A lot of times as spiritual people, we create this divide between spirituality and mundane life. We want to be special, to do our own thing, to not be confined to the daily grind of the 9-5.
So we meditate, we go to workshops, we listen to channeled messages from other-worldly beings. We do what we can to make life feel mysterious—even magical. Perhaps we even start up a business sharing our insights with others, or trying to help others in some way.
And hey, it works sometimes. There are lots of successful spiritual business owners doing what they love and making their spirituality their life.
But there are even more who fail. There are countless people trying and failing to make something meaningful (to them) of their lives, and feeling like they have failed. Mundane life reasserts its hold.
I always hated the Zen saying that goes: “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” I’d prefer it say something more like, “After enlightenment, go on wonderful, magical adventures and bring your knowledge to the world.” The actual saying always just seemed pointless and depressing.
I hated it, once upon a time. I no longer do, because I saw something vital to my own peace: mundane life is the totality. It’s the whole point. It’s wonderfully spiritual and special and purposeful, and I’ve found a way to fall in love with just normal, ordinary, day-to-day life. I’ve found a way to be satisfied with chopping wood and carrying water, and not need anything more than that.
This is going to be an intensely personal post. I’m going to be turning 30 in literally 5 days (September 21), so this topic has been on my mind. But I also feel drawn to write it, so I hope it can help you.
I was introduced to spirituality when I was about nine years old. My older cousin was into Wicca at the time, and talked to me about it, too. I was super curious about the whole thing, and it kicked off, well, pretty much my whole journey up to today.
The thing is, when I was exploring all of this as a child, I was hit with the magic of it all. Mundane life started to seem boring in comparison. Who wanted to sit through a boring history class when I could be learning about my spirit guides, the astral realm, psychic abilities, and all the rest? There was just no comparison.
So pretty quickly I got it into my head that this is what I’d always do. I had a special purpose, and I’d find a way to make a living from studying and teaching the things I loved the most.
It was only a couple years later I started to learn how to program, so by the time I was 13-14 years old, I had created my first website on spirituality, which would just be the first of many, many to come.
But spirituality was always my solace. When I felt lonely in school, I dived deeper into my spiritual exploration. When I was stressed out and failing in college, I dived deeper into my spiritual exploration. When I hated my classes… well, you get the point.
On the other hand, I started to feel the pressures of fitting in to the traditional path society expected of me. My mother saw me becoming a successful programmer working for some high-tech company and getting paid oodles of money. (Yeah, shut up, I know she ended up being right. I don’t have to like it. ?)
I absolutely did not want to go down that road. It seemed everyone I knew working traditional 9-5 jobs hated it. My mother seemed to tolerate her job, but she didn’t seem joyful about it. It was just something she did.
I wanted my life to mean something. I didn’t want to just do whatever presented itself in order to make money. I believed I had a purpose, and purpose didn’t look like slaving away from 9-5 and only truly living in the evenings and on weekends.
Losing Faith in My Purpose
So I dropped out of college, for a variety of reasons, and spent the majority of my 20s wandering from one thing to another, trying to get my purpose to reveal itself, and slowly losing faith that there was a purpose to begin with. I attempted to do the spiritual teaching thing several times, but it always failed and I barely had an audience. I grew frustrated, and cynical that I had any purpose at all.
When I was 25, I even decided to throw in the towel and took an internship working at a local agency where Christine was also working at the time. Yeah, I lasted two weeks, and that’s when I became more or less desperate to make it on my own, because I never wanted to experience that again.
In one sense, this was the lowest point of my journey. I felt like I needed to find my purpose, and a way to actually make money, but I didn’t know if that purpose existed.
However, in another sense it was a huge breakthrough. All this happened within months of a major spiritual awakening I had experienced, which helped me to see that in some sense, there is no purpose. I still agree with that today (more on that later), though my understanding of this truth has been refined and evolved over time.
So while that attempt at a job was pretty horrible, it wasn’t as crushing as it otherwise might have been, because I was gaining a deeper understanding of what was really going on.
Starting Co-Creation Coaching
Enter Co-Creation Coaching, which I started almost exactly one year later, when I was 26. I felt inspired to get my NLP practitioner certification, and I thought I had finally found my purpose. I was so motivated that I manifested a whole ton of clients that first month. But, limiting beliefs kicked in and I slammed on the brakes. The clients dried up just as suddenly as they had arrived.
