I had a very important conversation with one of my best friends a few years ago. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Well, I have this soul sucking job…” I stopped him right there. “If we are going to continue spending time together, you’re not allowed to say ‘soul sucking.’ You need to feed your soul. Let’s find you a job that will do that.”
Yes, I am that bossy, and no, I don’t have all the answers…
As our friendship grew stronger, I am proud (and sad) to say he picked up and moved across the country for a dream job. He now has a view of Mount Rainier every day! Even on bad days, his soul gets to snack on that. The picture below is not a painting. It is an actual photo he took of the view from his office!
We recently revisited the conversation.
You can hate your job, but it can't be soul sucking. There is a difference: Soul sucking is when your soul is in a tub full of dirty unbearable water. Miserable people are floating around in there with you and you've pulled the plug and thrown it out the window. Maybe the plug is your dream and you’ve given up so you just toss it. So the water can only be sucked down the drain taking your soul with it. No matter how hard your soul tries to stay on the surface, the surface continues to get closer and closer to the drain. Consistently, someone comes in and turns the faucet on and gives the tub more water but it keeps swirling down down down, sucking your soul all the while. You are stuck in there with the miserable people. It is hopeless.
Hating your job: the tub is still full of dirty water and unhappy swimmers and all sorts of muck are in there crowding around your soul. The plug is firmly in place keeping the water in the tub and the yucky stuff too. Your soul is just doing the backstroke on the surface avoiding all the yikkers. He's unphased. He has a protective suit on so the dirt and people can't get to him, and his arms are really strong and he can swim for months on end. Because he knows it’s not forever. He can still see his dream and he has hope so he keeps the plug firmly in place.
And how does this improve? I learned one of my greatest lessons from my meditation teacher while we were in India. I told him I wanted to empty out my heart and start over. I wanted to make room for something new. He said that I didn’t need to discard anything. He explained that when a glass is full of dirty water, just keep pouring clean water into it and eventually it will be clean water.
So back to our tub… Some day some new opportunity is going to start filling the tub. It will. It is a law of nature – things change. When the tub overflows in this cleansing process, it is bound to be messy, so just have some towels on hand. Keep thinking of the day when your soul can take off his little protective suit and just FLOAT, effortlessly and enjoy the clean water and lovely swimmers the new situation has invited into the tub.
And the moral: be on the lookout for clean water sources (situations and people – soul food) to fill your tub little by little to push out the dirty water. Every little drop of goodness has a job to do, so even the smallest thing that brings you joy that can be tossed into the tub - do it! Because it's your tub, and that drain has no business trying to suck your soul. No business. And hang on to your plug (dream) no matter how bad it gets!
In the spirit of cleansing, that very friend and I made this green juice while I was visiting his new life. Green juice brings me joy and is something I drink daily. I don’t exactly have the cleanest diet on the planet, so any opportunity I have to drink some of this, I imbibe. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Cheers to feeding your soul!
Makes 2 servings. All produce is preferably organic, unpeeled, with stems and seeds, throw it all in!
**Juice in any order:
1 green apple
1 green pear
1 medium cucumber
1 big knuckle of ginger
3 ribs celery
2 big handfuls of spinach
1/2 bunch of parsley
3 or 4 stalks of kale
3 or 4 stalks of romaine
**I do not make my own juices. I do not own a juicer. My kitchen can’t handle another piece of equipment right now. So I buy fresh pressed juices. Daily. They are expensive. I am worth it. So are you.