Joy Is the Juice

By Keith Varnum

“If you work for money, you are no better than a slave. If you do anything you don’t enjoy in life, you are no better than a slave!”

Wow! Strong words from my first spiritual teacher. Michio Kushi was my adopted second father, so his pronouncement hit home. When he first expressed his view, I was upset. When he repeated his perspective at every opportunity, I got angry. Angrier and angrier each time he shared.

Anger Reveals the Truth

Because my upset was distancing me from my beloved mentor, I finally ask myself, “Keith, why are you so angry at Michio?” Digging deep, I realized he irritated me so much because he was speaking a truth—a truth I didn’t want to hear.

“But why does this observation disturb me so much?” I wondered. I begrudgingly admitted that his words were so aggravating because I couldn’t imagine how I could live in accordance with this truth. At twenty years old, I couldn’t envision how I could make a living doing only what was exciting to me. Fresh out of college, I was having a daunting challenge simply finding a job I could tolerate, let alone enjoy! “How could I make my way in the world doing solely what I love to do?” I lamented. 

“What a glorious, enlightened goal!” my soul sang out. “What a laughable, unreachable standard!” my personality cried out. Don Quixote sprang to mind. I was chasing an impossible dream!

But thanks to my brash buddy, I went after that windmill in the sky—and realized my vision. I finally arrived at the destination my friend so cunningly dangled in front of my spirit. I discovered that not only was Michio correct, I found out how to attain that “unreachable” star!

Put Job in Your Play

Michio’s remarks triggered a vivid childhood memory. I recalled when I first heard the word “job.” I was eight years old. 

One day I put together my schoolteachers’ complaints about their work and my father’s look of exhaustion when he came home from the office. I realized in a flash of recognition that I wasn’t going to be allowed to simply play the rest of my life. I’d have to make money to live. I’d have to work. I’d have to get a job! Yikes! 

After days of pondering this latest life predicament, lightning struck. A brainstorm to save my spirit! I decided that I’d get a job, but unlike my teachers and father, I’d find a way to make money doing something I liked. I’d get paid to do some activity that I’d be doing anyway whether I got paid or not. What an ingenious plan! The simplicity and innocence of youth! Or do I hear “naivety?” 

Yes, I was naïve. With the rigors and demands of high school and college, I forgot—or got talked out of—my own brilliant strategy to make work fun! … until my friend the Truth Teller came along to remind me.

Passion Leads the Way

My memory of youthful clarity refreshed by Michio, I began to pursue my passions. I was fascinated by food and cooking, so I became the vice-president of the largest natural food company in the world. I then became a chef and eventually owned two exciting restaurants. I loved movies, so I became a filmmaker. I devoured books, so I became an author—and even had my own radio show interviewing authors. I was elated to have cured myself of blindness, so I became a healer, acupuncturist and yoga teacher. I worship the outdoors, so I now lead Vision Quests into the wilderness. I enjoy helping people, so I’m a personal coach and international seminar leader. 

Where’s Your Juice?

You know in your heart you’re here on Earth for a specific reason and that you have something unique to bring to the party. You also know that you’ll never be truly happy or healthy until you find a way to express your signature vibration, your special gifts and talents. As the Native Americans say, ‘When you walk your heart path, you walk in joy.”

Tell the truth about what turns you on. What holds juice and electricity for you? Decide that you will only pursue a vocation with heart. Discover who you are and what you are really here to experience, explore and embrace this lifetime. Your decision and action will attract Authentic Work: a job that supports what you hold important and sacred. Allow your intuition to guide you to the forms and vehicles that will empower your spirit to express fully. You’ll move into a new arena of personal creativity and self-expression. 

I notice that the happiest and healthiest people on the planet are the people who are living their dream—getting paid to do what they love. When you align your attitude and actions with your true

passion in life, you align with your true destiny in being here. When you line up your life with your true purpose, you are automatically in harmony with the soul plan and passion of every other person on Earth. Thus through natural synchronicity, every other person on the planet assists you to achieve your vision. On this planet, what is congruent gets the support.

Viola! Discover your bliss. Get a job doing that activity. Get well supported for it. Sweet!

Put Job in Your Joy

When you move in the direction of your passion, the Universe moves to support that movement. Your joy provides the juice to attract money and assistance. Devote your energies to a vocation that brings you delight and the abundance will follow. Align your livelihood with what makes you happy—and your life will unfold in a profoundly easy, delightful and bountiful way.

Don’t take my word for it. Do it and find out for yourself!