Thursday, April 16, 2015

Day 573 - The dead of Palermo


In a recent adventure, my partner and I entered into the catacombs of Palermo. 

In short: It is an underground place with rib vault ceilings where in the year 1599 Capuchin monks began to lay to rest their deceased peers. At that time monks were embalming dead monks and the techniques were so successful that these dead monks turned into mummies. Once the secret was out to the public, wealthy people wanted to be preserved in much the same manner. For a price they were embalmed and put on display so that their living relatives could enter into the catacombs and recite Sunday prayers holding the deceased's hand. As long as relatives paid, the mummy was kept accessible. Over time an alleged number of 8000 mummies have accumulated in the catacombs of Palermo, where today tourists can enter and see the remains. Some mummies are quite well preserved and for that they are famous, for example baby Rosalia Lombardo who is about 100 years old by now but still looks like a perfectly sleeping baby. Most mummies are by far no longer recognisable. 

The mummies are completely exposed and displayed in the open. They are stacked everywhere, the majority however hangs from the walls.  Any tourist can look at a mummy eye to eye socket - they are less than 1metre away. The sheer number of classified mummies is very impressive. Endless corridors are filled with sections for virgins, professionals, priests and so forth. Many mummies wore their best clothes and their age can be told by the fashion they wear.

I walked into the place without expectation or imagination. We had walked quite a distance to get there (from the city centre) and I had no idea what the environment looked like. Entering into the catacombs was not anything special in the sense that I did not have an emotional reaction, but rather a strong physical sense of relation. Many of the mummies were partly turned to dust. Many still had the leathery skin mostly on their limbs, few had it on their faces. I experienced a sense of familiarity and maybe for the first time, a real sense of death without the typical emotion of fear of loss. Yet, the mummies weren't like the ones one encounters in a museum, this perception of "otherness" was curiously absent for me. In a museum setting there is a stark contrast between the dilapidating mummy and the slick museum environment. Mummies are usually visible behind glass, which separates the environment and makes it look more like a computer screen. Here in Palermo, there was no such slickness, the dust, the dirt, everything around the mummies was equally falling apart which made the scenario very realistic. Looking at my body, it made me aware that I was also falling apart, notwithstanding that it was my birthday. Overall though, I felt related to every single mummy and because most of the facial skin was gone, there was a point of equality from one mummy to the next since everyone had more or less a skull as a head. I noticed that individuality comes with a face because I realised that I was more likely to interpret the mummy when the facial skin was more intact. 

When I walked through the catacombs the utter futility of self-interest was staring me in the face, we are living in this life driven by self-interest. Emotions and feelings are the basis of self-interest. I imagined in how many ways each one of these mummies was driven to act and interact in the world based on their emotions, their attachments, their dreams and desires. When in the end all of it was for nothing as it has no intrinsic value, we leave nothing of value behind when we have a starting point of self-interest. The value of our life is that we are ONE POINT in the continuous living thread. One life that connects to all other lives and that one point of life must do everything in its power to create the best possible conditions for the other points of life. 

In discussion with my partner we were looking at the point of inheritance - what people pass on at the time of death. Parents pass stuff onto their children. Children are supposed to be grateful for that. What does passing on really mean though? It means that you created something for yourself and only because you can't use it anymore when you are done with living, you have to pass it on. In the case of parents it's not only at death, but also at birth because parents also pass on their beliefs, programs, ideas, limitations, and emotional constructs to their children. In essence we are constantly imposing our self interest to the next person around us. This is the value we have given to life which is the opposite of what life does in essence.

So how can we change this, how can we pass on and leave behind something that is alive and living? The answer is that we can change our point of reference for our creations, when we stop worrying about ourselves and create for others. When others, their well-being, their growth and living-expression becomes our concern, we not only step over our self-limitations but we actually connect to the source of life. What I experienced with the mummies of Palermo, their very presence and nearness connected me profoundly to the essence of life. 

As I walked out of the catacombs, I was wondering if my realisation is the reason why we keep the dead away from the living, because it would have been unthinkable to be this close to a dead body in other parts of Europe. There would be a myriad of reasons why we cannot be exposed to the dead in this way. I reckon it's because the dead can make us see what is real and what is not, and this could have a dramatic impact on our lives - so much so that we could change the way we relate to each other. 

