Our Continual Crossroads
A friend and former colleague shared with me that she recently had a breakthrough in her work as an educator. The last couple years had been very challenging for her, and she was very close to quitting. She felt as if she had come to a crossroads: either quit or figure out how to have a better experience of her job. She chose to transform her experience.
She started a new practice of beginning her days with a meditation, a spiritual reading, and prayers; she also closed out her days with a meditation, reading, and prayers. She used these tools to ground her in what matters most to her. With these simple practices she was able to get in touch and stay in touch with a core part of who she is, her love for the people in her life.
By calming her mind, she began to live more commonly in a state of relaxed well-being, a state from which she could hear the whispering of an internal wisdom, a universal intelligence guiding her to well-being.
In the midst of a challenging situation with a parent who was yelling at her on campus, she was unfazed. With the seeming endless demands of the constituents with whom she works, she is at peace and in action. Throughout her day she’s able to settle her mind and foster a consistent appreciation and enjoyment in being alive. At the end of the day she’s able to turn off work-mode. (She's also much more effective in her work now.)
We think we must stress our way to productivity, think our way to ease, or complain our way to changes. We think we need to worry our way to safety, struggle our way to growth, or sacrifice our way to success.
All of that is untrue.
It’s also detrimental - to our own well-being, to the well-being of our family and loved ones, and to the well-being of our colleagues and students.
When Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” he didn’t mean to work at it so that some day you could be that change. He didn’t mean to stress and worry over it. He didn’t mean to analyze all your problems and shortcomings (or those of others) until you could feel yourself as the change. He meant to actually be the change here and now.
What if that were possible for each of us right now? What would you like to bring into your own life as a way of being?
Chances are, the best path to that way of being isn’t the path of stress, fear, worry, contempt, discord, or frustration.
My friend observed that she was at a crossroads and she chose to actively engage with her life in a new way. She now lives life from intention, gratitude, enjoyment, and love, and that’s all she needed to transform her experience.
What if you are currently standing at a crossroads in life too? What’s your choice?
One perspective we could take is that we’re always at a crossroads, moment-by-moment. Do you choose fear or love? Do you choose desire or integrity? Do you choose worry or ease?
The more often we make the choice that's in line with our inner knowing, the easier it gets to choose it.
(By the way, sometimes the best choice is to not make any choice at all, at least not right now.)
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️