“Love the discipline you know, and let it support you. Entrust everything willingly to the gods, and then make your way through life – no one’s master and no one’s slave” – Marcus Aurelius
So, I’ve had this writing tab open for a considerable number of months, the motivation to type has ebbed and flowed between certain and uncertainty, conviction and confusion, and now its flowing through the “Fuck-it” and onto sincerity. This, is therefore by no means a deep philosophical piece, but its real, and it’s a daily dialog trend that never seems to fade. The advise or rather the collection of observations does seem rather narrow and tends to my craft but I’m sure some of the principles can be applied in whatever realm you choose to invest your skill and service.
Naturally, the position I fill (Although, I prefer to be formless in this field and exist as a presence more so than a “power”) requires a considerable amount of coaching and encouraging. It requires a considerable amount of calm reassurance and the ability to connect to everyone’s story and invest in the “why” they’re doing it. It requires the vision, and the ability to awaken the beauty you can see them fulfilling on the other side of it all. It requires a lot of metaphorical hand holding carefully balanced with some baptism of fire type base jumping through fears and mind fires. It requires the investment of an appreciable amount of energy in watering others dreams in order to watch their flowers bloom, only to go home at night and work on your own, whilst burning the candle at both ends in the company of the self, your chosen, and the light of the moon.
So, straight up, I’d like to state that by no means have I got “this” all figured out. By no means is my approach perfect, and although I exude a certain amount of contentment and confidence in the path that I have chosen, and I have no doubt that I know where I want to be and who I want be in order to get there…I do still spend a great deal of time unhooking my thoughts loose ends that have got caught on the sharp corners of my mind and mending the holes they’ve unraveled in my conscious.
None the less, this is what I know for sure…
If you’re awakened to a life outside of commercialism, and commercial expectation. If you’re awakened to a life of higher consciousness and deep purpose, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to integrate into a career, or a cause that walks you away from self rather than leads you towards it. Sooner or later you’ll begin to ask questions of yourself, and your life of contradiction. Your miss called calling will leave voice mails at every beep, reminding you of the guilt stained on your conscious. Reminding you of the car you just convincingly sold to the family who couldn’t afford it, to the loan you just granted to the couple who’ll forever be indebted to it. Sooner or later you’ll be questioning every second of your 9 to 5, and distracting yourself via vices between your 5 to 9. To negate this, this late realization of being a slave, to nothingness, you need to be willing to confront yourself at your careers inception. Confront yourself with the “why” and find the magic in a higher meaning before you agree to exist and serve on the layer that merely scrapes your surface. And this is true for any career, even the seemingly perfect. You could solder together your service with sincerity but unless your purpose bleeds passion you’ll live a life of hollow existence.
Personally, I find this virtue in what I can create from my craft, and not merely in the act of it. What I can create through exploration, perception, perspective and engaging with the people it seems to attract, motivating and mentoring them to edge closer to their potential. How I create myself through the invariable resistance that comes attached to this industry. I’ve always allowed that to be my guide, that to be the determining factor of whether or not I can see myself at its service, worthy of my time. Even if the paper and pay speak to my ego, speak to the lifestyle that we’re conditioned to lust after, if I can’t see it supporting a creative consciousness I’ll forgo the opportunity all together.
Opportunity. Be careful how you define opportunity, luck and good fortune. Often, most often, opportunity is not what it seems. It’s never found behind the door that opens after the first knock, if anything, it’s found when the door slams and you pick up your bags and start walking in a new direction. It exists in the resistance, the “no’s” the “Nevers” the “you’re too inexperienced”, “too young” the “you have enough, you don’t need this as much as …” It exists in the resistance. If you feel that your path has been anything less than slip stream, then you know you’re on the right one. The one that will test, taunt and teach you how to install automatic doors that open to your motion.
Motion. Let’s talk about that. It’s in motion, in movement that you begin to actualize your potential. That you begin to stretch your abilities in order to develop what’s required to progress and transcend previous selves, to transcend present circumstance. Paradoxically, (and this is where a lot of people are fooled) motion, requires the discipline to sit still. To sit behind the books in your crafts “classroom” and invest in its study. To invest in the intricacies of what binds it together in order to understand it from the inside out. To sit still, when all you see is everybody flying past the classroom window to tend to the “Fun stuff” the outside, the practical to the academic. Invest in the movement of your inner world. Invest in building an educated empire, don’t strain to run ahead of the crowd, instead train to be the person they begin to run after, or to for advice. Distract “them” with the illusionary slow progress above the surface they tend to gauge themselves against and ride the rapids of your inner flow until you feel it’s time to break free.
