Living in a city like Washington DC, it can be challenging to not get sucked into it’s overall cultural structure. Like a giant fishing net of anxiety blanketed over the entire beltway, people live here mainly to work. The majority are here because of career---as a stepping stone in politics, lifers in the Federal Government, or working with one of the many many private companies or nonprofits, all of which directly profit from the government in some way.
The energy here is heavy. Fast, but heavy. Like a very wet blanket that won’t shake off easily.
So naturally, it can be challenging to see (and feel) beyond what life feels like without a wet blanket weighing things down.
Imagine! What freedom!
Yet, it’s possible. There are enclaves and pockets of wonderful people doing wonderful things sprinkled throughout the city.
They just don’t make headline news. That’s saved for the politicos.
As a mother who is taking care of her son full time, that constant high strung energy can be stressful. It’s a practice in and of itself to keep focusing my attention back to the present moment, what’s important right now. Otherwise, it would be easy to get swept up in the frenzy.
Recently, I’ve had more conversations about career and work than usual. Which is a lot because it comes up fairly frequently. These conversations have been with friends from every area of my life, completely separate from each other. And it’s usually broached with the same question, in varying degrees:
“What are you going to do about work?”
I have the same thoughts. Constantly. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing?
We tend to express our inner anxieties as external questions to those around us. When we ask: what are YOU going to do about X, it really implies that we are thinking about the same X in our own life’s context.
With that in mind, and my own questions about this topic, my girlfriends inquiries have given me pause.
It’s a really vulnerable place to be---unsure, exploring, understanding. Doing incredible amounts of inner work. With nothing tangible (physical) to show for on the outside.
Except, for me at least, through this work I am discovering more happiness. Greater ease. Fulfillment. Joy, even. (!!)
Striving for more on the outside isn't always the answer.
What if we were to let go a bit?
Yeah, that idea scares me, too.
What if we were to let our explorations take us where they may? Our interests open new doors of insight or delight? Our questions lead to more questions...and then to more questions?
Maybe we’d find what we’d love---and that we love ourselves in the whole messy process. Self compassion. Digging deep. Going in.
Letting go doesn’t imply giving up. It doesn’t mean we stop exploring.
It means taking one step at a time.
Letting go of the whole, huge outcome while still moving forward.
The other night I started researching self-compassion courses and trainings. How can I GET this even more? Really understand it? You know, how can I use this as my tool of service to help others?
The more I searched, the more my hut started feeling like a big cold lump in my gut. Hey, it said, slow down. One step at a time. Relax. You have a job right now (Little Mister) and it’s not going to last forever. Enjoy! And, trust. You’ll get where you’re meant to be going. One step at a time.
So, what can we do about that new career (relationship, life issue, insert-major-life-category-here)?
Start where you are.
Striving for more on the outside is not the answer.
Trust what you find there.
And take one. step. at. a. time.
My dear 12 friends who read this: this is my last post on The Pinecone Baker! But don’t worry, I’m migrating everything over to triciamartinowen.com and the next post will be coming from there. It’s still in infancy stages---very simple, no about page or logo (gasp!) yet---but, I figured I need to walk my talk about the perfectionism thing. It’s not perfect and I’ll be working on it little by little. Speaking of walking the talk, I also felt like I needed to do this concerning vulnerability, too---which is why I’m switching to writing under my name, instead of using a really cute domain. Changes! Eeek!
So much love to you and gratitude for you. Each of you. Many, many, many thanks for being witness to my journey back to center.