A month ago I set an intention to attract a new job. It should be about one work shift a week doing what I was already doing in my current job – small business marketing. I wanted to increase my income a little without working too many more hours. I wanted it to be doing something that would further develop my marketing skills, preferably in a small, local business setting.
So, last Sunday, March 6, I find this job posting online with a local firm that works with small, local businesses. Hmm. The job is doing exactly what I’m doing, 4-6 hours per week, with the same exact pay I’m already getting. Hmm hmm. The only problem is the application deadline was four days before on March 2. My heart sank, but I don’t let that stop me. I e-mail my cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to the woman anyway because this job was created for me. I even write in my cover letter, “I”m your guy;” Never did THAT before.
The next day she calls, telling me that despite the position was closed, she was impressed by my persistence and would like to add me to the interview schedule two days later. I agree. She also asks me to prepare for the interview by considering strategies I would use to market a local, artistic builder to the upscale target markets of the Grove Park Inn and Biltmore Village. At that point I’m wondering how to do that because I’ve had no prior experience marketing to that audience.
So…I go to my first Webpage Design Intro class that night. Before class I sit next to a woman, Sally, and begin chatting. She’s the Executive director of the Spa at the Grove Park Inn. Hmm, interesting. I thus pick her brains for half an hour and come away with about 10 ideas. I felt as if God were “bringing me up to speed” on the job He was about to give me. I hit the jack pot. (I also talked to her about a job for my girlfriend who’s about to graduate massage school and it turns out they’re hiring. But, that’s another post…)
So, I spend the following afternoon doing research, making connections, and writing a marketing plan as if I’ve already got the job because, honestly, I already had it. Of course the universe was going to give me this one.
11:15am, Wednesday, March 9 – I go in for the interview. It goes extremely well. Not only do I feel we connect on a practical level, we get into existential discussion where the builder guy starts talking about where he needs to grow spiritually. The strategies I suggest to him match those almost exactly. God has definitely planned this job for me. I mean, come on – it matched my intention to the T, I have the right skills, and He even GAVE me the person to educate me where my experience lacked.
So, I get an e-mail the next morning from the lady who was hiring and she says, “Thank you very much for coming in for an interview. It was great to get to know you and who you are. We’ve picked somebody else.” Hmm.
So, that’s “the blind side.” Where did I do wrong? I spend the next day and a half processing this, until a conversation with a friend opens my eyes. She says, “The meanings you construct about about how and why things are going to turn out aren’t necessarily accurate.” It sounds simple but it’s true, and we forget.
The blind side exists in our thoughts. Sometimes our thoughts are accurate, but more often they’re not. That’s because they are a product of the past. Haven’t you ever been so sure something was going to happen a certain way, sure somebody would react a certain way if you did something, and then they didn’t? It’s because the ego-mind is designed for one purpose – survival. That’s why it’s conditioned by the past – to avoid previous pains and seek previous pleasures.
Yet, there is a way to move beyond it. It’s called intuition, or Self. *It is the consciousness which sees clearly every situation. It is also the consciousness which “knows” just because it knows, not for any necessarily rational reason. It will never make total sense to your ego-mind, which is why the great sages have said things like, “I am wisest man in Athens because I know I know nothing (Socrates). The Tao that can be known is not the eternal Tao (Lao-tzu). You must become like [a child] if you want to enter the kingdom of Heaven (Jesus Christ).”
Self is not conditioned. It is not interested in survival, because it is larger than death, but it is interested in being extraordinary, unreasonable (beyond reason), in spanning boundaries, in forging new paths. It’s way is novelty. It is ever fresh and new, which is why in Tibetan Buddhism the symbol for God is an ever-youthful Buddha sitting in a lotus flower – he never ages because he never gets stale, stuck, old.
Self is the voice that speaks within you and you don’t you control it, but it’s always right, and it’s purposes are always benevolent. Here, I have to be honest about something: when I was talking to Sally, I felt rushed to get all these ideas down on paper. I felt a clenching in my gut – the seat of intuition. (Sidenote: one thing I’ve learned about intuition is that if I feel pressed, rushed, clenched, lacking, or sad, it’s a sign intuition is saying ‘no.’) So, in this situation, even though all the connections seemed to be adding up in my ego-mind, intuition knew better, Self knew better. Looking back on it, now, it all makes sense.
I learned a powerful lesson about ideas and intuition. It’s not that our ideas and schemas are bad or even wrong. Sometimes they’re right, but if we are attached to them we will never attain the consciousness of that ever-young Buddha who sits in the lotus flower. But how do we do that? How do we practice?
I once asked a zen master (Ken Kessel JDPSN), “Who am I?” His response, “What do you hear?” And so the practice is simple: Listen. ———
It is Spirit’s nature to always be creating anew which is why God is called “The Creator.” Everything Spirit does is novel. We can’t run our lives by our attachment to ideas about things are, which are from the past, because Spirit is not interested in repeating everything again. We are here, as agents of spirit, as CHANNELS of spirit, to forge new paths. That’s an incredible gift! But, the only way we can do it is by letting intuition lead us.
One final note, remember how I said I felt pressed and rushed and clenched to jot down everything Sally said? That was my ego trying to survive, but here’s the point: intuition flows. If it’s right it will feel like a river flowing through you (as you). It’s the “waters of life,” as J.C. called it. I call it, “the flow,” and its the way of the universe.
Good luck. 🙂