SATYA : TRUTH
According to Swami Satchidananda, with establishment in honesty, the state of fearlessness comes.
There is something rather significant that I have not been sharing with you. A few things actually.
In late March of this year, I lost my job.
The job that I gave up my home and livelihood for? Yup. That job.
We had signed contracts way back in New Hampshire before we moved. They stipulated that Brad was to be Manager of Operations & Facilities, while I the Director of Programs and Marketing of this soon to be created retreat center. It would be my job to bring people in once we were open and in the meantime, build up as much research & promotion as possible. To be clear, I don’t have a degree in either of these fields. But I do have 20 years of experience running programs, leading retreats and an extensive network from years teaching yoga in NYC and abroad. For this work, Brad and I would be paid the same (yay equal pay) including benefits and housing. We were hired through a company based in Texas so when I asked for a three year commitment to be included in the contract, I was given a gentleman’s (gentlewoman’s?) agreement instead: Texas is an “at will” employment state and either party could change their mind at any time. This made me rightfully nervous, to be packing up our life without more reassurance, but the buggy was leaving the barn and I either had to hop on or stay behind. And to be fair, my Gemini mind rationalized that maybe not being tied down wasn’t such a bad thing?
Well…about 4 and half months ago, from one day to the next, our circumstances changed and it did not feel good. Our income over night was reduced by half. My position was eliminated and I struggled with the shame of being let go from my job. I wish I could say that knowing I wasn’t alone as millions of other people were losing their jobs at the same time made me feel better, but it did not. I took that gentleperson’s agreement to heart, as I do most things, and the sudden change did not feel right. The reason we were given was that with Coronavirus it didn’t make sense to continue marketing a retreat center when no one knew when the retreat center would actually open. This made sense. But at the same time we were clear on what we needed in order to move halfway across the country, to leave behind our networks of support, and most importantly to move away from Brad’s teenage son, Adan. Even trickier, our housing was tied into our jobs. The owners wanted to continue on with building up the infrastructure of the center, so Brad’s job was intact. He actually became quite busy with building gardens, project managing, and taking care of the milking cow and 30 chickens that moved into the barn behind our house. It is not lost on me that we were still very much in a position of fortune. We had one income at least, a safe (spacious, beautiful) home and easy access to food. Many many people across the country could not say the same. But my ego was bruised. I wanted out as fast as possible. I felt that I wasn’t of value and everything I had sacrificed hadn’t mattered. But we couldn’t go. There was a pandemic. It wasn’t safe to leave. It made logistical sense to stay put.
I would say I felt trapped, but here’s the truth. After the initial shock wore off, I felt free.
Here is part two of what I have not been sharing with you. The reason why I didn’t write anything from January 2019 until just recently is that I was really struggling during all that time – on all fronts. Not in the creative fertile ground kind of way. I was depressed. I was sad. I was angry. A lot of the time. And I didn’t feel like I could share any of it. Aside from my close friends, I didn’t dare write publicly about what was really going on. Not so much because I felt embarrassed, but because I felt I needed to project a certain positive image in order to maintain the security of my job, home and marriage. But most of all I didn’t write because I couldn’t write honestly anymore. And if I couldn’t write honestly, then I didn’t want to write at all.
So, here I am. The posts that follow will delve a little more deeply into the details of the past year and a half and what’s been going on since late March. But for now I can say full heartedly: WHEW. It feels good to finally share that with you. That’s one of the wonderful things about truth. When you practice it, you feel lighter. It can be scary for sure, but when you have a bunch of half truths or straight up lies to manage, haul around, it all gets so heavy. There is more freedom, more possibility, in the lightness of truth. Without fear in the way, you can show up as you really are.
Who else would you want to show up as anyway?