Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 545 - Revenge of the ego @work


So I am facing another peculiar situation at work. After finishing my recent proposal, I have another project proposal that I am now starting to shop around. In the first instance, I took my idea to a professor at my university. This is a different approach because for my last proposal writing effort, no one else from my university was involved, all my collaborators where from other universities.

When I started to investigate who would be suitable for the project idea two people recommended a professor to me whose line of research fits with what I would like to do, and this was confirmed when I studied his profile. Now, I have never met this guy before and so anything could have happened and did. I did not prepare myself from the starting point of "what if….?" Because I did not want to create a negative or positive attitude within myself instead I manipulated myself with this thought:  "how bad could it be, I am bringing an idea to him - that's the mana of each professors' existence".

And when we finally met almost two weeks ago, we clashed...

It turned out that he was hired into a new chair at the university and that he is eager to show what he can do now. After a few minutes of talking with him, I realised that he would go quite far to make sure he gets the most credit out of the project.

Our life trajectories are also pretty much in opposition, he has stayed within in a 100km radius of the small place where he was born and has always worked in the vicinity. I, on the other hand, have lived all over the world and have lived in places that are quite tolerant what concerns traditions and rules. 

I explained to him that I see us equals in this endeavour if he chooses to collaborate with me and from his answers I saw that he did not agree because to him I could not be an equal as I am not a professor. I then tried to explain to him that my life prior to academia has to be taken into consideration and that I am not an unexperienced researcher because my professional trajectory prior to academia is tightly related to my research topic and so I bring a lot of experience to the project.  

With this and some other experiences I finally realised that I was like a fish in a different water at this university. Where I had studied and lived prior to coming to the current place of employment - those were "modern" places, where professors where not seen as someone 'untouchable',  they had open doors, and I was treated like a person not like a title. 

Where I work now, it's a bit like going back 70 years in time, professors don't even say hello to those who are not professors, regardless of other credentials or experiences these people might have. There are many "unspoken" rules in what someone in my position can and cannot do. 

I realise that I was actually quite fortunate initially when I came to the university, because through my research unit switch I now see the difference, now that I am part of the faculty.   In my prior research unit, I was at an independent centre that is loosely connected to the university and operates a bit more like US and UK universities. There I already noticed a difference but dismissed it as unimportant because it did not affect my basic communication.  If I had not dismissed it I could have paid more attention to the rules and maybe figured out what they are. 

So at this stage, I am facing myself in a few ways:

a. Fear of my idea being appropriated by a professor who will not give me credit. 
b. Fear of having created an enemy because of my straightforwardness and not submitting to the rules. 
c. Dislike of the professor and regret for having addressed him with my idea.
d. Dislike of the university environment because it is so outdated and backwards.
e. The desire to leave instead of staying put and working through the points.
f. A kind of in limbo state about what to do, whether I should proceed with finding partners outside of the university or just write out the points with this professor and pursue the idea with him further. 

ad f. Yesterday I have sent him an email for a follow-up meeting and if he does not respond then I have to make a decision on what to do.

In my next post, I will work on the self-forgiveness to release myself from the constraints and self-limitations and see where the root of my 'evil' stems from. 

[Continue reading...]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 544 - Living by principle no. 2 - Guided in thought and deed to bring about what is best for all


Principle of the living:

No. 2: Living by the principle of what is best for all - guiding me in thought, word and deed to always in all ways direct problems to the best possible outcome for all. 

When I initially read this line of text I responded by feeling a heaviness in my body. I experienced this sentence as "a lot of responsibility" to be aware of everything I think and do, to always stir the events in my life in the direction of what it best for all -  I thought of the many decisions I make day in and day out,  how can I be aware of them all?

When I re-read the sentence I realised that in my awareness I skipped the first part of the sentence, and conveniently focussed on the latter part, the hard part, so that I could allow myself to feel the heaviness and the perceived burden of so much responsibility. So in re-reading I then realised that the first part of the sentence "by the principle"  denotes a process, a process of change that moves close and closer to becoming the principle itself.  

In my particular situation, I have noticed that I have often taken the route away from responsibility, in quite hidden and manipulative ways because I have perceived responsibility as a burden. Whenever I have to take responsibility for something I am actually quite conscientious  of all the aspects  because I take responsibility very seriously and usually the outcome is satisfactory. When it comes to interacting with other people, I would rather not take responsibility. Yet, generally speaking when taking responsibility for everything, it inevitably leads to more interaction with other humans and potential friction points where I would be confronted with myself. The way I have previously dealt with this point is that I have created an introverted personality where I do not need much interaction with others and I am quite happy, self-contained and in peace when left alone. In other words, I have denied myself the opportunities to face myself with others and have 'run away' from myself by minimising any additional responsibility and only focussing on the bare minimum.  

Since I have become aware that this construct/programming exists as dominant factor in my life, I have taken deliberate steps to walk out of it. Though I realise that this is an ongoing process as I am often surprised how far I have accepted escape as an option to solve a problem.

On the other hand, I have seen that I have the capacity to direct problems quite well, to the best outcome for all, which has been an interesting walk in real life, and has shown me that this fear of responsibility has a lot to do with an energy of anticipation, based on memories of my childhood in particular, when I interacted with my mother. 

