Who are you?
Daydreaming is beautiful but desire without action is just an idea.
One thing that I learned in the past few months is the importance of testing a desire.
Last year I thought teaching was my vocation and I decided to test that desire to see how sincere it was.
When I first started teaching, I didn't have an expectation for a specific outcome. I felt this could be the next step in my life and with that idea in mind I entered the school world.
Having no background in this area, it was quite difficult at first to fulfill all requirements and be part of the teaching crew, but after few hiccups and lots of hard work I finally made it. The first few weeks were very stressful but I was happy. Teaching made me feel alive.
I enjoyed being a friend and a point of reference to the students and, with many of them I quickly created a bond.
As weeks passed by though, I delved deeper into the role and that's when I realized that my desire wasn't as strong as I thought. I felt frustrated with the rigidity of the school environment, I didn't enjoy having to talk for hours and hours every day and I found it really hard to deal with the students' emotions at all times. On top of that, my paycheck was virtually inexistent.
When I first considered leaving school, I wondered if it hadn't to do with the low pay. When my first paycheck came in, I felt a wave of rage towards the school system so I knew I had a problem with that. Within days of being hired, I was swamped with tasks of all sorts. Teachers were expected to take trainings and courses on a weekly basis out of the regular working hours, prepare every day for the day after's lesson (mostly outside of the regular working hours), provide constant feedback to parents through several apps, organize clubs and out of curriculum activities, keep record of huge amounts of information on different platforms and deal with everything else that was going on in the classroom on a daily basis. After a day at school, I would come back home physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, so when the first paycheck came in I felt as if the system was taking advantage of people's passion to teach and I had to work through a few emotions that came up with that feeling.
After addressing the money issue, things didn't get any better. I still felt frustrated about my daily tasks and realized that my initial desire to teach had a lot to do with being listened to, or even better, being looked up by the students. I enjoyed being in a position where I could set up rules and have them put in place on the spot. I particularly enjoyed talking about moral principles (which was the focus of the school - students were in a moral focused curriculum) and I would often break down disrespectful behaviors by pointing out what emotion might have driven them, until one day one of my students sighed "Here she goes again!".
My first reaction was anger.
I pointed out that the school we were in was based on a moral-focused curriculum and that if he felt this was not an important part of his education he was VERY welcome to move to any other public school. >:/
After going home that day, I thought about that reaction and realized that not only my desire to share divine truth principles was based on addiction, but also that many of my interactions with students were driven by fear or additions of some sort.
I would particularly enjoy receiving approval feelings from male students. I wanted them to look up to me and somewhat acknowledge I was doing a good job, which told me a lot about how much validation I search from men. Along with that, I tended to pander to a few female students who were extremely rebellious and angry.
Over the weeks, I started to challenge both addictions and found myself more than once shaking at the desk in anger or fear.
It was really hard to address all behavioral problems that different people brought to the table but the hardest ones were my own.
In the few months that I spent as a teacher, I realized that 90% of the day is spent addressing and correcting behavioral issues. I thought so many times of Jesus and Mary's assistance groups and I realized how much emotional and physical work is required to teach to others. Teaching to others taught me so much about myself and I am so grateful for this experience, however by mid November I knew for a fact that this was NOT my passion and I was ready to leave. Having no expectations on the outcome of this experiment made it really easy for me to tune in into my feelings and determine what to do next. So, even if I didn't have another job yet, I gave my two weeks notice and left the position on the last day of November.
That day I thought of J&M's words: "Once you live in your desires you won't be able to stay in a job that you don't like". In the past I would have held on to that job until another opportunity would have presented itself, but after starting this process of self discovery things have changed drastically in the way I think. For a start, I couldn't stay for the sake of financial security. Then, I noticed that I had no emotional attachment to the outcome of this experiment, so when I realized this was not my path, I didn't feel disappointed, ashamed or hypocritical, but rather enlightened, clear and at peace with myself. I didn't try to force myself into it and that showed me how much more compassionate and understanding I have grown towards myself.
In spite of all that, December and January were very difficult months. My forbearance plan was about to end and there was no sign of another job coming through. There were days where my faith helped me pull through with determination and days that I would feel extremely overwhelmed by fears.
I sometimes questioned myself if it made sense to risk it all to chase a dream or if it made more sense to compromise and save myself from the oncoming disaster, but one sentence kept playing in my mind "God's ways are not our ways".
Nothing is impossible to God and if my choice to follow my desires was in harmony with God's laws, then I had nothing to fear.
At the end of January I finally received a call for an interview, but this was not any call. It was THE CALL!
