my mind and heart broke open so fully that there were moments where I could feel the deepest pain and the deepest joy almost simultaneously.

Portals to this transition entered my life suddenly, organically: I fell into (some sort of) love; I started to write with elephant journal; I became acutely (sometimes painfully, sometimes ecstatically, often both) aware of the value of each moment.

In this, I was (am) also growing awareness of the sharp contrast between my work life and my regular life.

As I began to experiencing my non-work life on different and new levels, I was also starting to understand why mostly at work it seemed like I was killing time rather than being in it.

No matter how hard I tried to be present and happy at work, it was feeling more and more like I was numbing myself while counting down to some future ‘other’ moment (a coffee break with my good friend, the end of the day where I’d inevitably nap the ‘blahs’ away, the party on the weekend) rather than living in the moment.

By allowing myself to become more vulnerable to my deeply sensitive nature, I began to understand my ‘purpose’ more fully than ever before.

But there is a problem: I can’t elucidate what this is. I know, but it’s not an elevator pitch. It’s text does not fit neatly onto a business card.

Most days at work it’s a struggle to keep my soul in tact. My life is more valuable than the money that they give me to feel like a place holder, but how to change this situation when I have trouble communicating what my value and purpose is in a way that others can grasp?

In suggesting that I am meant for more, I feel guilty, like I (we) don’t have the right to feel this way.

All I want to do is be healthy and good. Even beyond work, I am constantly checking myself to figure out if x activity is the best use of my time: am I evolving, am I growing, am I learning, am I truly enjoying, am I taking care of myself, or am I distracting? What am I offering? How am I contributing?

This has been an internal struggle for a while, one that has been weighing me down. I woke this morning from some dream that brought me that clarity, a snippet of a feeling that could be described as ‘enlightenment.’

I held onto that sense, wrote a bit then read this:

“We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs—or we don’t. Either we accept our fixed versions of reality—or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s opinion, to train in staying open and curious—to train in dissolving our assumptions and beliefs—is the best use of our human lives.” ~ Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You 

This concept of training in staying open and ‘dissolving our assumptions and beliefs’—that’s exactly it. That’s what this life is for. So reading this somehow validated that the basis for my feelings is real and good.

This why when I’m not acting on these principles, my heart tends to sit in restlessness.

It’s such a relief to hold this knowledge so intensely and have the capacity to community around it (as I am, as we are), but how can we express this concretely to those who may not entirely understand it in the abstract?

What can we do about it? What thing is really meant to spring from this awareness?

It feels strange to just know…but I do. I just know things sometimes. And I’m asking fellow intuition-followers to join me in bringing feeling to action, knowledge to connection, heart to economy.

It’s time for us to tear down the next set of walls, to access the next opening into a life that serves us, to take the leap, reach out, connect at an even higher level.

I know that trying too hard and focussing on money are not the ways to move forward. I know that awareness and patience are key.

And I still don’t have an answer to the rest. So, I’ll remember how the doors opened last year and have faith that this year is going to be even bigger.


Be brave. Be scared. Be weird. Be wonderful. Be love.

Just be.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Pixoto 


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