This past February when I was volunteering for Marianne Williamson’s political campaign, I remember walking out of one of our weekly meetings thinking, “I’ve never felt so fulfilled in my entire life.” Mind you–I was completely single at this time; my sense of fulfillment was solely coming from being in alignment with my purpose and being part of something greater than myself.
When I was younger, I spent years placing far too much importance on my romantic relationships and on the Hollywood party scene. Deep down, I was bored with life as I knew it, but wasn’t really sure what else there was to do in L.A. besides dating and partying. The day my evolution began was the day I walked into my first yoga class. It wasn’t only the yoga that made me want to live a deeper existence. Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power of Now was sitting on the counter top. Always an avid reader, I decided to purchase the book even though it wasn’t my usual genre. Up until that point, I had spent most of my time reading fiction, specifically fiction that was very dark, which was causing me to have nightmares. After I read The Power of Now, my love for inspirational material was born, putting an end to all those scary dreams.
Several years later, I would discover Marianne Williamson, and I, like so many others thought, “Wow, here’s a woman who really stands for something,” and she happens to be wearing great shoes! Marianne made me want to be a woman with a voice, a woman who cares about political and social issues, and most of all, a woman who leaves an imprint on the world.
Today my sweet mother is a teacher, leaving her imprint on the world, educating young minds. However, when I was growing up, my mom stayed home to raise me and my siblings, leaving her imprint on our household. I watched her cooking and cleaning, with no maid or nanny, for four kids and her husband, my dad. Marriage, to me, pretty much seemed like slavery. Aside from all the manual labor, since my dad was the sole provider, he had control over how the money was spent. This is not to put my father down—he loved our family very much and was a great provider—however, the dynamics between my parents shaped my feminist views and made me always want to be a woman who worked. Not only did I decide at a young age that I wanted to be a glamorous career woman, but also I realized that it seemed as though I was missing the girl-gene that desires a husband and/or children. Not that I’m opposed–it’s just that I’ve always had more of a longing for adventure and independence.
When I learned that the gorgeous and fabulous Marianne was unmarried by choice, I immediately felt a sense of kinship with her. I would later hear Marianne explain how when she was growing up, she had a view of her homemaker mother, which was similar to the view I had of my own stay-at-home mom. Marianne says that, at the time, she felt her mother’s work in the home wasn’t important. Marianne explained how she decided she was going to go out into the world, until she studied metaphysics and realized there is no world. As a mother today, Marianne realizes that there’s nothing more important than the job of being a mom. She says that our society needs to honor women who want to stay home with their babies. Many highly educated women feel that working in an office could never compare to staying home to raise your children. Although being a domestic goddess wasn’t the path for me, I now honor and appreciate how my mom devoted her life to our family; and I’m equally as proud of her for reinventing herself and becoming a career woman later in life.
Because I admire Marianne so much personally and professionally, I was really looking forward to take her workshop Creating a Career that Matters this weekend. The main message of the seminar was that our career is not separate from our being-ness in this world. She says that “what we do is not the issue; the real issue is who we are within what we do.”
Marianne defines career as your activity on the planet in which God uses you to lift the energy of the corner you are in. A career is not something you get—it organically grows out of who you are. Our souls yearn to be of use. We are all here on Earth to serve; therefore, our work is our service to the world. Business is the way we contribute to the uplifting of the planet.
In order to create miracles in our career, we must first face our fears and let go of our past. Fear does one of two things; it either puffs us up or causes us to shrink. A Course in Miracles says, “The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.” There is such a thing as divine intelligence—it’s what causes an embryo to become a baby, a flower to bloom, a caterpillar to become a butterfly. That same divine intelligence causes people to blossom. This divine intelligence has a plan for us—we are each programmed to have a life that works. When we worry too much about whether we are going to fail or whether we are not good enough, we are indeed relying on our own strength–divine intelligence does not fail. Once we recognize our fears and release them, we will be guided to create a career with the highest potential of service. I love the line from A Course in Miracles that says, “The universe knows your rent.” If we don’t have faith in our own power, we must have faith in the power of the universe.
Another wonderful fact about this correcting, self-organizing universe we live in is that universe doesn’t care about our past. If we ever make a wrong turn, the universe simply recalibrates. The universe doesn’t care how old you are, how bad the economy is, or how many times you’ve failed. The universe is an endless opportunity machine, invested in our growth; at every moment, you have a chance for a new beginning. We must let go of the baggage of the past in order to claim our future.
Marianne says that a “successful career is one with a big effect.” She warns us against doing work for the money—do it for the love. Do it to be of service. When you are a healer or spiritual teacher, charge only what you feel is fair. A Course in Miracles says that no one should be turned away for lack of funds. A devout student of the Course, Marianne practices what she preaches—her Monday night lectures are only fifteen dollars, and no one is turned away who cannot pay. She also offers scholarships for people who cannot afford her workshops.
Marianne says that a career is not a separate aspect of your life—it is an expression of who you are. She goes on to explain that the difference between a job and a career is that a job can be taken away from you; a career can never be taken away from you. Always remember that the universe is your true employer, and no matter what your actual job is, your real job is to spread love.
For those of us who have more than one job, or are in a transition, it is important for us to still be good employees. Marianne warns that too many people are not doing their jobs well because they are looking for something bigger and better. For instance, I teach Pilates during the day and write at night. Both jobs are equally important to me–it is my job to be present with whatever work I’m doing and to always bring the light.
Some final words of wisdom from Marianne: Every one of us has a work of genius inside us. Surround yourself with people who are safe, supportive, and hold the space for your dreams. Show up for life—life is one big networking experience. And lastly, if you want to have a career that matters, you have to matter!