I am grateful for having visited the catacombs of Palermo they have given me an unparalleled physical reference for the necessity of changing my reference point of creation from "self-interest" to "interest-for-all".

[Continue reading...]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Day 572 - The friendly face ends here: walking out from a fear design pt2


Yesterday I had a chat with my buddy and I was discussing with her my next step in the saga of a passive-aggressive colleague, where I am excluded from receiving new information that affects the project’s development process. The effect of this manoeuvre is that am contributing on the basis of old information and therefore make apparent mistakes that look like I am ignoring what has been decided and discussed. As I am walking myself out of fear designs, my plan was to speak up and send an email to one person in the team who has been the go-between, translating decisions from the management to the development team.

When I discussed this with my buddy, she said, why don’t you send it to the entire team ( this would include higher management and those who I have only remote dealings with)? My answer was ""yes, why not, I can do that”

Later on that night I realised why I only wanted to send the information to one person because I thought of him as the “safe" bet - he is the one level-headed guy around who is also a foreigner in the group and who I believe I have more in common with than everyone else. 

So, interesting-  here I saw how I tried to walk the point half-way, keeping it still in the safe-zone within my fear. But it was so cleverly disguised that only after discussions with my buddy when I asked myself “so why did I not think of sending the email to the entire group?” It dawned on me that I was afraid that I would rock the boat - hence that the person whose passive-aggressive tactics I am dealing with would get even more angry and further subjugate me to more tall tails. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear speaking to the entire team because I fear that this would increase Mr. F’s anger and would cause him to also increase his strategies to marginalise me. Here I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to make decisions on how I want to direct myself based on the potential reactions of someone else instead of directing the group based on what is best for all. Because I am standing as the self-directive principle, I am now stopping myself from directing myself on the premise of someone’s reactions by first looking at my solution and checking for myself where I am still allowing fear to exist. Once I am totally clear on the point, I am stepping forth to put the solution into manifestation. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have used my mind to justify my decision on how I was going to direct the situation and have manipulated myself so that I would have created a belief on directing myself but not actually doing so. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not have slowed myself down but have moved so fast in my decision making process, so that I could not see the fear connected to the decision sending the email to Mr. B for safety and thus trapping myself in a fear design. Here I realise that I have stalled sending the email - in other words I did not send it right away - because I had a doubt which led me to double-check my approach with my buddy, therefore “saving” myself from walking into the fear design. Thus I realise that I have now seen how I can use doubt effectively to double-check my solutions before I turn them into action and I commit myself to listen to the doubt when it comes up and to look at it in detail so that I am in the position to understand what I am trying to hide from myself or how I am trying to manipulate myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have labelled the members of the team I am working with within negative and positive polarisation, so that I can attach emotions to each team member instead of realising that I can stand one and equal to each team member and focus on my own self-direction instead of reacting to the behaviour of other team members. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit myself in this way, by allowing myself to react to others, since I allow myself to have a (reactive) picture of each team member in my mind. Here I realise that I am standing as the self-directive principle and within this I make myself aware when I am in the process of pegging people from my point of self-interest based on their emotional reactions to me. When and as I am noticing that I am pegging a colleague I stop myself and slow myself down so as to let go of creating an emotional interaction line with the person. I commit myself to release myself from labelling others through my perceptions of them and walk the context of each situation, where I identify the ‘players' of the situation by who they are in the context of the situation, and I stop all emotional attachments that I project onto another. 
[Continue reading...]

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 571 - The friendly face ends here pt1


Before I started process, I was an exceedingly friendly person. Once I realised that this was a label I gave myself I also realised that the deep dark secret behind this label was that I wanted to be liked, that I wanted to please, that I feared others, and that I wanted to avoid conflict. This one tag covers a broad spread of dimensions all related to the value of self. I have been walking these dimensions in layers and I can see the change in how I relate to my environment because I no longer jump to please others and I no longer run away from conflict - of course this is in relative terms as I am still walking...

