Have I really only come this far?!?

In times of transition, it’s only natural for me to think about where I have gone and how far I have come. I left Minnesota in 2007 with a Masters Degree and a school bus driving job. After living in Bend, what have I done? A temporary intern at a church, a ranch hand, an assistant to ginger brew and chocolate making companies, a sweets baker at Great Harvest, a substitute teacher, community director and co-owner of a yoga studio, a personal assistant to an acupuncturist, and now a school bus driver again.  Hmmm… so the career path doesn’t look that glamorous.

And what else? I’ve met my soul mate and best friend, Kat, gotten married, have the most perfect son named after two great Celtic heroes, Brendan Arthur, made some wonderful friends, did my Men’s Rites of Passage, served on the founding board of a global men’s organization, got an amazing new car (much better than the minivan), am less in debt that 6 years ago, got more education and certified as a Spiritual Director, and am starting my career in hospital chaplaincy.

It is all about what we choose to look at. I use the following model for development in my personal life and with almost all my directees:

plotkin's wheel In his book, Nature and the Human Soul, Plotkin writes about our survival dance and our sacred dance. All of us have both. The survival dance is the work and tasks that pay the bills. We have to start here. Most of the time we go to college and come out with a survival dance. Our sacred dance is the work that is written on our souls to do. We have to discover this through a lot of trial and error and a lot of self discovery. We usually don’t quite get it till stage 5 (above) and we don’t have it mastered till stage 7. This takes a long time.

Often, even after we have a sense of what our sacred dance is in life, we have to dance our survival dance as we put our soul’s calling to work. We don’t often get paid for our sacred dance in the beginning. As we keep moving down this path, however, our sacred dance and survival dance become one. See, God/the universe/the divine has written it on our souls that this is what we are to do in this life. The world is not right until we dance our sacred dance and it will support us as we live it in its fullness.

So to make a lot of words much less, as I look at the last few years (and as I sit with others on their journeys). it becomes so important to look at the bigger picture. What dance am I here to dance? and am I dancing it… even a little? Supplementary income and work is usually just fine, when we can answer that second question in the affirmative.

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2 thoughts on “Have I really only come this far?!?”

  1. Thanks Nate for the reflection. As one very familiar with the “dance of the two dances” you speak of I am encouraged to take the bigger view (again). At times it is frustrating when my survival dance demands so much time and threatens time allotted for my sacred work. But the sacred work does occur and does enrich my life and the lives of others as it should. Grace & Peace for your transition.
    Steve – Australia

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