We all have to work. But some of us are lucky enough to find our life purpose in life. When this happens, our work becomes sacred.
To be alive is to work. Humans have always done it: hunting, gathering or farming to stay alive, building shelters, making tools, creating artworks, caring for children and the elderly. And not much has changed; most of us still work for a living though we may not till the soil or hunt.
The freedom and limitations of work
We have more freedom in our choice of work than ever before. We don’t need to follow our forebears down the mine or into the fields or factory. Women have access to a full range of jobs as do those of different classes. There are still limitations on our freedom to choose our work, though. Jobs aren’t always easy to come by and our choices are limited by financial considerations. Steady jobs mean a steady pay-packet and security. Our passions may be put to one side as we focus on survival.
Creating space for sacred work
We may have to stick to the day job: the office, the building site, shop or restaurant, but we can still make meaningful work in our lives and our work can help us to connect to the sacred, no matter what we do.
We can be artists and craftsmen in areas of our lives, smoothing wood with a plane, molding metal in the heat of the fire, marking fabric with chalk, cutting it and sewing with perfect, tiny stitches. Our work may be to create a home that is a sanctuary or a garden for bees and butterflies. Or perhaps our sacred work is to nurture children, write a play, create with clay or paint, wool or wood. We can absorb ourselves in the smell of the cake baking in the oven, the newly bathed child, the turpentine, ink, jasmine or beeswax polish, We can lose ourselves in a conversation with someone in need, the stretch of our muscles, dishing out food in the soup kitchen.
Then we can admire our achievement, satisfied that we have done our best. Proud that we have created something from our hands, heart, and imagination that was never there before. This is soul satisfying, sacred work.