When I was little, I used to tell my mother I want to become a cleaning lady and live with her when I grow up. Everyone used to laugh at me for it, and I bel Now I see the wisdom in that little girl that, despite her artistic tendencies, would prefer to live a simple life of simple work.
I lost that wise little girl along the way. I grew up being told I had to use my talents, learn to play the guitar, keep on drawing and painting, educate myself more and more musically and artistically and that it would make sense for me to work a creative job related to my so-called talents.
It took a long time for me to tell the world I didn’t actually enjoy all of these activities. That I actually never had been truly passionate about playing the guitar turned out to be a painful surprise to both myself and my parents once I finally gave in to the resistance I had been trying to fight for 10 years. It was a huge relief to me and an extraordinarily freeing experience retiring my guitar and accepting the fact that I might be passionate about many aspects of music, but not about playing that instrument.
I continued on with drawing, some photography, a bit of writing and singing. I decided to go and study graphic design, because it was the only academic degree I could imagine myself getting. Getting a degree was expected of me.
A month ago, I started my 40 day period of seva (selfless service that unites Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga) at a Kundalini yoga ashram in Portugal.
My tasks here entail primarily housework: Cleaning, cooking, ironing, taking care of laundry, making beds for guests and feeding the dogs and chickens.
It is the first “job” in which I do not count the hours.
The level of consciousness in this space is rather high, there is a lot of room for spiritual practice and people to exchange experiences with.
The simple work constitutes a healthy balance to my process along the way of practicing, joining teachings and reading books like “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass. It gives me time to digest and be introspective.
It gives me the opportunity to contribute to maintaining the ashram for visitors as well as for the community. Every little folding of a towel is filled up with devotion in the awareness that I am doing it for the purpose of holding the space for everyone involved. This is bigger than me.
Also, I am not working here for money. I am “working” for experience.
Nobody doubts my creativity or intellect while I am tamping the compost.
I don’t have to prove any of it.
I am free to choose the degree of simplicity in my life
I am free to spend my lifetime doing
as much of something or nothing
as suits me
I am free to choose peace instead of accomplishment
I am free
There she is again, that wise little girl.