In the recent days I noticed a point that has reared it's head and at the same time shown some shifting. It's a point that comes up when I am interacting with others, where I will go along with a notion in a conversation, or a notion of mannerism because the other person has initiated it or likes it that way. Two points in case: 

I have recently moved offices (yes again!) and my co-worker likes to talk about casual things, such as fashion or gender typing her boyfriend in what he does or does not do. In the beginning when I moved in to the office - this is just a couple of weeks ago, I just went along and tried to chime into the conversation, not seem rude and to be friendly. I adapted myself to her even though I don't really care about these things and don't see them important enough to discuss. However, this point of self-adaption has been so prevalent that I never questioned the idea that I don't really have to talk about these things if I don't want to. At some point recently there was a shift in our relationship which had to do with work and is not relevant for this post. Let's just say because of this shift, I stopped going into the verbal compromise where I no longer chime in and perpetuate the conversation along the lines of fashion and boyfriend do's and don'ts. Something happened within me. I experienced myself as lighter, relieved in a way because I no longer had to 'go' to the fashion and boyfriend talk. I experienced this new way of relating as more authentic, yet from my perception as a lot less friendly, because I am no longer adapting myself. In previous posts I have walked this personality of wanting to please but I have not had this kind of clear feedback up until now, where I could see the difference in my self-experience. 

The second instance is about an exercise class where I was usually put on a friendly face as I am standing across from my instructor, together with everyone else. I was giving her feedback by smiling and participating through my facial expression. The last time I was there, I did not smile but just held my face as I am when I am by myself. It felt awkward because I saw that the instructor expected me to smile and nod along as if I was saying "cool class". Interestingly enough, at some point she came to me and asked me if everything was OK. So here I was no longer fulfilling her expectations of being the friendly face and supportive participant and this threw her off. 

What I am experiencing now is that there is still a clumsy way in which I look for my relaxed comfortable face…


I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself for using my facial expression as personality attribute to exhibit friendliness and to accommodate others because I believe that if I adjust my face for another then I establish a friendly common ground, similar to holding up a white flag that signals to my interaction partner that I have no weapons and I don't want to harm - whereby I realise that this is still a habit in my physical body which is/was rooted in my expectation that the person I interact with can potentially harm me. I realise that this is a memory of my childhood from when I interacted with my parents and I had to gauge if the situation was dangerous for me but I no longer experience the fear but my body/face is still operating on this level. Today, I am standing as the self-directive principle and I direct myself to be comfortable and relaxed with my face and hold my face as it suits me from my expression that is rooted in my relationship with Self. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience myself in awkward ways because I am finding my relaxed face when I no longer project friendliness using my face. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that I am causing reactions in others for this change, when I realise that I cannot change another's reaction but can remain in stability with myself. I realise that I am standing as the self-directive principle and as such I stop interpreting another's mannerism and relate to the context that is here in every moment of breath. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a memory of my mother who used to be very upset and angry with us, her family, and the moment when someone outside from the family would approach her, she would shift into friendliness and this would upset me because I judged her as two-faced. Today I realise that her friendliness was put on for others to see because she experienced herself as inferior. Hence I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have judged my mother as two-faced and have been angry at her for that because I see that this was the program she ran to deal with her inferiority. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a memory of my mother commenting on one of our neighbours who did not smile back to her when they crossed paths, where my mother judged her as aloof, inaccessible and unfriendly and that I decided that I did not want to be like that because I feared someone making comments about me the way my mother made comments about this neighbour. Today I realise that I stood as inferior to my mother and that I used the words she spoke to program myself, also because I desired to be liked and accepted by her. I now release myself from these programs and direct myself from within the relationship I have with myself where I decide who I want to be. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a memory of my mother who would get very upset if we were walking outside on the sidewalk and I was exploring my surroundings as a young child and would not immediately yield if someone was trying to pass me and within that I forgive myself that I have programmed myself to believe that it is my duty to yield to others whenever I can, even to the point where I cause myself inconveniences and inflict pain onto myself. Today I am standing as the self-directive principle and I stop yielding to others and decide for myself in common sense how I move and behave as a self-expression. 

[Continue reading...]

