marți, 9 noiembrie 2010

My purpose in life

Today I reminded myself a few important things. I cleared my head and dived into a new and amazing clarity! There are simple, normal, obvious things in our lives that sometimes appear like: Oh my God! That is true! How could I have not seen that? But you did see it before, you knew it all along. Only that it didn’t appear in the same light as it does now and before you did not know what to do with it.

I spent my last days, or should I say months, wondering what to do next. Asking my self what is my mission. What is my purpose in this life? Feeling stuck because I did not know what I want to do. Or I thought I did not know what to do.

I realized today that I may have lived many years under the impression that I’m not doing what I want to do, that I’m not following my heart. And I guess I was living my life accordingly with the belief that I’m doing some stuff because I HAVE TO, because they MUST BE DONE, because this is the RIGHT WAY to live, because otherwise MY PARENTS will get UPSET or I will FAIL in some way. Even in the last few years, doing what I love to do, what I chose to do, what I wanted to do, I still had this strange feeling that I’m doing most of my work because it had to be done. Only know I realize that I had this belief and this belief must have been haunting me and it was such a powerful and strong idea that sometimes it made me feel miserable.

I guess one root of this belief is from my parents. When I was 16-18 I wanted to be an actress, I have always liked arts, acting, writing and I wanted to write poems or articles and go to acting school. I had an acting troupe and I loved rehearsing with them, going to acting contests (and winning most of them). I have edited a funny magazine that was 60% my writings and won the best county high school magazine award for two years.

My parents were very upset with my ideas and totally against it. They told me (especially my mother) that acting was not a serious job and I don’t even need to go to any acting classes to be an actress. If I have talent (witch both my mother and father try to tell me I don’t) I will succeed at being an actress without going to school. I can study something important first and after I get my Cybernetics degree, as they wanted me, I can do whatever I want, including acting. They repeated time after time that I need to make a living and acting or writing will not do that for me. They considered art does not qualify as real work. You need to work hard for a living and writing and acting seemed like fun to them, so you cannot live from having fun. It was impossible for them to imagine. So, even if at first I was outraged and revolted, as the years went by, I accepted eventually their points of view and after many years, at a subconciouss level, I even embraced as my own even if I never did and still don’t believe these ideas.

It took me a lot of time and courage to do the first step out of this box I put myself into. I went to Cybernetics collage for 5 years. Then I got a job in an IT company. I was very good at what I was doing but this is kind of a general rule for me. I’m good and very fast at cleaning the house, I’m good at math or physics, I’m good at writing, I’m good at dancing, I’m good at crafting anything, I can always manage with tools like hammers or screwdrivers, I can carry heavy things, I can manage mostly anything… It must look like a lot of self praising but what I am trying to say is that I don’t necessarily like all those stuff and certainly I don’t have to do all those stuff myself.
These things just reflect what I believe to be true. Things that my parents told me or things that I have picked up as a child:
- I have to do everything myself. Nobody does it as good as me anyway
- I need to handle anything that appear, I must be brave, strong and manage perfectly
- I cannot get less than 10 at any test and in any area of my life

I believe that the idea that “I have to do everything myself” is rather the idea that “Nobody does it as well as me” in disguise. I think that it is a very critical point of view, a way of criticizing everybody around me, picked up from my father. I realized during my 3 years job that I hardly trusted anyone to do their jobs so many times I did it for them and after that complained that nobody ever helps me and nobody does their job.

But I no longer choose to believe this. I don’t want to think anymore that I have to do everything myself.

My grandmother also had a behavior that I realized today that I have picked up. She always did everything around the house because my grandfather was ill and never helped her so she had to manage herself with the house, providing money and food, feeding the animals – because they lived in the country and had animals like goats, cows, waking up at 5 am and working all day long, all this, while being sick herself. And she was always my heroine. I looked up to her and admire her ability to do everything! So maybe that’s why I think it is important to manage everything and I want to be brave and strong and never complain.

But I no longer choose to believe this. I don’t want to think that I need to do everything and manage all possible situations and be strong and brave all the times, even when I cannot.

