All these years, I’ve intentionally postponed writing about the 4th Reiki principle: “Work hard”, “ be honest in your work”, or in a different interpretation “be true to your Way”.
p>I was waiting to fully experience and materialize it in my life before attempting to write about it. How ironic, at a time when I was feeling least competent about this principle, I was asked to talk about it in this month’s Reiki gathering. So, here are my thoughts…
We are each distinct, unique individuals and are born with a blueprint of a unique purpose and a gift to offer to Universe. I believe that we will all, one day, evolve to be fully aligned with our true nature. At that time, we will all manifest ourselves in what we do, and what we do will be a true expression of who we are. Until then, we have work to do, and it is hard work. That hard work will get us to manifest our true selves into what we do every day.
This principle, sometimes interpreted as “being honest in your work”, doesn’t mean not stealing or not lying (well that too, of course); but manifesting our purpose on Earth requires lots of honesty. It starts with being honest to what we like and more importantly what we don’t like. It starts with being conscious about our likes and dislikes and doing things that makes us happy and excelling in them, while staying away from things we don’t like.
Working hard also means giving ourselves fully to what we do, being one with what we do, and reflecting ourselves in everything we do. In other words, we should not compartmentalize our lives into family life, work life and spiritual life, but bring our full selves into every aspect of our lives every day. Thinking this way gives us ample practice opportunity every day; a stay at home mom can manifest working hard in being mindful while doing laundry or cooking with love and care; a real estate agent can manifest it by not only selling more homes but finding the perfect home for his/her clients, etc.
“Working hard” or “being honest in our work”, eventually gets us to “being true to our Way”.
Little more than ten years ago, I decided to work hard on myself. I thought about what I want to explore, excel and conquer at that stage in my life. I started with a 3-bullet-point-to-do list.
1) Explore: Learn Reiki 1
2) Excel: Explore Yoga teacher trainings
3) Conquer: Complete the Tai-Chi form
Based on that, I can say, I did pretty well. I learned Reiki. I became a Yoga teacher and I completed my Tai-Chi form.
I really liked working on myself. The next year, I added short term and long term goals into my to-do list. The year after that besides the things that I had worked on myself, I added things that I needed to do for others, finding ways to help and serve others with the work I do. The following year, I added a few columns for clear objectives, goals, strategies and measures for the work on myself. The next year, I had a breakthrough. Now that I had a comprehensive list of things to work hard on and I was proud of my list, I decided to show it to a friend of mine who is a Life coach. She praised my life plan. However she said there is something terribly missing in it. She asked me what I do every day. I said, I wake up, meditate, get ready and leave for work. She asked me how long I work every day. I said 8 hours, if I’m lucky. She smiled. She asked me how come there is NOTHING in my proud-life-plan-to-do-list, about my day job. I chuckled and said, “Of course, that’s not my life purpose, I enjoy working, I try my best, I’m paid for it, but that’s about it, that’s not my life purpose. I said “My life plan to-do-list is what I really enjoy doing”. She nodded and said, “But then you have to find a way to express yourself in what you do every day until you fully manifest what you really like to do”. Otherwise, she said, the time I spend in my day job is a waste of time. I thought about what she said. She was right. I had no clue how to align what I do at my daily job with what I enjoyed doing.
I won’t go into details, but first I moved to the “Services” division of the company I work for. I thought that might be a good start, if my purpose is to “serve”. One thing led to another, and eight years after that conversation with my friend, I finally felt like I was doing the most meaningful day job in my whole career. I started working for environmental sustainability, waste and water consumption reduction. Not only that, I started teaching stress reduction techniques in off-site meetings, breathwork and I started moderating weekly lunchtime meditation sessions at our corporate headquarters. Finally I was starting to materialize what I like to do, in my day job.
However, recently I bumped into a deeper question. I realized there is a deeper conflict with what I do, and my life purpose. I also realized that it’s not time to move on for me yet, and my current work will be a test of staying calm in the midst of a storm. I trust that is what I need to practice right now and that only when I am ready, I will move on.
What I realized through this experience was: it’s not as important what our day job is, what’s important is how we express ourselves in that work, and how we “work hard” by bringing ourselves fully into what we do and “being honest in our work” until eventually our work manifests our purpose and we are “true to our Way”.
I fully trust we’ll all manifest our life purpose in what we do, all day, every day… one day 🙂
Zeynep Premdasi Yilmaz