What do you do for a living?

musings Mar 11, 2018

Do you know what I hate? I hate my identity being tied to ‘what I do for a living.’ A feeling of utter indignation washes through my veins followed by a grinding sense of resistance when someone asks me, “What do you do for a living?” I’ve always felt that way. In fact it used to make me really angry when I would be at a social gathering with my son on my hip, and my two daughters clinging to my skirt and pretty much everyone I met asked me what I did for a living. Looking at each of my children and then looking back at them I wanted to say, “What the F… does it look like I do?” Isn’t it enough to be a mother or a wife? Isn't it enough to be a gardener or an animal lover. Isn’t it enough to be a forest bather or a shell collector? Instead I would offer up any number of fairly acceptable answers like, I’m an artist. Or I’m a zoologist, or a horse trainer, or small business owner.

I think humans have it all wrong. I think what we really want to know is “How do you make money?” And more subtly, what we really, really want to know is “HOW MUCH $ DO YOU MAKE?” We don't really care what a person does for a living, do we? We’ve been brain washed to put people into classes based on their supposed intelligence, wealth, and social status. In so doing, we either end up feeling superior or inferior. We quickly assess one career identity as better than another.
Is that really productive? Does this make us feel more or less connected to a person’s real identity, their energetic aura? Is it even relevant to how a person energetically contributes or take away from your time and space?

I’ve met really intellectual, educated millionaires and I’ve met poor, uneducated, simple folk and quite honestly what they do for a living (in the distorted way we ask the question) has nothing to do with if they are kind or mean; if they are generous or greedy; or even if they are interesting or boring. So why do we ask this question when we meet someone?

Why is a person’s way of making money—their career identity—the first and most important thing we need to know about a person? As soon as we answer, I’m a waitress, a lawyer, a gardener, a horse trainer, a carpenter, a cook, an artist, an entrepreuner, a plumber, a doctor, an immediate sorting, classifying, separating and categorizing follows. Unspoken assessments buzz under the surface of false smiles and an awkward pause follows as silent judgments are made. Oh, she’s only a waitress—she must not make very much money. Or, oh, she’s only a horse person—boring. Oh, he’s a doctor—he must make a lot of money. Or, oh, she’s a lawyer, she must be a real bully in court. Right? It’s so human to do so.

The act of placing judgment on a person’s career path is a low vibration of consciousness that doesn't have any value in the animal world. Horses and other animals don't care if you are a wealthy lawyer or if you are homeless. They relate to your energetic presence, your feelings and sensations. Is it possible to shift our perspective of our self value to a more natural, circumspect way of being? Is it even important? Some may say yes and some may say no. For me, I am going to spend the next few weeks I am going to explore this notion further. I invite you along.


I grow plants that I can eat, and herbs that keep my immune system strong and resilient. I plant flowers that imbue sweet aromatic healing fragrances as they blossom into miraculous colors that make me smile with joy. I grow more flowers for the hummingbirds and butterflies so they too will bring forward their magic. I walk the land and take in the rich aromas of the forest and the sea. I marvel in the water drops misting my face as I walk in the moist air of the morning. I watch the clouds as they shape shift sending my silent prayers in more water molecules to places near and far. I watch the raven steal my chicken eggs. I fly in the spiral with the red tail and ask the old doug fir how he's doing today. I giggle like a fairy child as I walk in the fern forest where all enchanted imaginations are possible.

What if we shift our perspective to, “What you do for a living is really just what you actually DO while you are living?” What keeps you alive? What makes you happy and whole? What integrates you into the world as in “How do you connect to the interconnectedness of the earth and all the things that contribute to your ability to live—to have food on your table, water to drink, a roof over your head? How do you thank the trees, the plants, the animals for sacrificing their life so that you can survive? What blessings and prayer do you give back? I invite you to explore new perspectives of how you place value on yourself and on others and look forward to your reflections.