The Ups and Downs of Doing What You Love

Once upon a time, I had a typical job that paid the bills.  It was close to home, paid decent, and did I mention it was only 3 miles from my home?  Notice that I didn’t say it was inspiring or fulfilling in any way.  It was a place where I went for 8 hours of my day and tolerated things and people.  So when my son was born, the job itself just didn’t have enough pull to draw me away from the little bundle of joy that I helped create.  At the time, I had just started exploring Feng Shui and had taken my first week long intensive.    Feng Shui was the first glimpse I had of the possibility of doing something that inspires and supports me.  Ever since I was a little girl, the one thing that I knew for sure was that I wanted to help people in some way. Little did I know that the journey I had decided to make using Feng Shui would turn my world upside down in ways that I could not know were coming.  As I learned more and made changes in my life, shift or Shit as it were, happened!

As is often the case, people can be jealous of our happiness and success, and I have always been very sensitive to the emotional temperature of the people I know and the new ones that I meet.  These same friends and family members who say they love us can be threatened by the changes that we make.  As they see us making changes that increase our freedom, creativity and passions, they can become uncomfortable.  They might even start to ask themselves if the work they are doing fulfills them or gives them the chance to make a difference in this crazy world.  And if not, is it possible for them to find work that does?  When I was younger, my Mom and I strongly disagreed about this.  She insisted that work is work and it is not something that is necessary for us to love.  She wasn’t trying to be negative.  That was her reality.  However, I was appalled and vowed then and there, albeit silently, that I would show her that it is possible.  I owe my stubbornness and persistence to my Mom.  Hey, I got it honestly at least!  But seriously, that is one of the many life-affirming gifts that she gave me, and I am so grateful!

Ever since my initial deep dive into finding my true calling, I have gotten divorced, moved 6 times (with one move being from the concrete, humid hell of Houston to the happy and hippy joyfulness that is Austin), experienced the death of my Father, become a Certified Yoga Instructor and had to learn to live on a much smaller budget than ever before.   One way that I have justified my career choice to others who look at my life with envy is that yes, I am doing what I love, but don’t be jealous because I really don’t make that much money ~  and this is the insight that I have had this week.  I have been afraid to make more money doing what I love because then people might really hate me or abandon me.  I may have time to take a nap in the middle of the day or take a 3 hour lunch with a friend, but on the days when I am working, I am WORKING!  I also don’t have health insurance, I am driving a car with over 209,000 miles on it and I pay the minimum on all of my credit cards because that is all I can afford.  I don’t get paid holidays or sick days, and the last time I took a vacation, I also gave up my income for the week.

My challenge now is to break through the financial glass ceiling that I created out of fear of losing my friends or creating envy, and continuously replace it with the faith that I am on the right path, that I am following my Divine Purpose and that my true friends are my true friends no matter what!  We hold ourselves back, until we don’t any more because once you know something about yourself, you can’t UN-know it.  You can ignore it or you can change it, and as usual,  I chose change!  If something I have shared helps even one other person in some way, then it is totally worth it to me!  I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes that fits perfectly here:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –  Marianne WilliamsonReturn to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”