I’ve just started at my new job, and the first couple of days were the hardest I’ve been through in a long time. And it’s not getting any better a week down the line. The physical discomfort of a new workstation, computer, chair, air-conditioning, coupled with the emotional stress of new colleagues, expectations, rules and a more tiring driving route have sapped me of energy and even my nothing-is-ever-hopeless positivity. I am dead beat by the time I reach home, and the kids are annoyed that I am unable to give them time, love and energy like I used to. I feel as if the very foundations of my life have been uprooted.
The universe, though, was kind enough to drop me a quote from Echkart Tolle two days into my job: When life takes away the forms that you thought were the foundation of your life, what’s left? The life that needs no foundation—that is the foundation. The formless. The essence.
This really helped me put things in perspective in certain ways. I had wanted this change. There was a purpose behind it — I wanted to grow, create, lead — and I am now getting the opportunity to do that. If it requires some painful changes, then so be it. I asked for it, and got it. So what am I complaining about?
It helps me to think of my material existence as a play of shadows created by my own mind and spiritual reality. When I change my way of looking at things, those things change. It helps me to think that I have a certain say in the circumstances of my life — even if I cannot change the ladies loo at my new office, or this smell of fresh paint in my new room, I can still however change the way I perceive them. Do I want to look at them as an irritation, or do I want to be grateful for the opportunity of being here in the first place? By continuing to stay in my old comfort zone at my old office, I wasn’t learning anything new. Do I prefer the ease and convenience of stagnation, or the difficulties and adjustment pains that are necessary for growth, innovation and a life well lived?
It helps me to think of this material existence as a shadow, a dream. Everything outside me is a screen, a projection of what is going on (or has gone on) inside me. Reality is what is taking place inside my head, a space of formlessness, undefined and inexplicable. The essence of who I am and my connection with everything else in the universe.
Yes, at this point in my life, when I am in a new place, lost, uncomfortable and in pain, it helps me to look inwards and take my home with me.