Silhouette of woman meditating on beach  

When the Eastern systems of self-healing examine health and balance, they offer a very different paradigm than our more familiar “Western” point of view. The differences are most noticeable and significant when it comes to understanding the nature of the individual life and the life of the collective. For example, from the Eastern perspective, there will never be one single pill, diet, exercise or lifestyle that will cure what ails all people. Every person is a microcosmic Universe unto themselves. Each person is unique and must be understood, examined and healed separately from the rest of humanity.

This philosophy is not just limited to the comprehensive understanding of an individual’s physical well being. It applies to every aspect of a person’s life. What is experientially, emotionally and perceptually toxic to one person could be liberating to another. There is not one accepted standard that will equally measure every nuance of every person’s life. The “average person” does not exist in Eastern philosophy. Each person, each case, is unique…a completely separate reality unto itself.

So it is when it comes to career development and the turmoil in our present job market. The media has dominated the intellectual landscape with reports of dire changes, catastrophic employment shifts and unsustainable economic losses. “How will I ever find a job when millions of people are out of work? My world situation is dire, catastrophic and unsustainable. Hey, where have I heard that before?” Just because CNN is selling across the board economic fear doesn’t mean you have to buy it. You have free will. And, that may not be your Universe.

While the need to live within one’s means is not disputed, what is debilitating in one person’s reality may actually be liberating and powerfully transformative in another’s. Shaking up the status quo is an opportunity to make different choices, to take another career path. Just because the news tells you everyone is losing their jobs does not mean you have the whole story. Human evolution allows old, tired and outdated methods of expansion to die out. If life has offered you a new set of circumstances, it is Nature’s way of saying, “You are ready to grow in a new direction; there is nothing left for you in the old way; move on.” Focus on breakthrough by taking and making the most of this fortuitous event rather than being paralyzed by breakdown from lamenting the loss of what you have grown beyond. Your neighbors lost their jobs and are in crisis. Does that mean there is a career crisis in your world? You are a Universe unto yourself. That employment setback may be your neighbors’ next biggest opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and what is important to them. It does not mean you need to bookmark or other online headhunters, or spend sleepless nights worrying about your job security. There is not one developmental driving reality that visits all people simultaneously.

Crisis, dire, catastrophic, impossible are all different names for fear. From a bigger picture perspective, what is presently occurring is a global fear epidemic spreading locally. Not by germ or bacteria but rather by worldview. The outer world conditions again reflect the inner world conditions. What that means is just because some people get the flu, doesn’t mean everyone on the planet is sick or even going to get sick. When you refuse to accept change when it appears in your microcosmic Universe, you have not only opened the door to suffering, but also personally invited it in, offered it drinks and a comfortable place to stay. The details of life on Earth will always be changing; that is the nature of this impermanent world. Nothing here stays for long. Everything on the planet has a shelf life. What were the only consistent career choices a hundred years ago versus today’s world, aside from undertaking, tax collecting and prostitution? There are none. The job you thought was a safe and secure employment two years ago may not even exist today. Even the pace of change has gained speed and momentum. The more we as a global community advance, the faster these changes will take place.

Eastern Spiritual philosophies point out the shortcomings to an inherent basic human desire: control. We attempt to control every detail of the outer world and hold it in a fixed place, until we have everything right where we want it to be. We all desire to create a comfortable external reality and then maintain that position forever. We want to solve a problem once in our lives and then never have to revisit it again. We want to find a job once then never have to deal with job or career transitions again. We invest in a position of some kind and expect it to pay us dividends the rest of our lives. What this leads to is an escalated experience of personal suffering due to the inescapable reality that
life is constantly in a state of flux, change and motion, forever vulnerable and subject to the permeable forces of life on Earth.