Chop Wood. Carry Water.

Chop Wood and Carry Water. This saying resonates with me. It is an old Zen koan. It is simple, yet profound. It reads, Before enlightenment, chop wood & carry water. After enlightenment, chop water and carry water.

Although it appears nothing has changed on the outside (doing), everything has changed on the inside (being). It has to do with your presence, awareness, perception, and mindset. (Barrowed from

For me, it is fundamentally about my relationship to my life and the work I do. How I earn a living. Most of us need to pay the bills. Most of need employment. I certainly do.

I have been self-employed for about 25 years. Until recently I had a functional medicine practice. My practice arose out of an epiphany I had a long time ago. I realized that I was more afraid of growing old and not doing what I wanted then I was of growing old and not having money. Prior to changing careers, I was in computer related sales. I did well. But it brought me no joy. My favorite saying was, “I love to hate my job”. I had a compelling need to earn a living that was in alignment with how I wanted to live my life. Computer sales was defiantly not it. Up until then I had no idea of what a new career even looked like. Making a major change in my life felt risky. A risk for my happiness. A risk I needed to take. Having said that, I am risk adverse. Making this level of career change felt like jumping off a cliff into the unknown. I also knew, that if I did not honor the gift of the epiphany, I would end up with some type of stress induced illness. My back was against the proverbial wall. Not quite sure as to how the details of all this would play out. I took a risk and jumped.

To my amazement, everything did work out. Not as I had imagined. Things unfolded in a way to support this decision, this new movement in my life. The intersection of timing, intention, grace, & my own courage was perfect. The synchronicities in my life could not have lined up more perfectly.

Fast forward to now. After 25 years of having my own practice, I was getting burned out. The joy was gone. Too much pushing. Too much achieving. Not much allowing. Too much of everything. It was becoming more difficult every day to face the mounting challenges of being a small business owner. It was feeling like it was again time to risk for my happiness. I just had enough. I found it challenging to sell my practice. I was planning to just close it. Out of nowhere, or almost nowhere I got an offer to purchase my practice. A perfect offer. The deal was done in 2 weeks. The “universe” was supporting my movement in life. It was a much needed validation about my need to lean into my life.  To explore what was next for me. I have been officially out of work since the end of July.

I have an opportunity to create the next part of life without any preconceived notions of obligation or what I am “supposed to do”. I feel unencumbered.  I don’t need to know what is next. At this point in my life, I need to move towards those things that I feel ignited by. I have been here before. The not knowing. The risk taking. Some fear. Some uncertainly. I am familiar with that space. Nothing is a given. Lots of phone calls. Lots of connecting with people. Applications to fill out. I know that out of that movement, the “next thing” will arise.  It always has. This “next opportunity” will reflect my intentions for myself. It will reflect where my heart lives. The universe can’t do anything else but reflect my intentions and movement in the world. Leaning into my life allows me to ignite my unique expression. Through that ignition my life is created. So, what is this blog really about. I have a need to chop wood and carry water. To earn a living. To pay bills. But I feel that maybe for the first time, I can do that without having to achieve anything. I can allow my life to unfold in way that is mutually created. Created by the illumination and grace of god igniting my unique expression and having that ignition being the crucible of what can be created.

At various times in my life I felt like I was “stuck” in a job. In retrospect, I found what was needed most was changing my perspective. Changing from “I love to hate my job”, to I am OK right now in the present moment. I have learned to except the discomfort my circumstances present. I have also learned that the greatest possibility for change exists right now in the present moment.


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