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|i just want you to find a good job.| i've heard this phrase come out of my mother's mouth more times than i've tried to perfect my twerk in the mirror.

i get it— she wants me to be financially stable. insurance, savings, something to my name—maybe a car or a house. you know, the adult thing that commands respect from society. in her world, these achievements can only be realized through a 9-5 structure which makes sense from an immigrant mother's lens, or any parent from the boomer generation for that matter. what parent wouldn't want those things for their child? but also, who wouldn't want these things for themselves? i'm working on that but i want to do it a different way.

it's been two years since i swore off ever sitting in an office 8 hours a day, five days a week. i tried that route and never felt so distant from self. it's been challenging but i can feel it expanding my limits. since then, i went through a 6-month wellness period where all i focused on was my spirituality and metal health. sounds like an eat, pray, love experience, doesn't it? it wasn't. the universe or whatever you prefer to call higher being- literally forced me to stop and be still. i had no job, which meant no money coming in, no particular place to be or problem to solve on any given day and i had no social circle to keep me distracted. what i did have was my sister's couch, my family's love, my journal and a lot of time for introspection. that season, which my sister and i like to jokingly refer to as my raisin season due to the fact that i literally shriveled up from all of the emotional angst, i struck a deal with the universe— that i would commit to watering my garden as long as she made good on her promise to always have my back. what i thought was the beginning of my self discovery work evolved into me starting to experience the world in ways i hadn't imagined before, particularly what i believed was possible for my life.

most of us have been conditioned to shape our lives around making money because society at large measures our worth according to how much or how little we have of it. from a young age we're told to go to school, not to learn about ourselves and our role in the world or about the systematic structures that govern literally everything down to the resources we have access to, but rather so that we can get a |good job|, pay our bills and live a life that doesn't color outside the box. we are told to get a good job not to hone in on our innate gifts or to learn how to craft our skill set in order to find purpose in why we're here but rather to earn a consistent salary that only drags us further into the rat race that most of us have no idea we've become slaves to. it takes a series of unchartered events or that one 'aha' moment to wake us out of the paradigm that tells us that we can only achieve fulfillment through one path.

i always tell my friend ck how mind blown i am that it's taken me 20+ years to understand that life is happening every minute of the day and that the decisions we make this hour effect the picture of what tomorrow looks like. life at the moment is teaching me to unlearn a lot of the things i've been programmed to believe by society. i'm tapping into my inner greatness, (whenever she comes back home) and realizing that i have all the power, all the resources, all the zest i need to manifest the life i want.

which brings me to why i'm writing this. work has been my first teacher on what it means to live in this new way.  i've seen the seeds that have come to fruition when i'm not driven by anxiety, societal pressure or pursuit of money. it's teaching me to find meaning in the process which has allowed me to enjoy the projects i've decided to give my time to. more times than not, i feel like i'm getting more out of the experience than a check. everything i'm putting my energy into is a brick that i'm adding to the life i'm building.

our master spiritual teachers talk about living in alignment and how that's the only way we can truly live and breath our purpose. what this looks like is being obsessively mindful about your time and energy. it's learning to say no and knowing that there are no limits on how many times you can say no. it's saying yes only to the things that align with your soul. most importantly, it's getting into the habit of trusting your voice above anyone else's.

so get that |good job| that comes with adult benefits or freelance your way through it, just as long as you remember that life is meant to be a holistic journey and that no aspect of it is an entity of its own. why we work, where we work, how we work, who we work with—all of these things are connected to the bigger picture of why we are here. from one student of life to another, don't sell yourself short. you are magic and magic doesn't work, it werks.

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