February 11, 2010 My Best Career Investment Yet…
Smart people invest in things that matter to them. It takes money to get money. The guys in Million Dollar Listing on Bravo always show this by advising their clients to shell out money to stage the house to move it faster. Or Ramit Sethi, the money guru who is always talking about the importance of spending money on things that matter to you rather than trying to not spend any money at all. Even Penelope Trunk talks about how important it is to spend money on your image if you want to move up and beyond in your career. So it’s pretty clear that the quality of your career has much to do with what you are willing to make a time and money investment in.
So what does a young person forging a career in social enterprise invest in? Well, image certainly doesn’t hurt. No need to look crunchy just because you want to start a great green company. But besides getting your hair done and rocking some hot new shoes, there’s another investment I’m convinced will help my career in subtle but important ways.
Ok, so Reiki is a form of energy healing that originated from Japan in 1922 and enables people to channel positive intent and a universal life force (Chi, Qui, Prana) to heal people’s emotional, physical, and psychological issues. In this class, we are taught that there are 7 main chakras or energy centers that are responsible for specific energies that make up who you are. So one chakra is the energy of grounding being aware of your body and interacting with your physical environment. Another is the energy of creativity, sex,and emotions, etc. Now, you may be thinking “what. the hell. is this girl talking about” and more importantly “what. the hell. does this have to do with investing in your career”.
Well my main reason for taking this course in particular wasn’t necessarily to become some genY new age spiritual guru. Frankly, I’m a little bit scared that at the end of it all I won’t be able to heal diddly-squat. But what’s really awesome about this 8 week course, is that each week, we are given exercises that challenge us to do something that uncomfortably reveals new aspects of who we are. It’s a course that is teaching me to truly consider the importance of integrity. Its teaching me how to listen to my emotions rather than reject them, and start truly honoring who I am by letting people know that I have boundaries that need to be respected. Every week I find myself becoming more aware of how much fear has obstructed my ambition and am learning how to step out of my own way. This is the value of any authentic spiritual teaching.
Say, for whatever reason, you don’t believe there are color-coded orbs of rotating energy centers running along your spine that is responsible for your physical, emotional, and psychological state. That’s fine. I didn’t think I’d take all of you along on that one. But consider what you do believe in. What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about your environment, your fellow man? And most importantly, how are you challenging yourself to dig deeper and answer the really hard questions about who you are? We love reading stories about people who seem to live life from one risky adventure to another. But you know what’s really scary? Admitting that the reason you argue with your deadbeat dad is because you’re hurt by the fact that he doesn’t show he loves you. Or having to tell your grandma that no, its not ok for her to continue to tell you that you shouldn’t leave the house without makeup. Jumping off of waterfalls is scary but shit, so is confronting deep-seated junior high insecurities about being unlovable because the boy you liked thought you were ugly.
There Kim goes, talking about “souls” and “knowing yourself” again. I think it’s a big deal. Life is a great teacher. There are people, and situations, and challenges thrown into the mix that tell us a lot about who we are. But it’s hard to hear the lesson beneath all the drama sometimes. So why not invest in the things that force you to examine why you do the self-destructive things you do. I think in whatever you aspire to achieve in your life, doing so from a space of self-empowerment, authenticity, and love will always yield a better outcome than doing it for short-sighted reasons. This is especially true in a field like social enterprise that offers so many challenges to the individuals who are dedicated to creating positive impact in people’s lives.
So whatever works for you, whether it’s church, synagogue, therapy, love circles, yoga, prayer, or ENERGY HEALING 🙂 ,take some time to invest in seeing yourself more clearly. If for nothing else, it will help you live in the comfort of self-acceptance and confidence. And career progress or not, who wouldn’t want more of that?