Sunday, January 13, 2013
REMOVER OF OBSTACLES
A few years ago, a blogger friend (Melanie Uma Jolicoeur) sent this Ganesha to me. At the time, I really didn't know all that much about what Ganesha represented and so I did a bit of research and found out that he is "The Remover of Obstacles". And here he sits, in this photo, in front of my old Underwood typewriter, helping me to remove the obstacles that hold me back when it comes to writing or publishing my blog. I know that "life gets in the way" sometimes but seriously, how often do I find myself sitting someplace in the house doing nothing really. Couldn't I be sitting in front of my computer writing something? Journaling something? Isn't this what we hear all the time that is important to our progress?
I have recently been pondering questions that I suppose many people do (although I heard my friend's husband comment the other day that I was being very "cerebral" that day with my thoughts). This is not unusual for me. I ruminate over things that most people probably never even give a second thought to. I ponder, I worry, I plan...all part of my "process" I suppose. And when I look back over my life, I have always been this way. I remember walking home from high school and talking about the most esoteric things with my friend Victoria. Thankfully, she seemed to indulge me and my thoughts. But, here I am in my sixties and still doing exactly just that. It seems to be a consistent theme in my life. Perhaps it is what makes me tick, so to speak. I seem to need to do this. And because certain themes seem to reappear (and I happen to notice them no matter how subtle they are), it makes it all that much more imperative to me to try and figure out "the whys".
Recently, a theme has been reappearing in my life and seems important for me to try and sort through it somehow. I seem to find myself (maybe because of my age and the latter half of the down-hill part of life) wanting to understand how I am to deal with it...how I am to resolve it best. That theme is: Quitting. And not in a negative sense of the word either.
When I look back at the jobs that I have held in my lifetime, I can honestly say that the longest job I ever held was probably only six years. I don't know what it is about most jobs but they get so boring and uninteresting to me and it is all I can do to hang on by my fingernails. My first job out of high school was a mundane secretarial-type job but it was so repetitive and boring that I soon got myself into trouble because I would get side-tracked "visiting" with other co-workers too much. I was admonished but not fired and then I decided to transfer to a different department. I figured that perhaps a different boss, a different position, a different location might help me regain some perspective. But, despite the fact that my new boss was incredible and gave me great letters of praise, I soon found myself falling into the same boredom that had plagued me in my previous position. I quit that job and "dropped out" basically...moving to the Mt. Shasta area of Northern California and living in a school bus for a period of a year. This was an incredible time in my life. No structure, no bills, no one telling me what to do each day, no alarm clock prodding me to wake up. The day was mine to do with what I wanted. And I loved that part except I was still constantly grappling with "what was I here for". "What is my purpose"?
I have worked so many other jobs in my life, as varied as gardening, cleaning houses, working in a hardware store, working in a clothing store, working for the county trapping bugs, driving fork lift in a warehouse, working as a grader at college, and working in the art department doing various jobs as menial as cleaning up the clay room to as sophisticated as taking slide photos for professors to show in class. I have also worked for the State of California in the capacity of art curator's helper. I learned to catalog items that belonged to the Park Systems Dairy Museum. It was great. But each and every job always left me dissatisfied; longing for something "else".
In Sunday service today the topic was "The Role of Spiritual Intelligence". There is a book being studied presently by Cindy Wigglesworth titled "The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence and SQ in Action". The premise of the book is a "special focus on tools to assist you in moving forward in SQ and in shifting from ego self to Higher Self. The theme begins to unfold.
I picked up a magazine at the market the other day called "Spirituality and Health". (The Soul/Body Connection). The theme continues.
Inside, an article on page 24 "The Joy of Quitting". Do you sense a theme here? This article was written by Cash Peters who had a 20-year career on radio and TV working for BBC, CNN, and NPR. He even had his own show on the Travel Channel. He posits this: "When is it time to just give up? If you're on the wrong path, the sooner the better". And oddly enough he says that to him "quitting is an act of integrity and self-respect. Quitting sets boundaries." I was thrilled when I read this article. It vindicated me and my constant struggle with not being happy with what I was doing.
He also says this: (and I know that this touches on a subject that some people are not comfortable with and that is a Higher Power but...) "Your calling is the voice of divine intelligence. It's grace calling you to service, and it works like an inner GPS, giving you whispered but firm instructions: go this way, stop, go back. This guidance will never lead you astray. Each time you give in to fear or do something to serve your ego---when you stick at a boring job just because it pays the bills, or stay in a relationship that you know is not working out---you veer off the right path. Your inner GPS will guide you back."
Finally, I have "permission" to feel good (or at least try to understand) what it is that I have been struggling with all along. Here I am, turning 63 in April, and I am just now feeling "right" about what my inner GPS has been telling me all along. Cash Peters says on page 25 "Dare to trust the bigger plan. Open your heart wider. Allow grace to flow through you and out into service. You were not put here to be cowed by circumstances. Choose the path of harmony and integrity and walk forward with your head held high."
Melanie Uma Jolicoeur, author of the blog "Secret Notebooks, Wild Pages" posted something on her Facebook page today that blew me away. It, also, was the exact theme of what I have been seeing going on in my life recently. It was an article by Derek Sivers who explained "Why I gave away my company to charity." You can read his explanation in full at Sivers.org/trust but my point is that he says this: "Having too much money can be harmful. It throws off perspective. It makes people do stupid things like buy "extra" cars or houses they don't use---or upgrade to first class for "only" $10,000 so they can be a little more comfortable for a few hours." Read his article. I think he makes a lot of sense. Too often we get caught up in doing a job "for the money" even if it is something that really doesn't resonate with us deeply. Cindy Wigglesworth agrees with this premise when one of her key points in understanding your SQ is "Awareness of values hierarchy"---How do you choose your priorities in your life? Family? Work? A combination of both? Which comes first if you really had to choose?
Cash Peters asks this question in the end of his article: "...In every aspect of your life, the signal from your inner GPS is always there, always beaming out, always trying to lift you up toward your higher path. Your soul's path. How much longer will you ignore it?"
I'm asking myself these tough questions right now. Ganesha...you have been a big help removing some of the obstacles. I'm preparing the way, taking steps, setting a date. And I'm not too proud, as Cash Peters suggests, in admitting that I took a wrong turn. We all do!!
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