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How to Receive 2013-Apr-06 at 13:33 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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I’ve had a particularly blessed couple of weeks. Starting with finding out that I was about to be laid off, to actually getting laid off, to writing some fake news (and I’d love to know what you think of it), to following what feels right, it’s been an amazing period in my life.

And now I get to tell you that the transition is done… in these two weeks I’ve landed a great new job, where I get to contribute to an organization that I’m immensely proud to be associated with (and I’ll not say which given the… sensitive nature of some of the posts I write) (including this one). I even get to do it with a small consulting shop filled with great people.

I’m so grateful for all of it.

I remembered today that back in my atheist days I would have attributed this entire experience to meaningless random luck. Or to superior talent, intellect and/or experience. I mean, if I moved that quickly from getting dumped at one place, to landing at a new awesome place, I just would have figured that it made “sense” somehow.

In fact, I know this, because it happened to me when I was 25 and atheist/existentialist. I got fired at one job, and a week later, I had a job at one of the world’s great art museums. (I got to walk around the place on Mondays when it was closed to visitors. It was awesome, by the way.) And I just figured, it was all just billiard balls bouncing off one another, and somehow I ended up at the moment where I could interview for that position, and then I got it, and that was that.

When I remembered that atheist’s view, and I felt into it – in other words, when I felt what the body feels like when I hold that perspective – I realized that I could stop and compare it to how my body has felt during the last two weeks. I mean, I know that the atheist’s story is limited, but how much of it am I still subtly holding on to?

There was still some resonance between the two feelings. There were still ways that I was holding on to the feeling of separation as I received my experience.

So I took a good look at what perspective I’m taking on what’s been going on.

And I can’t help but notice that there’s a little bit of the story about “I’m really good at this” and “Thank God this came along at just this time” and whatever else that comes from some story that there’s more than One thing happening.

So I’m going to upgrade those thoughts. I’m going to fill the places that those thoughts are hiding out with “I’m so being taken care of right now” and with “The vibration of peace attracts peace” and with “Everything that’s arising is arising to help free me up”.

Because, let’s be honest, if you look at the ride I’ve just been on, and don’t think it’s magical and guided, then you still think you’re in control of something. And it’s more than high time that we give that up for good. That whole perspective has had its day.

Here’s what I know: I’m not in control of any of it. I’m just watching it unfold with awe, with gratefulness, with bewilderment (my favorite flavor of “beginner’s mind”), and with as much grace as I can muster. It all seems like I was pointed in one direction, and then Life intervened, grabbed me by the back of my shirt, picked me up, and pointed me in another direction and said, “Now… go here.”

My job is not to control it. My job is to receive it and honor it and experience it fully, and with as little resistance as possible. It’s all magical, it all arises on its own, with no prompting and no effort from me. It’s a lovely hologram, and my soul wanted to be here to experience it and to contribute to it.

By receiving my experience as guided, and receiving it as meant to help me step into Freedom, I stop seeing it as something that I’m doing or that I’m controlling. And then I’m free to play in it, to feel into my resonance and use that to guide my way. All I’m really doing is receiving myself, my Higher self, into the body. I’m feeling the information that my Higher self is giving to me about how to navigate, and I’m honoring it.

No thought is required. No decisions need to be made. Everything is shown.

So that’s how I’m receiving my experience lately. It’s all just magical, isn’t it?

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Following the Yes 2013-Mar-25 at 15:36 PDT

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It’s amazing how smoothly things work when you stay in the moment and trust your guidance.

Since Wednesday morning, when I was laid off, I’ve had a few interviews. Thursday I had an interview with a couple of people at a consulting/placement shop. The whole thing just didn’t feel right. Although I loved the view of Lake Union from their office, the vibe of the whole thing just wasn’t quite right, and the technical interview I had didn’t go well. I have very different experiences than the guy who interviewed me, and we didn’t see eye-to-eye on the industry, on my abilities or on how I should focus in my job search.

When I left, I felt the same way you feel whenever an interview doesn’t go well… just not good. Bottom line: it felt like a “no”. My heart and my gut just said “no” about the whole situation, and about the people involved. Not because they’re not nice people or good at what they do – there’s no reason for me to think any of that – but just because it’s not a match for me. Nothing personal in any of that, and no reason to take any of it personally.

Later Thursday afternoon, I spoke to a talent acquisition person at another company. The experience could not have been more different. It went smoothly, we had a great conversation, and we left it at seeing when there would be time to chat with some principals there.