The part about getting all 10’s must be from my mother. She was so demanding of me. She was upset even if I got 9.75 (here, in Romania we have grades from 1 to 10) and even if my grade was actually 10 she was upset because it was not a “clean 10”. I was a very good student, I learned to read and write before I went to school, I did my homework, and I would have been doing all these without her being obsessed about it.
I remember hiding my papers with grades like 9.5 or 9.75 and told her I got 10 and sometimes she found the paper and made a huge deal out of it. I was terrified and it was a major issue for me. At one point, we were making a general cleaning in the house and in our house everybody had to work, even if I was 10 years old. So, because the house was up side down, I had no time and space to make a drawing I had to do for school. I made one in a rush that was kind of ugly and got an 8 for it. I was desperate. I never ever had an 8 before. Only 10’s and rarely a 9. What to do? I was sure that my mother would kill me if she saw that. So, because she or my father had to sign my grades and the teacher was asking me about the grades, why are they not signed, in my despair, I signed the grades myself for a few weeks. It was not long before my mother realized that something was wrong. I pretended that I had lost my grades book but they searched for it and found it. It was a big fuss about it, they were very upset with me, because I got the 8 and especially because I “forged” their signature. But never bothered to wonder why would someone do such a thing? I did it because I was terrified of what they would say about my stupid 8.

So, I lived my life, until now, trying to be perfect in everything I do and blaming myself if I got any 9.75 in any area of my life. I criticized myself for so long and have not been there for myself to support what I was doing. Many times I didn't even try to do some things because I was afraid I would do less than perfect, that I would fail. But not any more! I’m not willing to think that any more.
I AM OK WITH 9.75. What the heck, I AM OK WITH 5 :)

So I am very glad to have identified where did all these beliefs came from and I can aknowledge that they are not mine and release them now. Nevertheless I don't blame anyone for making me think like that. I know all they did was from love and that was what they knew and what they were told. I know it was all part of my learning and my growth.

So, my first act of rebellion was living my job 4 years ago and stating in my mind that I will never work again as an employee. I hated the idea that I had to be there from 9 to 6, every single day of my life and I ended up dead tired every day. I had no personal life and the 20 days a year vacation was waaay to little for me! So I left and I have always congratulated me for this decision.

Since then, I started making handmade bags, polymer clay jewelry, then clothing, opened my store on etsy, opening a store at the seaside and going to Christmas fairs, and all this time studying nutrition and self development.

In the last few months, while working on clearing my beliefs and my mind, I got in to this deep rebellion. I refused to do or involve in anything that had any little possibility to get me in the situation of doing something I do not like. I refused projects that would have seemed great opportunities to me a few months ago. I refused even jobs or projects I kind of liked but I wasn’t 100% sure that I will love. So nothing seemed fun any more, including my old work. I got kind of stuck. I did not know what to do next because I was committed to follow my heart but I did not know what my heart desires.

With no apparent connection 3 or 4 months ago I declared to myself: I no longer want to have money issues! That is because sometimes we ran out of money, but generally were doing pretty good. But I did not want to have money issues ever again. Ever since that time nothing seemed to work any more. No more orders, no more sales, no more money! I was amazed but the faith I’ve built in the last year helped me trust in the wisdom of God. I was sure that this is part of the plan. When you want to solve your money issues, you get broke! Every body knows this, no? HA, HA! :)
Normally, anyone, and especially me, would never consider not doing anything while they have no income what so ever and big expenditures. Before I was used to work hard because I thought it was a must, even when I was ok with money so in these times I should be working my ass off to earn some money and pay the bills. But I also promised myself I would follow my heart and do only the things that would make me happy. I promised I will not sell my happiness ever again. So I did. I waited and slept and read lots of books and wrote things in my diary and occasionally I went in my workshop and made some clothes, some dresses, polymer clay with my brother, but as soon as I felt I had enough I stopped. I was waiting, as I read in some books, to discover my true meaning. The job, the work that would make me extraordinarily happy from morning until evening.

At one point I started asking if I am not going kind of crazy with this, that maybe there is no purpose for me, there is no meaning and I should go and make some stuff and sell some stuff and make some money no matter how that makes me feel! But I couldn’t!

