I Created My Environment

Following on from the previous post, Be Careful What You Wish For, this one uses the example of my training group to further the idea that we are capable of wishing situations into existence. We create the environments we desire, whatever the desire. Within the context of my story and the lives of the people who played their part during that time, the reason our respective paths converged was twofold:

  • To deal effectively with familiar situations we had experienced before but lacked the maturity or the tools to succeed at the time.
  • To face who we are and sort ourselves out.

[Karaj: When we choose to deal with our issues through awareness work, the same issues will arise. We can either become conscious of them and immerse ourselves in them so that, this time around, we can deal with them fully; or we can pay lip service to them and carry on as before. Unfortunately, because we have life experience we can learn the language of awareness to cover up our core issues  It is very rare for people to immerse themselves in a real hell and welcome it.]

During my visit to Karaj in February, we talked about how the group had stood in its own way, and in doing so had also stood in ours. As a member of that group, I saw myself as part of the problem, even though one of my earliest questions when I began working with Karaj was why his clients didn’t make more use of him. These last months, during the editing of my book and particularly among the recent journal posts (from 11 years ago), I have found regular reminders of how I used to lament their commitment. The most forceful example is a journal entry from January 2002: My Most Powerful Challenge.

Why It Happened

When Karaj returned the visit last month, we talked more about it. We agreed that we had been limited by the group, but we didn’t dwell on it. Instead, our conversation moved swiftly on to the subject of how the group came about and, most revealingly, why. When I arrived in early 2000, he was already running established men’s and women’s groups. Two years after my arrival, a core of people chrystallised into a concentrated, focused group which met and worked intensely every weekend. That group continued beyond my time, before closing a few years later. Karaj is now seeing that it was his instinct all those years ago – and his trust in the same – which set the group up. At the time, all he knew was that he had to do it. It took 15 years for him to see why.

Reflecting back, he reasoned that he had needed the group work, the challenges and the confrontation in order to work on himself. In essence, he needed to earth or exhaust his vast energy and come to rest. As someone with an intense Be Strong driver, he had an aversion to the idea of rest. In addition, he had the intellect, and the strength of will and character to stand firm with everyone in the group. His energy was too much for us, bent as we were by the weight of our own challenges.

Without realising, Karaj had formed the group for his own salvation, with no idea of its full significance. And, beautifully, it was the same for everyone else. We had all created this environment for our own ends; all of us unaware of the true extent of the experience. We had simply come together to discover the truth and sort ourselves out.


There was a subconscious force at work. A force which helps to explain the commitment the core group did show because, despite my contention that it wasn’t enough, they still turned up every weekend. From Friday at 18:00 through to Sunday beyond midnight, people were there. They came to be challenged, to listen to feedback they didn’t want to hear, be confronted with their own self, and work painstakingly through their issues. Weekend after weekend, month after month. For a period there was also the Wednesday Supervision Group (WSG) every Wednesday, never mind Sicily. Each time, people left their lives and entered a world of personal development which was more challenging than anything I have ever known.

The Threads Entwine

To help explain how our wishes accumulate, here is one of the many threads which led to my work with Karaj. In 1992 I did an internship at an insurance company in Germany. After eight months and two different departments, I somehow found myself in the office which insured racehorses. I got on effortlessly well with my boss and liked the way he worked. (We had good times at the races too.) He once told me how, in his earlier days with the company, he had insisted on shadowing a particular manager because he was so impressed with him, and wanted to learn everything he could. Nothing else mattered. His story left its mark on me and, years later, I found myself doing exactly the same. It just happened.

My interest in personal development is another thread which led me there. Yet another is the conversation I had with the Commerzbank guy back in 1999. The lack of a convincing father figure; the desire for the team feeling I’d last had playing football in 1987; and the search for an explanation of why people behave the way they do, all found expression and resolution in the environment I, he and we created. Also, I am an intense person and when I do something I tend to do it intensely. I like it that way and that’s just how it turned out with Karaj and the group. In fact, I could not have created a more intense environment for my personal development. Nor would I have wanted to; it was the intensity which finally led me to leave.

Seeing More Clearly

Throughout the work, Karaj gave everything. Had our commitment matched his, events may have been different, but no matter how much he gave it still wasn’t enough to exhaust him. Nine years he pushed on, until the group fragmented and finally closed in May 2008. Only now is he coming to rest and seeing the full extent of why it all happened.

His account helps me to see more clearly what it was about for me. I was simultaneously dealing with my past, confronting my present, and building the foundations for my future. There is no way I could have done that without the group or the environment. (In fact, the group’s presence saved me because, had they not been present, I would not have been able to cope with Karaj’s energy on my own.)  I am calming down now, too. I asked for a quiet year this year, and it’s happening.

Sometimes, we don’t know why certain things are happening. That’s when we have to be able to rely on ourselves to deal with whatever comes our way; and trust that it is we who have created our current experience. There is a more subtle and determined force at work than we realise. We are more creative than we imagine and more powerful than we think. We manifest whatever we wish for and make real whatever we need. With that in mind, go gently, be kind, and wish for whatever you want.

[Karaj: Once, a very long time ago, we asked for what we wanted. During the challenges of life as we grew up, what we asked for got buried under the weight of social conditioning. Can we remember our dreams as we face everyday challenges and try to conform to the rules of society? What counts is the ability to follow our dreams no matter what. Then the simplicity of the rhythm of life is revealed: a sine wave, a heartbeat, sunrise and sunset, or the reflection in the water. Totally devoid of emotional tantrums. When we consciously immerse ourselves in the burning hell of our lives, what emerges is the simplicity of life, the expression of pure love, unconditional, detached and yet interconnected and in harmony with humanity. Maybe next time you sit in silence and contemplate the reflections from the ripples of your life, you may get a glimpse of what you wanted. It is yours, go for it. It’s worth it.]

Related posts in this trilogy: Be Careful What You Wish For | Relax, Your Future’s On Its Way
Related posts: The Hardest Part | 50-Hour Weekend | 13 Hours Of Group Work | A Typical Weekend

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