Some of us are ‘special’
In our world, people are rewarded for the roles they play, and we treat some roles as being more important, special or of a higher value. The chief executive officer (CEO) role, for example, is seen as a more important role, one that makes a more valuable contribution to the success of the company than, say the role of the mailroom clerk, who only ensures that incoming mail is delivered to the correct inbox and that outgoing mail makes it into the postal system. Consequently, the CEO is paid several multiples of what the mailroom clerk is paid – in some cases 100’s of times more.
Then, for some reason, we have movie ‘stars’ and professional sports ‘stars’, at least in some sports, that get paid more than CEOs, while the guys in the fire trucks, ambulances and patrol cars, who risk their lives to provide public safety, get paid very little.
We all want to be special
Let’s be honest. We all want a better position in the game we call the world. We want to make the most of what’s available. How often do we tell ourselves – I will be happier when I’m doing [……] or when I am a […..] ? We’re all dreaming about what we could do with all that extra money we’d get in our dream role. Of course, that dream doesn’t include the bit about paying more tax, does it?
There are no special roles for spiritual pilgrims
For the spiritual pilgrim, one walking the path to awakening, every function or role is equal. There is no need to wait until you have undergone some special initiation, or completed some magic 12 step program, or learnt to meditate sitting absolutely still in some far away ashram. And, it doesn’t matter what role you’re playing in the world, whether you’re the CEO or the mailroom clerk or a taxi driver. Wherever you are in the world, whatever role you’re playing, you’re in the perfect context for your journey.
No need to wait until circumstances change. Start from where you are. Your soul’s gone to a lot of trouble to put you in that context. You can be who you are and you can love just as well being a mailroom clerk as being the CEO. You don’t need to wait until you make it in your chosen career to be present to yourself and to those around you. Being present may, in fact, enhance your career. It will certainly make it a more interesting experience for you, as you stand a better chance of noticing what’s actually happening in your life.
If you are going to change anything in the world, first change your perspective – look inwards and not outwards for your answers. The ashram is not in India or Tibet or in some secluded valley deep in the mountains. It’s in your heart. That means you can spend all day in the ashram as you go about the daily tasks of whatever role you’re playing at the moment, whether that’s being a mother, a nun, an executive or a prostitute. You might want to sit with that thought that just popped up.
When your attention is on the present moment; when you listen for the voice for love; if things need to change in your life, they will. But, you don’t need to change the circumstances in your life to place your attention on the present moment or to listen for the voice for love. You only have to do what you already know how to do: breathe and pay attention.
Give yourself the space to breathe, and a moment to listen, before you act. I’m not talking about listening to the voice in your head shouting that you’re worthless or ugly or that nobody could possibly love, or even notice, someone as stupid as you. No, allow that voice to let off its fear generated steam, and listen for that voice that always affirms you, always tells you that you are loved, loveable and loving, and go with the wisdom of that voice. That’s your soul speaking. It never shouts. It’s there all the time. All you need to do is turn down the volume on that radio station you think is your mind, so that you can hear it.
I encourage you to give it a go today, and for all your tomorrows.