Flow, let’s observe that. There’s no denying that industry dynamics have changed, that fleets have fallen and that offshores have been anchored in doubt and redundancy (For now…) it is a concern to those who have invested their all in keeping their “dream” airborne. It’s a concern if you start to see what was once the definition of “making it” in your career dismantle before your eyes sending all its encompassing pieces back home, and back to the drawing board. It’s hard to hold onto the ladder you’re trying to climb when your hands start slipping every time the oil spills over the dollar. However, whilst holding tight, pay attention to the flow, to the gradient of energies gained and given and you’ll notice that those at the “bottom” smile every time they try and convince you that there’s no longer a “top”. And that you might as well let go and make yourself comfortable at the bottom. I say, fuck that, hold tight and let’s weather this storm together, I’ll lend you my strength when your grip grows weak, and we’re going to hold our place until we get to climb again. We’re going to be savvy about this and not submissive. We’re going to conduct the motion flow, and not exhaust ourselves trying to fend off the faders. We’re going to hold this position and whilst we’re here we’re going to master the art of sweetening our pollen. We’re going to stop being at the mercy of the chase and instead we’re going to add value, hue and sweetness to our craft until we are no longer the ones chasing the game, but rather being chased.
Games. Pay attention to the strain and the scurry to be first, to be ahead of the upturn and in front of the queue. Pay attention to how many people you’ll have to invariably step on and use in order to get to the top of the pile to please the powers. Pay attention to this. Pay attention to the game, and how the rules and rulers will bend you to betray trust and lose your shame and concern for the people you’ve stepped upon, how your values fade in favor of hypocrisy and deeds done behind closed doors. Pay attention to well natured things and let that be your example instead. If it means you’ll be sitting on the bench for most of the games then so be it, at least you won’t risk injuring your integrity and if you get to sit next to your honor and professionalism you’ll be in great company. A quote I like to read to myself whilst sitting on said bench;
“If you do the job in a principled way, with diligence energy and patience, if you keep yourself free of distractions, and keep the spirit inside you undamaged, as if you might have to give it back at any moment – if you can embrace this without the fear of expectation, if you can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, as your nature has intended, in its superhuman truthfulness, then your life will be happy. And no one can prevent that” – Marcus Aurelius
Fulfillment. Fulfillment is something that only exists in the present, and presence does not equate to settling. In fact, I have found that the closer I get to the “next phase” the more I’m able to appreciate the simplicity and the beauty of my now. Sometimes, we’re inclined to convince ourselves to fall out of love with something in order to drive ourselves closer to loving something new, as if the hostility of hatred will hold us accountable to change. However, it’s in the infinite capacity to love something, and the ability to approach each day (which would otherwise be ordinary in comparison to futures fantasy) with an evolving definition of love, in good karma and at complete peace with how it concludes that we’re able to see the light that leads us to a new. Very rarely do I look outside the left door nowadays and not think about how much I will miss “this”, and it’s that feeling of fulfillment and complete love for what I’m doing now that makes me certain I am ready to learn new ways to love this craft when the opportunity so arises. That I am willing to be made vulnerable to a new environment, a new role and service, to be uncomfortable and awkward around it, the type of awkward that only love can produce and the degree of nervousness that comes with caring for its impression of me.
To summaries (and to save you from the 47 million observations I’d like to write about) Ultimately, what this occupation requires is an otherworldly degree of patience. Patience. Patience. Patience has never been one of my strong points, but it has been one of my greatest teaches. (Funny that, our weaknesses are always our greatest teaches) but anyway, its lesson is always this; just know that what you seek, is seeking you and eventually you will both meet. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and until then you’re going to have to live your present life in peace with that knowing. Patience is like a warm blanket you wrap around your shoulders whilst waiting for the sun to rise. Because it will, and when it does you’ll no longer need the blanket as you begin to feel the imminent warmth of the light you’ve been looking for. Patience therefore is not a supplement for an eventuality, it’s just a reminder of the feeling you’re waiting for, and it gives you something to hold onto until then. So, if you’re willing to sit next to me, and hold onto the blanket I’ve wrapped around your shoulders, and we sit still together in our seeking I’ll show you just what I mean…