Today’s journal entry from 11 years ago (‘Navigating Our Way’) is typical of the work I did during my training and the work I do now with my clients. The entry is an analysis of the kind of discounting feeling which occurs all too often and which, until we observe it and see it clearly, will persist.
We all come across it regularly in our lives. If those discounting thoughts and words are our own, we eventually become tired of their impact and feel powerless to change the pattern. If they come from a colleague, friend or family member, we gradually become frustrated at their attitude and at some point we stop trying to convince them otherwise.
But when we analyse the process and see what is going on, and when we understand how such patterns originate, then we can work on an effective approach to change the behaviour.
The change is not a miraculous, everlasting shift into a new way of being. It’s not about creating an all-singing, all-dancing version of ourselves, barely recognisable from the old version. It is about working on ourselves with awareness; awareness of how we behave and why we behave the way we do.
It’s about looking at the evidence of what actually happens versus what our conditioning tells us will or might happen, and using that evidence again and again to show ourselves that the outcome can be different and that we can succeed where we used to think we would fail.
I had the exact same feeling (as the navigation one) when, in February 2000, Karaj asked me to prepare his accounts for him. When he asked me, my immediate thought was, ‘I’m not an accountant.’
Then I thought of someone close to me who, despite her shy, quiet and humble nature, took on everything people asked of her in her job. She didn’t seem fazed by anything. She was the inspiration behind me accepting Karaj’s invitation. That two-week accounts contract was to be the start of our four-year collaboration; a time during which I learnt, experienced and grew so much.
Sadly, that woman died recently, and on Monday I will be attending her funeral. It is very sad and there are people right now hurting more than they have ever hurt as a result of her loss. I told her once how she had inspired me and I’m glad I did.
It will be a difficult occasion, but for the two days prior to that I will be amongst my best and closest friends, celebrating a 40th birthday with people whose presence in my life I appreciate even more now because others have lost someone so dear to them.
There will be more love than sadness this weekend and more affection than distance. For those who are suffering, my wish is that somehow they be touched by the love which is everywhere, at all times.