One of my students, Maddy, is telling me that she’s waking up at night, panicky, worrying that she’s going to lose her house when they lay her off at work. She doesn’t know when the layoffs will come.
She’s living in a constant state of low-level fear, feeling horribly frustrated and powerless. She’s even applied for another job in the same field that she doesn’t even want, and afraid they’ll reject her.
Last night, another student, Claire, told me that she’s already lost her job and now she’s dreading finding another even as the bills are piling up, since the jobs are always the same low-level, horrible, mind-numbing kind. She’s been on a merry-go-round of them for twenty-five years. Her credit card is stacked up with debt.
Both Claire and Maddy have the same emotional energetic pattern. Let’s pull it out into the sunshine and take a look.
I ask Maddy why she thinks she can’t be happy in a career.
She answers, “My parents always said ‘just get a job. No one likes their job. Everyone just does one. That’s the way it is. Just get through it.’”
“And that’s what you’ve been doing?”
She tearfully nods and chokes out, “Yeah.”
“Do you think I hate my job?” I ask.
“Does my husband hate his job as a designer? Do you think my mom hates her job? Did my aunt hate her job teaching English as s second language? Does my cousin hate his job as a chef?”
No, no, no, and no.
“And do you think we have jobs we love because we’re special or smarter or something? In other words, different or better than you?”
“Yes,” she practically whispers.
“Ok then,” I say, “think of someone you know who’s not as bright or creative as you, who loves their job. Do you have that person in mind?”
She pauses, then tells me about a woman who does the same job as her at a different workplace, but who loves it. The woman’s really good at it, and makes more money at it too.
“Right, so you’re seeing that there might just be a whole huge group of people who love their jobs. Or at least like them a lot. And they get paid enough too, so they aren’t stressing and sweating every second.
“Do you know that I’ve had jobs I hated?” I continue. “I got called into the manager’s office once at a cafÃ© I worked at and was told I couldn’t be on the cash register any more, since I was so bad at it, and they demoted me. Can you imagine? I’m actually great with money! And then later I was fired, too, from a job that I was really great at!
“You know what the only difference is between you and me? When I had a bad job that didn’t fit me or honor me, I left. Or if I was too stubborn to leave, I got fired instead.
“And I had a lot of those jobs in the beginning, as I was figuring out that I don’t need to be captive to a job. When I was working out the Lack Cycle in my thinking, I thought I have to take what I can get, and I am lucky to get it.
“But that didn’t make sense. How could I ever build a career that way? A job is what I spend more time doing than anything else in life except sleeping!
“So it’s my #1 priority to make sure that whatever I’m doing deserves enough to hold that much of my time and life.
“I’ve learned to not stay any place that makes me panicky, fearful, or where I’m not promoted. And I kept going until I found a job that I liked, that liked me back. Now I have that. I had to make that job myself, of course, but I have it!
“Now you, pretend your parents had told you instead something equally bizarre like, ‘Everyone has a bad marriage. No one likes their spouse. But you gotta stick it out. Even if you’re being abused. It’s just how it is.’
“Why is it so much easier to see what a crappy message that is? Because of the abuse part? Well, don’t these jobs abuse you just as much, but in a different way? Why is one sort of abuse ok, and another isn’t?
“Can you imagine if you’d met and married a man as abusive as your job? One that woke you up at night in a cold sweat, feeling totally powerless against, waiting for something bad to happen everyday, never giving you enough to live on? And he can leave you, but you can’t leave him. You need him.
“Wouldn’t you just want to tell your parents they’d done the worst job ever raising you?
“So what’s the difference between that message and the one about work? Nothing. Swap ‘guy’ for ‘job.’ See those low expectations?
“Your parents didn’t even know they had low expectations. They just know that this is what they were told, and they lived by it, and suffered through that, and there was even a kind of self-sacrificing nobility in it.
“Plus, it explained to them why they were always unhappy (because they were supposed to be! Because they’d be fools to expect otherwise!)
“What’s going on here, Maddy, is you don’t believe you can be happy at a job. You think other people can be happy, and have enough money, but not you. You keep proving it to yourself, too, but aligning up with jobs that will reinforce your beliefs. You’re making yourself right over and over. But you can change this.”
Maddy is quiet on the other end of the phone. I can tell she’s thinking about all the years she’s “wasted” in all those jobs she hated. She still isn’t able to think she can have a job she loves. She still feels there are loads of other, more qualified, smarter, better people out there who’ll snatch away any good job, and she’ll have to take whatever’s left.
But it’s a step.
People sometime think that manifesting or Flowdreaming is just about feeling the juicy good energy of money dropping down from the sky around you.
It’s also about dismantling pre-existing beliefs th