Do What You … Love?

by Christopher Lovejoy on November 20, 2016

Who do you wanna be when you grow up?

This is a question I heard more than once when I was growing up in a small Canadian town, and curiously, when I think about it, I can still ask myself this question, not because I am still a kid (at least where appearances go), but simply because of these words: “grow up”.

True, “grow up” can be taken literally as meaning “grow physically and psychologically from childhood through adolescence into adulthood”, but it can also be taken spiritually as meaning “realizing heart of soul more wholly to evolve and ascend more fully in mind and spirit.”

This latter meaning is likely more lofty than most people can handle, and yet it speaks to a kind of growth that appeals to a good many people, myself included, if for no other reason than it keeps us young at heart, no matter our situations or circumstances in life and love.

If I am truly open to evolving and ascending and realizing myself more wholly and fully, then maybe, just maybe, I would be doing myself a big favor by posing this question from time to time:

Who do you wanna be when you grow up?

Situational, Relational, and Vocational

Presently, my situation in life is relatively secure, made relatively stable by a predictable income that has given rise to a daily routine that is relatively comfortable. My relations at home and at work (and beyond) are tolerable, even acceptable. The work I do pays my bills, and in my spare time, I get to do some of what I really love to do, which is to think deeply and write creatively about subjects that interest me.

Where ideals are concerned, I feel caught between wanting to spread my wings and live a mobile lifestyle, but then again, the thought of living in a secure location, surrounded by the blessings of nature, also appeals to me. I enjoy my own company, but I can also see myself spending time with someone who shares my love of beauty and harmony, intimacy and ecstasy, serenely, blissfully, naturally.

And so, for me, the question naturally arises: who do you wanna be when you grow up?

Another question for me comes to the fore: who would you be if money were no object?

If money were no object, I would quit my current life and lifestyle, rid myself of much of what I own, which, thankfully, isn’t much, and start moving again, strategically following my bliss from one place to the next, living purposelessly on purpose, just to see and feel what would happen, while presuming and caring enough to know exactly, in my heart of hearts, who it is I wish to be as I grow up, and up and up.

No more excuses, and … what a relief it would be to be myself again, wholly and fully.

The Sticky Matter of Meeting Obligation

Obligation: it’s a term loaded with meaning, exuding connotations both negative and positive.

Positively speaking, obligation is part and parcel of commitment, which serves admirably to generate dedicated or devoted interest; indeed, without a sense of obligation, how could there be a commitment to anyone or anything, and without commitment, wherein lies purpose?

For many months, I have devoted myself to understanding, appreciating, and approaching a realization of the ultimate in fulfillment, and for many months, I have somewhat neglected to dedicate myself wholly and fully to learning and growing into realizing my fullest potential.

Negatively speaking, obligation restricts freedom of action but is this necessarily a bad thing?

It is true that I presently feel an obligation to care for someone who has grown dependent on me, and that if I were to let her go, she would doubtless suffer a fate worse than death. On the one hand, this one central obligation has trapped me like a bug in a spider’s web of related obligations; on the other hand, this one central obligation has served me immeasurably to deepen my capacity to care truly and deeply.

For all I know, this one central obligation could have placed me exactly where I need to be to approach a realization of the ultimate in fulfillment with due care. Whichever way I turn, letting go or holding on, the cosmos has my back, as the cosmos is very forgiving of those who are forgiving of others, but what of following my bliss to and through continued expansion and exploration, evolution and expression?

Fate to Destiny: “The Only Way Out is Through”

We have heard it said that “the only way out is through”, but what does this look like in practice?

In my most recent post, Supportive Structures, I shared a few psychological structures in graphic form that I felt intuitively guided to create in view of approaching a realization of ultimate fulfillment, and here, I would like to revisit them in light of what I’ve shared so far in this post.

priorities-of-a-true-selfFor me, this graphic representation of the priorities of a True Self is central to finding a way through that which prevents continued expansion and exploration, evolution and expression, towards a realization of the ultimate in fulfillment. As an example, suppose I make it my intention to stay inside my comfort zone, to remain comfortable for the rest of my life, and so, with ready access to a master switch at the egoic core of a True Self (0 or 1?; unity or individuality?; let it be or make it so?), I could set the intention to arrange my life (making it so) with a view towards realizing ultimate comfort in my life (letting it be) for the remainder of my life. By paying exclusive attention to what comforts me, I attract ever more comfort into my life, little by little, and then more and more as my attentions to comfort give rise to the attractions of comfort that bring ever more attractions to comfort by way of projections of comfort, such that my situation grows ever more comfortable, my relations become ever more comfortable, and my vocation brings me nothing but comfort – all in all, a very comfortable life begetting ever more comfort.

