October 11 – Being Downsized – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

“Our life experiences will have resonances within our inner most being, so that we will feel the rapture of being alive.” Joseph Campbell 

Recently, a friend said to me, “Everyone I know has to work obsessively and is worried about losing their jobs, being downsized and eliminated.” I confess, there are times I worry about this, too. There is no minimizing the hardships that arise beyond our control, especially when we have others to care for. Yet, despite all this, there are countless stories of people whose lives truly find their meaning after events force them to give up careers that they have been devoted to.

This is not new. Even the mythic Odysseus, after being a sailor all his life, after finding his way home after ten years of war and ten more years of wandering, even he was downsized, forced into retirement.

There he was, pining to return to his glory days at sea, when a soothsayer came to him in a dream and said, “Take your favorite oar and go inland until no one has heard of you, and then go farther until no one has heard of an oar or the sea. Plant your oar there and start a garden.”

Life may downsize the things we rely on or how we see ourselves, but our spirit waits like a song in a blanket. No matter how dear the tapestry, there is something more dear in each of us that waits for the blanket to be lifted, so that our spirit can sing.

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