I have a student who is unhappy at his current job. He has a good job and is very good at it, but he finds it's hard dealing with the business part of it. And I do understand; we spend most of our time at work, and for a gentle soul seeking a spiritual growth, business world can be a pretty hard place to live. That is one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at this is that you can use your knowledge and skills and change something for the better. Get involved, help a colleague, create a better working environment. Practice patience while dealing with your boss. I believe that staying true to yourself and creating a change for the better in today’s society is the ultimate spiritual practice. So, that is what I suggested to my student friend and he said 'I's easy for you to say'. Well, things are often not what they seem to be from the outside. Yes, I'm a yoga teacher. But, I am also a studio owner and a business owner and I have to be a manager, a boss, an accountant, a PR agent...I have to pay taxes and have loads of responsibilities. I wish I live the way my student sees it, as a free and wild hippie yoga teacher, but that is simply not true.
I forget the managing part, as a yoga teacher I believe I have the best job in the world. Actually I don’t think of it as it’s a job – I think it’s a calling. I guess there are many other things I could do that would be more rewarding; like saving lives, finding the cure for cancer or working on sustainable energy solutions:), but I am happy with helping people on the path to health, calmness, balance and spiritual growth.
I feel like I’m doing my bit and try to be, as my dear friend and teacher Twee Merrigan would say, a ‘’change agent’’ everyday. I love spreading the word of yoga and I try to do it with all my heart, all my knowledge, and with humble gratitude to the Tradition, to my teachers and my students. The best part is, all the love and energy I put into my teachings I get back instantly trough the smiles, sometimes tears (of joy!;), glowing eyes and thank you’s of my students. I go home with a full heart and smile on my face.
But, you don’t need to be a scientist, a doctor or a yoga teacher to be a ‘’change agent’’. It doesn’t really matter what you do, what is important is who you are, and your job doesn’t define that. Whatever work you do in this life, you can do it well and in a way that creates a positive change in your own life and in the lives of people around you. You can do it with love and gratitude.
My student friend actually took my advice, made some changes, did some pro bono work and realized he doesn't need to quit, move to the coast and go fishing to be happy.
Sometimes it’s hard, yes. And we all face challenges every day. Even yoga teachers:). But, our most important job is to be good, kind, compassionate and honest part of our community, to be a good human being. Only than can we create a positive change on a global level.