Now you might think that I’m trying to be funny, but I assure you, I could not be more serious.

Comfort is formally defined as “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.”

Who among us does not want comfort? Is comfort not a valuable, indispensable baseline from which to craft a life of deep satisfaction and lasting fulfillment? But then, what are we to make of those who tell us to “stretch yourself”, to “go beyond your comfort zone”? In light of the questions that follow, why be the cause of your own discomfort? Why be the cause of your own resistance to truth, love, and power?

Since when did comfort become the enemy of courage? Can I not be courageously comfortable in my own skin? Can I not be comfortably courageous in seeking to realize ultimate fulfillment?

Since when did comfort become synonymous with complacency? Can I not get comfortable with saying and doing nothing without becoming complacent? Can I not get comfortable with following my bliss for an entire lifetime without falling prey to the clutches of complacency?

Having relayed all of this commentary on comfort with a touch of playful perversity, I can well appreciate that comfort is not the best core intention for crafting a life of deep satisfaction and lasting fulfillment. Consider, if you will, as you continue to dare to care, this deeper, more profound core intention by which, with which, and from which to live a life of peace, love, joy, and bliss with uncommon grace and ease:

be-the-change

In 18 words, we have a core intention that identifies key components of ultimate fulfillment – an intention worthy of the octave of densities that currently informs and inspires this version of the universe. There’s even a bit of Spock in it for those who can perform a Vulcan salutation.

Speaking to affirm these words, however, is one thing; living to embody them is another.

Alive and Well Inside the Comfort Zone?

Although comfort is not the best core intention by which to craft a life of satisfaction and fulfillment, it just might be one of the best metrics of success for conducting a life in service to approaching a realization of ultimate fulfillment. By having courage be a friend to comfort (by giving adequate voice to discomfort), and by knowing and telling and responding well to the difference between comfort and complacency, a state of physical and psychological ease and freedom from pain or constraint can be affirmed without hesitation, without needless guilt and shame.

With a baseline comfort as an ally (not an enemy), we have a vital yardstick by which to measure success in negotiating and navigating the peaks and valleys of everyday life, physically and psychologically. In any given situation or relation, we can usually sense intuitively (if we are paying attention) whether something is “off” about it (the more alive, awake, aware, and alert we are, the better). Paradoxically, it is discomfort (relative to a baseline comfort) that alerts us to the desirability of making required or desired adjustments. The danger in ignoring these signals of discomfort is that we make ourselves (or someone close to us) vulnerable to betrayal. Just as relations can betray (even without knowing it), so too can the situations in which we find ourselves. The more comfort-able we are in any given situation or relation, the more able we can be to receive and respond to any signals of discomfort that arise spontaneously in the course of interacting with our situations and relations.

fulfillment typesThis graphic representation of the three basic fulfillment types speaks to the cyclical nature of finding and putting and keeping our daily lives in perspective. Situationally, we are where we are, moving from one place to the next (in our work or at our leisure) or finding our comfort in being settled in one place (at home or at work), whether we like it or not. The situations in which we find or put or keep ourselves deeply condition our choice of relationships – whether to enter them, retain them, improve them, replace them; relational status, in turn, plays a role in affecting the types of work we can or cannot permit ourselves to do; vocational status, in turn, plays into efforts made to improve our situations at home or abroad, at work or on the road. In my experience with this cyclical perspective, I would caution against placing undue emphasis on any one of these types. Rather, I would advise, in keeping with preserving, even cultivating, a sense of personal comfort (see above), that a balance be struck between them, although only you can say which of these types of fulfillment deserves more attention at this time than another.

