Stayed in bed a little longer and did the body meditation from last night. I took the bus to the house because I could not walk properly. The pain in my left calf is worse and the weakness and loss of movement in my foot has increased since last night. The numbness elsewhere in my legs has also increased slightly.
The Need For Positivity
Sat with Karaj and he impressed upon me once again the power of and the need for positivity. He told me that with every movement, every step, every bucket, I need to be sending positive energy from the healthy parts of my body down into my legs and feet and toes. I need to focus and connect the top half of my body with the bottom half. And I can do that simply by thinking it. I can heal myself. He also told me that my leadership qualities were demonstrated last night by the fact that the men turned up at the house without question because I had asked them to. Unfortunately I then negated that power with my own self-doubt and worry. As Karaj said, all I need to do is be myself. Don’t worry about anyone else. Be myself.
Worked hard in the garden this afternoon – 116 buckets (1245). The pathway down to the pond is nearly finished and once I had cleaned everything the whole site looked enchanting. Throughout the afternoon’s work I focused the positive energy from my upper body into my legs. Every time I did so I felt good and I smiled. I could almost feel it working.
Like A Moth To A Flame
Men’s Group. We talked about what it takes to be a servant and recounted recent incidents of our own subservience. I am only too willing to be told what to do because that way I cannot be held responsible. However, I will only tolerate being told certain things; I cannot stand to be treated like an idiot. Talking about this in the group highlighted to me that I expect the best of both worlds. I realised that with my lack of responsibility and initiative I am delivering myself fully to a fate over which I have no control and which will ultimately result in my own annoyance, frustration and anger. Being told what to do all the time will kill me. If, however, I assume responsibility and show initiative I will maintain control over my life and be able to direct my life wherever I want it to go.
All the other men also had examples of servitude and I found it encouraging that at least I am not alone. Karaj challenged me on this and, as he considered how I was being manipulative there were supportive murmurs from some of the other men – noticeably Ishwar, George, Earl and Leon. They all agreed with Karaj when he pointed out to me that the reason I find it encouraging is that I have company in my negativity. As Earl said: misery loves company. The comfort I feel comes from the negativity of others’ subservience. I was grateful for this insight because it helped me to see that I tend to move towards the negativity as a moth to the flame.
It has been a big part of my life – see my father – and this week has been all about acknowledging the power it has over me. This does not mean that hold cannot be broken because that is what this week has also been about. I have had important realisations into just how much negativity is contained within me and my affinity with it, and this has already helped me to appreciate the magnitude of the challenge. I have a handle on it, I am fighting it, and I will win.
George told a lovely story of his walks to work. He is often greeted by an old woman who always asks him what day it is. Sometimes she is not there. Those are the days when he is fully present in the here and now. On the days he is too much in himself, she appears and her presence drags him back into the present. Karaj followed with the tale of his morning routine. He walks to the shop and if people smile at him then he knows he is in the right space. If they ignore him, don’t see him, or fail to acknowledge his existence then he returns to the house and works on what it is that is not right about himself and his space. Both stories are simple ways of checking where we are.
After a break we fed back to Robert all we could about his negativity and everything he does which hinders his own progress. We all worked hard to impress upon him that when we feed back to him we are not throwing rocks at him, we are shedding light on aspects of himself which, due to him being wrapped up in his own conditioning, he cannot see. It is the same for all of us. It is vital that if we have a problem or even just a feeling that we may have a problem, we get in touch with someone. It is through simple conversation that the other person, free of our conditioning, can identify our problem. Again, simple and very effective.
Take It Seriously
George then brought up an issue he has with a female pupil of his. She is moody, demonstrative and is showing signs of being manipulative. Karaj took it very seriously and told George to safeguard his job and career from any potential accusations of sexual harassment which the girl may well fabricate. He can do this by showing genuine concern for her welfare, and in doing so will be able to prove himself worthy of consideration for a post as student counsellor. A good opportunity. Karaj told him to write down his observations, record all incidents with the pupil, speak to her headmistress, his union representative, his head teacher and possibly her parents. This thoroughness cannot be underestimated and it was a further reminder for me of how important it is to predict and plan my life.
It must be stressed that the best way to ensure that nothing happens is to prepare for everything happening. Another of life’s beautiful paradoxes. George had originally seen this situation as a confrontative one. It is not about confrontation, it is about concern for the welfare of his student and safeguarding his own career.
An Unsent Letter
The homework from the last group was not pursued. Nevertheless, here is a letter (unsent) to my Gran; someone who asked but did not hear my wishes:
When I was 13 years old, you asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told you I wanted to be a footballer. You wasted no time in asking me what I would do if I had a serious injury. A reasonable consideration perhaps, but not for a young boy who should be allowed to dream.
Throughout my life you have always impressed on me the importance of having something to fall back on. So much so that at the age of 27 I remember saying to myself, ‘There, that’s ten years spent building something to fall back on. That’s enough. Now I can do what I want to do’.
You have always shown interest in my life. Alas, your interest has invariably been intrusive because you have taken every opportunity to tell me what I should be doing with my life. You tell me you are only trying to help me. Let me tell you now, you are not helping me. You are not listening to me.