This post really hit home for me. Although I would love to be a full time spirit worker and artist, that’s currently not an option for me for financial reasons. (Although I haven’t given up on the idea of working towards it, especially since I may eventually need to go out on disability for health reasons.) I am a customer service representative at an herb company in my mundane work life, and not only are herbs (both herbal medicine and herbal magic) an area very connected with Odin (and a couple of my other gods too, such as Bestla and Idunna), but I am also a damn good customer service rep, and learning to become so has been an ongoing lesson in graciousness of which the Queens thoroughly approve. (It doesn’t hurt, either, that my company stands for organic agriculture, zero-waste, supporting local ecological efforts, and other principles I can be proud to be involved with.)

I will add: as I think Elizabeth commented to the post on Thista’s blog, it is a very worthwhile exercise to find the sacred in mundane actions that we go through everyday. Even though I would certainly rather be doing many other things besides figuring out what went wrong with people’s orders and getting it fixed, I am helping people in doing so, and at the same time acquiring some skills (such as tact, diplomacy, practical problem-solving, handling difficult people gracefully, etc.) that I can usefully carry over to my Work.

Gods and Mirrors

Please forgive me if this post is a bit more terse than usual. I am sick, and don’t especially feel like writing, but this subject will wait no longer.

Recently I have seen, heard, or been a part of a number of conversations that involve work – not the spiritual Work the Gods assign us, but mundane work, the jobs we do to pay the rent and put food on the table. Some of those conversations have been inspiring and enlightening. Too many, however, have been simply frustrating.

It seems to me that many people look at spiritworkers, clergy people, shamans, etc. as some how more devoted, or following a more comprehensive or challenging path, if they don’t have a mundane job. On the surface, there seems to be some very simple logic at work here. If you do your spiritual work all the time, you’re doing it more often…

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4 thoughts on “

  1. I enjoyed this and the re-blogged post very much. I am in customer service myself, for a large multinational company that takes pride in honoring its heritage (it is family-owned), taking care of the environment as much as you can as a consumer goods manufacturer, by cleaning every single drop of water they use in the process for chemicals, and helping out the local environment and being respectful of culture wherever they are present.

    Sometimes doing what I do makes me want to scream. And recently more than usual. But I remind myself that I have gained a lot of self-confidence when I started, for example by telling people not to shout at me and to talk to them respectfully even if they are mean. I learn to navigate a lot of different social settings, how to inspire confidence, how to problem-solve and how not to procrastinate (because it’ll come right back and bite you in the ass).
    Also, doing what I do will give me the opportunity to do more education on the side, as it is a decently paying job that does not require a lot of over-time or massive amounts of energy spent while at work, now that I am better trained.

    I would like to be able to integrate my spiritual path more into my career in the future, but one commenter on the other post really struck me: “We cant separate ourselves from the mundane world, they need us just as much as anyone else.” — People who are unhappy, angry, confused, mellow, shy, obstinate, mean and arrogant all need to talk to someone who will listen and reply in a respectful manner, who can advise and direct them to the right place, even if it’s just figuring out how to deal with a broken product. That is also a part of serving.

  2. As a CS rep myself, (Who went to massage school, and would much rather be massaging, but hey, gotta get those continuing education credits paid for *somehow*, and boy, isn’t insurance nice?) its helpful to hear I’m not the only one. Plus, I find a sense of peace in my job; I get insurance for my husband and myself, I have a steady paycheck to keep that cats in kibble, and flexible hours to go do what I want to do outside of here. Plus, I have spent quite a bit of time struggling to feel like an ‘adult’ and this job gives me a sense of incredible competency that helps me.

    • Yes, kibble is important! (Health insurance, too!) On the one hand, I would rather be doing almost anything else with my time (and sometimes I can literally sense the hours of my life ticking away as I toil away at making someone else richer); on the other hand, there are a lot worse jobs I could have, realistically.

      • Oh yeah, that ticking away of time that could be better used is universal I work for a big box company, so I totally get that! I’m working on getting relicensed in my state so I can perhaps move down to part time in the future and spend more time getting my hands on people – but thats a long way off. I try to look at it as time I need to spend so I can be getting on with my other work, which helps make it less annoying to be here. Plus…you never know who your helping where you are. I spent years in jobs I hated, but where I got to touch lives a little bit and make people a little happier, which made it worth it for me. 🙂

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