By Friday afternoon I was in an office downtown in an interview that felt more like a conversation. The role they have is somewhere that I’d be thrilled to work and contribute, somewhere I’d already thought about. The whole thing just felt right. My heart and my gut both said “yes”.

Monday afternoon I had a follow-up interview with someone else at the firm. We talked about me, about the role, about consulting. Again, an interview that felt more like a conversation. Again, a big “yes”.

There’s a little more to the process before it’s done, but, there you go. I’m feeling so grateful and taken care of.

Just let go of the past, don’t take the feelings of “no” personally, and wait for the “yes”. The “yes” is coming, if you’re listening inside for it. No thought is required to feel it. This era in history is about all of us learning to trust the “yes” when it comes, and to trust a “no” as your indication that whatever is making you feel “no” isn’t what your soul wants right now.

I had a “no” developing about my previous role; getting laid off was a blessing to get me out of there before the “no” I was trying not to feel became too big. Now I’m in a flow, noticing the yes and the no that’s coming my way, navigating the way I’m guided to. This is the effortless effort… do your best for the “yes”, gracefully step away from the “no”.

Or, as my dear friend Thomas likes to say, “If it’s not fun… run!”

It’s done 2013-Mar-20 at 13:22 PDT

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Sitting at Starbucks on Mercer Island, watching hard rain and wind alternate with breaks of blue sky and sun. It’s a typical Spring day in Seattle. Didn’t sleep well. Coffee just kicking in.

Had the phone call at 10:00 AM. Traffic was bad this morning… I just made it in on time. (It’s poor form to be late to one’s own execution.) I brought an empty box in with me. Packed up, and left.

Then I went out and had a pastrami omelette for breakfast. Wrote the goodbye email while I was waiting for the food. Yummy, awesome way to transition out. Pastrami cures many ills. (Probably causes a few, too, but not in moderation, I hope.)

Activating my profile on Dice now… get the new search going. Making a few phone calls, reaching out to a few people.

Just after I hung up from being laid off, in this alternating rain and sun, a rainbow appeared to the west. It was too faint to capture in a picture (wish I could have included it here) but I saw it, and that’s all that matters.

I think I’m getting laid off in the morning 2013-Mar-20 at 02:38 PDT

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No, really, I’m pretty sure that I’m getting laid off in the morning. Not kidding.

Just to get this out of the way: This is not a post about office politics or “should I have seen this coming sooner?” or anything like that. As for how I think I know this, again, not important (and not nefarious; just putting 2 + 2 together). As for what, in my humble opinion, my company should or shouldn’t have done differently… also not what I’m interested in tonight.

What is important is that it threw my body for a loop when I realized it. Sort-of knocked the wind out of me. It isn’t completely unexpected, but, still, the body has a lot of programs locked in it about the whole story of “losing your job”. I felt anxiety, mostly. (I felt blockages in my root and fifth chakras, and excess energy in my third chakra, for those who can feel what that means.) I felt my belly spin with that familiar, frantic energy that comes with deep anxiety, especially around money and scarcity. At least, that’s how I’ve experienced it in the past.

So, I still have that story, that fear, that energy, in my body, as so many of us do… and damn if figuring out that I’m about to lose my job tomorrow tends to activate it. Big time. The body was feeling very unhappy, very worried, very ungrounded. Very unloved, too.

You know what? That’s not very much fun.

Life happens. Things arise, things fall away. How we receive those things, those circumstances, as they arise and fall away, is up to us. We have a choice, in every moment, about how we relate to whatever is arising.

Conditioning is nothing more than the sum total of the energetic patterns that we’ve inherited, and that we sometimes act from. We get them from our family, and from the world around us. My conditioning reacted to the “news” with it’s perspective on how to feel this evening: it freaked-the-fuck-out.

Fortunately for me, the amazing Lauren Worsh came and sat down next to me and helped me find my way into feeling better and freer.

You see, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the morning. I have a guess about it, and my body, my conditioning, has had its reaction to it.

Now it’s my turn to take a perspective on it. And here’s my perspective: I choose to receive everything that arises in my life as something that is meant to free me up. And even when I fail at that, and I get contracted about something, I still choose to return to receiving everything that arises in my life as something that is meant to free me up.

Even losing my job.

Again… life happens. It is what it is. I can choose to be in resistance to it, or I can choose to receive it from another, freer perspective. The truth is, I can choose whatever perspective I like about it, and how I feel (and how the world will feel to me) will change depending on that perspective. (Gaining more and more freedom in the perspectives that we take – and therefore allowing broader and broader range in terms of what we’re willing to feel – is an important part of psychological growth.)

