This frog trying to fly at last weeks’ Yoga Rocks the Park reminded me of a special encounter I once had. Fifteen years ago I went through a transition career-wise, choosing to give up the business I owned for an opportunity to get into the growing IT industry. This involved going back to school to get retrained, passing numerous computer industry certification exams and the dreaded job hunt to land a job in my newly chosen vocation. The whole process was fraught with uncertainty. Day after day, week after week resumes went out – rejection letters were all I found waiting in the mailbox; if I heard anything back at all. The nagging voice of self-doubt started to creep in. Was I doing the right thing? Am I too old to change careers? Maybe I should give up my dream of getting into this field and keep doing what I’m doing for a living, even though deep inside I'm not happy any longer.
After many months of searching, I finally landed a job to maintain the computer systems at one of the largest high schools in Kansas City. Yeah! But to say I was nervous those first days would be an understatement. This was my first ‘real world’ experience touching very sophisticated and important equipment that allowed many people to do their jobs successfully. Armed with just the classroom training I had up to this point, I felt pretty uncertain about my ability to actually do the job out in the field. Fortunately my new employer partnered me up with a great guy named Tony who’d been providing support at the school for the previous two years and knew the layout front and back. All the staff, teachers and many of the students really loved this guy. He was outgoing, funny, knowledgeable and quick to get things back to working condition when called in to help.
Soon, the two weeks of training came to a close and the following Monday I was walking into this gigantic building full of technology expected to keep it all up and running. I was so unsure of myself and abilities going in to work that morning! I kept thinking, ‘How am I going to do this job like Tony does it!? I’m not nearly as qualified as him, don’t tell jokes like he can, don’t have the extroverted nature he does, what am I going to do if a real crisis strikes!?’ I couldn’t quite picture how I was going to BE in order to do this job successfully. So I just took a pause out there in the parking lot on my way in and asked for guidance. I thought a quick silent ask for help might do some good. In that precise moment I heard Divine Spirit, God, whatever you want to call it, communicate back so clear it actually startled me. I remember looking behind me thinking someone had just whispered something in my ear. Such a strong sense of understanding came over me in that moment based around this message: ‘Tim, just be yourself. You don’t have to do the job like Tony does it. Do it like you know you can and you’ll be just fine.’ The message was so simple, yet so comforting. I knew for certain in that moment I’d be okay and that nothing was going to happen that would so overwhelm me I’d launch complete catastrophe on the school district. No need to try and be something I’m not – the world just needs my unique contribution. It's good to be reminded of that, because sometimes I forget and actually try very hard to be what I am not; which can get to feeling pretty uncomfortable, like that frog must feel with a pole stuck up its butt all day.