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Those Pesky Sisyphean Tasks

Stuck.  Miserable.  In a situation out of your control.  You keep pushing.  Thinking the harder you work, the sooner things change.  They don’t.   And you’re stuck.  Miserable…..

A friend of mine recently recounted the events of her life and reminded me of the story of Sisyphus, the mythical Greek king.  He was sentenced to a life of rolling an immense boulder up a hill.  Just as it would reach the top…it would roll back down.  This was to happen each day, every time, for eternity.

Though Sisyphus is mythical, the story is played out every day.  Chances are, in some arena in your life, it’s very real.  You’ve worked your ass off.  Done what you can to make change, get the promotion.  And, just as it looks as if it’s all going to turn out in your favor, something happens to screw it up: You self-sabotage.  Your prospect bails.  The pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice creams beckons.  The building blocks come crashing down and you, and that huge boulder, have to start from square one all over again.

Although you might feel stuck in an endless, difficult and exhausting loop…you are not Sisyphus.  At least you don’t have to be.   Pushing a huge boulder is a choice you’ve made at some point in time.   The great thing about choice is that you can make a new one.

When you choose to get stuck in the story of rolling that boulder up a hill, no one wins (ok, you might get a wicked workout…). Your focus and intention are so pin-holed into that one thing, no other options are available to you and your creative juju leaks out.  Fear sets in – “Better push or else I’ll never make it.”  Even when you get to the bottom,  you look up at the peak.  The fear of not pushing or not doing gets you rolling the boulder ONE MORE TIME.   You put in all your effort, resolute all over again…It gets hard to resist old patterns.   No pain.  No gain.

Maybe a tumble back down the hill is exactly what you need. 

While you’re there, why not just sit on the boulder for awhile? 

Perhaps, from that vantage point, a new perspective can be had, new options can open up to you, new life breathed in to what it takes to embody your right livelihood.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not suggesting that you give up on your dreams. Or forget about working diligently on a project or on your own personal growth.

I am offering the possibility that you can make the choice to stop and be inspired by the view. Instead of losing yourself in the climb, make it your practice to shine like the beacon you are, right there. Guide. Illuminate. Cheer. Teach. Love. But leave the pushing behind. Begin walking with love in your heart. Compassion filling each step. Feel the lightness, the levity that comes from inspiration. Know with each step forward, your tasks are guided by pleasure and love.  You inspire others to drop their Sisyphean task and glide, with grace and ease, toward the peak.

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