Not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck

Today is Canada Day where I currently live. Canada is 150 years old. I feel thankful to live in this country because there is an abundance of beautiful nature, natural resources, fresh water, and it is generally a peaceful country. It feels good to reflect on what I have that is «good» versus what I do not like. I have noticed over the  last two weeks, that we or I often look around and find so many things wrong with the world, politics, wars, the so-called «elite».what we don’t have and what we did not get.  It is all noise. It certainly does not feel good or right inside when I focus there. My energy feels much better when I look around at what I love, my family, my friends, my little grandchildren, our overall good health, the list goes on, but one simple thing we take for granted – just being able to breathe – that in itself is abindance.I have come to realize that this attitude serves me well in every area of my life. The last two weeks have been full of intangible elements that have contributed to my ongoing internal shift.

Remember that not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck – Dalai Lama

I have read this quote in the past, many times and always wondered how nice it would be to actually truly understand internalize and appreciate what this meant. Sure, if I look back years ago I can see that not getting what I wanted was actually for the best. I was hoping that one day, I would arrive at this happy conclusion with less time between the «not getting» and the realization that «this is a wonderful stroke of luck». Well I happily report that this week, it happened. I did not get what I wanted at work from the parties I had wanted it the most from. This week was evaluation week at work. This is where we receive feedback about our performance and we discuss our rating, from 1 to 5. 1 being the best and 5 needing improvement. I did not get a glowing evaluation. As a matter of fact, I received valuable feedback on what I can improve. I am perceived, by the person who evaluated me, as inconsistent and while I did good work on one client (our biggest global client), I did not perform as well in two other instances. Anything I thought I had done well was to be expected and nothing to write home about. Because of this, my promotion is at best doubtful.

There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.

What happened after this meeting was that I did not feel bad. In the last few years, the evaluation period had me stressed, as if my self-worth as a professional depended on it. I was always trying to prove myself. This is clearly not anybody’s responsibility but my own. I just did not «get it» back then. I would read books about «Not giving a fuck» and these were excellent reads, but I had not internalized it, truly.

The saying «Rule #1: Fuck what they think» sounded good on paper, but I would only get there in my head out of anger, or resentment. This does not last. What does last and what is a major shift is when I was sitting there and a little voice glowed in my head that said «Your opinion is not my reality». That is when I knew, I finally knew that I could truly let go of the need to please these people because I no longer wanted to in order to feel good about myself. I already did feel good about myself and nothing they could say would be changing that.

I left the office and did not feel destroyed. On the contrary I felt relief and pretty solid inside. I went outside to take the air. The Universe works in wonderful ways. As I was standing there contemplating things, a colleague, who had resigned in January, came walking towards me. She was my performance manager in the past, and seeing her was really nice. She asked me how I was, I just looked at her, my  liquid eyes doing the talking. She hugged me and told me «I am your friend, not your PM». I told her what had just happened, literally 10 minutes ago and she provided me with her own experience/wisdom. What stood out to me most in what she said was «You are worth gold, trust me». Interesting that so little time passed between my perception of reality and the Universe giving me the confirmation of what I now no longer needed or craved in order to feel self worth. It was coming from within.

I am now open to other options in my career. I feel hopeful, I feel free, like I have truly been given a gift. I also recalled how many times my mom, my two dads, family, even colleagues that had left, friends, had all been telling me all along what I now realized for myself.

What used to bring me fear about looking elsewhere, at other opportunities and leaving the place I had worked for so long, was now a breath of fresh air, full of possibilities. I would be doing this out of wanting something good for me, a fit for me, to do what I love instead of leaving a situation I did not like. The difference is subtle and intangible, but how it feels is the evidence. Anything i spossible. Things truly do work out for me.

We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail

I love this quote because of its reference to sailing. I associate sailing with freedom. I spoke to another colleague who is new and he provided some valuable insight. I kept an open mind. I did end up following his advice, and let’s just say that in doing so, other unexpected opportunities have presented themselves. Being open to «whatever it is», arrives in unexpected forms. The perspectives I have received from various people this week are so appreciated and reminded me to look at the bigger picture. The «where», no longer matters. There are people in my «work life» who do inspire me. Those people have provided me valuable insight and joy in working with then. Ironically, I never sought to prove myself to these people and these are the people I receive it from. So what, how and when are completely unknown. And I could not be more thrilled. «“Freedom is the only worthy goal in life. It is won by disregarding things that lie beyond our control.” – Epictetus. The same day that I saw my friend outside, I received an email from her, the subject «Taking back control». If there is one thing I accomplish in my life, it will be that. Taking back my power or understanding what I can control. It started years ago in one area and now I am seeing the fruits of that presenting itself in other areas of my life. Realizing what is in my control and outside of it, is truly an art I would love to master. Like sailing.

«Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t». – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free. From where I sit, one thing I do have control over is my attitude and my perception of reality. The last 6 months, and all the events in it, appreciated, sad and outright unpleasant, have helped me to arrive at this realization. So in other words, contrast is my friend and I now see the value in looking for the lessons, because, I was given the proof in the most ironic way- not getting what I thought I wanted.  I do love the Dalai Lama and Buddhism. I am really enjoying how this is all playing out right now.

I am reminded of a Native American proverb: «Listen to the wind it talks, Listen to the silence, it speaks, listen to the heart, it knows». In exactly 7 days I will be with the ocean, on a beach, with myself for company. I am really looking forward to that. I feel like it is the perfect way to start my vacation. I will use this time alone to meditate, create and visualize. I so appreciate the ocean and its power. I will drink it all in as I surrender and let myself flow with the waves. Another irony, the place I initially wanted, was completely booked and no longer available.  I wonder what wonderful experience I will have at this new place that I previously had never been interested in.  Maybe I will write about it.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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