The Effects of Negativity

Friday 31 August, 2001

Natasha, Aaliyah, Michelle and Priya were all present in our group today. They’d had an early session with Karaj and we came in at the end of it. Initially, the women were only going to stay for an hour but they stayed for eight and a half. During that time there were numerous interactions, interventions, exchanges and learning points. The feedback at one point was very dynamic – everybody verbalising their thoughts and feelings about everybody else. It brought home to me the importance and benefit of verbalisation.

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Undermined By My Own Script

Thursday 30 August, 2001

I woke up and went for an early morning swim in the pool. I cracked my head on the side and needed two stitches. This made me think: why have I done this to myself? As Ishwar pointed out, all the positive feedback I received on my birthday yesterday has gone straight to my head. As I sat at the doctor’s I began to acquaint myself with a hitherto unrecognised negative side of myself, which clearly exists and exerts itself when things are going well, in an effort to prove that I am no good.

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An Intense Week Begins

Wednesday 29 August, 2001

The room had not been prepared for us. Karaj put me in control and told me what to say and how to say it. I needed to be firm, but with his sideline coaching I found it difficult to relax and be effective. I sorted things out in the end with a combination of Karaj’s methods and my own ability. I was not as unreasonable as Karaj would have been, but it brought home to me the fact that I am not Karaj and never will be. I have a different approach to such situations and all I can do is to go with that approach and incorporate Karaj’s techniques where I can.

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Last-Minute Quality

Tuesday 28 August, 2001

Exercised and tidied the house. Karaj greeted me with three hours worth of editing for the newsletter. I am not in the slightest bit excited about Sicily, and I won’t be until the newsletter is finished and I am sitting on the plane. During the course of the Sicily work my thoughts have alternated between what fantastic work it is we are doing and how beneficial it will turn out to be for all of us; and feelings of not being interested in doing the work with the other men. This comes about when I want time to myself, which I have had precious little of recently and will have none of now until the first day of rest on Thursday.

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Stop Trying to Please People

Monday 27 August, 2001

In the morning Karaj and I had breakfast together before his first appointment. I then sat in the park and did some more Sicily homework. A gentle day was compensated for in the evening as Karaj and I tried to break all newsletter records by producing the latest one in half a day. I also had the final few stories of my Sicily homework to analyse and I started to get uptight as my thoughts drifted towards just when I would actually get to bed. I had thought we would spend more time preparing for Sicily rather than adding to our workload. Karaj said he wanted me to get excited about Sicily, but I don’t see this as the way to do it.

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Giving Too Much

Sunday 26 August, 2001

Arrived at the house to find Karaj in a bit of a chaotic state. He seemed pretty manic in his behaviour. We went for breakfast together and he gradually calmed down. We had planned to do some hard work today but ended up resting for most of it. Sunil came over in the evening. He and Karaj got into a discussion about patching clients up in emergencies. Sunil did not agree with this terminology as he does not ‘patch’ people up.

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Feet On the Ground

Friday 24 August, 2001

At the house Karaj told me that my script has the power to cause my downfall. Just as my football playing ended in an injury caused by cockiness, all the work I am doing with Karaj and all the progress I am making could be undone in minutes. If I don’t keep my feet on the ground, I am likely to get more and more cocky until I eventually fuck it up. My saving grace is that I listen.

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The Art of Saying Goodbye

Wednesday 22 August, 2001

Rode the bus into town with Calvin. He got off before me and his goodbye was brilliant. The was no warning, no preamble, no hastily-made arrangements to phone or meet up. He simply stood up, shook my hand and said, ‘See you later’. That’s how to say goodbye. Thanks Calvin.

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A Quiet Man

Tuesday 21 August, 2001

I woke up with negative thoughts – nothing new – but I felt challenged too. Challenged by the nature of the development work the Sicily project was throwing up. It is tough work but great work too because I am realising that I can analyse and I can move away from my (adapted) Child ego state and my need to please others, towards a place where I can ‘faithfully and inexorably help people to risk themselves, so that they may endure the suffering and pass courageously through it.’ (The Way of Transformation by Karlfried Gras von Durkheim).

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Comprehensive Analysis

Monday 20 August, 2001

Whilst we waited for the gas man to arrive, the three of us made a start on our latest homework. We began with Calvin’s stories and it seemed like a monumental task. A task made easier, however, by the support of each other. We talked it through together until such a time when I suggested a 10-minute silence in order that we could all write down our own analyses. We had started with Calvin’s work, reasoning that this would at least be straight and easier to analyse than some of the others. It took us an hour each for the first two stories, after which we moved our operation to the house.

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Preparing for Sicily

Sunday 19 August, 2001

No chance for a lie-in because there was still a lot of work to do for the Sicily groups this afternoon. In the car on the way to the house I briefed the men about the presence of women – their group was scheduled for 12-2 o’clock, with the men’s group from 4-6 o’clock. I told them that they should avoid any games, don’t rescue or persecute, don’t make any sexual comments and don’t freeze.

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A Missed Opportunity

Saturday 18 August, 2001

I felt very good this morning and on the way to the group I recognised the similar excitable attitude to the last group during which I had become progressively more cocky. This time however I kept control over myself and remained firmly on the ground. Unfortunately, my pride in this achievement sent me back up into the air where I got cocky again. Fortunately Karaj picked me up on it when I asked him for the butter from the fridge.

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What Am I Contributing?

Friday 17 August, 2001

6.50 E&M 40 mins. An enjoyably busy day today putting the final touches to the preparations for the Sicily day on Sunday. Karaj and I discussed the Sicily work. We talked about relationships and how important it is to contribute to people. Every time I relate to someone I need to ask myself, ‘What am I contributing to this person?’. This is the only reference point I can rely on. If I cannot determine my own contribution to others how can I expect others to know. Many people have no concept of their own reference point. With that in mind, how is it possible for these people to form any sort of relationship with others. What’s worse is that they ask others to define their reference points for them. No wonder people are messed up. Clear assessment is only possible with clear reference points.

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Thursday 16 August, 2001

6.45 E&M 40 mins. Two days of exercises have really had a positive effect on my well-being. I feel very good about things. [Karaj: Remember this.]

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