Week 7: New Job
Yes, that's cannabis.
Because I work in the cannabis industry. Really, me and really, cannabis.
I've actually held this position since December, but I'm now 1. in a full-time role and 2. ready to publicly talk to even my most critical relatives about working in the this industry. Who cares!
A story: my mother was on benzodiazepines for 12 years. If that word is unfamiliar to you, they're a class of dangerous, usually addictive prescription medications used for sleeping or anti-anxiety. When she asked her doctor how she could get off, he told her she couldn't. As in, she would die still on them.
No thank you, sir.
Someone told her about the healing properties of cannabis, she watched a docuseries for the company I now work for, got a prescription, and voilà, off the benzos in two months, 100%.
Western medicine is often essential in emergency circumstances and has saved many lives; the use of long-term prescription medication is often unnecessary - substitutable with plant medicine and supplements - and has taken many lives.
Most of the American approach to health has roots in our cultural norms, societal functioning, and disconnect from the body...and needs to be addressed at deeper-than-physical levels. But in terms of promoting integrated well-being and preventing (and healing) disease, plant medicine - with very skilled support - is one fabulous place to start.
This role was the only job I applied for since August, when I left my last stable paying position and spent my time in other ways, between New York, Europe, and California.
There have already been challenges, especially with communication and the operations aspect of a start-up. The company is younger than a year, although the founder has been in the medical cannabis industry for a while.
Two things I specifically want to focus on: one, the deepening of my understanding of choice in create a lifestyle I want, and two, my bashing up against misconceptions I've held and a subsequent need to address my internal judgements.
First, I have always ('always' meaning since I started thinking about jobs :P) wanted a virtual job, and don't like being restricted by place. I have felt the ability to move fluidly throughout the world, without needing to find a new means to make a living with every geographical shift, was right for me.
I've wondered how it could happen without having a tech or engineering background, and without wanting anything to do with customer service. I would love to be a freelance writer and editor, and this is a step on that path with the copyediting and content management work I'm doing (and that occasional email!)
Something felt attuned in me applying for this job, something deeper than just wanting it, and although the process wasn't easy, I felt some trust (which sometimes made itself unknown, during the quiet interims of not hearing back) in the unfolding process. I have the position now, which also allows for my 4x per week riding schedule, and am marveling at how energy can organize around an intention.
When we have a true intention, and allow its natural, often slower-than-desired, process to happen, we can create and support the life we seek in a way that isn't us doing it...but a reflection of our efforts in alignment with grace. We make effort, we have intention, and then we allow an unfolding process that we do not fully, or sometimes even partially, engineer.
What is very interesting to me is that I have made so many efforts for other true desires in my life that have not yielded. When I say 'true,' I mean not simply wanting something, but feeling called to it for deeper reasons than come-and-go. I believe these other results have not come because I am not ready to receive them fully, but still I feel the frustration so acutely.
And maybe it is because of that frustration that I am not ready for them - still approaching intentions with a fruitful mentality that results in struggle is indicative of a ripening, a processing, that is still in the works. I'm observing that in some areas of my life deep transformation is happening through ease, and in others...transformation is happening begrudgingly, and has many pauses and jolts.
Second, I had judgements about cannabis, and am still processing them now. They're based not on the plant itself, but on my early, ingrained understanding of its uses and its marred portrayal by the government (who has classified it as a drug with no therapeutic properties AND has also patented it...to profit off its obvious healing properties).
I used to think of medical cannabis as a 'prescription' for stoners when they wanted to gain easy recreational access. I've grown up around peers using it, but I'm not drawn towards psychoactivity and didn't like the idea of associating with it professionally.
Working in the medical cannabis industry, has forced me to disregard the opinions of others when I know where my intentions are. I know my involvement in the industry is healing-centered.
No responses that I have encountered have actually been critical. It's really a hiccup with my own judgement and displacement of finding self-value. A friend I deeply respect spoke with me for an hour about this when I was really struggling, saying that anyone can be involved with most things with either benevolent or ill intentions. If I know where my heart is, this is the essence of what matters.
Metabolizing judgement and letting it go are, of course, easier in theory than in practice. In the past few years, I've come up against the same 'labels' barrier in the arena of relationships. With the (gradual) arrival of success in overcoming that fear of judgement, I've been surprised that it has shown up again in this professional endeavor...something I thought I wouldn't struggle with after processing it in the relationship realm. But judgement and shame have many layers, and will find different ways of surfacing until sufficiently worked through.
I have also learned so much about the plant and its incredible healing properties, including the benefits of THC, often thought of as the 'bad' cannabinoid due to its psychoactive properties. It can be used in responsible ways to heal chronic illness, without the high effect. There are many, many other therapeutic properties of cannabis — cannabinoids, terpenes, terpenoids, flavanoids — that contribute to its healing potency.
I can feel this judgment-based fear beginning to dissipate, and I am grateful for the opportunity to further encounter my own critical barrier and work to cross beyond it. The exercise allows me to go deeper within my own heart and live from a place within myself, instead of going outside and living through the minds of others. The sense of freedom is palpable.