But still, this was different. As I got better at the law of attraction, clients started to trickle in. My own understanding of the LOA grew by leaps and bounds, and so slowly, life got better.
This brings us up to the end of 2016. I had just turned 28, and I was feeling the desire to break through to the next level. I was convinced I had found my purpose by now (yes, despite my new understanding a year prior), and was happily coaching and offering courses. But, I wanted more. More abundance, more clients, more success.
Anyone familiar with my previous writings probably knows what comes next. I made massive financial breakthroughs over the next six months, increasing my income three-fold.
The Next Level
But, there was a trade-off. Some of that new success came via Co-Creation Coaching, but the biggest leap was thanks to my new gasp JOB. ?
It was one fateful day in March 2017. I was in my WordPress dashboard when one of the plugins I use had a notice that the company who developed that plugin was hiring. Just on a whim, I thought, “Hey, it can’t hurt to reply,” and just sent over what I thought was a pretty deficient resume.
Well, one thing led to another, and one month later I was starting at my new job.
It wasn’t actually bad. I was working from home, which was great, and I enjoyed the project I was working on. And yeah, I definitely enjoyed the new level of abundance, and the security of the monthly paycheck.
The first few months were paradise. Some questions were nagging at me at the back of my mind, but largely I just enjoyed my new life.
I even used my new abundance to pay for a business coach, who helped me to increase Co-Creation Coaching’s profitability significantly. So, all things considered, life was good.
Old Desires Reassert Themselves
Until, that is, it wasn’t. Co-Creation Coaching was starting to succeed more than I could have imagined, and it was quickly getting to the point where I thought, perhaps I can do this full time.
Of course, that thought brought up my old desires, to make it on my own and be spiritual 100% of the time.
So, I went part time at my programming job, without really any change in level of income thanks to my coaching business’s new success.
But, I pretty quickly unplugged from the job and became totally disinterested. I did what I had to, but nothing more. This wasn’t my purpose after all. My true purpose was what I did when I wasn’t at work.
But I couldn’t live with that divide for long. Bolstered by how well going part time had worked out, three months later I quit my job altogether. I fully had confidence that I could make it on CCC alone, plus the small income Christine brings in at her part-time job at the church.
Things were great. I finished up with the business coach I had hired, and went off into the sunset to live happily ever after as a successful entrepreneur.
…For like two months.
Then, old doubts started to come up again. “What if this doesn’t work?” Old clients were finishing up, and new ones weren’t taking their place as quickly.
But in reality, there was very little reason to worry at first. I just worried, because it’s what I do. And I knew, knowing what I know about the LOA, that this would end badly, unless I curtailed this negative story I was telling.
But besides that, I was also kind of bored. My mind was unchallenged. I was looking into maybe starting a programming project of some kind just to keep me engaged, but nothing really presented itself.
My level of abundance was also diminishing. Each month I had a bit less in the bank than the month before. It was still a few thousand, but I saw the trend, and didn’t like it. And unfortunately, I still spent as though I had the income from the old job.
In March of this year, things came to a head. I either had to pull off a massive manifestation, or bills weren’t going to get paid.
But I wasn’t in any state to pull that off. My money vibration had crashed and burned.
So, not knowing what else to do, I crawled back to my prior job and begged them to take me back.
They accepted, at a significant pay cut. But hey, I could pay the bills, and had freedom now to work on my money vibration again.
It took me about two and a half months to fully recover vibrationally from the blow of failing to make it on my own. Plus, I was humiliated and ashamed that I was back where I started, and honestly had no idea what it meant about me.
I strived firstly to put 100% into the job. I knew they deserved better than what I had given them. And it worked out: I left them last month on good terms, and proud of my own work.
This time I knew that the uncomfortable thoughts that came up weren’t a sign to unplug and leave the security of the job. I knew it was just a sign to look at myself and what was going on within me.
But I didn’t know what it meant about me. I wanted to know, who am I? What am I supposed to do? Why does the Universe seem to be leading me back to that traditional 9-5 job I had so resisted?
