In the time of Covid, there’s been a lot of discussion about what “work” actually is. Many men (mostly men, anyway), who weren’t able to acknowledge care work and domestic work before the plague, are floored at how much work it takes to just “be”: to be clean, fed, clothed, tended to, cared for, schooled, etc. Especially for cishet families that are stuck at home, many of the men have been getting a felt experience of the ridiculous amount of (usually unpaid) work that women do to keep the world turning. And many, if not most of them, are in shock.
This points to systemic inequities. The fact that some work is valued more than other work is not news and is not even interesting. Much work of questionable real and practical value and worth (say, managing financial investments) is paid exponentially better than actual work of real and practical value and worth (say, housekeeping). It just so happens that the better paid work that I’m not sure I see how it contributes to the betterment of humanity tends to be in fields that are male dominated, and the less paid work…you guessed it.
So imagine how much more devalued “inner work” is. I am defining inner work loosely here, as any and all work that leads you to be becoming a kinder person, a more generous and compassionate human being, a better comrade to the human race. This is the hardest work there is. It takes the most courage. It feels like the slowest job on the planet. It can be lonely and painful at times. It is not only unpaid, but it usually is quite expensive: it requires time, energy, and money for therapy, workshops, self-help books, classes, the list goes on. Because the most critical work of aligning ourselves with our purpose, of healing our hurts and forgiving each other, and of becoming the people that we need to be to love ourselves and one another is not work that most of us know how to do.
Which explains the state of the world.
When we don’t know how to sit still, when we don’t know how to connect to our clearest essence, when we don’t know how to listen to our intuition, when we don’t know how to reveal to ourselves our deepest truths, when we don’t know even where to begin with all of this – we’re bound to make a mess. When we don’t have the basic tools to do the most basic work, we stay confused, we become separate from our souls, we disconnect from each other, and we perpetuate a system that doesn’t support us doing our inner work.
We continue to zombie out in front of screens, we live in fear of staying or going broke, we eat and drink and shop and fuck our feelings away instead of staying with them until they pass, as they inevitably always do. And the outcome of this is an economic system that perpetuates our inability to have a full human experience, and a personal experience that just fucking hurts.
So I’m sharing with you that yesterday, I did a simple banishing ritual that left me feeling shiny and new. I was carrying around fear that was really serving no purpose, and I decided to do what I know works to get rid of it (if you want the detailed version, email me). And while I don’t really expect to get paid for doing my own inner work, I am damn ready for us to acknowledge that it IS, in fact, work. And this sacred work doesn’t only make my life better, it benefits us all. When I take care of the crap that is weighing me down and will, invariably, come out sideways either to innocent victims or my partner or family or clients, I ensure I am that one less lunatic roaming the interwebs (it used to be the streets, and I hope this is the case again soon – but for now, the interwebs) spreading shit that the world doesn’t need. And hopefully, even modeling ways of being that will deliver the new world we are all ready for these days.
Don’t be ashamed to take credit for your hard work, even if the patriarchal, misogynistic, white supremacist, neoliberal capitalist system we are in wants to erase you. Fuck it, I see you.