Surrendering at work

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.
myself
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Surrendering at work

Post by myself » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:26 pm

One of my biggest ego hooks for most of my life has been in the arena of employment. From my earliest days, my family has filled my mind with thoughts that I had to achieve something great. I never knew exactly what that "something great" was supposed to be, but all I knew was that I was supposed to do it.

The first vocation that I trained for from the time I was 5 yrs old was that of a concert pianist. Four hours a day, two hours before school and two hours after school, was my daily life. When I reached my mid teen years I finally had enough courage to rebel and quit, causing much upset and disappointment to my ambitious family.

Living daily with this grand and undefined ambition, I was terribly afraid of each choice I made, never knowing exactly what it was I was supposed to do or how to do it, and whether my choice in the moment would bring me closer or further away from this ambiguous "accomplishment" that would validate my existence.

The fear of not making the "correct" decision resulted in many, many years of indecisiveness. It took 10 years and at least 10 different majors before getting my undergraduate degree. The employment history was no different. I hopped around from one job to the other... always having MANY interests but never quite satisfied with any one path. My job experience usually fluctuated from incredible success (when I felt inspired) to dismal failure (when I was uninterested).

Finally I stumbled, quite "accidentally" into a professional (white collar) job in which my success hit an alltime high. It was like I could do no wrong. I created a project that was very successful and was given all the greenlight to develop and implement it across the department. My salary nearly trippled in 2 years time, and I thought for sure that now I "made" it and would be living the easy life.

As it turned out, this fantasy was short lived. Following the ambition trail, I moved to a different department that looked very promising for my career development. Here I reached an impossible barrier (or so I thought at the time). My new boss turned out to be exceedingly spiteful and emotionally abusive, literally demeaning my every move. The job itself proved to be a scapegoat position for what I discovered were astronomical errors in judgment made by a multi-million dollar company. In the end, I walked out of a high salary position, completely burned out and almost to the point of seeking counseling from all the stress. By this time I was crying on a daily basis. And, toward the end of my tenure there, I would find myself sitting in meetings with my mind completely unable to function. Where once before I was sharp as a tack... incredibly so, now I was damn near a vegetable, barely able to add 2 + 2.

Never again was I able to return to a "professional" arena. Oh I tried several times, with thoughts of money and prestige still plaguing me... but each time I realized that I no longer had the energy for it.

I had reached a point where I had to exercise acceptance, because the jobs that came after this experience were definitely not what I would have consciously chosen. In fact, for a time, I was quite ashamed of them, and yet this was where I was guided, and this was all that I had energy for, at the time.

I worked for about a year at a residential treatment facility, working with troubled adolescents. Recognizing that ACCEPTANCE was on my plate at this time, I sank into this experience. At first I struggled some, and as time went on I let even this go. There were several what I call "miracles" that took place there. Some were with the residents, with whom I practiced the art of listening and being present. Several times I was aware that much more was shared and communicated than what appeared to be on the surface. There were also experiences with co-workers that proved to be mutually beneficial for allowing the light of clarity to come through. It was when I completely surrendered in this job that very suddenly the exit was provided and I was able to leave it, knowing clearly that it was time to go.

My next job was even less "prestigious" than the prior. More surrender was needed. This job was working as a convenience store clerk. I went from hobnobbing with senior executives and CEO, flying around the country to attend parties and business meetings, to scrubbing toilets for the local customers. Incredibly, I found peace and joy while working there. Every moment seemed precious and I discovered serenity in humility. I experienced more joy and peace working here than ever before. People began to notice that I was always smiling and many commented on it. My joy was very noticeable. So was my competence. I began to regain my mental sharpness and I flowed with grace through my moments there. It felt very much like a dance. The relationships with coworkers as well as customers were loving and peaceful (for the most part) and I was well liked, through no effort of my own.

I surrendered fully there. Having now discovered a point where I no longer needed a career or prestige or money (this was the lowest paid job I had since highschool) for my identity. I actually volunteered to wash the toilets so the other employees didn't have to. I discovered the joy of selfless service.

The moment came when the time for this job was done, and this moment was completely unplanned and unorchestrated by me. Somebody walked in and practically handed me a new job. It was quite synchronistic and I recognized the prompt by Spirit to direct me elsewhere.

Now the time is not for acceptance. The time is for enjoyment. I am enjoying this new job tremendously. It's as if it's tailor made for me at this stage of my life story. Every day I look forward to going to work... now I have an office and a "desk" job again, working on a computer with enough time on my hands to play and write if I feel so inspired. The drive to work is scenic and beautiful, my new boss is fantastic, and the coworkers are friendly, for the most part. One of the guys that works here has skirted on the edge of sexual harassment.... but having recognized the nugget of opportunity here, my presence and attention seems to be nullifying his advances.

