I suspect that I’m coming to grips with the reality of being ordinary — my teacher told me years ago to practice ‘bowing lower’ (from the Buddhist perspective), not struggling for or against, saying ‘yes’ to what is.
I have been reclusive, living a contemplative life-style — “in the world, but not of it” kinda thing. During this period I once spoke to my teacher about how if I were in a monastery I could at least point to THAT as what I’m ‘doing’ in the world, my purpose. She pointedly reminded me that NOT being in the monastery will get me there faster! … What a pisser.
I’ve been blessed to have a couple of prolonged periods of unemployment. In the beginning I was aware of extreme anxiety and fear of survival, but as time moved on I was able to shift into feeling as though I was on sabbatical. I came to love every minute of it.
When I could let go of evaluating my life in terms of whether or not I was being productive, I discovered that my old ideas of productivity had greatly changed. Instead I became profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have been on ‘retreat’. I was able to find the flow and balance of being a contemplative while in the world, and to treasure those times in my life more than any accomplishment professionally or personally.
Reentering the ‘work-a-day-world’ I would struggle to remember how to practice LIVING life, to fall in love with life, with myself, and to experience everything, including Joy. I came to welcome future times of unemployment as revisiting the unfamiliar territory, the discipline to cut a new groove, to appreciate Grace for opening the way.