Have you ever done something that you know probably isn't the best thing for you to do?
The reasons you do it are one, because you like it and the enjoyment outweighs the cost, or two, because you can't really imagine yourself doing anything other than doing this.
I bring this up because I see this often in some of the prospective coaching clients that I meet with.
Some tell me about how much they hate their work, or they really don't like their boss or the people that they're working with.
And yet, many continue to stay at their job because they have trouble imagining doing something else, or because the pay is good enough, so much so that they don't want to let that go.
In those particular conversations, I like to share what I call “The Hamburger Story.”
Years ago, a spiritual teacher and leader named Terry Cole-Whittaker shared how much she loved eating hamburgers.
And yet, she knew that hamburgers weren't the best thing for her body, meaning she knew the burgers didn’t agree with her digestive system and she didn't feel so good after eating them.
So she came up with this practice where, as she ate the hamburgers, she would use the power of her mind to transmute the properties of the hamburgers so that they would be more nutritious for her.
With each bite, she would speak her affirmations and declarations, proclaiming the hamburger was being transmuted and received nutritionally and healthily by her body.
Perfect digestion. Perfect assimilation. Perfect elimination.
Every time she ate a hamburger, she would engage in this ritual that required a lot of her energy and focused attention.
She loved her hamburgers and she wanted to do whatever she could to eat them without causing major disruptions in her body.
Until one day, she had an epiphany.
She had a light bulb moment where she realized she was exerting so much energy every time she ate a hamburger when, instead, she could eat other foods that were already more agreeable and nutritious for her body.
Right then and there, she made a decision to eat hamburgers no more.
(Please note that I'm bringing up the hamburger story to illustrate a point and not to diss hamburgers, which I absolutely love eating!)
I bring up the Hamburger Story because I see situations where clients are doing things that they know might not be for their highest and best.
As I mentioned earlier, the example I hear often is people continuing to do work that they absolutely hate.
A common response is to try to transmute those situations, to make lemonade out of lemons.
One of the common things people do is engage in stress management, like taking walks, meditating more, or getting out their frustrations at the gym during the evenings and weekends.
These activities help alleviate their stress so they can be more resilient in the workplace, to build up their "spiritual armor" when they enter the "minefield" they call work.
Another thing people do is focus on cultivating practices of patience and non-attachment, so they don’t get riled up easily at work by their bosses and co-workers.
Let me be clear. Stress management and cultivating patience are great practices.
But if people are doing these practices to avoid the underlying cause of their stress and worry, then they just might be mimicking the actions of Terry Cole-Whittaker.
They’re eating metaphorical hamburgers (for example, working in jobs they hate), knowing they’re not the best for them, but doing whatever they can to transmute the situation to make it more manageable and palatable.
However, Terry Cole-Whittaker eventually learned another path.
That pathway is to choose those things that are in greater alignment and ease with who you are.
With this story in mind, the questions that I have for you today are these:
Where in your life are you eating metaphorical hamburgers, meaning you’re engaging in things that may not be for your highest and best?
And where can you invite a more easeful way of living, and in a way that's in right alignment with who you are?
Simply ask yourself these questions and take stock.
The truth is, you really can experience more ease and grace in your life.
Life doesn’t always require an extraordinary amount of energy for simply living every day.
Ultimately, though, if you really, really, really want to eat that hamburger, by all means go ahead and do it.
You always have the power of choice available to you.
You get to choose.
And yet, my intention for you, as always, is that as you choose, choose with an expanded and loving awareness for what's possible for you, including your highest and best.
With that greater awareness, you get to see and discern whether the cost of what you're doing is actually worth it, or if a more easeful path is calling you forward.
Which path will you choose?
Abundant Blessings and Namaste.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about today's article. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
Joselito is a spiritual life coach helping people create a purposeful, spiritual path to career and financial freedom.
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