wednesday wisdom: rules of living #7

i know. it’s thursday. but, it’s my blog, and i can do wednesday wisdom on thursday if i want. actually, i truly apologize for not getting it done yesterday. it’s been driving me crazy all day long today, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. i even had lina pull the rule for this week out of my little cup, but i still didn’t get it done. i’ve been thinking about it, though. a lot. it’s pretty deep and intense, what the dalai lama has to say to us this week.

in case you don’t know, or have forgotten, on wednesdays (or thursdays, in some rare cases), i am doing a series on the dalai lama’s 18 rules of living. so far, we’ve had six different rules over the past six weeks. today is the seventh. though, remember, i am not doing them in the order that the dalai lama wrote them. instead, to keep us all guessing, i’ve printed them out on little strips of paper and put them i a cup, where they remain until every wednesday morning when my love chooses one. and that’s the one i write about.

so, here we go… this week’s rule of living is:

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

what’s that they say? “the only thing that we can rely on is the fact that everything changes”… right? so, we might as well open our arms to change, because it’s gonna come. no matter what. i suppose it’s something we can’t control in some ways. well, some changes we can’t control, and some changes we create.

i think i’m better with the ones that are uncontrollable actually. does that make me weird?  i’m not really one who gets down and depressed, and then loses all hope that life will ever be ok again. actually, it’s in those uncontrollable changes that i trust the universe. i trust that life will be ok. i trust that i will be ok. and that all things will work for the good in the end. it may be tough, really, super duper tough. but, i just know in my soul that life moves on – and that the changes always end up taking me to a place i’d never imagined – or dreamed – or sometimes wanted. still, i become a better person because of them.

but, those changes that we control – those are the changes that cause me heartache and worry and stress. when i have it within my power to change something in my life (and we all have that power within us every day), then the responsibility falls on me to make a change. and that’s tough. the uncontrollable ones just happen and all i have to do is react. the ones that i make happen, i have to make happen. know what i mean?

anytime we decide that we want something, it’s up to us to either make it happen or not. we have to decide to change and then take action. it won’t just happen on it’s own. and it’s that responsibility which i have a hard time with. but, i have no idea why.

perhaps i don’t trust myself. or perhaps i am afraid to follow what my gut (my values, as the dalai lama puts it) is telling me because it’s telling me something that’s scary. and then, making a scary change becomes something i avoid as long as possible. it’s hard to honestly identify a change that needs to be made, tap into that strength within, and then make it happen. it’s so hard.

you know, it’s come to that time in my life where i know that i need (and want) to get a more stable job to supplement my writing for the newspaper (which is still going very, very well!). i want to have more to do. i want to be smart and responsible and have the discipline that a daily, regular job gives me. i thrive when i have a routine – freelance work is not the absolute most productive way for me to work, though it is good for my independent soul.

so, i looked online for some jobs and ran across a teaching job at a therapeutic boarding school for girls. these are girls who have behavioral, social, and mental health problems which make it difficult for them to succeed in public schools. so, they move to this amazing space with horses and log cabins and pastures and beauty way up in the mountains in order to get some peace and get treatment – through therapy and academics.

long story short, i was invited for an interview and a visit today – and it was amazing! it sounds as if it would be perfect for me, if i am going back to teaching. i just love the non-traditional setting, and the idea of working with these girls. plus, the whole atmosphere was very organic, alternative, and laid-back, yet structured. hard to explain. the staff and faculty all seem to be friendly, and your “typical” asheville people – individuals, progressive, environmentally and globally aware, outdoorsy, and so on.


this change is a choice that i will have to make in the near future. if i am offered the position, then it is time for me to sacrifice some things and work some things out: mostly, my freedom, in a sense – back to good old usa vacations = not very much. so, i would have a completely different schedule than i do now, but one that is quite good at the same time. plus i’d have fridays off, so three-day weekend… hello!