So… since I don’t enjoy feeling anxiety, I’m going to take this perspective: no matter what happens in the morning, I’m going to take the perspective that it’s meant to continue to get me freed up, to help me step into Freedom even more deeply.

And, just to be clear what I mean when I say Freedom: I’ll offer a perspective you can take (or not), and just say that from that perspective, when you feel into yourself, and you feel what the world feels like, it feels like Freedom. It’s easier to just go there and point at it then explain it, and, besides, it’s not about the mind, it’s about the Heart. (And, really, I’d like some company.)

Usually, we take the perspective of being one human being. Instead, imagine identifying as that one human being… on one planet going around one star, one of over one hundred billion stars in the galaxy (pause and imagine it), in a Universe with over one hundred billion galaxies (pause and imagine that, too), in a Multiverse with a potentially infinite number of Universes (yes, that too – an infinite number of Universes)…

…and flip the perspective to just being the Source and Awareness of the totality of this infinite, multi-dimensional, ever-changing, ever-transforming All-That-Is. Just flip your perspective from personal to as-impersonal-as-you-can-get. Use your imagination if you’d like; just imagine what it would be like to take that perspective, to hold that perspective. You are Awareness. Then stay there for a minute, let it settle into the body, let the body and the Heart start to really feel (remember, the mind isn’t the thing that feels) what it feels like to be the Awareness of All-That-Is. Not what you think, but how it feels when you let go of the perspective of being a person – just for a minute, it won’t go away, I promise – and shift to the perspective of the Awareness of the totality of the Multiverse. All times, all places, all inside of this totality… this Awareness. Rest here, and feel into it.

Then drop the Awareness, and just Be.

If you pause and take this perspective with me, the body state it creates is Freedom. This is Freedom. This is your Freedom. The Present Moment, this moment, Right Now – fresh, clear, received without expectation or conditioning – is the home of Freedom and Awareness. It’s always available to you and to me.

Remember how I said I was feeling unloved? Sending myself Love from this place of Freedom and Awareness helps that quite a bit. It helps to calm down the anxiety and fear.

It’s simple, really. We shift our perspective out of conditioning and into our Freedom, we feel that in the body, and from there we shift our attention to what needs healing, what needs love. And now the source of that Love is the All-That-Is, and not just little ol’ me. Kind of like a magic trick, except no cards.

And I’m pretty sure that I’m getting laid off in the morning.

Either way, it’s going to help me get freed up. It already has.

——–

Edit: If you’re interested in the follow-up

On leaving Microsoft 2010-May-08 at 08:52 PDT

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Yesterday was my last day at Microsoft, and I suppose that, given such an important life transition, I should capture a few words.

First of all, I love the company, as much as anyone could love a company. I always wanted to work there.  I believe in their mission.  I believe they are uniquely qualified to make a tremendous impact on computing and the way we interface with computers over the next two decades, at least.  No company in the world invests more in R&D than Microsoft, and IIRC Microsoft accounts for 3% of the total R&D in the United States.

I also really love their products, with few exceptions.  They deliver incredible enterprise and business functionality in a fairly user-friendly way.  The consumer products (I’m typing in Live Writer) are also getting really good.

So I don’t have anything bad to say.  What I can say is that after looking around the company for other jobs, and looking into my heart, I’m just not quite a fit there.  I’ve got a unique set of skills and perspectives around technology that are, by almost anyone’s standards, both broad and deep.  As I interviewed around the company, I kept running into groups that looked for even more depth than I have in very specific areas, and didn’t care at all about my breadth and experience.  And, ultimately, I didn’t want to dive into that much depth without getting a chance to leverage my broad experience in interesting ways.

I’m not in resistance to that… just observing it.  Microsoft is an incredibly successful company, they’ve gotten there doing what they’re doing. Recognizing that I’m not exactly fitting in, as happily as I’d like to, is just giving myself the ability to stop struggling while trying to.

As soon as it became clear to me that I should leave, though, an enormous weight was lifted.  I feel energized, I feel excited, I feel alive.  I can’t wait to get started on my new life.  And I’m grateful for what I have learned in my time at Microsoft… much of it will be useful to me as I continue down this new path.

And now that writing this book and blogging here are crucial parts of what I’m doing, look for a lot more traffic.  A lot more.