Remember Your Starting Point

Thursday 29 November, 2018

During the whole episode, I was not the only one to question whether it is even possible to change oneself. It’s an obvious and natural question to ask when we fall back so heavily into the habits we say we wish to change. The question feels loaded, as if there is only one conclusion: No, it isn’t possible. No wonder I had such a strong urge to walk away during those two weeks. But there is another perspective: This is a lifelong process, there is always work to be done, and (believe it or not) you are progressing every day. Seen in that way, it helps enormously to remember where you started.

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Challenging Our Assumptions

Wednesday 19 December, 2012

A week ago I was challenged to leave my comfort zone. I saw it coming and my immediate response was to resist. Fortunately my motivation to take up the challenge was greater. It was all part of a coaching course I was attending and during this particular session I had been talking with one of the coaches about my reluctance to make the first move in social interactions. At best I feel awkward; at worst, anxious and ready to leave. The coach knew my travel arrangements for that evening and our closing dialogue went something like this:

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We Already Know

Wednesday 20 April, 2011

Before I began my training I was reading a lot of books. Mostly science books, but others too, all in an attempt to understand the world around me. When I started my training one of the first things Karaj told me was to stop reading. For the time being at least, there was no need. I have all the answers I am looking for. They are all within me.

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Measurable Results

Monday 11 April, 2011

Results should be measurable. This is always useful but not always easy. How do you quantify certain things? Wealth, possessions and number of friends are easily-measured units of success. But what about other things like contentment, satisfaction or happiness? Or personal development?

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Realisations Among Friends

Saturday 11 October, 2003

Yesterday Aubrey and I headed up to Manchester for Sonny’s belated stag weekend. Aubrey was lovely company. I talked to him about his life and his future. He takes things one day at a time and does not care what he does so long as he is happy. He is a person who is clear about what he wants, likes his home comforts, but also enjoys a good time. He is happy in his marriage and looking forward to having a family.

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I Need To Win

Monday 6 October, 2003

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.

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Agitation & Calm

Thursday 19 June, 2003

I need to settle down. I am all over the place at the moment. No clarity. Agitation but no real focus. Both Karaj and I are agitated. He more so than I. Priya arrived. She still knocked, even though she has a key, saying: ‘I thought I’d give you guys warning in case I was disturbing you.’ Bloody hell. What does she think we do here?

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Taking The Challenge Responsibly

Wednesday 4 December, 2002

Karaj and I talked about the differences between men and women. We talked about my dad and how he gave me no parenting and even competed with me when I was fifteen: I was sad about my relationship which had ended, and he was having a breakdown about his. We also touched on the charming behaviour I have from my Granddad. And we talked about Karaj’s assessments; they come from feelings. He uses feelings appropriately.

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We Have Moved Today

Wednesday 24 July, 2002

Worked well with Karaj. I am seeing how I become emotional. As a result, I have stayed calm all day. This has been easy; it is when I am under pressure that I will revert to script. Nevertheless, having seen who I am at the weekend, I am relaxed about it and telling myself that all I have to do is to continue with the discipline of the 18-hour day. I am getting more out of life this way. Enriching.

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Time To Decide

Saturday 20 July, 2002

Today we analysed the facts, perceptions and scripts involved in the contract weekend two weeks ago. Before we began I spent some time in conversation with Dev. He has succeeded because he comes here, listens to Karaj, wants to change and works hard. We also talked about the congruency of thoughts (Parent), observations (Adult) and feelings (Child).

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Showered, packed and spent a final hour with Francis. Both of us are very satisfied with the way things have gone: we planned what needed to be planned, we got the project going, wrote to-do lists, verbalised, wrote the diary, found our own space, and relished each other’s company. I have never seen Francis so relaxed as he has been this summer, especially the last week or so. I too, am more relaxed about who and where I am, with a renewed motivation to verbalise, observe and to determine what it is that I want in life.

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Are You Ready To Move Forward?

Saturday 9 March, 2002

08.30 E&M 30 mins. Spent the morning with Karaj. We talked about criteria: these are the rules which allow me to assess whether I am achieving my goals and if not why not?

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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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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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