So, clearly, there is path to walk with this principle to live my utmost potential in pushing myself to guide my thinking and doing towards what is best for all, taking the responsibility to steadily chisel away on the aspects of my programming that I use to hold myself back. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear the responsibility to steadily guide myself in all aspects of my life towards the solutions that are best for all because I see, realise and understand that this means I must let go of the self-interest in not wanting to take responsibility for myself, for others and for everything that it here. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to fear that I don't have what it takes to be so focussed on directing my thoughts and deeds all the time towards that is best for all, because I anticipate from myself perfection in the outcome, instead of realising that this is a path I am walking and that pushing myself is what I am committing to, here in every moment, and not allowing my mind to interfere by looking towards the outcome of my efforts. 

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience myself overwhelmed when committing to the principle to produce outcomes to problems that are best for all because I believe that I have too much going in my life to cover all thoughts and deeds of my daily involvement which I realise is a self-manipulation to step away from taking responsibility. 

I commit myself to take responsibility to live BY the principle of producing thoughts, actions and solutions in a consistent manner that are best for all. 

I commit myself to target the areas in my life where I insist on keeping myself locked up and trapped to not take responsibility and to hold onto energy and programs that cannot produce outcomes that are best for all. 

[Continue reading...]

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 543 - An inconvenient mirror


I am at a peculiar position at work, I have no supervisor anymore. A few months back I switched research units for a number of reasons that are irrelevant to mention for the content of this post.  As a newcomer in the research unit I switched to, I am now in a lab which has no senior members. The person who is supposed to be leading the lab - which is merely a handful members who are loosely connected and are working in different departments -  is pretty much my equal in terms of professional experience and scope. It has been a real piece of work for me to integrate myself because I can see that I am not easily accepted, and that in turn I am not easily accepting the person who is heading the lab. So, I was looking at the situation and I found that I have build up many judgements and resentments that stem from my interactions with him.

When I honestly looked into myself and saw all the dimensions of accumulated backchat that I bring towards him, I realised that they span not only my personal interactions with him, but also how he manages the lab activities, and those who are liaised with him.  For example we have a stack of papers and every fortnight he chooses one from the stack for us to read and to discuss.  Habitually, he chooses the paper on Friday evening, which means that I have to work on the weekend and study the paper to prepare myself. I am resentful for this because I believe that he is aware of what he is doing. More resentment came about when he did not answer my emails and did not take my suggestions seriously. From another perspective, I can understand that he could see me as a threat because I came in to the research unit, already involved with a proposal which made no reference to the lab and created a point of separation and superiority.

I have done writing on my mind-relationship with him in my private blog, yet I still feel challenged not react to him.  I see that my starting point is already one of suspicion and expectation where I make myself aware of his words and triangulate the meanings to get to the gist of what he is 'really' trying to say to me - or so I believe. What is it that he represents to my mind that I do not want to let go of? Why am I having such a hard time relating to him? When we interact we are both very well protected and I also believe that I have assessed him quite well, which might be the case though it does not justify the mind fuck I allow to exist within me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to focus on X's short comings so that I can justify for myself why I don't want to accept him, and why I don't want to trust him.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that I can read X like an open book, where I see that he is convinced of himself and I see that he is desires control and yet, he is like a mirror to me where I see myself in a similar way and I recognise that this is a part of me I don't like.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not want to admit to myself that the problem I have with him is the problem I have with myself, and that my interactions with him are showing me sides of myself that I would rather keep in the dark because they are part of my ego composed from a stack of self-definitions that I fear to lose -  who would I be without them?

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use his lab management points, so in effect his leadership skills to find fault with him because in reality I am also unsure of my leadership skills and how I would handle the situation if the tables where reversed.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to come to him with a hostile starting point, because I believe my backchat where I say to myself "I can't trust this guy" which I base on my interactions with him and the stories I have heard about him, and by doing so I realise I eradicate the opportunities I have to stand without reactions when I am interacting with him.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to limit myself by creating a wall, a blockage in my interactions with X because I do not want to let go of my guard when I experience the other as interacting with me from a point of self-protection and here I forgive myself for my stubbornness of expecting the other to first make changes instead of me making changes within myself independent of what he is doing.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that if I were to make changes, for example if I were to approach X with a silenced mind and in breath, I stand to lose 'something' where I cannot even define what I would lose because I don't know what would happen if I were to be in breath awareness and not aware of my distrust towards him.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abuse myself by not allowing myself to change in this situation, in my interactions with X, and continue to be stuck in blame so that I continue to live in my limited mind space instead of living here.


I commit myself to change the situation by learning to interact with X from the starting point of awareness in breath, and by challenging myself to stop all backchat about him until my mind is quiet.

I commit myself to dismiss the stories I have heard about X instead of hanging on to them as proof that what I am experiencing is the 'truth' so that I can continue to blame him, but instead I make the point of my interactions with X to be a point in here-ness, where I do not allow memory or previous ideas I have of the person to dictate how I feel within myself when I am in his presence.

I commit myself to be gentle with myself and to give myself permission to change and let go, so that I can use this opportunity to walk out of the self-definitions that I use to justify my reactions towards X.

I commit myself to take my power back by stopping my reactions and emotions and direct myself from within my relationship with self.


I realise that we are both equally insecure about our position at the university, our expertise in the field, and that our insecurity prompts us to want to be in control about how we are perceived by others. I realise that this is what I do not want admit to myself and what I see about him and I dislike.

[Continue reading...]
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