The Needle and the Magnet

On Saturday, I heard a delightful story from my hairstylist, Jen, about how she started working at the salon. She recently graduated from cosmetology school and was on the hunt for an apprenticeship because she wasn’t ready to strike out on her own as a full-fledged independent contractor.

While she searched, she continued to cut and style hair, including her friends and family. When Jen’s best friend went to the chiropractor one day, a woman came up to her and said, “I love your hair. Who did it?” The woman was, you guessed it, the owner of a hair salon. It turns out she’d been looking for an apprentice for two years!

I love this story because it reminds me what you’re looking for is looking for you. So often when it comes to searching for a job, a romantic partner, a literary agent, etc., we think it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack – arduous and nearly impossible. We think we’re the ones putting in all the effort and if we stop trying, we won’t get what we want. However, what if instead of a needle in a haystack, it’s like a needle and a magnet? The needle is attracted to the magnet and the magnet is attracted to the needle. They’re looking for each other.

Pins on a magnet

There’s a force that brings us together. Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

Another story for you. Many years ago, before Doreen Virtue renounced all her work and ended the relationship with her publisher Hay House, she created an oracle card deck, which is a deck of cards with messages on it such as, “The angels are telling you to stand in your power,” or “Be kind to yourself today.” Hay House wanted the deck on the market right away but it usually takes an artist a year and a half to paint the 44 pictures needed to accompany the text of the oracle cards.

Doreen needed something immediately and had an image in mind of what she wanted. She went to her computer and said, “Angels, I need to find this artist but I need her to have 44 images available.” I’m not sure what she typed, but Doreen found an artist immediately with 44 images available and sent her a personal email.

On the artist’s end, she previously had high-paying jobs but they’d all dried up and she had to work for magazines doing art she didn’t enjoy. She made a resolution she would never again compromise on her artwork and would say “no” to all jobs unless they involved her true passions. Doreen contacted the artist within 20 days of her making that resolution with a big job to not only license her artwork but license 44 pieces of her artwork.

Why does this happen? Because attraction underpins the universe. When I say “attraction,” I don’t mean sexual attraction, I mean garden variety drawn together. My spiritual teacher says, “[T]he cause of this attraction is the imperative urge for self-preservation. It is only because of this urge for self-preservation that unit beings run after crude, subtle, or causal expressions. And this urge for self-preservation, too, arises due to the desire for happiness in every living being. So it is clear that behind every attraction between one entity and another, which we call by the name of káma, lies the pure desire for attaining happiness. Happiness is the ultimate desire of life.”

We look for one another because we want happiness. Jen wanted a job but the hair salon owner also wanted an apprentice. Doreen wanted an artist but the artist also wanted work. We aren’t solitary beings fumbling around in a forest hoping to run into what we’re looking for. We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack. No. It’s a two-way street. What we’re looking for is also looking for us like needles and magnets.

I dream of a world where we recognize we’re partnering with other people and with the universe in order to be happy. A world where we understand attraction is at the core of who we are. A world where we realize we aren’t needles and haystacks but instead needles and magnets that are inevitably drawn together.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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