A health crisis has resulted in my needing to take some long-delayed steps towards better self-care. Among many things like getting more rest and being kinder to myself, I must leave the “career” I swore I was leaving when I went to grad school– and then promptly returned to after I graduated.
I started by changing my LinkedIn profile.
I know, that doesn’t seem like a step in any direction. If you are unfamiliar with it, LinkedIn is specifically set up for building business and employment connections — sort of the professional equivalent of Facebook except that everyone joins it and no one uses it. Despite that I don’t know anyone who found a lasting, happy career because of it, LinkedIn is really good about keeping our connections updated about changes in our professional lives .
Minimizing the references to my career in retail management and maximizing my accomplishments as a writer, public speaker and teacher on my LinkedIn profile was intended as a symbolic move. It gave me a chance to sort out how I wanted to be seen as a professional and to start the process of calling work to me that I actually wanted to do. I tweaked my resume to highlight skills that would apply to the kind of work I wanted, checked off boxes for specialty areas I wanted to work in and locations I was theoretically willing to commute/move to.
The sad thing about this is that I should have done it months ago. I’ve been unhappy at my job ever since I found out it had been misrepresented to me in the first place. Heck, who am I kidding – I didn’t want to go back to retail to begin with. But for some reason I hesitated to shift gears, as if I wasn’t worthy of exactly what I wanted out of life. Now my health is forcing me into change, and I have no choice but to lay it all out there. Things have to change, so I might as well ask the universe for exactly what I want.
Over the next few days the most extraordinary thing began happening. I started getting notices from my connections on LinkedIn congratulating me on my career change! Most of them were canned responses provided by LinkedIn that the member only had to click on to send. But some were short personal notes about how happy they were that I had made the leap into doing what I loved. Some were from people I hadn’t talked to in a very long time. After my initial confusion and guilt that my friends thought I had actually done something different, I could feel magic at work. I was being presented with the opportunity to see myself, successful in my chosen career, now. Every day I have received validation that my desire to do something more aligned with my personal and career values isn’t crazy. The number one rule of the law of manifesting is to believe that what we wish (or something better) has already occurred, but I’d never had such a clear opportunity to see myself in the future I desired.
It made me think….
What would be different in our lives if we went from our frenzy of worry over change to believing that the change we desired had already occurred smoothly?
What if we assumed our needs were already fully taken care of?
I was telling the story to my best friend, Shelly, in a text message on my phone when I typed something like: “What does it mean that changing my LinkedIn profile resonates in the universe so strongly that people are already acting as if the thing I asked for has already happened?”
Except that isn’t what I typed. Anyone who has ever received a text message from me will know that the spellchecker on my phone has a twisted sense of humor and an odd tendency toward the metaphysical. So what actually showed up on the screen was, “How does changing my LinkedIn profile respirate in the universe….”
Lets ignore the fact that respirate isn’t a proper conjugation of the verb respire no matter what spellcheck says. The word respire means to breathe. It comes from the latin rēspīrāre,the root spiri coming from the word spirit. So, respire more accurately means something like spirit moving in and out. My phone was secretly asking me to contemplate a bigger philosophical question than the origins of canned emails. According to my phone, what I was really wondering was this:
How do the small shifts we make in our intentions affect the breath – the spirit – of the universe?
What we do matters. In matters large and small, the language we use, the intention we hold, the attitude we project about ourselves and our lives and the things we want matters. If we act as if what we desire has already happened, that we are well within its welcoming arms, then the universe will shift to accommodate this reality. If we see ourselves as worthy, the universe will correspond to our believe. Likewise, when we are negative or we feel trapped or undeserving, our inner experience is reflected back to us in our outer reality. Our intentions and desires affect the breath of the universe because we are one.
I am not always good at manifesting this way — in fact, quite honestly, I pretty much suck at it. I can be full of fear and panic, grasping at control just like most people. I tend to try to muscle my desires into place. I know there is another way, but too often I don’t believe strong enough that it is possible for me. Maybe I don’t think I am worthy. But this illness has left no energy for anything other than loving myself. The only option I have is to believe that things will work out; my needs will be met — and then some.
And I’ll remember to breathe, right alongside the universe.