If your job changed tomorrow in a way you didn't anticipate, how would you react? So much of our lives are defined by our careers and intimate relationships that it is easy to lose track of who you are in the mix. The edges that define you become blurred into your surroundings. When this happens there is no choice but to be completely affected by the changes that your jobs and relationships bring to your life.
I recently read an article in a Yoga magazine discussing what happens when a yoga instructor injures herself and cannot teach. This is a very strong reality as it is possible to break your leg or anything else in very random places. What do you do then? Who are you outside of being a yoga instructor?
When circumstances like this set in there are two reactions:
You are not your job, your relationships, your current life situation. Both "current" and "situation" in that last term are defined as impermanent instances, that is to say that these things aren't necessarily meant to last forever. These relationships, jobs, etc are badges that are sewn onto yourself to define who you are, but they are not actually you. Making that distinction will protect you from situation 1 mentioned above.
It's a sobering realization to learn that if you lost your job tomorrow that all would actually be well in the world, you would just have to find a new job. If though, the lines of you had blurred into the lines of your job, and you no longer knew who you were without your job, then this might be a very drawn out and painful process. It's ok to let these badges define you- especially if they align to who you are without them- but it's importantly to distinguish that they are just badges, they are not you.
This theory requires you to know who you are. Knowing who you are is ultimately life security, so when life is turned upside down you can still maintain that sense of you. When the lines of you are clearly defined then you are capable of going through the different situations and maintain yourself. This helps you to encounter difficult situations or personalities while maintaining self respect and navigating them with integrity. Similarly, when the lines of you are clearly defined then if the worst happens (job loss, breakups, etc.) you are able to hone in on you within this crazy situation, nurture you, see what you need to do to turn the situation around. Ultimately, when you are aware of yourself then you step out of the role as the victim-of-your-life and step into the role as the creator-of-your-life.
Chelsea M Latham
When I was a kid my mom would occasionally refer to me as a Reverend, because I had the need to speak so passionately about just about everything. Little did she know that some day I would build a business upon sharing the wisdom that I am so passionate about. So here you go, here are some bits and bobs of thoughts strung together for your enjoyment.