Allowing the Struggle to Take Me

swan

I’ve been struggling lately. And, let me be upfront and say that I sort of love it when I’m struggling. It makes me feel alive. It means – as I’ve experienced a hundred times in my life – that change is coming. Struggle – as in giving birth – signifies that whatever “is” is giving way to something different. Struggle could mean that I’m changing or need to change, or it could mean that something outside of me is changing, and I have to adjust or move on. But, just because I know struggle is a good thing doesn’t mean I enjoy it.

I’ve been enjoying the last few months of focusing on backpacking and hiking and making friends. It’s been grounding and a blast. Work has been an obstacle to hiking. I put in my time and do my job but my focus – my heart’s desire – is on the forest. Life never lets me stay in one place for long, so it’s changing. All of a sudden – thanks to Louisiana’s state budget woes – my focus on career has become front and center. Honestly, it’s not like I can do anything about it, but the reality is that job loss could be in my immediate future. And that sort of wakes my ass up!

I’m a 30-year corporate veteran. I’m no stranger to restructuring. I’ve seen many of them. My path so far has not included being laid off. I either got out before it happened, or I was a lucky – or sometimes unlucky – survivor. Of all the people I’ve ever known that have been laid off, most have survived. In fact, many have thrived. I saw many of my Whirlpool pals enjoy their layoff and “Reduction-In-Force” package like a well-needed vacation and then move on to a new role where they were happier and more successful. Layoff is not a death knell. In fact, it often means it was time to move on, and, since they couldn’t make the decision themselves, the Universe made it for them. And I know that “reductions-in-force” are a part of business. They are not a cruel hand dealt by horrible employers that want to hurt people. If it happens to me, I am not a victim. It’s just what happens, and I have to deal with fall-out.

Granted, if I get laid off by the state of Louisiana there will be no fancy package. I’ll be lucky if I get anything more than my vacation time. So, the reality is I have to be thinking about Plan B. I don’t have to be obsessed with it – as if you can’t be obsessed with it – at this time. But, I have to be thinking about the plan I would put into place to afford living, looking for jobs, finding “bridge” jobs and surviving in a world where you need a paycheck. If I ignore it, I am in denial. And I don’t do denial. I’m a realist.

But I’m also thinking about what it might mean as a transition to a different sort of life. People who are laid off often jump into careers that they would not have considered before because the pay might be less than they were making, or the work is just drastically different. Given the fact that I would be making nothing, the salary for any career would be higher. It opens up a whole lot of options that aren’t desirable to me now. A friend of mine who used to do corporate gigs found herself without a job for quite a long period of time. One day she realized that she was always the one who liked to hand out bandaids and take care of kids and decided to apply for a nanny job. She is now a nanny and jets off to exotic locales and lives with the rich and famous. There are downsides to be sure, but she has just what she needs right now and is experiencing a side of life that she would never have known without coming to a place where she needed to be open to anything that presented itself.

Some days I do better than others. I had a rough day yesterday. After all, I’m a human resources professional. I know enough to know that it’s not easy to find a job. And best practices include networking, applying for jobs, making your job search a full-time gig. So, some days I panic that I need to be looking and making this happen. After all, I’m single. Since Ashok isn’t bringing in an income, I’m it. Of course, being single has its advantages, too. If I need to move, I can do it on a dime. If I need to live in a studio or in a tent for awhile, I have permission. I’d just have to figure out how the keep the cats in a tent. If I decide I want to hike the Appalachian Trail and spend my 401K now instead of later, I’m the sole decision-maker. But I know I also pay the consequences by myself if I make the wrong decision. So, yesterday, I was overwhelmed. I was scared. I was paralyzed.

IMG_5455

I went to Stacy’s talk at the Indigo Spiritual Center last night on the Law of Attraction. A lot of people think it’s about positive thinking, but that’s not entirely accurate. You have to actually be existing in the vibrational level of what you want to attract. She gave the example of rich people. They’ve always had plenty of money, so they don’t even know how it would feel to be poor. So, they live in the vibrational field of being wealthy. Being a wealthy person naturally attracts more wealth. But we also have “lessons”. So if their lesson is about losing all their money, then that will happen anyway. So, the Law of Attraction doesn’t trump everything. Basically, she reminded me that I have to believe that the very best situation for me will happen and bathe in the energy of how that will feel. But, I have to let God figure out how it will happen. Trust is always the lesson. Let go and let God.

This morning I pulled the Swan card. Not surprisingly, this medicine card is about surrendering. Swan trusted the Great Spirit’s plan and let herself go down the black hole into the future. When she came back she was transformed and beautiful. The plan was so much better than she ever imagined. I pulled it reversed, and it’s telling me – just like Stacy did last night – that I have to get grounded and realize that I don’t know what’s best for me. I don’t have to know what’s going to happen. I just have to deal with today and surrender to the plan that is set before me. Swan’s message tells me that the rules of the world are not the rules of the Universe. I have to decide which ones I believe and act accordingly.

So, today I’m going to do what I know is always the best path. I’ll get grounded. Stay in the present. Meditate. Get out in nature if at all possible. Trust … surrender .. allow the struggle to take me ….. let go and let God. And, if it’s coming … well, somehow I’ll just have to suck it up and let the whirlpool take me. If a layoff or job change is in my path, I know I can handle it. Bring it on. Whoever or whatever you are, you are no match for me and my team. We got this.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Allowing the Struggle to Take Me

  1. That’s a tough position, but you seem to have the right attitude.
    Last year I was afraid I was going to be fired. This went on for about 6 months. Talk about stress!
    It gave me time to trim some expenses for things I didn’t need and think about my “next day” move. I took stock of where I’m at and what I have. I discovered that my next step isn’t so well thought out, but I’m in a pretty good spot.
    These times of change or potential change are a great time to assess where you are in life and what you really need.
    Andy

    • I’m glad you made it out okay, and I hope I don’t have to experience that lesson. I am glad too that it’s made me think about my backup plans. Who knows? One day I may just walk toward one of those and leave a perfectly good job for something more exciting!

  2. It inspires me to see how well you have learned to take care of yourself – do the work you need to do to move through uncomfortable and anxious-making times. I definitely need to work on the “let go, let God” part. I’m SO much better than I was when I was younger, but still have a lot of room for growth!

    Have a great weekend!

    • Believe me- I have my ups and downs. When I don’t write for awhile, I usually sorting it out. It helps to have people walking the walk with me. Some days they carry me… Other days I carry them. Hugs!

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