Be Fully Present

07.45 E&M 25 mins. As I sat quietly after finishing my exercises I began to feel the negativity. I told myself I have a lot to be positive about (from yesterday alone) and that I should grab hold of it and use it. I also predicted that I would have an initial problem with Robert when we met, as I always do. Consequently, I left the house in a much better frame of mind than I would otherwise have done. When the men arrived I noticed that I did not have to negotiate any hurdle with Robert. The day had started very well.

We spent the morning having a supervision session. The usual men were there along with George, Priya and Harriet. At one point Priya began to cry when she realised that she had spent her whole life having to be happy and smiley to lift her family even when she felt down or angry. Karaj left the room briefly and, after considering what to do – I was unsure whether to stay or leave Priya and Harriet alone – I stood up and told the group I was taking a break. They all followed and when Karaj saw us leaving the room he demanded to know what was going on.

It had been wrong to walk out on Priya but he did not blame me. Instead he looked to the elders and asked them why they did not set a better example to me by staying in the room to lend their (unspoken) support to Priya. I realised that all I want from elders is to be shown the way in certain situations. Karaj said to me that what I had done was okay because at least I had done what I had wanted to do. I had not tried to please others, which is progress for me.

After the session I spoke to Dev about verbalisation. We had a really good chat, helped initially by Sunil, which inspired me to verbalise more and get involved in the day. In the hour of work we did before lunch – moving the pile of bricks to build a wall on the edge of the patio – I was fully involved and as Sunil put it later, ‘on the ball’.

I took my lead from Robert who in recent weeks has challenged people firmly and provided comprehensive feedback as well as stating clearly to me on Friday that he has a vested interest in all the men succeeding because that helps drive his own success. So, having been inspired by another chat with Dev, I was fully present for the rest of the morning and challenged Dev constantly about his managerial input. Karaj has told me to be aggressive with Dev because we can benefit so much from each other; we share many of the same issues.

Unfortunately, after a good start Dev disappeared into himself just as he had after the Cambridge course in January. He had inspired me then only to dump me and vanish, and today he did it again. When we resumed work, clearing the path to the sunken garden, I had a headache. It stayed with me all afternoon. When I talked to Karaj about it in the evening he explained that it was a result of being let down by Dev once again. Just like after the Cambridge course, he had seemed to be with me but disappeared as quickly as he could. [Karaj: He is still doing this and you allow him to.]

As we worked in the garden the weather was ideal. The air was warm and the Spring sunshine shone all day, disturbed intermittently by the slowly drifting clouds. It was perfect weather for clearing Robert’s path. Dev and Robert erected a platform in order that we could pass the buckets up to the required level to dump the earth, and each time we filled the buckets we came together to form a chain and pass the buckets all the way up to Karaj and Robert who distributed the earth accordingly.

Priya was first in the chain and passed the buckets to me. At one point I became too focused on what was going on in front of me and Priya had to remind me to pass her down the empty buckets. [Karaj: You had vanished.] I realised then that Priya was focused and with us and that I could rely on her. This turned out to be an important feedback for her – that she can be relied upon.

While the men and Priya wrote their appraisals for the Self Healing Group, Karaj and I worked upstairs on some presentation files for Shona. Once again I was impressed with Karaj’s attention to detail, and his thorough and professional approach to even the simplest of tasks. Not only does he buy the best products and expect the best from the men, he produces the best work he can, whatever it is he does. An excellent role model.

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