I have always had a job and enjoyed working, usually in self-employment or in a position with flexible hours. I never was one to try and fit into a job unless I knew I could put my heart in it, meaning I would give it my all and stay light and easy within it. I enjoyed having a purpose in the day and worked hard to get through the ‘To Do’ list.
On the outside it looked as if I was engaged in life.
Looking back from where I am now, I see that work was always on my own terms. I was working for myself. I did what pleased me and if I felt myself getting bogged down in the drudgery of mundane routine, I would change jobs – I never had a long-term 9-5 job under a boss.
In actual fact I was standing back watching the world go by – thinking I could jump off and on the merry-go-round when and where it suited me. I knew we were on a merry-go-round but a certain arrogance came with it and I thought I could get off, little realising that this was an illusion. I was really just withdrawing from life. I was observing from a distance, not fully participating.
So, though I was working, most of my life I have been ‘retired’.
In my 50’s I got very drained from taking on people’s stuff as a practitioner and I withdrew even further as my body lost its vitality and I lost my zest for life.
It was not until I came to Universal Medicine that I realised I was absorbing energy by trying to carry people. My body had started to feel the burden. I changed my life completely and started to care for myself first. I stopped going into sympathy for people and gave up pushing myself so hard.
Just before my 70th birthday I went through a divorce which ended a 26 year marriage and heralded a new beginning in my life. I gave up my job as office manager in a legal office and moved south to take sole charge of our macadamia farm.
This event marked a turning point for me. I hadn’t sought out this job, it was given to me. I don’t consider this property as mine – I see myself as caretaker and I am doing my best to learn the job and do what’s best for the land and the business. It required me to meet with many farmers in the area and go to courses and seminars to learn about best management practices and what suited the particular conditions on this farm.
I am following the impulse that was offered and I am also doing this in tandem with my most recent job as dental assistant which is not something I chose, though I said yes when it was offered to me. Being a dental assistant is the hardest job I have ever done as I have no experience as a dental nurse and there is so much to learn. Yet it is a perfect job for me in that it is teaching me so much. It is helping me let go of my need to get it right.
It is also highlighting my tendency to withdraw when the going gets tough.
I stand all day for up to 12 hours with only a short break and I need to be ‘on’ all the time. If I am not present, I make mistakes. If I get anxious about making mistakes, I get tense and lose the flow. If I think about the time or start wondering how much longer, I feel more exhausted. If I felt sorry for myself or listened to others who say – at your age?? – I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
The only way out is In.
The only way to get off the merry-go-round of life is to go within.
So, I go deeper in my body. I feel the feet, the fingers, the breath, and I feel the purpose. Being in a dentist chair would have to be one of the most vulnerable positions for a person in our modern day. It brings up a lot for people and with nurturing support they have the opportunity to let go of a great deal.
The deeper I go, the less I feel the strain and I am developing a fitness both in my body and my mental attitude.
So, here’s to un-retiring – it’s enlivening.
Sandra N., Australia
If you enjoyed this article you may also like to read:
Letting Go of the Need to Get it Right