So here I am, still in transition a year and a half after losing my job. I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to avoid getting a “real” job after all this time, and even happier to say that I’ve discovered what I want to do!
Those of you who’ve followed my progress over this time will remember that at the beginning, I had no idea what that was. I knew I’d been given a great opportunity to unwind from a very stressful situation and to explore how I want to spend the rest of my life – or at least this next part. I had this vague and crazy notion that it ought to be possible to make a living and do what I really love. Trouble was, I didn’t know what I loved or how I would spend my time if I could do anything at all.
Through an interesting and intentional process, which involved a lot of trust, surrender, and what probably looked like goofing off, I determined that I love to write, and also that I love to sing. But more than that, I realized I love to sing old songs with and to elders, especially those with dementia and who are near the end of life. Who knew?
So I’ve been doing just that. And another time I’ll talk about what that’s been like and even share some heartwarming and truly amazing stories. But right now I want to talk about something else. I want to talk about what I now believe this whole journey is really about. And that is, learning how to be happy, peaceful and content…no matter what is happening.
What’s happening right now is that, while I’m having these wonderful musical conversations with some incredible people – many of whom can’t even speak, much less carry on a coherent conversation – and I’ve got the time to do that, as well as to write as much as I want, I haven’t got the “make a living” part down yet. And as I watch my bank balance continue to fall, with only occasional refreshment, I have felt pretty far from happiness, peace or contentment.
But, despite some bouts with fear, verging on pure terror occasionally, I’ve managed to keep trusting that I’m on the right path and that things will turn out okay. I’ve been able to do that with the help of Jean, my spiritual director, with perfectly timed encouragement from some family and friends, with some serendipitous reading material placed in my path, but most of all with guidance from The Spooks*. (Regular readers know to whom/what I’m referring, but for the novice, I’m attaching an explanation below.)
Most recently The Spooks told me that part about the real work being to be happy, peaceful and content no matter what, and they pointed out that, if things weren’t objectively scary or difficult, how would I have a chance to practice it or know I was doing it. They also told me that I need to do three things consistently right now: meditate, do yoga daily, and drink more water. Really. They said that about the water. Go figure.
So I’ve been following their advice and trying to stop every hour or so and check in with myself, to see if, in this exact moment, I am or can be happy, peaceful and content regardless of what is going on. And so far, so good.
There’s more to say all this, especially about some of the deeper levels of revelation that have come to me in meditation, but this is enough for now. Anyway, my water glass is empty.
*When I refer to The Spooks, as regular readers will know, I’m talking about the source of guidance I often receive. (Don’t worry. I don’t actually hear voices in my head, so there’s no need to suggest I start taking anti-psychotic medication!) And when I talk about angels, blessings, etc., I’m not referring to any particular belief system nor am I attached to any particular “divinity construct”. God or The Universe or the Higher Self or the subconscious mind – I really have no idea how it all works. But I don’t like getting tangled up in terminology, so substitute whatever words work for you.