Give To Those Who Have Not

Friday 28 December, 2001

Yesterday evening I stood in my back garden and reflected on the work I do with Karaj. After three days’ holiday I am able to see just how hard I work when I am there.

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There Are No Sacrifices

Wednesday 26 December, 2001

After spending the last couple of days with George, Harriet, Sunil, Dev, Robert and Priya, I felt the sadness approaching which usually overwhelms me when I don’t want things to end. I recognised it as Child Ego State and when I arrived home I forced myself to exercise and felt much better afterwards. A little self-parenting goes a long way. In addition, the sadness never took hold; it merely presented itself and I knew what I had to do.

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Not Working Hard Enough

Sunday 23 December, 2001

After greeting the men (Sunil, Kuldip, Dev and Robert) when they arrived I went upstairs to get some cups and found Karaj in the kitchen. We chatted for half an hour about people’s commitment to the process. Karaj was of the opinion that he could close the men’s group because men are not working hard enough. This surprised me a little but I understood what Karaj was saying. His observation is an extension of my complaint in the early days of my work here – that people do not make enough of the opportunities here.

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I Have Matured

Saturday 22 December, 2001

Drove in with Dev and Kuldip and spent much of the morning working on my appraisals – so much is happening here every day that it can be a full time job recording it all. The quiet time we have promised ourselves is just around the corner and will be a welcome opportunity to reflect on all that has happened and consolidate for the next year, which Karaj promises us will be more challenging than this one.

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The Problem With Unconditional Giving

Friday 21 December, 2001

The morning supervision session was a deep one as we discussed the reason for the negativity last Sunday. Karaj had gone through Sunil’s list of clients with him yesterday but felt nothing untoward and had pondered the problem all evening until he realised Michelle had been the root of it all.

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Looking For The Cause

Wednesday 19 December, 2001

We gathered together (Karaj, Kuldip, Sunil and me) for an early-morning supervision session. Kuldip went first and received his usual reprimand for a shoddy appraisal of yesterday’s events. He had initially set out goals for his day but did not assess whether or how those goals had been met. He is unable to evaluate his own day or his own life.

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Male Energy & On Fire

Sunday 16 December, 2001

Felt tired as we all met up at the house and I instructed the other men to keep an eye on me for the first couple of hours because I was tired and also with particular regard to Priya’s imminent presence. They didn’t. They, like me, assumed that I knew what I was doing. But that is the whole point. They can see my script far better than I can so I need them, even if I protest, to look out for me. Especially when I ask them too.

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The Effectiveness of Feedback

Saturday 15 December, 2001

I arrived at the house feeling tired and stiff. Together we (Karaj, Robert, Kuldip, Dev) finished the conservatory roof and tidied the house and garden in preparation for the women’s group. The presence of a tight deadline meant I had to curb my ‘be perfect’ nature. It felt liberating to do so. Also, it was important to me that everything be done before the first woman arrived. Karaj has always said that there is no need for people to see how we work and I understand that now. We succeeded.

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Forging Relationships

Friday 14 December, 2001

After a supervision session during which Karaj told me that I should take a learning point for myself from every one of his challenges to Kuldip – anything else is being cocky – we set to work on finishing the conservatory. It was 3pm. We would not finish until midnight.

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Emotional Hooks

Wednesday 12 December, 2001

I reflected on the last few days – life has been full recently, with little time to think. I thought about my subservience, and how, like Kuldip, I wait for instructions and information instead of thinking for myself. When presented with a situation, I am not engaged and curious enough to work things out for myself. I would rather wait for someone to fill in the missing information, deferring to them for whatever reason. What I don’t realise is that I have all the answers and that if I approach a problem knowing that I already have the solution then I will be encouraged to have faith in myself and engage.

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Skills, Influence & Maturity

Tuesday 11 December, 2001

Calvin came today and helped out with the conservatory. I did not do enough to welcome him into the working environment of the garden. I should have taken more control and filled him in fully about the work which has been done and still needs doing as well as the way we work. I did not instil enthusiasm in Calvin and as a result he was nervous and took time to get going.

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Our Commitment Provides Our Success

Sunday 9 December, 2001

I felt very tired this morning and found the church service a little difficult to follow. The passages from the bible were the most involved aspects of the sermon but in the end it is all about interpretation. That is where the church’s power has always been – interpreting complicated texts for their own means, while the rest of us are grateful for the explanations. This is the cynical part of me (which is still present), and it was with me in the church as I wondered how much of the Pastor’s reading was inspirational and how much was propaganda. However sceptical I may be, and it is undoubtedly increased by tiredness, there is always something I can take away with me. The main learning point today was that whatever I do it should be inspired by God and not done for my own gain or to boost my ego or reputation.

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Passion With Detachment

Saturday 8 December, 2001

Men’s group. Earl started off with a question about passion with detachment. He did his usual trick of discounting himself, saying that if his question isn’t relevant then he can bring it up later. The thing is – and this is always the case – whatever subject or issue is raised, everyone benefits. I have lost count of the time that people’s own agendas have been sorted without them having to raise their issues because their answers have come from someone else’s issue.

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Owning & Forgetting

Friday 7 December, 2001

A busy morning as I made sure the basic work was done – preparing and cooking the food – so the others (Karaj, Sunil and Dev) could discuss the best approach for the construction work on the conservatory. Kuldip arrived and in the afternoon I continued my work in the office while efforts began outside. At one point I reached a block in my work, took a break and went outside to see what was going on. I was drawn quite naturally into working with the others as they tried to move the soil pipe out of the way of where the conservatory roof will go. We had a deadline to meet and as the time drew closer the energy increased but did not become destructive.

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