Aside: this exercise from The Sedona Method (ref. page 221) is an effective way to get a sense of balance with the situational, relational, and vocational aspects of our daily lives:

Exercise: What do I like / dislike about ___________?

Apply this question to any situation, relation, or vocation where you’d like to feel free and fulfilled, alternating between likes and dislikes, using the questions below, at least six times on both sides …

What I like

1.

2.

3.

What I dislike

1.

2.

3.

When I say this, is there a sense of wanting control, approval, acceptance, safety, security, separation, or freedom? Could I welcome this sense of wanting? Could I allow it to be, just as it is? And could I let it go, just for now? Would I? When would that be?

Sample Questions

What do I like / dislike about my situation at work?
What do I like / dislike about my situation at home?

What do I like / dislike about my relationship with …?
What do I like / dislike about my relationship with me?

What do I like / dislike about the work I do every day?
What do I like / dislike about the money I make at work?

Example

What do I like / dislike about my situation at work?

What I like

  1. Nothing (wanting separation)
  2. The opportunity to find out why I hate it so much (wanting control)
  3. The challenge of relating to people with whom I have little or nothing in common (wanting control)
  4. This situation serves as catalyst for pushing me to consider what I do like in a situation at work (wanting freedom)
  5. The opportunity to hone acquired skills and to learn and apply new skills (wanting control)
  6. Having a better appreciation of how things are done where shipping products is concerned (wanting acceptance)

What I dislike

  1. Everything (wanting separation)
  2. The work environment is ugly beyond belief (wanting separation)
  3. The social environment is woefully lacking in meaningful interaction (wanting acceptance)
  4. I am pushing myself to do things I care little about to help bring about results I care little about (wanting security)
  5. The work routine numbs the soul and deadens the spirit (wanting freedom)
  6. Being around people who really don’t care to be there, some who have been there for years (wanting separation)

Doing this exercise takes the edge off negative feeling, serving to put a situation, relation, or vocation into a deeper, broader perspective by helping doers of this exercise to see both sides of it. The feelings of hatred evident are also instructive, serving as pointers to what could be loved and appreciated, if only they could be made manifest. So, for example, hatred of an ugly work environment is indicative of someone who would very much appreciate a work environment characterized by beauty and harmony. In doing this exercise, the mindful, skillful, artful use of words has considerable power for tapping feelings (perceived as positive or negative) as well as a sense of wanting (and the sense of lacking that is implied by this sense of wanting) that underlies, even produces, the feeling. In releasing all sense of wanting, fate can be liquefied, at least a little, in service to crafting a desired destiny.

Let us now turn our attention to the power of perspective by applying some brushstrokes to the larger picture that is the world at work, and see what sorts of impressions we can glean from them.

The Cosmic Foursome: Four Perspectives of Work

The following perspectives I share with a fairly good sense of what is going on in the world of work, based on my reading of media reports, blog posts, books and articles I’ve read, people I’ve conversed with, as well as my own impressions from doing a countless number of jobs over the years.

An in-depth understanding of the nature of work at this time would not be informed without discussing the global depopulation agenda buttressed by a strong eugenics movement (that is no longer referenced as eugenics), would not be informed without discussing the advances made in automation, artificial intelligence, and digital technology, would not be informed without discussing policies enacted that are moving peoples from the so-called developing world to the so-called developed world, and would not be informed without discussing the socially engineered policy of political correctness that has slithered its way through the global body politic in a bid to normalize entire populations and secure the corporate structures of global governance. All of these (and more) are key to coming to some understanding as to why so many unreported people are out of work, as to why so many fear for the future of work, and why so many are making herculean efforts to educate themselves silly so that they can secure that one juicy office job with resumes that boast superhuman lists of qualifications and credentials.

