Last week I started taking notice of some of the things happening around me at the gym. It began when I was running lazy suicides on the basketball court, complaining to myself about how tired I was and how much my back was hurting. All the while, there was a 60+ year old man wearing a Polo shirt tucked into Dockers shorts, matched by soft loafers on the other end of the court. He was draining 15 ft jump shots one after another, without a care in the world. I was struck by the level of commitment he must have kept up throughout his life in order to be able to continue to physically exert himself and do something he loves. There’s also a young woman who is in the swimming pool every day who just swims lap after lap after lap. She’s swimming when I arrive to the pool and goes non-stop until I leave. But as I exit the gym, after sitting in the sauna, drying off, and changing, I walk past the window of the pool and she’s STILL DOING LAPS. It is amazing to me. Furthermore, I’ve seen men twist their bodies in unimaginable ways and women pumping more iron than I will ever think of lifting.
I began to think about what it must take for these people to get where they are and the answer is simple: WORK.
After thinking more on this subject my awareness was brought to the well known idiom “You reap what you Sow.” Many people are unaware that these wise words, oft-spoken, are taken from a bible scripture: Galatians 6:7-8. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Destruction versus Eternal Life aside, I can understand this scripture in a deeper sense by recognizing everything I reap cannot be separated from everything I have sown. The reaping and the sowing are one in the same. Or put otherwise, WORK is the same as RESULTS. There is not one without the other. If you work, you will have results and if you have results, then there must have been work. They are two sides of the same coin.
Taken further, if I want results then I must also want the work. It is deceitful to say “I really want to be a doctor,” and also say “I do not like going to class.” Or more personally, “I want to experience the divine within me” and also say “I do not like meditating.”
If the desire is true, if it is buried inside of your DNA and cannot be extricated, then you will also have the same desire for the work you put into reaching your goal. Therefore if you find yourself just going through the motions or just getting by or “doing what I got to do,” then you’re probably not living your passion. And passion equals Purpose.
This is the perfection of Life and an example of how living is so much easier than we allow it to be. The things we are here to do, we will have a passion for doing. And those things that are not ours, the religions and occupations and belief systems that are given to us by our families and our cultures; or any of the emotional games our Ego plays to protect the illusion of “I.” Those things will take effort and will be done with greater exertion.
And maybe I’ve found another answer to that nagging question: “How Am I Not Myself.” I’m thinking I’m not mySelf when I’m engaged in things that I do not feel passionate about. I’m not myself when I’m forcing the interaction, forcing the situation, or forcing the feeling. I’m not myself when I arrive somewhere and am immediately wishing to be elsewhere. I am not myself when I’m working hard and not loving the work.
This understanding is immensely helpful for those of us who are seeking to grow outside of standard comfort zones. Knowing that work and results are one in the same thing, it is easier for me to sit in meditation because I am aware that the results of my work are inherent within the action itself. The experience of the Divine is already there; peace and love are sitting there with me as I develop my awareness of them. The results are happening as I work for them, which is true for all of my endeavors including working out. The conditioning and strength I desire from running the suicides is already present while I run. Therefore I must want to run them, I must love to run them. And the same goes for all the work that is required to reach all the goals my soul desires.
I’m still figuring this one out but it’s still all Love.