Tuesday, January 25, 2011


"The path to transfomation involves many small steps. Experience each one as meaningful." Ruth Lauer-Manenti

I'm all about taking many small steps. And I truly try to be mindful with each step taken, but I'm not really seeing any meaningfulness happening with most of the steps I'm taking right now.

Maybe the meaningfulness is right in front of me and I'm just not seeing it for what it really is?

How does one recognize the meaningfulness?

I've been thinking for awhile now the time has come for me to move on from teaching. While I enjoy the students, I don't enjoy the mind-numbing, time-consuming reading and responding to papers. While I enjoy many of my colleagues, I don't enjoy the hashing, rehashing, and even more rehashing of the same old issues.

Now that I'm grappling with this, the idea occurred to me that maybe it's not the meaningfulness I'm failing to see but rather the path itself. I simply do not know where the path is.

How does one find the path?


Natalia said...

Ha! You are experiencing the kind of year I had in 2010. I thought I should be teaching anthropology, even though the thought of writing papers for such a small group of people who have an eternal conversation amongst themselves brought out the rebel in me. But what to do........I had also invested so much in my biotechnology path. But I did learn a very important lesson. It took 2 years to understand (I am a slow learner:-) but I think I may have understood something.

Natalia said...

I found that each step was meaningful because I made it so. I did not know what the path was (all very well for Morpheus to give advice to Neo on this), but the path is not always clearly delineated. I think maybe we create the path by making each action thoughtful and meaningful - even if it's not what we want. That way we create new tendencies and causes in our lives. It is through those actions that we open our lives to new experiences and people, and slowly the accumulation of those little steps, when seen altogether, illuminate the path before us. The path is there, we just can't see it yet.

JK said...

I am trying to be open, to be receptive to the accumulation. Years ago I realized I can't control everything, but these past two years or so the old wanting to control slowly took over again, so I'm back to trying to let go, let the little stone steps appear in front of me, beside me, wherever they wish to appear. It's not easy, and it's very frustrating at times.

J said...

My grandfather-in-law said something very wise as I asked him the same question. He said, "Well, you just walk through doors that open. If it's not for you, it will shut on you."

Hang on where you're at, keep your eyes open for those doors opening, and don't be afraid to follow the wind where it leads you. (within reason-- I know you have responsibilities)

I contend that you have found meaning and mindfulness in the past year, but you did not find it in your career. That has deepened your restlessness.

Remember that there is a profound difference between calling and a career. A calling is not always related to your work (look at me, look at Bekah from art circle), but it is always present and affects the way you live and the choices you make.

So where do you find that calling? Part of it involves much prayer, much introspection, and much walking through those doors. Sometimes a calling hits you in the head (literally or figuratively-- ask me about that sometime). You're not expecting it, but it beckons you. If you've already got a vague something in mind, meditate on it. If it is the real thing, the notion won't go away in a matter of weeks or months.

Let's talk soon. *hugs*

JK said...

For several years now I've had this "something" gnawing at me. I can't describe it except I know it's a desire to create. The last eight or nine months I've been doing just that and with each completed work, I feel a great sense of accomplishment and happiness. When I look back over my life, this desire has always been there, but I wasn't listening like I am now. And now, with the responsibilities I have, I feel like I've created this rock and hard place that's incredibly difficult to get out of.

Thanks you for putting on the table the calling/career idea. I've been thinking about this, and I believe you've nailed exactly what it is I'm struggling with.