Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Part In The Flow Of Life

We live in a culture that places high value on job oriented achievement and financial success. All of us, whether we like it or not, are subjected to this mentality. Society is more concerned with what we do than with who we are. People are more impressed with you if you are a doctor or a lawyer, even if you are a bad one, than if you are a carpenter, a plumber, or a sanitation worker. The irony is that I am sure there are many doctors and lawyers and other people of means that would gladly give a plumber whatever it takes to unclog their toilet or pay a master carpenter their price to build them a customized entertainment center. God help us all when the sanitation workers are on strike. Every time I pass a construction site and see all the workers I am envious of their talent and amazed at their skill. I think the important thing in life is to find something that you love and do it. One should be motivated more by the love of the work than the size of the paycheck or the title. Of course this must be balanced with earning a living that supports a lifestyle in which you feel comfortable. Many are comfortable with a simple life, while others need many things. Not everyone has the desire or the talent to be a doctor or a carpenter. I believe, however, that we are all good at something although it may take us years to discover our gift. Even if we may be in a job that doesn't completely reflect our desire or our talent, there are jobs within jobs that can allow us to do what we do best and reflect who we really are. I never had any desire to be a supervisor in a large office. Much of what I do is not what I love or who I am. However, my current situation does allow me to teach and express myself through my daily thoughts as well as offer me many opportunities to help and counsel people and to be a mentor. Be who you are, discover your talent, find your gift , and do what you love. Everybody and everything is important. We need doctors to heal us, and lawyers to protect our rights, but we also need people to pick up our trash and keep our pipes flowing. We also need supervisors to keep things flowing in large offices even if they would rather be a full time Zen Master.

"Flow" is a term used by psychologists to describe a state of mind that we are in whenever we are so engrossed in what we are doing that we have lost all sense of space and time. It might be work, a hobby, a good book, gardening or simply sitting still and enjoying a sunset. These are the kind of moments I sometimes refer to as a "Zen Moment". They are perfect moments of total presence and wakefulness. We are one with the moment.

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