in any case, the dalai lama’s advice of embracing change, but not losing one’s values seems perfectly timed for me. the more that i think about it, and after visiting today, i know that it is time to change my life somewhat. and i feel very, very good about that. my gut tells me that now is the time – and that this just might be the place.

is it still difficult for me? yes. i am not giving up writing, though. there is something deep within me that lets me know that this job (should i get it) just might be the thing to inspire me even more. it may be fuel for my fire. but, more than anything else, it is an opportunity for me to begin to give back.


the past few years have been all about me – in some ways. receiving and soaking up. at this point in my life, i have learned how to be true to myself, how to always work to be authentically me. now, i want to give back without losing myself. i want to share the joy of discovering who you are and learning to embrace who you are with girls who have faced all different kinds of challenges; so that they, too, can find the strength and joy of feeling empowered and loved – by themselves and by others.

difficult and scary as it may be, i am recognizing my need for change. i am embracing it. and i am acting upon it, knowing from my soul, that all will be well. and that whatever changes i face now, will simply be another step in this journey of life, teaching me and transforming me and helping me to become a better me.

namaste. xx

0 thoughts on “wednesday wisdom: rules of living #7

  1. Beautiful Liz. Just what I needed to read right now as it feels like things are changing and I don’t have any control over it. The job sounds fantastic I hope you get it. What a wonderful opportunity. All the best, Dayna xx

    1. My dear Dayna, I have been keeping you and your family in my thoughts lately. I’m so glad this post spoke to you. Wishing you peace and balance in the midst of change. xx (p.s. thanks for your well wishes!)

  2. The great thing about the 14th dalai lama’s writing (including these rules) is his deceptive simplicity.
    It sounds as if you have something to share with these kids.

    1. Everything about his writings is complicatedly simple, isn’t it? And that’s the beauty. Thank you for reading!

  3. Fingers crossed, then the decision is yours to take /make! Love the quote and rule as ever, so true!

    1. Holly, I’ve just bought a book that I am finding completely interesting and I think you would too. It falls somewhere between atheism, Buddhism, and the Jewish/Christian/Muslim God ! “There is no God (and he is always with you)” by Brad Warner, a Zen Buddhist monk. Get it! Read it! I wanna know what you think!

      1. SOrry for delayed reply – I have noted this and will look to get it on my knidle (when i’m next on wifi). Looks interesting to me though! THanks 😉

  4. When we allow things to happen, we become open to life. We are able to connect with everything and everyone. We discover the joy that was always within us but was covered up by our noise-making mind. Namaste.

  5. What an amazing school and place! Taking the leap into new changes like that can be so hard, but if it’s right for you, it will be more than worth it. I totally get what you mean about having much more trouble with the self-initiated changes than the ones that just happen. But we should be taking steps in our lives toward our goals, rather than just hoping life will take us there without effort.

  6. I am reading backwards from today’s post and just got here. I have experienced a lot of those same feelings in my lifetime as well, enjoying time off between jobs with moves, 1.5 years in Sweden unemployed and able to do what I wanted with my time, then a job in a school district with summers off, and now back to the 8-4:30 “grind”. Many of my colleagues have worked there for years and thus have almost as much vacation as the Swedes 🙂 and I am starting back at the basic level. But my job is very rewarding in terms of using my natural gifts and having the opportunity to help make a difference in peoples’ lives. I have discerned I really don’t have much wanderlust in my soul, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I would love to participate in but can’t because I have limited time off. But when I think about people who live on the margins (like many of my clients), or those who have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, I realize how very blessed I am. I have probably had as much time off over my lifetime as my coworkers are getting now, so it is really hard to be too upset about starting on the bottom rung now. (Remember that parable about the people working for a full day getting paid their just wage, and how they are not to begrudge those who work less if they are reimbursed for a full day’s work!)

    Your teaching opportunity sounds like it would be a great fit. I hope that if that is right, your potential employer contacts you soon with some good news. Job searches are very emotionally draining, but it sounds like you have the luxury of looking at things that interest you rather than needing to apply for jobs just to meet your basic needs. Blessings to you as you seek to give back!

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.