Today I paid my tuition to begin a massage therapy program later this summer. As I wrote the check, I noted how fortunate I was that I could pay for such a program without much thought or effort. This ability is partly due to my skills and life choices, and partly due to the life I have been given regardless of my choices. These were my thoughts as I drove away from the building, and I felt gratitude for this ability.
My thoughts then meandered to another kind of good fortune – something I think people take for granted more often than I do my financial situation. Not only can I pay for my schooling, I have the freedom to go to school mid-life and radically change the nature of the time I spend working. This is not something I had the freedom to do, five years ago, and it is something I am profoundly grateful for.
About a year and a half ago, I remember coming home, dissatisfied with my job and my week at work. That was not a new feeling. I had felt that way for years in my prior job. In a moment of annoyance, I realized that, this time, there was nothing holding me to this job. I could quit. I could find another job easily (something else I tend to take for granted). And that realization was both exhilarating and terrifying. I didn’t know what to do with that freedom. Like a long-kept bird, my cage door was open and I just perched and looked out of that door.
Eventually, I made a move within my field, and dissatisfaction in my new choice led to a deeper examination of what was bothering me. The progeny of this examination is this blog, a proposed transition into massage therapy as a means to make a living, and hopefully a foray into introducing mindfulness in corporate settings to people who might not otherwise have exposure to such methods.
The path of mindfulness is one where we learn to take nothing for granted, to feel gratitude for everything. The energy we unleash in this process is immense and powerful, and picks us up and carries us in ways we, or at least I, certainly never expected. My future scares and excites me, but I am grateful to be able to ride this wave of change.