Friday, January 9, 2009


Each month I have a one-on-one phone call with my manager. We discuss what I'm working on, if there are other priorities I should attend to, what is getting in the way of my accomplishing my goals. We usually spend some time talking about ourselves. I often tell her about how my practice is going.

At the end of this year, as I was reflecting on 2008 and my practice with the precepts, how there is one peer at work who really challenges me. I find myself holding onto irritation with behavior of hers that I consider unprofessional. Not just the ways she interacts with me, but the way she treats others. I will have a call with her days after something happens and find myself curt with her, still irritated. Hanging onto the story about the irritation and anger for days.

As I work with the precept to not give rise to anger, rather to seek the source of it, I realized my co-worker offered a perfect opportunity to practice. I had thought about Bhagavan Das saying in the new and amazing production from 1 Giant Leap, What About Me?, that, "Worrying is praying for what you don't want."

In holding onto the anger and irritation it was just another way of praying for what I do not want in my life. I need to practice with working that those emotions, understand where they arise from and move forward from compassion instead. Why not start learning this at work, since I spend so many hours engaged in it.

I finished explaining all of this and some of the ways my teachers have provided insight on how to look deeply. My boss noted that on a very uncomfortable phone call with this person I had managed to interject something that sounded completely calm and supportive even though my manager said she knew I had to be infuriated by the behavior.

She then said that an objective for me around team building this year was to come up with a workshop for the whole team on how to work with irritation, change and uncertainty. Emotions my team has felt very much of this past year especially. KE told me she had this fear that I would become so in demand as a workshop presenter that I'd retire from my job very early. She said she really saw this, really saw me as providing workshops that integrate mindfulness and yoga for people in business, care givers, and trauma survivors.

When I told CK about it later, how I was so surprised and feel like I'm not up to coming up with a workshop for my team she smiled at me. She pointed out how wonderful this is, I now have my day-to-day job willing to pay me to come up with workshops for presentation to business! I hadn't thought of it that way at all, I'd been more focused on feeling entirely unprepared and lacking in skill for this kind of task -- listening to my inner critic!

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