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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

Utkatasana - Chair or Fierce PoseAfter at least five years of hearing the call to teach yoga, five years of making excuses and allowing other things to cull my time, five years of resisting what I craved, I started yoga teacher training with Shiva Rea at Exhale in Venice, CA.  Saying I chose to make this the time to engage this stage of growth would be to snare unlawful credit to myself – the Universe gave me an almighty push.  After being laid off and debating my next steps, Shiva’s impending training modules came before me…and I leapt.  I made the financial implications matter very little in comparison to the creativity and energy that choice brought to me – even before the first class began.  The credit card is rather unhappy, but it cannot account for the waves of joy and excitement that proffer fuel to this process.

The surge of energy within this very beginning stage of engaging with these guides and myself has been truly remarkable.  More responses and reflections to follow as I plummet with a massive grin flapping comically in the wind…

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Do I want this to be my mantra of work?  Does anyone?  How many of us settle for it?  Can it be a positive statement?

Driving with a family member who utters the titular phrase of this blog, takes me to a place of remembrance where that phrase would have been the more positive of what I was actually thinking.  Sitting in the  back of the car, my mind drifts to the negativity and powerlessness wrapped within that statement for me personally.  On the surface it feels like it could be either merely a fact or maybe even a new opportunity.  However, what it recalls for me, and what I hear in the sighing and defeatist tone in which it is spoken is a surrender to the ravages of daily life, an acceptance of the mediocre. 

I felt that way for spans of time while I worked for corporate book retail, and I didn’t like it.  Those were the times that I felt stagnant and morose and incapable of maintaining the facade of pleasantness with people.  I would pine for those moments of connected rejoice with a customer to whom I could recommend a favorite author of mine, but what I see now is that operating from that mode of negativity completely obliterated my opportunities to engage joyously with customers and perpetuated the cycle of irritation and disgust.  Truly unpleasant, both in the experience and also my own demeanor.  The worst part of those times was that I could feel myself in that disjointed space, be upset with myself for letting the negativity affect me, but also be unable to skirt around or skim above it.

After being blessed with unemployment, freed from the expectations and safety net and shackles, and stepping back to observe the shifts in my mindset and perceptions, I realized that reentering an employment scenario remotely similar to what I’d been forced out of would entail surrendering the flourishing rediscovery of the joy around me.  While I do not recall being miserable the entire time I managed in retail, looking at the behaviors I have pursued now, the interests that have reawakened, and the creativity that has returned, I see that all these areas were dramatically and negatively affected.  Being laid off re-gifted me with a freedom I hadn’t known I had misplaced.

When I consider the opportunities and challenges laid before me as I examine where my life path will lead next, I feel a sense of optimism and excitement, so very different from the petrification I felt whenever I considered moving onward from my management position locked within the retail world.  I was afraid of having to start all over, afraid of lacking necessary skills, afraid of new places and peoples and expectations, afraid to fail.  I wouldn’t say I’ve surmounted those fears.  Hardly.  They are just less daunting and not pervading my thoughts. 

As I ruminate in the back seat of the car and countless faltering retail establishments blur past, I think about how this phrase of days and dollars can take on a positive tinge.  What surfaces strongly is a sense of opportunity.  It occurs to me that each day brings new chances and new awareness.  Clichéd it may be, but I feel like more learning and growth has happened for me in four months than in several years.  Each day arrives fresh and unhindered if only I choose to see it that way.  I can carry a weighted carpet bag, or I can arrive unencumbered, ready with pen and paper with which to record new ideas and move forward.  I strongly feel that this choice maintains my positive outlook and helps me accept the worry and concern that inevitably pesters me, and release it so I am unfettered.

As I step out of the car, I think that as a mantra, mayhap I can use “another day, another dollar” with a positive reaction, but instead I choose to reiterate my intention as “another day, another joy.”  That is what I anticipate: discovering the joy in each day.  And I know it is waiting for me to find.

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Snooze, munch, roll in the grass, eat some grass, make someone else remove waste, repeat.

Snooze, munch, roll in grass, eat grass, make someone else remove waste, repeat.

While on hiatus from the worker bee hive, I decided to enjoy emulating an animal of a different sort: my cat Jenna.  Call it communing with my feline friend or being lazy, but I choose to view my situation as an opportunity to explore relationships with myself, my environment, my perceptions, and my lodged understandings unfettered by the looming need to make honey.  Lots of other people can serve the queen; I’m rogue for the moment, know that the hive offers many good things, but accepting each moment of buzzing withdrawal, scary and tenuous and thrilling, as a chance to engage areas that were frequently overshadowed by a large grain of pollen. 

Snooze, munch, repeat.  Feel no compulsion other than to fastidiously lick myself clean…and bug my cohorts with insistent demands that I then decide weren’t all that important to begin with, despite my vociferous verbigerations.  Snooze, munch, repeat.  My feline friend has a decidedly joyous perspective.

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