Losing my identity

today was the end of my corporate career. I remember working with Open a number of years ago on a one to one and it became clear there was not going back from this spiritual journey to self realisation. I have been fortunate to have the support of Openhand courses to give me the space to develop, and although I am a bit of a plodder, it was clear that as this new life developed it was clear my old one was full of distortions and was shallow and needed to change. Every Openhand 'course' (a word that does not do justice to what they give) I did up to the Level 4 gave me to confidence to step out of my comfort zone and take another leap of faith. I made the decision to leave my career after 32 years and had no doubts it was right for me to do. I knew I could not balance the two worlds.
I wanted to share an experience to day that really threw me. There is a sort of ritual 'retiring' from a corporation. There are the form to fill in, the announcement to the department, the agreed date of leaving, the leaving card and collecton, the presentation, and speeches, then finally the formal handing in of the PC, work phone, and then being escorted to the reception and the handing over of the identify card. All of the things were as I expected and I was touched by the kind comments from people, but what I did not expect was the physical and emotional effect handing over my photo id card, and leaving the building. It felt so strange as though something had been removed from me as a whole. I sat in my car in the car park going into the feeling. Something I had never considered but realising this bit of plastic with my picture along with my employee number had been part of me for so many years and identified me, and it was gone. I am still trying to work out if the feeling was one of loss, or one of the removal of a weight linking me to a world that was not me, where I put on my 'work personality' to fit in with the norms. Mark (out on my own)

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It took me a while to realise that ceremonies can be useful markers in journeys. All my life I have steered clear of being the centre of attention and felt uncomfortable in big groups. This meant that when I was leaving the job I had initially said I did not want a leaving presentation. I thought more about why I was doing this and realised it was not just about me, but also a way for people (some who I had known for over 30 years) to mark the occasion, and to bring closure.
The format of these occasions follows a pattern. People who know you are invited for the 'tea, coffee and cake' and there were about 50 people from different departments. A manager does the leaving speech and it will include an element of ritual humiliation, a potted history of your career and a presentation of card and gift. The speech was funny, but also for me interesting as I had asked that the career not be mentioned, so it then became about me as the person. It centred around the 'strange food I eat', 'lots of greens, pulses, strange juices'. The 'tree hugging', and 'the retreats I disappear to'. It was meant kindly and was interesting that although for the majority of people listening it is was a world they find alien, they accepted that is me.
I have noticed that over the last 5 years or so there is a murmur of change and some people in the office are exploring their diet and some have awoken to their spiritual nature and questioning their lives.
I guess the reason for this posting was to comment on my reasons for avoiding the attention, and how I feel people seem to become comfortable with how other people live their lives, however different from theirs, if it is done authentically. There may be the initial discomfort and ridicule, but then there is an acceptance. The biggest resistance is from the people who are my age group.
And Catherine I appreciated your comments, as although I have not met a lot of the wonderful 'new world' people who are keeping the Openhand energy going, your postings have helped me considerably. I need to continue to work on why I needed to avoid attention, and the bravery with which people share here is a great mirror. With love, Mark

Hey Mark,

Yes, those wonderful moments of connection at Cae Mabon, the outdoor kitchen stands out for me, we had some good conversations there! For sure life is a continual journey of exploration! Thanks for the reminder that there are no mistakes just lessons to be learned, keep following the soul :)

I look forward to hearing how your journey unfolds, love Fiona


Thank you for your courageous example and for being a powerful ways-shower. Incredibly inspiring! Wishing you well on your grand adventure.

xxx Catherine

Hi Fiona, thank you so much for your support. I remember our first meeting in North Wales a number of years ago, and seeing you continually developing, always with a fearless spirit. It has been an interesting first week for me and I see it is not just a case of stopping something (in this case working in an environment that did not feel right) and I will suddenly find all the answers. This step was something that seemed to be soul lead. I need to continue working on understanding the signposts on this new road....I will get lots of lessons from when I take the wrong path, but the great thing is, I can try again, and it is so wonderful when something lands and it is so right. With love, Mark

Hey Mark,

How wonderful and inspirational, best wishes for your evolving journey. Shine on :good:

Love Fiona

Hey Oliver, yes I certainly remember a very special week when we shared the Transfiguration experience. It is great to see you helping others still, not that I am surprised, as I also remember our connection then.
Thank you also for the supportive words. Best wishes, Mark

Dear Mark,

I remember meeting you at a transfiguration course at the earth spirit center. We had quite some stuff in common, job wise and I think food and sports wise as well. You were quite a powerful mirror for me then. So I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience and by doing so inspiring others.

Always wishing you well on your journey.

With love

Trinity and Jane, thank you so much for your supportive comments. We all travel solo in life, but can be blessed to meet others on their path and share the experience. With much love, Mark

Welcome to the land beyond that identity Mark keep on, step by step into the void!
With you all the way.