Have you ever wanted something SO BADLY it occupied most of your thoughts?
when we want something so much that our hearts ache - be that a particular job, a partner to share life with, or children - our mindset may shift to a place of fear. Fear we won’t get what we really want. Fear that affects our perspective on everything.
Someone close to me just finished her masters degree and is substitute teaching in a really great school district on Long Island. She's a really great teacher, and I'm not just saying that because she's my sister. The other teachers have begun to specifically request her when they need help, making her a sought-after sub.
Recently, a permanent position opened up and she was invited to interview. The stakes were really high: she needed a steady salary, health insurance, and stability for her two young children. Unfortunately, need can create such fear. We’ve all been there. She’s convinced she bombed the interview because she was so nervous and didn’t answer questions clearly and thoughtfully. She is utterly convinced she will not be offered a job.
I shared with her some wisdom I've earned which she said was helpful. Perhaps it will be helpful for you too.
When I interviewed with Arthur Andersen all those years ago, one of the interviewers was a partner. I was so nervous. I am pretty sure that I made no sense. I babbled on and on about basketball and I recall going blank in mid sentence and having to say, “Sorry, I just went blank.”
I got that job, which taught me that how people perceive me was different than how I perceived myself.
Fast forward 6 years. I'm interviewing at Baseline Securities after 7 months of unemployment. I WANTED that job. I nailed EVERY interview, aced some intelligence exam (so said the headhunter), but I didn't get the job. I was told the partner didn't think I was a good fit. I cried for WEEKS.
Two months after I didn't get that job, a plane flew into the 93-99th floors of the South Tower. They were on floor 77. If I had gotten that job, my trajectory would have been dramatically changed on every level. I probably wouldn’t be writing to you today.
Desire is a seed that helps us to create our reality. Desire is not a bad thing. Wanting is not a bad thing. But when desiring crosses the line to pining or longing then we are not accepting our reality. We are in fear.
The spiritual practice is to trust that what is meant to be will be. We never know what will happen tomorrow or what opportunities lay right around the corner. We never really know what is good or what is bad until life unfolds for us.
There’s a sweet parable that illustrates this that I've shared with you before. It’s worth sharing again.
A farmer gets a horse, which soon runs away. A neighbor says, "That's bad news." The farmer replies, "Good news, bad news, who can say?"
The horse comes back and brings another horse with him. A neighbor says, "That's good news!" The farmer replies, "Good news, bad news, who can say?"
The farmer gives the second horse to his son, who rides it, then is thrown and badly breaks his leg.
"So sorry for your bad news," says the concerned neighbor. "Good news, bad news, who can say?" the farmer replies.
In a week or so, the emperor's men come and take every able-bodied young man to fight in a war.
The farmer's son is spared.
This the art of relinquishing control and entering into the flow state of our lives. I’m looking forward to sharing more insights on this topic as well as some sweet yoga and meditation and community this Saturday evening for the next Exploration of Self class. It is by donation - all are welcome. I hope you can come!