Not as the World Gives….

….do I give unto you.

Our company has a \”women\’s initiative\” asking for 30% of level 2 management be female by some date. Here in the plant, that\’s impossible since there are so few women who work here to begin with. But because of said initiative, I was invited to a focus group this week. And after work last night, I chatted with one of the other ladies involved with the focus group. This discussion added to the fact I didn\’t get promoted earlier this year because I\’m currently the only who can do what I do at this plant. And add in that I have applied for 2 more job transfers to other locations which would also be promotions.

Add these occurrences and I realize that I am mentally provoked. My brain keeps looking at the male corporate hierarchy and wondering how on earth certain individuals make it to the top. Or fuming about guys who have failed but continued to be employed and highly paid but shuffled to lower jobs; where I, outstanding performer, don\’t get that money.

They say around Missouri, \”the only fair is in Sedalia.\”

When I go home in the evening however, I remember spirituality. Spirituality, whether it is a false reliance on platitudes or not, does bring relief from mental haranguing. Remembering spirit, I seem to remember other values beside corporate power and salary competitions. And I find myself filled with peace and gratitude.

Yesterday eve, I put my ear plugs in my ears and worked my Nordic Track for an hour. I closed my eyes and found the Bible speaking to me: Not as the world gives do I give unto you, Be still and know, I am the bread of life, Into thy hands I commend my spirit.

The workout goes much faster when I go blind and deaf than when I have the radio on NPR. Listening to NPR is like listening to commercials for the poor and downtrodden. I find myself somewhat angry at the subtle guilt and anger producing presentations. Blind and deaf, I retreat into my inner world and leave the outer world. Right or wrong, this retreat brings peace and mental quiet.

When I got kicked out of the monastery, I felt strongly that it was to be a monk in the world. Since then, my ideas about God have undergone huge de-construction. I continue to struggle with vocation versus career. I find myself completely unable to communicate with others about spiritual topics or practices. I find myself judged for drinking coffee or putting salt on food or having a cookie. I continue to abhor alcohol and meat-eating as spiritual (or actual) poisons and spiritual death. I don\’t try to explain but get criticized for not joining work groups when they go out for drinks and dinner.

Additionally: we are so conditioned to think money and power are the best if not only rewards. What we are trained to think of a rewarding is usually material in nature. Seeking rewards from higher notions of character is not that easy.

I cannot prove there is a God, or that my relationship to a higher consciousness is true. It could just be brain chemistry. But I return to the spiritual practice since I\’d otherwise have to kill myself. Selah!

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