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 570 - Next phase: walking out of separation with a colleague pt3


I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a negative polarisation towards Mr. F and Mr. R because I resent them for what I perceive to be an ol’ boys club, where I only selected few can enter, which determines the direction of the research group that I am in. I realise that this concept of ol’ boys club, which I have encountered in many professional situations inside and outside academia, is an expanded version of the family concept where we as a humanity do not care for each other equally but only for those who we consider our inner circle and completely disregard the rest of the world. Therefore, I accept that I am not part of this inner circle of this research group and cannot influence the direction of the research group and realise that self-change is the only way forward to end inequality and self-interest within myself. Within this I realise that the desire to influence the direction of the research stems from wanting to align the current work situation with my purpose and direction because I resist wanting to change (eventually) to align myself with a work environment which is aligned with my purpose and direction. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use my resistance to change and fear of loss of my current stable living situation to create resentment towards those who I perceive to be the obstacle of creating this alignment in my current work place and therefore stop this resentment and deal with the resistance and fear. As I am standing as the self-directive principle, I realise that all things are impermanent and only change is a constant factor, and within that I further realise that my momentary perceived stability in terms of a my beautiful apartment and comfortable living environment becomes a limitation if I use it to stop myself from pursuing my purpose and direction in the most effective manner. Thus,  I let go of the resistance and fear of loss and direct myself to become comfortable self-stability in that I can make adjustments to any environment and make decisions that will lead to re-establish a comfortable life wherever it will be, where I am also in alignment with my purpose and direction.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience myself in anger because I am not able to express myself through my work and all my efforts to collaborate seem to be blocked by Mr. F. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience myself in anger because I cannot express my ideas but I still try and in this I do not look at Mr. F’s mind or starting point where I could realise that there is no space for collaborative interaction. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be angry because I do not want to accept the way things are because I still have hopes and expectation that my position at this uni is more than what it is. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to obsess about making the situation at this university work instead of focusing on things I have to do for my purpose and direction. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to let go of the situation because I do not want to disappoint the dean because he has been so supportive of me, whereby I am not realising that I am using this morality point to trap myself instead of using the situation to move myself forward. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to re-enact a dynamic from my childhood where I was looking for acceptance from my parents and despite of the abusive situation I always pushed myself to make it better, not because there was a real chance for things to be better but because I was looking to be accepted. Within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to now project this behaviour to my work situation where the niceness and support I have received from the dean has become the motivator for me to place all my focus on my interaction with Mr. F because there is a part of me that would like to go to the dean and demonstrate that I have succeeded in creating a competent working environment with Mr. F. Here I realise that I make the niceness of the dean more than me and use it to limit myself because I accept the morality program as my starting point. Here I realise that i am standing as the self-directive principle and I accept myself as that through directing myself from that starting point, where I can still appreciate another’s support and learn from how the person (the dean) gives that support to others, so that I can apply what I learned in other situations but that I cannot allow the construct to enslave me neither the positive nor the negative aspects of the circumstance /situation

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to build on a program of my childhood in my job situation where I allowed myself to make my parents more than me and from this starting point accept to make decisions that are based on morality where I limit and diminish myself. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have judged the word "ruthless"" as negative and have defined myself as “kind-hearted” and have used this polarity construct to make decisions in my life in relation to people and situations. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not have realised that I have trapped myself within this polarity construct because at some point in my life I made a decision to be loyal to this construct and now realise that I have placed myself in numerous situation where I used the ego-identification of being kind-hearted to limit and trap myself and to undermine my potential. Since I realise this situation now and as I am walking as the self-directive principle, I make a decision to let go of this construct and direct myself within the context of what is here and what is best for all, which in essence means that i focus on my purpose and direction. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realise that I can use my time there in much better ways by moving my own projects forward which requires me to accept the situation as is and to stop trying to make it something beyond what it is and to let go of my anger. Within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to enact a similar behaviour as with my parents where I really wanted to change our communication and tried in so many ways, never realising (until recently) that this was not in their capacity as who they are and that it would have had to be initiated and developed by each of my parents in the first place and where I could have acted as support.  I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not have realised that I need to focus on myself and stop all expectation of collaboration at this university. I realise that i am the self-directive principle and that I can make a decision to refocus my efforts on the points that are important to my purpose and direction while I marginally participate with what I must so to keep this job going. 
[Continue reading...]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 569 - Next phase: walking out of separation with a colleague pt2


