I lost my job last week. Well, I say “my” job but I hadn’t even started it yet. The job offer was withdrawn due to an “unsatisfactory reference” from my previous employer. They say they didn’t provide an unsatisfactory reference. I worked hard and achieved a lot in my last job. I’m left confused, upset, feeling someone is misleading me … and without a job.
But this isn’t a post about the iniquities of the job market, it’s about how my yoga practice has helped me deal with this situation and the deeper message I’m taking from it.
Life can be difficult and challenging for all of us. Whether it’s a lost job, a lost friendship, health problems or any of the myriad of problems which can befall us, it’s how we deal with it that makes the deepest difference to our lives.
Back to the breath
OK, I’ve had a couple of nights’ lost sleep and my mind’s been racing at a million miles an hour going through all the permutations of what might have been said and why, what I could say back in response and what I’m going to do about a reference and job in the future.
But I’ve also learned a very real and valuable lesson in mindfulness and the power of the breath.
Bringing myself back to my breath and only letting myself focus on the in-breath and the out-breath has been a sanity saver. My mind will quickly go back to thoughts of upset and confusion, so I acknowledge the feelings and thoughts and then bring my attention back to my breath.
It’s a challenge I freely admit. Sometimes I’ve gone off into my thoughts for quite a while before I notice – sometimes hours on end. But when I remember to breathe consciously, I calm down and begin to feel acceptance.
I’ve also been focusing on contentment (or Samtosha in yoga terms) and gratitude for all the good I have in life: my wonderful husband who has been, and always is, such a support; my friends and family; my health; my yoga…
This has given me space to take a broader view of what’s happened and on my life.
My life, my choices
I choose to reframe this mess. I choose to look for and take a positive message from it.
If I’m honest with myself, taking this job was not the best thing for me. I’ve been there and done that in my previous job: it wasn’t good for my health and it’s not what I want to do with my life. I know what I want to do: to teach yoga, to get a part-time job, to be creative and live a fulfilling life.
So why was I considering going back to work full-time in a job which wouldn’t fulfil me? Because I thought I should? Because it would’ve been easier than making the break from my past career and working towards doing something I love? The money would’ve been more than welcome, the loss of my time and freedom to practise yoga and create would not.
Choosing to trust
I choose to take a message from the universe on this: it gave me a confidence boost in getting the job but is now telling me, have confidence in yourself, but this is not the path for you to take. Trust your instincts and follow what you know will bring you fulfilment and contentment.
And today I saw this quote on Tiny Buddha’s Facebook page:
“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake.” Francis Bacon, Sr.
So, maybe this happened for a reason: a sharp reminder that now I’ve found my vocation I need to pursue it and stop procrastinating!
In adversity we can choose how to react and choose to learn lessons.
I choose to believe that my life is unfolding perfectly.