I find myself going through cycles.
Background: I’m in the process of building up zenbilling, moving to San Francisco, sorting things out with my kids and my ex, and getting ready to fully launch conscious startups.
It’s a lot of balls to keep in the air, and some nights I have woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, afraid of whether I’d make it.
Then, through surrendering to what is, I manage to move through it, and get to the other side. I get to a place where I see clearly, I know I am safe (or not) and I am okay with it, I can see what I need to do and I do it.
Then perhaps things start to go well. I enjoy some successes. Revenue goes up, some great breakthroughs in my personal life, a great client session, etc. And suddenly I feel strong and powerful. I can see that if only I can keep this pace, by such and such date I would have achieved such and such. Awesome.
Except that’s not how life unfolds. Things happen. Revenue for October was down from September, the visa isn’t moving forward at all, whatever. And I start to get scared again.
Because my feeling of begin safe or okay came from the outer world, came from believing that if only I could make the next three months just like these three days that I had recently, if I could will the world to be the way that I wanted it to be, then I would be safe.
When things are going well, I try to cling to it, but it’s futile.
Today I was reading a passage in Autobiography of a Yogi – apparently Steve Jobs’ favorite book which he used to reread once a year.
In it, the author asks his teacher: “Suppose i never asked for food and nobody gives me any. I should starve to death.”
His teacher replies: “Die then! Die if you must Mukunda! Never believe that you live by the power of food and not by the power of God! He who has created every form of nourishment, He who has bestowed appetite, will certainly see that His devotee is sustained! Do not imagine that rice maintains you, or that money or men support you! Could they aid if the Lord withdraws your life-breath? They are His indirect instruments merely. Is it by any skill of yours that food digests in your stomach? Use the sword of your discrimination, Mukunda! Cut through the chains of agency and perceive the Single Cause!”
This reminded me that while the work that I do brings me money and ego satisfaction, it is not, and cannot, ultimately be the source of my worth, my security, my joy of life. I do the work that I do out of love, and I trust that my God will ultimately take care of me.
Look at Steve Jobs again. Worth some seven billion dollars. Yet in his years of illness he didn’t much enjoy the food he ate, nor could his wealth save him from his illness. His God had something else in store for him, and no amount of earthly possessions could change that. We come into this world alone, and we die alone. And ee can’t take any of possessions with us.