After listening to this EQAFE interview I realised that I have created Mr. F as a person in my mind and in my mind I am faced with the backchat from this imaginary person on the one hand and the interpretation of the person’s behaviours in my interactions with him on the other. This, I realise, is because I have a bunch of memories set up since childhood that keep me enslaved in the superiority/inferiority construct. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to when I met Mr. F allowed myself to draw on memories about Mr. F’s use of words and his representation (Image) and have used these memories to construct a person in my mind so that I am no longer seeing Mr. F anew in each context of interaction but only in reference to my memories. I realise that in the past I have constructed myself from imaginations based on my interactions with my parents and other people, where I have allowed myself to enter into comparison and through this comparison have created a database of inferiority and superiority thoughts. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have established a relationship with this database of pre- canned judgement that aggregate the superiority/inferiority construct and within that I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to allow myself to draw from this database when I meet someone new because I allow for the trigger to exist in me. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not allow myself to slow myself down in the moment I meet someone and remain in awareness as I have seen with Mr. F, because I realise, see and understand that if I had stayed in awareness I would have been able to reject the thoughts and backchat that appeared in my mind. At this moment, at this juncture I could have initiated change and started to disconnect and breakdown my relationship with this database of the superiority/inferiority construct. 

Therefore I commit myself to when and as I am meeting new people regardless in what context, I remain stable by making myself aware of my thoughts that come up so that in awareness I am able to let these thoughts go because I have seen now with Mr. F, if my database links me up to memories then this becomes the starting point of my interaction with the person - either from the stand point of inferiority or superiority. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react to Mr. F. in the moment when I interpret his behaviour as self-importance where I attach a series of judgements to his person that exists in my mind and where I believe that his way of acting affects the overall development of the project that we are collaborating on. Here I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realise that I can concentrate to stay focussed on the context of the meeting/ the project and see how I can assist and support Mr. F with my contribution to make the project a success. i forgive myself that i have accepted and allowed myself to instead get emotional about the discussion that emerges during the meeting, where I believe in my mind that I know better what to do, but do not allow myself to contribute from the starting point of support and assistance but rather from the starting point of superiority. Seeing this point, I commit myself to change it so that in the next meeting when and as i am getting ‘excited ‘ about what I believe stalls the progress of the project, I slow myself down to the point where i am calm and I stop all judgements and focus myself on the very context of the meeting and point out what needs to be done from the perspective of the project. At the same time, I commit myself to stop listening to all backchat and focus on bringing my point across clearly. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not use Mr. F’s fear of creativity as a point of support and assistance but instead use it in spitefullness where though this fear I allow myself to diminish him and establish myself in superiority. Here, I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not realise here I have a situation were I can "give what I like to receive” namely support, assistance and guidance so that I can assist Mr. F to step out of the fear. Therefore, I commit myself to when and as I see Mr. F’s fear of creativity surfacing, take a deep breath and look  at the situation in how I can contribute support so that he may be able to see the illusion of his fear. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that there is value in comparison because in my mind I compare myself to Mr. F instead of asking myself : what is the complementary value of our skill sets ? So that I can see better how I can steer my interactions with the team, the dean and Mr. F in that direction. I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to accept comparison to judge as default because it surfaces in my mind, and by doing so I create separation and also avoidance as my starting point of the interaction. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have diminished myself in my interactions with Mr. F by only looking at the situation from my perspective where I can only see what benefits me, and where I make myself blind to the perspective of others who are part of the context, and yet in my mind, I demand acceptance and support from my colleagues while I am not willing to give that kind of support to Mr. F.  

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that when I share my knowledge and skills with the group (at work), I should benefit from it and within that I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit myself in my participation because in my mind I estimate what I could receive in return and from that starting point I will give just enough so that I believe the exchange is even. Here I forgive myself that i have accepted and allowed myself to exist in polarisation where on the one hand, in other areas of my life, I am a freely giving person, and in this area in my life I react with superiority which makes me a stingy and greedy person.  I realise that this is a point of control that I use to protect myself from the others because I believe that I have seen to many indications that the situation and the people in it is not trustworthy. Here I also see the self-limitation and the illusion that I would lose something of myself if I were to give of myself freely and thus I commit myself to find a way to contribute of my knowledge and experience where I am embracing and balancing my projects and my time and the group's project and their time. 

