Karma Cleanser - April 16 2003

?Dear Karma Cleanser:
I was recently laid off from my job, a job I didn’t like anyway. Then, literally within weeks, I found another job that is really great. The pay is twice what I was making and the office is nicer and the people are friendly.

But, during this huge crisis, I wasn’t feeling the love from my friends at my old job. Now when I see them, I make sure to brag about my new position, partly to remind them of how much their jobs basically suck. By just writing this, I know I’m not doing the right thing. But aren’t I even a little bit justified?

-- Loves to Crow

The Karma Cleanser firmly believes that we all (well, most of us) have a pretty accurate inner monitor telling us when we’re screwing up. This newfound job hubris has set your ethical Spidey Sense to tingling, and with good reason. Sure, it’s natural to want to gloat a little. Just don’t let your big head get so heavy that you fall on your face.

br>?Dear Karma Cleanser:
This week I got a call from a former friend who now lives in another state. We talked for what seemed like hours and then at the end of the conversation she said, “So, are you happy? I mean, really happy?” Her question really caught me by surprise, because it is exactly the same thing I’ve been thinking about lately: Am I really happy? With conditions as they are in the world right now and the stress everyone is under in our Code Orange crisis state, it’s hard to say exactly what happy is. At the same time, I feel like I’ve come to a turning point in my life, when something has started to at first whisper and lately scream that this isn’t the life I’ve dreamed of.

So when my friend asked me that question, I almost started crying. Instead, I caught my breath and said to her, “Yes. Yes I am.”

What the heck is wrong with me?

-- State of Emergency

In her excellent books on creativity, Julia Cameron writes about “kriyas,” a Sanskrit word meaning spiritual crises. It sounds like this call from your long lost friend was a catalyst making you aware of the kriya in your life. (If only the Code Orange crisis state could have a similar effect on more unhappy people!) Kriyas hurt like a bitch when they first hit, but they also force us to tune into to greater possibilities in life. As we said to the above writer, listen to that voice inside you: It will not only point out the problem, it’ll eventually lead you to the solution.

Been bad? karma@creativeloafing.com.