“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life." ~ Abraham Maslow
Everybody works. Let me say that again. Everybody works. You might wait tables, enter information into a computer, cook meals, change diapers, set broken bones, clean teeth, register voters, perform surgery, make lattes, fix cars, cut hair, photograph brides, run scientific experiments, carpool, drive a truck, or tend animals. Maybe you paint pictures, raise children, nurse elderly relatives, teach students, or sell cars, clothing, groceries, movie tickets, plane tickets, or fine china. I will stop now, because this list has no end. We all work, every day. Looking for a job is work. Studying is work. Having a baby is work. Healing is sometimes work. In today’s economy, many people work more than one job, creating combinations of selling cosmetics or clothes, driving their own car as a taxi, or setting up websites for other people. We are all busy, all the time, earning money and contributing to our families and the communities we live in. Sometimes our work does not bring in money and sometimes it only brings in money and gives us nothing else, in terms of satisfaction, pride, or enjoyment.
What is the difference between jobs, work, careers, and our life’s work? Jobs are primarily done for money, just fulfilling a simple need for a paycheck (and maybe benefits like health insurance and retirement savings) to keep ourselves and our families in basic human needs, with a bit left over for some extras, if we’re lucky. Maybe we like our job, love it, hate it, or don’t really care about it one way or another. It doesn’t matter. We do it for the money. Some people do it for a lot of money, but it’s still a job, because its main — perhaps only — purpose is the money. Work, on the other hand, is done because there’s a need for it. Maybe we get paid for it and maybe we don’t, but its primary purpose is the work itself. Volunteer work obviously falls into this category, but so do carpooling, changing diapers, cooking dinner, walking the dog, caring for sick relatives, and cleaning our own homes.
A career is a longer-term commitment to a field of study or work. It may include a series of jobs in the same occupational area. For example, a public school teacher may become a department head, a principal, a district superintendent, or a community college instructor or administrator. A lifetime career in education — as in many other fields — may include several different jobs. Even though careers are often chosen when we are young, and we invest a long time in them, we still may change careers once or twice — or even more
— in a lifetime.
Your life’s work is something entirely different. It may include jobs and careers, or it may not. It may be something you have to do on your own time, calling it a “hobby” or just something you do for relaxation, when really, you would do it all the time if you could, because you love it so much. It may be anything from painting pictures to caring for your family, working with numbers to writing poetry, political activism to teaching children to read. It is what you feel strongly moved to do with your life. It’s your unique contribution to the world, your individual gift that longs to be shared. It is the work you do that is most important to you, that makes you feel joy and fulfillment, that you can truly be passionate about. It is even linked to your self-image and identity. It is not just about what you do, but also about who you are. It’s your life journey, or path, or purpose.
Our life's work is the unique shape energy takes when it flows freely through us.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself."
~ Abraham Maslow
Your life's path, or journey, is your life story and what it all means. We each have a unique path to walk, a special place in the Universe, a hero's quest to fulfill. It's not always easy to see, especially when we are in the midst of living it. But it is what gives our lives meaning. It is something greater than ourselves, and yet is all about who we are. Sometimes, it may seem as if it was chosen for us, as if circumstances conspired to push us into it. Other times, we may believe we chose it of our own free will. In the end, it may not seem to matter whether we chose it or it chose us, because it is simply the shape and meaning of our life. Every person's life is a narrative, a story, with purpose and meaning. It doesn't matter if we're famous, or important, or if the things we do seem like a big deal, even to us. We fill the shoes only we can fill. And there is a path only we can walk. We need to do it, and we need to keep the energy for it clear, even is we don't yet see the patterns, the purpose, the story.
At various times in your life, under various circumstances, you may be looking for any job, or desiring a specific job or promotion. You might be confused about your career choice or which path you should take in pursuing it. You may be seeking a revelation of what your life’s work is or needing opportunities to pursue it. You might even be retired from your job or career and wondering what you feel called to do with the time and energy you have left.
Enhancing the Career area of your home can help you with all of these endeavors. It can unlock the energy needed to find the right job for you right now, help you pursue professional development in your chosen career, or reveal your life’s work and ways to fulfill that part of yourself.
The Career area of your home is located in the center of the bottom row of your home’s bagua. The colors black, dark blues and dark greens can enhance this area, as can asymmetrical or wavy shapes. You can bring in more of the Water element with glass, mirrors, crystals (chandeliers, for example), and other reflective surfaces. Your artwork can include water scenes, either tranquil (if you want to maintain your career or retire) or flowing (if you want to move on in your work, get a promotion, or find the right job/career for you). Water features — such as fountains, fish tanks, and water walls — bring strong Water energy into the area. The Metal element supports Water, so white, round and oval shapes,
stones and rocks, and metals of all kinds can also help enhance the Water element.
Again, examine yourself — your job, work, career, and life’s work — before examining the Career area of your home.
Clarify your purpose in enhancing this area of your home. Are you looking for a job? Desiring forward motion in your chosen career? Wanting to wind down or retire? Trying to define your life’s work or move it from the periphery of your life to a central position in your schedule?
Write down your wish for this part of your life. Now write your wish to be ready and able to accept this in your life. Place these papers in a small box in the Career area of your home.
Where in your home does the Career energy area fall? What rooms are here? Make sure everything here is in good working order and the space is decluttered. Balance the Five Elements, with an emphasis on Water (fountains, asymmetrical shapes, pictures of flowing or still waters, black and dark blues or greens) first and Metal (whites, round shapes, metals, stones and rocks) second.
Make a vision board with images and words for the job, career, and life’s work you want. Place it in this area. Add gratitude messages to your black box for receiving everything you are hoping for in this part of your life. Word these messages as if you have already received them.
Write your life story up to this point. What themes emerge? What task does the hero (you) have to accomplish? If this were a novel or film, what would be the story in a one-sentence pitch?