What will it take to know my heart?

…and other musings about work…

It felt like paralysis, like suffocation, like a stifling weight was placed on my chest every time I even thought about thinking. My procrastination bone is so clever, however, that it distracted me from all of that for weeks. If I just did something else, I could ignore those sensations. But weeks of ignorance don’t dissolve the issues lying beneath the surface. Issues have lifetimes-worth of persistence. And finally, I had to pay my respects.

Suffice to say I was having more than a little trouble “getting down to work.”

I came out to the bush to retreat, take a breath, and allow the direction of my life to unfold before me. I’m here to map out what I want my life to look like in the next stage. I expected this work to be a joy, and I relished in the luxury of having the time for these contemplations. So why was I completely paralyzed before I could even begin?

I discovered that I have judgments, fears, and limiting beliefs about work: the nature and definition of work, even how I’m supposed to experience the act of work. With lifetimes upon lifetimes of back-breaking labor, slavery, indentured servitude, sacrifice, struggle, inequality, classism, and capitalistic/feudalistic ideals embedded in our ancestry, our consciousness, and our cultural and global lifestory – spanning all centuries and continents – it’s no surprise that any one of us might discover we’ve got a skewed understanding of work.

Upon clearing all this for myself, I allowed new definitions and understandings of work to come through:

My work is effortless and easy.
My work flows through me from the divine, and connects me to all there is.
I know what it feels like to know that my work is always connected to the divine and to the greater good.
My work is potent and joyous.
I know what it feels like to embrace and harness my fullest potency in my work.
My work comes from my heart.
My heart is divine.
I know what it feels like to know my own heart every moment of every day.

As I wrote these invocations. I noticed a small sense of panic arrive with the word heart. I wondered about its relevance to the matter of work. I’m reminded of a Mullah story:

Mullah Nasrudin is late to board his flight at the airport. Panting, he finally arrives at the gate and reaches to pull out his boarding pass for the agent. He fumbles through his case, his pants pockets, his wallet, back to the pockets in his case.

The agent starts to get impatient. “Sir, we really must close the gate, are you certain you’ve got your boarding pass?”

“Yes I just had it, I know it’s here” Mullah says as his fingers hurriedly find the folds of his empty pockets.

The agent says, “What about your breast pocket? You haven’t checked there.”

Mullah stops searching and says with a look of fright on his face, “Oh no I can’t look there.”

The agent is baffled, “And why not?”

Mullah clutches his heart, “Because if it’s not there, all is lost!”

The other part of my procrastination is the dilemma that Mullah faces at the gate. What will it take for me to know my own heart, every moment of every day?

march 11, 2013


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