Cinderella is a State of Mind
Posted on February 05 2017
We have all at some point thought that something or someone could save us from the present moment. We have all at some point believed that the future will make us happier, richer and more fulfilled. Life situations and circumstances change, who we are at our core does not.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
My friend currently works as a nanny. In the daytime, she’s usually covered in dirt from the playground, food from meal time and a whole lot of depression, stress and anxiety from the thoughts that haunt her about being stuck in a job that she would rather not be doing. In her dream life, she’s an actor, writer and producer. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if she’s multi-hyphenate talent or a nanny. What she does is not who she is. This is a fact that many of us forget. At parties for example, instead of people asking about who a person is, the first thing they ask about is what a person does. That is how much our identities are tied to our professions and occupations. It does makes sense that we would mistaken what we do for who we are, after all, most of us will spend an average of 90,360 hours working in our lifetime.
What I want to say to my friend is that who she is as a nanny is who she will be as an actor. I want to tell her that her insecurities won’t all of a sudden disappear if she becomes famous; that money and opportunities won’t fix a broken spirit. I want to tell her that the nanny job will end (because most jobs do) but so will acting / writing / producing…eventually. What will remain is who she is.
Cinderella: Why, it’s like a dream. A wonderful dream come true.
Fairy Godmother: Yes, my child, but like all dreams, well, I’m afraid this can’t last forever. You have only until midnight, and—
Cinderella: Midnight? Oh, thank you—
Fairy Godmother: Oh, now, just a minute. You must understand, my dear: On the stroke of twelve, the spell will be broken, and everything will be as it was before.
Cinderella: Oh, I understand, but… it’s more than I ever hoped for.
At some point we have all put power in the hands of a Fairy Godmother to transform our lives and in turn give us fulfillment. Our Fairy Godmother could come in the form a new job, a new home, a new love, fame and fortune. We believe that when we get what we want, we will be free, happy and the best version of ourselves. But, what happens when the clock strikes midnight? What happens when the euphoria wears off and we’re left to face what always remains –ourselves?
“Something in us knows, deep in the gut or the heart, perhaps at an unconscious level, that we are made of more than just the sum total of our thoughts, feelings and the life situation that we are living at the moment. We have a sense of being larger or more infinite than just our little "me.” And for most of us, the idea that we humans are vaster than just finite and personal egos feels relieving, even if we can’t quite access the knowing of it directly.“ Nancy Colier
Most human beings are imprisoned by the mind. The irony is that we don’t recognize that we’re living our fancy lives behind walls. We search for peace and happiness everywhere and in everything while trapped between the past and the future, never acknowledging what’s right in front of us –the present. It’s like being born in an asylum. All you’ve ever known is crazy so when you step outside and see what "normal” looks like, your mind finds it difficult to comprehend.
“When will I ever see that Am that I Am?” the poet Rumi once lamented. I can confidently say that who I am is a creator and a creative being. I am here to know myself through self expression. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just signs, guiding and leading and helping to course correct. I am not what I do although what I do can be an expression of who I am. What I do will change –often. Nothing lasts forever. I may choose to do something or choose to do nothing. I can be happy doing anything. Life has a rhythm, I choose to flow with it and never against it. My happy ending is not dependent on anything outside of me. It is here and it is now.