“Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour, a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.” – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Looking Outward To Others
Before working as a trainer, I worked as a barista and quickly learned how “easy” it is to make people feel cared for when you simply give them your time and attention. Now, this sounds obvious and simple enough, right? But what does attention really mean?
Take a moment to think about your favorite coffee shop or perhaps your favorite bar; does the server know your name and your regular order? How does that make you feel? How did the person making you feel that way carry themselves and what was their demeanor like? Somehow, these people always seem to be, at least more often than not, enjoying their work while they do it – this contagious happiness is always good to be around and keeps us coming back.
OR perhaps you’ve gone in expecting a welcoming experience and the staff barely takes a glance at you, treats you as though you’re a burden, and scowls away as they muddle through the rest of their tasks. I’ve been here too, so focused on myself and the inconveniences of my day that I failed to look outward at the community around me just waiting for me to set aside my petty annoyance to be interested in their joy too.
Regardless of which side of the counter you’re on, it’s apparent that the best of these places become something more than just a job and/or more than just a place to enjoy a beverage. These environments become COMMUNITY.
Through community these places transform us as individuals.
Community is where we can be ourselves, wholly.
Community is where we can grieve safely without having to put up a front.
Community is where we find encouragement to take the next step.
To explore our options.
To explore new versions of ourselves bolstered by the confidence of our companions.
To become more ourselves.
Work as an act of love
For money or not, any way we slice it we can’t escape work of some kind – be it chores, self maintenance, or even projects we pursue for happiness these all often involve some form of labor. In fact I’d argue that many of the great achievements we celebrate are in part celebrated because of the degree of work they require. So, when faced with work ahead – how should we approach it? Some work, albeit, sure feels tedious and menial, but perhaps there’s meditation in maintaining excellence of execution even with the most banal tasks. Perhaps we can commit to our own excellence to do the work when no one is looking. But the really special kinds of work are where we have an opportunity to serve others and to make an impact in their lives.
I am often asked, how do you work so much?
I love my community. The Unbreakable Strength Co. community is full of people I love and the best way for me to do that most of the time is through my work. Somedays I am tired, and some days I am perhaps more focused on my own struggles, but more often than not focusing on others makes those pains fade to the background.
Simply put, we live in a world that’s really good at making us feel like shit, like we’re powerless, unloveable, the wrong body fat, the wrong height, the wrong orientation, skin color, gender, or family structure. Wrong humans…don’t exist.
To see people’s relationships with their bodies change through strength is to know love for your neighbor.
To listen to someone’s difficult day, and know when maybe just listening is more important today is to know love for your neighbor.
To give others permission let go of diet culture is to love your neighbor.
In a world filled with so much tumult, how can you love your neighbors?
Until next time,