The End Point That We Never Reach
By: Andee Scarantino
(3 min read)
Like a lot of people, I get into my head when I’m just here, putting in the reps, without much proof that anything is happening.
It was months before anyone ever told me they liked my podcast. It was over a year before anyone came to work with me because of only the podcast itself.
I showed up weekly when I five subscribers with the same enthusiasm as when I had hundreds.
And yet, it’s not always easy to show up and put in the reps without the candy lollipop pressing your pleasure centers in the brain.
Lately, I’ve been in a transitional phase. I no longer “have a job.” I own a job, which I figured out is more work than having a job.
I not only do the job of coaching, but I also do the work of keeping that job a job. I show up even when I don’t get paid to maintain the infrastructure of said job.
I show up every day, and just like those podcast episodes, a lot of the time I’m just showing up because that’s my dharma… not because I’m going to “get anything.”
I once said in a conversation with my boyfriend that humans wanting to “get something” is what “makes them pieces of shit right now.”
It wasn’t the nicest thing I ever said, but I’ve fallen into the trap, so obviously it was about me.
When I’m wound too tightly, I want to “get things,” too. I want to “get somewhere.” I want to “be somewhere else.”
And yet, there’s nowhere to go. Life exists now, in this moment, and the most peace I’ve ever had, and still have, comes from just doing my duty without attachment. The Bhagavad Gita refers to that as karma yoga.
Do your duty, and don’t attach.
I feel that way about writing.
I send out emails to my list and I don’t have an expectation about what happens after I press “send.” People unsubscribe sometimes. Sometimes I get nice replies. Most of the time, it seems like nothing happens. So much empty.
Always though, I remember a moment I had last summer when I went to Savannah, Georgia, for a friend of mine’s wedding.
The day we landed, we all went to a happy hour at a place called Bay Street Blues Bar where my friend and his now husband’s friends and family gathered in celebration. It was our first night there, and the air was warm and still.
For me, the south is a welcome distraction to the chronic panic attack I live in known as New York City.
I like geographically warm places where I feel content to walk without always having to be on guard, to be open and not want to close, and not feel the pressure to be “purposeful.”
I was enjoying being at the bar with friends I’d known for years. Even though I don’t drink anymore, I do miss bars, and the culture of bars.
As we all stood around catching up, there was a woman in my periphery. I saw she was waiting there, and it seemed like she was waiting to speak to me.
When I turned toward her, she introduced herself as my friend’s sister, and wanted to let me know how much she liked my podcast.
My friend had been on an episode to tell his story about sobriety, love, humility, and self-acceptance. From what I gathered, his sister kept on listening after hearing his episode, and told me how much she enjoyed it.
That really touched me, and it reminded me in the smallest but most profound way that it’s bigger than us. What I’m doing, showing up and doing it each and every day, is bigger than I am. It’s more than just action = reward. It’s shining a light for others, even if I never know of the ripples.
So, I put in the reps.
I write every day. I run every day. I podcast once a week. I do my dharma and don’t attach.
I don’t always get rewards. In fact, measurable rewards are a rarity.
Peace comes in life when we can just stay present in the now, and not be so worried about what’s “next.”
This week, I met someone new in a group called Buy Nothing on Facebook. In New York City, neighborhoods now have these “Buy Nothing” groups where people gift one another things they don’t wish to hang onto any longer.
This lovely woman was gifting books, and so many were of the subject material I was interested in. I felt compelled to take a few and to connect with her. It turned out to be a lovely meeting.
One of the books she gifted me was The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts.
From page 33 of that book:
“For the animal to be happy it is enough that this moment be enjoyable. But man is hardly satisfied with this at all. He is much more concerned to have enjoyable memories and expectations- especially the latter. With these assured, he can put up with an extremely miserable present. Without this assurance, he can be extremely miserable in the midst of immediate physical pleasure.”
I truly felt that this was the universe answering my prayers because I had been once again questioning life’s meaning recently. Asking the dumb question of “when is it going to happen,” whatever the hell that means. Falling out of gratitude and grace for all of the beautiful ripples I’m now creating in the world.
I’d fallen into the trap of memory, romanticizing 2020 when I was getting “paid a lot to do nothing,” but conveniently forgetting how much I yearned to have something I was proud of, and to really, truly be serving other humans in a big way.
It reminded me that I could stand to reexamine my relationship to psychological time, and return to the now, do my duty, and not attach.
It reminded me that being here, being present to what is, is enough to know that my existence truly is profound – without receiving a “good job” or a lollipop.
All Things Wellness, LLC
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