Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005
Seeking meaningful and fulfilling work can become a discouraging, confusing and overwhelming journey. Beware spending too much time looking for your answers outside of yourself. Ultimately, coming to know our right livelihood is the inner work of our whole being.
In order to nurture our well-being and come to our right livelihood; it is best to frequently pause and halt the busy "doing and thinking" process. Pause, relax and trust. This runs contrary to the belief espoused within the employment industry of "looking for a job is a full-time job." Woe upon those who follow this motto.
Follow the Voice of Your Heart
If we push ourselves non-stop into our career/job search (or within our jobs/lives) how can we hear the voice of our heart? The small still voice within is buried under a constantly busy mind and hectic life - so applauded by our society. I am not advocating that we wait for manna from heaven to supply our answers.
We need to do our research and seek the help we may need in order to make wise choices. However, I have found great value in pausing and waiting rather than trying to force a decision or an action. Try it.
Through pausing and exercising patience much is often revealed to us. Also, by pausing, relaxing and trusting we are aligning ourselves moment by moment with our heart and our God.
How do we distinguish between the voice of our God and that of the busy-mind pushing us along - often driven by the underlying insecurity of being human? As Robert Johnson, Jungian analyst and author of "Balancing Heaven and Earth," says; "How do we know if we are truly following the will of God? One knows instinctively; there is a sense of peace, balance, and fullness, an unhurriedness."
From my own experience I would add there is a clean, direct simplicity to my small, still voice. Also, if the voice directing me from within is harsh, hurtful or driven by fear I know with certainty this is NOT the voice of my God.
Finding work that is meaningful and fulfilling is not something we 'figure-out,' abdicate to external forces, nor something we push ourselves to do. Rather, it is more a process in time wherein we come to know and trust our deepest desires, intuition and clarity of mind. Coming to know our right livelihood involves our whole being.
Seeking the Slender Threads
Seeking the slender threads weaving our lives can also lead us toward meaningful work. What are the slender threads? "Being in a particular place at just the right time, meeting someone who steers you in an unforeseen direction, the unexpected appearance of work or money or inspiration just when they are most needed. Whether called fate, destiny or the hand of God, slender threads are at work…weaving the remarkable tapestry of our lives." Robert A. Johnson, Balancing Heaven and Earth.
Viewing my own life I see how those slender threads - chance meetings - patterned decades of my life. I see how some of my best career choices came about through some great benevolent force guiding me, connecting me to necessary people and experiences more so than my well-made plans or goals. All I did was get the information I could, put myself out there and then, follow the little steps revealed to me.
If you are in job search or looking for career direction put yourself "out there" and be open to slender threads. Participate in free local employment programs - looking and listening for unexpected connections or clues. Pay attention to meaningful words that suddenly catch your attention or replay in your mind whether from a passing stranger, friend, dream, song, TV show, book title, or….
Tell everyone you meet you are in career change, soul searching, job search…find your own words. In a sentence or two let them know what you enjoy doing, what your skills are, what interests you or where you would like to work. Ask if they can think of a job title that might suit someone like you, or where you might apply for work, or who else could they suggest for you talk to.
People love to help if we will but open ourselves to their generosity. Take little steps. Pause, relax and trust your small inner voice. Look for the slender threads weaving the majestic tapestry of our lives. Herein, follow the guidance toward your right livelihood.
About the Author
Teresa has been inspiring, supporting, and guiding over 3000 people upon their career and life path for fourteen years - with compassion and heart. This entrepreneurial woman also, successfully owned two clothing boutiques for ten years. A well-read columnist for twelve years, Teresa continues her successful writing and teaching today as an editor/writer on line and off line.