Not-so-Secret Secrets to Work that Fulfills You
There’s something powerful about the role work plays in our lives, isn’t there? We want it to have meaning beyond subsistence; to have purpose, creativity, to make an impact, to feed our pocketbooks, to feed our souls. Where is the pure joy of work for the sake of work itself?
Chin Ying Chu talks of work as the highest form of play. I admit I’ve spent my share of time avoiding work from childhood to present. But I’ve also enjoyed work for the pure pleasure or even sheer exhaustion from working on a project, the physical labor of managing a small farm, or a hard workout and the soul-filled feeling at the end when I’m doing something I love.
Work often symbolizes our internal tension with identity. We find a sense of self in our work, our impact, our accomplishments. On the shadow side it can become a security blanket, a religion, an addiction or something we avoid. Either way, it holds potential for the discovery of who you are. Here are a few tips for evolving your present work situation-employed, unemployed, parent, entrepreneur-in the direction you would like to go.
1. See yourself as part of the whole no matter how you feel about your current work or situation. You’ve heard it said that, “all our problems stem from the belief that we are separate from God.” That perceived separation shows up in the different aspects of life, including work. Like a relationship isn’t merely giving to the other person, but to the relationship itself, seeing yourself as part of the whole, no matter what occupies your time, reminds you that your giving and exchange isn’t merely with an employer, or clients, or with yourself. It is with a whole.
Someone flies the planes so you can travel. Someone grows the vegetables you eat. Someone wrote your favorite book sitting on the nightstand. Someone manages the trails in national parks. Someone fixes your car. Someone creates art that inspires. Parents, teachers, caregivers and the community are raising the next generation. Someone manages a mysterious mainframe so money comes out of the ATM. Someone made your clothes. No matter what you do, your work contributes to the whole.
2. Recognize your work not as your purpose, but as a form of its expression. In a way, we could all change careers and still be living our purpose. Purpose moves with you, it is inherent in who you are. Someone who is brilliant at fixing things may enjoy expressing it as a mechanic, a farmer, a computer tech, working on docks, in humanitarian aid. What you do with it is its expression. Aligning that expression with your uniqueness is the bliss of purpose. Like Rumi’s quote, “Lovers do not find each other they are in each other all along.” Martha Graham says we do not even have to believe in ourselves if we are open to following the urgings within. Your intention and commitment to expressing your gifts and sense of purpose through your work will draw to you what you need to develop that expression.
3. Develop a relationship with your own strengths. It’s not enough to know your strengths and gifts or even to know how to use them. If you want the richest experience of work, learn to relate with your strengths and gifts. At the core of life is relationship. Your relationship to anything be it others, money, work, your ideas, your strengths, nature, Source, your self. This relationship eliminates the disconnect or connection you put with your gifts.
If the old ways of exploring your strengths leave you flat, spark new relationships, and put yourself in new situations. Relationships allow us to reflect, discover and choose who we are and who we are not. A popular tool right now is Tim Rath’s Strengthfinder 2.0. Buy the book and you receive access to the questionnaire. I found it spot on and affirming of the path I’ve chosen as well as enlightening.
4. Revel in the fact that you have the freedom to choose. To have the choice of how, where and in what you work is a relatively new phenomenon. Some may think of it as a curse because now they have so many choices. It wasn’t that long ago that you did what the generations before you did-parent, farm, merchant, sailor. Now you have virtually infinite options to participate in moving humanity forward by unfolding who you are.
5. Love what you do and if you cannot, make plans for change, even if you start only with an intention. It seems silly to say, “only” an intention, because this is where the source of the propulsion or power is that sets everything in motion. Loving what you do is for your sake, but it is equally as important to others. No matter what you do you’re actually “selling the love.” Your passion is infectious. No matter what it is you sell, people ultimately want more of you.
“When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. …And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth…”
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
6. The more you fill what you do now with you, with intention, purpose, and gratitude, the faster it will evolve or change form. This is a powerful secret necessity for manifestation. When you focus this way, you begin to fill the “space” of life that you’re in beyond its capacity and something new must materialize. It can’t not happen. It is an inevitability in the way the Universe works. You can acknowledge what you don’t like about it. That’s healthy and keeps you clear. But if you want to create change, you must hold the paradox of clarity that knowing what you don’t want brings you, while turning your focus to what you know now about what you do want.
If the only thing you know is the feeling you want to have, or you take the “don’t wants” and flip them into their opposites of what you do want and focus there, that is enough. Trust me. You are on your way to a new creation. Filling to capacity where you are now takes you out of “wait” or “shrink” or “doubt” mode. It is working in tandem with the change you desire.
“Live the questions and Life will bring you the answers.”
~ Deepak Chopra
Living in the sometimes uncomfortable, but potential of the power your questions and intentions hold, Life will certainly move you forward in the discovery or evolution of your work, especially its pure joy and playfulness.
|© 2012 Shelley Hawkins, The Self Connection™. All Rights Reserved.Your requests for reproducing this material in part or in whole are welcomed. Please note that without written permission from the author, this article may not be reproduced in part or in whole. Your requests receive prompt response at email@example.com.|