This month of Purpose-Work has been the most difficult, for me, so far. I have noticed that WORK really builds off of and intertwines itself with spirituality, health and personal development. It is because these three areas are hard, hard work in and of themselves. Also, these three life areas are a foundation that enables individuals to do the work that must be done on the Self and through the Self.
Waking up early before sunrise to pray; Making sacrifices to save and invest money; Taking time to pull oneself away from mountains of files on one's desk to sit still and breathe deeply and meditate; Watching one's speech and discontinuing with foul language; Reading the thick tomes flooded with ways to develop Self along progressive lines; abstaining from certain foods, commitment-less sex, garbage music, stagnant people, pointless conversations, fear-based media, and time-wasting activities; Daily checking in with goals and watching one's progress with a sharp and analytical eye; Committing to a process of learning and performing above and beyond the 9 to 5 situation...means to continuously strive and to fight against all the ego's silly games of RESISTANCE, and this is extraordinarily hard WORK.
Work is unassuming, restorative, empowering, stretching, strict and faithful. It is not sexy, pretty, easy, popular, instantly gratifying in the ways that we may desire, and work is not optional.
Life is work, and we must work or we will rot (away in some cubicle in an unsatisfying job, married to a guy we can't stand, with no savings and a beer gut). We will gain excess weight, watch our relationships weaken, render ourselves confused, emotional wrecks and insist on focusing the vast amount of our time and attention on those DISTRACTIONS that swoop in to sway us from decisions and commitments we made to ourselves, in moments of clarity and passion.
Work is the antidote to all of our frustrations, be they spiritual, skills-based, health or purpose- related. These areas must be maintained every single day, or the proverbial weeds begin to immediately crowd in on us.
Work often feels drab, boring, frustrating, daunting and the like. Yet, I have committed to changing my view of work altogether. Because, while you may find that many of your friends are off doing fabulous things like shopping with money they don't have, snap-chatting and eating half-off happy hour drinks with their cocktails. You can be sure that their results are not results you desire for yourself.
You may find that when you tell some of your friends that you finally discovered how to create unique email addresses from a personal website, that they will not care (or know what you're even saying) and will still only want to talk about their boyfriends. Love them and keep doing your work anyway. Because, you will also find that their lack of interest does not diminish the extreme satisfaction you get from doing your work, and discovering that you CAN do the things you desire to do.
What I have found about work is that it clears the mind, instantly amps up the self-confidence, increases your creativity, calms the heart, reinforces your patience and slowly, yet surely, expands your joy. It's like you and your workbench (yoga mat, laptop, treadmill, prayer rug, tools, desk or whatever) have a private little secret and a daily appointment.
I believe you will find, as I am finding that returning daily to your work soon becomes extremely comforting. The work will always be there waiting for you, like your most dependable and welcoming friend, and it will be waiting only for you!
Isn't that the sweetest thing?