The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.
Modeling is a tough industry—it can sometimes feel like either you have it (it being luck) or you don’t.
In a career like modeling you can easily feel you have little or no control over the trajectory of things in your work life.
With this being said, this week when I got the list of agencies that my representation in Chicago set me up to meet with, I decided to respond differently than I might have in the past. The typical Makeena would have been excited, nervous, and starting to think about the details of how I could get the best outcome as I visited these agencies. For a model, finding the right representation in a market can really help to build and protect you as you navigate the world of modeling, so these emotions are natural—but not always super helpful.
I am recently coming out of a time when I was super focused on willing things into existence. I don’t think I necessarily realized, in these past few months, that willing things into existence is somewhat counterproductive if you’re making yourself anxious in the process. If you think things are only up to you—not trusting God as you speak your hopes into the world—the practice of trying to get the world to conform to your specific goals can actually become quite toxic.
More recently I’ve found it useful, especially in looking to build my career, to try and adopt some of the attitudes different spiritual scriptures suggest. Within them some universality exists around the belief of being positive and hopeful, but simultaneously present and detached from the details of each of our individual journeys.
In Hinduism they say:
Feel nothing, know nothing, do nothing, have nothing, give up all to God, and say utterly, ‘Thy will be done.’ We only dream this bondage. Wake up and let it go. – Swami Vivekananda
The Bible says:
In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. – Ephesians 3:12
In the Qur’an:
Say: “Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector”: and on Allah let the Believers put their trust. – Surah At-Taubah, 51.
From the Baha’i teachings:
Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 329.
Just trying to increase my trust in God or the process, has been incredibly freeing. Even though I am positive there is still so much more trust, patience, and sacrifice that can develop in my relationship with God, my mere attempt to just be intentional has allowed me to take emphasis off the smaller details of my process. I had been so focused on perfecting the power of attraction that I started to feel like I had somehow failed whenever things did not work the way I’d imagined or visualized. Though this mentality is obviously far from the intended practice around positivity—it is where I found my behavior veering.
Not only have I been able to detach from every perceived misstep, I have actually been able to trust that when things don’t work out as I’ve hoped it may be for the best. Whether I have to face certain tests to develop the internal qualities I need; or a better opportunity for what I want to do will arise; I have started to embrace the idea that the universe pushes me closer and closer in the direction of ultimately fulfilling my true purpose.
I’ve also realized that the impacts of this mentality are relevant for much more than building a professional career. I’ve only begun to imagine what would happen if I applied this detached, accepting mentality and carry it into how I operate in my interpersonal relationships.
When issues arise in friendships, relationships, and family we can put in our best effort, but also allow our trust in God to keep us hopeful throughout all the tough times that might come our way. The same applies to the painful hardships we are watching our society pass through. As things apparently crumble, to me, trusting God means recognizing the crumbling of society as a necessary part to rebuild systems and institutions that are more just, unified, and divinely inspired.