Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful on for the evolution of your consciousness.
– Eckhart Tolle
Yesterday I lost my day job, was “fired for redundancy”. Truth be told, I’ve been feeling stuck and uninspired with it for months but for a number of practical (mainly financial) reasons quitting was not a viable option. What to do? I have been living with this question and the sensation of restlessness and longing for a different way to earn my living, the one that would allow me to be more self-expressed and would resonate with my values. My inner mantra for these past few weeks has been, ” I am ready to be moved but don’t know how. Take my fire! Use my fire! Be my fire! I am yours! ” So when my boss came with the news of the unavoidable lay offs, I surprised her (and myself!) saying I was willing to go first. I have been asking to be moved, haven’t? And if I want to be moved, I have to let go of the grip.
When I was a little girl, I liked to spend time peering into a little tube with an exotic name – kaleidoscope. The tube was filled with coloured beads and pebbles and could magically bring them together into exciting patterns every time I turned it. It never ran out of imagination and tirelessly produced new, perfectly symmetrical designs. Whenever life did not make sense, I could always count on the magic of my kaleidoscope. When I first got the kaleidoscope, I was so fascinated with every pattern that I would not want to turn it, afraid of losing the unique pattern. Of course sooner than later I would lose it anyway. But I soon discovered that frozen images by themselves were quite boring and that by turning the tube I allowed the images to connect, to form sequences. I loved how they would float into one another, the previous one sort of pulling out the next one and then the next. To enjoy this never-ending dance I had to keep turning the tube: the images were meant to be played as a sequence!
Playing with the kaleidoscope I learnt that there was always some new design waiting for me, something I could not possibly anticipate and in that brief moment of turning it I trusted the pieces would come together in the best possible way. I could enjoy the new design for a while but knew I would have to start turning the tube again and let the images unfold in a sequence I had no control over. As a grown up, I’ve learnt to hold on to the old ways because I started identifying myself with things, feelings and ideas and losing the object of my identification gave me the feeling that I in fact was loosing my self. As grown ups we think we have more to lose because we have acquired more (“More is better” seems to be the belief we carry here in the West) but how can we lose something we never really were or owned? As grown ups, we become invested in our inflated self-images, our posessions or occupation, our feelings and opinions, and get the sense of identity from them. We can feel that I am the one disappearing, not my job or relationship.
It’s time to dust off the old ways and find new ones for making dreams come true. It’s time to reshuffle the deck, turn the kaleidoscope and see what we can make with what comes up. It’s time to ask, ” What are the creative opportunities here? How can I use this for my growth?” How can we become as excited about the unknown as about something we already know and anticipate? I say, “I am dying to work with you”. I say, “I have no doubt this will be a rich experience”. I say, ” “You fascinate me”. I say, “You are so intriguing.”
LET US PLAY!
I burn away; laugh; my ashes are alive!
I die a thousand times;
My ashes dance back –
A thousand new faces.