The Road to Excellence

Yesterday we worked until 9pm putting up the safety wall in the garden. It took us about three hours in total. After about 20 minutes I was demoralised and frustrated. Nevertheless, the two of us carried on in the darkness with just a lamp to guide us. As has been usual throughout this garden project, we did an excellent job.

Today we worked very hard again to complete the project in time for the weekend’s men’s group. We built a fine, sturdy bridge over ‘foxhill’ gorge, moved the shelter onto the new patio, cleaned everything up and made it all look beautiful. We stood back and admired our achievements. In a month and a half we have transformed the garden and, in the last three days in particular, we have achieved the impossible.

I was lost for words. All in all, it is probably the most satisfying and therapeutic work I have ever done. It was a joy to work together with Karaj and, as he said tonight, it will take about six months to fully appreciate and evaluate just what we have accomplished in the last six weeks.

There was a pattern I noticed with every aspect of the work Karaj and I did in the garden. Whether it was the digging, the laying of the paving stones, the erection of the walls or the building of the bridge, the process was always the same:

  • Demotivation – lack of will and energy [Karaj: Our mind’s inertia and internal conditioning.]
  • Slow progress – work was sluggish and difficult [Karaj: Working with the mind.]
  • Realisation of progress – seeing things happening; motivation
  • Enthusiasm – a drive to continue, renewed energy
  • Completion – reaching the goal I didn’t think possible
  • Admiration – satisfaction and pride in my achievements
  • Celebration

Regarding my pessimism and gloom from the other morning, Karaj tells me it is a sign that I am making progress. It is another pattern in my life that the more progress I make, the worse things become. Any problems I encounter are simply my script, or my mind, or both making desperate attempts to keep me where I am – to prevent me reaching a place where I have complete control over myself and my life. This journey is not easy and it is littered with potential setbacks. If I feel gloomy or depressed there is no need to worry or panic. It is a good sign and is just another hurdle to overcome as I progress further down my chosen path.

Karaj talked briefly about adapted behaviour today. Adapted people are so eager to please that they do not listen or observe properly. They listen and watch out for triggers which allow them the opportunity to please. Once they receive these triggers – which is all they’re looking for – they go straight into pleasing and stop listening/observing. That’s what I do. This information gives me further insight into my inability to listen and observe effectively.

Related post: The Process

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