Previously I discussed how meditation and spirituality helped me in a search for greater meaning and purpose in my life. To be clear, I had great motivation to make a change and undertake these pursuits – I was not happy with my work and I was lacking any meaningful sense of direction or purpose in my life. Being unhappy is always a good motivation to seek change. If you are unhappy with your work, your coworkers, or the work environment, then this may be a good indication and opportunity to look within yourself and discover your true life’s calling.
Everyone has a life purpose or calling that is in harmony with a person’s individual soul evolution and karma. This includes the fulfillment of personal needs, relationships, work, and spirit. When these elements are being fulfilled, then there is a synthesis and balance in one’s life, and you begin to embody a sense of spiritual fulfillment and joy. The opposite is also true, if you are not aligned with your soul’s evolutionary purpose in life, then you will not find joy in your life, work, or relationships, as I was experiencing at the time.
I was working on Wall Street and also doing photography at the same time. Banking was not interesting, creative, or satisfying by any means of the word. It was not challenging and quite honestly it was boring to me. I was just putting in the time, and having very long lunches with a friend. At the time, the two of us even walked all the way up to Chinatown for lunch and often discussed philosophy and meaning of life. I must say that my friend encouraged me to make a change and find something more satisfying in life. Although he personally saw and understood how the financial system exploited the unprivileged and minority classes and this caused him mental anguish, for his own reasons he was resigned to his position. Banking can be an honorable calling and many were happy, content, and did good work.
However, for most, it was just a means to an end, a paycheck to pay the bills. To survive pressures of foreign exchange money market trading, there were always enough drugs and courtside seats to professional games that were available to cope with stress. Very few were happy with what they were doing for a living, and I was beginning to be more and more discontent with my own situation.
I continued to do photography on weekends that I originally started as a hobby in college. This was satisfying because it allowed me to express my creativity but in the end, it lacked intellectual stimulation that I also craved. I also started doing commercial photography, which paid well and I thought of doing this professionally full time, but in the end, I knew that it would not be enough to satisfy my sense of self. I pondered other ideas and options, and meditating and working with my Higher Self (HS) I came back to the realization that I wanted to combine my innate creativity with intellectual challenges.
I also had a desire to do something that had meaning not just to me personally, but also to others as well. Service was not part of my lexicon at that time but I did have a feeling and a strong desire to do work that could be of help and make a difference in the lives of others. In general, that felt like a right path forward and I just had to figure out what to go for.
The questions and answers we are seeking are in fact within us and must come from our own inner being; otherwise, human nature would always question the validity of the chosen path if these answers came from outside ourselves. This process of discovery involves learning a new set of tools, meditating and working with your HS, and then applying this knowledge towards the destined outcome. Courage and willingness are required, but these are positive qualities that can be exciting as any new beginning, and are inherent within us.
It is through self-awareness of who we are that we come to fulfill our destiny. It is not that your present life circumstances have to define you. Our possibilities are so much greater than our current situation. If you already have a mental image or a feeling of a different you, then tapping into your inner potential is in order. It is really not that difficult, just the opposite.
Through the process of meditation and HS work, I was seeking to find answers that I knew were within me, and I just had to get them out to my conscious mind. Meditation and HS work provided me with clarity of mind and heart that came with the repeated practice of sitting quietly and stopping the inner mind chatter. This heart-mind HS meditation takes some practice but with time answers start to come easily. Different techniques for meditation practice are widely available and it is important to find one that is reputable and suits your disposition.
I used to enjoy sitting quietly late in the evening as at that time I was usually too tired to “think”, and it was easier for me to silence my mind. I would turn off the lights, sit in a comfortable chair, and concentrate on candlelight. It is important to have some light and not to sit in the dark. When I was able to achieve this state of inner quiet, I felt calm and at peace with myself. Practicing HS meditation and self-awareness, I started to feel happy as I was on my way of discovering my purpose in this life. This new feeling was exciting as it opened many new possibilities.
One day during lunchtime I went to a local bookstore and was leafing through magazines looking for nothing in particular. I came upon an interesting article on new techniques used to detect human illness using bioimaging, which was accompanied with color illustrations of body scan. Immediately I felt a sense of tremendous excitement and joy, as I knew that I found what I wanted to do with my life. There were color pictures that suggested creativity to me that was not far removed from my interests in photography, and more importantly, there was an intellectual component that had to do with biology and having to understanding human physiology. This also fit into my interests and questions about physical and spiritual connections. Perfect, I thought!
Over the next few months, I researched what I saw in that article, and I came to the conclusion to go back to school and get a degree in biology, and then I would have a choice of many different job options and careers. One step at a time I thought, and this was good enough for now – I was more than happy, and ready to take action. I researched school options and decided as a first step to start attending evening classes in biology and chemistry at a CUNY College in Manhattan. All was going well except for being tired from working full-time and attending demanding evening classes. After a few months of evening classes, I very happily quit my job and started attending full-time.
With my BA in Biology done, I went on to get a doctorate degree in immunology and virology. Today, I continue to practice biomedical research in finding new treatments against HIV infections and AIDS, and I am still happy with my work.
Interestingly, when I quit my full-time job at the bank, I was able to support myself by doing commercial photography. The transition to full-time study wasn’t always easy and there were many struggles on the way but when I got in touch with my soul’s purpose – all the different pieces fell into place enabling me to fulfill my destiny. In a way, the struggles were just obstacles that I had to overcome on the way to becoming a more self-aware person. You can do the same and there are excellent self-help and guidebooks that can help you in finding and realizing your destined happiness.