After breakfast, I looked at my Vivekananda books: ‘We are responsible for who we are, because we have the power to be whoever we wish.’ Karaj and I then sat in the sunken garden for hours and talked. We began with how he prepares so thoroughly for every eventuality because it lessens the chance of the script finding a way through. If we are not prepared when we walk into a room, then we will always attract those people who will perpetuate our script. I felt emotional about how I have behaved towards people of late. I do not want to be an emotional person who takes it out on others.
Not Being Challenged
We moved onto the subject of the Asians in the group not challenging me. Whenever they have issues with me, they cannot raise them because I am white and as far as their cultural script is concerned, ‘white is right.’ I asked whether I can challenge them on this, to the extent that I bring out this hierarchical thinking and tease them into getting annoyed with me. Karaj said it could well be a good approach to the problem. The thing is, they are not helping themselves or me in this. I need to be challenged by them or I will not grow.
And whenever I challenge them, they defer to me and go quiet. It is very frustrating and Karaj says this is how they will trip me up – by not engaging with me. Furthermore, we are coming to the truth from different directions (Western and Eastern), and it is important we learn the other’s version of the truth. That won’t happen if we don’t relate to each other, and we will all miss out on an invaluable opportunity.
[I recall a time after this conversation, with Ishwar, Simran and Dev, when I was deliberately provocative to see whether they would challenge me. They didn’t. Later, when Karaj was in the room, Ishwar raised it and I was challenged by Karaj. Ishwar did it in his own way, but I expected much more from Simran and Dev.]
I Need To Win
We talked about my perception of people in general; that they must be trying to sort themselves out, surely? Well, they are not, and I can help myself by collecting evidence in everyday conversations with them (without giving anything away about where I am coming from) that this is the case. Karaj said he can see where we’re heading and we will get there. He can also feel the excitement of the work we are doing and the progress we are making. I can neither see nor feel what he can. He told me that all I need to see is myself healthy and pain-free, (or at least being able to cope with my pain without any problems). I thanked him for the talk and he replied that this is available to me any time.
Our discourse continued. My argumentative side is a great skill and is coming to the fore again after three years of listening to what Karaj has to say and accepting it. For so long I have just followed his instructions because that is what I have needed in order to grow, but now I am questioning things and it is healthy for me to do so. Over the past few days I have been clear about things and I have stood up for myself. However, it has all been achieved with and through anger. The goal for me is to achieve the same without the anger.
Ultimately, the goal for all of us is to be able to self-assess ourselves. Karaj told me I need to win, and I can use my competitive instinct to do so. He will use comparisons of my to-do list with others to facilitate that process. He also told me I need to master one thing so that when all around me are losing their heads, I can calmly get on with what I’m good at. He continued, adding that I need to recognise my worth and what a valuable commodity I am, otherwise people will just continue to use me.
A Shift In Our Relationship
It was great to talk to him. I feel that, for the first time since working with Karaj, I can relate to him about everything in a way which makes it feel there is more to our relationship than me just following instructions. Moreover, I need to talk to him because I am confused and angry… and searching for the truth. Karaj told me to challenge Calvin heavily; he needs to learn to relax, otherwise he will lose his job.
At lunchtime I spoke to Shona and thanked her again for her words yesterday. It is lovely that she appreciates the good times we have had. She reiterated that we have had many and it would be a shame to lose them when I have the resources around me to sort through my negativity. We talked about challenges from the Asians – she is the only one who challenges me, and Karaj came in saying it may be a good idea to use Shona to make the point to them that they do not challenge whites.
Dealing With Emotions & Pain
After going for a sauna and a swim, I rested. I was absolutely knackered from the weekend, the pain, and the conversations with Karaj; they are both empowering and tiring because all the information I receive from him is a challenge to my script. At the same time, I am trying to be with my body. It is a very effective way of getting away from my emotions, and a better use of my time and energy than getting annoyed or being angry.
In the early evening, Karaj and I chatted again. I did not want to go to yoga. The pain I am in with my back will cause me frustration if I go (not to mention more pain), because I will not be able to do the things I was doing last week. Karaj told me that he does not have such feelings with his pain. He always sees his pain as a challenge. Verbalising my issue and listening to Karaj’s approach to pain made my mind up for me. I went to yoga. It was standing postures and twists. Not that painful for me and I was not frustrated by being restricted. In fact, I was able to do all the things I usually do, they were just a little more painful. No frustration though, just a feeling of achievement.