Note: I invite you to read or review my recent post, Supportive Structures, for what follows

four-layersFrom a cosmocentric point of view, doing work you love could be a matter of slipping into a role with effortless ease based on a solid resume of skills honed and experience gained from past lives; it could be a matter of struggling mightily and valiantly to find that one job that expresses the wholeness and fullness of you, feeling all the more fulfilled for having endured the struggle; it could be a matter of being tempted to bypass the bother of working at all, finding instead alternate avenues of expression; it could be a matter of burning off a good deal of karma from past lives by accepting a difficult job assignment (or a series of job assignments) with aspects that you can love to make the job (or jobs) bearable; it could be a matter of taking a job that is easy beyond belief as karmic compensation for a job that was difficult beyond belief in a past life; it could be a matter of assuming the challenge of creating your own work and finding the process easy or difficult, depending on your choice of process prior to incarnating on this planet. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point: many souls have been conditioned to accept or embrace or create work prior to being born with the intention of best meeting needs and exploring desires most suitable to their natures as souls .

From a globocentric point of view, doing work you love is becoming an increasingly complicated affair for the reasons shared above. With the wealth of this world being concentrated in the hands of a relative few, and with the central banking system backed into a corner with unusually low interest rates, and with fewer and fewer people able to find work they love (or even to find work), the options for doing work you love are there in abundance, but the means by which to put them to the test or to make them manifest with relative ease are sorely lacking, given the relative lack of wealth shared by those in the lower rungs of the global social, economic, cultural, financial pyramid of power. If I didn’t know any better, I would have to conclude that global economics has become, wittingly or unwittingly, an extraordinarily powerful weapon for decreasing population numbers, boosting eugenics results, and further siphoning wealth from those at or near the bottom of the corporate ladders, while increasing the gap (since the year 1980, look it up) between the two trend lines on graphs that say “productivity” and “wages earned”, with the line labelled “productivity” far outpacing the one labelled “wages earned” to the benefit of those at or near the top of the corporate ladder.

From a sociocentric point of view, doing work you love is complicated by the fallout from political correctness that is being backed by the court system and enforced by those who are socially conditioned to reinforce its influence. The recent U.S. election (what with its clamorous fallout of public and private protestations against the President-elect), circa November 2016, is a potent reminder of the power of social influence in shaping and enforcing policy in favor of one social group or another, exposing the dark and ugly side of feminism, race relations, and political correctness. “If I am … [insert color of skin] … with the gender … [insert gender identification, if any] … from the country of … [insert name of country], does this mean that I am only qualified to work with those who identify likewise? Moreover, how high does the bar of acceptability have to be before I can work with you? Or with you? Or with you? And if I pass the test, but only barely, could this mean that I would have to prove myself over and over again to your satisfaction in the course of broadcasting my services or doing my work? If I happen to be liberal in my orientation, does this mean that this disqualifies me in the eyes of those who identify as conservative? And what if I should happen to be conservative in certain respects; does this mean I can no longer work or work well with politically liberal people? Why bother putting myself out there at all as a service professional if I risk being subjected to this kind of social acceptance and rejection, day in and day out?

From an egocentric point of view, doing work you love is complicated by the enduring confusion that has been engendered by viewing the ego as schizophrenic in nature. In the one lobe, you have those who advocate for a clean, clear view of the ego as a vital functional core of Self capable of being at cause for choices made and actions taken, and in the other lobe, you have those who advocate for a view of the ego as a dysfunctional, judgmental parasite prone to arrogant outbursts of aggression and pusillanimous bouts of passive aggression. What makes this curious egoic divide all the more challenging and perplexing is that confidence can often be conflated with arrogance and that arrogance can often be confused with confidence. In doing work you love, you run the very real risk of appearing too confident for your own good, especially if you are perceived as being too liberal or too conservative, or not politically correct enough to those who decide to run a test on your service offerings. With more people in search of help not having the financial resources to seek your help, this sort of confusion matters greatly.

As a unified view, I would say this: doing work you love is still worth the effort, if only by using the imagination to figure out what you would love to do, what kind of value you would like to offer, how you would like to deliver this value, and what sort of compensation is acceptable to you.

Despite the many complications of finding work you love, I believe it is still possible, although increasingly unlikely, that you can go beyond exploring and identifying work you love to actually expressing and embodying this work for the benefit of yourself and everyone concerned.

This post has been filed under Application in the Ultimate Outline.

Note: my evolving outline on approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment can be found here, accessible from the nav menu under the page “Be Here Now”.

Note: this ever growing perspective began here: Ultimate Perspective

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