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Let’s dive right smack dap into it: What does one dedicated to a soulful life do within the days, and weeks and months following the layoff or termination of one’s job? What does one do with the shock, the betrayal, the confusion…with the terrifying and paralyzing waves of fear? What does one do to survive, to go on, to find hope, to be real, to stand strong, to create new opportunity, to dare meet life in a new way, to stay open and yet not cave in?
(…God help me not to be lofty or misperceived in response to this challenging quest…)
As someone who never intended to become sought out as a “spiritual teacher” and healer, but rather, as one who has lived and walked through the devastation of life crisis and its very real de-footing, I am humbled and in awe at what I have discovered about life at its deepest core; about what it means to be “eyes wide open” fully human, while also steady in-love with the still point of the deeper soul journey and path of purpose.
Today when I work with people in crisis (be it the very real devastation of sudden job loss, the death of a partner, a major life threatening illness, an old childhood trauma, or a deep seated depression and desire to find what is holy in one’s life) I work in a novel way that uses “what’s up” in the person’s life right now: a way that, in itself, opens the doorway to the path of new perception, freedom of being, and amazing real life opportunities (such as a new vocation that is unimaginable from the previous job identity and way of living).
How? I’ll see if I can cut to the chase. What I know is this: Fear is real in the moment. Yet if you succumb solely to its voice and to its urgency for immediate solution, you will remain imprisoned – and, at best, apply merely another band-aid to what is an opportunity and a call to mine your soul’s gold as your unique expression of genius and wholeness in “the real world”.
Said differently? Feel the fear, yes. … AND then take it on as a Sacred Quest to finally meet and become your true potential in this life …before you die! That was a bold sentence, and it is true for each one of us. We’re meant to learn what it is to take on our difficult life circumstances as a Soul Quest: as a determined and conscious Quest to discover what it means to be successfully in the world but no longer imprisoned by our own griping fear-reaction to life’s ever-changing climate and nature.
To be brutally honest, and as my Greek friend, Fran, says: “we all gonna die”. So the question becomes: how can we learn the art of being truly and fully alive even when we know we can’t control or keep ourselves always out of harm’s way? How do we take the very difficult “bumps and lumps” of life that threaten our very survival (or at least our desired level of security) … and discover from these very real hardships, the art of being abundantly creatively real and alive?
To me, this is the real question of life: How much “YES” can I give to life in all its aspects and changing circumstances? To be truly alive is to feel the fear and carry on anyway as an artist of one’s life …Or, in other words, to carry on as one who picks up the changing circumstances of life and continually discovers how to be genuinely and newly engaged in its growth potential.
When I lost my job and my husband and my health several years ago (whew!), I was devastated and overcome with fear and loss. What did I “do” in this time of terrible fear and loss? I suffered with it …AND, I accepted its presence, and learned how to pick it up and use it as a sacred quest to show me what ultimately matters in life. I used my devastation to find and to re-dedicate and live my life as an artist alive to the ALL of It. In short, I used the fear and loss as an ingredient to show me what it means to craft an amazing new menu for living more fully awake and free!
My immediate crisis became my teacher, leading me to become more whole in myself, less victimized by circumstance, and unshakably alive to life in all its manifestations. It wasn’t an easy time… but it was truly miraculous in the simplicity and kindness toward self and others that I now live and know.
As a result of allowing, meeting, and honoring the inner fear of “not knowing” how I would survive, I free-fell into a creative dialogue with this “new ingredient” in my life… and I (unwittingly at the time) opened my heart to a flowing wisdom, life path, and exquisite freedom of being that I could never have dreamed of nor crafted had I simply tried to fix my problems or had I simply grasped in fear at my urgent need for security, understanding, direction …and INCOME! I became, an artist of life. And that artistry has set me free to be my genius in this real world.
Is that too lofty? I hope it is not. I cannot offer here any help in terms of “how to go find a job”, “how to be sure you can keep your house”. What I can offer, is help on how to meet fear from the only place it can finally be seen and released as you walk more consciously than ever before into your true path of unique genius on this ever –changing “path unwinding”
How can you make this bold new move of inner freedom, you ask?
By honoring (not accepting and not fighting against) what is here as your fear right now. Don’t muckrake in it, but rather meet it outside of yourself and let it become your teacher leading you to new and much greater possibilities awaiting you.
This is how I work with my clients — and what I dare you to try, if you are ready to meet this crisis as a sacred quest:
- Sit down with a pen and paper and see if you can soul-search and come up with 6 main “personalities” in you that have run your life. These should be the 6 key voices that run through your life and that you are aware of right now in the midst of this sudden job loss crisis. And give each one a name (Samples might be: Poly Perfectionist; Ms Oh So Not Worthy; Valium Victim; Nelly Needs Approval; Majestic Mystic; Callus Critic, etc.) Find the core 4-6 voices in you (both the good, the bad, and the ugly) and give them each a name to represent their voice and their quality.
- Find, make or buy something that stands for each one of these voices. This should be something that actually looks like how they feel when they are active inside of you. Be playful and allow them to come to life in an outer physical form.
- Place your 6 inner voices now given an outer physical form, in a special place in your home that shows an honoring willingness to hear and see them out in the light of day. By your giving them a playful name and form and special place in your life, I guarantee that you will start to notice more clearly how their voices run and obstruct or help your daily life. Simply let them become your teacher and tend to them with curious observation and playfully creative dialogue. Nothing is denied or disallowed; just open, curious dialogue.
- As you engage in this way, you will start to notice the role of fear and all its voices of compromise… and the place of courage and its voice of playful allowing. And something will start to open in your life that is unshakable: Your soul’s own wisdom and flow with life will begin to emerge as your seated authority of True Self.
- As this inner seeing strengthens (and it will, if you engage these little voices with creative playful reverence) you will start to recognize that life, and all sorts of new opportunities, are literally rising up out of the ashes of your current crisis. You will discover how to become an alchemist of your life and how to step boldly into each moment of life from a place of authentic truth. You will be in the “Soulful Zone”. And as you start to come more and more freely from a place of your soulful authenticity, you will naturally find and follow the path of your vocation and purpose in this world of ever-change.
“Source of Income” (hmmm):
How does one step into their true Source of Income? …By making ready the soil – by an honoring “eyes wide open” playful seeing and engaging in dialogue with what is true in the moment. This level of direct creative and curious openness to engage the quest is what allows Source a clear channel to Come-Into your life!
I know it’s hard to realize this: but truly, Right NOW, and at this time of greatest fear and vulnerability, are you at your most Source-full closest to the possibility of clearing the pathway for your true genius to enter into your life! …May you take such a crisis and make it your Wholly Quest! …And may your openness to a living quest, set you free to be your True Song!