[Continue reading...]

Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 568 - Next phase: walking out of separation with a colleague pt1


The context of this series:

In earlier blog posts, I have written about my work situation where I managed to be moved from a research group A, which is headed by a notorious professor with strong bullying characteristics to another research group B. Because of this move, i am now in research group B but without immediate supervisor. Through the structural layout of the research groups and the faculty, my line manager is the dean. Since entering into research group B, there has been a strong marginalisation tendency going on which seems to be instigated by a small group of individuals - and mostly one individual from that group, Mr. F. The reasons are many and some are rather obvious, not at least because I’ve come from the research group with the feared professor. 

Since I have been in research group B, I had to walk through a few constructs such as: giving up on myself as my expectations for a better work environment were shattered, feeling sorry for myself because of the circumstances, seeing myself as the victim of the situation and dealing with fear of the future because I believed that was no longer building my career as a researcher. Looking back on the past seven months I managed to move myself out of these constructs and I also devised a plan in how to use the situation to benefit me so that I could grow and expand professionally. 

Now the situation has shifted because the dean has put me directly on one of the projects were I am collaborating with Mr. F. Therefore the moments of friction have been increasing. I see that I am posing a threat to him and that his reactions are strong, sometimes explosive. When he does not like something I say or do he tries to intimidate me. There is a need on his part to control me. I have been told that in the past he has displayed these behaviours with selective people and that they have eventually left the university.

In the past 7 months I have worked somewhat with my relationship to him as well. But only in situational cases because I had so minimal contact with him. Now there is certainly no more room to withdraw and avoid dealing with Mr. F, I have to take the situation head on. Even though I realise that he is reacting out of fear, I have been unable to stop my reactions and attitude towards him. In my mind, I am seeing myself as superior to him because of my work background and my experience. I realise that I have constructed this mindset to protect myself from his intimidation tactics. When he reacts to me I react to him in anger which I suppress but I will let him know how I see the situation. When looking at the previous years in how I would have reacted in a similar situation, it looks like I have gone from inferiority to superiority - the other end of the spectrum of polarisation. 

I would like to get to the stage where I can stand as his support and assist him, where I am no longer reacting in anger inside of myself. I want to be able to direct the situation without experiencing myself in separation to him because I take his behaviour personally. In short I want to walk out of the separation within this relationship. 

[Continue reading...]

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Day 567 - Letting go of the worst case scenario - Realisations & commitments on the thought dimension pt6


In my previous post I wrote about the thought dimension, here I am writing about my realisations….

What I realised about the thought dimension is twofold: the influence of the media regarding the dire economic situation and the influence of others in my field who I use as a point of comparison - are the ingredients which together create the worst case scenario picture in my mind

In the first instance, I am facing a lot of news about the economic crisis, unemployment figures that are sky-high and continue to rise. There are countries where youth unemployment is at 55%. This is obviously a devastating situation. Even though I am not overtly reacting to these news I am still affected by it and how it plays out is that I start to project into the future what the economic situation may mean for me. It's the insecurity of our economic system on the one hand and the visible collapse of it on the other hand that leaves us collectively distraught. In my case it contributes to thoughts of homelessness and loss of livelihood. 

The other influence is the direct comparison of myself as professional in the work place. I have noticed that I compare myself to others in terms of rank and projects. The moment I am aware of it, I see the absurdity of it because my professional trajectory is unlike anyone else's in my work environment. I know this is an automated mechanism which, as of late, I tend to participate in until the moment when I am becoming aware of what I am doing and then I stop


When and as I am reading the news about the economic world situation, I breathe and stop my subtle reactions, I see, realise and understand that the situation is very bad and that with and through my participation to change myself and change the system I am doing what I can do. This entails a disciplined and steady approach in participating with the group to bring about a system that works on the principles of a living income for all. 

When and as I am at work and I look at others and compare myself to them professionally, I stop and breathe, I realise that I have a completely different trajectory behind me and that this trajectory also gives me completely different future opportunities, and that through comparison I only diminish myself and therefore I stop. I hold off any speculation and see, realise and understand that any projection in relation to this act of comparison is a figment of my mind and that I can will myself to stay out of it. 

[Continue reading...]
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