What I see now is that it doesn't matter what I do or where I am. Every job is now the same to me, as I'm always Here and Now. The faces may change and the daily tasks may change, but they are no longer a big deal. I see myself in each face, and I embrace them all in my heart. I don't care how much money I make... as it turned out I was given a pretty nice salary, especially for the area. I no longer consider myself as having a career and have let go all such ambitions. I simply show up where I'm led, for as long as I'm led, and do what I'm inspired to do. I have no more attachment as to what I do or for how long. It's all a dance of form and I know it will change, as all forms change. And that's OK with me. :D

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Post by kiki » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:28 pm

Wow, that's an interesting tale, and I can relate to it in many ways. For years I was looking for something that would validate my life, not only in my eyes but in the eyes of others. Not finding it was very very damaging to my egoic sense and created a negative self-identity. But I also knew that no job would really be "the" answer to life, and so I continued on a "spiritual path" believing that that held the answer. My negative self-image was painted over by following my spiritual inclinations, but beneath those inclinations lurked an unhappy man.

That has all dissolved now. I am no longer on any path and I work in what appears to others as a rather humble job, a substitute teacher. I have been doing this for years now, and people can't really understand why I don't shoot for something more substantial. It would bring more money, certainly, but I have never been motivated by money. The freedom I have doing what I do is quite enough for me, regardless of the financial restraints it limits me to.

I live a very simple life now, simply remaining present to whatever unfolds. I drive my car once a week to get groceries and visit a brother. I ride my bike when weather is good and I feel the impulse. Chores get done when they get done - following a schedule is a thing of the past. A very simple life, I have found, is most satisfying indeed. The key to that satisfaction lies in the conscious awareness of what I really am - that alone has been enough.

k

PS - did you get my private message?

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din
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Post by din » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:30 pm

I don't care how much money I make...

I no longer consider myself as having a career and have let go all such ambitions.
Congratulations on letting go of previous conditioning.

I see myself in each face, and I embrace them all in my heart.
Beautiful!
I have no more attachment as to what I do or for how long.
Yes!

What a lovely story!

But it is still just a story isn't it! :wink:
:)

myself
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Post by myself » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:38 pm

kiki wrote: PS - did you get my private message?
Yes I sure did.. and LOVED it! I'm preparing a reply now... you deserve a juicy lengthy one. :D

myself
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Post by myself » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:40 pm

din wrote:

What a lovely story!

But it is still just a story isn't it! :wink:
Of course! :D

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Post by din » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:41 pm

but beneath those inclinations lurked an unhappy man.
Is there really such a thing as a happy man? I think that would be an oxymoron.

(Keith, I am NOT calling you a moron.) :lol:

I live a very simple life now, simply remaining present to whatever unfolds.

"Simplicity. Simplicity. Simplicity!" H.D. Thoreau.
:)

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mccpcorn
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Post by mccpcorn » Mon Jul 31, 2006 9:28 pm

I share some understanding with you. I feel I've never achieved my 'material' potential and feel trapped in a position of underachievement.

I'm trying to learn acceptance because I've experienced almost permanent mental burnout for the past 5 years or so. Learning from what ET has said, I'm trying to accept the 'empty spaces' of my life and reach a deeper level of satisfaction or fullfilment.

One thing I do know for sure. If God ever existed he never intended us to live like this. ;)

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Post by Anois » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:04 am

If God ever existed he never intended us to live like this.
You are not "your story".

myself
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Post by myself » Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:36 am

mccpcorn wrote:I share some understanding with you. I feel I've never achieved my 'material' potential and feel trapped in a position of underachievement.

I'm trying to learn acceptance because I've experienced almost permanent mental burnout for the past 5 years or so. Learning from what ET has said, I'm trying to accept the 'empty spaces' of my life and reach a deeper level of satisfaction or fullfilment.

One thing I do know for sure. If God ever existed he never intended us to live like this. ;)
What if you never achieved anything, for the rest of your life? What then?

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Post by din » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:15 am

You are not "your story".
Oh thank you oh most deep and high guru!!! (piled high and deep, get it?)

Your words will be cherished forever. :lol:
:)

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Post by din » Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:34 am

What if you never achieved anything, for the rest of your life? What then?

He'd be an old hippie. :lol:
:)

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mccpcorn
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Post by mccpcorn » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:26 am

Ah well you see are you talking about egoic achievement or unmanifested achievement? ;)

Anois
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Post by Anois » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:43 am

Oh thank you oh most deep and high guru!!! (piled high and deep, get it?)

Your words will be cherished forever.
Thank you, but you won't find your answer in words Din

myself
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Post by myself » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:28 pm

mccpcorn wrote:Ah well you see are you talking about egoic achievement or unmanifested achievement? ;)
Well I guess I mean BOTH, now that you mention it. Well, what do you say?

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Post by din » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:07 pm

Thank you, but you won't find your answer in words Din
Anois, you're being much too polite.

You should have hit me with some flippant caustic remark! 8)
:)

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