Warning: adult language ahead.
For the first time in my 37 years on this planet, I was fired from a job.
Sure, I’ve been fired from relationships and I’ve done my share of firing: lovers, friends, jobs, cities (countries even) and I have days where I’d like to fire myself. But being let go, as I’m discovering from this influx of emotions over the past hour or so since it happened, is unlike any experience I’ve had.
My ego is getting a good kick in the ass and this is a perfect opportunity to handle my hurt and disappointment in a very mature and responsible yogic-manner. Without further ado, here are 10 Things to Do When You Get Fired for the First Time:
1. Set a timer for 15 minutes or 20 minutes or however long feels like the right time for you and just let the tears flow. Make it a messy, 50-tissue cry, where your face is literally running and you can’t catch your breath. The more tears the better—the more snot the better—in fact, if you so choose, you can actually crawl into your bathtub and let the tears fill up the tub around you (this will help prepare you for number nine, as well as conserve water).
2. During the cry time, feel as rotten as you want. Call yourself a loser, tell yourself you’re not good enough and that you don’t fit anywhere and that nobody is ever going to ‘get’ you. Wonder, loudly, how you’re going to pay your bills and how you’re going to do all the things you see yourself doing in your heart of hearts. By this point, you will have convinced yourself that you are the worst yoga teacher or (insert profession here) that ever was and that you might as well just pack up your mat and give up.
3. Take a deep breath. Take another one. Repeat.
4. Put on your coat, leash your dog and walk over to the liquor store. Or favorite ice cream shop. Or flower shop. Or book store. Or whatever. The point is, and you’ll realize this as you’re walking, explaining it all to your dog, as he’s a great listener, is that really, yes, you’ve just lost a few key things…but you’ve also been set free. You have been set free and it’s time to celebrate. Pop in to pick up a bottle of bubbly (alcoholic or not), thank the kind police officer who has stepped outside to watch your dog and then feel your heart start to soften and open: there are kind people on the planet…they do still exist.
5. This feeling of freedom will start to make your body feel light, so on the walk back to your warm home and purring cats, you can run and leap with your dog: you are now seriously starting to realize something—and this perhaps is the most important thing of all.
6. You are a fucking unicorn. You are a fucking unicorn and all this time, you have been trying to be a horse. You very carefully hid your horn every time you stepped in the room, pretending that you were more horselike and able to do horse-like things but what you were really doing was repressing the best parts of you. It’s simple: unicorns are unicorns and horses are horses. One can’t be like the other—it just doesn’t work that way. When you hide who you are, truly, madly, deeply, at the core of your being and try to fit into some other idea of you, you start to dull; you shine less. Your horn starts to lose it’s power because it’s not being infused with everything it needs to stay alive and before you know it, your heart is crumpling in your hands.
7. With this epiphany taking place, put on some music that helps you roar (tonight Feist/Metals for me), sit down and write. Or draw. Or paint. Or photograph. Or sing. Find a way to express yourself that is your true form of expression. And if you’re still not sure what that is, then keep trying. Try everything once and a thousand times, until you find it. Your horn has been unveiled and you have been revealed as yourself; your frequency will start to increase and your horn will start to shimmer and glow.
8. Don’t forget about the bubbly that you put in the fridge. Pause a moment, go and get it and pour yourself a glass. Sit down in front of your altar (or place that grounds you and space that holds you), light some candles and sit. Sit and bask in the magic of all that you are and all that you will be. This was unexpected and a shock…but not, really. You’ve known all along that you are meant for other things—that sometimes, as we search for our voice, as we dive deep to locate our groove, we have to pretend that we’re horses, or elephants, or zebras. We try on all sorts of masks and try to fit ourselves in where we simply don’t belong. Sit and sip and be still.
9. Turn off all of your electronics and fill the bathtub the rest of the way; your tears are a good base but you’ll need some epsom salts and even some bubbles if you have them (it’s a bubble kind of night) as the bath continues to run. Light candles. Strip down, get into the tub and soak. Stay there for as long as it takes…you’ll know when it’s time to get out. Let everything be present with you; hold your disappointment and glee, coo to your heartache and newly found freedom, stroke worry and optimism about what happens next, with your loving heart. When your finger tips start to prune, it’s probably time for the last step.
10. Get into bed, pull a card from your favorite tarot deck, set it beside your bed to welcome it into your dreams. Turn out the light and snuggle up with your best friend, furry snoring beast that he is, find comfort in his warmth. And just before you drift off to sleep, give thanks for the opportunity to parade around as a horse, settling into the knowing that you are now free to be the fucking unicorn that you are and that starting tomorrow, your very own face is the only one that you will wear.
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