I honestly felt like a failure. I see so many stories of coaches quitting their day job to make it as a business owner, and here I was headed in exactly the opposite direction. And worse, I was actually kind of enjoying it.
I wrestled repeatedly with the thought of shutting down Co-Creation Coaching altogether, because I just didn’t have the energy for it. But, that would mean that mundane life had won. That would mean giving up on my dream of being special, having a purpose, and helping others.
Don’t worry, I’m not shutting it down. There’s a bit more to describe about this journey.
The Next Level, Again
Over time, I began to embrace this new life. And eventually I realized, if I’m going to do this, I should probably do it right. I was getting massively underpaid as a programmer, probably less than half of the market value here in the US. But the company was from Europe, so that explained a lot of it.
So just as before, I started to manifest the next level. I started to apply to a few jobs. I hate applying to jobs, so I only applied to maybe 3 jobs in total.
And the rest is history, as I already described in last week’s post. One of those jobs I applied for responded, I went through the interviewing process, and just started two weeks ago. And yes, I love it, undeniably and without a doubt.
I love the job, and it’s a bit unsettling. I keep telling Christine, “I want to work here forever.” I love the environment, my coworkers are great, and the pay is awesome. I feel valued, and I’m frequently validated in the work I do, which is important to me. I even get to visit in a few weeks to meet everyone in person.
I feel a sense of belonging I never felt with the old job. And it’s shocking to me how much I crave that feeling, and didn’t even realize it was missing from my life.
The past month or so has been something out of a story book. I’ve been thinking a lot about my wonderful marriage, now of 7 years. Christine got me through the worst times—through the time of depression a few months ago when the project at my old job was being rather difficult. She supported me through my decision to get off of SSI and get a job, and then my decision to go part time, and then to quit and try to make it on my own. She supported me as these uncomfortable questions arose, and I had to face my own demons. And she supported me as I anxiously awaited to be accepted at this new job.
Then there’s the job. I’m making more than I’ve ever made in my life, several times over. I feel like I belong, and I actually love the work I do. I can see myself easily staying here for years, and growing as the company grows.
Then, we just got a new kitten, named Snuggles. She’s such a bundle of joy and cuddliness that it’s hard not to be happy seeing her explore her new environment.
For a short time those questions of who I am still arose, and I guess they still do from time to time. But, I’ve realized it doesn’t matter. I’ve realized that spirituality is in how you live life. It’s in the passion you bring to your job. It’s in the love you share with your partner. It’s in the adventures you have. It’s in the challenges you face. It’s in how you prepare for the future.
Who am I? I honestly have no idea. But perhaps it doesn’t matter. Perhaps that question doesn’t need an answer.
What’s my purpose? I have no idea. My attempts to figure it out have largely failed. My theory right now is that it’s just to live a successful life, and show others how to do the same. I’ve decided to keep Co-Creation Coaching, but I no longer feel a need to keep that dream alive. If it continues to grow, then great! And if it dies away, then that’s OK, too. I’ll do this as long as the Universe calls me to do so, and not a moment longer or shorter.
The difference is that now, I don’t need it to validate my own sense of purpose. I’m fulfilled in what I do regardless of what happens.
And so, my plan now is just to live life, and to enjoy all the wonderful manifestations flowing my way.
Is There Meaning to Life?
I mentioned above that I realized a few years ago that there’s no inherent point or purpose to life, but that my understanding had evolved since then.
Today, I would largely agree with that assessment 4 years ago. But, I would add, you create your own purpose. You’re in charge here. For years I believed the Universe would deliver my purpose into my lap, and that once I had discovered it, life would just suddenly work out.
But now, I realize that I must create my own purpose. I have to live life intentionally, deciding what I want, and going after it. There’s no more purpose than that, in my experience.
So all you have to do is to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Once you have an answer to that, go after it with everything you have, and you’ll achieve it. Then, do it again, and again, until your life looks more and more like the vision you hold within yourself.
That’s life. That’s purpose. And it’s wonderfully mundane, and wonderfully magical, all at the same time. There’s no divide, no dichotomy between the two. Just one life, mundane and spiritual and magical, if you allow it to be that for you.
So, what’s your vision? What will you create? Now, go out and create it!