Being vs Becoming a (insert dream job here)

Image attributed to http://tx.english-ch.com/
Image attributed to http://tx.english-ch.com/

Reading an interesting book at the moment called ‘Shape Shifting‘ by John Perkins.

I was exposed to his work when I listened to a podcast he did recently with Richie Allen on an alternative media platform discussing his former life as an ‘Economic Hit Man‘ working with the American Government to further increase it’s imperial interest in South America and further afield. Highly recommend checking it out here.

The author spent many years working with indigenous tribes and learned valuable insights from shamans and witch doctors at stark contrast to the double life he struggled to upkeep – the wealthy consultant pushing a corporate agenda which would have devastating consequences on nations crippled with debt.

An interesting segment caught my eye which really spoke to me and prompted this, my first blog post in over a month which I wanted to write down in the hope that it also resonates with someone else.

A little backstory – I harbour dreams of becoming a writer. I’m also realistic to know that the chances of breaking through, not least earning an income that can support oneself is also tiny. For that reason, I consider myself a blogger. A writer is a grand title afforded to those select few who manage to make it i.e. become published.

In the book, Perkins recounts a conversation he had with Toyup, a shapeshifter from Indonesia.

‘He used to tell me many stories about people who were always seeking to become, rather than simply being; one story about a Balinese dancer who was the daughter of an old friend exemplifies them all. This young woman studied dance day in and day out. “I am going to become a dancer,” she would say. After several years of continuous practice, she grew discouraged. Her father sent her to Toyup.

I go to auditions, but I am never quite ready.” she told him. “I am determined to become a dancer – if only I could just land my first job.”
Determined to become a dancer? But, don’t you dance every day?
Of course! I practice constantly.”
You dance?
All the time“.
Then you are a dancer“. He asked to see a demonstration. Afterward he told her that it was the most beautiful performance he had ever seen. He repeated, “You are a dancer.”
But I’ve never been hired to perform.
So? Because some foolish dance master hasn’t yet hired you is irrelevant. If one were to hire you tomorrow, would you be a better dancer than you were tonight?” She shook her head. “Right. You would be the same – a great dancer. You are a dancer. Be one.”

Within a week she had been hired by the most important dance company in Jakarta.’

4 thoughts on “Being vs Becoming a (insert dream job here)

  • Thanks for this. It really struck a chord with me. I have aspired to be a writer from the time that I was a child. As time went on, practicality forced me to say well I might write sometimes, but I’m not a “writer”. Calling myself a writer feels so lofty and like I might not be worthy of that title. Being vs. Becoming. Am I (or are you) a writer if we write? Does feeling like you are comfortably settled in “being” require the recognition of others? Or does the consistent practice of writing put us solidly in the being category? Are we both shortchanging ourselves?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Mamadestroy and commenting. Personally I need to get back to writing for the simple joy it brings me, and those I share it with. Ultimately if my work never sees the light of day, at least I’ll have spent that time doing something I love, giving birth to these characters and crazy stories that bubble around in my head. Ah the voices inside my head are strong! Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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