I have just been teaching the “Client Interaction Booster Course” here in Germany. One of the participants asked me a question: about how she gets bogged down in little things to do, and feels overwhelmed, and then feels a sense of guilt if she does not get everything done.
I told her that the simplest solution to her problem was to train to become a prostitute.
Then I realized that this might require a little further explanation.
My two sons are both grown and have left home now. Abhi lives in San Francisco, and is preparing to become a naturopathic doctor. Shuba is a ski instructor at Northstar Resort in the Sierra Mountains. For many of the years that they were growing up I shared custody with their mother: so when they lived with me, half the time, I was alone with them. That was a very, very busy period of my life. After dropping them both off at school, I would probably need to go to the grocery store, then home to clean up the kitchen, wash dishes, clean the house, and then maybe actually do my work for a few hours, before driving back to the school to pick them up and bring them home. Then there was homework, and sports, and preparing dinner, and eating dinner, and preparing breakfast for the next day, and bath, and bedtime stories… and finally I would collapse into bed.
Many times it happened that one of my kids would wake up in the middle of the night with some kind of sickness. “Daddy….” I would hear. That is not the kind of moment when you lay in bed to introspect. “Is it really part of my flow to get out of bed right now? What am I being called to do? Am I just taking action based on obligation, or is it really the calling of my heart to respond to this crying? What am I really feeling in this moment?” None of those thoughts even passed through my mind. I would jump up out of bed and go straight to my son’s room. If he had a stomach flu and was vomiting, we would need to find the right homeopathic medicine, and then change the sheets, and get him settled down again. It might be an hour before we both went back to sleep. None of that would stop the fact that I still had to be up at 6:00 in the morning for my other son: to make his breakfast, make sure everything was in his backpack, and drive him to school. This would go on day after day after day after day. There are no days off from parenting.
By the time they did grow up and leave home, it had become a habit to do what needs to be done, and not to think about it too much. Now I live the same way: not with small children but with writing (like I am doing now) and traveling and teaching and…and…and… The funny thing is that all those concerns about “Am I doing the right thing?” and “How do I heal the conditioning of my childhood?” and “Is this really following my bliss?” do not actually ever get totally cleared up. They just evaporate and disappear through no longer focusing on them. When it is time to take action, you just bypass the focus on “me” and “my process.” You get taken over by the force that gives us all life. There is no more any “me” deciding anything. The decision is taken for you by a force bigger than your own mind. You get used by that force. You enter into the service of that force.
You learn to become a prostitute in the service of something that uses you, kindly yet mercilessly.
When we first experiment with living in this way, there are periods of time that are “in the flow:” where that force has taken over, you are out of the way, and you just know what to do without thinking. There are also times when the flow is gone, and it’s all about “me” and “my issues” and “my problems” and “working on myself” again. If you are willing to make yourself available: day after day, night after night, as a prostitute to the will of a love beyond your own understanding, you realize that the moments of flow ~ when you are out of control and you do not understand anything at all ~ feel so much more right and natural than the moments when you are trying to figure it all out. Working on yourself and improving yourself: which is part of such a massive industry in the last decades, gets replaced by an inquiring in to how to simply get out of the way.
“How can I become a better me?” gives way to “How can there be less of me? How can I make way for the bigger love?”
Like all things, we have to find a sane balance with all of this. When I was raising my kids for all those years there were times when I made big mistakes. Sometimes I lost my temper, or I blamed them for things they had not done; I was not by any means the perfect dad. If I made a mistake I had to be willing to go back and apologize, to make amends, to really learn, and make sure I did not do it again. That is just part of being a decent human being. But you do not have to make your whole life about self-improvement and introspection. You work on yourself and you look within yourself just enough to bring yourself back in to balance: back in to an alignment where you can be used again, by the force which gives us all life.
So that is the story of how I learned to became a prostitute. Today many of my best friends are prostitutes too. We have all made ourselves available to be used by the same patron: who has no name, no face, no voice, but an unwavering determination for living fully: Barbara Marx Hubbard, John Gray, Isaac Shapiro, Bharat Mitra Lev.
It is not so bad, this life of being a whore. You find yourself in the very best company.