I had a call with my spiritual teacher today, and thank God I did. She helped me see that I wasn’t living in the present at all. I was living in October, full of fear and anxiety. Right now, today, I have a great job! Instead of appreciating what I had, I was spending all my time worrying about what might happen if it ended. One part of the conversation was especially funny to me. For my job, I had to quickly paint a 7′ whale and make a stand for it. I had so much fun painting that whale! It was creative and beautiful and I felt really happy putting it together. So I said to her: “I loved painting that whale and I really want to find a job where I get to do that kind of work.” She responded: “But didn’t you say you painted the whale for your job? And you got paid for it, right? So you DO have a job that lets you do that kind of work.”
Ha! A little lightbulb went off. She was exactly right. I don’t need to look for a job that lets me paint a whale. I have a job that lets me paint a whale! And I should enjoy it for as long as I have it. She made an analogy I thought was quite lovely. When you breathe in, you take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Getting rid of the carbon dioxide makes room for more oxygen to come in. Similarly, getting rid of fears, letting them go, makes room for creative and expansive thoughts to come in. I was spending so much time worrying and speculating over my uncertain future, I wasn’t fully engaged in my job at all. When I started letting go of these worries, I noticed a change almost immediately. I had been stuck on a concept for a video project, but suddenly I saw several ways I could approach it and it was fun to think about! My attitude has turned around, and I have been having a lot more fun. The future is a bad neighborhood and it doesn’t pay to hang out there.