The interview was for a position and a company that I had been trying to get in since my early days as an engineer, but that it never seemed to be accessible. Now, after almost 2 years of sabbatical, a resume built on different departments and no experience at all with the product, the same position presented itself as a low hanging fruit, ready to be picked.
It is hard to express how much amazement and gratitude one feels for such an extraordinary opportunity, but I guess this is what life looks like when we follow God's laws and when we understand the power of our Soul.
My only struggle at the moment is to find a balance between work and God. This job makes me jump out of bed in the morning and is all that I think about during the day. I spend every little second that I have available reading about the product, the process and finding ways to improve the process that we currently have in place. I love every part of it and I reckon it has become my number one priority, since it is the activity I spend the most time doing.
How can I fit God into that (and make Him my priority as well)? How can I make sure that I keep progressing and working on myself while living in my passions?
Few things that I found useful are to:
1) Pay attention to my law attraction at work and stay humble to my feelings;
2) Find ways to be helpful and loving to my colleagues (i.e. don’t participate in gossip, don’t criticize others but rather see if I can support/help those who seem to struggle, make sure that whatever I do is done properly so that others don’t have to invest their time correcting my mistakes, pay attention to existing issues and invest time to find solutions that can impact and benefit others);
3) Ask myself “How can I be useful to others and what can I do to make my environment more loving?”;
So far, implementing these few actions has helped me stay in touch with my spiritual side and has enhanced my experience.
The work environment is often crowded by people who are competitive, ruthless, judgmental and selfish. Imagine if we were all living in our passions and we were all invested in making our surrounding more loving and in harmony with God’s laws! What a difference that would make in this world.
So here I am today, talking about a dream come true!
Three years ago I started a quest for happiness and self discovery. I sailed out on the boat of Truth, pushed forward by the wind of Faith. No tools in my pocket other than a compass called Desire. Sometimes the waters have been rough and I haven’t seen the land for weeks. Other times I docked on lands that I thought would become my home only to find out that my compass was still pointing elsewhere.
Doubt and fears have sometimes crept in but I’ve never stopped listening to the voice inside and today I am in a place that I can finally call HOME.
There is a song in Moana’s movie that always makes me cry. It describes very well all the phases of this journey, probably even better than I could with my own words, so here below the lyrics and the link to the video:
[Gramma Tala:] Why do you hesitate?
I don’t know..
[Gramma Tala:] I know a girl from an island She stands apart from the crowd She loves the sea and her people She makes her whole family proud Sometimes the world seems against you The journey may leave a scar But scars can heal and reveal just Where you are The people you love will change you The things you have learned will guide you And nothing on earth can silence The quiet voice still inside you And when that voice starts to whisper "Moana, you've come so far" Moana listen, do you know who you are? [Moana:] Who am I? I am a girl who loves my island And the girl who loves the sea, it calls me I am the daughter of the village chief We are descended from voyagers Who found their way across the world They call me I've delivered us to where we are I have journeyed farther I am everything I've learned and more Still it calls me And the call isn't out there at all It's inside me It's like the tide Always falling and rising I will carry you here in my heart You'll remind me That come what may I know the way I am Moana!
If you have watched the movie, you will know that this song represents one of the key moments in Moana's journey. She has just been told by her travel companion that her ideas are crazy and she is left alone on her damaged boat. For a moment she feels lonely and hopeless and, overwhelmed by despair, she asks the ocean to take Te Fiti's heart back. The Ocean respects her decision and takes the stone back. She seems ready to go back home but when she tries to row her canoe back she cannot put the oar in the water. At this point her spirit guide shows up to support and guide her and she realizes that she is not alone and that she has the strength to get to the end of this journey. The difficulties that she had to overcome during the journey up until that point helped her realize who she is and what she wants and with the support of the ocean and her spirit guide she then decides to embrace the rest of the journey and face up to the challenges that separate her from the final goal.
There are so many metaphorical parallels between her story and our lives. God is the Ocean, who gently calls us to stand up for our desires and venture out in the discovery of ourselves and our happiness. Grandma Tala represents our spirit guide and all our spirit friends who are always on our side to help and support us. (Notice how Grandma Tala left when Moana found her strength. Our spirit guides help us in moments of need but they don't want us to lean heavily on their help. This is OUR journey and we need to take responsibility for it).
Finally, Te Fiti's heart is God's Love, the missing piece to our wholeness and the key to infinite happiness.
Moana took a chance and, in her journey to restore Te Fiti's heart, found herself.
What about you, my friend, have you sailed past the reef and found out who YOU are?
Photo taken from www.pinterest.com
MOANA - "I am Moana":