In the mean time, I had tones of ideas of what to do but I only took those ideas half a way. As soon as I involved deeper, I felt the need to quit. Maybe it was the fear of failure, maybe it was that really I didn’t like those stuff…

So today I made an exercise that I read somewhere that works for any kind of problem you might have. I decided to try it with my money problem. You take your problem and you ask the following questions about it:

1. What can I learn from this problem? Or what have I learned so far from my problem?
2. How can I benefit from this problem?
3. How do other people view this problem?
4. Who would look at this problem in a positive way?
5. Why would this situation be great for him or her?
6. How could I think like this person at least for a moment?
7. What could be the main obstacle that if removed would solve this problem?
8. What are my beliefs around this issue? Are they true?
9. What do I believe to be true and maybe is not?
10. How would solving this problem help me and the ones around me?
11. How would this problem make me better, more understanding and compassionate?
12. What could be the opportunity behind this problem?

Doing this, you can really clear your mind about your issue and you would be surprised at the insights that might come up. Try it! Here is my conclusion for today. Now, don’t think I realized all these things today, in a glimpse. It was a process that took a few months or maybe years or lives but today I was clear enough to see them as they are:

* I realized doing this exercise (this lead to many other questions and answers) that I had many beliefs that were not even mine and those beliefs were conducting my life.
* I realized that I have the freedom to choose what I believe and I choose to let them go!
* I realized that I have learned a lot from my money problem! A LOT!
* I realized that you can eat, drink, travel, be happy even if you don’t have a lot of money
* I realized that I shouldn’t care so much about my so called “image”. Nobody cares how much money you have. Or at least not the people I would want to hang out with.
* I realized that the lack of money does not stay in the way of happiness
* I realized that money are waaay to much over rated, they really are not so important
* I realized that there are many poor people in the world and they are ok, they are nice, loving people.
* I realized that, if we have, we should always give money to everyone that asks us for money
* I realized that you can make money out of art and out of anything as long as you do what you love
* I realized that it’s ok to be broke, it’s ok to ask your friends to loan you money (it was like major alarm to me when I even considered doing that).
* I realized that it’s ok to rest if you are tired even If you have no money
* I realized that how much money you have does not show your value
* I realized that no matter how smart you are or how many schools you have attended, it’s ok to do whatever job you want, there is no such thing as a “serious job” and if it is then you can be sure IT SUCKS! You can be a dish washer if it makes you happy. You can be a house cleaner or a garbage man, as long as you like it.

* I realized that it helped me to focus on the things I had not the courage to do. I never focused on the things I liked because I felt I had to do the things that work, the things that I know produce money, the things that are safe and worth doing. But since all the other things I used to do don’t produce money any more, and I’m already broke, why not do something I like. There is nothing more to loose!
* I realized I was sabotaging the projects I would love to be because I did not consider those as being work (according to the belief that what is fun is called FUN and what is hard work is called work).
* I realized that you don’t have to be tired in the evening in order to say that you have worked today. If it is something fun you are doing you could do it all day and all night long and still not be tired. You can have fun while doing your job and you can make a lot of money while having fun.
* I realized that there are so many things I would love to do if I would not consider in any way the commercial part. Not wonder if they will sell, if they are productive or if they are worth doing. I believe now that it does not work like this. If you have an idea about making something you would love doing, or starting any kind of project you would like, stop, and I mean totally STOP thinking about it. Just let your heart lead the way. You don’t have to know how you are going to make it, where, if it will sell. JUST DO IT! (These nike guys must know something about it :P)
* I realized that your meaning is not something you just discover one day and that’s it. It is a life time event that unfolds in front of us with every step that we have the courage to take into the big unknown, so beautiful called LIFE

2 comentarii:

  1. I was thinking about what you wrote and actually I think that this is the first mistake people make: they look for a purpose in life and they don't come to any conclusion and this gets them crazy and dissapointed and makes them feel usless. My opinion (and the way I live my life) is that life itself is a great purpose and you should enjoy every day as it comes..everything happens for a reason and you are never on the "wrong path", you're just blind and you don't see the opportunities.and as for you, doing what you don't like, I think if you had not done those things, you wouldn't have been the person you are it's all the way it should be, we just have to enjoy it day,after day:)

  2. the Pope approves of this ! (inside joke:)